In the Gym: Overcoming Getting Older
I have been working out and eating right my entire life. This was because I yearn for a long and full life. Additionally, it came down to my pride. I wanted a fit physique and a ton of energy, plain and simple. This meant six days a week in the gym and a sensible diet 365 days a year. I didn’t find it to be too much of an inconvenience as I actually enjoyed my time in the gym and healthier food. Now that I am getting older, things are starting to change. While I may feel healthy most of the time, the aches and pains are slowly creeping up on me. The weight I can lift has been in a slow decline just as steadily as the size of my stomach has been on the incline. This has given me a reason to stop and take a long and hard look at what fitness will mean to me as I get older.
As I was pushing out some military presses in an attempt to keep up with some of the younger people around me at the gym, I decided that the ache in my shoulder was just not going to go away. Each and every exercise seems to bring me a little more pain than usual. I have always made a point to stay healthy enough to have to never dip into my health insurance and get a check up, but enough was enough.
I went and got it checked out and I found out that I was beginning to develop arthritis in a few of my more utilized joints including my shoulders, elbows, and wrists. My doctor recommended that I cut back on my routine and begin to think about alternative forms of exercise. I was not about to join a senior stretching class, but I knew that something had to change so I decided to come up with my own fitness routine that was going to promote long-lasting health and not just well-defined biceps.
I started by taking out three of my weight lifting sessions a week and begin biking, casually jogging, and swimming. I never swam for exercise once in my life and I have to say that it was actually pretty enjoyable. I felt sore in muscles that I haven’t used in years, and much of the pain in my shoulders and arms disappeared. The days I did lift weights I decided to ease back on the weight and focus on balance and form.
I may shudder away from getting older, but that does not mean I am going to stop exercising. I am going to do everything in my power to live the most active, healthy, and fun lifestyle I can, for as many years as my body will allow me.