5 steps to stay fit for the rest of your life

5 steps to stay fit for the rest of your life


A couple of hot shots, if you will: Fitness can be free and fitness can be permanent

Both can be read as extravagant, or at least, at odds with today’s world of albatross subscriptions and tomorrow’s certainty of neuromuscular decline. It’s almost easier to imagine personal fitness as something expensive and glorious in its transience. It takes a lot on your wallet and energy, peaks somewhere in your 20s, then exits stage left. Maybe you got a PR or a photo out of it.

But there’s another way, which starts with recalibration of your understanding of what being fit should look like (and look like). We argue that fitness has little to do with running marathons, and even less to do with taking off your shirt at the beach. It’s simply the freedom to move at whatever level your body will allow in its lifetime.

When you reduce fitness to this level, it’s clear you don’t Need do anything. You don’t need to try a spin class or take a cold dip. You Obtain to build your own version of keeping fit, pulling all the levers that interest you, observing some principles that are relevant for everyone.

This is where that first bullet comes into play: the more fitness becomes a part of your rote and essential identity, and the less an unpaid/guilt trip expense on your credit card statement, the more permanent your well-being will become. . Meanwhile, you’ll almost certainly spend less money on fitness in the process.

How do you go about it, anyway? We volunteer five timeless precepts for lifelong strength and mobility, with an emphasis on routines that are accessible and affordable (if they cost anything).

A key point to remember: these are buildings. Think of this guide as the wall that surrounds your city, standing in the way of marauders and tornadoes that conspire to bring everything down (travel plans, raising children, unexpected illnesses). Once you learn to embrace and appreciate these steps, the buildings within your city are your own design. They can represent whatever you want to do with your fitness (running, pickleball, Muay Thai). Life is long, fitness is fun, the sky’s the limit.

1. Never stop walking

One of the best ways to dramatically reduce your risk of all-cause mortality and CVD is also one of the simplest. Take a walk. There’s a reason wellness writers, including this one, diligently cover seemingly common-sense studies (walking fast is good for the heart, walking in green space is good for the brain) Ad nauseum.

It’s because walking is just so effective. Getting used to it has always been a good idea, and doing it in such a sedentary age as this is almost revolutionary. We like how editable it is. Excuse the Seussian nature of this list, but think about it: there are lunch walks, friends walks, digestive walks, running walks, microadventure walks in new parks or cities, constitutional walks when you need a break from work, at sunset walks.

The activity is equally receptive to your physical and psychological needs, which is rare in the personal fitness space. This makes him more of a companion than a boogeyman and an excellent method to control oneself while benefiting from the sheer act of movement. We implore you to take a daily walk (of any variety, in any weather), a flawless part of your routine and your personality.

2. Honor Zones

If staying fit simply means a lifetime of long walks to you, you’d be in good company. Look to ambition-obsessed Japan, the nation with the highest concentration of centenarians and a not-so-high percentage of gym enrollments. (The average Japanese person now takes 6,500 steps a day; however, in a Rakuten Insight survey, more than half of Japanese respondents, aged 20 to 60, said they get little exercise.)

The body does they will benefit from dedicated training sessions, though. There is no doubt about this. We just seem a little undecided about how long, intense and frequent they should be. This tends to lead to intimidation, or inaction, or both.

It helps to think about exercise (and especially resistance training) in the context of your heart rate zones. The majority of your training should ideally involve lazy workouts or long stretches spent at 60-70% of your maximum heart rate. For four days a week, at about 45 minutes a session, you’ll want to move your body enough to get your heart rate into Zone 2. This might involve a well-paced walk, an easy jog, a cycle over rolling hills, or even a cross country skiing.

In the running world, this level of intensity is sometimes called a talking pace. That’s an appropriate phrase, as we also like to think of Zone 2 as a workout pace at which you could actually process and enjoy a podcast. Password: have fun. Done right (and regularly) hanging out in Zone 2 is a pleasure.

Since relaxed movement forms the backbone of your weekly movement, you’re only looking at one or two (depending on your fitness goals) sessions of more intense fare. Journey through zones 4 and 5 through a heart-pounding HIIT class, intervals at a local trail, ride an assault bike Should be sparing and intentional, or you run the risk of overtraining or injury. That said: Top-level efforts are a welcome opportunity to lose yourself in a challenge and an excellent indicator of fitness progress.

These sessions can be extremely short, even 10 minutes or less. How about a deal? You only need to push yourself to 80-90% of your maximum heart rate for less than 1% of your week.

One final bonus: While getting used to all these numbers and what it takes to get in and out of them may seem like the domain of enthusiastic fitness types, HR wearables are as ubiquitous as ever. Without too much thought or effort, you can now understand yourself better and program that knowledge into your life. Make sure you’re signed in to the Health app on your phone.

To get started, remember: Your maximum HR will be approximately 220 minus your age. Then multiply that accordingly, depending on your goals for the specific workout. The numbers will change with age. All right. Getting old doesn’t mean losing shape.

3. Prioritize bodyweight exercises

Of course: no matter how permanent your fitness, muscle mass is objectively guaranteed to melt away. It declines at a rate of up to 8% every decade beyond age 30, and that process only accelerates beyond age 60. The clinical term (sarcopenia) encompasses a variety of risks related to aging: loss of strength, decrease in bone density, stiffness, curvature of the spine, etc.

But if you make strength training a regular part of your fitness regimen for even one or two sessions a week, you’ll be strengthening your muscles and bones for the long haul, while reaping all those short-term benefits you’ve been looking for. , however, how to look good in a fitted shirt.

What should these sessions be like? It depends on you. You might get a gym membership and lift with the usual rack of weights, or get into unconventional training tools like sledgehammers, sleds, and sandbags. For long-term fitness, however, we prefer bodyweight movements. You may know them as calisthenics: push-ups, squats, pull-ups, lunges, parallel dips, burpees, etc. Some reasons why we prefer them:

  • They do a lot with a little. One study (on trainees over the age of 60!) found that calisthenics can increase power by 15% in just 10 months.
  • They force functional movements, which recruit lots of muscles and simulate real-world pushing/pulling
  • They are easier on the joints
  • They are editable, you can make them easier or harder depending on your energy levels or training tenor
  • And they are also portable. You can perform Rhythmic Gymnastics anywhere, anytime. Think about how destabilizing a week of travel can involve a few body weight moves that leaning on could make all the difference.

When planning a calisthenics workout, settle on six exercises or so. For each exercise, aim for three to five sets of at least 10 repetitions. Keep an open mind to exercises you haven’t tried yet, in order to keep things fresh (and mentally acknowledge that the one you always avoid is the one that’s most likely to make you stronger).

4. Shock yourself

While a mix of walking, zone work, and bodyweight training is a pretty potent recipe for lifelong fitness, it’s essentially guaranteed that you’ll be bored with some aspects of this routine. There are two ways to mortgage this inevitability: (a) make it part of your identity (more on that in a sec), and (b) amaze yourself.

Shocking yourself, exercise-wise, could mean going on a great hike, trying an animal-style workout, or taking a martial arts class. Think of them like field trips to fitness; you open yourself up to the occasional new way of moving and sweating, basically, while trusting that your bigger daily fitness picture will be there when you get back. If you find that you much prefer whatever exercise it is, then that’s great too – you may have come across an autotelic activity. These are candidates for flow status activities that you truly enjoy, feel intrinsically motivated to do, and love to do for their sake.

In a study published three years ago, researchers from the United States and Spain found that when trainees opened up to new moves or exercise patterns, they reported feeling much more motivated to exercise. (The researchers called this muscle confusion, where the term is used as a positive.)

Similar to Zone 4 or 5 efforts, these are opportunities to test your fitness or, at the very least, discover how all that diligent maintenance translates into different focus. They are mental refreshments disguised as physical challenges. As always, it’s important to recognize your limits and rest/recharge accordingly once the day is done.

5. Make it part of your identity

However: Automation is a good thing and boredom is better than none. It’s possible to get to a point where you don’t think much about fitness (let alone stress about it) you may just need to think Very about it at the beginning, when you first start.

That’s because, for so many of us, lifelong fitness requires an initial seismic shift in identity. You need to start telling yourself a different story about yourself. You I am a person who goes for a walk after lunch. You Do spend 180 minutes cycling every week. As these mantras turn into fact and slowly become intertwined with your sense of self, it will become increasingly difficult for you to skip your healthier habits.

Also, don’t be surprised when this accumulation infects (in the most positive way!) other aspects of your life. You’ll fidget more, stretch more, sleep more. The exercise is self-propagating; even on rest days, your commitment to movement will find you in the garden, by the sea before dawn or on a walk in the woods. The more you succeed, the less you will realize that you are doing it. And your mood, mobility, and biomarkers will go in the right direction along the way.

#steps #stay #fit #rest #life
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