Tag Archives: aging and fitness

Bottoms up…cause old age is a gamble

It comes down to this:

All those hours at the gym, healthy food choices, cutting back on the alcohol, quitting cigarettes… might not help you live longer.

…but, don’t stop trying, just in case it does.

That’s the message from researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.  Their findings indicate many centenarians have plenty of bad habits, and yet they keep going, making a case for genetics over lifestyle choices.

Keep in mind, currently only 1 in every 4,400 Americans makes it to 100. And although there is a strong case for genetics keeping these people going strong, the life expectancy in the US has jumped almost 10 years to 78.7 since the 1960s. This overall prolonged life is, in part, due to modern medicine and current health knowledge and prevention.

So, while the lucky genetic mutants may have bet the house and won, until researchers can figure out exactly why and apply it to the masses, they recommend you keep on that healthy eating and exercise regime. Damn.

Making Movement a Habit

Regular exercise is the only well-established fountain of youth, and it’s free. What, I’d like to know, will persuade the majority of Americans who remain sedentary to get off their duffs and give their bodies the workout they deserve? – Jane E Brody NY TIMES

The exacerbation in the writer’s voice in the article: “Even More Reasons to Get a Move On” is palatable. It is the frustration and dilema American’s face everyday.

This article is clear and concise. Exercise offers big benefits and little concerns. It’s a win win, but how to get people to do it?

If I had a nickel for every time I tried to get a client to do a few minutes of exercise a day…

In the same breath, I understand how hard it can be to stop and take time to do something for yourself.

It becomes less about the activity and more about learning how to create a new habit.

So, how DO you create a new habit?

Psyblog has a nice article about the science behind forming habits.

Most of the habit forming suggestions come down to:  1. defining exactly what the habit is, 2. list the benefits the new habit will bring to your life, 3. list the negatives if you don’t create the new habit,  and 4. remove roadblocks to new habit 5.commit to 3 weeks of new said habit.

This is a relative battle between each person and their habit. I think there is much more involved to truly make fitness habitual.  Some people do it in 21 days, others might take 100. Remember, we are talking habits, not temporary changes.

Here are 2 additional tips that will help make any fitness habit more successful:

6. Start small. If you could do 10 minutes to 20 minutes of exercise every morning – the time it takes for the coffee to brew – you could see and feel significant changes in your health and well-being over the course of one year.

7. Make sure it’s something you enjoy. I cannot stress this enough. If it feels like exercise, then it most likely won’t last. Listen to your gut and find that activity that will boost your heart rate and energy. Enjoying your new habit doesn’t mean it is always easy to get there everyday, but it must be something that once you are there and in the moment, you feel good.