Getting old, weak, and frail.
Getting weak and fatter.
Getting sick constantly.
Getting older and sleeping less.
These seem to be accepted as the “norm” by many, but why?
While we cannot stop the clock from aging us in years, we can slow down and even reverse everything that comes with it.
As we age, we get busier. We have jobs, kids, more responsibilities, etc. I get it.
But why does this all of a sudden give rise to the idea that gaining weight, getting weak, and having a lower quality of life is part of the path we are meant to walk?
I work with, and have worked with, many clients in their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and even 80’s who have improved their overall health by leaps and bounds.
A passive life is a life doomed for failure and suffering. The only person you can truly blame for this decline is yourself. This is the first step to righting the ship. This is not meant to shame you, this is meant to motivate you. Change is now, and change is good.
1) Accept that your current state, if you don’t like it, is from years of passiveness.
Maybe you got caught up in a job, raising a family, etc. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, it is just what probably happened. You let yourself go. The first step is realizing it, and deciding that today is the day to make a change.
It’s like that co worker down the hall who has seemed to always have that persistent cough and sniffle. They have accepted that this is what they will have on a day to day basis, and maybe it doesn’t bug them anymore. Meanwhile, you just want to march down there with a box of tissues and cold medicine because they clearly aren’t doing anything to fix it.
Look at yourself from the perspective of others. What do they see?
Audit your lifestyle. Are you happy with you health? Your life? How you feel when you get out of bed?
You don’t need a fancy gym, tons of super expensive food, or magic powders and pills to change it either – you just need to put your foot down and make a commitment – NOW.
2) Get Active
Start with walking. If you can’t walk because of injuries – get on a bike. You can find gym memberships for $10 per month and have access to everything you need.
Work on increasing your cardiovascular endurance through walking even 5 minutes a day. Start SOMEWHERE. By just moving a little more each day, you will start seeing the benefits, and start the ball rolling towards reversing your self neglect from years of no work.
Get an inexpensive pedometer like this one -> http://amzn.to/2hNpsK9 and track your steps. Aim to increase your daily average by 10% until you consistently hit 10,000+ steps per day.
To be honest, exercise and movement doesn’t matter as much as diet. It’s the truth that no one wants to hear.
However, it is usually the easier of the two to adopt, and can lead to a snowball effect of health, eventually triggering changes in diet. So start moving more, and start thinking about some little changes you could make down the road…
3) Get Strong
Weight training is not just for people in their 20s and 30s. Like I stated earlier, I have helped many people, 50+ years old, get stronger and thus improve their quality of life and increase chances for longer independence well into their 80’s and 90’s.
Start with body weight work, and machines. Track your reps and weights, and try to improve in some way each week. Even one more rep, or 2 more pounds, over time can make a huge difference.
What’s the number one reason people need to move into an assisted living home?
Because they cannot stand up on their own. Strengthen your legs, your core, your grip, your arms, and you will be on the path to longevity instantly.
3) Eat “like a grown up”.
This is preached by world renowned strength coach, Dan John. Eat like a grown up.
Lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, high fiber carbs, and healthy fats – these should be the staples of your diet.
Drink tons of water, and I mean TONS.
Cut the fast food, skip the sugary foods, and lay off the booze a little – and you will instantly find your health, immune function, sleep cycle, and life improving.
Start with one meal at a time, or even one side dish at a time. Swap out french fries for veggies, or pop tarts for eggs. Small changes make for big results.
We need to stop living passively through our lives. We are where we are right now because of ourselves, no one else.
To be there for our spouses, kids, grandkids, but most importantly – ourselves – is the best investment one can make for the future.
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Stay healthy my friends,