I was recently interviewed for a podcast, and one of the questions I was asked was “is there anything you can tell people in their 20’s-40’s that they could be doing now to maintain a good physical condition when they eventually become 65+?” It’s funny I was asked this question because most of the advice I give is usually for people who are already 65+. However, regardless of if you are 65+ or under, here are 3 ways I answered this question.
1. Don’t Stop doing what you already do- We have all heard the phrase, “if you don’t use it, you lose it.” Here are a few abilities that I notice that people lose if they don’t continue to do them (Getting On/Off The Floor, Climbing Stairs, Lifting or moving objects, and Walking Distances). I encourage that if you are doing these activities already, don’t stop. I understand that we need to use our discretion with not doing something that is dangerous or too demanding physically, but once people completely stop certain activities as they get older; they lose the ability to do them again.
2. Don’t Let Your Age determine Your Options – The thing I find with a lot of people when they hit certain age milestones, is that they stop doing things they like doing. For example, if you love to play tennis, why shouldn’t you continue to play? As long as an activity doesn’t make a certain injury or physical limitation worse, there is no reason you can’t keep doing it. The key to doing activities as we age is to modify them to meet our current physical condition. This may mean modifying your tennis swing so that it doesn’t contribute to a shoulder injury, or only playing for 30 mins as opposed to 1 or more hours.
3. Continue To Try New things – This point has more to do with our mindset. I feel when people are challenged mentally, they are more likely to maintain a good physical condition. I feel the best way to challenge yourself mentally is to try something new.