In 40 years I will be 70. I don't know about you, but when I’m 70 I want to be able to still move well. Many elderly men and women struggle with simple things such as getting out of their chair without assistance, they have a fear of kneeling on the ground because it’s very challenging to stand up again, the thought of walking to their local shop seems like an age old achievement.
Some think I am mad (usually those older than me) because I care so much about the 70 year old me, “You’re only 30 years old! You have nothing to worry about!” or “You have loads of time until you need to start worrying about stuff like that”.
Well, I beg to differ, it seems every year I get older, the faster that year seems to go and I think "what have I done to help 70 year old me." So it’s time to get ahead of the game and think about your health like your savings account, little and often over time is a lot easier than a huge effort later on.
Here are four things you can do to help yourself age gracefully and live a long AND healthy life:
1. Walk Every Day. Walking is one of the most valuable and underestimated forms of movement and it doesn't cost a penny! You don't need to be walking for hours each day, that can become time consuming and too much of anything is never good. Simply set yourself a minimum amount of time for your daily walk and stick to it. I would suggest 15-20 minutes and if you can do it during the daylight hours you get yourself a good dose of Vitamin D, BONUS! Researchers from Brigham And Women's Hospital in Boston reported those who walked briskly for 150 minutes each week lived 3.4 years longer than those who didn’t!
Find a friend or a Tribal Fitness buddy and encourage them to walk with you, or think about getting a furry friend, then you will also be positively impacting someone else's health. Walking every day can also help you manage your weight, improve blood pressure, and reduce your risk of developing cancer, heart disease, diabetes and osteoarthritis. Sounds good to me!
2. Get to Bed Early. The early bird catches the worm! Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise! Oldies but goodies that ring true, the human body produces a product called Human Growth Hormone (HGH) throughout the day and in larger doses at night. HGH is at its highest production level between the hours of 10 PM - 2 AM. This hormone is renowned for its ability to help your muscles recover, bones grow and fuel your immune system plus it helps turn your body into the fat burning machine we want it to be at night.
If you want to wake up feeling rested and recovered for you next Tribal Fitness session, try to get to sleep before 10 PM, otherwise you might turn into a pumpkin.
3. Resistance Training Weekly. At Tribal we believe that in order to have true health, our physical and mental conditioning should exceed the demands of our daily activity. For our average office worker who sits at a desk for eight hours a day, getting down to Tribal Fitness and training just three times per week would most certainly help them exceed their demands for daily activity. You can use your own body weight or lift weights to improve your overall strength and fitness. Resistance training will also improve your bone density and help you get off that chair without looking like a Grand-Dad when you are only 55!
4. Have a Positive Mindset. One of the expectations we have of our members at Tribal is to have or develop a positive mindset. Negative thoughts are like poison to our body. Your thoughts will have a huge impact on your life and none of us want to end up like Negative Uncle Norman! However, we don't always realize what we are thinking, or consider that our thoughts are negative until we surround ourselves with positive individuals and start being mindful of our thoughts.
So how can you become a Positive Pete? Awareness of our thoughts and language. Instead of “I can’t do a pull up” add in an extra word, “I can’t do a pull up yet”, even better “I can’t do a pull up yet but I will this year!”. Not only have you opened the door to positivity, you have allowed yourself to achieve more than you ever could before.
Whether you are 20 years old or 80 years old, it’s never too late to make a change. Due to the wonders of modern medicine we are able to live longer and longer, but what is living if we can’t move. Doctors and medicine are helping us survive, not thrive. Thriving is up to each of us. Walk often, sleep early, challenge yourself and do it all with a big fat smile on your face!