Human beings have several basic physical needs such as air, water, nutrition, sleep, and activity. As long as we are alive, we will have these needs. The effects of meeting these needs will always be positive.
Meanwhile, the effects of failing to meet these needs will always be negative. Even when treatment is completed and we observe a significant improvement in the efficiency of internal systems, these basic needs will continue. Most of us have been conditioned to expect our function to decline with age and attribute our declining function to our age rather than to our lifestyle.
The truth is our lifestyle and thought patterns play a much greater role in our function or dysfunction than our age. Indiana Jones had that great line in Raiders of the Lost Ark, “It’s not the years, honey, it’s the mileage.” Regardless of our age, when we treat our bodies in a destructive way or deprive them of any of their basic needs for many years including the need for activity, we can expect negative consequences.
Regardless of our age, if we develop negative thought patterns about how our bodies are supposed to function, we will observe a decline in our function. If we are conditioned to believe that increasing age will bring pain, loss of joy, function, and an undesired lifestyle, then that is exactly what we can expect. Fortunately, the laws work just as powerfully in the opposite direction.
Regardless of our age, giving our bodies exactly what they need will always have positive consequences. When we truly believe that our function and quality of life are improving, that is exactly what we can expect. Some of the mechanical processes within our bodies cannot be accomplished without movement, strain, exertion, and pressure.
This has nothing to do with awkward, painful, or non-functional activity, which for some reason has recently become popular among some fitness fanatics. You can come up with a great exercise program simply by first thinking of what tasks you need or want to accomplish throughout a day.
Then, consider what natural, comfortable movements are similar to these tasks that you can perform easily in a reasonable, safe, common sense, and most importantly, an enjoyable way.
Then, you have to actually engage in the activity. Then, do it again at some point, and again. Sometimes I will need to get more specific with my patients and teach them how to engage some muscles, joints, and systems that have been particularly neglected for quite some time, sometimes from deliberate disuse, but often due to pathology that has now been improved.
While we never know the full regenerative potential of long-deprived systems, we do know that challenging our systems and giving our bodies exactly what they need will always produce positive results, REGARDLESS OF OUR AGE!