I Need More Time, Doc!
Women’s wellness and anti-aging are my two favorite things to talk about. 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 and doom scrolling), 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 percent 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 of Mobility 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. That number is probably even higher now, post-covid. According to one report, the average length of screen time a day is a whopping 3.5 hours.
Well, I have good news for you. You don’t need to spend 3.5 hours running or hitting the weights to start prioritizing wellness and anti-aging. All it takes is 20 minutes of mobility each day to decrease your chance of early death by 20 percent. 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.
Really, that’s it. Twenty minutes and your wellness is in your hands!
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, see your fitness goals through, and set you on the path to living the life you envisioned.
- Make exercise non-negotiable. Plan your schedule around your exercise, not the other way around.
- Be accountable. Tell people what you’re doing! Write it on your calendar. Set reminders on your calendar.
- 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.
- Remain positive. Look in the mirror and think “she is resilient.” Really! Empowering yourself or hyping yourself up is essential to staying on track. If you need help with the “hyping up”, follow Women’s Health Conversations on Facebook and join the other women who are prioritizing women’s wellness and anti-aging in their lives.
- Make it fun. If you hate doing squats or linear exercises, find things that are more fun for your unique personality type! Try dancing, cycling, calisthenics, running, or whatever is more fun and makes you excited to keep going.
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. Making a healthy choice and prioritizing your wellness is a snowball effect. First, you start setting aside 20 minutes a day to get moving, then you are swapping fried foods for baked foods, taking more walks, and so on. You don’t have to change everything at once, just work at it bit by bit and see where it takes you. 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!
Let’s not wait any longer; let’s make women’s wellness and anti-aging at the forefront of medical conversations around the world and in our own lives.