By Erwan Le Corre, MovNat Founder
“Past forty, you’re done.” Who hasn’t heard such a statement multiple times? The belief is that aging is like a slow motion downfall with no hope or possibility of improving who we physically and physiologically are. I am so joyfully excited to debunk this myth right now!
Four decades ago, when I was young and going to public school, I remember one of my teachers telling the class that once we’ve reached adulthood, our physiological growth being complete, we would start losing brain cells daily, causing aging and, ultimately death. This was the scientific understanding of the time, and because it was scientifically supported, that was obviously the truth.
Neuroplasticity is the ability of our neural networks to change through growth and reorganization, which is how we learn so much and so quickly as young kids. Yet, science now shows that what was once thought to only take place during childhood, keeps taking place much later on in life. We still retain brain plasticity as adults, including in our old age, with such growth and reorganization of our neural networks being triggered by consistent, mindful practice…of literally any activity, from learning a new movement technique to learning a new language.
Whether we call it play, training, work, or practice – if the activity is sufficiently new, challenging, consistent and progressive – our neurology will modify itself to get more efficient at the activity. It shouldn’t come as a surprise when we modify and improve the biochemical and neural functioning of such a sophisticated part of our body as our brain, we can also gain muscle strength, cardiovascular endurance, mobility, bone density, greater balance, coordination, reflexes, and so forth, regardless of chronological age. In short, we aren’t “done” until we are, but we are certainly “done” if we don’t keep growing in some way.
As the founder of MovNat and pushing 50 – next September – I am a living example of this. You may think that past 50, I might be “done.” Wrong. Let me tell you this: in the last year, I’ve been experiencing some of the greatest, fastest improvements ever in my decades of training and self-improvement. While I am not talking mostly about the physical realm, there’s definitely a tangible physical, physiological side to such progress that I want to share with you today as an exemplification of such growth potential later in life.
Whereas, at age 49, I still maintain quite great levels of both competency – the movement skills – and capacity – the physiological side of “fitness” – to retain the same levels of real-world physical capability for as long as I possibly can, last year, I started getting more specific about my training. You see, I have a passion for water, the ocean, and in particular, spearfishing. To improve my dive time while spearfishing, I began training static breath holding. That’s right, take a big breath and hold it as long as you can. In fact, your ability to move in the water, including holding your breath and diving below the surface while relying only on your own lungs, are both part of Natural Movement. The basics are taught at our MovNat Aquatics specialty courses. So, it never was something I did “on top of” or “on the side of” my MovNat training, but it’s always been a specific aspect of it.
In mid February of 2019, my maximum breath hold was 4 minutes long. Four months later, it was 7 minutes. Today, 8 months later, I can routinely do a 6 minute breath hold with such levels of relaxation that I won’t experience any spasm (forceful, uncontrolled diaphragmatic contraction).
Meanwhile, I can also dive to a depth of 40 meters (130 feet) on a single breath while pulling along a rope, which may take up to 3 minutes if I’m doing it slowly. Compared to elite levels, this is nothing overly special. Yet, such progress in such a short amount of time doesn’t happen by chance, especially for a nearly 50 years old guy. What do I owe this progress to?
- Consistent and confident intention: to achieve anything, you must firmly believe you can.
- Consistent and progressive training.
- Health: a healthy lifestyle supports all your life endeavors, be them athletic or something else. Sleep quality, frequent exposure to sunlight and nature, healthy food, positive thinking and so forth support mitochondrial levels, i.e your ability to produce energy and experience vitality.
- Last but not least, experience: I know my body and mind very intimately.
Aging is a reality. Yet I don’t intend to be “done” any time soon because I believe in growth regardless of age. With proper training and lifestyle considerations, we can be very capable well into old age. Today, my message for you is this: you, too, have INCREDIBLE potential, and I want you to really embrace this truth for yourself and to start believing in it! It’s never too late to begin anew, and you will begin unleashing your own growth potential the moment you decide to go for it!
P.S. Are you over age 50? If you want to maintain your movement abilities well into old age, please consider signing up for this special Level 1 Certification for ages 50+, with MovNat Team Instructor, Dr. Jon Morey.
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