Youre Getting Better

All of the things that people associate with getting older—weakness, loss of motor skills, trouble with walking, osteoporosis, poor balance, dependency, and more—are not inevitabilities that one needs to automatically accept. By adhering to a consistent weight-training and cardiovascular program, most of the physical deficiencies associated with aging are reversible. In fact, one's eagerness not to accept this is one of the more important factors in insuring that you act your age and not the way you think you're supposed to act.

As we have previously stated, weight training can prevent osteoporosis, which is a major problem in postmenopausal women. As you probably know, osteoporosis is indicated in a majority of broken bones in the elderly.

Another complaint often voiced by the elderly is their inability to participate in regular, everyday activities like grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, doing the laundry, or going out with friends. This gradual decline forces seniors to depend on others. Similarly, this loss of independence can lead to depression, which creates a vicious cycle of great dependency. This scenario, which occurs far too often in our society, need not be taken for granted. Weight training is a great way to make sure that you're able to fully participate in the simple pleasures most of us take for granted.

In our society, where the elderly are frequently shipped off to nursing homes, it's no wonder that we shun the thought of getting older. However, aging does not have to mean sitting home alone, waiting for Meals on Wheels. Staying fit and strong clearly requires work, but the alternative is sufficiently grim to inspire just about everybody. To put it simply, here are your options in a nutshell:

Option one: Lift weights at the gym for thirty to forty-five minutes, two to three days per week.

Not only are you getting the physical benefits, but you'll be rubbing elbows with other like-minded social people. Work out enough and you can save your money for vacations instead of for home attendants.

The social aspect of working out in a gym is an extremely important but often overlooked point, especially for people who live alone. Weight training provides seniors with a place where there is exposure to people of various ages and backgrounds.

Clearly, the sad part of getting older is that you begin to lose friends you've had for a long time. Since many seniors don't often make new friends, they can often end up alone and lonely. Health clubs expose seniors to young and old alike. While you'll never be able to replace your dear old friends, you're likely to meet new people who inspire you to stay invested in living.

Option two: Don't go to the gym and allow the natural effects of aging to take place.

The following scenario will most likely occur:

> You will become weaker because of natural loss of muscle.

> You will find carrying objects like luggage, groceries, and grandkids much more difficult.

> You will find walking up and down stairs much harder.

> You will find that your balance is not as good as it used to be. (You may come to rely on a cane.)

>- You may give up going out unless you are with someone because you are afraid you'll fall.

>- You may hire someone to do your shopping, laundry, and cleaning because you can't do it yourself any longer.

>- You may fall often enough to break a bone.

> You may end up in an assisted living facility because you are unable to take care of yourself. If you can't afford that, you may end up with private duty care 12 to 24 hours per day.

This may sound quite harsh and depressing. And clearly it can be; however, we must not ignor the pressing fact that we all must attend to our health. So take your head out of the sand and make the necessary changes to ensure that you're not feeble before your time.

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