Last week, a friend of mine was telling me about her 2 aunts. Both are about 60 years old. One aunt has always been athletic and fit and the other has always been sedentary. Now, at 60, the fit aunt is still active and the sedentary aunt is still sedentary only she has trouble standing up from a chair!
After my friend told this story, I kept thinking about how much more fun the fit aunt must be to her family and friends than the sedentary one.
I feel that, although we think we do it for ourselves, being fit and healthy is a gift to our family, friends and the community in which we live. This is true in so many ways. Here’s just a few of them.
For our Family:
For our spouses, we give them the gift of being paired with someone who looks good and feels good. Waking up everyday next to someone who has the energy and spirit to embrace the day is life enriching.
Does the “looks good” comment sound superficial? Think about this. How does it feel to be at a social function and know that the man or woman across the room receiving “attention” from people his/her own age (or even younger) is the person that chooses to be with you everyday? It feels good doesn’t it? This feeling is a gift to our spouse.
Superficialities aside, we give our spouses many other gifts by being fit. Better sex and love making is a very important one! Fit people have more strength, endurance, energy and better blood flow. All these contribute to better sex . Not to mention feeling good about our own body helps us to be freer with our partners.
By being fit and healthy, we increase our spouse’s confidence in having a long and active life with us. A wonderful gift indeed!
For our children, we give them the gift of healthy, active parents. Having fit parents is predictive of our children being fit themselves. We give them the gift of being more patient and helpful to them because we have the physical resources to do so. We give them the freedom from worry that we will require hospice care while they are still young adults raising their own kids.
For our grandkids, we give them the gift of being able to play with them – I mean really play with them. How proud will they be to have such “cool” grandparents? We show them how important fitness is to living long, active and fun lives.
For our sisters and brothers, we give them the gift of being loved by someone who respects themselves enough to take extra good care of their body.
For Our Friends:
We give them the gift of having lots of energy for them. Cultivating good friendships on top of meeting family obligations requires energy and being fit gives us the energy and health to “go the extra distance” with our friends at middle age and later in life.
For Our Community:
We remain healthier longer and don’t place a burden on the health system. We remain productive, enthusiastic members of the workforce longer. After retirement, we have time and energy to volunteer our services and skills for worthy causes. We help younger people see and feel that aging is not something to be afraid of. We are able to help those who need us.
For Our world:
Every workout, every nutritious meal, every full night’s sleep and every other way we take care our bodies is a gift to someone else. It’s not about being selfish. It’s about keeping the body healthy so that the mind and spirit can contribute to the lives of others better and longer.
Copyright (c) 2006 Ainsley Laing