60 Going on 20

I hate old people!

Now, you’re probably thinking, “Hey! You can’t say that!” And you’re right. It’s not even entirely true. I don’t really hate old people. What agitates me is the “old- fogy” mindset that’s so prevalent among seniors today. It seems like every senior citizen I talk to has bought into the notion that once you hit a certain age, you’re over the hill.

Society has somehow convinced them that after 60, they’re through. No more tennis … golf … or marathons. Instead, they have to stay home all day and watch reruns of Murder, She Wrote and Matlock.

But I’m here to tell you that society is way off base. It’s NEVER too late to get off your butt and get in shape.

I’m living proof. You see, I’m 63 years young and in the BEST shape of my entire life. I’m healthy as an ox. My cholesterol levels are all good, my blood pressure is an amazing 110/70, and I’m 46 pounds lighter than I was 10 years ago.

I’ve even been practicing Jiu-Jitsu (a full-contact martial art that’s a lot like wrestling) because I feel so good. And I’m not in a special seniors’ class, either. I actually train with the young bucks – some of whom are professional fighters. And I’ve competed in a few national grappling tournaments (placing second and third), earning a lot of respect from my much younger instructors and competitors.

If I can be in such great shape at 63, anyone can do it. You just can’t let your age hold you back.

Of course, I too once had that “old fogy” mentality. After retiring from the fire department eight years ago, I was convinced that it was my new job in life to do nothing but eat and fish all day long. So that’s exactly what I did.
For years, I didn’t lift a finger. Didn’t do so much as take a walk around the block. Nothing! And my health rapidly deteriorated.

At my worst, I was 275 pounds. My blood pressure was a dangerous 180/110, and my cholesterol was off the charts. Only after two episodes of high blood pressure, blood clots in my lungs on two separate occasions, and three heart attacks did I wake up and listen to my poor body’s cries for help.

I can still remember being wheeled through the hospital after my third attack. I had to clutch the rails of my bed, the pain was so intense. I was sure I was about to die. At that very moment, I swore to God that if he gave me just one more chance I’d make a serious change in my life: I’d get off my lazy butt and focus on improving my health. Because I realized that what they say is true: Without your health, you’ve got nothing.

Sure, I have a wonderful family that loves me. And great friends who came from miles around just to offer me their get-well wishes in person. But I’ll tell you what. It’s almost impossible to enjoy these and other blessings while confined to a hospital bed.

I hope you’re not as thickheaded as I was. But even if you are – and you’re reading this from your hospital bed – take it from me: It’s never too late to get up and get healthy.

And the truth is, ANYONE can do it. It doesn’t matter if you’re 35 or 105. The key is to start today. Start right now by doing something – anything – to get on the path to better health.

You could get your body moving again by …

Taking a 20-minute walk after dinner every night.

Climbing the stairs to your office instead of riding the elevator.

Signing up at your local gym for an introductory course in yoga.

Investing in a specialized workout program for seniors.

I recommend doing all of these things – but make sure you take it slow. And if you are looking for a workout program specifically for seniors, consider the program I developed while I was studying to become a certified trainer.

My program is designed not only for seniors but for anyone who’s been inactive for an extended period of time. My program respects the fact that (initially, at least) you might not be able to perform the more complicated exercises that are easy for our younger counterparts.

The program revolves around modified callisthenic movements and focuses on your largest muscle groups in order to achieve maximum results in the shortest amount of time.

The movements are simple and effective. For instance, with “The Rising Phoenix,” you sit down on your living room floor with your left leg stretched straight out in front of you. (Your right leg will be bent at the knee, with your right foot placed firmly on the ground.) Then, using your left hand and right foot, you gently lift your rear end off the floor. Next, you swing your hips so that your left leg swings back behind your body. Now you can easily push yourself to a standing position.

This exercise has tremendous benefits for your body:

You improve coordination by bringing all the muscles in your body together in one harmonious movement.

You work the muscles in your shoulders, arms, abs, hips, AND legs. (Just make sure to do both sides for maximum results.)

You’ll be able to stand up from the floor easily and quickly.

You will improve your muscle-memory and sharpen your mind.
Another movement to try is the “The Wall Flower” – an exercise that is deceptively simple, but has lasting benefits. All you do is position yourself against the wall and bend your knees as if you were going to sit down on an invisible chair. Then hold the position as long as you can.

If your legs feel weak, you can position a few pillows on the ground to soften an accidental fall.

This one exercise will:

Revitalize and energize your entire body.

Work all the large muscles in your legs and rear end.

Produce natural hormones that energize and invigorate you all day long.

Help you build muscle, burn fat, and dramatically increase your energy levels.

Yes, getting back into prime shape can be this easy. So there’s no excuse to not get started. It’s never too late to get back in the gym – back on the courts – or just generally back in shape.

Take it from me. I know. Thanks to my program, I’m now fast, flexible, and one of the strongest men in my martial arts dojo.

I train with several guys in their 20’s and 30’s who are well over 200 pounds. And they can’t hold a candle to the functional strength I’ve acquired by using my specialized calisthenics routine.

In fact, there’s a funny story floating around the academy about the time I threw one of the instructors (a 220-pound man) halfway across the dojo. But I’ll toot my horn some other time …

I’d much rather hear your success story!

So don’t wait. Start now. Your task for today is to finish up dinner and take a nice brisk walk. 20 minutes will be fine. And if you bring along a friend or member of your family, it won’t even feel like a workout.

Take that first step today, and you’ll be feeling younger, stronger, and healthier in no time.

 “Exercise is labor without weariness.” – Samuel Johnson

[Ed. Note: Doc Darville is a police officer and certified personal trainer who specializes in training senior citizens. To become healthier, stronger, and more flexible, no matter your age, learn more about Doc’s specialized workout techniques and order his DVD by clicking here: 60 going on 20.]