The Fit Student – A Healthy Splash

Look thirty in your fifties! Not like the fifty-year old grandpa with fit abs. I bet he drinks cola. Instead, look like a real thirty-year old. Truly. How? Well, you decay after age twenty, says Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge in their book Younger Next Year: Live Strong, Fit, and Sexy – Until You’re 80 and Beyond. So, exercise six days a week your entire lifetime—whether you’re young or old.

Don’t hire a flaky fitness trainer either (Crowley and Lodge, 2007). Some charge your card, but idly chat your entire lazy workout. Others count your reps—but you learned to count in grade school. No need for either.

Instead, hire trainers who make you sweat and huff—who test the limits of your spirit. In short, hire a trainer, not a gym buddy. If you must hire a gym buddy, pay Grandma. You’ll get a sincere visit—plus some tasty baking.

And do much more diet-wise. Two Christmases ago, I spent the holidays getting three-root-canals on a broken molar. The culprit? Diet cola. One cup of cola and my teeth ached like marshmallows. A month of cola, and a cap broke. And now, my doctor wants me tested for gastritis. Diet cola? Yes, festering in my gut with zero nutrition. Like popular poison.

Super fries, burgers, and sodas kill. So, I discovered the cure for cola—the cure for most ills. At least, the cure for fit granddaddy fifties. Namely, exercise, nine-hour sleeps, and superfoods. With this combo, your mood lifts. Your energy rises. You feel fuller on less food. Best of all, you stand a decent chance of reversing—even annihilating—disease.

The final cure for granddaddy fifties? Whiten your chops, says Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge. Years of black teas stained my teeth. People mistook me for a smoker—until I found extra whitening toothpaste. One brush, and years of buildup? Vanished.

Or get dental cosmetic surgery. Papa spent tens of thousands to get super white teeth. Now, he grins—a lot. He also inspects and criticizes my teeth. His only regret? He passed on the whitest shade.

I phoned Papa recently, reassuring him that he’d reach 90 or even 100. I told him the secret: dress more stylishly the older you get—it confuses people (Crowley & Lodge, 2007). And hopefully style baffles biological clocks.

Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge show how to defy aging in their book Younger Next Year: Live Strong, Fit, and Sexy – Until You’re 80 and Beyond:

• The secret to lean health? “The only way to lose weight is to embark on a program of steady, vigorous exercise, avoiding the worst foods being thrust upon you in our national diet and eating less of everything” (p. 213).

• And the secret to preserving your bones? “Lifting big, heavy weights … stops the bone loss … stops (or offsets) the muscle loss … stops the weakening of tendons” (p. 155).

• But how heavy should you lift? “Eventually you have to get to heavy weights and low reps …. That means lifting weight that you can lift, say only ten times before you literally cannot do it anymore” (p. 159).

• The best news for aging? Weightlifting—even in your nineties—gets you mobile. “There was a study done a while ago in a nursing home. They got all residents, including the ones who were bedridden, to do weights. … Almost all the bedridden got up on walkers. The guys on walkers went to canes, and so on” (p. 161). Weights give you legs.

• The worst news for aging? Isolation kills. So, keep your friends close—even if they bug you. “We’re tempted to say, the hell with so-and-so. Well, don’t; we can’t afford to lose a one” (p. 280). Love others; cuddle others—for longevity.

• So, stay connected: “if you have a faith, go back to church or temple or the pagan altar of your choice. Coach Little League, drive a school bus … volunteer at anything you want, but volunteer. You might not always like it, you might even find it boring, tedious, or frustrating …. [but] you need to matter” (p.264-265).

A friend’s dad made drastic changes to his diet. Why? In his late forties, his health tanked. Mine did too.

So, exercise—and let blueberry yogurt mark your unhealthiest treat. Get 7 to 9 hours sleep, no matter how sedating the medicines. And love. Your bowels will return the love—with a healthy splash.