Workouts of the Future
I was chatting with Scott before a recent Strength and Endurance class. He’s like me, in his 50’s and exercises regularly. He said he thought that he and I were fitter than many in their 20’s - based on how hard we work in these classes. I nodded in agreement and we proceeded to try and one-up each other for the next hour of presses, curls and lunges etc. While I’m probably the fittest I’ve been in my entire life, and probably very, very fit for someone my age, I’m not sure that either Scott or I are fitter than most men in their 20’s. A point that has been very clearly illustrated at the spin classes Naomi and I have been trying out around the city recently. At these new places like 6ix Cycle and Ride Cycle Club - it’s us and a sea of Millennials, being screamed at and choreographed in the dark to Hip Hop...and it isn’t always pretty. (Although we’ve since landed at CycleBar - where there are all ages and all the bikes are connected to a computer screen that tells the whole class who’s spinning the fastest and at the highest tension...because I’m not already competitive enough).
So, while I’m certainly fitter than a 25-year-old couch potato, I can’t really outdo an active man half my age. And when I’m 75, I could be Jack Fricken LaLanne, but I won’t be fitter than a 51- year-old me. But that doesn’t matter. I have a plan. I already know the four things I’m going to do to keep healthy as I age.
Strength Training. I’d like to think I won’t be the saggy guy with short shorts and knee high white socks. But I will be the guy who continues to resistance train. Be it free weights, machines or body weight exercise, maintaining core strength and muscle mass means that I’ll be strong enough to get around…
Because Mobility is crucial to longevity. If you can’t move, you become isolated, both physically and socially. And if you aren’t mobile you can’t keep your strength up. Don’t underestimate the utility of walking. Maintaining flexibility, balance and cardio-strength to do so means that I’ll be able to go wherever I want…
Because Social Interaction with people in real time helps with emotional health. Social media is great (no, it’s actually not) but friendship, live communication and companionship helps stave off depression and keeps the mind young. Which is great...
Because mental health puts you in a position to maintain your physical strength, mobility and engagement. I do puzzles (crosswords, Sudoku etc) daily to keep my mind sharp. But actually studies have shown that Learning New Things, (as opposed to passive reading, puzzles or memory work) stimulates the connections in the brain so that our faculties don’t diminish over time.
That’s the framework. The exact details of your continued healthy existence you can pick up from time to time on THE TONIC Talk Show, or in this fine publication. For example, in this issue you might learn how to speak up for yourself in a relationship or a Spring cleanse of your body or even how to deal with Athlete’s Foot ...all of which will also be discussed among other things on THE TONIC this month (www.thetonic.ca) ...or you might even learn about a fantastic free outdoor yoga festival that is back for its 6th year at the Distillery District on June 24!!! (hint: www.omto.ca) As always, if anybody in their 50’s (or lazy Millennials) want to challenge me to a feat of strength...or if you want to discuss anything you’ve read in this note or in this issue of Tonic, please feel free to contact me.