The couch may be comfy, but you need to choose wisely for your benefit and the benefit of those you care about.
This subject is pretty near and dear to me. I grew up with just my father since my mother passed away a pretty young age. As a kid we were always doing all kinds of things outdoors. Things like water skiing, hiking, camping, oh and cutting down trees, splitting wood, and then bringing it home. You know those normal everyday girl things!
My father was the kind of guy that worked with his hands and started out in a field of physical labor. He was always active and had what I like to call working strength instead of gym muscles.
Let's fast forward a couple of decades.
I finished high school, college, and started working. I started to spend less time with my father since I was now an adult doing my own thing. During the time we spent together I started to notice some big changes that started to affect our relationship. His desire to continue to be athletic started to change and unfortunately he didn't win his battle against lack of movement He stopped doing so much, continued eating poorly, was drinking to much and just didn't want to exercise. He lost his motivation.
“Anyone nearing retirement age needs to understand that inactivity will have a dramatic negative effect on quality of life. Our decisions to do nothing now creates the consequences of frailty, decrepitude, loss of health and—very importantly—loss of independence in later life. Choosing to be physically active, but not fit, extends our lives without carrying forward our ability to thrive in the face of the world’s constant challenge. ”
Things started to take a turn for the better when he was around 65. My father was starting to take a real interest in what my husband and I were doing and started joining us for workouts in our garage whenever he would visit. Unfortunately, he's not with us anymore, but I'm confident he would have stuck with it and seen major changes. In a perfect world he would have been a permanent fixture at our gym. Making everyone laugh and driving us crazy.
I'm not sure when it happened but my relationship with my father started this journey I’ve been on. I started to pay a bit more attention to what I was seeing around me
I noticed many things from my observations, but two really big thing stuck out.
1. I've meet people that just keep doing what they've been doing. Always trying something new and they've kept moving. They haven't decided that age is going to stop them from living.
2. I've meet people that have decided I can't do that anymore I'm getting to old to Insert what every you find as enjoyment in here (hike, bike, swim, walk, run, travel, ski) These are the ones that have decided maybe conscious or unconsciously that they just can't anymore.
When does this start? Maybe for some of us it' in our 20's and 30's after you've been working at a desk for several years not paying attention to your diet and haven't been exercising that much. You decide hey I'm going skiing this weekend and all of a sudden it hurts way more than you thought or maybe you tweaked something. Who knows when it starts for each person.
It's not to late to change that attitude.
Start doing something, find something that you have fun doing, The fun part is going to make all the difference in the world.
The next time you are about to settle in on the couch for the afternoon, image what is it I've always wanted to do or used to do that I really enjoyed? Ask yourself, what can I do now to start doing that again or for the very first time?
I'll leave you with this. Do you have kids, grandchildren or friends you want to play with? I bet they want to play with you and those moments are priceless.
Sara Benson- Nutrition Coach, Pilates Instructor, CrossFit Trainer, former bad ass firewood splitter.