Our bodies long to be used and enjoyed. As we age, they slow down and display different tendencies in order to keep us moving. The saddest sight is when able, healthy individuals misrepresent their bodies as fragile and broken without reason. We need to quit this practice and focus on making the most of the small things our bodies are able to do while they still have the capacity and are able to. Following are a series of common traits that healthy bodies display prematurely, and the reasons why you should cut them out while you can.
1. Pick those feet up!
Dragging of the feet is common in people who have suffered serious health problems and results from poor muscular strength and coordination. A lack of confidence in one’s ability to maintain their balance during leg-swing phase of walking also results in feet shuffling.
One major “side effect” of dragging feet is the increased likelihood of trips and falls from an inability to clear uneven surfaces on the ground. However, the more relevant concern is that people who are forced to shuffle their feet due to an acute or chronic condition would embrace walking with proper gait if given the chance. Therefore the lesson formed is that if you have the ability to walk properly, then walk properly! Take pride and enjoy it.
2. Get out of a chair like you mean it!
If you have ever been injured or tired enough you know that standing up from a chair can prove the be the ultimate test of physical and mental willpower. And most of the time, the ordeal has been validated due to some form of rigorous activity. Similarly, as we age, the simple task of getting out of a chair becomes harder and harder. The lower limb muscles wither, balance is diminished and well, sitting is more comfortable than moving around anyway.
Why then would you allow yourself to clamber up from a chair, shifting your weight one way and then the other, huffing and puffing, wincing and frowning as you struggle to get out of a chair? If you are young and healthy and your body has the capacity to stand up unassisted and unburdened then just put your mind to it and stand up with purpose, like you mean it!
3. Enjoy the view.
Neglecting posture is an unforgivable crime. As we age our body begins to stiffen and take the shape that it thinks we are going for based on all our years of existence. Not everyone will have horrible posture as they age but I bet those with bad postural habits as youngsters make up the majority of kyphotic elders. A major motivation is to prevent the severe hunch back so many elderly people display where they are so hunched over that they can only look at their feet while they walk.
Keeping the trend going, while your body is able to, stand tall and proud. Keep your eyes up and head back, enjoy the view and the scenery. I’m sure that if those who grow old with a hunch back had a chance, they’d go back to where you are and enjoy the view while they could. So should we.
4. Take a stroll.
Walking is underrated. It’s mistakenly perceived as a last resort only to be used when the car, bus and roller blades are unavailable. If you converse with someone for whom walking is virtually impossible they will quickly mention it as one of the biggest hindrances to their everyday functionality and quality of life. It makes sense, it’s the cheapest, most compact, most accessible form of transport there is, it’s actually pretty awesome. Yet we still wait longer to park in the closest parking space, we use the escalator instead of walking up stairs, we buy houses the least steps away from the bus stop and so on. Why is that? When you turn your brain of, laziness’ evil voice gets more voting shares in the menial matters. Catch yourself when you do this, think of the old frail man/woman in your future and how much they are going to enjoy the stroll that you’re going for, even if it’s a short one.
There are many more examples that can be added to this list. The overlying premise is not to misrepresent your body. Use and enjoy its full potential. You never know how much future you will look back at the small things with fondness. Catch yourself when you don’t act your age and health status. You only get one shot at today so make the most of it.