Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.
-Oliver Wendel Holmes
In my world you have two choices when you become a parent. You can either be the type that sits back and watches your kids play or you can actively get out and SHOW your kids how to play. I choose the latter. Exercise is a foundation to build and maintain the mental and physical levels of the body as you age. Activity and playfulness can actually reverse aging process within the cells themselves.
Hippocrates believed that exercise was medicine and so did the doctors of ancient China. What is funny is that exercise was, for a time, actually frowned upon ( the turn of the 20th century) which was coincidentally around the time which Heart Disease began to skyrocket! Hmmm.. Bedrest over exercise to cure ailments.... kind of the norm until the 1960's when studies came out showing that folks who maintained a healthy waistline were found to life 7-10 years longer than their counterparts.
Biomarkers of strength and VO2 max a classically in a downward trajectory as we age. This is not real earth shattering science. What is interesting is that the maintenance of muscle and mental acuity during middle age can have dramatic influence on the later years of your life. Now I know that most of you are still in your 20's and maybe early 30's (and quite fit) but pay attention as the years tend to speed up from here on out. Aging starts in the muscle, as we lose 15% of muscle mass per decade after we turn 40! But it doesn't have to be so dramatic...
Let's go back to our cells. Inside our cells is a powerplant called the mitochondria. This is where all the sugars are turned into energy and they have a key role in how our metabolism is functioning. Do you know why diabetes rates are higher in the 40+ population? Mitochondria. The less you have in your cells, the less you are able to turn those weekend beers into energy. To keep them active and ALIVE, nutrition must be a priority but you must also remember to PLAY.
That is right. Play. The physiological benefits to play on stress levels, hormonal balancing, muscle stimulus cannot be more important as we age. Not to mention that play usually involves more than just yourself. Although playing with yourself is sometimes very necessary! But back to the important stuff. As CrossFit'ers we play fitness all day and are encouraged (hopefully) to get out and use our elite fitness for all types of play. At Level 1 seminars we talk about the Fitness/wellness spectrum. Fitness falls on the greater end of the wellness spectrum wherein it is leverage against the conditions of aging. Heart Disease, depression, Alzheimers, diabetes, are all waiting on the sickness end of the spectrum. By'Playing" CrossFit we essentially reverse the aging process and maintain healthy cells and boost our neuroplasticity. All Good Right.
Let's take it back to the kids. Quality of life is a blessing that you get to choose for yourself. Being around for your kids, playing with them, is ensuring that the future will be prosperous and happy. You choose to be healthy, you chose to make this world a better place. Kinda sounds like a good reason to keep up on the fitness and maybe even bring a friend to share it with.
-Arm Swing/ plantar and dorsiflexion/ explosive hips/ torso position and midline stability
- Change of direction
:30 Lat band Mobility
5 Wall Climb with Top Hold
:30 Partner Chest Stretch on Pull Up Bar
20 Squat Therapy (slow and low)
15 Overhead Squat 135/95