Baby (Boomer), You’re Just Getting Started!
An adventurers tips for living a longevity lifestyle
Out of shape. A few extra pounds. Aches and pains. Thats just what happens with age, right? It comes with the territory, we tell ourselves.
While its true that aging happens, decay is optional. Theres strong science to suggest that much of what we think of as normal aging is preventable. By adopting a longevity lifestyle, you can enjoy strength and vitality into your 60s, 70s and beyond.
What is a longevity lifestyle?
A longevity lifestyle is a practice. It’s about finding new habits and ways of living that make you feel unstoppable. Some of my suggestions:
- Fall in love with food. Eating should be more than refueling. Cook from scratch more often. Forage for mushrooms and nettles. Discover new, fresh (maybe even weird) ingredients and recipes. Respecting what you eat can transform your health.
- Get moving. Go beyond the gym. Make exercise creative and engaging. Climb a tree or plant one. Carry a grandchild on your shoulders for a mile. Move as much as you can every minute of every day.
- Listen to your body. If you’re tired, sleep. If you wake at 3 a.m., relax and write in a journal. If a workout hurts, stop. If you feel listless, go for a walk or jog. Your body will tell you what it needs.
A longevity mindset
A longevity lifestyle also means changing the way you think about life. When you were growing up, you had hopes and dreams. But over the years, your passion and energy may have faded.
It’s never too late to find them again! History is filled with people in business, art, sports and other areas who were well past young when they started down the paths that redefined their lives. At age 76, Min Bahadur Sherchan became the oldest person to summit Mount Everest. Sister Madonna Buder, the Iron Nun, still competes in Ironman triathlons at 81.
The best is yet to come. Get busy.
By the Numbers
More gray hair, better gray matter?
Conventional wisdom said that age-related mental decline was inevitable. Now we know the brain is adaptable. With the right habits, its possible to stay sharp and focused for life. The numbers:
6 The weekly meditation hours
found by UCLA scientists to promote stronger brain connections and less brain shrinkage with age. This research even suggests that regular meditation might even stimulate brain tissue to grow as you age.
7-8 The hours of nightly sleep associated with optimal brain function for middle-aged men and women, according to the authors of a 2011 European study published in the journal Sleep.
30 The minimum number of minutes of exercise per day, three days per week, needed by participants in a Duke University study to significantly reduce the possibility of relapsing into depression after treatment. The study of 156 men and women ages 56 to 70 found that those who exercised regularly reported less depression after six months than those treated with antidepressants.
Walt Hampton is an executive coach, mountaineer, distance runner and author of Journeys on the Edge: Living a Life That Matters. He completed his first ultra marathon at age 54.