The secret of the Fountain of Youth is that you have to swim across it — it is the swimming, the exercise, that produces the youth. My yoga teacher was in her mid-70’s when I first started classes 15 years ago and she still looks fit and healthy today. But if yoga isn’t your choice for a New Year’s resolution, search inside to find the type of exercise that you will enjoy and stick with, because exercise is as close to the Fountain of Youth that has ever been found.
Whether you take a walk around the block to enjoy the fresh air, join a Zumba class for the social get-together and great music, or go roller-blading because it reminds you of the thrill of your first skates, every move will bring you closer to rejuvenation.
Exercise boosts wellness and youthfulness because it works on the cellular level, on the mitochondria — where the body combines nutrients with oxygen to keep you going.
As we age, if our mitochondria dwindle and become less effective, our brains shrink, our hair turns gray and falls out, it hurts to get out of our chairs. Well, science has proven that these changes are not inevitable. If you keep active, you may be able to offset much of this decline.
A medical researcher said, “The recipe for healthy aging is very simple, and that’s exercise. The problem is that most people find it a difficult recipe to follow.”
The secret is to find an exercise that you love to do. For instance, I live in Hawaii near a warm ocean pond because I love to swim whatever the weather, rain or shine. It makes me remember the childhood joy of going to the beach in summer and splashing in the waves, so I swim and snorkel as often as possible.
How can you find the right exercise that you will stick to? Let’s try a short creative visualization… Take a few deep breaths to relax, then close your eyes and think back to an activity that was enjoyable, that was fun for you. Whatever it was, imagine a near-equivalent that you could do today. Imagine doing it, smiling, maybe even laughing with joy. Take a few deep breaths, wiggle your fingers to bring you back to the present moment, and now call a friend to invite them to join you in your new activity. Someone who will support you in your goal to get healthier and turn back the clock.
Tomorrow – another suggestion on my countdown to a Fabulous New Year!
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries