September 25, 2018
Health & Fitness
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The Real Fountain Of Youth

Joe Bocek
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March 6, 2018

“I am in better shape today in my 50s than I was in my 20s.” That’s a powerful phrase someone mentioned to me recently.

How many of us can say that we are better today than we were in our 20s? We reflect on our 20s and we think young, free, dumb (for me at least) and unstoppable. We probably ate worse and looked better. Ah, Father Time, you come for us all. Or maybe not.

As someone who has spent 20 years working with people as a fitness coach, I have heard this story many times. And the best moral of this story is this: Structured activity is perhaps the closest thing we have to the fountain of youth.

Whether it’s the person who performed their first pushup in their 40s or first pullup in their 50s, it doesn’t have to be all downhill after 30. Feeling better, moving more freely and feeling loose are all things we can achieve as we pass through the amazing adventure of life.

As we age, our overall metabolism slows, the elasticity of our tissue begins to slip, and our need for rest and recovery increases. But we still have so much potential at any age.

In our gym, we have seen normal people who got back to their pre-kids weight in their 50s, people competing in their first onstage fitness figure competition in their 40s, and even the feat of those running their first marathon in their 60s. All of these cases are the result of structured activity involved, and these individuals, just like you, did it.

Let’s take this a step further. Do you want to feel and move better in general? Most physical therapists will advise you to be strong and mobile. Want better heart health? Eat healthy and be regularly active, focusing on safely elevating your heart rate. Want stronger bones? Perform weight-bearing activities.

Or what about this? Do you want to slow dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or even the spread of cancer? Doctors often recommend exercise. There is no single pill or drink that can do all of this for us. The benefits of exercise are amazing and the best part is that they are available to everyone.

In its most accessible forms, exercise requires only some pavement and sneakers, a court and a basketball, or some space to move and access to free online videos. If you are interested, you can structure that exercise to whatever level you choose. You can even find a place that will structure it for you and all you have to do is show up.

Exercise seems to have this stigma that it’s not for everybody or just for those health nuts. But the benefits of exercise are for everyone. No matter who you are, what your fitness level is or what you have tried in the past, you too can have access to this fountain of youth.

The hardest step is the first one. So just get started doing something and you’ll be on your way. I can’t tell you if you’ll be marathon ready on day one, but I can say that you can become an even better version of you once you begin. Here’s to the best years still ahead of us. Let’s make them better than our 20s!

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