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  1. Back side of 50, sounds about right for all the damage you’ve done to yourself over the years to start catching up with you. All the bar wars, car wrecks, hold my beer moments, stubbed toes, etc, simply living a normal life, your body wears out.
    Rather than dwelling on your past deeds, try to focus on being the best with what you are capable of… now! And be prepared for things to get worse! Take it from a 75yr old, it will.
    Old age ain’t for wusses.

  2. Great article. I’m just in my early 40s and (knock on wood) am way ahead of my peers in the health and medication department. Fighting some tendonitis but that’s about it. I’m not nearly as fast as the 21 year old Marine me, and probably never will be again, but I’m one-rep stronger.

    I chose running, biking, and Crossfit and that seems to work for me. Makes some of the chores like splitting wood much easier.

    I too like kettlebell swings but find I can hurt my neck when I bring my head up explosively.

  3. After a career in the Army, I slacked off for a few years, then started a walking routine. Now, at age 67, I still walk three miles several times a week, with a goal of three or four days each week.

    The wife and I joined a gym so she could do yoga and tai chi, and I spent time with the weight machines. It was pretty obvious that I had slacked off, but the muscle memory was still there for curls, presses, leg presses, etc. Within a couple months I was back to within 80% of my previous maximums.

    I cant recommend too highly the combination of weight training for strength and walking or jogging for aerobic conditioning.

  4. Wait until you get into your 70’s. Ones physical abilities can change quickly. Torn shoulder muscles, slips & falls, replacement of parts (hips, knees, etc) will change your physical abilities and not for the best. Frankly, at 72, I have no intention of “bugging out” or anything else. No way will I out run a 35 year old. I will stand my ground and deal with the issues.

  5. Personally, every time I see a self-professed “Survivalist” with a gut, 25 pounds overweight sucking down a cherry coke I shake my head in disgust. You’re wasting your time and money.

  6. The Cooper Institute is best of class and this writer obviously knows what he is talking about. As another author who I like has written, “Exercise is non-negotiable” and separate from what you do for fun or work. It’s simply keeping everything moving and it’s progressive.

    I’m 73 now but the best shape I’ve ever been was 18-22 years ago when I was 51-55 years ago. It can be done, and whatever contraindications you may have can generally be worked around. I had a cystectomy in 1994 and was bored with being out of shape so I went to a small local gym where half was devoted to exercise for those who had had a stroke, heath attack or physical impairment. The only thing I had to restrict was hard
    exercise around the abdomen – no pull-ups and such. Because it was directed by a professional, my urologist signed off on it even though he initially had reservations.

    The person in charge eventually left (she now heads the entire department of physical
    exercise and disabilities at a large local university) and I left too. Joined 24 Hour Fitness and told them of my only restriction and hired a personal trainer for 6 months. Never have I felt better. Walked everywhere, even when I should have been working. I was self employed and I could do that. I absolutely loved the strength training and put up with the cardiovascular.

    I’m older now but still have muscles to work with (no sarcopenia) and this article, and the ones to come, are a great reminder to get back in shape. I got an exercise bike two months ago, ordered a book on exercise bands which got lost in the mail so will reorder and will get some exercise bands plus some smaller dumbbells to begin again with.

    I so look forward to the remaining articles and the incentive it is giving me to work on the one thing I have control over. And yes, finally, I’m going to get the book I never got around to, since I’m stiff just starting out, “Stretching: 30th Anniversary Edition, by Bob Anderson. The one you want to go to when your just getting back in shape.

    Really looking forward to remaining articles. We’re toast during SHTF if we are not in shape. Our stuff won’t save us.

  7. Yes, old age does catch up eventually, but with discipline you can manage the process very well. I’m 56 and have been active all my life and I still workout several times each week. Most people that I meet think I’m mid to late 40’s. In addition, because I have taken good care of myself over the years I’ve been able to enjoy many other things to include my 42 yo girl friend!

  8. Rosco
    I’m 81 and overweight some
    recently returned to bike riding with a one speed
    lots of short walks as I can not remember why I went there.
    I swing a 10 or 12 Lb Sledge in winter Rock-hounding
    I will look for Convict conditioning, but Will try to find Used.

  9. Great article, spot on and words to live by. There are no shortcuts. Begin gradually and build up fitness as you learn what works. Read, get off the couch, seek advice, ask questions and don’t stop moving. Being truly fit means regularly putting forth an effort to challenge yourself physically and mentally.

  10. Good writing. I’m 63 and began having pain in my knees and back a couple of years ago (I am physically active at work). On a job site, I met two single women in their 50s that were in terrific shape that inspired me to get busy at a gym. A friend is a weight lifting coach and got me doing squats and dead lifts……within three workouts, the knee and back pain was gone. Free weights are medicine! Now I maintain what I have. I’m never going to be 22 again, and will not hesitate to use technology and cunning to solve problems with younger/faster threats.

    Physical fitness is a great asset to have, but it’s all important. A guy that can run a four minute mile and dead lift 400 lbs can be taken out with a toothache or lack of water (or any number of things). You’re always better off being fit, but it’s only a fraction of the solution.

    Looking forward to the rest!


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