Moving forward into living Younger Next Year

I had my last follow up at the centre in June and am doing great. At that appointment, I decided that I am done with the so-called new normal and living with limitations and declared myself New and Improved! I’ve been struggling with procrastination winning over exercise. I also knew it was time to kick procrastination to the curb, but how?

That same week an email arrived about a Younger Next Year (YNY) workshop presented by Blaine Mackie at Mackie Physiotherapy. I was intrigued by this workshop and what it meant to be younger next year. I signed up immediately.

While sitting at the YNY workshop at Mackie Physio clinic, I realized that this was it! This lifestyle concept was what I needed to add exercise into my life. Along with accountability and community, Blaine discussed five building blocks that contribute to your best philosophical identity:

  • decrease your stress
  • nutrition
  • state of mind
  • flexibility (ability to move)
  • strength and cardiovascular

Bells were going off in my head. I do many of these things well on my own. It was the words ‘accountability and community’ that struck me. I had been trying to exercise by myself, at home, for free, and would give up after a week every time. A pulling feeling in my chest would be the catalyst. Something in my head would get freaked out, and I would convince myself I wasn’t ready to exercise.

For the last few years, my body has felt stiff and weak, makes snapping and crunching noises when I move and has a rotating circuit of strange pains and a recurring spasm in the left hamstring. I know I’m healthy enough to feel stronger, flexible and not make funny noises when I stand up. I’m also too young to accept that these things are happening to my body!

I read the book, Younger Next Year by Chris Cowley and Henry S. Lodge, M.D., to understand the full concept. Simply put, YNY is a philosophy of looking after yourself to moving into the next third feeling strong, healthy, and energetic. I could picture a few couples I admire that live this lifestyle, making it feel attainable for me.

I’ve started with an assessment with a physiotherapist. Needed a little tune-up to align my hips and am starting out slowly with walking, stretching and exercises using bands. I have to be honest, so far, I’ve not great at making time for these exercises in my daily activity.

I have many motivating factors to make exercise and nutrition a priority. Knowing that bone density loss is a possibility due to years of birth control pills, chemotherapy meds, and early menopause the importance of strength training is even more significant. If my body is making snap, crackle and pop sounds at 47, what is it going to be doing at 67?

I’ve just returned from a European holiday. I had such good intentions of beginning my exercises while on vacation. Until I arrived in Germany and the temperature was above 30C every day. There were few buildings with air conditioning, so I sure didn’t feel like exerting myself any more than necessary. I did walk more than 10,000 steps each day. I guess that was good preparation for regular exercise.

Today was my first day at the gym. I received my instructions to perform the exercises correctly and left on my own to complete the routine. I’m thrilled to say I did the sets, a little cardio, stretches and feel great! Not even a hint of a spasm from my left leg. Exercising feels promising. I will be back in the gym tomorrow.

It’s taken me longer to get started than I had hoped. Accountability and community come into play now. I’m accountable for the guidance I’ve asked for from Melissa, my physiotherapist. I’m committed to sharing this journey here on the blog to encourage others to increase their personal awareness of the five building blocks of YNY. This adventure will be fun! Ahh, finally I say goodbye to procrastination!!

I’ll share my journey into the commitment to the philosophy of living Younger Next Year. What I do to decrease stress as I embark on a career change. Nutrition is a big one, and I have tips on how to cook for one and eat well while not wasting food. Awareness of state of mind and understanding the mind-body connection as I work on the commitment to my overall health. For the flexibility and strength and cardiovascular pieces, I will consult with Blaine to share his expertise in these areas.

I’m kicking up the Sparkles a notch!

New and Improved!