To have a capable body that you will be able to use well into old age requires you to do four things. These things are not hard to do but I feel that not enough people do ALL of them. Yes, you read that right. You need to do all of these things in order to maintain a healthy body that will be capable of performing into old age. These pillars are in no particular order and I suggest doing them all if you want to be a well rounded athlete or human.
- Stretching. Stretching is often something that gets neglected once you graduate middle school P.E. Stretching your body will allow you to stay limber and mobile. I believe that anyone can stretch no matter how bent and broken they are. Depending on how stiff you are it will take more time to get mobile, but anyone can do it. Before I started stretching I was unable to sit criss cross, now after stretching for a year I am finally able to sit criss cross and this alone has changed my life. Before anywhere I went if I didn’t want to stand I would obviously need to sit in a chair. Now that I can sit criss-crossed, I just feel like a whole new world has opened up to me because I can actually sit on the floor. If you are able to sit criss cross you won’t be able to relate, but I used to be envious of people who were able to sit criss cross because I was unable to for years.
- Resistance training. This is something that mostly everybody does but there are those who neglect it for whatever reason. When I say resistance training I mean doing an exercise with the goal of building muscle or getting stronger. This can be done through body weight exercises like pushups and pull ups, through cable machines, barbells, resistance bands, and dumbbells. Basically anything that makes you use your muscles. This also has been shown to decrease the rate at which our cognitive ability declines, because as we get our muscles pumped up it causes blood to circle throughout our body including our brain. If you don’t want to be weak into old age you need to use your muscles and you can do this anyway you want. If you use them you won’t lose them!
- Cardiovascular training. This is another thing that many people do, but there are still a great deal of people who refuse to do it. Your heart is a muscle and if you don’t train it, it will get weak. Having a weak heart will lead to many many health issues that can be easily avoided. The American Heart Association recommends doing between 120-150 minutes of cardio vascular training a week. If you do it everyday (which I suggest) you only have to do between 18-22 minutes a day (rounding up). This is not a crazy amount and is very doable. Now when it comes to doing the actual training there are so many forms out there, so just find something that will elevate your heart rate and that you can sustain for 18-22 minutes a day. One way to tell if you are doing something at the correct pace is that you are still capable of having a conversation with someone who is standing next to you. You should be breathing hard, but not too hard to where you can’t speak to someone with minor strain. The way I regulate my cardio is that I only breathe through my nose. If I can’t breathe through my nose that means I am going too hard and need to tone it down a bit. I’m not going to list them all but here are things that I do for cardio; burpees (slow steady pace), jump roping, running, and jumping around my living room just to get my heart going.
- Eating clean. I’m no expert on what is the best diet out there, but I do have just a few suggestions to what to eat and to find out if what you’re eating is good for YOUR body. First, which is the most obvious, cut out as much processed foods as possible. One way to tell if what you’re eating is processed is to ask yourself if the food you are buying has a marketing department. If it does then it is most likely processed, but this isn’t always the case so do use common sense. Next you have to ask yourself how you feel after you eat your food. If you feel sluggish then that’s a sign that your food could be better for your body. Lastly, increase your fruits and vegetables right now!
If you read this far I just want to say thank you! If you found this useful, share it amongst your friends. If you have any questions you can email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or DM me on Instagram (i_oca95). Thank you and have a fantastic day!