Staying fit & healthy as we age
Updated: Jun 14, 2021
This is Dave, my father-in-law. He is 70 years old - but you would never know when you see him in action! He is fitter and healthier than many 30 year olds. He doesn't just slide down the sand dunes in his spare time (although he does enjoy that) - what keeps him looking and feeling his best, is being active. He walks and runs 4 times a week, swims in the ocean every day in summer, plays golf twice a week and has a daily stretching routine.
When I asked him about his secret, he said: "I think it is doing regular exercise without overdoing it, keeping busy with hobbies and sports , fishing , travel etc and associating with positive people and not listening to negatives. Keeping up with things, news, internet, email, cell phone technology etc. Living for today and not worrying too much about the future or the past and most definitely not worrying about what people think or say about you. Also having a lot of love in my life from my wife and family."
Dave is a great example of aging to perfection and a role model to all of us who know him. I want to be just as fit and healthy when I'm 70 - and that's coming around sooner than I'd like!
There is no escaping getting older. None of us have a choice in that matter. But we do have a choice when it comes to how we age.
The choices we make on a daily basis will determine how we age. The groundwork has to start when we are younger. Getting into healthy habits early on, will set us up for a better future.
How do you create healthy habits?
The good news is that anyone can create new habits. Even if you don't do any exercise at the moment, or if you are used to eating processed food/fast food/take-a-ways most of the time, or if you tend to be a bit negative sometimes - it is never too late to start healthier habits.
For a habit to stick, it needs to impart a meaningful reward in our brains. The reward for any new habit that you wish to implement needs to be immediate and tangible. This means that you need to find healthy foods you actually enjoy eating, physical activities you like doing, routines you enjoy repeating and spend your time making these as convenient and accessible as possible.
As you focus on adding more rewards (better nutrition, more hydration, more sleep, more movement), change feels more natural. This is because your decisions are based on values and enjoyment, instead of restrictions.
The question you need to ask yourself is "What can I do today, that will make a difference for tomorrow?"