As people get older and start to drift away from that active “athlete” they once were, many have no reason to workout. Some cannot get motivated to do what they must or need to do. Others will read a blog like this and tell me that I am out of my mind if I think they will do any of this stuff…what for? There is nothing to train for anymore.
I always like to ask people that workout why they are working out, or why they are training. Sometimes I hear things like “To stay healthy”, or “To get into shape”, and I always follow it up with “why do you need to get into shape”?
That is a trick question for people. Many just stare at me blankly and don’t know what to say.
I like to offer up that people should be training for the most important event they will ever encounter…LIFE. “Train for life”.
Life is tough, and full of obstacles. Most people think in terms of emotional and mental hurdles when thinking of the trials of life. I believe that there are just as many physical obstacles in life as well, and if you are not ready for them, things can and will get very rough…Especially as you climb in age.
If you can continue to compete and play some sort of sport as you get older, that is great and yes, you should train for that, but life is a 24/7, 365 days a year contest. Are you ready?
Life has some basic physical hurdles that you need to be ready for each day. Below I have outlined what I think are the most important areas that should be trained as you go through life so you can not just keep up, but also excel and win!
1. Squatting – You will have to squat in life. Sometimes a lot during the day. As you get older and your knees give you problems, squatting gets harder and most people try to avoid it. When training for life, have a component of squatting in your plan. This does not have to be Olympic weight lifting, or even using weights at all. Body weight or bands will work well too. But either way, make sure that you have some kind of squatting motion in your training plan.
2. Pulling – You will have to pull things all day long whether you know it or not. Some things are so simple, we don’t even think about them, but others are much harder. Will you be able to keep up? Pulling a grocery bag or your child, grandchild and even pet off of the ground can be tough for people that don’t have the strength or body stability to do this. Pulling a cord on the lawn mower, or leaf blower can be tough for people as well. Include pulling in your plan. Again, weights are not necessary.
3. Pushing or pressing – Whether you are putting something on a shelf above your head in a closet, or pushing a table against the wall, pushing is something we do everyday and all day. Make sure you have horizontal pushing and vertical pressing in your plan as well.
4. Twisting or Rotation – Sitting at your desk and turning to answer the phone is a form of rotation. Picking up that baby, and twisting him/her straight so you can see them, is a combination movement, but is based on twisting. We twist and rotate a lot. It needs to be trained in life too.
5. Combination movements – Putting it all together is essential in life training. Squatting down to grasp a bag, and then pulling the bag off of the floor, rotating as your press it over your head and push it to the back of the shelf, includes all of the motions that we talked about.
6. Other movements – Grasping, gripping, stabilizing are motions that are just as important to train.
Take home message: In life movement happens and you need to be ready for it. As you get older, movement usually gets tougher…however it doesn’t have to. Remember, train for life, and you will excel at it and be able to take on anything it throws at you.