Story of two 84-year olds
What makes one person healthy & another not? What allows one person to run marathons at age 75 and others to be in wheelchairs? Is there a secret? Is it one special thing? I’m not sure, but I do believe it’s a combination of several things that dictate what you are going to do & where you are going to be when you get older.
Early in November I flew up to Vermont to visit my mother, who is 84 years old and in a nursing home. She’s relatively healthy compared to other people in the home, though she’s got slight dementia and is in a wheelchair. In fact, everyone is in a wheelchair in that home, I never see anyone just walking around either on their own or with a walker. Maybe it’s just easier for them to roll themselves around. She’s on just a few medications and spends her days just sitting around, talking with others, watching TV, looking outside.
On the other end of the spectrum is my father-in-law, who’s also 84 years old, lives by himself in Florida, still drives a car, goes to work, & goes to the gym everyday. He’s not on one single medication. He’s living a vastly different life than my mother.
While no one truly knows the reason for this difference, I have a few ideas. Yes, it could be genetics however the biggest factor is lifestyle. My father in law has been always really active, working out every day in addition to his daily activities and his job. My mother never had a workout routine. Her workout was just her daily lifestyle — cleaning around the house, gardening, up & down stairs, going for occasional walks and just moving around. So when those things slowly disappeared (smaller house, no stairs, no yard), working out was not something she was use to. It never really was a habit and starting habits are very hard to do, especially as you get older.
Movement is critical to our lives. Our bodies were meant to move. No matter what it is you do, if you don’t already have a workout routine built into your daily routine, add it in now. Don’t wait. The less you move, the harder it is. The more you move, the easier it is. It’s fairly simple. And it doesn’t matter what you do – yoga, swim, tennis, run, bike, walking – add it in 4-5x a week and don’t give up. Your body needs to move. Your spine needs to move. Chiropractors can help you take care of your spine. You need to take care of yourself.
Someday I hope to be more like my father-in-law. I want to continue running into my 80’s (or longer), I want to be active & I want to be healthy. I’m working hard now to create those habits so it’s not something that is hard to do. Healthy living now will pay off both now and in the future. If you want us to help you with that, let us know.