“For age is opportunity no less than youth, itself, though in another dress. And as the evening twilight fades away the sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.”
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
We often forget that an aging body has the ability to accomplish the same functions as a youthful body. It retains the ability to regenerate itself, to perform life-sustaining physiological functions, and to learn and adapt to an ever-changing environment. The goal of an aging body is the same as that of a youthful body: optimal functioning through the constant pursuit of health.
If there is one thing that goes forgotten as we age, it’s that maintenance of physiologic functions happens when there is continued use of those functions. In other words, don’t forget to use your body. Before it challenges you with decreased mental and physical functions, why don’t you challenge it to learn something new? Use your muscles and bones and skin to experience and interact with the world in a new way. Use your brain to ponder and put forth the creative ideas you have today.
Aging is not synonymous with disease and death. Disease and death can happen at any moment. So don’t blame being stiff this morning on “aging.” Take it as a sign that maybe you should use your body more actively or creatively, moving it in ways that aren’t based in years of habit.
An unused body will slowly stop functioning no matter your age. Don’t wait until your body stops functioning to decide that you actually do want it to thrive and be healthy.