Getting to or reaching ‘peak physical fitness’ is not a place where most of us are ever going to tread or even want to go.
That is the realm of Olympians, Tri-Athletes, Ironman and marathon competitors like Chris my son-in-law, NRL footballers and the like.
It is a long, hard slog that doesn’t happen by accident and would leave most of us lying scattered along the wayside screaming for a nice cold beer.
But don’t be alarmed or disheartened…..having a high level of fitness and an attractive looking body is well within the grasp of us all. It just takes a bit of time, preparation and dedication and before you know it you will be the best looking body on the beach, in the office or the retirement village.
For the average person out there this peak fitness “thing” is not necessarily all about winning gold medals and breaking world records; it is more about the essentials of a healthy lifestyle and safeguarding your body against the risk of developing one (or more) of those dreaded lifestyle diseases that abound in society today.
It is all about why your health is your future.
My sole aim in the comparatively short time I have left, is to encourage everyone to treat their bodies with some respect and to squeeze every bit of enjoyment out of their lives that they possibly can.
For that you need to be fit and healthy and not be as Chungliang Al Huang once said in this great quote – “Many people treat their bodies as if they were rented from Hertz….something they are using to get around in but nothing they genuinely care about understanding.”
Unfortunately most of these diseases are a direct result of poor lifestyle choices relating to diet and exercise; but the good news is, they can be stopped in their tracks and in the bigger percentage of cases even reversed.
And that goes for all age groups too. So all you baby boomers out there, now is the time to join the rush to a gym near me.
As I have already mentioned, and it bears some reinforcement; things like beer bellies and muffin tops and most lifestyle diseases can be avoided by observing sound nutrition and a regular, moderate exercise program throughout your life.
It is what I like to call “Active Ageing”. It is one of the best Anti Aging secrets I know of.
What you do now will go a long way towards helping determine the level of your health and enjoyment of life in your retirement years.
So how long will it take for me to reach my peak physical potential?
The most important part is working out what/why you want to achieve, what your ultimate goal is, what you want your body to look like when you get there and how are you going to keep it looking like that.
So to work this out, get yourself a pen and a piece of paper and do as Stephen Covey suggests in his best-selling book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” which is, “Begin with the end in mind”.
Picture what you want to look like, by when, why you need to do this and how you want to feel as a result of all your hard work, then design a plan of how to get there.
As a planning tool I love this extract from the Rudyard Kipling poem; use his six serving-men keywords to formulate your plan or anything else you need to work out in life.
Take an A4 sheet of paper and divide it into six squares marking each square with one of the six words. Then start filling all the squares with your thoughts. I have found it to be one of the best and simplest planning tools around……works for me so why not give it a try.
I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
Just using dot points, you need to cover everything from how much time you have to go to the gym (or wherever it is you are going to train), what sort of an ongoing exercise program will you need to be doing to achieve your end goal (you may need to get a personal trainer to help here), your current diet/lifestyle and what needs to change, how will you measure your progress and what rewards will you give yourself along the way as part of your goal setting process.
By writing it all down your journey will become more real in your mind and your notes will act as a motivational tool to keep you moving forward when the going gets tough (and believe me, it will at times).
It is also important to monitor your progress once you get started…….you will be quite startled in a year or so from now when you look back and see your results.
Also, having all this information at your fingertips makes it much easier when it comes to planning and monitoring your workouts and progress.
Remember, what you measure you can manage, so write everything down.
There is your basic outline for the “new you”. All that stands in your road now is getting started.
Here’s 5 more fitness tips to help get you going.
1. When trying to change your lifestyle and become more physically active think SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic or Results-focused and Timely) – this will help you stay motivated.
2. Over time all sorts of things in your life can change; learn to adapt and change your plans as circumstances change around you – e.g. the seasons, holidays, sickness and injuries, family requirements etc, etc.
3. Make sure you get a medical before you start a new fitness program…..especially if you are over 50, are on any prescription drugs or haven’t done any exercise for more than six months.
4. There are many different activities you can do to reach your peak physical potential so choose an activity you like doing (more than one is fine; you won’t get bored by doing multiple programs and I recommend this approach).
5. Another handy little planning tool for you to think about is the FIT Formula; it goes like this; Frequency, Intensity, Time – or how often, how hard and how long?
By using the planning techniques I have suggested here and consulting with me or any other personal trainer of your choice (and a nutritionist if required) you will be able to achieve whatever fitness goal you want.
The first three months will be the hardest but in that time you will see some great results which will give you the motivation to keep going and to reach your health and fitness goals.
Good luck and hopefully I will see you in the gym or on the beach one day. Give me a wave.
Cheers – John – your Active Ageing Coach and Mentor.
P.S. Do a friend a favour…….please like and share. Thanks.