There are many experiences or life events that have shaped us during our lives. Some of these life events have been good like our first job, our first car, our first love, our first child and so many more things that we hold in our memories and in our hearts. Some have been bad like losing our first job, crashing our first car, our first broken heart or the loss of a loved one. Some of our experiences have been profound and others we just accept as everyday life. Some life events happen without our even noticing them like seeing another flock of geese flying south for the winter or a pet curled up in your lap taking a nap again. We have gotten used to these small events and pay little or no attention to them. They have become routine and expected. These unnoticed events sound harmless enough. But there are some events however, that, like a mountain lion on the hunt, can sneak up and pounce on us without warning.
These small “insignificant” events are things like eating that extra Oreo, or skipping going for a walk because there is a rerun of a show that you have seen before but for some unknown reason you feel the need to watch it again anyway. These events, in case you haven’t noticed, are the ones that determine if you will stay healthy and fit or if you will slowly slip into the clutches of the mountain lion.
The lion that I’m referring to is the ever growing list of chronic diseases that affect so many of us in our 50+ age group. Most of which can be controlled and, in many cases, prevented if we stay fit after 50.
It is true that some of these chronic diseases can have links to a persons’ heredity but many are the result of neglecting insignificant little life events. Many of the most common chronic diseases have direct links to our nutrition and activity levels. Some chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and high cholesterol have been shown to have direct connections to being overweight or obese and, as many as 10% of known cancers have a direct link to being overweight or obese.
Staying healthy and fit after 50 doesn’t require that you go on an ultra-restrictive diet and workout 7 days a week. This isn’t feasible or for that matter possible for many of us. But, there are seemingly insignificant little things that you can do, starting today, that can lead to significant changes in your life. Things like not eating that extra Oreo, gong for that walk, and drinking more water and less soda can add up to a significant improvement in your chances of not becoming the mountain lions next meal. These changes can lead to better health and fitness which can lead to less joint pain, lower cholesterol and more energy. I don’t know of many in our 50+ age group that wouldn’t want that.
So, starting today, let’s all try to be more aware of the “insignificant” little life events that happen every day. It could, at the least, lead you to better health and fitness, or you may notice that the little events are some of the most wonderful that we will experience in our lives.