Use these simple guidelines for staying active and strong as you get older.
For those unaware, my sardonic attempts get the best of me and on many occasions, I have been guilty of a "few" puns. Case in point, my book "R-Factor for Golf" that within a few pages announced it had little to do (an overstatement) with the game but was more about learning to be a "closer" in the sales profession. I followed that book up with my release in 2007 "With Grace" that concerned middle-aged fitness. In the introduction, I succinctly stated that I have little experience with "common" middle-aged issues and have the activity level, in all facets of life, of someone half my age. The title of the book was in fact a pun because I have no intention of "growing old with grace" and throughout my life will shoot towards the victor's podium in everything I do.
In hindsight, my proclamation probably should have been saved for a marketing effort but nonetheless the point is I know little of common problems of middle age as I, along with my clients, are too busy "not aging."
While sixteenth century explorer Ponce de León's search for the "fountain of youth" proved fruitless, I believe I have found the hidden elixir for lifelong health, virility and even competitive athletics.
Every aspect of life gets much better as you age, with the provision that you take care of yourself in the years leading up and continue throughout your days. Whether it's improved career opportunities for those who are proactive in their development, better tactical knowledge within sporting actions, or simply understanding how your body works within physical training, life improves.
In what is possibly the most perfunctory point I can make, given the fact that much of the pharmaceutical industry markets to middle aged men assuming they are plagued with ED and consider exercise as a brisk walk in the park, I wish to stress for those dedicated to healthier living every aspect of life will improve.
As a lifelong competitive athlete, I believe I am living proof and though I have shunned such marketing approaches, my activity base in both my career and sport defy those in their early twenties. With utmost respect, the reason for these results is a proactive approach, with a positive mindset and a few general rules. Each of these ten general rules applies to middle-aged athletes or someone merely hold back the aging process. Though some might seem minor, they play a major role in how you not only look at life but how you physically age.
1. Life is meant to be lived
Though I admit this is cliché, life is meant to be lived with passion. If you are not following your passion in life, search it out. Do what you do, whatever that maybe to the best of your abilities. People who are passionate about what they are doing have a different jump to their step.
2. Rust settles
Very simple, parts that do not move attract rust. The easy solution is keep moving. Without exception, mobility work should be done on a daily basis. Throughout the entire "In Search of Power" series at ProSource, mobility of the hips and trunk and core strength are emphasized, each key areas that are often overlooked in common exercise regimes. Ensure all training recognizes "keeping parts" moving with optimal flexibility and joint integrity.
3. Forget diet, enjoy cuisine
Food is the most powerful drug in the world but the majority of people eat table scraps I would feel guilty shovelling into the family pets bowl. Appreciate quality food, prepared properly and eat with moderation. As with all the rules in the "Simplicity" article series, make sure you enjoy meals as a form of fellowship with family, in a peaceful setting (without texting, television and any other distractions) and never eat fast food. The final point is very serious because if you want to speed up the aging process and be well on your well to a constricted life, fast food will do it to you. Eliminate it or be forewarned of a difficult future ahead.
I strongly advise professional, third-party review of exercise regimes to ensure training regimes do not sway too far in one direction. Typically, most long-term exercise enthusiasts perform resistance exercises they "enjoy" and even most professional coaches utilize programs without understanding they are building in muscular imbalances. Within many settings, this results in the standard middle-aged male physique, no legs and a pigeon chest, ala an inverted triangle. Though all my programs are heavily leg / hip based, I cannot express this issue more as we age. Programs must stress leg and trunk strength, while stressing joint integrity and free range of motion. Furthermore, work with mediums that stress eye hand coordination, i.e. Medicine Balls, should have an even greater emphasis. Oddly, while much of the exercise world presses users towards machine-based work the lack of stimuli towards stabilizing, tactile response of both hands and feet, works against the needs of the mature athlete.
5. Be Strong
Build physical strength with both an understanding of lowering explosive tendencies while being aware of muscle recruitment issues. This will be no surprise to a regular reader of mine but balance explosive work (i.e. "Squat Power") with training that emphasizes relative and static strength ("In Search of Power"), while keeping abreast of potential recruitment issues ("Diagnostic Testing").
Learn to push back from the daily grind and super connectivity of the modern world. A number of years ago I was asked to speak to a group of extremely high earners about dealing with their various health problems. One of the many first steps was cutting down availability and not always have their mobile phone on. There is a time and place to be working and equally enjoying life with family.
7. Participate and have fun
You really do not have to dominate a sporting activity like the boardroom. Give yourself the latitude of simply enjoying being active. You will read a great deal of scientific data on optimal heart rate during exercise but generally, when you are participating in healthy activities, it is not a concern. Quite obviously, participating means turning the television set off and instead of watching "reality tv", live it. There has never been a time like the present to experience the world, so turn the TV off for a few months, if not for good and find out how much you have been missing.
I am admittedly a "gear head" who enjoys fine automobiles or maybe they "enjoy me". I have given more than a few interviews while going through my ritual of getting under the hood for a proper tune-up and any car I own, keeps running through the years. The secret is only using top quality parts, regular check-ups and timely replacement for anything of concern. For yourself, this is likely the broadest area as you must consider the "details" of quality food, supplementation ("Renegade Stack"), living in a clean environment and ensuring your life is "balanced", such that your goals can be attained. This is an extremely broad area that can and should be expanded upon but it needs to include proper hygiene, dental care as well as environmental health of controllable issues such as cleaning products within your home.
9. Expand the mind
Many may be wondering why I am I talking of the mind where they're thinking of purely physical notions. However, training cognitive functions and stimulating the learning process has an extraordinary impact upon anti-aging. My history of teaching Chess to young Football ("Soccer") players / coaches is well known but this should be adopted unilaterally throughout school systems and up. You are never too old to learn and along with forays into new languages and literary classics, go to a dance class or learn a musical instrument; you will create a healthy mind along with a body. This is not a "feel good" activity but instead how to look and think of life with a youthful step always.
Ensure your training and overall lifestyle is congruent to your goals. Create a total plan in life that works harmoniously towards your goals.
Ponce de León's search for the "fountain of youth" may have come up empty but following the above ten-point plan will put you on the road a healthier, more active life always. In ensuing articles in this series, we will dig deeper into each section and how you can make them a part of your life and not simply maintain your youth but go in the hunt for the victor's podium while everyone else readies for the golden years. Then you can join me, because I'm not riding into any damn sunset With Grace.