Getting Older and Better

Thanks, everyone, for your birthday wishes. Today is actually my birthday. I'm 41! I  have the day off and started the day with a 4.1-mile run then made vegan vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting (one of my favorites).

When I was in my 20s, I thought 40 was knocking on death's door. The truth is that I'm thinner, fitter, healthier, and happier than I was in my 20s. It seems like life just gets better and better the older I get. So I'm happy to celebrate another birthday!

But isn't getting older supposed to suck? I've heard many older coworkers say things like, "Getting old sucks. You just wait!" And yet here I am, a running nut who had never been able to run even a mile in my life before three years ago, maintaining a 35-pound weight loss, rarely getting sick, being free of injuries, aches, and pains. I feel like I'm at the prime of my life. So what gives?

I turn to research presented by Dr. Vonda Wright at a talk I went to in 2012 called Aging with Vitality. She explained that previous research on how people age (think of a frail, shuffling old man using a walker) is based on those people being sedentary. Her research proves that physically active people can look and feel youthful as they age. She gave many examples of people in their 60s, 70s, 80s, and even 90s who are living with vitality because they incorporate fitness into their lives. One amazing photo showed a 92-year-old patient she works with--who regularly windsurfs! She notes that the best exercise is high-impact like running and plyometrics.

I wrote about this in my blog back then (read the full post), and what I said then is still true today--"Her message was clear. It's our choice: we can choose to be frail, weak, and unhealthy as we grow older, or we be can be strong, fit, and healthy and live our golden years to the fullest. I choose fitness. I choose vitality!"