You’ve made your decision, tomorrow is the day you stop eating like crap and start getting your body in check. So you wake up early, feeling great after a solid night’s rest. After a nice stretch, you start your run, feeling light on your feet and thinking “hell yea, the new me is awesome!” Turning the final corner, you see the end of your route just across the street. You take one step onto the crosswalk, almost there! Wait, Oh Shit, here comes a bus!
Welcome. You’re now 30.
I remember being in my teens and feeling full of energy. What happened to the days of those 4-hour back to back basketball sessions, and still feeling full of energy late into the night? Back in my early 20’s I recall someone saying it’s all downhill after 30. I never really paid attention, just shrugged it off and continued living my life.
As I write this, I’m 33 years old. I’m getting over an ITB injury which resulted last October when I decided to run a marathon (yes, 26.2 miles) on 3 hours of sleep and a training regimen consisting of a handful of 3-mile runs about 2 weeks prior. I didn’t even stretch properly before the run. Ever watch a video of newborn giraffe just moments after it’s born? That’s how I was walking every morning for about 2 months, just because I didn’t properly train.
Wait, I’ve got another one for you: February 2016, I fell asleep in the VIP lounge of a nightclub during my brother’s bachelor party, it was 11pm. I woke up to a friend sitting beside me talking about his work problems. I’m not sure if he realized I was out cold for a good 20 minutes.
The point is, all this lack of endurance hit me like an uppercut to the mandible by an early 20’s Tyson. I haven’t been taking care of myself like I should, and it showed…mainly in the bags under my eyes…as they flap in the wind like a proud American flag. It wasn’t until I gave into the wife’s nagging about getting a proper amount of sleep and stretching after a workout, that I started listening.
TRIAL AND ERROR
I’ve dropped a few pounds in the last weeks, the bags under my eyes no longer flap like the sleeves of a wizard, and I’m feeling better overall. I’ve put myself to the test and through trial and error, have figured out the perfect formula for me (so far), and it could possibly help you too. Here are a few things that helped me:
- Sleep – Get about 7-8 hours a night. I used to get about 4-5. Trust me, it helps.
- Water – No less than 1 gallon per day. Drinking 16-20 oz. upon waking up. I listen to the The Model Health Show hosted by Shawn Stevenson, he teaches that good quality water intake is essential.
- Work out – There’s a method to the madness in working out in the morning. Books and articles have been written about the routines of the successful, and it usually involves morning workouts. About 30 minutes is all it takes, get your heart rate up and sweat a little, you’ll jumpstart your day.
- Stretch – Man…I cannot stress this enough. Take your stretching serious, about a minute stretch per body part. It’ll save you from future injuries, trust me.
- Alone time – Not for a long time, just 30 minutes after work, or 30 minutes in the morning. Sit there, meditate, think, write, read, stare at a wall. It’s your quiet time, use it wisely.
- Communication – With the wife/husband/whatever or whomever you love. It won’t help you lose pounds, but it’ll save you some headache. Especially with daily plans and finances (I’ll touch on that in a later post)
Keeping this rotation, I have to say, I feel better than I did in my 20’s, mainly because I never cared for any of these things. As I get older, this stuff is essential!
Got any tips on staying healthy in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s… any age, really. Let me know! I’m always down to exchange ideas.