First off, I no longer dread becoming a year older and I actually don’t look or feel like I did when I turned 50. As I mentioned in previous articles, turning 50 was a very traumatic time for me and provided the motivation to get myself into following a healthy lifestyle. Trust me, I was not born a freak of nature with amazing genetics, but from the period between 50 to 60 years of age, I ended up getting healthier and more fit each year! My reason for writing this article is to motivate middle-aged people to get their butts off the couch and become fit and healthy. I will provide clear and concise directions about how you can get your life and body back. So, let’s get started!
I’ve been involved in living a healthy lifestyle for 10 years now. I got my original inspiration from a middle-aged guy at my local gym whose name is Scott. After watching Scott workout from across the gym, I knew that was what I wanted my physique to look like. I introduced myself to Scott very shortly after seeing him in the gym and he was totally flattered by my interest. We have been close friends for 9 years now. I would eventually reach out to other people in my gym that looked like they knew what they were doing and had impressive physiques to back it up.
I purchased a professional workout routine and spent a week with one of the top trainers in the United States. After 90 days, I obtained some really good results and even won a 50 and over bodybuilding competition. To date, I’ve competed in 20 bodybuilding championships, winning 4 of them and taking 2nd place 11 times while finishing either 3rd or 4th, five other times. My next contest in Las Vegas will be my 21st bodybuilding championship. I’m very confident with this year’s training and diet regimen and I believe I have a great chance at winning a couple of different categories in the competition.
I’ve made the decision to give up bodybuilding after this year. In the last year I’ve competed in two championships which include the NPC Arizona Open and the Phoenix Europa Games, finishing 1st place in “50 and Over” twice as well as getting a 2nd place finish in “Classic Physique” and finishing in 2nd place in a novice light heavyweight division open two all ages. Both championships were to prepare me for the main event which will be at the NPC Las Vegas Classic coming up in a few months. All of my friends and family will be in Las Vegas to help me celebrate my 60th birthday also! I will be competing in 3 different events for this championship and these include the “Men’s 60 and Over” bodybuilding category, “Men’s 50 and Over” bodybuilding category as well as the “Men’s Classic Physique 45 and Over” category.
Many people have asked me about competing. The sport of bodybuilding has been great to me and has taught me so much about health and fitness, but I want to focus on other things like educating people about how to stay healthy and fit. I will continue to use writing as a vehicle for this. It’s not like I’m going to stop working out and I plan on staying very healthy and fit and will challenge myself to look even better at 70 years old! I am still amazed that at 60 years of age, my physique will look better than at any other time of my life. I’m truly blessed and want to thank all those people who have answered all my health and fitness questions over the past 10 years. Without all of them, I would have never got to where I am today.
Enough about me, let’s talk about you now! I know many of you are concerned about being healthy and fit as you get older and that’s what we will be covering in this article. It’s very important to remember that “wanting” and “getting” are two very different things. There is a reason that 74% of all Americans are overweight or obese and that the U.S. leads the world in almost every major health category that’s negative. The funny thing is almost everywhere you turn you see a new gym open up or a new health food store open it’s doors, or you hear about all these great diets and weight loss solutions on the Internet or on a TV infomercial. The reason that Americans struggle with health and fitness is because the focus is usually on the wrong things. Trust me, if all those crazy diets worked then why are 74% of Americans still overweight? Most of these so-called “diets” are useless and cannot be sustained over the long-term. Anyone can drop weight by starving themselves, but by doing so you are creating a multitude of health issues within your body. Most of the businesses soliciting you on TV are a waste of time and money. There are a great number of businesses that exploit America’s desire to be slim and trim while living a healthy lifestyle.
I’m going to share what has worked for me and I hope these tips will help you make major changes in your life. There is a reason why I look the way I do. It’s because I focus my energy on doing the right things! Here are the 3 major areas you should be focusing on:
- Go To The Right Doctor! First off, you need to make sure to go to a doctor that specializes in hormone testing and find out what your hormone levels are. Your general practitioner probably won’t be able to provide you with the tools you need to really find out the right information about your hormones. Being low in testosterone and estrogen or having a thyroid issue could be part of the reason you’ve gained body fat and lost lean muscle mass over the years. Your normal doctor is simply not an expert in this field, so go to a specialist! Anti-aging clinics are popping up all over the country and they will be able to take great care in getting patient medical histories to safely treat hormonal imbalances. I’ve personally had my hormones balanced for the last 9 years and I feel and look amazing! I consider this to be the first step to becoming fit and healthy as you get older.
- Your Diet is Key! Oh no, the dreaded “D” word! Many people equate the word “diet” to “starving”. A nutrient dense diet is a cornerstone of your success as you age. Sorry to tell everything the obvious, but all that sugary processed food, salty fast food and all the candy, soda and donuts will not be part of a healthy and nutritious diet. A clean diet consists of lean proteins such as fish, chicken and turkey with clean carbs coming from whole grains along with fresh fruits and vegetables. I hear about these low-carb diets all the time. I really don’t think they work for the long-term because the majority of people will eventually fall off the wagon and crave a piece of bread or other type of starchy carbohydrate and then it’s all over! Your body needs quality carbs to function properly and to have the energy for intense workouts. Yes, some people will do okay on a low-carb diet approach, but it’s pretty rare. Most low-carbers will come right back to adding in some extra carbs after 6-12 months.
- You Need To Move Your Body! Yes, you will need to get your butt off the couch and move to get great results. This includes strength training with weights, doing cardio exercise, implementing core training and stretching. I personally train different body parts each workout and I also do a combination of cardio, core training and my main focus for strength training is obviously weight lifting. Please keep in mind that building muscle is your best friend and helps you speed up your metabolism and burn fat, so don’t be afraid to lift heavy weights! The only way you’ll be building a substantial amount of lean muscle tissue is by lifting weights, so join a local gym and get after it! I see plenty of overweight people who do way too much cardio and it’s super frustrating. Too much cardio will not necessarily burn body fat and it may even tap into burning lean muscle while also wearing down your joints. A little cardio is fine, but try mixing weight training with cardio for the best results!
I’m a certified personal trainer and all of my clients that I work with get great results by focusing on these 3 main areas above. If you want to make real progress then you need to follow all of them. It’s about hitting it from all angles when your goal is to make real changes in your health and your physique!
There is nothing better than living an active lifestyle and living a long, vibrant life. By becoming healthier and more fit, many of the current health issues that are skyrocketing will be reduced significantly. Being healthy and fit is the true cure for needing affordable health care. If you are overweight, your risk and exposure to many issues include:
- Heart Disease
- Alzheimer’s or Dementia (70% more likely)
- Type-2 Diabetes (90% more likely)
- Cancer (70% more likely)
- Stroke (60% more Likely)
Many of these issues occur simply by making poor lifestyle choices. If you’re not fit and you plan on retiring, please keep in mind the average person incurs $250,000 in out-of-pocket health care costs from the age of 65 to death. The medical costs involved with a heart attack are around $750,000! So, what would your deductible be on that amount of money. Due to a significant spike in health issues, health related bankruptcies account for 40% of all bankruptcies. Senior citizens account for approximately 20% more in bankruptcy filings than non-senior citizens. Simple math tells us that if we learn how to become healthier and more fit, we can significantly reduce the likelihood of these health issues from occurring as we get older.
I hope everyone is ready to start living a health and more active lifestyle now! If you can get just one thing out of my article, I hope it’s to try your best to utilize the 3 main steps for achieving results when it comes to health and fitness. My message to anyone reading this is to focus on the right things that actually work and you will get the results you are looking for!