Last month, Lliam and I had a rare opportunity to workout and talk to Tony Horton 1:1. Tony Horton - in case you didn’t know – is the master behind the best selling fitness program in America, P90X. Tony helps people get fit all over the world by keeping them motivated in health, physique, and lifestyle.
So what did I learn and how can it help you extend your personal shelf-life? I don’t know about you but I want it all – I want to live healthy and stay mobile until my last days here on earth. Maybe I’m too independent for my own good – but I want to “wear out” – not “rust out” in this lifetime.
A little background: One of my role models is Jeanne Holmes – that’s Lliam’s “Nan” from South Africa. When we were married back in 1997, we travelled to South Africa to visit Lliam’s Nan and Pop (grandparents). Mrs. Holmes was 84 years old – smart as a whip and drove us to the chemist and meat market like it was nobody’s business.
So the question becomes what is the secret to staying healthy, active, mobile and independent? That’s exactly what Tony talked about. He asked – “What do your grandparents and great grandparents look like now?” Guess what – if you follow their footsteps of behavior, exercise (or lack there of) and eating habits, that’s exactly where you’ll be when you reach their age. Did that thought exercise scare you? Well if it did, then there’s some good news. There are three things that affect how mobile, healthy and independent you’ll be in your 80’s and 90’s: your behavior, genetics and environment. Although you have no control over your genetics, you can mitigate the other two so your health “shelf-life” is really up to you – your choice.
Let’s talk about behavior – do you eat right and healthy? Tony’s advice – just control what goes into your pie hole and that’s the first base covered. For you pancake lover’s – he said eating pancakes was like eating cake for breakfast. Seriously, to maximize your energy level, ensure you have a balanced diet and avoid excessive fats, sugars and processed foods. Litmus test: If you great-great grandparents wouldn’t know what it is, then you probably shouldn’t eat it. Every meal is either a medicine or a poison for your body. The choice is yours.
As for exercise, Tony said that if you spend as little as 20 minutes a day, you can extend your life. The key to a great exercise program is consistency. To stay mobile, you need to exercise at least 3 times per week. He suggests you mix it up – combine strength training with cardio, stretching, yoga and breathing exercises. When you do exercise, your brain releases endorphins, which feed your entire body. He said that movement was the secret fountain of youth. If you keep moving, you feel better and look your best. Intensity and variety are also important – don’t get stuck doing the same thing and make sure you push yourself a little in your workouts. If you want to learn more about Tony Horton or tips to stay healthy, check out www.tonyhortonsworld.com.