5 Lessons From The Fittest Men And Women Over 50
#1: Charles Eugster – “Eat Real Food”
Sure, Charles lifts weights, which is crucial for maintaining muscle mass and hormones as you age, and has even been shown to decrease the rate at which telomeres shorten (which is associated with accelerated aging), but regarding his diet, he says in his interview with Esquire:
“Variety is key. I start every day with a protein shake because, as you get older, your protein synthesis no longer functions as well. I avoid sugar and eat lots of meat, especially fat. I've been on a fat trip lately. Fat! Piles of fat. Yet, I was in a supermarket the other day and was perplexed to find yogurt with zero fat. What on earth is that? The idea of the nutrition pyramid where, at the top, is a little fat and meat, and at the bottom a lot of carbohydrates, is, excuse me, bullshit. Humans are so unbelievably stupid that we have begun to tinker with food. Our theories of nutrition have resulted in a pandemic of obesity. Can you imagine a hunter-gatherer enjoying a low-fat yogurt? Let me tell you this, too: I read a report recently which said that a fatty diet also increases your libido.”
#2: Laird Hamilton – “Learn New Stuff”
In my recent interview with big-wave surfer and 52-year-old Laird Hamilton, who is still just as spry and quick-moving as the 20-something surfers he puts to shame, Laird highlights one of his best anti-aging secrets: constantly learn new stuff.
#3: Mark Sisson – “Lift, Move, Sprint”
Sixty-two-year-old Mark Sisson probably possesses the finest set of six-pack abs you’ve ever seen on any guy, much less a guy his age. So what’s his secret?
First, rather then engaging in long, slow, “chronic cardio” exercise, he instead does short, fast, all-out sprint workouts at least once a week, all year long. He doesn’t overdo these, and recommends performing such workouts (e.g. ultimate Frisbee, treadmill high intensity intervals, hard bicycling up hills, etc.) just once every 7-10 days. Second, he does brief, intense sessions of full body, heavy weightlifting 1-3 times each week, for just 7-30 minutes. Finally, he moves frequently at a slow pace, using things like treadmill workstations and low-level physical activity all day long, and avoids any long, unbroken periods of sedentary time.
#4: Don Wildman – “Do Epic Things"
The first time I went to the gym to do the "Hardest Workout in the World," I thought it would be a piece of cake. After all, if a 75-year-old can do it, I should surely manage it, too! When I crawled out of the gym three hours later, I was thinking a bit differently and my body was feeling the effects of the challenge for the next several days.
After researching Don Wildman (now 80 years old) a bit more, I discovered that he not only does this same epic workout quite frequently, but he also goes mountain biking on difficult trails for miles every single day, along with stand-up paddle boarding, big-wave surfing and even helicopter snowboarding.
#5: Olga Kotelko – “Stay Supple”
In “The Mystery of the 95 Year Old Track Star and What She Can Teach Us About Living Longer, Happier Lives,” I introduce Olga Kotelko, a senior track star who has since passed away, but at the time, held over twenty-three world records in track and field, seventeen in her current ninety to ninety-five category.
When I read the book about her life, entitled: What Makes Olga Run?: The Mystery of the 90-Something Track Star and What She Can Teach Us About Living Longer, Happier Lives, one of the biggest takeaways for me was that Olga didn’t simply beat up her body every day without going out of her way to keep it recovered and “supple.” She instead woke up every night, grabbed an old, empty wine bottle beside her bed, and gave herself a full body, foam-roller style massage on all her fascia, muscles and joints. Whether you try to book a weekly or monthly massage, or whether you do routines such as the “metabolic mobility” routine I recently posted to YouTube (which I personally do twice per week to keep my own body supple), you’ll find that you can keep muscle soreness, cranky joints, poor movement and other body issues we accept as “normal” in seniors at bay.