5 Practices I Implement to Stay Super Fit at 53
My mantra has always been age is just a number. I believe that with all of my heart. In fact, I believe wholeheartedly in anti-aging. I de-age myself by at least a decade, so I am actually turning forty-three on March 7th. I embrace my birthday because I know I am getting better with age physically, mentally and spiritually.
Here are my five practices I implement to be super fit at 53.
No big surprise here. What is the perfect diet you ask? I have been on them all. I have done keto, paleo, high fat, low fat, high carb, low carb, vegetarian and vegan.
Here is a little secret. They all work. Here is the key. Eat real whole foods. Eat foods that are nutrient dense. Meaning they are very high in nutrition and very low in calories. Cut out the crap except for dark chocolate, peanut butter and coffee of course. Just kidding, those are my definite weaknesses though.
I like to keep my nutrition simple. I am currently eating a vegan diet because I feel it is best for my health, the planet and for the compassion of animals.
I choose health over disease, peace over violence and protection over destruction.
I am done telling clients to eat a certain type of diet. I tell them to eat real whole foods with tons of veggies, plan ahead, cook at home and limit the number of times you eat out. Pretty simple. I let them label it any way they want to.
For breakfast I have a bowl of fruit with cinnamon, unsweetened almond milk and a handful of almonds. It’s a fruit cereal.
For lunch I have a huge power salad. I load as many veggies onto it as possible.
For dinner it’s usually some sautéed veggies with some starch like a sweet potato or some rice or quinoa.
I feel light, healthy, athletic and full of energy.
I have always said the closest thing we have to the fountain of youth is strength training. On average people lose about twenty-five pounds of lean muscle mass between the ages of twenty-five and sixty-five.
That is completely preventable if we strength train at least twice a week. I have been lifting weights consistently since I was fourteen years old and I never plan to stop.
Here is the cool thing though. It’s never too late to start. We can build lean muscle mass at any age. Get in the gym or just drop down anywhere you are at and crank out some push-ups. Keep it simple. I am a big believer in body weight exercises. Push-ups, pull-ups, squats and planks should do the trick. Why make it complicated?
One of my favorite things to do is to get outside on my bicycle. I used to think I had to hammer on my bike all of the time, but as I get older I am realizing the importance of aerobic exercise at a lower intensity. I am a believer in Phil Maffetone’s Maximal Aerobic Function which is quite simply 180 minus your age. For me at age 53, I try to keep my heart rate at 127 beats per minute plus or minus 5.
I get a great workout without killing myself. I have completed the Triple Bypass bike ride in Colorado which is 120 miles with over 10,000 feet of climbing. I finished with energy to spare thanks to this method of training.
I highly recommend aerobic exercise in the form of cycling, swimming, walking or jogging. Whatever makes you happy. Try to do it outside if possible. There is nothing like fresh air and nature to make us feel better.
This one is a work in progress for me. I am learning I can’t beat up my body like I used to. I recently did a full blood work up done by Inside Tracker. Overall my blood work was great. The markers that came back that weren’t so good were all caused by over training. I took that feedback to heart.
I have cut my strength training back to two to three times a week. I only lift heavy once a week and the other days are more body weight training. I have kissed tendonitis good-bye once and for all.
My other challenge has been getting enough quality sleep. For the first time in probably years I got over seven hours of sleep four nights in a row. I am an early to bed early to rise kind of a guy and if I don’t get to bed early enough I am hard pressed to get seven hours of quality sleep.
I usually get up some time between 4 and 5am so that means I have to get to bed pretty early. It seems no matter what time I go to bed my circadian rhythm gets me up early.
I have had to make some adjustments with my schedule to do that. One thing I have had to do was to create more margin in my life. I have adopted a less is more strategy over the course of the last several months. What a difference that has made.
I have had to give up some things that I love, such as teaching my faith and fitness class at a local church, but I found my health was suffering because I was doing too many things.
I believe moving forward rest and recovery is going to be a big part of my anti-aging strategy.
I have meditated off and on over the last ten years. When I meditate consistently it’s a game changer for me. For some reason this has been a big challenge for me to stay consistent.
I can’t imagine a day without physical activity. My goal is to get to the point where I can’t imagine a day without meditating. As of this writing I have meditated fourteen days in a row. That’s a big deal for me.
I have been geeking out on quantum physics recently and in particular Joe Dispenza’s work. I believe strengthening my mind is going to be the gateway for me to live an inspired life of purpose.
I know that I am a spiritual being living in a human body, yet it is so easy to get caught up in our physical world.
When I meditate I feel closer to God. I feel less entangled in the chaos of the world and more at peace with myself and the world around me.
I have adjusted my morning routine so the first thing I do in the morning is meditate for twenty to thirty minutes. If I have additional time during the day I will sit my butt down in a chair, close my eyes and get in tune with my inner self.
So there you have it. My five ways I stay super fit at fifty-three. Give them a try and see how they work for you. My mantra for myself and my clients is to keep showing up. Never give up. To have an attitude of patience, persistence and perseverance. It’s never too late to get in the best shape of your life physically, mentally and spiritually.
Troy Ismir, MS
Fitness Minister/Spiritual Warrior Coach
Founder and Creator of Barbells & Brothers