Dr Vonda

Dr. Vonda Wright

Are you a lifetime exerciser and competitor?

Are you an adult onset exerciser (AOE) investing in mobility for the first time in your life?

Or maybe you are a “once upon exerciser” who hasn’t stepped off the couch in 20 years.

Whichever of these describes you, your body is designed to stand up to any challenge. That’s right, it doesn’t matter at what level of fitness you find yourself, your body can learn to meet any challenge.

Although performance can slow with age, staying active and challenging your body with daily mobility will leave you feeling AMAZING no matter your age.

When I was 38 and finishing my surgical training I felt like an old lady most days. I was tired, sluggish and sagging.  This was because I did not exercise. I was practically living in the hospital! It was difficult to invest in my aging process everyday.  Today at 46 I feel more like 26 than I did at 26.  I live the benefits of active aging and feel amazing.

So can you.

Celebrate Your Age.

Obviously, your body has gone through many changes since you were a teenager – thank God, right?!  Now living in the prime time years, 40 and beyond, you are not merely a bad sequel to your 20-year-old self. You are an entirely NEW YOU!

You must celebrate your age and love yourself for the vital person that you are, rather than long for the years that have passed you by. Celebrating where you are in life will keep your spirit young and keep you passionate about your life.

To prove that we  are capable of much more than the number of candles on our birthday cakes, I study masters athletes who invest in mobility daily and reap the great benefits of active aging.  Here are several things I’ve learned from them:

You Don’t Age as Fast as You Think.

Despite what Hallmark cards tell us, we do not significantly slow down until our mid 70s.  Take sedentary living out of the equation and biology does not take over and significantly slow us down for long into the foreseeable future.

Keep Your Heart Healthy with Intense Exercise.

vo2 is the measure of your body’s ability to use oxygen.  Keeping your heart fit through regular exercise will help maintain the amount of blood your heart pumps out with each heart beat.

Exercise is Your Muscles’ Fountain of Youth.

Many historic studies have shown that with sedentary aging we lose massive amounts of lean muscle mass after 40.  This makes us weak, susceptible to injury, falls and metabolic decay.  In a recent study, I showed that we are able to retain our lean muscle mass as we age if we exercise intensely 3-5 times per week.

The fountain of youth is not the latest serum, potion or surgical procedure.  It is mobility.

Many of the changes you see and feel stem from sedentary living or an incomplete approach to fitness.  So in order to remain amazingly functional with age, we must remain active.   Seems simple right?  Making good lifestyle choices as we age correlates to the ability to function properly as we age.

Hmm… guess I should get off the couch while writing this and go run on this beautiful day.  Who’s with me?

By Dr. Vonda Wright

Sponsored by Willow Valley Communities

To learn more about the amazing changes your body lives through as you age and how to live smarter not older, check out Dr Wright’s book fitness after 40: how to stay strong at any age.

vonda book

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One Response to How Old Do You Really Feel?

  1. Mei says:

    Dr. Wright,

    I enjoyed how your post focused on the positive aspect of aging vs. the negative stigma(s) that we typically see in our society. It’s true, we should celebrate our age as well as acknowledge that we are aging and continue to alter our lifestyle and accommodate within our current capacity. Wonderful. Thank you.

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