What does “Young at heart” mean to you?
Well, the Chicago Tribune was curious to know the answer to this question and asked their readers what they thought. Below are just a few of the interesting answers they received:
Rudolph Alfano, 80, Willowbrook "To think young and be positive each and every single day. That's why I think I'm 16 years old because I act like a kid sometimes. I stay young at heart by getting up early in the morning and going on my walk, going to bed early, eating fresh fruits and vegetables daily, working on a project each day and helping others."
William Danford, 91, Elmhurst "It means having a wonderful nature that is attractive at all times."
Lisa Dekter, 76, Addison "You realize that age is insignificant. To be 'young at heart' is to love life, wake up every day and enjoy that day as a gift."
Whatever your answer may be to this question, being “young at heart” is an endearing expression we use for people who enjoy doing things younger people like to do. What about you? What do you enjoy? Or better yet, what physical movement or activity brings you joy? Think back to when you were a child, what did you love to do?
Shannon Slovensky, M.Ed., an exercise physiologist with University of Virginia Health System, has found, “The main idea is to find something you enjoy, because then you’ll be more likely to do it! Exercise doesn’t have to be a formal class at the gym and you don’t need to hire a personal trainer to get in shape. Just make moving fun, and over time you’ll notice a difference in the way you look and feel.”
According to Slovensky and other “play” oriented experts, moving your body and playing throughout your work day not only enhances your creativity and productivity, it can also help bring your joy back. Here are five tips to help you look and feel years younger:
1. Dance! Set the tone: Download your favorite “joy filled” tune (e.g. “The Twist'' by Chubby Checker) and make it your ringtone on your cell phone. Set it to go off every hour. This can serve as a reminder for you to get up and dance (or move) on the hour or every time someone calls you. It’s sure to put a smile on your face (and those around you)
2. Play with toys: Create a “toy box” at work filled with jump ropes, hula-hoops, Frisbees, balloons and balls to play with throughout your day. Once you begin tossing a ball or jumping rope during break times others will want to come out and play too.
3. Laugh and inspire: Throughout your day get up from your desk or workstation and share a quick joke or inspirational quote with others in your office or work environment. It’ll get you up and moving and you’ll bring some joy to those around you!
4. Challenge: If you're the social type, consider enlisting others to join you in fitness competitions and or games throughout your day (e.g. How many times did you get up from your desk today and dance? How many stairs did you climb today? How many desk push-ups can you do?). Encourage a family member or friend to a “Virtual” fitness challenge to see how many repetitions or minutes you can perform for a designated move.
5. Play outdoors: If possible go outside on breaks or lunchtime and breathe in some fresh air and enjoy some “simple moves” and some sunshine. This is also a good time to think about what has brought you joy during your day.
What about you?
According to researchers, Evans and Rosenberg from Tufts University and authors of the best selling book, “Biomarkers-The 10 Keys to prolonging Vitality” discovered, “Much of what we call aging is nothing more than the accumulation of a lifetime of inactivity. Muscles shrink. Body fat increases. The results are an increased risk of diabetes, hypertension, and osteoporosis. By preserving muscle mass, we can prevent these problems from occurring." The researchers conclude: “If you use your muscles frequently, you can maintain their strength. But if you push your muscles to the limit of their capacity by exercise, you can actually increase their strength—no matter what your age…The fact is that you can regain muscle mass and strength, no matter your age or what shape you’re in now.”
By performing one or more of these “Youthful” activities and using your muscles on a regular basis you can take your first step to turning back the clock!
It’s never too late to start. :)
BTW: If you’re looking for extra support with your fitness, nutrition and mindset routine check out our RISE Coaching program! Imagine having a personal fitness trainer, chef nutritionist and expert mindset coach meeting in your living room every week to help you realize your health and fitness goals.