Age, no bar for exercise

Our body's ability to withstand physical exertion has nothing to do with age

ExercisingIf a penny was collected every time a person exclaimed, “I’m too old and worn out to exercise,” or said, “It’s too late now,” or “I don’t need it,” funds accrued would be enough to feed millions of destitutes.

Most people only wake up to the realisation of the importance of a regular walk, or hitting the gym, after they are well past their youth and caught up in a mid-life crisis, usually centered on their health. High cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, mounting heart palpitations compounded by the very nature of a stressful job cause people to become aware of their bodies after considerable damage has already taken place.

Make the effort

By the time this awareness is starkly generated, the person is too flagellated to believe that any effort will make a real difference. The will to overcome demands greater intensity and the tendency to throw in the towel in the face is only too tempting.

Our body’s ability to withstand physical exertion has nothing to do with age. Active men and women well in their 80s and even 90s testify to it. Like brain cells, when body muscles and bones are not regularly exercised, they tend to rust and wear out over time. Lifestyle choices, bad eating habits, harmful addictions, nature of one’s job and responsibility in society do tend to affect one’s wellbeing. If anything, exercise invigorates the body and while the initial pain may stem from the long inertia that the body has become accustomed to, it is usually nothing more than that. Gradually, with time, the body adapts to the task and also expands the mind as well. Exercise actually activates and produces the necessary ingredients to keep our mind and body active and recharged.

Never too old

Many people believe they are too old to take up a physical activity, or sport, or even consider making a brisk walk part of their daily routine. However, time and again, research has shown that exercise, at any age, and irrespective of the condition of the body, has always resulted in benefits in terms of lowering cholesterol, keeping blood pressure and sugar levels under control and preventing, or arresting, degenerative ailments such as arthritis, osteoporosis and heart disease, including the symptoms of aging at bay.

The next time, a grand old man brushes away the thought of taking to exercise and laughs it off with, “I’m doing just fine” and worse still, is convinced about it, tell him there is a challenge and benefits in actually putting on those walking shoes.

Sreelata Yellamrazu
Sreelata S Yellamrazu, a management graduate, is a sports columnist. She hopes her writing proves liberating for her, and also provides a voice for important life issues - especially young minds.


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