My friends think I am a bit of a whack-job when it comes to exercise and lately it’s gotten much, much worse. Through no fault of my own, I am a very old person (72) but also the co-author of a best seller called Younger Next Year. The great key to being younger next year (or at least not turning into a smelly mess) is working out, hard, six days a week. Awful but true. And it works.
But you do have to exercise all the time and, for that, you have to keep yourself motivated. My latest stunt: signing up to Ride The Rockies next week…six days on a bike over the passes…up to 100 miles a day…up to 12,100 feet of altitude. Yikes! What’s an old boy to do?
Well, you train, that’s what. Everyone who is over 40 (or under 40, come to that) should go out the door the second they finish reading this and buy a good road bike. Never mind that old beater in the attic…go up to a good bike shop and get a good one. Spend a grand. Spend two if you can. Then hit the road. It is okay if you don’t do a hundred miles the first day. Or in this lifetime. But get out there.
First, check the idea with your doc…gotta mention that. Then start slow…get into it…crank it up. Just put in the time (over 45 minutes a day, once you’re in shape) and your “aerobic base” will build. Put in the time and you will get millions of new mitochondria…the weensy little engines that let us move…and miles and miles of new capillaries…the tubes that take food and oxygen to the little engines and take away the mess after it is burned.
Soon, you will be able to move much better and for much longer. And being able to mover is much of what being a human being is all about. And look, this stunt works when you are 50 or 70 or whatever. It is the great antidote to aging. And the great key to avoiding heart attacks, strokes, lots of cancers, Alzheimers, adult-onset diabetes and like that. Seriously. Very, very seriously. So, stand up. Go out the door. Buy a decent bike. Then ride it till the day you die. Easy-peasy.
Don’t be scared because you haven’t done it for a while. Don’t worry too much about the traffic. Don’t worry about how to use a modern bike. It’s all easy. Start slowly. Start today. And keep it up for the rest of your life. You can watch daytime TV when you’re dead. Maybe.
Published On: June 25, 2007