Here is a definition of the word “STAMINA”: the ability to sustain prolonged physical or mental effort.
If asked the question: “Given a 1 out of 10 scale, with “10” being an incredibly high level of stamina and “0” being essentially no ability to sustain prolonged physical or mental effort, how would YOU rate your level of stamina?
Personally, my answer to this question would look quite different depending on my stage of life. As a late teen/early 20 year old, the answer would be “10-plus”. In medical school and residency with the crazy demands of nights without any sleep, stress in taking care of critically ill patients in the hospital and other physical and mental stressors, my stamina to handle all was quite high. Fast forward to my 60s? No way in the world do I have the stamina to handle all of the situations that I did decades ago. My suspicion is that many of you would have a similar answer: Stamina, over the years, tends to fade, slowly but surely.
Our physical and mental health play large roles in our overall stamina. Specifically focusing on weight control, there is no doubt that being overweight/obese impacts the cardiopulmonary symptoms impacting our stamina for physical activities. Joint and musculoskeletal problems are exacerbated by poor weight control and this will lower our stamina for physical activity. From a “mental effort” standpoint, obesity tends to produce fatigue, narcolepsy and over time, increases the risk of developing dementia. Therefore “stamina” in mental efforts is adversely impacted by poor weight control.
We cannot turn back the clocks to rediscover the very high stamina we felt in our much younger years. However, by controlling weight, we will all notice a significant improvement of our stamina “score”. We may never reach a perfect “10” again, but a “7” sure feels much better than a “2”.
AND…wanna go back to your 1980’s stamina? Watch this “Lets Get Physical” video by Olivia Newton John