Are you keen to set records at 105 like the formidable Robert Marchand? Or simply maintain exercise as a lifelong habit? In part one we set the scene and explained that there’s more than one way to pull this off. Now here are some tips to help you get there.
Keep an Open Mind
There’s no getting around the fact the list of feasible forms of exercise will eventually shrink as you age or encounter injuries. But the more things you’re willing to consider, the more options you’ll have. It’s a common trait to define ourselves by saying things like ‘I’m not a gym person’ or ‘I’m so slow I could never take up swimming.’ These might be defensible attitudes when you have options, but try to keep an open mind for the future rather than creating false barriers for yourself. If the day comes that the gym/pool/whatever is actually one of your better options to stay healthy, you’ll be able to give it a try. Taking the initiative to do something for your own well-being is a great feeling and you’ll probably find your tastes change over time too.
It comes in handy to have a working knowledge of your body and how to use it; how each body part works, how you might loosen it or strengthen it… or injure it! Going a step further is what you might call body awareness: do you know what postures and movement patterns you tend to use and how to adjust them? You tend to pick up a little of this if you take up any sports with a technique focus, and you certainly will by listening to your Physio’s advice as this will be tailored for you. But if there’s a best way to do this, I’d argue it’s physio led Pilates.
Be Kind to Yourself
If you have a phase of life where you don’t exercise, there’s no need to be hard on yourself. Chances are you have already gone through something like this, and trust me it’s normal. It only becomes a problem if it becomes permanent and falsely branding yourself a failure can lead to this. If you’ve lost momentum with exercise you might feel a little down about it, but this doesn’t make you a failure, only a human. No matter how long it’s been, what you need to do will be the same; make a simple plan, recruit help if you need it, and begin!
Stop Guessing About Injuries
Imagine how you would take care of your car if you knew that it had to last you your whole life. This can be a helpful idea for this whole topic, but more specifically would you trust yourself to know what it means when your car is playing up or making a strange new noise? Even if you have a hunch it’s a problem with the gearbox (or the alternator, that’s a thing right??), you’d ask a good mechanic. You only get one body in life, so rather than self-diagnosing a ‘pinched nerve’ or chalking a pain up to ‘just old age’, ask a good Physio. We’re here to keep you going for the long haul.