I’m only 32 years old.
That’s not old.
In fact, some will tell me that I’m young. Even the 35 year old mom’s that are only 3 years older than I, who make sure everyone knows that they’re getting older to make themselves feel better, still say I’m a “youngin”.
You know who you are.
Everyone always says, “Age is just a number.” or “You’re only old if you tell yourself you’re old.”
Quite frankly, the main thing is that we get older everyday and our bodies are the vehicle. Some people say you are as old as you act, but I know some pretty irresponsible and need I say, stupid, older people. But day by day your bones, muscles, skin, joints, and organs are getting older. Unfortunately, we can’t help that and we have to protect our vehicles.
So even though I’m only 32, I was once 21, and as most of you know it is a whole hell of a lot different. I used to be the young prick saying, “Pfft. I’ll never be old.” Then I pounded a Muscle Milk and squatted 405 pounds and went out clubbing that night thinking that I would stay young forever.
I can remember being a young trainer with zero experience thinking that age is just a number. I had 50 year olds breaking their backs dead-lifting and implemented zero recovery process. I had no judgment on the individual. That’s what trainers lack. Making a workout is easy, but can you program it to the body type the person has?
I didn’t start dwelling on this until I had help. I always focused on injuries and preventing them, but I did it based on the group. Thankfully, I have 3 other trainers and many clients of mine that can help me program to the individual.
You’re not old, but as we get older, we have to start doing things to our bodies to prepare us for the future. This year has taught me that. I’ve been put under anesthesia 4 times, been in the hospital for heart valve issues, and haven’t been able to exercise. First time in my life that I have felt “old”.
These are some things that I recommend to 21 year olds or 55 year olds, just to protect themselves from their bodies actually getting older than their minds.
1. Create a program that allows you to have proper recovery. After my shoulder surgery, I had to reevaluate what I would be training for. I remember 8 to 5 years ago, I could dead-lift everyday and recovery quick. It doesn’t get like that after awhile. Nowadays if I did that, I’d have to take 1 hour before every workout to recover from the previous workout. Hell no. I do not want to do that. SO as we get older, we have to decide what kind of programming your body can take where you can come in and do your normal 5-10 minute recovery work that everyone regardless of age should be doing. If you want to run 5 marathons in one year, there’s no age limit on that. But if you’re not willing to recover from that properly (and that’s a shit ton of recovery), than you’re body is going to get ‘old’ really quick.” In a nutshell, don’t complain about your body hurting if you’re not going to take care of it. You’re old if you don’t recover.
2. The worst thing you can do is go on a weight loss diet. The older our bodies get, the better our fuel needs to be. Cutting calories, carbs, proteins, and certain fats is a horrible idea. Just eat right. Use your every day activity to lose fat and keep it off. Weight loss diets will destroy metabolisms and the older you get, the more your metabolism is likely to ditch you, more than likely leaving in recoverable. You’re old if you go on fad diets.
3. Curse medicine! Medicine nowadays is a business. It’s used to make money to some people who practice medicine and don’t even take care of themselves. Medicine and “healthy” go together like chugging clam chowder and jumping on a trampoline. If you’re hurt, which old people complain about the most (besides former presidents) then stop taking a Motrin everyday. That will eat everything up and just slow down your kidney’s capabilities. Do natural recovery like walking every morning, or eating tons of plants, or taking natural remedies. Medicine makes you old. It’s kind of ironic that the people who complain on Facebook all the time about chugging Nyquil and going to the doctor’s . . . are the ones ALWAYS going to the doctors. It just makes everything worse.
4. Take care of your joints. Muscle is the black pepper of the spice cabinet. Muscle is what keeps you lean. Muscle keeps you strong and bulletproof. Muscle looks really good when you’re hairless. But joints are the salt. Without properly functioning joints, your muscles might as well be ground clove (I can’t stand clove).
I apologize for all the spice references, but joint health is probably the most underrated practice in fitness. Not to mention, your body is up the river/down the river when it comes to joint health. Does your lower back hurt? It might be your ankle. You can’t do much without a lower back or hamstrings that tighten up on you after every move. You’re old if you don’t take care of your joints, and that’s a sin, man. I mean, cinn-a-mon.
5. Move everyday. As I referenced in my NyQuil rant earlier, moving every day is probably the best fountain of youth out there. This doesn’t mean a 6 mile run or a 50 mile bike ride on your off days. It just means something simple like a glorious walk, or a peaceful kayak adventure in the summer, or some dog chasing, or some nightly baby making (even though it’s probably less movement the “older” we get). If you want to be old, stop moving.
You can be a young lad or a wise old man, but if you don’t practice these 5 simple tasks daily, you’re going to get older quicker.
This is where your body changes,