Sitting around with a shawl around your shoulders gumming Little Debbie’s while griping, “I’m too old to exercise” is a pile o’ meadow muffins. Behold ye wages of Sloth, friends, our creator designed us to be active.
Few older adults achieve even the minimum recommended 30 or more minutes of moderate physical activity five days per week. The CDC reports 28 to 34 percent of adults 65 to 74 and 35 to 44 percent of adults 75 or older are slothful, meaning they engage in no physical activity. Alas, Americans’ sedentary lifestyle is a major contributor towards our health and social issues.
According to the Catechism, Sloth, one of the seven deadly sins, is the desire for ease, even at the expense of doing the known will of God. Whatever we do in life requires effort. Everything we do is to be a means of salvation. The slothful person is unwilling to do what God wants because of the effort it takes to do it. Sloth becomes a sin when it slows down and even brings to a halt the energy we must expend in using the means to salvation.
Currently I’m recovering from knee replacement surgery, and the physical therapist recognized I worked out regularly because of the positive way my muscles responded to therapy. So, I can honestly uphold that keeping fit plays a huge roll in our ability to heal and restore the holy temple.
With increased awareness of these issues, park and recreation professionals, policy makers, health care providers, public safety officials and educators need to wrap their heads around and understand the benefits that recreation facilities play in addressing these concerns.
Despite the overwhelming number of gyms and fitness facilities, the numbers aren’t improving. Instead of complaining about high health care costs, try an alternative change in behavior. Perceive the inevitable changes brought on by age as problems to be solved, not a fate to be accepted like bad poker hand. Identifying your behavioral shortcoming is the most logical approach, and it provides an honest appraisal of the lifestyle changes that need modification. You could say to yourself, “Put that bowl of ice cream back in the freezer, you old dog, and have some organic vanilla yogurt instead.” Then after that, grab the significant other or the grandkids and take a brisk 30-40 minute family-bonding walk.
In summary, the solution to healthy and vigorous aging is eat to live in harmony with nature’s bounty and keep those creaking old bones and muscles moving. It’s only in doing that you experience consequences, and it’s the consequences of doing well that leads to a fuller, more enjoyable life.
Your worst-case scenario would to be to lie in bed and die of nothing worse than a very active and happy old age. In fact, going to bed and waking up dead sounds like a winner; beats the dickens out of late-life morbidity.
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