I was walking through a parking lot the other day and saw a woman who was maybe 55 years old struggling to get out of her car seat. The door was wide open and
she clearly just didn’t have the leg or arm strength to stand up and exit. She wasn’t injured, per se, but she was definitely weak. So weak that she was struggling with a basic function of her day.
It got me thinking about how many basic functions of our day would she, or many folks, have a hard time doing. Getting in or out of bed takes over-all body strength to gently get up or lie down. Same goes for the toilet, right? Toilets are low! What about simply sitting down on a couch or dining chair? Or how about a bathtub? I remember when my mom and her husband bought a new home and we took our young children for a weekend visit. After dinner, it was bath time. To my surprise, there was no bathtub! I asked why and she said, “Well, since we’re getting older (at this time late 60’s in age), we don’t think that we can get in and out of a tub, so we decided to tear it out and build a walk in shower.” Talk about taking the other road and giving in to the supposed old age myth.
There are too many basic functions of everyone’s day that I couldn’t possibly list them all. I am sure you have your own set of basic functions that you can relate to. Grandkids, young children who want to play, heavy doors at the store, heavy grocery bags….the list is endless, really.
What are we going to do? Be like my mom and her husband and just “accept” that this is the way it is when you grow older? Please don’t do that. That is just plain sad and not the way it has to be. We have all been told again and again that strength training (lifting weights) is the “fountain of youth.” Guess what? It’s TRUE! As we age, our bones are losing their strength, just as our muscles are. If I told you that you alone could change that by simply spending less than a few hours a week, would you take me up on it? Well, it’s absolutely true and you simply need to take control of the aging process, rather than let it control you! Strength training not only promotes calcium density in your bones, but it also strengthens the muscles, joints, and ligaments that hold up those bones!
This is who we speak to quite often at our gyms, the baby boomer coming in to inquire, maybe for the very first time, scared to death, knows he/she needs to but doesn’t think he/she can….etc. It’s never too late to create change!
Taking time to maintain quality of life and making sure that you can handle the basic functions of your day seem like a great plan. A much better plan than planning on getting weak and unable to do the things that you enjoy, like taking a bath! Today is a whole new day and you alone have the power to change your body to prevent or turn back the clock on weakness that is NOT inevitable!