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Training for a Long Life

A tiny piece of one of my training routes

This past weekend, a couple of friends and I ran a half marathon in Lincoln. It went well for us- we trained over the last 6 months, ate fairly healthy, and were able to complete the race without much trouble. Aside from pre-race nerves, it was good fun! (I was horribly nervous, my friends were inextricably not.)

My friends are faster than I am, so we started in different places, surrounded by different people. Many MANY of the people surrounding me during a large portion of the run had clearly not trained very hard. As we ran up a slight incline, huffing and puffing was heard all around, as I cruised up the tiny hill! (Mccook runners have an advantage here- you can’t run more than about a mile in our town without tackling a fairly steep hill). So while I was not necessarily faster than my compadres, I had more practice running hills.

I also heard multiple people mention that they’d never run as far as they were currently running. That’s pretty typical with first timers for half and full marathons. Most training plans for half marathons top out at about 10 or 11 mile long-runs, full marathon training plans can top out at about 20 miles or so. The shocking revelation was hearing runners (mostly 20-somethings) say through huffs and puffs “wow, this is the furthest I’ve ever run”. I ran by one guy mumble this AT MILE 4! For the record, a half marathon is 13.1 miles.

Improving your health and wellness is a bit like training for an event that may or may not come. It may come in the form of doing laps around the nursing home with your walker instead of sitting in your recliner all day. It may not come if, as a fit and healthy 45 year old, you get hit by a bus and meet Jesus early. Either way, we train for the long run just in case we are lucky enough to get there.

I may get old and have joint issues or other health things come up, and lose my ability to run and exercise hard. But until that happens, I’m going to try to "train" as if I will live to a ripe old age. I want to be as strong and healthy as I can be for as long as possible!

The difference is intentionality. If you are intentional about what you eat, you intentionally exercise regularly, and you consciously do things to improve or maintain your good health, odds are you will stay healthier, fitter, and live longer than you would have otherwise! You don't have to do it all perfectly to do things that will extend and improve the quality of your life. If there is no intentionality and you don’t take responsibility for your health, odds are you will not move well or easily, develop health issues, and not live as long. An NIH (National Institutes of Health) study showed women living with the 5 studied healthy habits (healthy eating pattern, not smoking, getting at least 3.5 hours of exercise per week, only moderate alcohol intake, and maintaining BMI in the “normal” range- 18.5-24.9) lived on average 14 years longer than those who didn’t, and the men of the study lived on average 12 years longer than those who didn’t.

I’m attempting to take something that can be quite complicated and make it as simple as possible. Live healthier now, have better health and live longer later.

My new Online Health Coaching program is starting soon! I’m looking for beta testers and I still have 2 spots left. The program goes for 12 weeks and is 50% OFF during this beta testing period. After this initial group gets going through the program, anyone can start at any time. Regular pricing will be $30 per week, beta testers will get the program for just $15 per week!

Email me if you are interested!

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