The majority of today’s health, medical, and fitness trends play right into human nature: the quick fix. Pills, diets, procedures, and “the perfect” exercise routine dominate an environment that is screaming for a better approach. Viewing personal health as a life long learning process allows you to listen, feel, and adjust to what your body needs as you age.
Physical stimulus changes as we age. Our developing years are filled with activity, play, sports, and moving in a world much bigger than we are. Movement, for the most part, outweighs the amount of sedentary time. School, jobs, and families change all of that significantly. As an adult, seated hours dominate our stimulus and we must make proper adjustments. Once easy to ignore, warmups and cool downs as an adult are essential. Take stock of any problem areas that have developed and give them daily attention. Strive for a balance of strength and flexibility for all of your joints and muscles. If you’re picking up some new activities or sports, learn how to properly prepare for them.
We often view youth as invincible, able to run around all day and eat whatever they want. The truth is, at any age the food we consume affects every cellular process in our body. We live in a time where more children and adults are overweight than at any point in history. Food we eat is either making us healthy or making us sick. Take responsibility for changing habits you may have “gotten away” with as young adult. Environment, stress, and hormones all change as we age, and can have an impact on how we digest and absorb food. Tune into personal symptoms you experience and do your best to improve them with real foods. Learn portion control, how to cook simple meals, and what kinds of food make you feel good.
In life threatening cases, our medical system regularly saves lives. However most chronic conditions have taken years to develop. We have divided care into specialists, placing little emphasis on integrated health, nutrition, and personal habits. Prescription medicine and surgeries are at an all time high, yet we remain a country riddled with chronic conditions and discomfort. Medicine and procedures can compliment personal health care, but beware the quick fix. Question and research everything related to your health. Some suggestions that may have been common place 15 years ago are no longer proven effective. Give yourself time to reverse chronic conditions and look to professionals that can provide an up to date and integrated approach as you age.
Our physical bodies carry us through this world and deserve regular attention. Worn down joints, weight gain, and chronic disease don’t happen overnight. Some outdated “healthy” habits can also be making you sick. Take stock of your relationship with exercise, food, and stress. Learn from what has worked in the past, but find clarity in the present to form strategies that will be effective in the future. Appreciate this evolving physical form we have been given. Take good care!