Happy New Year!
I'm back from the gym and finished my aerobic exercise with 20 minutes on the elliptical. My heart rate was at 70 percent to 85 percent of my target—a high-endurance workout. (Go, Judi! Go, Judi! Go, Judi!) I also completed some strength training and stretching with an hour yoga class. (Go, Judi! Go, Judi! Go, Judi!)
Dr. Henry S. Lodge (also known as Harry) and Chris Crowley, authors of the Younger Next Year series, would be proud. Harry's first rule to help limit decay in an aging body is to "exercise six days a week for the rest of your life, especially during your life after 50." I had heard about this series, but never read any of the books until I received review copies of Younger Next Year for Women and their latest, Younger Next Year: The Exercise Program.
Henry (Harry) S. Lodge, M.D. (left) and Chris Crowley are authors of the "Younger Next Year" series.
Younger Next Year for Women
"Harry's Rules will change your life," says Dr. Mehmet Oz.
"It's got all the tools that women need to achieve longer, sexier and more passionate lives," says Dr. Hilda Hutcherson, codirector of New York Center for Women's Sexual Health. Wow-o-wow.
The series has more than 1.5 million copies in print and a 10-year history of helping change lives for the better. I was curious to find out what passionate followers had discovered.
Younger Next Year For Women was an easy read, and I thought Harry's seven rules and Chris's advice for those entering their second and third acts were helpful. Harry, a renowned doctor and gerontologist, is the Robert Burch Family Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. He is also Chris's doctor and good friend. Chris, a former litigator now in his 80s, has followed Harry's rules and continues to stay active.
So what are Harry's Rules? Read below and see if you are following these rules during your life after 50. Chris says that you should treat exercise like a job. It's definitely easier to treat exercise like a job if you are retired. However, even if you aren't, these are rules that require attention post-50.
As the book recommends, "Check with your doctor before starting any exercise program and don't overdo it the first day."
1. Exercise six days a week for the rest of your life. (This is a tall order that I'm trying to accomplish since I retired from my full-time job. I go to the gym about four to five days a week and try to ride my stationary bicycle at home six days a week. This is hard work.)
2. Do serious aerobic exercise four days a week for the rest of your life. According to Harry, "Light aerobic exercise is long and slow exercise at an easy pace—up to 65 percent of your max heart rate. Hard aerobic exercise is when your heart rate is at 85 percent of your max. You can figure out your target heart rate and max numbers by subtracting your age from 220 and multiplying the results by the appropriate percentages.
3. Do serious strength training, with weights, two days a week. (I don't lift weights, but I do lots of yoga, lifting my own body which is way heavier.)
I do planks in yoga for strength training.
4. Spend less than you make. (I hear you. I've planned a monthly and yearly budget for my second act. It's not always easy to keep within my parameters each month. Overall, I've been doing a pretty good job. Check, check, check.)
5. Quit eating crap! (Check, check, check. For the most part, I've been eating healthier and doing more cooking since I retired. I'm on the FODMAP diet, which is keeping my irritable bowel under control.)
6. Care. (I am so grateful for my wonderful family and friends. I feel lucky that after 30 years of a fast-paced corporate lifestyle that I can now prioritize my passions over a paycheck.)
7. Connect and commit. (Speaking of passions, I've met many new friends since I retired. There are my blogging buddies, my yoginis and yogis, my YTT 200 yoga teachers and students at Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies, plus all the people I've come to know through my consulting. Oh, oh, oh, there's also my boyfriend L. We continue to be a great team. He doesn't exercise like I do—I'm going to give him a copy of this book to read. Hear that, L?)
Younger Next Year: The Exercise Program
There is much more to share about the Younger Next Year series, including all the information in Chris and Harry's latest book, Younger Next Year: The Exercise Program. It describes ways to "use exercise to reverse aging and stay strong, fit and sexy." It features a guide that shows "25 Sacred Exercises, the foundation for a whole-body strength-training regimen by Bill Fabrocini, P.T., illustrated with step-by-step directions for doing each exercise correctly." (I was pleased to see that many of these exercises are the same poses we do in yoga.)
Thanks to Chris and Harry, I know why I am busier than ever. I figured out that if I count exercise as a job, I now have three part-time jobs—my exercise, my blogging and consulting, and my yoga training. I'm actually doing more during my life after 50 than I did before!
Yes, it can be exhausting at times, and I still have aches and pains, but it's also exhilarating. Hope I can keep this up for the next 30 years. Well, maybe not all these activities. Better get back to my mindfulness meditation and yoga, which reminds me to take each moment as it comes and live in the present.
Cheers to a healthy 2016!
This post originally appeared on aboomerslifeafter50.com.