13 May The One Thing You Need to Age Well & Reverse the Hands of Time
One of the most common questions we get are, “What is One Thing that I can do to age well & reverse the hands of Time?”
A red convertible?
All good guesses. But not exactly.
With the anti-aging industry estimated to be valued at 64 billion in 2022, there is no doubt that we are obsessed & invested in the latest and greatest things to keep us fit and the products that keep us looking like our youthful and radiant selves.
But what good is a youthful appearance if you move around like you have 2 left feet?
The One Thing that you need to do to age well is to do things that are necessary to prevent you from allowing your balance to decline.
WHEN SHOULD I START?
You might feel that you’ve got all the time in the world to start because falls are just what old people deal with – right? But it is estimated that more than 1 out of 4 adults older than the age of 65 fall each year. Falling once, doubles the chance of another fall. And more so, falls are the second cause of unintentional injury deaths worldwide.
Given that the average life expectancy in the United States is 76 years of age, 65 is too early to become a statistic.
I could bombard you with all the stats and the doom & gloom, but a more valuable use of your time is to give you some actionable items that you can start taking today.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT WILL HELP?
Why strength training? Because strength is never a weakness, especially since we begin to lose 3-5% of our muscle each decade after the age of 30. And muscle can also serve as a cushion for the bones in the event they do take some lumps. So forming a routine on how to strengthen your existing muscles is important.
Balance training is so obvious isn’t it? What might not be so obvious is what can be considered balance training. Simply spending and accumulating time each day standing on 1 leg or different foot positions such as a lunge or as if you were standing on a balance beam, is considered balance training.
If you want to spice things up a bit, you can also use a Slackblock or cushion to increase the level of difficulty.
And if you really really want to swing for the fences, do it barefoot. We have just as many nerve endings, if not more, in our feet than as we do in our hands. Which means that we can get a lot of information from our feet when they are bare. The texture of what we are standing on. Whether or not the surface we are on is flat, pitched or unstable.
That sensitivity of those nerve endings peaks in our 40’s and gradually decreases as we get older. This is why it’s important to consider & continue barefoot exposure as we get older and not to pad and cushion our feet with thicker “support” shoes. Continue to stimulate the sensory nerves in your feet, so they can tell you alone where your body is in space, without you ever needing to use your eyes to see where you’re stepping. And so that you can use your eyes for other tasks that eyes are meant for.
BUT YOU DID SAY ONE THING – DIDN’T YOU?
So if Strength Training & Balance Training isn’t for you, the One Thing you need to know that you can do, without doubt, is make sure you can get yourself on/off the floor in as many different ways as possible, over and over again.
You need to know that you have the Mobility to get into the shapes and positions to get out of dicey situations in the event you fall.
You need to know that you have the Strength to pick yourself up without the help of others or objects in your environment (furniture, equipment). Strength also means the aerobic capacity & stamina to repeat this.
You need to know that your Vestibular system won’t get wonky by simply changing the orientation of your head on body.
With that said. Here are some suggestions to test your capacity to get up from the floor (in order of easiest to not as easy):
Supine Roll to Bear to Stand
Try not to allow your knees to rest or touch the floor as you roll, then either walk your hands towards your feet or simply stand up from the Bear plank position
This one uses momentum, challenges coordination & ability to engage the muscles of your trunk
Turkish Get Ups
If you can nail the Turkish Get Up, we have 2 words for you: Mic Drop.
There’s no question that the patina from your pattern of life is going to reflect some things back onto you that may make some positions & movements feel more challenging than others. The good news is that the human body is so adept at adapting and resilient when there is consistency & conviction behind what you set out to do.
And if any or all of these felt like a walk in the park, keep it that way. Because, Once is Lucky. Most is Good. Always is Great.
Keep slowing down those hands of Time.