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WHAT MATTERS IS HOW YOU FEEL, NOT ON HOW OLD YOU ARE

As you age, you will begin to notice a lot of small changes that become bigger by the day: graying hair, dimpling, puckering, sagging of the skin, a few lines that were not there before, a widening waistline, perhaps even lowered levels of energy, slower reflexes and health issues.

As a culture we do not celebrate aging. We do not recognise growing old as a privilege. But it really is. It is one of the greatest privileges to be able to live fully all the years of your life, engage actively and grow old. Some years ago, I had returned to Nepal from Australia on a break, but ended up not going back. My father had suffered a heart ailment and what the doctors said did not look very good. I decided to stay back and help him regain health. He is a man of deep conviction and self belief. He wanted to avoid surgery and he wanted to get well again. He found a balance with allopathic medicines, exercise and alternative therapies, and today – almost 12 years later – he is robust and active. The most important thing I feel that he did was to tune into his body, to really listen and to understand it.

With the passing years, you can either focus your energy on what you are supposedly lacking and be afraid of your bodily changes, or feel blessed to be alive and make the best choices for yourself. Where your attention goes is where your energy will flow. Making conscious choices to a healthier body will not only make you stronger physically but also in mind and spirit.

Where your attention goes is where your energy will flow. Making conscious choices to a healthier body will not only make you stronger physically but also in mind and spirit.

Many men and women in their mid thirties often wrestle with the uncertainties of the ageing process and even dread it or live in denial often concealing their real age. A few simple things one can do is to take an honest look at yourself and ask yourself whether you really want to do something about it or are just unnecessarily pressured. Know that 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s are just numbers … it can’t be warded off but yes you can look and feel good at any age. Aging requires flexibility of thought – take charge of yourself and develop a positive self image. As much as we dread another birthday, do you really want to be stuck at any one age. Instead enjoy each birthday and make it an opportunity to set new goals and new dreams.

As a fitness professional, I cannot but stress on the importance of exercise through all the years of our life. Exercise is not the fountain of youth, but staying on an exercise program through the years adds vitality to life. A good regimen influences all the various systems in our body. The most significant benefits are prevention and progression of diseases.

Exercise is also critical in maintaining muscle mass, healthy levels of fat, a good immune function, metabolic health, bone density, healthy body weight besides oxygenation which helps your skin look younger. Here I would like you to especially note that it is never too late to harness your body’s capacity to get stronger and more functional. Exercise does for you what no pill can ever do. Whatever your age, and even if you have never exercised before, try it.

Sandesh Palungwa Limbu, Certified professional fitness instructor, founder of RAGE Fitness, and specialises in mixed martial arts.

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