Do you ever take time to reassess? A lot of us save that for New Years or perhaps a ‘big’ birthday, or even every September for some… I see great value in reassessing where we are and what we have been doing, and when I reassess I often think about outcome and what is the end result I want to achieve.

When I was younger, the outcome tended to be much more imminent. The older I get, the longer I tend to look out. When at first the priority was what did I want to do at the end of the week, or semester, or year; now I tend to look further out. Like, what do I want to be like when I am 80? What does my day to day life look? Where do I live? What do I do for fun? Who is around me?

If I drill down, the end result usually boils down to, I want to be happy, I want to be healthy, and I want to make sure that I matter. I want to live a long time, and I want to be happy and healthy for as long as I can during that time.

What makes us happy differs by the individual, and so I won’t talk on that, but I am endlessly curious about what makes us healthy on the long term, which is generally the same for a lot of us. And so, the next few weeks I will be writing about what the latest science says is the combination of modalities that will help us delay the onset of chronic disease and death, while simultaneously maintaining our health span for as long as possible.

In the situation of chronic disease I am referring to the top 4 causes of death:

1) Cardiovascular disease

2) Cancer

3) Alzheimers

4) Diabetes

5) And I would like to add a fifth, falling. Falling is the #1 cause of accidental death in seniors.

And just in case you think you are too young to be thinking about this, I need to pose a question to you…

When did Noah start building his ark?

answer: BEFORE it started to rain.

All of the recommendations I am going to make should be started well BEFORE you have symptoms or are at increased risk of any of these. Start NOW so you are prepared for later.

So how do you prepare? In order to reduce your risk of dying of any of the top diseases, we want to optimize our fitness in the following areas:

1) aerobic endurance (aka cardio)

2) strength (aka resistance training)

3) stability(aka, balance and core strength)

4) mobility

Cardio is not one thing, but more of a continuum ranging from an easy walk to an all out sprint. Resistance training, there are a few moves that I consider foundational in order to be optimally fit, I’ll go over those later.

And stability? It is equally important we avoid injury in the first place; this is where stability comes in. Stability makes us bullet proof. It stops us from falling, it stops our back from getting injured, it stops our shoulders from being compromised, it is foundational.

Think of it this way, strength without stability is like shooting a cannon off a canoe. It is a recipe for disaster.

Mobility is one last dimension, and I acknowledge, it is less about survival and more about quality of life. There is little sense is being strong and balanced if you can’t move around freely. And so I include mobility in my list. As I said, my outcome was to be healthy AND happy. And a body that is not only strong, but able to move freely will allow me to participate fully in life for as long as possible. And that sounds happy to me!

And so, I leave you with some time to reflect and ask yourself; what do you want the next decades of your life to look like? If happy and healthy are good descriptors I encourage you to keep an eye on your email box for the next few weeks where I do my best to explain the optimal amounts and types of exercise you should be doing in order to set yourself up for success. And I know, there are no guarantees in life, but the best you can do is try right??

If longevity and health is of interest to you, I encourage you to read a previous blog entitled, Shut Your Mouth and Live Longer. It’s a little more alternative but an interesting concept and worth the read!


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