Is Your Daily Routine Slowly Killing You?
We all know the feeling. The alarm goes off, and in the next 20 seconds an awareness of where you are, when you are, and what the day brings ebbs into your consciousness, and a choice set opens up. You know you put your gear out, you know that the forward version of yourself made this decision yesterday. You need to train. You wanted to train. But now...it seems like the easiest thing to do to roll over.
And so the day rolls on. A heavy breakfast, a few snacks, and a long day of work gives you the permission you need to open the beer, pour the scotch and take that second plate. Choices becoming actions. Actions becoming character. Until one day you catch that side view, try to run after the kids, or have to ask yourself that question when the streets go dark and that once in a lifetime threat becomes reality. Nobody should ever have to admit they are not who they want to be.
Research tells us the brain pays more attention to habit than we once thought, and it takes advantage of what we give it. When we miss a session, take the escalator, or pull short of that full rep, we give ourselves a powerful signal that it’s ok. We build a framework of failure which is too clever for us to detect. We tell ourselves it’s just this one time, and we’ll make it up. We build a hidden mental list of priorities and we conveniently place our fitness down the end, with a ready-made explanation to boot. And who could possibly have more excuses than a man over 40? Family, career, money problems, being run down, work travel, aches, and pains. Perhaps it’s a divorce, a new relationship, a new pet, an old pet or relatives coming to visit. Our days are diverse because they are full, and we don’t build a life with ready-made spots for new things. In order to be different tomorrow, we need to do different things today.
Staying fit and healthy over 40 means three things. Number one - It means putting diet over convenience. It doesn’t mean take out or pizza once a week. That is a fools' errand. It means no take out or pizza. It means no Soda unless it’s soda water. Number 2 - it means cardio at least three times a week. It doesn’t have to be running; walk if you can. 10,000 steps is your goal. Number 3, it means sleep. At least 7 hours a night. People who don’t sleep get sick and die.
Over and above that, train when you can. If you can do a push up in the morning, then do it. If you can do 50, then do it. There are no judges watching you, so you need to judge yourself. By eating well, sleeping, moving, and pushing your own weight around, you won’t be an athlete, but you will live longer. Set your bar lower, but judge yourself harshly if you can’t meet it.
For a man over 40, there is no easy solution to finding the time, and we all need to do what we can to stay on top of things. Make a plan. Set your bar lower. Never fail to meet it. Once you are meeting a minimum standard, move up. Being old man strong takes the first step, and you aren’t alone. Join the old man strength community and grow with us. Stay old man strong.