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The Older I get, The Worse It Gets - If you Don't Use it You Lose it

Updated on February 25, 2011

Staying Fit, Physcial and Mental

The saying "Use it or Lose it" was something that was said, mostly pertaining to sexual topics pretty commonly when I was younger. Someone in the group that was talking would throw it into the mix, and everyone would laugh, then continue the topic at hand.

The truth of the matter rather sadly, is true not only for people sexually, but with the total package of the human body and intellect. I am sure that at least most of us are aware that not getting any exercise will allow our bodies and all of our muscular selves become soft. The rest tends to be a downhill run, unless we have the will to kind of start over and go for it to get back to the way we were. Actually, I think that after we let ourselves go, especially once we get past our forties, it is possible that we can never get it back to where we were before that. Sometimes when we are getting up in years, our bodies don't "fix" the way they did in younger days. One can only hope that they did not let things get too out of hand, and they will be able to get a handle on it.

Don'T get me wrong, I do not want to discourage anybody from trying, but what I am saying, is that due to some conditions we tend to get as we get older, like arthritis for example, no matter what we do, we can never get back to where we were ten years earlier.

This article though, is not just about letting ourselves get soft and out of shape physically. The facts of the matter is that if you do not exercise yourself mentally in some way, your mind and thought process will also become soft. The process is so slow, that it is very easily overlooked as something that is just a natural process of aging.

This theory may be hard to prove, because of differences in the way different people have lived their Ives in the past are so varied, that the results would then not be accurate. How we have lived for years and years would also dictate to some degree the results of any sort of study, for the accuracy cannot be compared without a control group. Therefore the results can only be correct to the degree of logic and any positive effect we might derive. Here are the results we came up with.

After people retire, it is a well known fact that unless they become involved with something else to take up their time, they tend to spiral downward, becoming depressed, getting fat, watching television all day long, and getting so out of shape that if something crosses their path, like a sickness, or other health issue, they are so far out of shape, that it overtakes their system. Sometimes to the point of causing their death, for their immune system is not strong enough to pull them through.

When our mental selves go without any challenges, or any stimulation of any kind, what happens to our physical selves, also happens to our brains. If as we get older, and everything begins to slow down, possibly because of physical limitations, or perhaps we become lazy and fall into a habit of television viewing. Sometimes it is just because we slowly withdraw from society and become loners. There are many reasons we may slow down as we get older, and we definitely suffer from a lack of energy, sometimes even requiring a nap sometime during the day.

Regardless of any of this, it is so important to find the time and make a way to do something every day to stimulate your mind. Whether you want to read a good book, put together a birdhouse, or figure out the answer to a crossword puzzle, it all helps to keep yourself mentally active. When you do not use your brain, slowly you lose the ability to figure out problems. You lose you ability to recognize a potential problem, and you lose the ability to remember. From there, you can begin to lose your vocabulary, spelling abilities, and the mental capacity to take care of some of the other responsibilities life throws in your path. The main symptom that becomes apparent, is that the person shows a lethargic procrastination that becomes a way of life rather than the exception to the rule.

I would have to say, if you needed one indicator to a pre- dementia condition, procrastination might be one of the first. The person who fails to stimulate his mental self forgets things that are important.

If you are noticing some of these things may apply to you, perhaps you should take a look and see if you are including enough intellectual situations into their daily routines.

Here are some things you might want to think about if you are having problems coming up with ideas, might be taking on a hobby, like making something in which you have to follow directions. Maybe planning a vacation for yourself or somebody else, including making the reservations. Learning how to do your taxes, or perhaps teaching yourself how to become something like an artist, how to refinish woodwork, or sewing. Men may like to make things like my father did, model airplanes that fly with remote controls. Learn all that you need to talk to other on a ham radio, use a telescope and figure out the sky, or go the other direction and figure out what is under a microscope.

Whatever it is that is of interest to you, don't just contemplate it and continue laying on the couch, do it. Those around you will become interested and maybe even join in. Even a community project could be the thing you need, to make sure it isn't something that will be set down and forgotten about in a while.

So, in ending this all I can do is to encourage all of you who are beginning to feel like they are getting old, don't give in to the urge to do nothing, because you deserve it. If you feel like you deserve it, stop and think if you want to deserve it forever. Stay active, think and use your brain, and you will notice that you are feeling younger.

What Can I Do

Here are some things you might want to think about if you are having problems coming up with ideas, might be taking on a hobby, like making something in which you have to follow directions. Maybe planning a vacation for yourself or somebody else, including making the reservations. Learning how to do your taxes, or perhaps teaching yourself how to become something like an artist, how to refinish woodwork, or sewing. Men may like to make things like my father did, model airplanes that fly with remote controls. Learn all that you need to talk to other on a ham radio, use a telescope and figure out the sky, or go the other direction and figure out what is under a microscope.

Whatever it is that is of interest to you, don't just contemplate it and continue laying on the couch, do it. Those around you will become interested and maybe even join in. Even a community project could be the thing you need, to make sure it isn't something that will be set down and forgotten about in a while.

So, in ending this all I can do is to encourage all of you who are beginning to feel like they are getting old, don't give in to the urge to do nothing, because you deserve it. If you feel like you deserve it, stop and think if you want to deserve it forever. Stay active, think and use your brain, and you will notice that you are feeling younger.

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