So that's the barrier well and truly crossed! When you are 61 you are actually "in your 60s"... "later middle age" as someone recently said. I feel good! And I think for 61 I look pretty good! The question now is how to look and feel even better.
I get hurt by my pretty extreme work schedule. Not long before these photos were taken I was in Pakistan helping to plan a flood recovery programme and I had severe food poisoning and a bad case of sciatica from too much time spent in helicopters and bumping over country roads. Such episodes don't help; my friend and colleague Eddie Vernon, who is an amazing cyclist, has to spend months in Afghanistan cooped up in a secure compound and he still competes successfully. So there's no real reason for folk with slightly less dramatic or stressful lives to feel that once they are "late middle aged" that it's all downhill from there on. It most certainly is not.
Is there a secret? Not really. I watch my diet as best I can running from one developing country to another and I religiously get into the fitness centre wherever I am every week and hit the weights HARD. Stretching is important too to remain flexible.
I make sure that once every three months I visit my doctor and have a blood profile taken - cholesterol, blood sugar etc. The latest one came back A1...when it goes off track I make sure that I hit whatever it is that's hurting me. With a pre-disposition to high blood pressure (genetic, not life style) and so a risk of Syndrome X, I don't eat anything sweet and I don't take extra salt. I've cut down coffee to two a day and drink very limited alcohol (a glass of red wine never hurts!). Also drink lots of water; dehydration is a prime factor in arthritis and in generally feeling "low" - it also raise your BP.
I practice self-hypnosis too. Sounds weird, but it isn't. Lie on your back, go to a mental place that's very peaceful (mine's a beach on the Pembroke coast in Wales), count down from 10 and then tell yourself whatever it is you need to program. I start by telling myself "I am healthy" - make sure you affirm whatever it is in the present - and "I am positive" - I have a tendency towards being negative or cynical, so this seems to counteract it. If I have a chronic ache or pain I tell myself "I can't feel it". Once you've made your affirmations, count slowly back from 10 and you're done..
This works. Try it.
It's all fairly common-sense, food discipline and HARD exercise work in the gym. Nothing else except having the mind focused on maintaining the body in the best possible shape.
Mind-Body ...... that's what this entire blog is about. Neglect one or the other and your health will suffer whatever age you are; keep the mind and body working together and you'll stay fit and healthy forever.