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ADL’s (activities of daily living) vary greatly from person to person. Some of us can do most of them with one arm tied behind our back. For others, they may be getting more challenging with each new day. As our baby boomer population reaches retirement age, ADL’s will become more and more difficult given the current average waist size in America. Our ability to perform the sweeping, dusting, washing and waste disposal can be called our ADL fitness. For some, just reading these simple tasks initiated a raise in blood pressure and a bead of sweat on the forehead. There are many barriers to performing ADL’s. The ADL fitness program will address all levels of ability and all parameters involed. Cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, range of motion, and phychological wellness are some of the main focal points of ADL fitness.
It is an inevibility to age. We can do nothing to stop it. All we can do is slow it’s effects. When examining the deleterious effects of having birthdays, it is easy to see a negative correlation. Our physical bodies are finite and begin deteriorating once we reach our 30’s. Do not despair at this grimm notion. A wise man once told me that the only reason to despair is if you are powerless. This program will give you many tools to not only slow the effects of aging but make worthy gains as well. This will not only better your helath but inevitably lead to a state of physical and mental wellness.
We as humans are capable of great things. We have built temples, pyramids, aqueducts, amphitheaters within many great civilizations. The evolution of homo sapien 250,000 years ago brought about an unprecedentedly sophisticated organism with the ability to reason and imagine. Since then, man’s mind has dreamt and his body has built.
This apparent dual nature of man is one of the defining differences between western and eastern thought. Zarathushtra, Plato, Aristotle and Descartes all contemplated the idea of an immaterial mind within an extended body. The relationship defined was not necesarily dicotomous however the mind was thought to be the essence of the being. This ideology, while true in my opinion, has led us to our current culture of corpreal neglect. Our Western civilization has seemingly tilted more and more towards elevation of the mind and devolution of the body. Despite our overly materialistic culture, we have trivialized the value of our own external beauty. We look at Hollywood with both awe and contempt for it’s emphasis on the esthetic. I argue that this is a major reason todays Hollywood stars go to such lengths to promote and participate in philanthropic causes. It is a compensatory instinct to show themselves and the world that their exquisite physique is not an indication of a self-indulged character. A healthy body is seen as a selfish persuit.
We are trying to deny our natural affinity to beauty. Whether motivated by religious conservatism or an altruistic attempt at non-prejudice, we try to ignore the fact that the beauty that is a physically fit human body is something we are drawn to. Behaviorists have proven that if we look good, we will feel good. Studies have also shown that those who are more attractive are often more successful. A persons success, provided that it is acheived by honest means, can be an indicator of their level of self respect and happieness. Dennis Prager, author of Happieness is a Serious Problem, argues that happieness is a moral obligation. When a person is unhappy, it spreads to and offends others just like bad breath or body odor. Physical fitness can also spread and positively affect both the self and others. A fit and visually pleasing body is a catalyst in the feed-back loop that is self improvement and for a lucky few, self actualization.
One of the biggest fears of the aging individual is the loss of independance in any capacity. The assumption is that we will all someday become the grandparents we remember pushing in their wheelchair, feeding lunch to, or maybe even bathing. The body deteriorates not by a fixed timeline but by a decending curve affected by the imposed demands of day to day living. It is easy to label ourselves weak and feeble however we must realize that doing so is a life sentance to a steady loss of independance. After a certain age in early adulthood, we are all in decline. The beauty of it is, that with the right habits and knowledge of human kinetics, we get to determine from which height we will begin our decline. The more excuses we make for ourselves, the more time we will spend relying on others to perform our activities of daily living. Let us all embark on the mission to improve our ADL fitness!