Talking to a guy the other day in the gym – 29 years old, hasn't worked out for 8 years, and now is thinking he really needs to get back to it. He said something I thought was rather profound: "Don’t wait till you retire to start doing the things you hope to do when you retire". While this applies to a wide range of activities, the one I would like to focus on is exercise.
The book "Younger Next Year" ( a book I highly recommend, provided you can overlook a bit of male chauvinism – OK, maybe a lot of male chauvinism) discusses the way that physical exercise triggers waves of "grow" messages throughout your body and mind. If you send the right messages, your body sends out messages by the billions, making you stronger, more agile, smarter, more able to take hard knocks.
And, the rather obvious corollary – if you don’t work out your body does not get stronger, it "grows" weaker.
This reminds me of a truism quoted by Lou Holtz, a well known football coach: "You are either growing or dying: The minute we try to maintain, we start dying".
You know, I could have captioned my blog "Fighting for your life". It’s not about maintenance, it’s about getting stronger. But, if you wait till you are retired to start the process you will be starting with a body that has been slowly dying for a long time. The battle at that point is truly daunting – especially if the damage you have done includes sufficient degradation to you joints and bones that serious exercise is no longer an option.
Bottom line, start working out today. Keep working out, at least 5 days a week, from now on - and you will win the fight for your life!