Getting healthier with age?

… unfortunately most people go the opposite direction. There is a prevailing myth that once we get older we have to get sicker. That’s not true, but that’s precisely what is happening to most people here in North America.

North American mindset is bizarre. People actually expect to have high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoporosis, dementia, diabetes, arthritis and toothless smiles as they age. It would be weird not to. It would contravene the statistics.

Myth of poor health

Here in North American we are so conditioned to believe in myth of poor health that we don’t bother to give it a second thought. That sick stuck-ness is perpetuated by our “health care” (or rather let’s call it for what it is “sick care”) leaders. These hold the key to dispensing feel good pills, making us believe that our role in creating our own health destiny is out of our reach.

Do you want to live to a 100? Most people don’t, because they see themselves decrepit at that age. This reflect our depressing expectations. We don’t strive to be disease free, healthy and vibrant after retirement. We expect to be somehow physically frail, slow and confused, and definitely on a few “life saving” meds.

In North America being fully mobile after 70 does not mean owning an RV, hiking and climbing trees at will. It means having access to a mobility scooter. Isn’t that awful? Being youthful-looking and not dependent on denturists and audiologists at seventy is a radical concept.

The body, an environmental processor

Let’s backtrack a little bit. Contrary to a popular belief, the body is not a disease producing machine, but an adjustable environmental processor. I stress the word “adjustable”, because its job is to adjusts to the environment. Therefore, it is the environment, not a doctor, that decides how you end up presenting yourself as: a youthful 80-year old, or a decrepit grump at 60.

Your body is superiorly intelligent. It senses what you do and will provide you with whatever you need to function. But it will do it only when you ask for it. It will not give you spontaneously bulging biceps if you lift nothing. It will not give you strong knees if you never squat.

Health requires maintenance

This is where effort comes in. Health requires maintenance. But possibly not the kind of maintenance you have in mind. Swallowing pills wont give you cyclists’ quads. Blending smoothies wont give you pianist’s fingers.

Health requires physical discomfort. Yes, discomfort. To remain mobile you have to regularly get out of your physical comfort zone. If you don’t push yourself, physical atrophy will eventually knock at your door. That’s the ruthless rule of nature. Don’t fool yourself. Lying on a couch will not give you swimmers lungs.

That brings us to UthingTM  functional health grooming for the environmentally conscious. In the era of misinformation, corporate profiteering, and poor government guidance it is a daunting task to boast health freedom even past 50. A true success should be measured not by how much money you made or how big your TV is but whether you can stay healthy and fully functional past 100 without doctors, hospitals and social handouts.

And tell the grand kids…

You want to be functional and self -sufficient despite others making themselves reliant on nurses, family, and the goodness of the country’s social system. You want to be stress-resilient, highly experienced, skilled, and conditioned to be able to sustain unpredictable challenges, and unavoidable environmental hardships. You want to live long and keep your marbles intact, so you can tell your grand-kids that old age is wise and wonderful. Because this is how it should be.

Don’t aim for a slow decline

Age should not matter. Fifty should be just as good as twenty. What should matter is whether you can lift a leg on demand, squat when needed, twist, and jump when required. Health is about building functionality. If you do not put extra effort to maintain it, it will slowly, incrementally, imperceptibly start leaving you.

 

So how do you imagine your life to be at 70? Proceed carefully. Your beliefs will set your destiny.

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