Many of us Baby Boomers can compare ourselves to clocks or watches running behind or well ahead of time. I.E. we are pursued by the neglect and demons of our past and have subsequently aged well before our time.
You can never beat the eroding effects of time on the body but you can slow them down. You can never forget the negative emotional experiences of the past but you can always work on them to reduce the impact they will have on your future.
As a 58 year old Baby Boomer, I have become very aware of the passing of time and the subsequent effect it has on my emotions and on my body and the way it can make me feel about myself, especially over the last ten years.
I have noticed the reduction in my one time excellent eye sight; I once was a sharp shooter with the Dutch Royal Marine Corps.
I have noticed my decrease in endurance and strength; I once was an elite soldier as a Royal Marines SBS (Special Boat Service) Combat Swimmer/Frogman or Navy SEAL.
I have noticed how easy it has become to put on weight: I once could eat and drink anything I wanted without any thought or concern of how I would look or feel.
I have noticed how much easier it is to recall past failures and regrets and then allow yourself to spiral downward into the crevasses of depression resulting in the so-called Male meno-pause or change of life syndrome, if you want to go there.
Regular exercise then can be compared to making a regular contribution to a one million dollar pension plan. The more you put in early in life or even right now, the more you will have later. The more you exercise now, the more time and energy you will have later to enjoy the proceeds of your hard earned pension plan.
The more you concentrate on the positiveness of your contribution, the less chance you have to find yourself caught in the tentacles of the life sapping consequences of depression.
Sadly most of us will totally disregard the age defying and quality of life enhancing benefits of exercise in our lives. Instead, in our younger years all of our efforts are centred on just one thing; to earn the money to provide for the immediate needs and pleasures in life and/or build a nice retirement nest egg to provide for later on, our retirement time, and many of us do it at the expense of our health and our family, our greatest treasures.
When the time comes for our retirement however, we find that we have to spend our hard earned money on medication, heart bypass surgery and doctors bills and live the remainder of our life in pain, misery, inconvenience and often in loneliness in some nursing home, having aged well before our time and forfeited our long desired freedom and happiness in retirement because of a neglect to look after our bodies, our mind and our families along the way.
We might have the money now but we can no longer enjoy it because of being sick and lonely and stuck in the memories of the past. A sad and true state of affairs for many of us and my Father was one of its victims.
It is never too late to make a change, however. No matter how far gone you consider yourself to be, you can make the changes that can rescue you from despair, sickness and unhappiness. You might be an ageing Baby Boomer like me, but the body is a miraculous and very resilient creation and when given the proper nutrition and suitable exercise in combination with the proper programming of the mind, you can virtually achieve anything you desire.
The failure rate in the SAS, SBS and Navy SEAL Special Forces courses is between 70 and 90%. Yet, all of the young men that volunteer to do the course are physically and mentally sound and very enthusiastic when they start the course. Why then do so many fail? They tell us it is all a matter of mind over body. If you don’t mind, then it doesn’t matter, they say. The same principle applies in life. Most of us start on the path of life with great plans, goals and dreams of what we will be able to achieve, yet many of us falter primarily because of our own, often incorrect emotional interpretations of our experiences along the way (our mind) and the subsequent neglect of the body (matter).
I have always made exercise an important part of my life and have done so by implementing the Short Burst or Small Doses of exercise approach, which I remembered from my SBS training days.
I have benefited from these exercises when feeling stressed as an Accountant in my busy practice; I have benefited when feeling lethargic because of long hours of work or when feeling unhappy because of some of life’s challenges that came along.
You see, the benefit of exercise is accumulative and has a direct effect on your health, moods and even memory. You therefore don’t need to spend hours in the gym every week; you don’t need to walk miles around the block. Five minutes here, ten minutes there; as long as you do at least 30 minutes of aerobic and weight resistance exercise a day; as long as you can get your heart rate up and work those muscles, you can keep yourself in reasonable shape as you age and I have proven this to myself.
Muscle is your biggest fat burning engine in your body and the combination of muscular exercise with aerobic deep breathing and a sensible diet will literally allow you to hang onto your younger looking physique or shape for many years to come.
Steven Blair, P.E.D, Director of Epidemiology at the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas, USA once said:
Repeated short exercise sessions have the same physiological or metabolic effect in a weight loss program as a single long workout with the same calorie cost; and the multiple-short-bouts approach to increasing energy expenditure may be easier to build into a person’s daily schedule than freeing a lage block of time for a workout. (Blair, S.N. Ask The Expert: Fat Burn and Exercise. Weight Control Digest 1 (3) (Mar./Apr. 1991):47.
Just like passing an SAS/SBS or Navy SEAL Special Forces training course is a mind thing, so is exercise, weight loss and ageing. It is therefore very important that you open your mind and learn to do the daily one to two minute short bursts of mind-body techniques on a regular basis so as to enable you to overcome the self sabotaging thoughts that stop you from exercising and allow you to fall victim to cravings or any other type of negative thought pattern build up over time.
I found the combination of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) with my own Special Forces Provocative and Short Burst exercise approach an excellent way to not only jolt yourself out of immediate or long established negative thought patterns but also to slow down the eroding effects of time on the body and the mind.
And the great benefit of this approach is that anybody can do it, no matter how old they are or feel.
Wind up that mind-body spring of life on a daily basis so you can keep that spring in your step.
Bring Mind-Body exercise into your life. Only you can do it.