The older I get, the more I value powerful, natural movement. As young people we were bulletproof. Past 50 (and even earlier for some), reality sets in. As a guy, being big and strong were the goals. Women of a younger age often want to fit into that special pair of jeans or to look good in that summer outfit.
Injuries, a little arthritis, and other competing priorities have caused me to re-evaluate some of my fitness goals. I still want to do more pullups and pushups than 80% percent of the high school football players I work with; I want to continue to deadlift more than twice my bodyweight while I’m still on this earth; and I want to pretend that there is still a workout routine that will allow me to grab a 10-foot basketball rim again. But I also want to play with my younger children on demand, sprint after the bus in winter and not have to worry about slipping or pulling a muscle, and move furniture up and down several flights of stairs when friends or family need my assistance.
I am now more conscious and evolved when it comes to my fitness and intend to keep all of the aforementioned goals. One of the biggest impediments to anyone’s fitness goals is the American lifestyle. When it comes to the battle between exercise and lifestyle, lifestyle will be the winner. We try to counteract years of bad eating habits and lassitude with New Year’s resolutions, and frenzied episodes at the health club.
The best many of us can hope for is to add strength to dysfunction. This will eventually lead to chronic pain or acute injury. Our gait, our balance, our sleeping position, our posture, and our balance all need more attention. The mobility of our hips and thoracic spines needs to be improved.
The intense weight training sessions and joint pounding runs of the small exercising population at least need to be offset by some Feldenkrais, Pilates, yoga,or Z-Health. Expand your movement repertoire with a little sprinting and Parkour. Get in touch with the Earth’s natural rhythm and wisdom by backpacking. Pay attention to lifestyle and movement and you might just find that you’re closer to meeting your goals for both fitness and aesthetics.