I just read a disturbing Study Finds article that reported that: “Six in ten Americans said at the beginning of 2019 that this would be the year they finally get in shape, according to a recently survey. Yet two in five respondents now admit they feel “too old” to get back in the gym. In fact, the survey of 2,000 adults found that on average, the age when most in the survey felt too old to work out regularly was just 41 years old.”
Ouch. 41 years old and too tired to go the gym. This is certainly not a good thing. If someone is too old to work out at age 41, what will it be like for them at age 50, 60 or even 80. Yet, I almost always see seasoned citizens at my gym and some of these individuals appear to be in better shape than me. This actually motivates me to stick with my program. One of my best friends is in his mid 70s, a decade older than me, and he is in phenomenal shape. But instead of admiring such a person, why don’t we each resolve to our own best version of such a person? Admittedly, exercise can be a tough habit to acquire and you can always explain your failure to do so. Conversely, once you fully adopt the habit it becomes tough to not work out. Neither of us are particularly athletic people but when my wife and I go a couple of days without some , we grow restless and look for an opportunity to hit the gym. At the least, we go for a brisk walk or quick bike ride.
My best advice if you are reluctant to work out is to start slowly and progress from there. Don’t be the guy or gal who goes for months without a work out and then hits the gym like a maniac, only to go home so sore you resolve to never go back. You don’t need to do 45 minutes on the elliptical and five sets on the bench press your first time out. Better to do 15 minutes of cardio (even at a walking speed) and one or two sets of weights to start. You’ll get up to speed soon enough.
Also, if you are ashamed to show your out-of-shape body in public, my suggestion is that you get over this fear. Most people frankly are thinking about one person (themselves) and really don’t care about how you look or how out of shape you are. And if this isn’t convincing, there are plenty of ways to catch some exercise at home and avoid other people. You can even benefit greatly by taking a brisk walk as I discuss in this article.
You already know the benefits of working out and they apply to you whatever your age – even more so when you are a bit older. These include more energy, better sleep, a strengthened immune system, and the ability to keep up with your friends on the golf course and your grand kids on the playground. And instead of taking away your energy, working out will give you more energy and can even improve your libido. It’s one of the best investments of time you can make.
And if these reasons aren’t enough to motivate you, how about a longer life? As reported at Live Science, “Regular, moderate physical activity such as brisk walking can increase life expectancy by several years, even for people who are overweight, a new large study shows. While higher levels of activity were linked to even longer life expectancies, moderate activity was beneficial, according to the study of people ages 40 and older. The benefit of exercise was seen regardless of people’s weight, age, sex and health conditions such as heart disease and cancer.”
By the way, in addition to the “I’m too old” excuse, there are several other reasons people give for not working out, including being too busy, too much work to do, or too tired. Regardless of the excuse you are tempted to make, please heed the words of David Joseph Schwartz, “You will find that the more successful the individual, the less inclined he is to make excuses.”