Never too late to get fit

I talk with numerous patients daily about starting fitness regimens, whether it be for managing a medical issue or simply as a core element of general wellness.  There is irrefutable evidence that an active lifestyle is beneficial and that an inactive lifestyle is detrimental to one’s health.   Such a change in lifestyle is important at any age, so says a recent report from a meeting on Health and Fitness by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

I know that many individuals are bothered by the seemingly impossible task of getting in shape after having let themselves go for so long.  No doubt, it must feel like “Mission: Impossible” to fix a 40-inch waist and 100-lb excess, especially when there are associated health problems (like arthritis or heart disease) or other stresses (time, stress, family demands).  Add to that, the feeling that many individuals have regarding futility of effort towards their fitness goals as they age.  At some point, it seems like a lost cause – why work so hard when you may not live that much longer.

Inertia affects our interest in physical activity, just as it affects all objects.  Little did Newton know that his First Law of Motion would describe humans so well.  But, an increase in one’s activity level may improve one’s quality of life immensely.  It’s just getting over that inertia that is the hard point.

Bottom line: it’s never too late to make healthy lifestyle changes.


2 Responses to “Never too late to get fit”

  1. Nice blog – lots of good, diverse info

    I will be signing up for the feed

  2. I agree that it’s never too late, but what I find utterly counterproductive is people expecting a 55-year-old to follow a regimen that a 25-year-old would, right from the start. For example, if I start bike riding today, I would go very slowly at first until I was sure that I could balance and that I could do it without being wiped out for two day. Then I would slowwwwwly add more time, more distance, more speed, and so on.

    I’ve been trying to get active with yoga, bike riding, and walking for the past five years. All the advice I get from friends and family has gotten me injured or wiped out for two days (that is, exhausted to the point of requiring naps). I finally decided that at my age, starting this late, I’ve got to go a lot slower to work up to normal.

    Some people hear that and say I’m babying myself and I might as well not do any exercise if I’m not going to put anything into it (you know, the “No pain, no gain” approach). It’s a good thing I’m motivated enough to ignore them.


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