Fitness is like a skill.
The more you train, the better you become. If you stop training, you start to degrade until you start training again.
Unfortunately, the older you get, the harder it becomes to maintain and increase your levels of fitness. It’s easier to bounce back from a lay-off from training in your 20s than it is in your 40s (and even more-so in your 60s, and so on.)
Unfortunately, for the elderly, strength, balance, and other fitness qualities degrade RAPIDLY and it sometimes becomes too late for them to utilize training to improve their quality of life.
If the idea of this happening to you freaks you out, then consider this: your future isn’t totally out of your control. Using these 4 tips, you can do all that you can now to set yourself up to be as strong and healthy as possible for the future.
#1 – Start Now and Get Ahead of the Game.
No one WANTS to become weak and helpless when they’re elderly. It just happens. We must realize that our only shot at keeping ourselves fit, healthy, and independent as we grow older is to START TRAINING NOW.
Think of it like this… the higher you’ve climbed a mountain, the longer it’s going to take for you to reach the bottom when you fall. The height of the mountain is your level of fitness, and the when you hit the base of the mountain you’ll be elderly and immobile.
The sooner you start, the more fit you’ll become, and the longer you’ll enjoy strength and healthy movement later in your life.
#2 – Be Conservative.
When people start-up a new training program, they sometimes get a little too excited and want to go crazy. By this, I mean they want to train 5-6 days a week right off the bat, take huge jumps in weight for their lifts go on longer and longer runs, etc.
This is great and all – because who doesn’t love making huge progress in a short amount of time – but approaching training with this kind of attitude is simply not sustainable.
Your risk for injury increases when you work at this type of pace and intensity, and you’re not doing yourself any favors by getting injured. It only becomes a set-back for you, and makes your orthopedic surgeon more wealthy.
Time off from training due to injury and pushes you down that “mountain”.
#3 – Move Properly.
So, we’ve got it across that exercising yourself into oblivion and getting injured is no good for preparing yourself for the future.
We must avoid injury whenever we can.
Another potential cause for injury is improper movement. Even if you are conservative with exercise and take your time with increasing weights or miles, if you move improperly, it all doesn’t matter.
Regardless of how frequently or intense you train, moving improperly is tough on your joints and injury can happen within a single workout depending on how poorly you move.
Learn how to move the right way, prevent injury, and keep on training to keep yourself fit for the future.
#4 – Make Progress Over Time.
If you’re working your butt off but aren’t making progress in the long run, you’re wasting your time.
Sure, we just stressed the importance of not pushing it and getting injured, but the entire point of training is to improve our fitness over time.
There IS a point where you may stop progressing and you can only maintain your levels of fitness – such as when you become very advanced, are injured, or are much, much older. However, the majority of people can and should be improving over time.
If you aren’t improving, you’re stagnating, at best.
Don’t train yourself into an injury, but ensure you’re working both hard enough AND smart enough to continue progressing. That way, you’ve climbed higher up the mountain and have put yourself in a better place, physically, as you get older.
It’s not too late. Immobility and weakness does NOT have to be your destiny.
Start training today and set yourself up for success for your future years!