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Health, Fitness and Longevity

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For the first 40 years of my life staying healthy and fit was a breeze. I grew up as an AAU year around competitive swimmer. I swam a grueling mile to a mile and a half in long distance and sprints almost every morning and evening of my life for 8 years. When I reached my 20s I became a brickmason by day and played AAA league basketball as a guard for about 9 years. A severely sprained ankle retired me by costing me a months wages. [:-bigeyes

Then, I rode touring bicycles to the tune of about 80 to 100 miles a week. An elderly man ran through a stop sign and broadsided me. My bike was trashed and I couldn't walk for about a week. [:-censore

During those years any time I began to gain weight, I could practically will it off in a matter of weeks. But, with the advent of the 50's weight seems to become a far more difficult thing to control. In the past eight years or so I've belonged to fitness clubs, which proved to be near impossible to consistently visit and I've owned just about every piece of fitness equipment known to man which for the most part collected dust. [:-dunce]

Today, I am back to riding a mountain bike in the mountains and marsh trails of Virginia and kayaking creeks and marshes with a camera. Still the loosing battle begins again each fall through to spring. [:-yuck]

My dream for several years has been to come home each evening to my own personal trainer to bark orders at me. It would be well worth the money. [8]

Recently, I discovered an interesting site that for a very reasonable fee creates a daily workout based upon the equipment that you own, your personal goals and available time each day of the week. I now look forward to coming home to my nearly free personal trainer who is waiting for me every day. [:-party]

Here is that site:


Since fitness and health are key players in the quality of our work, I hope this is helpful.

One sobering fact becomes ever clearer with each passing year, the return to health and fitness becomes a steeper hill to climb. Maintaining health and fitness is the only sure path. [:-graduat

Personally, I'm aiming to be on this planet for about 120 years... My great grandmother made it to 101 so... Why not? (That is, providing the young don't round us up and shoot us because we've become such a burden to them... [:-crazy] )

Good luck and best wishes!

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Yeah, I can relate. The weight thing is tough as you get older. I was a competitive athlete into my late 30's. Three kids and a business later, I'm about 20 lbs over my fighting weight.

I remember pledging to myself, in my late teens, that I would never give up competitive sports, and would not play softball until I was at least 50! I still play league B-ball and do martial arts, but don't have the "hops" I had even five years ago.

I'll be 47 this year and my son will be 5. I need to at least give the illusion that I'm not a feeble ol' fart for another 10 years or so.

A personal trainer would be nice.

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Chris, that is why I'm sharing this site. Some may think I'm crazy, but heck, $10.00 a month for a personal trainer. To me, that's one heck of a deal. No gas, no waiting for machines, no drive time, always there for you... Can't beat it. I'm getting hooked.

BTW, both of my sons (one 29 and one 16) resisted mountain biking with me until I successfully got them up on a grueling Blue Ridge mountain trail that even required shouldering the bike for distances. The up hills are tough and the downhills rewarding. Now they're both hooked.

One of the many things we can do for our kids is inspire them to get off their butts.

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Here's my story. It's not worth much, but I feel compelled to repeat it.

I was always a clumsy kid and not good at sports even though I tried. I managed to get through my first 30 years without being too badly out of shape.

Then at age 34, I got inspired by Frank Shorter and the Olympic Marathon and decided to start running. Over the next 10 years I ran hundreds of local road races finally building up to three marathons (26.2 miles) in respectable times. The third marathon really wiped me out. I swore off marathons, but I was addicted to exercise. I heard about triathlons, bought a bicycle and speedo and entered my first triathlon in May, 1985 at age 44.

After 16 years of triathlons, running became difficult because I kept tripping - I'll explain below - so I finally quit running and triathlon. Now at age 65, I have a 30 minute exercise routine (mostly stretching) I do every morning, than I go out for a brisk walk. I walk 20 miles a week.

Now the rest of the story - with credit to Paul Harvey. I inherited from my mother a neurological disability that kept her house bound beginning in her 50's and in bed the last five years of her life. This explained my clumsiness and why I finally had to stop running. The feet just didn't work right any more. A couple of years ago, an MDA sponsored neurologist tested me and told me that, with my nerve function, he would expect me to be in a wheel chair. I was still running at that time.

The point of my story is not for sympathy or nice comments. My point is that I am totally convinced that if I had not started running when I did and then added triathlon for a total of 26 years, I might well be truly disabled now. I don't consider myself disabled. I still do inspections and walk on roofs. And more importantly, ...I exercise today, so I can do it tomorrow!

Without exercise I would have had a totally different life. Choose your own way, but exercise religiously. Do it everyday. It will dramatically improve your quality of life, especially when you get into your 50's, 60's and beyond.

OK, I'll stop the lecture now. I hope no one was offended.

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Thank you for that inspiring story, Paul.

In the end, I'm convinced there are only two groups of elderly, those that are thankful that they faithfully pushed themselves beyond pain and frustration to maintain their bodies and those who desperately wish that they had.

And, it's no different than quiting smoking. It's never too late and the benefits are almost immediate.

I wish you continued good health, Paul and if that's a relatively recent picture of you, I'll be darned if you look 65! Amazing... My hat is off to you!

PS. I tried running for a year and learned to like it, but breast stroke trashed my knees. They didn't care for running at all and I had to stop. When I'm not on my bike or in my kayak, I'm on the treadmill doing that brisk walk thing.

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Originally posted by mgbinspect

Thank you for that inspiring story, Paul.

I wish you continued good health, Paul and if that's a relatively recent picture of you, I'll be darned if you look 65! Amazing... My hat is off to you!

That photo is about 5 years old now, but hey! My wife says I still look good.[;)] Boy do I have her fooled.[^]

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