Rumor has it…

Somewhere along the line, rumors started. I can’t keep up, I’m getting old, I’m slowing down, I can’t exercise with my bad back. The list goes on. Whichever Negative Nancy or Danny Downer started that rumor is not worth believing. So don’t! Give yourself some credit.

You move you

Once your mind is made, you owe it to yourself to make a positive change. I could tell you about mature athletes and adult onset exercisers (AOEs) everywhere who challenge the meaning of aging and feel younger and healthier everyday, but they won’t make the choice for you. If you want to feel strong, look good, and have the energy to do what you want, it has to come from the inside.

Say it over and over until it clicks: You are strong, you are powerful, you move you.

Couch potatoes beware

Speaking of moving, couch addiction is a real problem. In the next decade, physical inactivity will cause premature disability or death in 2.5 million Americans. Women who watch two hours of TV a day are 23% more likely to be obese and 35 common diseases are made worse by inactivity. There’s no easy way to say it, you just have to get moving.

Well, excuse me!

I understand being pulled in 20 different directions while juggling life on a balance beam. What I don’t understand are the excuses I hear! Here are some common ones, along with my responses:

  • 'I run around constantly. Is that good enough?'
    • No. Your heart rate must be elevated for 30 minutes everyday. That doesn’t include watching a particularly tense episode of Breaking Bad.
  • 'I can’t afford it.'
    • I bet you have cable, though. Turn it off and join a gym.
  • 'I don’t know where to start.'
    • Simple: read my book; get off the couch (before another Breaking Bad episode pulls you back).
  • 'We have a treadmill, but it’s covered in laundry.'
    • My, what an expensive clothesline… Fix it.
  • 'I was a Navy SEAL! I can’t do beginner workouts!'
    • Tough guy or not, after a two-decade hiatus you’re back at square one. Even more of a reason to get back at it!

Let’s get a drumroll for this last one, because you won’t believe somebody actually used it. Ready? And….

  • The dog ate my shoes.

If you’re like me, you think that was a joke. Okay, it was, but that was my patient’s last straw. Let’s not get to a point where we have to hire a comedian to write excuses. Remember, this has to come from you.

Barriers can be broken

Other barriers, such as arthritis and increased risk for injury, are very real. And troublesome. But my entire career is dedicated to training active agers and athletes over 40 how to not to get sidelined. Later chapters in Fitness After 40 will discuss ways to prevent and work through the pain.

Let’s do this

Fact: 78 percent of people over the age of 50 cite exercise as the key to aging well, but only 28 actually do something about it. I see a slight discrepancy here, people! This is my call to action: let’s change that statistic.

For tips and updates from Fitness After 40, Second Edition, keep checking back for new posts from each chapter or follow me on social media using the links below.

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