Are you worried about the increasing costs of medical care as you age? Well, research is finding that those of us who have lived an active life stand to need significantly less medical care as we age. That is music to my ears, and I hope to yours too. Though for many of us, lethargy has crept in over the pandemic.
To go back to the research. Studies in the UK, Australia and the US all point to the fact that if we exercise consistently throughout life the reduction in medical costs in later life can add up to as much as 20%. Another study looked at walking and found that walking for as little as 2 hours a week can enable longer life and reduce the risk of disease. The one downside is that the physical activity needs to have continued throughout life as those who only became active in their later years showed results pretty much the same as those who had been inactive their whole lives.
Many have lapsed into Inactivity during the Pandemic
More than a year after the pandemic was declared and most countries throughout the world went into tight lockdown, I hear so many people complain about how lethargic they are and how they have gained weight. I was extremely fortunate because I moved to the country in June 2020 to build my own home and now that is complete I have a large garden to layout and establish, so inactivity has been very far from my mind.
But I am writing this to nudge those of you who have become inactive and remind you that now is not the time to slacken. As we age, activity is important to keep the body flexible, maintain balance and generally maintain overall health. Simply walking contributes to the flow of lymph around your body, helps to eliminate toxins and strengthens immunity. All so very important in current times and it does not cost anything. We are not talking about gym contracts and professional trainers here.
Since moving to a small village in the country, I revel in the fact that I can walk everywhere. Days go by when I don’t take the car out of the garage. Walking a couple of blocks to Pilates, walking to visit friends, walking to buy electricity – you name it, I open the gate and walk down the road. Fortunately for me, getting the vehicle out the garage as well as the gate onto the property and ensuring the dogs are secured takes more effort than walking 3 blocks, so I choose the latter over the former.
Adding more Activity into your Life
What can you do to incorporate more activity into your life? Some suggestions are:
- Get into the habit of walking to the grocery store for smaller purchases
- Walk when you visit friends in your neighbourhood
- Get yourself a dog or two – they will remind you to take them for a walk each day
- Get out and do some gardening if you are so inclined
As with many other things that I have talked about in my blogs over the years, it requires a simple change in mindset and some motivation to maintain it.
Centenarians Avoid the Mechanical Conveniences of Modern Society
The Blue Zones Project that I refer to often emphasizes that the Centenarians they studied did not go to a gym several times a week to pump iron, they grew their vegetables, lived in double-storey houses, and they walked everywhere. They maintained their health by ignoring mechanical conveniences which have become so popular in our modern society!
Where are you going to get more activity?
Keep on going,