Nobody makes a goal to be overweight. It simply happens through daily deposits of taking in more calories than one burns off. The average American packs on one to two pounds every year, especially after the age of 35.
Likewise, nobody endeavors to get old and infirm. But it happens through the longterm daily deposits of:
- Weight gain
- Nutritional deficits
There are other factors of course, but those are tangible, heavy hitters. Ultimately, after the age of 40, your body and mind will naturally begin to slow down.
IF and UNLESS.
Your body and mind will slow down IF…you slow down.
Your body and mind will slow down UNLESS…you keep them going strong!
Dangerous Brain Myth
“The brain can be fully functioning even as other parts of the body deteriorate.” This is false. And while you may nod your head, our culture lives as if this is true. Look, if you starve a flower from sun, water and nutrients, it will start to break down. The petals fall off, the leaves whither, the stem droops over and it does all it can to preserve the roots…the heart. But all the while the roots are weakening and losing function.
Likewise, if your body is slowing down and losing vitality, so is your brain. Your body is incredible at survival, and it will do all it can…sacrificing appearance and mobility and even other organs, while trying to preserve the core; The heart and brain. But from the first exterior deterioration, the heart and brain are compromised and running on lesser functionality than if every facet was in good health.
If you want to maintain the vibrance and vitality you had at age 20, when you are 60 or 70, what should you do?
You should do daily, what you want to be able to do in your older years!
If you want to be able to hop up out of a chair, get down on the floor with your grandkids, go on an inspiring hike through the woods to cut down the family Christmas tree, you need to be engaging in those relative activities routinely.
If you want your mind, memory and intellectual fortitude sharp and on point as your peers are picking out nursing homes, then you need to be exercising both body and brain daily. Stress gets a bad rap in our culture today, but as Dr. James will tell you, the opposite of stress is…death. Your mind and muscles get and stay strong by taking on challenges and resistance.
Your mind and body simply follow your lead. If you lead a slow, inactive, unchallenged lifestyle most days, your mind and body will take the clue and slow down accordingly to do only what is needed. And warning! When you let it go on long enough, there are many aspects of ability you will never be able to reenergize again.
If you don’t want to be the elderly family member stuck over in a corner during the holidays, but would rather be vibrant and able and fully engaged, you need to be doing vibrant and able activities daily.
Dr. James and I keep a chin-up bar in the doorway of my office. We like to compete. He’s up to 18 and I’m lagging at 16. As lifetime athletes we are used to always trying to increase. But being in our mid 40s, we’re often talking about our goals for our latter years. And in those regards, we’ve gotten in the routine of just doing a set of pull ups every day or two, at the least. Because if we are frequently doing 15 pull ups as a part of the routine of our life, our bodies will continue to respond to that stress and there’s no reason we can’t be 70 years old, still doing 15 pull ups. Or even 5 would be extraordinary!
What we want to be doing in our latter years, we must be doing today and every day.
The ability and vitality and mental clarity you want in your latter years is dictated by what you are and aren’t doing today and every day.
A friend of mine in a men’s group once said something profound. He was dealing with being overweight and his wife was concerned for his health and wellness. He said, “You know, if anyone asked me if I loved my wife enough to die for her, I’d of course say yes! But then I thought, do I love her enough to change?”
We all have desire to be well. Now and as we age. Is the desire enough for us to take action and make the daily deposits today and tomorrow and the next day, to enable us to be where we want?
If you have questions on how to have vibrant years decades from now, you need specific, personal counsel that takes in the full context of who you are, your history and where you want to be, and get a personalized plan.
This is what True Life Medicine is here for.