There are so many factors when it comes to aging well.
The basics of course, food, rest and movement.
Today, I’ll be talking about movement.
Playing off of my “use to” (I’ve been corrected that it should be “used to” )~ blog, it’s really been made clear to me that there is a LOT to consider if one wants to age gracefully.
Next time you go somewhere where there are a lot of people, watch them. Watch how they move, how they stand, how they sit, how they get back up.
A sure sign of aging is inflexibility and lack of mobility.
When I trained with my teacher originally, we were inside. We were doing a lot of movement on the floor ~ yoga, bodyweight moves, ground engagement, etc. I was proud of the fact that I could get up off the floor very gracefully, using no hands while others younger than I struggled. Then we moved outside where we were doing qigong. We rarely got on the ground.
During that time, I was walking/running the hills around my home so, thinking I was getting in some really good movement.. and basically, IF I want to compare myself to others, I was. BUT…
I was missing weight-bearing exercises and floor movement.
I found that out when we began using kettlebells and iron clubs and also, doing ground engagement.
Now, I “used to” train with free weights for up to 6 hours a day. The problem with free weights and machines is, they isolate the muscle thereby making them really non-functional. No one lifts things that way in reality.
Case in point. My training partner was about 5’2″ and built like a fire hydrant. All muscle. He went to work for his father one day and the next he was sore and humbled. He couldn’t do half the work the thin, muscular guys who knew how to use their whole body did because he only knew how to use his arms.
That’s why I like kettlebells. If one is trained properly in their use, they use EVERY part of the body for the lift. I’ve seen many use them as they would free weights though, lifting with just arms instead of leg drive.
Personally, I feel if someone is going to do just one type of exercise/movement, some form of hatha yoga would fulfill pretty much everything in the title here. Add some walking to get outdoors and breath some fresh air, hiking up and down hills and you’re in business.
The only thing I would caution against in doing yoga is, I’ve seen many get to the point of flacidity instead of flexibility.
For those who want to play with various items as I do, Indian clubs are truly fun. They offer a wide range of upper body movements to open up the whole chest and back/shoulder area. One also needs co-ordination to perfect them.
After getting Indian clubs down, iron clubs provide even more fun. Similar to kb’s (kettlebells), you need to use your whole body to utilize them effectively and efficiently. Just a few minutes of a good iron club workout maximizes your health benefits more than an hour of free weights will because it’s a whole body workout.
What’s interesting to me is how people still subscribe to the “workout/rest/workout/rest” day theory.
When we were children, we didn’t take a day off from play. We played until we were exhausted, then got up the next day to do it again. When did that stop? Why? Because it became “EXERCISE!”. Who wants to do that?
My suggestion, find things to do that to you are fun. For me, learning how to handle kb’s, iron clubs, my own body, is FUN!
Remember when you were a kid? Did you play sword fighting with other kids? Take two sticks and just play? Well, that’s what I’m doing now with Kali sticks.
I’m going back to my martial arts roots and learning how to stick fight. Martial arts were originally used to keep in shape then they realized they could be used to fight. For me, I figure I’ll never get into another fight and probably never be attacked but, why not learn something that could be of potential use instead of movement just for the sake of it?
O.k., I’m all over the blog with this but, it was fun and IF you get something out of it, so be it.
I’ve got more to say on the topic but I want to keep this fairly short sooo, later for now.
Remeber, live bodaciously and celebrate your potential ~