Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Fitness: A Choice for the Ages

Far too many retirees avoid exercise and doom themselves to decrepitude and loss of independence during the Golden Years.

For most of us who were born before NASA, color TV, McDonald’s, Walmart, Disneyland, Bannister’s four-minute mile and the polio vaccine, we have an emerging problem: We decide not to go to the gym. We are making this choice far too often, and it has a direct effect on how functional we are in our later years and how many of those years we have.

Anyone nearing retirement age needs to understand that inactivity will have a dramatic negative effect on quality of life. Our decisions to do nothing now create the consequences of frailty, decrepitude, loss of health and—very importantly—loss of independence in later life. Choosing to be physically active, but not fit, extends our lives without carrying forward our ability to thrive in the face of the world’s constant challenge.

For those of us who make the choice to be physically active in later life, it is a very good thing. A choice to try to be disease-free as long as possible is brilliant. But we can do better.

To rage against aging is to choose to actively seek fitness, to logically and progressively train to reap the promise of a spectacular return on your physical investment—health, independence, vitality and longevity. There simply is no substitute for sweat equity earned with time in the gym—time spent training hard to progressively improve fitness and quality of life to last a lifetime.

The other choice is to sit back and wait for time to rob you of your quality of life and longevity.

The couch may be comfy, but you need to choose wisely for your benefit and the benefit of those you care about.

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