During our phase of development our children are dependent on us. Now, that phase of dependence seems, to many parents at least, to be increasing as the rising cost of housing forces an increasing proportion of young people to stay in the family nest for longer. However, at least unlike small children, our grown up children are able to dress themselves, clean their teeth, get to the toilet in time, and feed themselves. Even if they can’t yet do their laundry. They are above The Line! The dreaded line which marks our level of ability. When we fall below The Line – we then become depressingly dependent on other people.
The importance of fitness is that your level of fitness can determine when you drop below the line or whether or not you drop below the line at all, as shown in the figure above. This poor person dropped below the line at which they could reach the toilet in time at the age of 78. This wasn’t because of the ageing process but because they had not maintained their level of fitness. Of course there are often other factors such as the environment in which you live. If you have the toilet up a flight of stairs, then the challenge comes sooner than if you have a toilet on the ground floor; The Line is a little bit higher but the same principle applies. It is not ageing that determines when you cross The Line, or indeed whether you will cross the line at all, but ageing plus your level of fitness. And don’t forget, the good news is that your level of fitness, and therefore your level of ability, can be improved at any age.
Reproduced from Sod Sitting, Get Moving!: Getting Active in Your 60s, 70s and Beyond Hardcover – 9 Mar. 2017 by Sir Muir Gray (Author), Diana Moran (Author), David Mostyn (Illustrator)To buy a copy click here