I absolutely love this quote from Katy Bowman's book, "Dynamic Aging". It says it all.
I can't tell you the number of times I hear clients say things like;
... "I'm getting old"
..."It's just old age"
..."Old age sucks"
Yes, we have natural, physiological changes as we age. However, those changes are DRASTICALLY influenced by our CHOICES, HABITS and LIFESTYLE. Old age is RARELY the issue from my experience with clients. I hear it constantly though.
I look at it in a similar way as "I can't". Parents - What do you say to your child, friend or family member when they say "I can't"? Most of us say, "try it first! You never know". Am I right? OR we say "Be more positive. Try it a few times before you say you 'can't'. OR we say "practice and you'll get better at it".
In this case with "It's just old age" we put that mindset into the forefront of our inner dialogue, and it becomes a standard, daily practice. It puts us in this place where we just keep doing the same things day in, day out and therefore, we never get out of that mindset or try to make adjustments to our daily routines.
"Use it or lose it"
We all are familiar with this saying. It's true!
... If we don't use our body in various ways, we can't expect it to feel good when we ask it to perform tasks outside of the norm
... If we don't put our body into various positions while we rest, sleep, work, play etc we can't expect it to do so without issues when we try
...If we spend our days in chairs, couches, cars and other restricted postures we shouldn't be surprised when we do something outside of that and strain a muscle for example
The issue; We slowly develop habits in our daily lifestyle over long periods of time. It's barely noticeable. In some cases it may be pointed out to you by someone else before you even realize what you do on "autopilot" on a daily basis. In that context, when aches and pains arise, it's not your body giving up (or old age). On the contrary, it's your body telling you SOMETHING IS WRONG and NEEDS SOME ATTENTION. That something is in many cases, habits and something you do/don't do on a regular basis.
Our modern societal 'norms' are NOT normal to our ancient physiology
I'm not sure if I'm putting those words correctly, but if you read Katy Bowman's work she quickly helps us understand (better than I can) the difference between MOVEMENT vs EXERCISE, and how humans throughout history/evolution have survived by MOVING in various ways, not "exercising". Katy also helps us understand how movement is not just in the "big way" we think of it, but comes right down to the cellular level as well. A simple example being sitting on the floor vs a comfy chair/couch. The hard surface, forces our tissues/cells to change shape from what they're accustomed to on our modern day soft surfaces. This tissue change in itself is a form of movement. And a prime example of the overlooked ways we can add more movement into our days.
I don't plan to layout all the ways we can move during our days here (that's for past/future posts). This post is about presenting the SHIFT in our MINDSET. If you're "stuck" and you're chalking up your aches and pains to "old age", I challenge you to take some time to ask yourself "WHAT HAVE I CHANGED FROM MY NORM?" Your body is trying to tell you that it needs something different. Most likely, it's nothing huge but it's something consistent that you ARE or ARE NOT doing.
The words we say, and the way we talk to ourselves (and others) about our health is POWERFUL! It will set you on a path of health and happiness, OR it will trap you and create more barriers you will need to overcome. If you take anything from this post:
STOP using age as a reason/excuse. In MOST cases, it's NOT your age.
YOU'RE NEVER too old to create/change habits and lifestyle practices that will improve your health.