I met a woman yesterday who said that she worked out regularly, I asked her what that meant to her. She said she loves to work out in the summer when it is warm as she can swim outside. So I posed the question, ‘what does your body have to say about that in the winter?’ and she looked at me as though she had never considered the question.
There are many reasons why we work out. Your physician may recommend it, a co-worker may be training for a triathlon and that could challenge you, or be a desire to stay in shape. The reasons are endless but what I seldom hear is that ‘my body feels better when I work out’.
If your body feels better then you will be inspired to be steady in your workout practice.
If you workout for external reasons - from a should or ought to, you are more likely drop your workout because your original reason was someone else’s reason. When you chose to workout because it makes you feel better, you become inspired because you know you want to feel better.
I took a client to a rheumatology appointment recently and he showed us a picture of Jack LaLanne, who opened one of the first fitness gyms in America in 1936 and was the pioneer in teaching exercise on television. He was also a pioneer of women’s fitness! When Jack died at the age of 89 his body was autopsied and his muscles were the same as a 39 year old. He worked out 3 hours per day. I’m not saying we need to spend that much time in the gym, but to me, he was inspired and intimate with his body.
At Sage Solutions, I learn daily from elders whose conversations revolve around their aches and pains. I have immense compassion for their predicament, but these elders have also shown me good reasons to do things differently. I created Sage Fearless Aging to teach younger prople how to listen to their body, how to respond to what your body wants you to hear, (which maybe not always be what you want to hear!).
When women become disconnected from their bodies, (and by this I mean that they are not paying attention to their needs, not thinking about what they could be doing to help themselves,) then they become dependent on solutions outside themselves, like pills, ointments, pain management, etc.
So my question to you is, are you ready to listen more deeply to your body?
What would it be like if you translated any pain to be a voice from your inner-body? What if you translated an ache to be a cry for your muscles asking you to spend more time attending to their needs? What if you knew that you could do better to condition your body to the challenges of aging?
When you have a better and truer understanding of your body’s needs you can address issues before they escalate into full-blown medical conditions. You can respond, even in the middle of the night, when you cannot reach a physician or pharmacist. You gain a greater appreciation of homeostasis and what your body can do for itself.
Relying on external solutions to solving routine self-care needs establishes a pattern of dependency on others or things. For the long haul, it is more reliable to build a relationship with self so you can prevent nagging pain, weak muscles, and fall risks while gaining a healthier and more self-confident perspective on life. To me, this is developing a plan for self-care as you age.
So I ask you, what does your body have to say about working out? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Quarterly? Annually? Remember, age is just a number!