Dear Doc: I’m a 59-year-old long-haul truck driver who listens to you every week. Love the radio show.
Last spring, I started judo lessons and am now also taking jiu-jitsu. Both sports are low-impact. I know you probably don’t believe that, but I used to play basketball and that’s high-contact for sure.
I would encourage anyone looking to learn martial arts to check out these two types. It’s so much fun. It gets me moving and there’s an added plus — you get to hang out with lots of young people. Seeing your photo, you look young enough to give it a try. — Andy, Lake Oswego, Oregon
Dear Andy: Sounds great! I always say the best exercise is that which you will do. Kudos to you.
I’m a non-contact guy who never learned how to do karate, boxing, etc. Maybe I’d like it. I now do some boxing with my personal trainer, but if you saw it you’d laugh. It’s just a ritualized punch and duck — and I do laugh when I do it. Laughing and smiling is an important part of exercise — it keeps you doing it.
Thinking outside the proverbial box about how much and when to exercise is vital. Too many people get stuck in the mindset of, “If I don’t go to 80 percent of my maximum heart rate three times a week, I’m not doing anything.”
Bull. There is a concept called Blue Zones — first introduced by author and endurance cyclist Dan Buettner — which identifies areas of the world where people live an active life well into their 90s. These people don’t go to the gym. They just get up and move all the time in their daily lives.
Training for a marathon is different from training for life. Choose your sport, your passion, what you like to do (or even just tolerate) and get moving. That’s the trick. Sitting is the new smoking.
But your other point is rather intriguing — you get to hang out with a lot of young people. I love that concept.
I am not a highly motivated exerciser. Far from it. I love to garden, putter around the house (what is puttering anyway?), walk the dog, ski in the winter and hike. But my reluctance is going to the gym to push myself to go harder, faster, better.
Many with this problem go to classes; I go to a personal trainer. When looking at a local gym, I found a bunch of people my own age moving and sweating. However, because I’m on the faculty at UW-Madison, I can go to the university facilities. Once a week, I can find myself surrounded by 20-somethings, who motivate me to work harder, push the limit.
I, too, love being with the “young’uns” because their outlook is boundless. There’s a can-do mentality that seems to pervade the room. Intergenerational interaction adds to the fun – and fun is where it’s at.
My spin: Do something, do anything. Think outside the box. Just get moving. And stay well.