How to stay strong – at any age

I recently came across the book Strength for Life by Shawn Phillips, and as these things usually do, it came at the perfect moment in my life. That is, I was ready, and more than ready, actually eager – to hear his message. 

This quote from Shawn  pretty much sums up this book’s theme:

  "Your body, the only one you will ever have, is the foundation of your life. And it’s either an anchor limiting your freedom and potential or a source of radiant energy, vitality and joy, elevating your life and the lives of those around you. It’s your choice… will yours be a source of strength, from which you will impact the world, or an obstacle, preventing you from your dreams and desires?"

This really hit home. Watching my 86-year-old mum and her 92-year-old husband struggling with balance and strength, I realized that now, (better late than never, right?) in my early 60’s, is the time to lay the foundation for strength, posture and balance so that I can be a strong and  agile 80 and 90 year old!

Strength training
And so, in order to do that, I have had to push beyond my comfort zone -  I love walking and hiking and swimming in natural bodies of water – and actually set foot in – the dreaded gym!   Now, I’m certainly not saying that training on machines in a gym with a trainer is the only way to get strong and fit, but for me, it was certainly the missing piece.

Think you’re too old? 
If you’re in my age group or beyond, you may be thinking, what’s the point. I’m to old to start…..  However, as I learned from Shawn Phillips, “You’re never too old to gain strength. The Human Nutrition Center on Aging found muscle growth in people ranging from 60 to 96 years old was statistically equivalent to younger people doing the same amount of training with their bodies.”  My own experience in seeing the changes in my body after a few short months certainly supports this.

How strong are you?

And a final quote from Shawn: “How strong are you? How will you lift the world? How will you be a beacon of strength for others? These are the questions of utmost importance… Every one of us has a time limit to fulfill our destiny. Don’t be one who waits for the final buzzer to start to really live. Yesterday is a memory and tomorrow is a dream. Today is the day to make your mark—to make a difference.”

Take a peek at what this lovely 89 year old I met on a walk in Spring Lake  has to say about staying strong.  If you are having trouble viewing this video, click  here