A 50 something year old patient saw me today after suffering an aggravation of his longstanding physical problems in the lower back and neck following his “desire to return to the game” and he was talking about Basketball. You guessed right, he overdid it!
As much as I encourage people to stay physically active as part of general fitness efforts, along with good eating and good sleep habits, there is often a mental game that needs a reality check. It revolves around the natural life changes. I call this syndrome the Brain Body Disconnect.
I thought this phenomenon was limited to Americans and especially the Baby Boomer generation but I was wrong. Filipinos, Japanese and Indians alike, men and women, even a generation behind the baby boomers, suffer from this Brain Body Disconnect. I am not referring to the medical version that exists in conditions like multiple sclerosis where the mind and body do not work in unison; I am talking about an insidious middle-age affliction when your brain thinks you’re still young, but your body (and pretty much everyone else) disagrees. There is a resistance to change.
Brain Body Disconnect translates for different people in different ways. Some it’s about food or fitness, some about fashion (we have all seen that 70-year-old in a mini skirt), and for many its about sex. Call them cougars and dirty old men but being with a much younger partner is really about the struggle to accept the present age, the desire to live out younger years.
This is also true about how much physical activity our bodies can safely undertake. The guidance I wish to share with our readers is about growing in the understanding and appreciation of how nature is there for you, always has been, and it really depends on how well you work with nature to live a better life; but most folks ignore that truth.
Everything you do requires the consumption of energy, the use of various molecules, nutrients, enzymes, cells, tissues and they all have an expiration or particular usage. As long as your body replaces, restores and regenerates what it uses up during the course of what we do, how we rest our bodies, we maintain status quo. So back to the 50+ year old, he just took his body further than its ability to handle the demand at the moment and, because there were pre-existing weakened areas, the body was overwhelmed at those places.
You see, it’s not right or wrong to live your life to the fullest and place additional demands on your body; it’s really about how well your body is pre-conditioned to adapt, to manage events in a timely way. What-ever you go for isn’t the issue. The issue is if your body has the necessary reserves to cash that check and to not break the bank. Please DO get more physical with your life but ease into it and build up to a moderate level only, because beyond moderate is NEVER SMART.
This is also true about what you eat or dare-I-say how much you drink. Your body has to metabolize what you consume in a timely way and there should be no left over energy to store and no damaged tissues that cannot be repaired in the short-term. Under these conditions the body remains intact, your health remains intact. I am not saying “Act your age” but I am saying is, “Be smart, be practical.”
Yours in Health,