7 Tricks For Staying Young During The Pandemic
For us mature people (65 or older), the pandemic presents a challenge. How do we stay young and healthy? If we can manage that, our long term prospects get a lot better.
Here are 7 tricks I’ve used to keep my physical age at 50 rather than my chronological age of 70.
Trick #1: Simple exercise every day. Last year, I dropped my weight from 230 to 205 on a keto diet. Thanksgiving rolled around, and — boom — back to 215. I floated around 215 through the winter and into the spring. Not good. So I went back onto my keto routine. No weight loss. Hmmm, what’s missing? I was doing a full body workout to exhaustion once a week. Was that enough? Apparently not. I jumped on my stationary bike and started riding 30 minutes at day at noon. Nothing heavy duty and just enough resistance to break out into a light sweat. I get to listen to my current Audible book as a bonus. Happily, that’s doing the trick as my weight is dropping.
Trick #2: Keep engaged even when sheltering in. I write, teach on Zoom, and have an internet marketing business. I am creating online courses. All of this keeps me mentally engaged and I enjoy it. Fair Disclosure: I do not own a television set, do not watch movies, and don’t listen to a radio (I don’t have one of them either.)
Trick #3: Start learning something challenging as a beginner. Having what I call a beginner’s mindset is a way to stay young and healthy. Yes, it’s frustrating to learn something new, and no one likes the feeling of incompetency. Learn to appreciate these emotions and be present with them. Your life will be immensely richer. I play blues and jazz violin. Every day is a new challenge as I take on more and more difficult music. What is impossible today, is difficult next week, and is ridiculously easy in a month or two.
Trick #4: Develop your emotional competency. One would think at our age, we would have some wisdom. However, most have never developed emotional competency. We are 98% emotional and only 2% rational. Why not take this time to explore the 98% of our being that our society says is “bad” and become expert at working with our emotions and those of others. I have online courses that teach you how to do this, if you are interested.
Trick #5: Change your eating habits. I love to cook fine food and so the classic three meals a day was standard. Two years ago, I switched to an intermittent fasting routine. I only eat food between 9 am and 3 pm. I might have a very light snack with my whiskey (oh yes, I have to have one vice, don’t I?) in the evening. My energy has increased, I sleep 9–10 hours a night, and feel great.
Trick #7: Find ways to serve others. Before the pandemic, as the co-founder of the Prison of Peace Project, I trained lifers and longer termers in maximum security prisons how to be mediators and peacemakers. We are on hiatus until the pandemic is under control. Yet, every day I’m on Zoom coaching, counseling, and teaching others. I give away most of my time because service to others is very important.
Staying young requires that you make choices. You have to want to take some action to change your physical age. There is some effort involved, but not much. Try some of these tricks for 3 or 4 months and see how your life changes. You will probably surprise yourself.