I want to talk with you today about healthy aging. But first, I’ve got a new candidate for the “world’s most annoying commercial.”
They’re those ads for Peloton. You know, the overpriced exercise bike that makes cycling at home look like some kind of cult activity. And if there’s anything worse than the ads, it’s the price.
The glorified stationary bike will put you back $1,500. But wait, that’s not all. The Peloton folks also expect you to cough up another $40 EVERY SINGLE MONTH on top of that to have someone on the screen yell at you while you ride.
No, thank you. I mean, I get why some folks have felt tempted to make the investment. Being cooped up inside last year with the pandemic—and still having our activities restricted in some places—has led to some questionable purchases.
Heck, I can practically feel myself aging by the second. But there’s a much simpler way to get healthy and slow aging to a crawl. And there are no cult meetings or costs involved.
Best of all is that all you’ll need to get started on this healthy-aging path is five minutes of your time.
Making THIS mistake fast-forwards aging
The actual key to fitness isn’t found in a $1,500 exercise bike. And healthy aging doesn’t require regular 60-minute sweat sessions with you furiously jumping around, either.
There’s really just one vital move you need to make. Get off your rear.
Because the more time you spend sitting, the bigger your risks for all the diseases of aging… period. And the more time you spend on your feet—even if you’re just walking around—the better your health and fitness will be.
Combine that with a sensible Mediterranean or lower-carb diet, and you have a formula for healthy aging.
Sounds pretty basic, right? But a new report finds even those minimal levels of activity are vanishing. People are spending more time seated and sedentary. And we’re paying the price.
Before the coronavirus hit, people spent about an hour and a half on their feet each day on average. That was already far too low. But since then, it’s gotten much worse.
Low-level activity has plunged to about an hour a day. That drop could have enormous consequences because we know a sedentary lifestyle hits the fast-forward button on aging. And that lack of activity sets the stage for weight gain, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and more.
The team behind the new report is calling for more activity. But don’t worry, it’s not the kind you need a Peloton bike for. The researchers suggest we simply spend a bit more time on our feet.
In fact, they proposed we get up and move for just five extra minutes an hour. And honestly, who can’t manage that if the reward is healthier aging?
Jumpstart your metabolism
But don’t save up that activity for the end of the day. A half-hour walk doesn’t make up for six straight hours of sitting.
This is about your metabolism, a constant 24/7 process inside your body. It was once thought that our metabolism naturally slows with aging. Which could make it feel like we were fighting a losing battle.
The good news is the latest research has found that this may not be the case. But you know what does slow down your metabolic rate? Being more sedentary.
The fix is simple. When you stand up and move around for five minutes every hour, it’s the metabolic equivalent of throwing a log onto the fire to ensure it stays hot.
Of course, you should still aim to get the standard half an hour a day of exercise. Or what I prefer to think of us as movement, since you don’t need to head to the gym or break out the weights (unless you want to) to do it.
A brisk walk will do the trick. Or, if the cold weather is keeping you indoors, maybe try following a free exercise video on YouTube. You can search for things like “yoga for seniors,” “stretching for beginners,” or “chair workouts” to find a variety of options that are just the right speed for those of us battling aging.
Need some more inspiration? Or looking for something to do during those five-minute movement sessions?
Check out these 5 easy and effective exercises for out-of-shape beginners. Trust me, if I can handle these moves, I know you can too.
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