It's Never Too Late To Start – Anything!

by DavalosMcCormack on February 9, 2010

I love to play squash. I’m not very good at it. In fact, to be brutally honest, I’m rubbish. But I’m enthusiastic and I try and I am getting better. Unfortunately the folks I play against are getting better as well so the gap between us remains the same. Here’s the proof – I am the one in the white shirt.

I didn’t really start playing regularly until recently and most of the folks I’m playing have been doing it for years, they’ve played in college, they’ve had lessons. In short, they know what they’re doing. Me, I’m running around, flailing away while they glide around the court.

But for me none of that matters. I figure this is a game I can play for decades to come. Hopefully I’ll get better with time. But even if I don’t it’s still fun and it’s still great exercise. So, either way I win.

That same attitude can pay off in lots of different ways too, both mental and physical. We are all living longer than ever – in fact, a new book called Successful Cognitive and Emotional Aging says that two thirds of all people in the entire history of the world who have lived to the age of 65 are alive today – so we need to be doing things that mean those extra years are filled with good health and activity, not spent waiting in the doctor’s office or in bed.

In their book, authors Colin Depp PhD. and Dilip Jeste MD, look at the biological, environmental, and emotional factors that help people enjoy good mental and emotional health as they get older. The bottom line is that it’s never too early or too late to start working towards the goal of improving brain health (see, I just saved you $40, actually $45 including shipping!)

There’s no end of other studies that show that living a more active life is associated not just with a longer life but also with better quality life, mental and physical. That doesn’t mean you have to be running marathons into your 70’s – though if you do that’s pretty bloody impressive – it can mean just being physically active every day, walking, running, gardening, anything that gets your body moving.

The great news is that it doesn’t really matter when you start leading a more active life. Obviously the younger you start the better. But you can start in your 30’s, 40’s, 50’s 60’s, 70’s and so on. Ultimately the age is less important than the fact that you are doing it.

So how do you find the information you need to start being healthy? Well, there’s no end of books, magazines and websites out there willing to help point you in the right direction. For a fee. Some of them are good. Some not so good. But how do you tell the difference.

Don’t bother. There’s a much easier place to go to, that has excellent content, put together by the best experts in the field. And it’s all free. It’s the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s site on Healthy Aging for Older Adults.

While the focus is on older adults the information is applicable to pretty nearly everyone. So check it out. Act on it. It could save your life. Or at the very least make it a longer, healthier one.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: