Are you a classic or a jalopy?

  • 2 October, 2020

Do you ever look around and see people your age that seem much younger, spryer, more energetic than you? They are cruising around, enjoying their lives, looking and feeling much younger than their age. They are classics, timeless.

Or are you one of the lucky ones who think “That’s not what a (insert your age here) year old should look like.”? You see people you went to school with and think, man, they got OLD. They have been rundown, beat up, and look every one of their years- and FAR older than you.

Which one are you? Classic or Jalopy?

Which one do you want to be? And what is the difference between the two?
Simple answer-Care and maintenance.

It is amazing that people will do all sorts of things for their cars, washing, waxing, buffing, detailing, oil changes, new brakes, annual maintenance. These cars look as good as when they rolled off the showroom floor.

But when it comes to their most important vehicle, the one that lasts (if we are lucky) 100 years, they think wear and tear is normal and expected, and they neglect it, sometimes abuse it. And then seem surprised when it does not last.

Thankfully, these neglected chassis can be rebuilt.

Here’s how…

Great Fuel= Healthy Engine
Classics know the most important thing that we can do is provide the right fuel for our bodies. Fresh, seasonal produce, grass-fed meats (if it is in your budget) and lots of water will make your internal engine hum. Keep your food natural and as close to how it was created as possible. No franken-foods- mass produced food like products that line most supermarket shelves. IF your great grandparents would not recognize it as food- your body will not either.

Need a little power boost? Try a good food-based multivitamin to supplement your diet. Post-menopausal women should look for lower iron varieties. And always check with your doctor before taking ANYTHING, as some may interfere with prescription meds.

Balance- It’s Not Just for Tires
Classics know the importance of having balanced tires, but your body needs balance too. Balance training is one of the simplest things you can do.

First, start with your shoulders back, chest lifted, abdominal muscles tight, and feet together. Stand next to a counter or chair. Do not lean on it, just rest one hand lightly. Now lift one leg to the front and hold it. Now the other leg. Repeat the process holding your leg first to the side, then to the back. Too easy? Close your eyes and repeat.

Another easy trick to help with balance, move your head. Left to right, side to side and up and down. Keeping your head moving is one of the best things you can do for balance.

Muscles and Muscle Cars
Jalopies have been told (once you hit a certain age) it is all downhill from here. And you know, if you haven’t taken care of your vehicle, that might be true.

But this is also true, restoration is possible. You can fix much of what is going wrong, the sagging, the lack of power, the extra shimmy in the rear, all by doing a little body work.

Turning a Jalopy into a Classic
Start with the basics.

Depending on where you are in the jalopy to classic continuum, the basics can be pretty, well, basic. Walking without stooping, standing up and sitting down with ease. Lifting the arms outstretched to the front and side. Using soup cans to do biceps curls. Going up on your toes, or doing pushups against a wall or counter.

Add rubber.
Resistance bands are the next step. Get an inexpensive set at your local national retailer, look up appropriate exercises (or ask your doctor), and start shaping and toning that chassis.

Another great place to try this is at your local gym for Silver Sneakers classes. Classes can be done standing or seated, and utilize bands, balls and other fun toys in a warm, supervised environment with others just like you.

Time for some iron.
If you are already a gym member, this is best accomplished by doing a training session with your club’s personal training staff. Most clubs have trainers experienced with classics and wannabe classics, and can recommend a safe program for you. Initially, you will probably be using machines, and most clubs will provide you with a simple circuit to build strength with the lowest risk.

If you are not a gym member, a small set of dumbbells (hand-weights) will go a long way in adding resistance, and helping you become stronger. Bicep curls, triceps extensions, simple squats, rows, planks and presses are all you need to reshape your vehicle and rev your engine

Find a GREAT “Body” Shop
Aside from great equipment and classes, gyms and health clubs provide the additional benefit of camaraderie, peer-support and accountability all in a safe and social setting. You will find additional resources in the form of personal trainers and get detailed advice on how to restore your most important vehicle.

Many insurance providers also have gym programs, so all or part of your membership fee is free. Check with your provider to find out.

Your own chassis needs the same care as your classic car, so you both can keep running as long as possible. Take a little time on the care and maintenance of your most important vehicle.

Stay on the road longer. Be a classic.

As always please consult a physician before starting any physical activity.

Categories: Article, Local Health

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