You know what’s more embarrassing than hearing 60-80 year olds walking/running everyday for 10 miles a day when most days you don’t even walk for a mile? Everything.
There’s nothing more shocking than watching the older population go farther (for the Bruce protocol) than the younger population that comes through the hospital. For those who don’t know, the Bruce protocol is designed to start off with no incline at 1.2mph and increase every 3 minutes going higher than any home treadmill will go (10% incline) and faster making you run uphill to get to a calculated heart rate based on your age. This means the older you get the less stages you should have to go through to reach that heart rate. But after watching 20-40 year olds quit after the first or second stage and seeing 60-80 year olds continue until they can’t move their legs anymore (which there are many that get to stage 4 or 5 which gets as hard as 20% incline at 5.5 mph) is absolutely eye-opening. Is the younger generation just out of shape? Maybe, but I also had a 22 year old marine who could only get to stage 3. Is the older generation just more disclipned and care about their health more? Also a possibility but can’t be everyone’s causation.
So I ask the most fit and farthest producing 60-80 year olds on the treadmill what their secret is. Wanna know?
The secret to happiness, strength, fulfillment, and succeeding on the Bruce protocol or even surpassing my heart rate is movement.
Seems like a joke right? How can just moving keep you healthy this long? Well if you compare and contrast between movement and no movement at all, movement will win tenfold. I’ve read many many articles about running, fitness, and exercise in general and I can promise you none of them will say it’s okay to come home from your 8-10 hour work day and just sit around. They all suggest movement in general. We, as exercise specialists, cardiologists, and trainers around the world, all believe that just going for a walk around the block, riding your bike, doing housework, whatever suits your schedule will count as movement and a healthier lifestyle. Movement is the medicine to your body. Movement is the workout almost everybody can do. Movement doesn’t require skill or hours on end, movement just requires you to get up and do something!
So after many days spent doing nothing because I am too busy or don’t wanna run, I’ve realized I don’t need to push myself to lengths I am incapable of. As someone with exercise induced asthma, I’m not a runner. But I need to stop using running and my asthma as an excuse to not get out and move. Besides, the worst thing that will happen is you will get some fresh air and a clear mind.
I am challenging myself to walk 4.2 miles everyday for the next month (or do some sort of exercise for the same or more miles). Why 4.2? Living in the country and exercise is much more difficult then it sounds. But there is a road/route that allows very little traffic and for the most part has a couple hills and is shaded by trees. The walk is also down to my elementary school best friends house and back. Not sure if she still lives there, but the memories do.
Do yourself a favor and go for a walk. Even for a mile.