Hi, I’m Brian. It seems like I have always been active. But, it’s been getting harder and harder to stay active. I can’t run as far, jump as high, lift as much, etc. I don’t feel like going to the gym after work for 3-hours anymore. What’s going on?? I started long distance running in the early 1970s (like everyone else.) Over the years my attitude towards running has changed with my body. I’ve tried all sorts of exercise plans, eating plans, supplements, etc. Some successful; some not. You get the picture. I want to share some of the things I’ve learned to help you skip some of the bad parts.
I started out running when I was a freshman in high school. By my sophomore year I was running doubles (runner jargon for twice a day workouts) tallying about 15 miles per day. I peaked during my senior year in high school. I went on to college and improved my times slightly, but was basically permanently injured by the beginning of my sophomore year. After that I spent many years trying to get back to the level of training needed to be competitive again, but I was always getting injured. While I was injured I cross-trained by lifting weights, bike riding, swimming, etc. I hit 40 and realized my dreams of running were done. Compounding my physical issues was my lack of flexibility (“only slow people stretch.”) On the upside, I was still somewhat fit.
I also realized that my body was changing; I was getting older. Years of sitting at a desk, driving to work, etc., messed up my hips. I started scuffing my left foot and was wearing out the toe on my shoes. My youth was escaping me, so I started looking at programs that worked for men who were over 40. (This stuff works for women over 40, too! It’s just the chemistry changes a bit.)
Since then on, I’ve been on a quest to slow the aging process down. Knowing my hormones were changing (both Testosterone and Human Growth Hormone (HGH) naturally decline with age) was the place I started. I found out that my hour long runs were no longer easy to recover from and that they depleted my beloved hormones. Fortunately, because of injuries, I hadn’t been able to maintain any real mileage which in turn prevented me from over-training for years. It turns out that shorter more intense workouts are better for people over 40.
Strength training is very important. Most people neglect to lift weights or other strength exercises. Just a little bit adds years to your life and prevents many injuries that occur in older people. Strength training helps slow the decline in HGH. And not just a push up or pull up here and there, but short intense training.
If that weren’t enough, and don’t you think it oughta be(?,) I also found out that diet is really important, too. It isn’t the exercise that keeps the weight off, because you can’t really exercise enough to use up the calories. By diet, I mean reducing the number of calories you take in. Most of my diet plan is based around some form intermittent fasting coupled with eating reasonably well.
My goal is to find exercise, dietary, flexibility programs that benefit people over 40 who don’t have the time to workout for hours, but would like to live longer and healthier lives. What you do with that life is up to you.
The purpose of this blog is for me to evaluate different exercise programs, diet programs, supplements, etc. and tell you what works. Hopefully, some of them will work for you, too!