I was chatting with my dad yesterday, and we were talking about fun stuff. You know, like wills, and who gets what, and being prepared for when he "drops dead". (His words)
Just another pleasant afternoon chat with the Carlson's. 🙂
But dying is inevitable, as much as we don't like to think about. I'd rather focus my energy on living well, and keeping my functioning high, for as long as I can. One of the men I consider a mentor, even if from afar most of the time, is strength coach Dan John. He shared some articles on aging that I think are very insightful as time marches on.
The first is a logical set if measurements for aging.
All 10 are good, but as Coach John does, I think the last three are often overlooked:
8. Sleep Zone. When it comes to sleep, Goldilocks had it right, not to little, and not to much. Under 6 hours and over 9 hours were both predictors of death. If either is in your life, get some help to figure out why.
9. Make Some Friends In Your Community. One of the best and healthy things a human can do is be involved in their community. What that means to each individual will be highly different. Whether it is church, a gym, a bike club, a book club or anything were you get involved and share some type of bond has proven to be a highly healthy trait that is ingrained in the human soul. It has as much evidence for lifespan as quitting smoking. I recently just finished Sebastion Jungers great book "Tribes," in it he describes why we gravitate towards things like Crossfit gyms and why we are the most content after natural disasters when we are forced to band together to endure hardships. In fact, during wars, mental depression and suicide go down.
10. Keep Your Joints Healthy. Does your shoulder move in 360 degrees of motion? Does your hip act like a hip? Can you laterally bend your spine? Joints are designed for motion. If they can't, you tend to not move as much. As you can see, a lot of these healthy aging markers will be improved if you can keep moving. Functional Range Conditioning was designed to keep your joints acting like joints. Every morning moving your joints and explore their motion, this is called your Daily CARS. Controlled Articular Rotations. Your asking each joint, hey can you move in a circle without much discomfort. If not, figure out why.
This graphical way of looking at time passing by is pretty clever, and also very sobering.
And check this quote out from Original Strength (read the whole article "Does Age Cause Us To Break Down?" here)
But the weeds and the “facts” trip us up. Sometimes the norms don’t actually show the true story. Is it normal to get arthritis with age? Or is it normal to get arthritis by sitting around and not moving your joints? Is it normal for mens’ testosterone levels to drop with age? Or is it normal for men to consume lots of xenoestrogens from all the plastics, chemicals, and added hormones in food that we fill our lives with? Our issues may show a correlation with our age, but that does not mean that our age is the causation of our issues.
We have to protect our minds by knowing the right things and looking for the real story. Look, our design is better than the norms that fill our world. Our body is made to heal, made to be resilient. But it is also made to carry out its design. What if the majority of all our problems, was the real unseen story? What if the real story is this: As we age we sleep less, we eat less real food, we sit nearly all our waking hours, we live our lives stressed out behind technology that feeds our fears, and we expect one concentrated hour of overcompensated movement to magically fix all our needs? What if its not our age, but our ignorance and our misplaced notions.
If you know things are happening to your body that shouldn’t, don’t accept them or settle for them. Know you are designed to heal. AND, open your eyes. Are you missing something? Are you seeing the real causation? Or are the world’s normals simply trying to corrupt your mind to keep you from living the life you were meant to have?
The bottom line is you have more control over the aging process than you think. You are going to get older, until you don't. Why not do your part to make the most of it?
Until next time,