As a 35-year-old, you would think that I would enjoy being around other 35-year-olds, doing 35-year-old type of things, having a 35-year-old type of life. Yet, the majority of the people I surround myself with are 50 and older.
Part of this has to do with the fact that, at Thriveology, most of our Members are between the ages of 50 and 55. But the other part of the reason why I enjoy being around this group so much is because they have wisdom.
Wisdom is something that comes with age. Wisdom is not simply education. If you want education, you can buy a book or go to school or listen to podcasts.
If you want wisdom, on the other hand, you need to do something and ingrain yourself in something for a long time. And, at 50 and beyond, these people have been through a lot and seen a lot. So, selfishly I guess, there is a ton I can learn from them.
However, there’s one area that this demographic has been consistently poor at gaining wisdom in. And that’s health & fitness.
It’s certainly not for a lack of trying, though. I would imagine that the average person in their 50s has attempted at least 5 fad diets, tried multiple exercise programs and maybe, just maybe, dabbled in meditation once or twice.
But what really led to this consistent poor performance? If you’re in your 50s, why do you have such a hard time figuring out their health & fitness? I’m here to tell you, it’s not your fault…
How the Popularity of Health & Fitness Became the Downfall of a Generation
If you look back over the decades, there are certain themes that stick out. For instance, in the 40s it was WWII, in the 50s it was the Boom, in the 60s it was the hippies and so on. Well, that time for health & fitness was the late 70s and early 80s.
It all began with the running craze in the 70s. And then Jane Fonda showed up with her tights and thigh master in the 80s and popularized aerobics. At the same time the modern idea of the “fitness center” was popping up all over the place, primarily driven by the bodybuilding culture. So many options for anybody who was looking to jump in on this new thing called “fitness”.
Someone who is 52 today was born in 1967. And in the early 80s, that person was in their early teens, right at the time when we are most likely to be influenced by the world around us.
So, being a teen during a time when health and fitness were becoming popular, they were pulled in so many different directions. From running to aerobics to low-fat diets to the Atkins Diet to HIT training and everywhere in between. Basically, if you’re in your 50s today, you’re probably so confused when it comes to health & fitness, you’re not sure which way is up and which way is down.
But Are Things Really Any Different Today?!
Of course, that makes it sound like things are better today than they were back then. When, in fact, the opposite is more likely true.
Since the fitness boom in the 80s, more and more diet and exercise fads have come and gone, only making the matter more confusing. What do you focus on? What should you eat? How often should you workout? Should I stretch more or strength train more?
Although professionals in the fitness industry have a clearer understanding of what works and what doesn’t, if, like most people, you’re not a fitness expert, all you can hope for is guidance.
What You Should Really Be Focusing on Instead
Hopefully, by reading this article, you’ll have a more defined vision of what path you should be taking to improve your health and fitness as well. Because, despite popular belief, you can feel better and should feel better. Whether you’re 45, 55, or 65, you can have more energy, have fewer aches and pains, and, if you do a few more things right, even lose weight.
But it does take a little bit of a mind shift. And that mind shift begins by focusing on the areas that I’ll discuss next. Now, keep in mind, I’m not giving you specific actions steps that you need to take. Instead, these are 3 ideas that you need to ingrain in your thinking as you pursue your health and fitness from this day forward.
#1) You need to build mobility, endurance and strength…they’re all important!
If you ask a powerlifter what’s the most important thing to focus on to improve your health, they’ll probably tell you getting stronger. If you ask a Yogi the same question, they’ll probably tell you stretching and getting more flexible.
The irony is, that powerlifter probably has mobility issues and can’t lift his arms over his head because he’s strength trains too much. And the Yogi can’t pick up a 10lb bag of dog food because they’re too busy stretching.
The next time you go to a “fitness professional” and they tell you that you need to do this one thing to improve your health, turn and run away as quickly as you can. Because it’s not just one thing that you need. You need mobility so you can move when you’re 80 years old. You need strength so you can pick up a bag of groceries without throwing out your back. And you need endurance so you can walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded.
It’s all important. You just need to decide which one you might want to focus on the most.
#2) Improving your health & fitness has to become your life’s work
After years and years of being sold quick fixes, it’s understandable that we all want results NOW! Not next week. Not next month. And, goodness forbid, not next year. We want results TODAY!
And, although you can and should see results pretty quick from a quality training program, you need to shift your mind from short-term thinking to long-term success. Because this is a marathon, my friend. This is not a sprint (ironically, again, I would strongly suggest running sprints over running marathons for improving your health…just an FYI).
So, you need to ingrain this into your life. If you’re in your 50s, you’ve spent most of your life for somebody else. Maybe that’s your family or kids or work. But now is time for YOU to spend time on YOU. Because without YOU around, the rest of it doesn’t matter!
#3) Stop thinking you can do it on your own
As Albert Einstein once said, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Well, if you look back at your attempts to improve your health, what do you see?
We all think we can do things on our own, especially when it comes to making healthy decisions. But history shows us that this is simply not the case.
Go into your local Globo Gym, for instance. You see those 75 treadmills they have lined up? Why do you think they have so many? Because they’re the most effective piece of equipment you can use? Wishful thinking.
No, they have 75 treadmills because that’s what WE THINK is useful. And that’s where everybody ends up, is on the treadmill, walking and walking and chatting and watching.
Instead, decide to take your health seriously. Because it is a serious matter. Without your health, you have nothing. Take it seriously by hiring a coach. Take it seriously by finding a facility that cares about who YOU are, not about scraping $10 away from you in hopes that you don’t show up.
You are worth it. You need guidance. And, if you take drastic steps, you will feel better than you ever have before. It won’t be “cheap” and it certainly won’t be a quick fix. But if you decide to spend some real time and money on your health, you’ll live a strong, thriving life to 80, 90 and beyond.
Are you in your 50s (or close to it!) and ready to build healthier habits into your lifestyle?
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