The good news about the unavoidable signs of aging is that they can be mitigated by the great effects of fitness.
Here’s your heads-up: as early in your life as possible learn to distinguish natural healthy aging from “avoidable deterioration”- the term we give to the “results” born of the cumulative effects of either too few good habits or too many neglectful or abusive habits held for too long.
We try to emphasize eating and exercising for the sake of good health rather than for appearance. Feeling good is way more important than looking good and the older you get the more you know how true this is.
Around 35-40 years old many of us start seeing what we believe to be signs of aging. Physical changes that show as early as 35-40 are better called avoidable deterioration. Aging in general gets blamed for far too much too often.
Once you experience the “F” word (age fifty and beyond) you will start to experience some unavoidable signs of aging- verses the avoidable deterioration that is self-induced.
In the world of food the joke is “everything tastes better with ketchup.” We humorously share our belief that “everything looks better with muscle.” Fight bulges by developing your muscles.
Extra weight supported by muscle is better than the same extra weight with no muscle. While you’re improving your eating habits in order to lose weight you can work on improving your shape by adding a healthy amount of muscle.
Vanity can be a very positive and effective motivator. Use it if it works for you. There are very few people in this world who don’t care at all about their appearance. Eating well gives you better skin and muscles make everything- including wrinkles- look better.
If you’re discouraged by what the scale tells you or by what you see in your mirror, then hide them both for a while as you go to work on your new fitness plans involving eating well and exercising regularly and moderately.
Checking too often or too soon for visible results might be the kiss of death for your fitness habits. Stick to your fitness plan for at least a month or two and then consult these “experts” if you must. Results will come if you don’t quit. It’s impossible not to get positive results- if you don’t quit too soon.
What you need to do is figure out choices you are able to make and sustain that will be effective enough to give you results fast enough to suit your demands- before you give up. Be sure to read our chapter on the many advantages of weight training.
I promise you that if you’re 35-40 years old and bad things are already happening to your body it’s not because you’re old. You’re seeing a “result” from either too few effective good habits or too many bad habits held for too long.
Regardless of your age or your physical condition when you start working on your physical fitness, you can and will improve your body. Of course the less you have to recover from, combined with the effectiveness of your specific food and exercise choices, the faster you can get positive internal and external results.
Wrinkles come to mind when we think of aging. Certainly your face will show your age if you’re fortunate enough to reach old age, regardless of how many good habits you have and no matter how fit you remain. But wrinkles are not all created equal.
Your wrinkles will show character- an additional facet of beauty, if you lead a healthy lifestyle. Maybe you could start calling them “love lines” or “lines of distinction”. You’d look sort of weird if you didn’t have any wrinkles at all.
Lead a healthy lifestyle so that you can embrace your wrinkles. Bulges are a different issue. Bulges don’t automatically come with age.
If you already have bulges then make up your mind to slow them down. Do damage control.
A little bit of fat on a female body looks beautiful. But if you have too much it starts hanging around where it doesn’t belong and you lose your once lovely shape.
Don’t try to pass off the cumulative effects of years of bad habits as the natural consequences of healthy aging. The two are very different issues.
Bulges and rolls, sagging muscles, immobility, bad posture, and knee and hip replacement aren’t just from old age. These issues often result from the cumulative effect of bad habits over time.
Excess should be avoided. You can eat too much and you can exercise too much too. Just be conscious of these facts. Marathon runners have a higher incidence of knee and hip replacements than the rest of the population.
It’s important to recognize that issues commonly associated with old age can be minimized, if not entirely avoided, with weight management and moderate exercise.
Learn what it means to age gracefully so you can experience aging in the most positive way possible.
Discover what it is to become older without suffering from the cumulative effects of abuse and/or neglect. Be clear on what it means to age gracefully.
Beauty has many dimensions. Age alone can neither define nor limit beauty. When it comes to physical beauty, fitness creates beauty.
Toned muscles, good posture, healthy skin…these are some of the elements of physical beauty that you can influence or control. Youth does not own these elements.
With a lifelong fitness habit you give yourself a chance to experience aging in the most beautiful way possible.
Unhealthiness that results from abuse and/or neglect is not the same thing as aging gracefully. You will age very differently in many ways if you have a lifelong fitness habit vs. if you don’t.
Give yourself the truly priceless gift of a lifelong fitness habit.
You can easily tweak your choices and start nipping in the bud the unattractive results you’re seeing that are avoidable.
You can improve your body regardless of what age you start. The sooner you start the easier it is to get results you’ll be thrilled with.
The easiest way to minimize the effects of your habits on your body- without resorting to plastic surgery- is to never let allow your condition to get bad to the extreme. If all you need to do is shape up what you have that’s easier than dropping a lot of weight and then shaping up what remains.
What you may not know is staying in shape doesn’t take as much exercise and time (or unpleasantness) as you think. What it really takes is doing a little something for your body consistently every day, along with good habits for healthy food choices the vast majority of the time.
Avoid thinking in term of self-denial. Add good new choices instead. It’s possible to reduce bad choices as a direct result of adding good choices.
Effective exercises can be creatively incorporated into any day- regardless of your schedule or your budget.
Find out what works for you. Getting on a scale may discourage you. Instead of having your day ruined by a number, you could try on a clothing item that once fit you well. Try on that favorite clothing item periodically to check your weight loss progress.
The problem with your scale is that it can’t recognize positive internal results that start immediately- like the fact that you’re converting fat to muscle.
Most women don’t like the appearance of the back side of their thighs. Solution: take 30 seconds every day/7 days per week/ 52 weeks each year to do “dead lifts.” Using a pair of hand held weights that you keep in your bedroom do your dead lifts faithfully. Look online for instructional videos. They’ve been around for a long time. You can’t make this choice without getting good results if you don’t quit too soon. The trick for you may be figuring out how not to quit. Change the weight, change the time of day, change the attitude- whatever works for you.
From now on make dead lifts a part of your life. You’ll do them as often as you brush your teeth. If that’s the only part of your body you want to work on then fine. Chances are you’ll add another movement to your repertoire. Once you get used to it you’ll find yourself saying “this feels so good.” Soon you’ll feel muscle developing and next you’ll see results.
By the way, as I’ve been typing the words you are now reading I’ve gotten up from the computer several times to do some kind of strength movement for my arms using dumbbells. The movements feel good for multiple reasons. You can rid your body of discomfort from tension at the same time as you’re maintaining muscle. Everything isn’t about looks.
Fitness begins with consciousness. Consciousness expands into choices. Choices become habits. Habits create lifestyle.
At 35-40 years old- even 60-65, you’re still so incredibly young compared to people who are already 80. Eighty year olds can build muscle and improve their overall health so just imagine what you can do. Don’t let your “number” play tricks on your mind. Obviously age is not the main issue.
Start now- today. No one ever says they regret becoming healthy. Don’t confuse healthy aging with avoidable deterioration.