Never Too Late for Fitness: Trendsetters Share Empowering Strategies For Fitness After 50 (Volume Book 1)
“Never Too Late for Fitness (Volume One)” is a collaborative book series featuring leading health and fitness professionals from across the country who are passionate and committed to helping people over 50 get fit, stay fit and live longer, healthier and happier lives.
In this edition, Phil Faris has conversations with the fitness trendsetter, Thomas M. Mitchell, D.C.,CCSP, look for new volumes of the Never Too Late for Fitness series soon.
Phil Faris: For Baby Boomers who want to get back into fitness but haven’t worked out in a long time, what are the first couple of things that they should be doing to start?
Dr. Mitchell: First, you must always have the blanket statement; talk to your general practitioner and all those things. The ideal thing for people to start doing is drinking more water; I’d say anywhere between 64 and 96 ounces a day, then, just start walking. Start getting the body moving, so they can condition their body and their muscles to start to work, and pump fluids through their bodies. When their blood’s pumping, they’re eliminating lactic acid, and everything starts to move freely again. That’s the best place to start that I’ve found for my patients. If they’re just getting back into an exercise program, it’s literally: start with a 5-minute walk. Depending on their health conditions or the condition of their body, you just start slow, and before you know it, with enough water and enough walking, the possibilities are endless. You’re running an Ironman a year and a half later. Who knows?
Phil Faris: When you talk about, “based on your physical condition”, that means what is right for that person at that time. For some people, that’s going for a walk. For some people, it’s 5 minutes. Other people, it’s 2 hours. It’s relative to you. Then, the idea is to go to the next level. Once you get a certain level of fitness, what would be the next level? If they’re able to walk for 30 minutes or an hour without pain, what would be the next level of fitness that you would try and add to that?
Dr. Mitchell: It’s dependent on the individual. What I tell people is, find an activity that keeps you active, but it must be something that you enjoy doing. It could be playing pickleball, walking, running, or climbing trees. That part I don’t care too much about. It’s more about, do something you enjoy, because then you look forward to it and it’s not a chore anymore. It’s not a thing that you must do. It’s not a necessary evil. It’s like the thing that helps you get through the day. It clears your head, you feel better afterward, and that is individual for everyone. For some people, it’s yoga and classes, and for others, it’s weight training or resistance training, and others, it’s just continuing to walk and listen to music or their books on tape. The next level is always to find something you really enjoy doing. If you can walk a half an hour to an hour consistently, then you’re ready to move to the next step of, okay, let’s play pickleball, see if I like it. Whatever it may be, you definitely want to push yourself. The only way to make it sustainable is if you enjoy it.