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Senior Fitness: Wisdom Goes Beyond Information

Jan 2, 2008
When you reach a certain age, you actually have gathered some wisdom. You know there is ample information and you know that although information is essential, it is not enough.

Being able to put what you know together into successful practice is more important.

This is especially important when it comes to staying or recovering your physical fitness.

It is not only what you do, but also how to get yourself to do it and do it ell, that is important. That is, not too much and not too little. And having it be enjoyable.

I used to be fit. I have known how to be fit at various times in my life. I have a lot of knowledge. Every 10 years or so, I have re-evaluated my needs and give myself a different system? different exercises and different diet. My life style changes. My body changes. There really is body wisdom. But how do I organize what I know and how do I stay motivated? It is really the same problem I have always had. Not much different. I need to listen to my body. I need to learn from others. I need to put it all together.

There are many diets and much to be said for many of them. And there are certainly many exercise systems that make total sense. Once I have done the research, the issue is to stay on target and do what I have said I would do.

At various times in my life, I have followed different programs. Most of the time, I have actually been quite fit. Periodically, I have needed to reevaluate.

That is the issue I have needed to deal with at every life change. So, for example when I stopped working in a school where I was physically very active, my calorie burning decreased sharply. At first, I was not even aware. I never thought of that job as exercise. But being constantly on my feat and climbing stairs several times a day was good for me, even when I and other staff complained about it. At the end of each workday, I was physically exhausted.

When I took on the next job, which was mostly at a desk and with little stair climbing, I hardly noticed the difference. It still took my attention and at the end of the day, I still felt I had put in a full day's work. It was equally demanding and fulfilling, but I used my body less and burnt less calories. Slowly, my body adjusted by getting out of shape.

So after doing your research, how do you use what you have learned? How do you organize it? When I recently started to take on my fitness again, finding current information was not the problem. With a little research, my questions were answered.

When it came to putting it all together, a friend gave me some important advice. It made all the difference. At first, it seemed too obvious to be of any use.

He said, knowing WHY I wanted to be fit provides the crucial motivation I would need. It sounded silly because it was so obvious. But after a conversation in which he skillfully and gently helped me rediscover this, I found this was indeed crucial. Like so many truths, it was obvious when I finally saw it. I thought I knew what motivated me, but did not realize it was something else. I was saying all the right things that should have been important to me, but really were not. I had to get underneath those surface thoughts, to where what really motivated lived. And that is more personal than I wish to share in this particular article. But I mention it because you too may need to find your REAL motivating energy.

I invite you to discover this for yourself or with the help of someone else. It takes some discipline to get past the first surface answers to where you really are motivated. But it is well worth it.
About the Author
Peter Woronoff is a psychotherapist and a recovering fitness enthusiast. Get your questions answered personally! at www.RecoverYourFitness
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