Training for Longevity

Training for Longevity

by Bill Hartman, PT, CSCS, ART, "Your Golf Fitness Coach"

Whenever I ask new clients why they've sought out my services as their personal trainer, they frequently respond, "I want to get fit."

I typically come back with, "Fit for what?"

Being "fit" is not about achieving an aesthetic body, although a well-designed fitness program can certainly result in significant, aesthetically pleasing changes in your physical appearance. Fitness refers to specific abilities. To borrow Dr. Mel C. Siff's definition of fitness from his Supertraining text, "Fitness may be defined as the ability to cope with the demands of a specific task efficiently and safely."

If you really want to achieve physical fitness, you must define your destination. Without a destination, your exercise program has no purpose. It lacks challenge, commitment, achievement, reward, and most important, it lacks results.

What will it take to make your next 50 years your best 50 years? I can't answer that for you. Only you can define it. But I can tell you that when it comes to the physical abilities required to get you where you want to go and do the things you want to do, simply exercising will not suffice. If you want to live a longer, happier, and more fulfilled life, you must train for it!

Here's a five-step training program used by athletes in their sports preparation that you can easily adapt to your needs, goals, and desires.

  • Step 1 - Physical preparation: To assure a properly designed training program, it is best to educate yourself on the means and methods of physical preparation or consult with the appropriate health and fitness professional.
  • Step 2 - Learning motor skills: This will include learning new forms of exercise or skills related to the activities you choose to include in your lifestyle. It could be something as simple as learning to successfully perform a squat lift or something as complex as a golf swing.
  • Step 3 - Psychological preparation: Understanding why you're doing an activity enhances your motivation and strengthens your sense of purpose. Psychological preparation can also include things like meditation, music, or simply reviewing your goals.
  • Step 4 - Physical and psychological restoration: After physical training, the body must recuperate, regenerate, and supercompensate. Physical restoration can include rest, relaxation, massage, and enjoyable activities such as soaking in the Jacuzzi. Psychological restoration includes anything that takes you away from the mental and emotional stresses of your training program, such as reading a book, watching a movie, or socializing with friends.
  • Step 5 - Appropriate nutrition: Proper food selections give your body energy for the training process. It may take a bit of education or consultation with the appropriate professional, but good nutrition is rarely a complex process. It comes down to making the right decisions that reinforce your physical needs and goals.

I encourage you not to just exercise to get fit, because you'll never know when you're there. Define your future and then train for it!