Monday, February 21, 2011

Good News

I have been doing some research on people and our ages. Did you know that age forty is the new 20? Well let me be more specific, I have been trying to answer in terms I could understand if we are truly living linger lives and what evidence we have to prove it true or false.

I personally believe we are living longer and this is my reason why. I have seen a huge surge in the population that are now exercising regularly and understanding that exercise is an important lifelong ingredient. Science and the medical industry has also stated the exercise may increase life expectancy. I have been part of the Masters Track and Field Circuit now for several years and I have noticed a upswing on the amount of people in their seventies and eighties that are beginning to get back in the game again. I have seen them running 1 mile and even half marathons and running well, very well. Just the other day a friend told me that he was running in a 5k event and right at about the half way mark this person goes passing him like he was standing still. After the race he went over to that guy just to find out that the person who passed him and came in third overall was 61 years old and ran the 3.1 miles in under 18 minutes. That’s right 18 minutes.

I have been working at a nursing home helping the seniors there exercise and I asked one of my 90 years old plus people why they keep on exercising, and they told me because it has given them a great quality of life and the alternative is not an option. Age is quickly just becoming a random number and really having very little effect on ability. Just this last week I was at a track meet and the meet director gave an important message about drug testing and screening on Masters Athletes and when it would start. Besides the fact that I believe any athlete that uses any type of sports enhancer is stupid and needs their heads examined. Anyway, I have noticed that there has been an up-surge in people understanding that our fitness levels are very important to just quality of life issues.

I was just reading an article the AMA and heard on PBS television about dementia and one of the things they said was an important ingredient to fending it off was “exercise”. They said that , “Regular exercise stimulates production of chemicals called growth factors that help neurons survive and adapt to new situations. These gains may help to delay the onset of dementia symptoms. Exercise also may reduce the risk of brain damage from atherosclerosis.” That’s huge and makes sense. Think about it constant blood flow and a more efficient working body leads to less health issues and a much better quality of life in the end.

The good news… no the great news is that so many more Americans are getting a clue. I have noticed that people in my age group are competing against people much younger than themselves and winning. I am noticing that people are not retiring at age 65 but starting new careers and becoming even more successful than they were years prior. I am noticing that people in their older ages are now beginning to live their lives as they wanted to. My mother is a prime example of that. After she slowed down in her first working career, teaching, (some call it retirement but not her she still coaches the track team there) she decided to try out for a professional dance troop and made it and now dances in front of thousands while the Nets basketball season is on. Here is the great part; she is not the oldest member. She is one of the youngest members of the troop. The oldest is 80 and oh boy can they hip-hop!

Hey, let’s take a lesson from them and instead of waiting until we are old and gray and cannot move, let’s do something about it now and start a program that will last you a lifetime. Forty could be your new twenty the decision is yours.

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