When I was in my early thirties, I had a hamstring pull that took a while to heal.  It was so bad that it kept me sidelined from any competitive sports for a few years.  While it was frustrating not keeping my usual workout routine, what was even worse was that when I returned, I was shocked on how challenging it was to return to my previous form.  It was most noticeable when I tried to play basketball again.  The simple moves that I did before like dribbling and passing, I now had to learn again.  I think part of it was getting older, but it made me realize that even though I had done these moves my whole life, because I hadn’t done them in a few years, I had to learn them all over again.

 

What does this prove?  It tells us that if you don’t use general coordination activities, your body will forget how to do them.  I know most of us are past the stage of competitive sports, but this also proves true for completing daily functions.  If you haven’t tried them in a while, chances are you won’t be able to perform them again.  For example, when was the last time you jogged, caught a ball or something as simple as walking a straight line?  I bet if you haven’t tried them in a while, you won’t be able to perform them.  We can either ignore it and chalk it up to getting old, or else we can make sure we keep attempting them so the aging process slows.  Once you lose an ability for one simple task, it won’t be long before you lose the capacity to do an even easier function. 

 

For me, I had to learn to dribble the basketball with both my right and left hand, catch a ball while I wasn’t looking, jumping off one foot.  These are fairly advanced moves that I had to relearn.  When I realized how hard it was to teach myself again, I realized that I better make an effort to freshen up on some other simple functions to make sure I didn’t lose those abilities either. 

 

To sharpen my mind and coordination, I challenged myself to do simple routines differently.  One of the major ones included using my left hand instead of the right.  Instead of wiping the counter with your strong hand, use your other hand.  Use the weaker hand to carry your bags up the stairs.  I even did something as simple as putting the other hand on top while washing my hands.  All of these steps will sharpen your mind and coordination. 

 

If you really want to really challenge yourself, attempt something that you used to love but haven’t done recently.  When was the last time you did a cartwheel, jogged, jumped rope, tossed a baseball, threw a frisbee, or played tennis?  Work on mastering them again.  I bet that once you attain the skill level that that you did previously, you’ll feel younger in your heart, body and soul.

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