On Staying Young

Have you ever noticed how we tend to become more and more constrained in our range of movement as we grow older? As children we were constantly moving our bodies in creative and unpredictable ways, but as adults the need to focus on practicalities (and often a wish to be seen as 'respectable') may mean that we limit ourselves to a narrower and narrower range of physical possibilities. It's an interesting experiment to try copying a child's activities and movements for a few minutes and see how soon you are aching and exhausted!

Stephen Jepson from neverleavetheplayground.com teaching and riding his unicycle in his 70s.

Stephen Jepson from neverleavetheplayground.com teaching and riding his unicycle in his 70s.

This diminishment of the range of movement we allow ourselves is not good news for many reasons beyond the obvious ones that it reduces muscle tone and flexibility. Our brains and bodies are one system, they not just linked, they are essentially the same; the nerves in our legs or hands are extensions of the cells in our brain. A child's abilities to think and feel are developed through their physical interactions with the world around them. If we unnecessarily limit our physical possibilities we may also get caught in a narrowing range of thought and feeling. But it doesn't have to be that way. The video below shows one man's investigations into the effect of keeping a full range of movement available to ourselves as we age.

Age GracefullyMarcus Sly