Jim Muncy

A Healthy Balance

Basketball at 77

I have some friends from church. It was their father’s 77th birthday and so they asked him what he wanted. He wanted a basketball goal. That’s what they gave him. I thought awesome, 77 and still shooting hoops.

Actually, I hope to be doing the same. I don’t expect that I will still be playing a whole lot of full court basketball at that age but I do want to still be throwing the ball at the basket. I enjoy shooting baskets but I think there is a much more important reason to do so.

Getting Everything Involved

Just bouncing a basketball and shooting it at the rim keeps a lot of things going. It isn’t just working out your legs. It is also getting your arms involved. And it isn’t just working out your body. It is getting your mind involved. It doesn’t just get your mind and body involved. It gets them working together as you dribble and rebound your shot.

Anything you do to stay active will help you stay healthy. However, the more things you can keep active, the healthier you will be. I am not advocating that everyone show up at the gym and start shooting baskets. I wouldn’t want that. The courts are already crowded enough. What I am suggesting is that we try to keep as much as we can as active as we can for as long as we can.

What Do You Want to Stay Sharp?

Do you want your mind to stay sharp? You aren’t going to get it there through a steady diet of mindless TV. Play a challenging board game. Try to write a blog. Learn a musical instrument or a foreign language. Learn a new sport. Start putting together puzzles.Arm Cycle

Do you want your upper-body to remain strong? Don’t just work out your legs. I ride a stationary bicycle but I also spend time on the arm cycle (see picture). Lift light weights. Do something to keep the upper body active and challenged.

Do you want to maintain good reaction time? Then do something that requires you to react. Take up ping-pong. Play a video game. Try learning to juggle.

More Than Cardio Conditioning

Here is the point. If you want to maintain a high quality of life for as long as you can, think about all that would require. My father is still an excellent driver and he is 86 years old. How did he get there? He kept using the skills that are needed to drive. He plays a lot of golf. He goes on trips in his motor home.

As important as cardio training is, staying fit as you age is more than cardio. An active lifestyle is multifaceted. Being in great cardio conditioning but not keeping the rest of our body and our mind healthy doesn’t make for a great life.

Let me leave with a word for the young. If you are in your twenties, don’t think this is something I am writing for old folks. The thirties can be brutal on the person who doesn’t stay active. With all your family and work commitments, that may be the hardest decade of your life to keep a balanced fitness routine. You want to come out of your thirties more vibrant than you go into them.

So if you are twenty-five or seventy-five, live a balanced active lifestyle. Keep all your body active, not just a few limited parts. Keep your mind active. And make sure you do something to keep your mind talking to your body. Maybe then, when you are 77, you will want a basketball goal for your birthday.

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Category: Tuesday, January 31, 2017

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