YOU ARE YOUR OWN FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH: Movement, Motivation and Mindset for Active Seniors

Energy Bite 46 – Stretching Your Limits

“Know your limits.” “You have no limits.” You hear these statements all the time. Do you have limits? Are they real limitations? These are important questions and can be answered in different ways. While there may not be any limits in the world of motivational speaking or the field of human development, there are real limits on what your physical body can do.

Let’s explore the topic of limits: What they are. Whether or not they are real, and . . . Can we ever get back the effortless and unrestricted movement that we seemingly once had? Chances are we can’t get it all back, but I’ll bet we can regain a lot more than we think we can. It takes time and work, but we can do it.

What causes some of the limits? Rusty Joints mostly. Atrophied muscles (loss of muscle elasticity). Degenerated bones. Pessimistic attitude.

While all too often our limits are self-created and self-imposed, there are real physical limits to what we can do at any given time or place.

As you age, the capacities of your body decrease without movement and proper fuel . . . that is . . . natural movement and nature’s best fuel.

Let’s say you have a difficult time getting down onto the floor and getting back up again. This is typically a self-imposed limitation that can be a real problem if not addressed. There may be any number of reasons but the most prevalent are:

  • Overweight
  • Weak leg and core muscles
  • Poor joints
  • Negative attitude

All four can be overcome or worked around if you really want to get down and up from the floor. Here’s how: Lose weight, strengthen your legs and core muscles, rejuvenate your joints, and be determined to do it. There are a number of trainers and physical therapists that can help you. Go find them, or find an exercise method that addresses strength, mobility and is easy on the joints.

The same applies to any physical limitation you may think you have. Most limitations are self-imposed, created and perpetuated by our minds. But it still takes physical effort to expand them. It all starts with the way you’re thinking. For example, we often limit what we can do simply by saying, and often believing, our own excuses:

  • I’m too old
  • My bones aren’t strong enough
  • My doctor told me not to (huh?)
  • I’ll never be able to do that.
  • There’s no way I could ever do that.
  • I just don’t have the energy.

Who was it that said: “Whether you believe you can, or believe you can’t, you’re right.” Too many people look at these excuses as valid and the physical limits as permanent. They are neither.

How do you extend your physical limits? Time. Work. And a good method of exercise. It won’t happen overnight but by following a good exercise method, you’ll see a big improvement right at the beginning. Then, of course, a plateau, and then another round of improvement. Your own body will tell you when you have reached your real physical limits.

Don’t expect to get the flexibility, mobility, joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles of a Cirque de Soleil performer or a Chinese Acrobat. This is well beyond the scope of anything I want to suggest. But you can steadily increase your own strength, mobility, flexibility, range of motion and reach what nature intended your body to be able to do.

Will you ever get back to the flexibility and mobility of your youth. Probably not completely, but, with the proper approach you can come close.

In the words of Nicolai Amosov, the famous Ukrainian Surgeon, Scientist, Fitness author, and Exercise Physiologist: “So, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the experiment continues! We are pushing pessimism back. Limits for old men [and women] are abolished. Life is a pretty good thing after all.”

Thanks for reading.

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