Author bio: Gary Baker is the proud founder of ActiveAuthorities.com, a blog dedicated to encouraging others to stay healthy and active. He writes on various hobbies he has taken up to achieve this, as well as product reviews such as his recent Callaway Supersoft review.
I am quite old. In fact, I am currently in my 50s, and I did not begin truly unlocking my body’s potential until a few years ago, when I was in my late 40s. Back when I started, it seemed to be at an age that many considered too late to begin. Who starts exercising after their physically prime years have passed anyway?
Well, I am proud to point out that I have maintained an enjoyable and highly beneficial daily jogging routine for a couple years now. It keeps me in shape, avoids issues men my age typically run into, and is leagues better than letting my body fade away due to age.
Today, I have the opportunity to share with you all how I kept up with my fitness goals and routines. Certainly, my experiences can be greatly applicable to yours. These are lessons I personally learned, but lessons that can be applied practically to anyone who has set a mission for themselves. With that said, let’s begin.
Set up proper preparation
Setting up the appropriate steps to prepare yourself for the journey ahead is a huge part of the battle for general fitness. It is especially important if you have had years of inactivity and are just now stepping into the game with a head full of ambition and seriousness.
The first thing I would do is analyze what you need and want. You cannot make goals if you don’t know where it is you’d like to be. Take time with this, since it varies from person to person. Some people desire incredible strength while others want to simply be quicker or more mobile. Some want to bulk up while others just want that lean body. Figure out first where you are and what your body is at the moment. Then evaluate the potential places you can go from your current state. For example, it is impractical to go from “skinny-fat” to “lean body with muscle definition”. The most efficient way to go from point A to point B in this case is to bulk up in muscle, then cut down on fat. Likewise, wanting to go from an already-heavy body to a bulkier, stronger body is manageable, but not ideal. Optimally, you would shed some fat first, then slowly put on weight in the form of muscle mass..
Take it slowly
I cannot stress this enough. Too often, especially if you’re like me and had a rapid burst of obsession with fitness after years of idleness, people ignore the bigger picture. When I first began jogging, I was exhausted only a few minutes in. This happened each day for at least 2 weeks. Especially at my age, I felt very little willpower to move on. But I looked at what kind of change I wanted to implement with my life and what kind of effort and time commitment that entailed.
Take it day-to-day. Each struggle is just one battle of many in your path to success. Whether it be failing a set while lifting weights, accidentally binge eating 1000 extra calories over your daily limit, or waking up weighing a pound more than expected, take these failures with stride and carry on.
Do some research every now and then
I don’t see this being recommended enough when talking to others about reaching my goal. Doing your own research on ways to help you personally reach your own goals is far more important than understanding basic information that may or may not be relevant to you. Search on Reddit (their /r/fitness and /r/running subs are my most-visited places) or other discussion hubs for people similar to you, with body compositions and/or goals like yours.
Truthfully, most people trying to jog daily are not over 50. Most are actually 18-30 year olds. Of course, that information is valuable to me, but what’s even more valuable are documented journeys of people actually my age that also want to accomplish the same goal. I used Reddit’s search function and found many similar people. I tried to find people facing the same struggles I faced in my journey (losing too much water weight was one of them, for example) and learn from them.
Make sure you’re having fun
The last thing I learned from my continuous journey is to keep doing what you love to do. I love every moment of putting jogging in my morning itinerary. I love plugging in my earphones and listening to The Beatles or a podcast on my phone. I love the burst of oxygen and the fresh air I inhale from my increased heart rate.
I know some parts of fitness are simply dreadful. I could see myself getting tired of lifting weights or consistently tracking my food intake. But I’d say learn to love it. Try to make it a passion of yours. One easy way to begin is to understand why you’re doing it. Then look beyond simply doing it for your goals. Start considering your daily habits as part of your lifestyle, and the whole concept of doing it could change for you.
I hope I have informed you all of useful advice. I have certainly learned plenty in my bumpy journey to a more active lifestyle. These lessons have helped me get through it and truly enjoy what fitness means to me personally.