Thanks to Boomer Chronicles for alerting me to Boomeritis, defined by Prime Time Fitness as "a quasi-disease of aging Baby Boomers who are refusing to slow down."
A different attitude has helped me. Aerobic used to be the name of the game for me: backpacking with 40-pound packs up steep mountains, running miles and miles and miles, etc. Now, I swim, love yoga and Pilates and NIA. I still cycle but do so sensibly and enjoy myself on the long hauls with lots of time for lunch and rest stops. The author of Boomer Chronicles, Rhea, recently went on a 32-mile ride. If she cycled with friends, stopped and had lunch and rested whenever she felt like it, it sounds lovely. I do day-hikes now, without huge backpacks. I still love kayaking and whitewater canoeing. But I don't run and I try not to compete with everyone in sight (still hard but I'm trying to be disciplined). I also don't play pick-up basketball any more to show off (I fail at that now). I actually enjoy walking my dogs in the neighborhood. And gardening, too. And I'm thinking of trying Tai Chi because I know balance is so important. I skied until I hurt my knee about five years ago but would like to ski again, with a new, more relaxed attitude. I think I can, this year. One of the best things about skiing anyway is just to have the cold air blowing on my face and the great views unfolding before me as I glide down the mountain. I'll take brush-up lessons first.
Both of my parents had very severe arthritis and I've been determined to avoid it as much as possible. So far, so good. I think regular, and varied, exercise has been one of the best preventive things I could have done. I have a friend who recently defined me as "an athlete" although most people don't know that side of me. I like the idea that I've changed my own definition of what is meant by "athlete." I like the adventure of trying all kinds of new approaches to exercise.
I know exercise is every bit as good for my head as it is for my heart. I wish everyone knew that our brains need more oxygen than our hearts and that physical exercise also tones and flexes many cognitive skills, too . Sad how few folks get the connection.