As a 59-year-old competitive bodybuilding athlete, I get asked a lot of questions about staying fit, eating right, and looking good “for my age.” I can’t help but give people a questioning look. For my age? Let me start off by saying there are no secrets, quick fixes, or tricks to attain a healthy lifestyle and a healthy body at any age! It’s all about longevity. It’s all about the long haul. You need to eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, drink lots of water, use sunscreen, don’t smoke, take care of your skin, and drink alcohol in moderation. Sound familiar?
If you are looking to improve your fitness level and diet, regardless of how old you are, first and foremost, you have to WANT to get fit and eat right in order to look and feel good! If you’re not ready to commit and become focused on your fitness and diet goals, then you will never succeed.
Next, you need to surround yourself with those who also share your desires and passions in fitness and nutrition. Allow and depend on others to help you stay accountable to “show up” mentally, emotionally, and physically. The mind is so powerful in this arena and if you don’t have a positive mindset towards your goal then you will experience setbacks. I am a dedicated, motivated athlete but there are times when I just don’t feel like going to the gym and working out. This is where my support system comes in handy!
Next, envision your results and celebrate your changes. Be happy when you achieve the daily or weekly goals you set for yourself. People get so hung up on how far they have to go as opposed to celebrating how far they have come. Don’t focus on how long it will take to achieve your long-term goals. They are long term because they take time! There are no shortcuts. Anything worth having doesn’t come easy and doesn’t happen overnight. Remember that life is a journey. It doesn’t have an end date like a diet does. So enjoy the journey and let your daily accomplishments and progress be the motivating factor to push you toward your goals, with or without detours!
Finally, fitness is a marathon not a sprint. Be patient and be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up over setbacks and believe and trust in the process! If you take the “classic textbook” approach to your fitness and nutritional goals and stay in it for the long haul, you will reap the benefits towards a better body and a better lifestyle at any age!