Is Age Just a Number?
Do you have something in your life that you’re really passionate about?
For me, it’s working out.
I am a former professional bodybuilder, 60 years old, who dedicates his life to helping people get into their best shape possible.
In order for me to do a good job of inspiring others, I feel that I need to walk the walk. That’s why I make great efforts to work out consistently and eat right.
One evening, about two weeks ago I was working out in my home gym in Houston, Texas. As I was walking past one of the mirrors, I took notice of the muscularity in my legs. These days they’re not quite as big as they were in my prime when I won the IFBB Mr. Universe. But they are still lean.
I then had a thought.
“Why don’t I share a video image of my legs to my followers on Instagram?”
I thought that it might be inspiring for others to see what is possible, at 60 years of age.
I asked my wife Robin to take the video with my iPhone. Rolling her eyes, she smiled as she filmed me for a few seconds. I posted it. What happened next was totally unexpected… the thing went viral.
It was soon picked up by digital publications including Men’s Health magazine and a LOT of people saw it.
I think that when some people see something like this they think, “wow, maybe I can get into better shape!”
I certainly hope so. That’s the most gratifying part for me, knowing that perhaps I can inspire someone to improve.
But for a few of the more mature people who saw my post, they think “that’s nice, but my time is past, I’m too far gone, why should I even try?”
I now want to address that mindset, that particular outlook on life as we age. All too often, I think that it is the default setting in people’s minds as they age: “I’m too old.” It’s a fallacy.
We’ve all heard the euphemism “age is just a number.“ It’s not. Chronological age is a number. But your biological age, in other words, your physical condition at any given age is an entirely different matter.
You can be 60 and have the healthy body of a 40-year-old. Or you can be 60 and the body of an 80-year-old.
Not much that we can do about chronological aging. In fact, most of us want that number to keep growing year after year, right? LOL
But there’s a lot that you can do about your biological aging. By exercising and eating right, you can slow down the rate at which your body deteriorates as you get older.
This will not only give you a higher quality of life, but it will stave off disease, and loss of physical function as you get older.
Fitness and eating right is the closest thing that we have to the fountain of youth. Taking care of yourself starts with a switch in your mind: to not give up.
You have to convince yourself that surrendering is not an option. I think that the physical decline we experience as we age can be accelerated by a mindset of resignation.
At the onset of aging and loss of physical strength and function, many of us are inclined to just give up.
It’s the equivalent of getting a flat tire on the road of life, then getting out of your car, and saying “no use in fixing that flat. I think I will just slash the other three tires.”
That’s resignation. It’s a comfortable option for many, after all, it doesn’t require any effort.
But it’s predictably destructive. When you give up on yourself, you lose out on quality of life.
I believe that the proper outlook is to strive to be the best that you can be at any given time, at any given age.
You will reach a point in your life where you can no longer do a 200-pound bench press before breakfast, or knock out 50 crunches without pausing. That’s OK. But there is much that you are still capable of doing.
Your goal should be to adapt, but not surrender. Change your workouts and your diet accordingly as you age, but don’t give up on yourself.
You CAN do it. And you are WORTH the effort. Remember, ADAPT don’t surrender. You’ll be much happier for it.
Yours in health,
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