By Bill Storie
Leaving aside lifting grandchildren out of car seats and carrying grocery bags from the car to the kitchen, do you do any exercise?
Some may say that just those two activities above are more than enough of course but do you agree that, as according to all the guru experts, we should be doing more physical exertions as we age?
Ok, so we all agree that exercise is good for our physical health – more agility, stronger muscles to prevent, or at least slow down the onset of achy arms and legs as we get older, but can you actually be bothered?
One of the problems we have with exercise is that its effect is a long-time in coming. If we could run up the stairs at home once a day for a week and then see the results of more energy and less creaking bones the following week, we’d all do it (well maybe not all, but you get my point).
The trouble is that we take pills and eat right and exercise because (a) we know we should do it, and (b) someone told us to do it. But we have to wait such a long time to see the results and then, any benefits we do see, if at all, could have been caused by some entirely different event.
So we do all this stuff on faith.
Part of the debate on this issue of exercise in retirement is that in some respects we believe that because we’ve got to this age, and having worked hard all our lives, that we deserve the rewards of eating junk and doing zero exercise. “This is my time to enjoy” some say. In fairness while we probably don’t go along with that approach, who’s to say that a person who thinks like that is wrong. There is no requirement that we MUST exercise or eat good food. It’s a personal choice – and as such must be respected.
Couldn’t we just take a wee pill every morning that guarantees a long, healthy life without having to be bothered with stair-masters and treadmills?
There is a clinical trial about to start soon in the States, regarding a prescription drug for one condition which may have other benefits, principally slowing down the aging process. The belief is that this drug slows down the metabolism and as a consequence, slows down the onset of various “old” health issues such as dementia and so forth. It will be a long time before proof can be provided but the fact that they are starting it suggests there is a possibility of success.
Then you would have the dilemma solved.
Take the drug, don’t exercise, and live to be 120. How’s about that?
On a lighter note I see we have arrived in December. Isn’t this the month we do that Christmassy thing? Oh, and that old guy with the white beard shows up. The month when we are all pleased to see each other – well pleased to see everyone actually. “Be nice to me, I’ll be nice to you” month.
Don’t get me wrong I like Christmas, well sort of. It’s the only time in the year I can play my Elvis songs and everybody smiles and applauds my choice. The rest of the year I get, “Oh Dad, must you play that ancient music so often, get with it”. No I won’t. I like the King.
Unfortunately because I live in this sub-tropical island of Bermuda, it is rather difficult to sing “I’m dreaming of a White Christmas” and be fully committed to the words.
So maybe I’ll just dream of a peaceful Christmas and if the grandkids aren’t running around my house shouting at each other, I’ll be able to sing “Silent Night” and enjoy it.
Peace to all
p.s. as my family reads these epistles I should mention that I love my grandkids immensely. I’m just being politically correct you understand – so they’ll feed me…!!!
By Bill Storie