The info in these letters is always intended to help you maintain health and healing on your own terms. This week is about the power of daily rituals, but, first, I want to send my heart out to anyone who is shaken or impacted by the war in Israel and Gaza. I do not have family there, but my brother spent nearly 9 months there last year and my family has many friends and colleagues in the line of fire. I know a lot of people on this list are hurting, and I hope the info below can help you create rituals that become reliable sources of solace.
Strength and flexibility are sources of freedom in old age, so this week, I have a question...
If you could maintain a specific physical ability into your 80s or 90s, what would it be?
Do you want to be able to get up off of the floor without struggling? Easily climb the stairs in your house? Reach high shelves or touch your toes?
Personally, I have two goals in that regard:
👉 Be able to squat all the way down to my heels and get back up.
👉 Push into (and hold) a full backbend. (This harkens back to childhood and protects against the return of an old battle with frozen shoulder.)
To that end, every night before bed, I practice one full squat into a backbend and stand back up without using my hands.
This ritual has become part of my nightly routine and is usually followed by a quick stretch on the floor before crawling into bed.
➡️ It takes approximately 15 seconds.
➡️ It signals my brain that it's time to sleep, puts my mind at ease, and gives me a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.
➡️ It strengthens my body, increases flexibility, and—if I do it every day from now to old age—my odds of being a 90-year-old with a killer backbend and flexible knees are exponentially higher.
You don't have to be an extreme fitness enthusiast to be agile and light on your feet!
My clients have chosen similar rituals such as:
Doing heel lifts while brushing their teeth.
Planking while they brew their morning tea.
Doing 10 push-ups while putting their kids to bed at night.
Climbing hills and scattering flower seeds near their office during their morning breaks.
Doing a handstand every evening after work.
Sitting down and standing up off of the toilet seat without using their hands to press on their legs.
So my question for you today is:
What physical ability do you want to maintain in old age, and what can you add to your daily routine, right now, to make that possible?
The things we do every day shape our bodies, and it doesn't take much time to make a real difference.
Wishing you a peaceful, healing week!
How often "should" you work out?
On the topic of staying strong and active, this week at Forbes, I answered a question from a reader who has been off their workout game for a long time and wanted to know how often they should exercise.
In an "ideal" world, the answer to this question would be simple. There are lots straightforward guidelines from government agencies and fitness organizations, but real life is more complicated.
👉 Guidelines are one thing. Consistency is quite another.
So, this week, we took a look at:
➡️ CDC recommendations for exercise
➡️ Whether the length of your exercise sessions matters
➡️ Four specific strategies to create consistent workout routines—without driving yourself nuts.
You can find all of those answers HERE.
If you'd like to send your own anonymous question to me at Hey, Health Coach, click here to ask whatever is on your mind. I'd love to hear from you.
Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones
If you want some extra inspiration about the enormous difference daily routines can make for long-term health and longevity. Check out Dan Buettner's new Netflix docu-series, Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones. ❤️
You might find yourself squatting in your garden like centenarians in Okinawa, Japan or dancing the night away at multi-generational gatherings like folks in Italy or Greece.
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Past posts can be found HERE.