Why do some people look so young and fit despite the date of birth on their driver’s license? After all 50 is the new 40. Thinking of my own family, my maternal grandmother was club champion at her golf club when she was 80. Despite that, both of my parents, now in their early 70’s are more active than their parents. Mom is an avid skier, road biker, and hiker. Dad runs a draft horse business and maintains a small farm. In fact, my father has outlived both of his parents.
Perhaps you have tried and think it’s impossible to be fit over 50. It seems as if everything about your body has changed, you can’t eat as much; you have a hard time building muscle not to mention all those aches and pains.
What is the #1 thing you must change to be fit over 50?
Sounds simple but it’s not.
As a professional athlete in two sports, I’m fascinated with how the best athletes in the world use their minds to achieve optimal performance. The aging athlete in me is fixated on making the right choices to stay healthy and competitive. As a coach, I am searching for ways to help students passed their self-inflicted mental barriers
Early in my golf career, I worked at a course whose signature hole was a par 3 with an island green. I would carefully watch my students as we approached the hole and without fail most players would exchange the ball they had been playing with an older ball. “Water ball” they would comment when they saw me watching. How many of those with a “water ball” hit the island green? Even if you are not a golfer you instinctively know it wasn’t many.
How do we change our mind so we can get fit over 50?
Examine Your Self Talk
Most of us would agree with the saying “If you think you can, you’re right, and if you think you can’t, you’re right.”
Stop for a moment and consider the stories you’ve told yourself about aging. Do you believe that there is nothing you can do about how you look and feel? Have ache and pains become a frequent topic of conversation? Do you commiserate with others over the changes in your body and how you feel? When you see the latest news or product to help with aging do you simply roll your eyes in disbelief?
Take a good hard look at what you say and what you think. Most of us aren’t aware of our negativity, it’s usually habit, just like the “water ball.”
[Tweet “Would aging change if you focused on the solution, not the problem?”]
One of my favorite resources is 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class. Author Steve Siebold was a tennis player, once ranked in the top 500 in the world, who began searching for the mental differences that kept him from being the top 10 in the world. This book has challenged my thinking and perceptions for many years. Not something to be read from cover to cover, it’s full of tips and insights designed to take your thinking to another level.
I am not naively saying that we can simply change our minds and decide to be fit over 50. However, I am suggesting that if focused on the solution there are decisions and lifestyle choices that will lessen the impacts of the aging process.
You might finally lose those ten extra pounds and find out that your knees hurt less after a day of skiing. Perhaps you need faster reactions to compete against younger players in pickleball? Adding an agility ladder to your workout routine may speed things up.
There is no telling you could change your body if you just start by changing your mind.
What has changed the way you think of fitness and aging? Please add it to the comment section.
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