The Key for a Longer, Healthy Life

January 12, 2018 by  
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I thought I was in great shape and looked pretty darn good now at almost 74 years old. Then I went to my favorite Kauai tennis club last week and played tennis with this old friend, Ken, who looks like he is 55 or 60 years old and plays a great game of tennis. But would you believe this guy, who is in super great shape, out on the court with me, is 87 years old? You’d be shocked if you saw him and he is not slowing down at all.

Ken inspires me to keep moving and, yes, I set some more new year’s exercise resolutions including playing more tennis with Ken and many other friends. I think most people know that exercise–even moderate exercise–is good for your health. According to a one large study, 75 minutes of vigorous, or 150 minutes of moderate, exercise per week extends life by 3.4 years. That might not seem like a lot of extra years, but that’s just the average and you and I might be able to push that to 10 or 15 years like Ken has. Plus remember that most likely those extra years are going to be so much more enjoyable because your physical and mental health will be much better.

And hey, 150 minutes a week is only about 22 minutes a day and if you are anything like me, you can easily push yourself to do a little more than that each day if you have the proper motivation. As I mentioned in another post a while back, one of the best gifts my wife ever gave to me was a little simple “Fitbit” that counts all my steps among other things. The recommended goal is 10,000 steps a day. However, that little device has had me competing with myself to continuously increase my daily steps to the point that I now shoot for 20,000 steps a day. That is more than 3 hours of walking, but it is not hard to spread it out over my day and, I have to say, I love it.

By the way, if you want to increase the chances of reaching your exercise goals, it’s a very wise move to tell your spouse or a good friend about your goal and then encourage them to remind you and ask you how you are doing with those goals. They can basically act as your coach and prod you along but mostly, you know they know and so you will feel accountable to them.

There is another big health related benefit that comes with working out when you do it via a game such as tennis or golf. That benefit is the social interaction you get during and after the game. Keeping up an active social life is another proven life extending way to keep you healthy.

So, I do sincerely hope you will be motivated to set exercise goals and never forget the many benefits you’ll be receiving. Write those goals down and get someone to remind you and push you. Next week I’ll want to expand on this subject because we could all use a little extra push, even me!



Big Buried Secrets

July 24, 2015 by  
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Ok … so do you want some sure-fire ways to help you set big goals (and/or small goals) and be able to stick with them until you succeed? Well, they are out there just waiting for you. I’m going call these methods ‘secrets’ although as you read some of these you may say ‘Hey, I already know that one!’ so for you it’s really not a secret.  Right?  Well, you may be right and it may not be something new to you but if you are not doing it, then maybe it really should be labelled a ‘secret’. A secret you are keeping from yourself.

For example, you probably have heard the first two secrets I have for you. But do you do them?

No. 1: You must write your goal down! There is a kind of magic that happens in our brains when we make a printed record of specifically what we want to accomplish. It makes it more real to us and we feel obliged to follow through. Just because they’re written down.

No. 2: Be sure to put a deadline or time limit on your goal and write that down too.  Without a deadline, you can put off forever the tasks that will move you forward and then you’ll never get close to that goal. Knowing you have a deadline gives you a kind of mini-goal and something to aim for.

Does that sound familiar? Sound like great advice? Yes? Well … do you always employ them?

How about ‘secrets’ that some people might be aware of but don’t spend enough time doing?

No. 3: Take time to carefully visualize your goal with as much detail as you can imagine.  That visualization should also include an image in your mind of actually accomplishing your goal. Think about how you are going to feel when you arrive at your journey’s end. Run it though your brain numerous times until it feels real.

No. 4: Tell other people about what you have set out to do.  Ideally tell people who care about you and understand and appreciate what you’re aiming for. Ask these people to remind you, encourage you and cheer you on as you make progress towards your goals.

This fourth step can be a huge help.  Even if they don’t ask how you are doing or give words of encouragement every time they see you, your seeing them will often remind you that they know what you are shooting for and you certainly don’t want to disappoint them, not to mention failing yourself, of course.

So I am guessing that, for a lot of you, these tips aren’t new ideas but if you aren’t doing them, they might as well be deeply buried secrets. They are all simple to do, take very little effort, and can increase your ability to persevere and reach those goals, both big and small! So dig these back up and use them! It’s your own little gold mine you can use to pave your way to all kinds of success.

There is even more good news … those are not the only ‘secrets’ out there. Next week, I will talk about more tried and true secrets to making your goals a reality. Get yourself a head start by writing down, setting a deadline for, visualizing and telling others about your goal. Because the biggest secret is that you can’t get what you want without going for it!