Inspiration

The importance and benefits of determining your own outcome.

For starters click through to this video, it is only 41 seconds, of a young woman with one leg squatting what appears to be 135 pounds three times and then after the third squat, she lifts it above her head. Here's a still from the video;

Here is a link from Quartz that says the average age that we in the US make it to being "healthy" is 69. Note that this is not life expectancy but something referred to as “healthy life expectancy at birth” which is measured by a so called HALE rating.

I've written many times about the extent to which Prescott (the city in Arizona where I live) is a mecca of sorts for successful aging. I see this at my gym and in the local fire department where I volunteer (been volunteering since 2003 and been the fire chief since 2012). Here is a picture I posted recently of someone from my gym who is 78 years old, decline benching 500 pounds.

The header picture for this post is from our annual #optoutside hike we do on Black Friday in Sedona. My wife and I usually hike with our friend Judy who is 74 and keeps up with us just fine (she hiked rim to rim at the Grand Canyon, a one day 22 mile hike, shortly after turning 70). For our Friday hike we took the Faye Canyon Trail in the Coconino National Forest. Somewhere in there is an arch that you can hike to and while we found the arch eventually the picture was taken from the "wrong trail." It required a lot of rock scrambling to get up to this point and Judy was able to do it just fine. We eventually found the side trail to the arch which required some more (but less than the first side trail) rock scrambling.

The reason I mention this in such detail is that the extent to which we do or do not become frail in "old" age has a huge impact on our quality of life and arguably how long we live. There are of course no absolutes but benching 500 pounds at 78 is world class elite and comfortably rock scrambling at 74 is very serious anti-frailty (a play on words with anti-fragile).

Whatever you love to do, you will be able to do longer by avoiding frailty. For my money (and my life) I am betting on vigorous exercise with weight, cutting carbohydrate intake dramatically and intermittent fasting. Go here to learn more about the importance of all of these things.

PD Mangan (that is a link to his site in the preceding paragrapgh)Tweeted out the following;

Retirement is designed to lull you into complacency and make you believe you're living the good life while doing nothing, waiting to die.

I would replace his use of the word is with can be. My posts constantly encourage looking at retirement, to the extent you even want to retire, as a next chapter, a very active chapter engaging in several things like further pursuing interests, very active grand-parenting, more actively volunteering, exploring some endeavor that generates an income (this will be a necessity for many) or anything else you can think of.

All of the above will be much easier for people who can avoid becoming frail and have the stamina to do the things they enjoy. The financial impact is obvious; less money spent on managing frailty and the conditions that make us frail. To the extent that health costs might be our largest expense when we reach traditional retirement age it would seem obvious to look for ways to possibly slow down and even reverse (read Mangan's site) some negative aspects of how we age.

Where many of my posts talk about the need to avoid self-destructive behaviors related to investing, that is a matter of people having a hand in their financial outcome by modifying/dictating their behaviors. So it is with fitness and health issues for many of us. Even if you don't draw my conclusions about carbohydrates and resistance training with weight, who doesn't know that too much sugar is bad and that some sort of exercise leads to better health?

Where stoicism is very appealing to me, that things related to finance and health can be in our control is very encouraging to me and hopefully you too.

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