I need more time, doc!

While I can tell you how to live longer, healthier, and happier, I can’t wave a magic wand and make an extra hour in the day. That course wasn’t offered in medical school!

But I get it. We are all busy. Between work and family and errands (and browsing Facebook and online shopping), there are never enough hours in the day. “Not enough time” is the most common excuse I hear from patients not taking control of their health.

Remember when I said 70% of your health and aging is determined by the lifestyle choices you make today? That means if you don’t make time for your health now, you will have to deal with the consequences later.

20 minutes a day keeps the doctor away

When I mentioned “browsing Facebook and online shopping,” that was no joke. It is probably safe to say that many of us spend at least 20 minutes a day glued to a screen, whether that is a TV, phone, tablet, or computer.

Well, I have good news for you. All it takes is 20 minutes of mobility each day to decrease your chance of early death by 20%. This also dramatically decreases your chance of disease in the future. I call this your “20 minutes to burn.”

It’s a plan

Since the first edition of Fitness After 40 was published, I’ve heard this many times: “Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it.” Voila! Chapter 10 of Fitness After 40, Second Edition does just that by giving a very detailed outline of my Six-Week Jump Start to Mobility Plan.

I’ve given you nine 20 Minutes to Burn exercise “bricks” and a guide for combining them into 20-, 40-, or 60-minute workouts to maximize your burn depending on how much time you have. I’ve also included “cheat sheets” to keep you on the right track.

Stick to it…

I can give you a plan, but I can’t make you stick to it. That’s up to you! Here are some tips on how to stay the course.

  • Make exercise nonnegotiable. Plan your schedule around your exercise, not the other way around.
  • Be accountable. Tell people what you’re doing! Write it in your calendar. Set reminders on your PDA.
  • Establish a goal. Where do you want to be in 12 weeks? Think of a distance, race, or something physical you want to accomplish.
  • Establish a reward. Perhaps you will buy yourself a treat or plan that race in a vacation spot.

Even more tips on how to schedule the components of F.A.C.E.-ing your future can be found in chapter 10 of Fitness After 40, Second Edition.

…You can do it.

Don’t be thrown off by my use of the word “burn.” Your body will respond to the positive energy you pour into it at any age or skill level. Even if you haven’t moved in 20 years, my six-week plan will gradually bring you up to speed. Just like the hundreds of people on whom I have tested this approach (ages 40, 50, 60, and beyond), I know you will learn to love it!

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