The Ultimate Fitness Goal – Aging Well

walking with a caneBefore I start with today’s topic, I want to have a mini-rant.

I’m so mad at myself because I had planned on writing and publishing this post yesterday, but it didn’t happen. Why? Because when I started my computer and got online, I promptly got carried away: I stumbled on a couple of new blogs and spent hours reading them.

They were hours I had planned on writing for my own blog.

This is one of the most exasperating aspects of Internet: I absolutely hate it when it steals my time and my attention and I seem powerless to prevent that. I also think that limiting the time spent surfing on the Internet is something that would improve the quality of life for may people, not just me.

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Marion recently wrote a post on her blog about her “Sexy-When-I’m-80” plan. It’s great plan and I think everyone should have one. Marion’s plan consists of all the things she must do and things she must avoid in order to be in a reasonably good physical shape when she’s eighty.

In Marion’s own words:

Seriously, my major goal with fitness is to age very well. What I mean is that I want minimal to no medications, to live relatively pain free, to walk straight with no help from canes or walkers, to have some level of flexibility, my own teeth, and my own original joints. And as Jill added on a previous comment, to get up and down off the toilet by myself.

What I found especially interesting is the discussion on conflicting fitness goals.

In a nutshell: do you have short-term fitness goals (or should I say habits?) that endanger your goal of being healthy, strong and pain-free in your eighties? Does your short-term goal of running a marathon endanger your long-term goal of being able to walk without knee pain when you’re eighty? Are you tempted to ignore the occasional warning signs and overtrain some part of your body?

That is an important question to ask yourself.

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I summarized Marion’s list and added a one thing at the end that I think is especially important for my own future well-being – and probably yours too. I came up with the following aging well check-list and my own estimate on how well I’m doing in that department.

aging well checklist

As you can see, I don’t suck in any department but I have several things that need work.

Nowadays, I’m pretty active physically (thanks to my pedometer walking habit) and I believe I get enough cardio on a regular basis. The things I’m working with at the moment are muscular strength, having a strong back and core plus a well balanced physique.

By well-balanced I mean that none of my body parts is disproportionately stronger or weaker than any other part (my upper body strength sucks at the moment) and that I’m flexible all over. I’m a flexible person in general, but because of all the years I’ve spent hunched over a computer my shoulder’s are relatively stiff. (That’s why I put a check mark in two columns of the flexibility row)

I think my push-up challenge and kettlebell training is really going to help me improve my core, upper body and overall muscular strength. For flexibility, I use some self-myofascial release techniques (i.e. diy trigger-point therapy) and yoga.

One thing that really bothers me is my dental health.

Let’s say my dental self-care has never been top notch. There’s room for improvement even after I upped my flossing habit at least by 60 % when I found DailyFeats. And even if I was able to keep my own teeth, they definitely won’t look pretty when I’m 80. I probably need something done to them much sooner than that.

The good news is, I don’t think I have conflicting fitness goals at the moment.

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How are you doing yourself? Do you have a plan for aging well?

Comments

  1. Marion says:

    Hi Satu! Well, I got some of that post’s inspiration from an earlier post you wrote about how you were going to do actions so that your health did not equal your mother’s health.

    And I was thinking later that I probably should have added the factor of balance. People who have good balance walk straighter for healthier joints and fall less. And if they do fall, they have less chance of getting seriously injured. And, as you know from your yoga background, a person can increase their balance so easily by doing easy balancing poses such as tree pose.

    What I like best about this post, that I did not do with mine is a the checklist version of analysis. A person can get lost with lots of words, but it is more obvious what to work on with your way. And I always just keep on working on it.

    Oh, we are so similar in our views, which is probably we are such great friends. 😀

    🙂 Marion

  2. Satu says:

    Hi Marion!

    We are also practically thinking each other’s thoughts: I was thinking about balance too, but decided to leave out. 🙂 Many of the factors are really also interrelated, strength has a lot to do with balance etc…

  3. Lori says:

    The internet sure can be a big time suck, can’t it? I have to be very careful about how much I let myself read during the week because I can spend hours reading blogs!

    I need to get to the dentist soon as well.

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