As we move into middle age we’re bombarded with untold multitudes of things we’re either supposed to do or not do in order to live a long and healthy life. It’s a veritable sea of options and apparent black holes that we need to consider and/or avoid. Where the hell do you start?
Well, one safe bet is to MOVE. Movement is the key to life. It’s required to do anything and everything. So why do we stop moving as we get older? Because we get tired faster? Because our bodies “aren’t what they used to be”? Because it’s a bother? Yes, but that doesn’t mean you should stop. Face it – we’re moving downhill now. It’s only a question of how much you want to slow that slide down and delay the leap to your great reward.
Pick something that appeals to you and do it for at least 10-12 weeks. See how you feel. See what difference (or not) it makes. Then adjust and augment what you’re doing with more/less/different things.
For years I have been following the exercise programs in “You are Your Own Gym” to what I felt were great results. I never bothered with anything aerobic. I hated walking, keeping a “why walk when you can drive” attitude all these years. And despite my wife long-ago advocating it as a wonderful and healthy exercise to do, it took me reading it “in a book” to suddenly decide to try it. A year and a half ago, I read “Younger Next Year“, a book for geezers looking to age gracefully. It resonated for some reason (I’d argue it’s because my wife laid the groundwork, but she won’t buy it) and I started following its guidelines around walking – doing it 4 times a week for at least 2 miles a stretch. I’ve been pretty diligent at hitting that mark and have been feeling great and getting passing grades from my Physician (“Dr. Jelly Finger” to all of us over 40!)
But about 2 months ago I realized my body weight exercises had suffered. So now I’m doing both. Striving to do 4 walks of 2 plus miles per every week AND 4 different sessions of body weight exercises from “You Are Your Own Gym“. It’s harder than you think and I admit only last week did I finally achieve the elusive “8 in a week” goal that I’d been striving for (hey man… you try raising 3 kids in their pre-teens after you’ve cracked the big 5-0 and tell me how much time you have).
The secret? There isn’t any. Last week is last week. This week I’ve got to to it again.