How to stay longer

Lifestyle beats genes Staying young – 5 strong postures

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Staying healthy and fit longer: We can actively do something to maintain our health, mobility and performance - which will benefit us as we get older

Stay healthy and fit longer: We can actively do something to maintain our health, mobility and performance – this will benefit us as we get older

Photo: Halfpoint Images / Getty Images

Never was the knowledge about the preservation of the health so easily accessible as today. And there is great agreement that regular exercise and a predominantly plant-based diet are the basis for a healthy lifestyle. Nevertheless the morbidity increases. Morbidity is the ratio of sick people to the total population. This means that we are getting older, but if we do not take care of ourselves, we will be sick longer. It does not have to be.

We do not have to resign ourselves to increasing age complaints. We age as we live. Although the aging process is unavoidable and already starts at birth. But our body and brain are adaptable, able to dynamically adjust to a healthy lifestyle. We can therefore actively do something to maintain our health, mobility and performance. According to various European studies, a maximum of 30 percent of our health depends on our genetic predisposition. This means that at least 70 percent of our physical and mental fitness can be influenced by our actions. With our lifestyle. Lifestyle beats genes. And this lifestyle starts with our attitude, the attitude to a self-determined and healthy life.

Andreas Butz is one of the most sought-after running experts in Germany. The trained banker, over 140-time marathon runner and founder of the Laufcampus Academy trains and motivates people and companies with his team of trainers. His credo: "Running is the shortest way to everything that makes people successful¿. He has written numerous running books. In 2015 "Sweating for success – making a career in running shoes" was published.

Staying young for life with sport, nutrition and the right attitude

In the following I will introduce you to five strong attitudes. Attitudes that shape your personality and make it easier for you to lead a healthy lifestyle. To each attitude I also submit small conversion suggestions. But a positive basic attitude is the indispensable basis for a lasting success of the conversion. Without mental strength, without sustained willpower, most resolutions fail. Therefore I recommend you to make my personal principles also yours and to internalize these daily.

  • I am responsible
  • I exercise daily
  • I eat healthy
  • I love challenges and grow with life.

1. Attitude: "I am young

Think young, because aging starts in the mind. Those who feel old have less confidence in themselves.

Scientists were able to prove that the perceived age has a great influence on lifespan and health. With a positive view of aging, illnesses can be avoided and biological age can be influenced. Because those who feel young are more likely to actively do something to stay fit.

People with an affirmative attitude to life are more successful in maintaining their well-being than people with an "At my age, I’m not going to start doing that anymore" attitude Attitude. If you have positive expectations of your own life, you are also prepared to do something to achieve these expectations. If you think of yourself young, you are more likely to change your lifestyle, for example, engage in new ways of eating, eat less meat, more vegetarian food, maybe even eat vegan for a while and test what that does to you.

On the other hand, those who view aging negatively are less open to doing something to stay young, such as exercising more. "I am already sixty", Emphasizing age is the mental door opener for many things that make people old and lazy. Already so old, results of such debilitating thoughts are usually loss of physical abilities, associated limitations and resulting frustration. A worsening and faster spinning negative spiral. Whoever accepts illnesses as being due to age and therefore a given, is already mentally with one foot in the box. Must not be.

However, if you think yourself young, then you make more and more frequently young-making decisions. As a young thinking person you decide more often for the running shoes and against the sofa. They choose to go to the theater in fancy clothes instead of watching TV in their house suits. And you go to dance school yourself, instead of watching "Let’s Dance only to be watched on RTL. That’s why you do"I am young" to one of your strengthening attitude.

2. Attitude: "I am responsible

Conscious acceptance of responsibility also makes you strong. Because this attitude means that you yourself can do something for your future. Diseases of civilization like joint pains, high blood pressure and immobility increase rapidly. They are considered annoying but unavoidable. This attitude surrendered to fate is a comfortable but completely wrong view of things. Rather face personal responsibility. Because diabetes has something to do with high sugar consumption, gout not infrequently with too much animal food and high blood pressure with lack of exercise and junk food. All this and much more you can responsibly control yourself. A truly empowering thought.

On the other hand, the thought that the doctor will fix it is unfortunately wrong. Recognize the doctor as a repair shop for the scrapes of your lifestyle. But he will not teach you to park properly. You have to take care of the parking of your habits yourself. Understand that medicine is simply about recognizing diseases and treating them in the best possible way. And our doctors are really good at that. But how not to get sick in the first place is not something our doctors learn, it is not part of their training. Consequently, in the doctor’s office you are prescribed medications to alleviate symptoms instead of prescriptions for everyday healthy eating. A diet that won’t let you get sick in the first place. And at the orthopedist’s, insoles are prescribed instead of guided running courses in which you learn running ABC exercises that strengthen the foot muscles and thus lay the foundation for avoiding overuse injuries (see Never hurt again).

Therefore, make yourself aware every day that you are responsible for the health in your life. And recognize this responsibility as an opportunity. Because who accepts the responsibility, with the strengthening attitude"I am responsible", it is much easier to take the strengthening measures as well. And through daily repetition and awareness of this responsibility, you will succeed in leaving less and less room for weak thoughts. Because also willpower can be trained with daily training, not only your foot muscles.

3. Attitude: "I train every day

"I only train on days when I also eat or drink". This is my admittedly somewhat provocative standard answer to the question whether I train every day. And indeed I want to provoke with it, namely the thought that training should really be something everyday.

Daily movement is in our nature. Just like eating daily, drinking daily, and sleeping daily. All this after daily tiring physical work. All this has made us human beings in the last millions of years what today are our talents and dispositions. I don’t have to show you what our everyday life looks like in reality. Rather become more aware with two numbers reinforcing. People in Western civilization move on average only about 700 meters a day on foot. Our disposition, on the other hand, allows and our body expects daily trotting for about 20 kilometers.

My wife Gisela (born. 1965) in fact runs daily. 20 kilometers only once in a while, but three kilometers is at least. I myself "only" walk about five to six days a week. I need and enjoy my day off, because I not only jog, but also train hard sometimes and then my body demands intensive recovery. Nevertheless I train daily. When I’m not running, I’m doing relaxing yoga or strengthening athletic training. I exercise every day because I feel that these forms of movement help me to alleviate the effects of sitting for several hours every day due to my job.

I can feel you frowning as you write these lines. But please read on. Because daily training is less a question of time, but rather a matter of attitude. In addition to sports, recognize the many everyday opportunities to be active. Recognize in every staircase a chance to be active. In the office or in the train station, for example. Recognize in shopping in the region the chance to leave the car and take the bicycle instead. Recognize everyday habits as anchors to tie in small exercise sessions here. I, for example, do a few push-ups before every hand washing routine. Washing your hands at home three times a day means doing push-ups three times a day. Assuming you also do ten of each, that would be thirty a day, 210 a week, and an incredible 11 a year.000 push-ups, which you can do without these "strange" exercises in the best sense of the word Habit would not have made. And push-ups train your stability and help prevent the back problems caused by relieving posture (sitting is the new smoking).

Therefore, if you"I exercise every day" If you make this habit your attitude, then you will more often recognize the walk during your lunch break or the walk to your colleague as a chance to be active. And if you want to flank these daily routines with a workout plan for running or walking, this is obviously the best possible decision you can make.

4. Attitude: "I eat healthy"

Changing our diet is by far the most challenging task that civilized man can face today. Those who manage to permanently discard the pleasures identified as debilitating vices, experience great effects on mental and physical fitness. But the way there is very, very laborious. Breaking the habits you have grown to love is hard enough in itself. When taste, pleasure and addiction are added to the mix, this is impossible for most people. The most successful way to fight bad habits is with strengthening them, but first comes the mind. Therefore, some explanations follow, where the cause of most "age-related" diseases can be found Illnesses lie.

With increasing age, the likelihood of experiencing loss of performance increases. The reason for this is due to cell renewal, which unfortunately becomes slower and slower to function fully as the years of life increase. Cell renewal means the building metabolism, which creates the body’s own substances from food substances. Here are a few figures: The human being consists of about 100 trillion body cells and every second about 50 million body cells die, but are rebuilt by the metabolism. For a better understanding: When playing soccer or running a marathon, cartilage in the knee joint is broken down, but rebuilt by the building metabolism. Provided we eat a healthy diet. If, however, the age-related restriction of cell renewal is accompanied by a poor diet, i.e. too little building material or metabolic disruptors such as industrial sugar or alcohol, this hinders cell renewal and accelerates the loss of personal fitness and performance. The loss of cartilage thus gradually becomes arthrosis. And this is exactly what we can actively avoid.

Fortunately, the body is malleable through our lifestyle and metabolism. Our tools for this, apart from daily exercise, are first of all everyday nutrition. In this way we can offer the cell renewal with daily fresh fruit, salad and vegetables large quantities of nutrients and vital substances and thus offer the best building materials to become more beautiful, more athletic and more efficient.

Therefore, eat a predominantly plant-based diet, reduce animal products, avoid industrial sugar and alcohol as much as possible, season with herbs and spices instead of table salt and avoid dietary supplements. Because food auxiliary means calm only the bad conscience, use however in the rarest cases the health and divert from recognizing, where actually the cause for a lack nutrition is, in the everyday nutrition. All of these changes start with your attitude, with your willingness to be aware, ideally on a daily basis:"I eat healthy".

5. Attitude: "I love challenges and grow with life"

The first described attitudes of feeling young, taking on new responsibilities, doing daily sports and optimizing one’s diet presuppose a basic willingness to want to change. When I hear statements like "I’m not going to do that at my age", I’m not ready, or "this is only for young people", then I recognize beliefs that definitely make people appear old and thus also make them old. Of course, you can’t run after your own youth. It’s also understandable that when you’re seventy, you might not feel as comfortable in hot pants as you did when you were twenty. And whether you have to get to know apps like TikTok when you’re fifty is another question I’d like to leave open – in this case, admittedly, as an ignorant person. But those who don’t dare use tablet computers or smartphones, who believe that colorful clothing is the fashion of youth and beige is the appropriate hue for seniors, who avoid contact with young people for fear of being compared, risk being left behind by life and growing old.

On the other hand, if you are willing to learn new things, to try Nordic walking instead of just going for a walk, to try a gravel bike instead of riding a touring bike, to get smart watches and post your workouts on social networks, to try a new country even after twenty years of vacationing in the same place, to give the new vegan in the southern part of town a chance in addition to your favorite restaurant around the corner, to accept small and big changes, you will grow in life and certainly stay young longer.

Change can mean pain, even if it is only the pain of parting with the unfortunately unhealthy nut nougat cream. But change can also be enriching, like discovering a new sport by rowing on a home ergometer. One of my favorite realizations is that really successful people are those who experience small successes again and again. If these are achieved, you pay into the account of self-confidence. Our personality is a major factor in deciding whether we stay young or grow old. If we strengthen our personality, we can change the circumstances of our life. We can be colorful through life. We can stay technologically up to date, we can lose weight and build muscles. And we can counteract unchangeable aging processes with aids such as glasses and hearing aids. We can do with attitude"I love challenges and grow with life" Staying young longer.

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