I frequently remind my fitness class participants to work with what they have, especially when someone new joins. We are all at different ages and stages, and everyone has limitations of some kind. We do our best with what we have for that particular day as every day IS different.
I have fought deadly illnesses and come out the other side, but they changed me. I am good until I am not, and I often require naps to rest. Comments like, “Must be nice to take naps,” are from people who truly do not understand how I feel having to rest when I wish I didn’t need to. I had my youth stolen from me and spent it fighting for my life. I’m grateful I beat two incurable diseases with God’s help, but I have paid a price. My body has forever been altered.
I am very aware of my limitations…what I can and cannot do. I am constantly weighing things out compared to my energy and pain level. I often decline on evening events because I am out of gas by then, especially if I haven’t slept well. I don’t complain about it, and most probably don’t realize the difficulty I can have doing ordinary things. It is what it is!
As we age, every one of us needs to modify, adjust, and pivot. Add to the equation any injuries, joint replacements, or long-term illness, and you must make smart decisions for you. I like to say, “Listen to your body’s whisper because if you ignore it, it WILL scream at you!” This requires us to be in tune with our body and what it is telling us. Every day really is different because sleep (lack thereof), sodium intake, alcohol consumption, temperature (heat or cold), and a myriad of other factors can dramatically influence your body and how it performs. Don’t force or push it should you not feel 100 percent.
Pay attention to aches and pains. If something strange pops up, give it two weeks. If it doesn’t clear up by then, see a doctor who knows you well and desires optimal health for you. Know you will feel like kicking butt some days, and other days, you may wonder who kicked your butt!
Fuel your body with good nutrition to help it function as best it can. The days of eating anything we want are long gone once we enter our 40s and beyond. You wouldn’t put anything but gasoline in your car, right? Consider your body a piece of machinery that needs proper fuel to run correctly. Automobiles need maintenance like oil changes, and your body is not different. If you want to keep it running, you need to treat it right.
Hopefully we all know we don’t have to compete with one another. We are each on our own health journey, and we don’t have to keep up. We must, however, keep moving and giving our best! Adjust and modify as needed, but stay in the game. Looking for some motivation and inspiration? My book, Fit Over 50 is full of helpful information on the aging process and how to maximize it. Here’s to the best chapter of life yet!