Simple Exercise, executed consistently will maximize longevity.
We all know that the healthy habits we can stick with are ones we will do and will benefit us most. Crash diets, workout programs and supplements may work in the short term, but if they are not sustainable they are not functional.
Strength, as we have previously discussed, is crucial in being able to move and live longer. But what we haven’t really discussed it mobility. Building muscle, staying strong helps increase testosterone and reduce fat as well as allow us to maintain more muscle mass as we age allowing us to keep moving and doing activities we love. However, if you do not train mobility – the ability to manipulate your muscles and joints in multiple planes of movement – is similar to being a robot. You may be big and strong but you won’t be able to wipe your ass or tie your shoes, and that will only get worse as you get older. That is not something you want.
This also impacts activities like playing with your kids/grandkids/etc. They have amazing range of movement, whereas I am betting you do not. I am guilty of letting myself get muscle bound by not stretching enough or just going into my lifts and only training those movements. Martial Arts will let you know quickly where you are not flexible enough and can help get you more bendy quickly, but can also get you hurt if you aren’t careful.
Yoga is a good option if you like that kind of stuff but I don’t. It’s too woowoo for me and not my style. Dynamic stretching would benefit many of us, but still can limit your range of motion. My suggestions then are – Taikokyu ( think stretching using a staff to assist you into really nice stretches and even self PT). Secondly I would say Mace exercise movements. Yes it looks funny but that with a good dynamic stretching program and foam rolling will unlock your tense shoulders, back and neck. The Taikokyu or Dynamic Stretching will open up hips, low back and legs.
I encourage you all to start doing something for just 15 minutes every day or two to help start loosing yourself up.
Lastly – meditation for 5 minutes a day, or even just quiet deep breathing where you clear your mind, will make your day of stress and tension drop away. It will help you dream better at night and will help you think more clearly during your awake hours.
Add these practices in to your programming, if you haven’t already, to see your performance everywhere else get better.