If you’re like me, you want to live a long, healthy life with the ability to take care of yourself for the long haul. My goal is to live a life beyond the gym walls into my 100’s! I feel that with modern medicine, this is totally possible. I know it will take consistent work to try to maintain my overall fitness and mobility. But, now that I am in my early 40’s, my views on working out have changed.
Unlike my 20’s where I wanted to pack on slabs of muscle. I now value simple daily movement, basic strength training, intense conditioning, healthy nutritional habits, good sleep, and daily meditation. I feel that the media and social influences drive us to believe that we have to work out like bodybuilders or professional athletes. But the reality is most of us have obligations and responsibilities that don’t allow the time required to work out like that. I also believe this confusion has led to many people not starting a workout program.
Simplifying the Process
Working out does not have to be an all-or-nothing approach. Many times we feel that we have to go all in and join a gym or buy a high dollar home gym to get a valuable workout in. Usually, just starting a walking program is what the doctor ordered. Once someone can become consistent at walking, then start to add more steps daily. The Mayo Clinic recommends adding 1000 extra steps every 2 weeks. And since most Americans only get between 3000 and 4000 steps a day, it may take you a couple of months to work up to the recommended 10,000 steps per day.
While you are adding in some extra daily steps, it’s a great time to work on your strength. Walking is good for our hearts and our minds, but it will not be the cure for losing muscle. Adding some basic strength training can help you build and maintain your muscle and strength. Our biggest threat to aging is losing muscle mass. As we age, we typically lose 3-5% of our muscle per decade after age 40. We can’t stop this from happening, but we can slow it down.
Doing simple exercises at home can be the start of a new you. Bodyweight exercises can be a great start if you are doing nothing at all. Here is a simple program I give new clients not accustomed to strength training.
Each exercise can be completed in 8-12 reps. Start on the lower end for 1 set and after a few weeks of performing these movements as you increase reps each week, add another set and decrease your reps again to 8. Work on controlled motion and quality movement before you try to increase speed.
Nutrition Does Not Have to Be Complicated
I’m sure you heard that you have to be on a diet to lose weight. The reality is you can eat what you want without feeling guilty about it. For several years we have worked with registered dietitian Jessika Brown, she created the Fuel Plan to help people navigate the muddy waters of nutrition. Often you may hear that you can’t eat that, or that food is bad for you, etc. In the past, I was one of those people telling you those lies. But then I discovered a healthy relationship with food and I changed my outlook on good versus bad food.
I learned not to restrict myself of the foods I like, I just had to be conscious of how much I was eating and how it made me feel. The Fuel Plan helped make me aware of my intake. Jessika created my customized Fuel Plan that had simple checkoff items. This became my guide to a healthy relationship with food. I did this because I wanted to get healthier for myself and my family, but I did not want to try another diet. I saw myself change my outlook on food and my body composition improved I was all in.
Jessika and I started to create the Fuel Plan app in early 2020. After almost 2 years of working with an app development company, we finally have an app that will help you change your view on nutrition. Follow the link above to find out more. In the future, I will dedicate more blog posts just to this.
The combination of movement and mindfulness can be traced back 5,000 years to the practice of yoga. Even though I practice yoga on occasion, my daily movement is built around taking my joints through active ranges of mobility. Oftentimes I meditate while actively working on my mobility. This 2 for 1 approach allows me to save time and focus on 10-15 minutes of daily mindful movement. While this may not be the best way to meditate, I have found that this approach allows me to get through my practice while not getting carried away and spending too much time stretching. My morning routine video.
Bringing It All Together
This was a broad view of our Athlete Centered Approach, each component is integral to making a long-lasting change. I always recommend taking it one step at a time and focusing on what’s important now. Look deep within yourself and ask the question, “what will impact me the most?” For some, just changing your nutritional habits will be the best approach. For others, adding daily movement will be the best step to take.
If you are unsure where to start, schedule a free strategy session. These can be done in person or virtually if you don’t live in Albuquerque. We have a specialist in each area of the Athlete Centered Approach (Movement, Nutrition, Sleep, Mindfulness, and Recovery).