Some people grow old when they're still very young. And that's a shame. It puts a man or a woman into a defeatist frame of mind before they even start to live. Others enjoy their vivacious youth, energetic maturity and then begin to age gradually as they advance in chronological years.
There are definite factors that make the difference between ageing and growing old.
We all age.
Years take their toll. Chemistry changes, the mechanics aren't as quick as they once were, and attitudes shift.
That doesn't mean we have to capitulate. Energy levels can be preserved. Digestion, flexibility, reasonable strength, can all be preserved. It depends on how we use what's available to us.
The first thing I would suggest to anyone who's beleaguered by the prospect of ageing would be to make sure that lung capacity is maintained.
This is the life line for anyone.
Most people according to the most recent research, (American Lung Association) begin to have reduced lung capacity as early as 35-40 years of age. This can accelerate dramatically as the years pass and activity declines.
So concerned are the authorities in the National Institute of Health in the USA that they have a campaign in place to promote simple breathing exercises.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is now the fourth biggest cause pf premature death in the United States, and is probably somewhere near the same level here.
Many, by the time they're in their fiftieth year, are existing on 50-60% of their lung capacity.
That means low energy, poor digestion, inefficient elimination, low resistance to colds, infections, tiredness, and a diminished capacity to think, concentrate, use our cognitive ability.
Our mental processes of remembering, perceiving, understanding and reasoning are diminished.
Articles in papers and TV shows focus on the disadvantages of ageing. And with good reason. That's because a good deal of the afflictions can be offset, delayed, and very much diminished.
An active lifestyle, a sense of purpose, some attention to what we eat, and adequate rest, can change the whole concept of life.
The solutions are simple, available and useable by anyone.
The time to begin protecting yourself for when you're older is now.
The first thing to know is that it's never too late.
Simple steps done with a bit of will can not only arrest symptoms, but even reverse them.
The second thing to know is that it's never too early.
Patterns of activity learned and applied in younger years, and continued into the farthest of age, will establish effects that will, literally, last you a lifetime. And that's a lifetime not only longer, but more vigorous, more lively, more likely free of the illnesses normally associated with age, and a hell of a lot more acceptable than the alternative.
I'll be going into what to do about these in the next few posts. Let me know if you've special interests or queries.
Get to it.