Photo by Travis Issacs at photos/tbisaacs/7351367496/
When you see photos of 60 or 70 year olds who look impossibly fit, don’t you wonder how they do it? The answer is not as complex as it may seem. As the years tick by and we settle into our comfortable routines with jobs and families, we tend to let so much of our natural well-being become compromised. No amount of recognition or riches can replace the simple concept of staying in optimum shape well into our 40’s (and beyond). Both exercise and eating right will help with daily challenges and stresses in addition to keeping the body running smoothly, efficiently, and ready for the retirement years. Think of it as a natural health insurance.

As we age, the body needs to maintain healthy bone and joints. The load placed on the bones and joints during impact activities such as CrossFit, weight training, running, and/or walking may actually help to maintain the health and longevity of the body. It helps with bone density to keep osteoporosis at bay and ensure the muscles and ligaments are firing on all cylinders. Different fitness activities place various demands on our bodies that in turn strengthen our bones and joints.

There are many types of fitness regimens in the world today: yoga, Pilates, gym workouts, outdoor workouts, triathlons, running, biking, and many more. The main objective is which type of exercise is right for you, what gives you joy, and what your body is truly capable of performing.

Here are a few popular examples of whole-body workouts:

CrossFit– This trend in exercise has become worldwide now. It is a blend of interval training, combining all the elements of body work in a high-intensity setting. You will find a little bit of everything in this workout. CrossFit combines movements such as sprinting, rowing, jumping rope, climbing rope, flipping tires, weightlifting, carrying heavy objects, and many bodyweight exercises.

Weight Training– Simple weight training has been in the fitness world for over 50+ years. Not only does weight training keep the body fit and strong, it keeps the bones and muscles working in harmony throughout the nervous system.

Running/Walking– Either one of these activities is essential for healthy joints and bones, not to mention firing up the metabolism in a way that burns calories for hours after the exercise. The simple forward movement of both of these exercises keeps the hips, knees, lower back, and all the tendons in the feet and ankles stable and in check. The impact alone strengthens all areas of the body, including the heart and lungs.

Fitness is critical for overall well-being. The body was always designed to move in ways that keep it strong and healthy as we age. The key is to make the commitment, find what works for you, and, most importantly, enjoy the process.