Had a funny conversation in clinic the other day. A patient of mine was reflecting on how her husband had been playing tennis with her. Her husband turned 30 recently and made the comment after a few rounds of play that he was feeling old. He used to play a lot better when he was at school.
We both chuckled about it and said how at the age of 30 an individual should be in the prime of our lives. It was a good opportunity to reflect on how as we age, even going from high school into our twenties and thirties it is not our bodies that age as much as our habits change. We become deconditioned and lose the fitness we had due to some key factors earlier in life.
In high school we have set times for exercise and sport. We generally eat at consistent times and have healthier food options. We also have no responsibility or stress. Aside from studies of course which can be relatively stressful when trying to achieve an ATAR score. We usually sleep more and have good relationships with friends around us.
So, what changes? Why do we generally feel a lot worse as we age. A recent study suggested that the physical capability of an 18-year-old is equivalent to a 60-year-old. The difference a lot of the time is just how much consistent physical activity an 18-year-old does compared with a 60-year-old. Age is just a number?
We must also consider how our diet’s, eating at different times, having more easily accessible food like fast-foods and alcohol in the evenings can affect our bodies. Also, the responsibilities of the home and raising children leave most people with very little alone time, that is hardly going to be used for fitness and conditioning work!
At Perth Allied Health Clinic, we consistently talk about the importance of physical conditioning as we age. It forms part of a well rounded and healthy lifestyle that will give us not only lots of years to enjoy but the quality of years!
Remember that at any age you can be fit and healthy or the opposite. There are plenty of unfit and deconditioned 18-year-olds and exceptionally strong and fit 60-year-olds. So, remember to get out there and do consistent cardiovascular and resistance training, and maintain a good balance of core conditioning and flexibility work in your day-to-day life. It is about consistency and not intensity!