Category Archives for "fitness"

August 1, 2023

You’re going to die – Martinus Evans shares his journey and expertise for anyone interested in running

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On episode 601 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we meet Martinus Evans and discuss his book, Slow AF Run Club: The Ultimate Guide for Anyone Who Wants to Run.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:48.550] – Allan

Hey, Ras. How are you?

[00:02:50.540] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:52.540] – Allan

I'm doing all right. I'm traveling to see family. We're doing a family reunion on my father's side. First time I'm probably going to be around all of my brothers and sisters on that side of the family in it's got to be 15 years. No. They all came to my wedding. So there was the wedding, which I guess was a little over eight years ago. So eight years ago we were all together. But this is extended families, so my father's brothers are going to be there with their families and my stepmother's sister is going to be there. There's going to be all the nephews and nieces and all that. So what turned into what was going to be just probably about a dozen of us is now going to be something like 30 or 35.

[00:03:41.990] – Rachel


[00:03:43.110] – Allan


[00:03:43.580] – Rachel

That's awesome.

[00:03:44.390] – Allan

It's kind of crazy. Yeah. And you may have recognized that last week I didn't really talk a lot about my life, about what was going on, and I apologize. I did that on purpose. I was going through a pretty rough week. I lost a really good friend, and it was very frustrating because he was staying with us at Lula's, and he was supposed to stay through July 5th, and then he left two days early, and he died of heart attack on the morning of July 5th. Now, the thing was, when he got to Lula's, he wasn't feeling well. He told us he wasn't feeling well, stomach issues and that kind of thing. And so we were like, okay, you got a parasite, go get some medication, that kind of thing, because it happens down here. It just does. But he started complaining about heartburn, and then he justified that in that he had had spicy soup the night before. There's a Japanese chain here. It's the only chain restaurant we have on the whole island. And I don't actually like their sushi all that much, but he had one of the spicy soups, and as spicy as they'd make it, that's one thing he and I had in common, was we like spicy food.

[00:05:11.570] – Allan

But he was complaining about heartburn, and then he was complaining about just difficulty breathing, and that's what I heard. And I was like, okay, well, just try slowing yourself down, slowing your body down, and try breathing through your nose. If you can get yourself to where you're breathing through your nose, you're going to regulate your sympathetic nervous system, and that should help calm you down. That's why people will, if they're hyperventilating, will breathe into a bag. It's all about slowing down your sympathetic nervous system anyway and getting a balance of CO2 and oxygen. But I wasn't in the conversation where he talked about the arm pain, so I didn't know about that symptom. But my wife had tried to talk him into going down and seeing the doctors and having a conversation, getting an EKG or something. Again, had I known this, I think I have an EKG at the house somewhere. I still find it, but I have one. And we could have sat down with him and done that, or we could have just made him go to the hospital, which we didn't. We didn't do either of those. And so it's kind of one of those things where you're like, I should have paid attention to the symptoms.

[00:06:25.870] – Allan

I know the symptoms. He had poo pooed them as being the soup, and I should have paid a lot more attention. So I was just saying, the only reason I'm bringing this up today instead of I didn't bring up last week because it was still really raw, was just pay attention to the people around you. If they're not feeling well, tell them to go get checked out, particularly if they're over 50, over 60. Just tell them, don't play around with it. Don't play around with it. Just go get checked out. In our little hospital, it would have cost him I shouldn't even probably say this on the air $18, $18 to get an EKG. He'd gone down to the emergency room. They'd have brought him in. They'd have hooked him up to an IV, because that's what they do. They would have hooked him up to an EKG a little bit later. They would have probably seen some problems, enough problems to tell him, we've got to ambulance you to Changanola or David, where he would have gotten proper care in time. And as a result, now he hasn't, and he passed. So I'm only saying that to bring you down or anything, but I just recognize your body tries to tell you when it's hurting.

[00:07:44.380] – Allan

It tries to tell you when things are wrong. And if you feel things are wrong, things are wrong. So listen to your body. Listen to what's going on, and then just go get checked out. It's not that big a deal. And yeah, there's a little bit of expense, even more expense maybe for you up there in the US. But just realize that if you don't get checked out, what's the alternative?

[00:08:11.790] – Rachel

I'm sorry, Allan. I'm really sorry for the loss of your friend. My heart goes out to you. And I think just to emphasize your point again, I feel like we're in our 50s. Most of us, and a lot of our listeners are certainly over 40, but we're not as invincible as we used to be. And it's easy to dismiss common aches and pains because we're weekend warriors or we're doing these really big projects around the house and we hurt our joints and we're fatigued and stuff. But I think that once you hit 40 or maybe even over 50, those little aches and pains can also signal something else. And you're absolutely right. I'm not a doctor, and I need a doctor to help diagnose what's going on, and it's just a quick trip to the hospital. I'm a better safe than sorry kind of person myself. Good to listen.

[00:09:07.150] – Allan

Go get your regular tests, the things you're supposed to do. If there's blood in your urine, go talk to a doctor. Urologist, if your chest is a little tight, if your arm is hurting, if you're having trouble breathing, if you have what you think is heartburn and it lasts more than a tums, go to the doctor. It's worth it. And you don't even have to make it a 911 thing. It's just a simple, hey, let's head on down to the emergency room, let them know I'm having this symptom. And I can tell you from experience when you go up to an emergency room and you're over 40 years old and you walk in there and tell them your chest hurts, you go in first.

[00:10:01.020] – Rachel

You get attention.

[00:10:02.330] – Allan

They just walk you back there. There's no questions about, oh, go sit in the no. They just come on with me. You're literally sitting down and you're hooked up to an IV and an EKG. Boom.

[00:10:15.070] – Allan

Like that. They're handing you a nitroglycerin and saying, here, take this. And you ask them what it is. It's a nitroglycerin is it just a precaution. Doesn't hurt you if it's not a heart attack, but could really help you if it is. For me, that one was dehydration and water poisoning. I collapsed and I threw up, and I defecated at the same time, which is not a nice thing to do. I don't recommend it. Probably was really close to going into a coma and didn't know it. Went home and I told my coworkers, don't call 911 because it's kind of the thing. I got dirty underwear now, I didn't when I came to work, but I do now. I'm going home and getting cleaned up. And I went home, got cleaned up, I rested, and I didn't feel any better. I went to the emergency room, but I didn't call 911. I just got in my car, calmly drove down to the hospital, walked in and told him I have chest pains. So we'll kind of get off that topic because we are going to talk about running and new runners and health and things of that.

[00:11:24.860] – Allan

So, yes, let's have this conversation with Martinus.

[00:11:29.310] – Rachel



[00:11:55.350] – Allan

Martinus, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:11:58.190] – Martinus

Hey, man, thank you for having me.

[00:12:00.250] – Allan

So your book is called Slow AF Running Club: The Ultimate Guide to Anyone Who Wants to Run. This is a family-friendly kind of show, so I'm not going to spell out what AF is. But even if you're not one of the hip kids, I think you kind of know what that is.

[00:12:16.250] – Martinus

And fabulous. Slow and fabulous.

[00:12:18.910] – Allan

Slow and fabulous. I'm really glad that you took the time to write this book because so many of the books that are out there and I think you even mentioned it, they're written by previous Olympians. They're written for someone who wants to shave 30 seconds off their time so they can come in with a PR on their half marathon or whatever, and where they're going to get that one, two or three place in their run. But you're this person that's in the back of the pack that doesn't fit the mold, if you will. When I was doing my longer runs, I weighed about 195 pounds, and that was called a Clydesdale. In those days, we'd call those Clydesdales because there weren't a lot of us that big running marathons and ultramarathons. And you kind of saw it because I was probably a good 60, 70 pounds heavier than just about everybody else out there. But I was also somewhat of a back of the packer then because I just couldn't run as fast as most of them could. But I still ran. And I think that's what was so awesome about your story is you were basically told you need to do something or you're going to die.

[00:13:31.420] – Allan

And then you told him what you were going to do, and then he says, you're going to die. You mind telling that story?

[00:13:38.230] – Martinus

Yeah. So approximately ten years ago, I was working at Men's warehouse at the time. Let's give it a little context. Working at Men's Warehouse was on my feet eight to 10 hours a day in hard bottom dress shoes selling suits. And I developed some hip pain because of this, right? Like, who wouldn't in your hard bottom dress shoes walking on concrete. So I go see a doctor. First time he ever meeting this doctor. He has no previous experience with me, and he goes, I know why you in pain. Okay, what's that? He's like, you're fat. And then he goes on to say, fat, you need to lose weight or die. And I remember being frustrated, just being a person of size, and just going through all of this again. Like, you telling me to lose weight or die, but you don't know me, right? Like, you're here to figure out what's going on with my hip. So then he's going like, you need to start walking. You need to go buy walking shoes and all this other stuff. And I was like, screw that. I'm going to run a marathon. And then he laughs at me and tells me that's the most stupidest thing he has heard in all his years of practicing medicine.

[00:14:44.340] – Martinus

So now you didn't call me fat, now you didn't tell me I was going to die. And then he goes on to say, well, if you run this marathon, you're guaranteed going to die on the course. So I'm just sitting here with all these options where it just ends up just me being dead, for lack of a better words. So, like, lose weight or die. All right, I'm going to run a marathon. No, you can't run a marathon because you're going to die then. So I just left that doctor's office very frustrated and very irritated, and on my way home, I just happened to drive by a running shoe store, and I went in there and told them, I need running shoes. I need them now.

[00:15:20.410] – Allan

And that's awesome. It's funny. That what will actually trigger us to basically say, we've got to do something different. We're going to do something different. And I love stories like that, because yours was one of being a rebel of just saying, screw it. I know what I can do. Don't tell me who I am. I'm going to prove you wrong. Now, when you decided, okay, then you had those new running shoes, and you put them on, your first running story didn't quite go as planned. How does someone get started doing this? Because I see a lot of people thinking about it the same way you did as well. Just jump on this treadmill and go, can you talk a little bit about that, your story? And then how does someone get started?

[00:16:06.470] – Martinus

Yeah. So I get home, I got these shoes on. I was like, I'm going to run a marathon today, and I'm inconveniently sandwiched in between two gazelles on a treadmill. These guys are going nine and ten on the treadmill. They made it look effortlessly. And here I am, 300 pound guy who haven't been on the treadmill in years, and trying and sizing these guys up to figure out, all right, how fast do I need to go? So I thought to myself, where these guys is going nine and ten, I can at least go seven. And next thing you know, 15 seconds later, I fell off the treadmill. Mortified, embarrassed, because the gazelles all on their pedestal. They just looked down at me as they're still running. I just feel like they just look down on me like, hey, bro, are you all right? So I went home, tears in my eyes, embarrassed. And it's something about that, right? I have this tattoo on my right wrist, and I talk about this in the book of like, I have a tattoo that says no struggle, no progress, which is a famous quote from Frederick Douglass. And the portions of the speech that stands out to me is where he goes, if there's no struggle, there's no progress.

[00:17:22.330] – Martinus

Men who favor freedom, yet deprecate agitation is men who want crops without plowing the land. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want ocean without its roar. He goes on to say that the struggle may be a physical one, a moral one, or even a mental one, but there needs to be some type of struggle in order to get progress. And I think for myself, going through that and hearing that speech rang true in my head in this situation and being like, okay, I really know what this quote really means. This really means that, all right, I have to go through this struggle in order to figure out what's on the other side. And I think that's one of the things I want to mention to the people who are out here, right, where you're starting to get started. Hopefully, you don't fall off the treadmill like I did.

[00:18:10.220] – Martinus

Hopefully. I pray that you don't, but I think that when it comes to most individuals, when they do start out, they do what I call the terrible twos. They start out too fast, too soon, or do too much. So if they do too much too soon and too fast, you're still going to have that fall off the treadmill instance because they are going out the gate and not necessarily going at a speed or at a rate that can be healthy and something that their body can get used to.

[00:18:42.710] – Allan

Now, the run plans that you do have in the book, I like how they kind of start someone out where they are. So not everybody's going to jump right into maybe your twelve week program for the 5K. They might need to do a little bit of base building first. And you kind of have almost like a four week plan in there that they can repeat and do until they feel like, okay, now I can do this and now I'm ready to do this. And so it's kind of stairstep built. So I really like how you put that together because I think it makes it, I'm not going to say brainless, but at least makes it to where someone knows, okay, I have to conquer this thing first and then I'm ready for this thing. And I just like how you did that.

[00:19:24.240] – Martinus

Thank you. And I think that really just goes from the amount of experience I have coaching individuals as well as the experience I had when I was going through this journey when I first got started running, is that most training plans start you off with, let's start running with a slow ten minute mile. And it's like, wait a minute, this is what you're assuming is slow and this is what you're assuming a beginner should do? And I think that's where a lot of people get tripped up at.

[00:19:58.940] – Allan

Yeah, I think that's important because for some people who have never run and you say ten minute mile, that doesn't actually mean anything to them until they get out there and actually get on their watch and they do a mile, and they're like, okay, well, that mile took me 20 minutes, so I'm not ready for a ten minute mile yet.

[00:20:18.550] – Martinus


[00:20:19.750] – Allan

I'm ready for a 20 minutes mile. But here's the key of it. You put in the 20 minutes of work and you got that mile behind you. And every mile that you do after that is just another one that's building on the one you're going to do next. And I think that's when you talked a lot about how you got started and then you were going and there are times even when you were well trained, that you struggled and you fought. And so I appreciate again you saying that this is about the struggle and running for anyone that's done it for any amount of time knows that that's what most of this is, is a struggle and it's an internal struggle because no one else is going to pick up your foot. You got to do it, and you got to take that step in the next step. And the next step. And I liked how in the warm up, because everybody will say this, okay, well, do your warm up. And so you're going to put a warm up in there. But your warm up is not just physical. You have a mental component to your warm up.

[00:21:22.810] – Allan

Can you talk a little bit about your warm up process?

[00:21:26.330] – Martinus

Absolutely. So running is just as mental as it is physical. And I personally think that running is 90% mental and 10% physical because anybody, if you do it consistent enough, you can lift this bottle of hand sanitizer and get something out of it. Right. So the actual movement part, I think it's the easy part. I think it's the mindset part that a lot of people struggle with. Right. Like, anybody can be a runner, but not everybody do it. And it's because of the mindset aspect of it. So when it comes to my mindset, warm up, it's one of the things of really just getting yourself mentally prepared for this bout of movement. You're understanding, how do I feel in this moment? Did I get an argument with my significant other? Did my dog bite me? Whatever may happen, right. To really figure out, all right, where am I at mentally right now? So then you can figure out, all right, do I need to have a mental adjustment to really get into this? Because for a lot of people, when it comes to running, it's like, oh, I don't want to do this. The weather is not good.

[00:22:39.430] – Martinus

The wind is blowing in the wrong way, like all these other things, right. So first is where are you mentally and do you need a mental adjustment? And then the second thing is really understanding, all right, let's go through your body. Let's go through from head to toe. How are your legs feeling? How are your arms feeling? So that way, once you start to go into the physical aspect of it, you'll already know where you need to add more focus. 

[00:23:08.620] – Allan

And the reason I think all that's really important is this is not a straight line. You're going to have great training runs, and you're going to have some that just suck. And it's your energy level. It's something. But you got out there, and it wasn't your day, and you've got to kind of accept that because that one day doesn't define you unless you let it. And so I really liked that idea of checking in with yourself beforehand, because that kind of gives you some precursors to know, my energy level is not 100% today. Maybe I didn't sleep as well as I needed to. Maybe I haven't been recovering as well as I need to. Maybe my nutrition is off. And you talk about a lot of all this in the book. So that's why I liked the book overall, because it was not just a just do it kind of thing. It was, here's everything that you need to consider as you go into this, because for you, a lot of what's out there isn't designed the way it should be for a runner that's going to finish back of the pack or maybe not even finish before time.

[00:24:17.730] – Allan

And I think that was another important thing that I kind of took out of this, was for a lot of people going out to run their first five or 10K, they don't really take into consideration, well, what happens if it takes me over the 50 minutes for this 5K and I'm not finished? What are they going to do then? And there's a lot of other considerations that you brought up that I thought were really important. Can you talk about some considerations if someone's looking at their first five or 10K, maybe even first half marathon, that they should consider looking into before they get started?

[00:24:51.500] – Martinus

Absolutely. I would say the first thing is really understanding what is the pace limits? Like, what is the pace cut offs for this particular race? And then that way you can understand, all right, where are you at physically to understand if you're either going to have a good time with this pace cut off, or you're going to have what I like to call a bad time with this pace cut off? So I think that's the first thing that you think about. And then you ask yourself, all right, can you do it within this pace time? The answer is yes. Great. If the answer is maybe. All right, now let's see what happens to the runners who fall behind the pace limit. Do they let you continue to run? Do they put you on a sidewalk? Do you put you on a bus? You really need to understand what is the ramifications if you don't make it to the finish line in the allotted time. And then you have to ask yourself, are you okay with those ramifications? Are you okay with having to run on the sidewalk because they're open the streets up? Are you okay with getting on a bus because they're like, hey, the race is over.

[00:25:57.410] – Martinus

You got to get on this bus because this thing is done. Are you okay with that? I know for some people, they'll be devastated if they participate in their first race. And the bus is like, hey, you're too slow. We got to open this course up. You got to get on this bus. We're sorry, but your race is over with. And some people will be devastated. They might not even run ever again. So making sure that they understand, what are the ramifications if you don't make it to the finish line in that certain time period? And then I think there are other ancillary things that you can also think about the time of day the race start. Like is it a morning race, is it a night race? I think about for longer distances. Say you're training for a half marathon or a marathon. Are you training for a spring marathon, which means you have to train throughout the winter, or are you training for a fall marathon which means you have to train throughout the summer. And those have their own ramifications as well. Whether you're training throughout the summer months and I don't know if you're down south or whatever, but that's something you also need to think about as well.

[00:27:04.390] – Martinus

And I also think about the last thing is for individuals who enjoy traveling to know how easy is it to get to that particular place. So for example, I went to a race in Montana, I live in New York City. You would think out of all the places, there would be a straight shot or a non stop plane to Montana, to New York City because it's one of the busiest cities in the world. That wasn't the case and I ended up getting delayed on a stop and all types of things that goes along with that. So it's also understanding where are you going and what does the airfare looks like or the travel look like to get there as well.

[00:27:50.580] – Allan

Yeah, I was running the Big Sur Marathon. They had the expo the day before and I went to the Expo and they had this speech and the director did not say anything about the four hour limit for the finish line. So what they were doing was they said okay, because they had some mudslides. So they were having to close this particular road, this particular bridge for the race, and they didn't want to shut it down any longer than they had to. So they were looking at the first finishers finishing in 2 hours and a little over 2 hours. And then at 4 hours they said, okay, well, we're going to have to open up the bridge. And so I'm running and all of a sudden they divert us and now we're running through this artichoke planting. This is down a gravel road into the middle of nowhere. There's no fans down there, there was no nothing. You finished the race and it's like, here you are, here's your medal. And it's like, okay, there's two guys standing down here besides the people that were just running in with me. So we're walking back up to where the finish line is, which was now about another mile and a half away.

[00:28:55.800] – Allan

And then all the people that had come to watch people finish, they didn't see us finish. So there's these things that happen because 4 hours, that was a slower marathon for me at the time, but it was that whole thing of had I known, I could have run just a little bit faster pace, particularly for the last few miles, and I probably would have made. Their cut off. But you brought up a couple of other important things in the book as far as they may run out of medals, they may not have your Tshirt size. There may be all these other little things that are going to somewhat be little digs into you and being a slower runner or your size or those different things. And that can really mess with you as a runner because you did finish the race, and now you don't have the medal to hang up in your closet or wherever you hang up your medals. And so there's a lot of considerations that you had in the book that I agree you want to make sure you're paying attention to because we all do it. We're all going to make mistakes as we prepare for our race.

[00:29:58.180] – Allan

Like you said, not having a nonstop flight. I had my luggage lost when I was flying to the DC marathon, the Marine Corps. Fortunately, I was wearing my running shoes. But I had to go into the Expo and break your primary rule, which is nothing new on race day. My shorts, my shirt, everything else I was wearing besides even my socks, all I had on was I had my running shoes on on the plane. And that's all I had going into the next morning for the race. So I had to stop at the Expo and buy everything I needed. And that was not the funnest race because I broke your rule. And I agree it's an important rule, nothing new on race day. Now, another area that you got into, a lot of runners kind of skip because they think, okay, well, I'm running, so that's my exercise for the day. I'm done. And they're going to run even if it's just I'm going to run three or four times per week. That's all I need to be in good shape and be able to run. But you're a big proponent of cross training. Can you talk a little bit about why you're a proponent of cross training and what someone should consider doing for cross training if they're running?

[00:31:12.680] – Martinus

Absolutely. So what I like to tell people is the things that you don't do as a runner that actually makes you a better runner. And I have this phrase that I tell all the people that I train, and that is you make time to cross train or you're going to make time for doctor's appointments and physical therapy appointments because you're going to get injured. And it's not if you get injured, it's when you get injured. So that's something I always tell people, is that make time for cross train. Are you going to be making time for doctor's appointments? Because that is the true fact about running. And this sport that we do is a very repetitive sport. I think that a lot of people forget about all the other ancillary muscles or accessory muscles that needs to help keep you upright while you run and get injured a lot. So I'm a big proponent of cross training, more particularly, most people, since we all have jobs that makes us sit on our butt. There's this phrase called gluteal amnesia, dead butt syndrome. And this is thing, this is real. And it's the fact that you sit on your butt for so long that your glutes don't fire properly or don't fire at all when you're running.

[00:32:35.860] – Martinus

So then while you run it, you rely on some of the smaller muscles versus some of the larger muscles in your body. So you rely on calf or mainly your calf and your soleus muscles to help push off versus using your glute muscles, which is like one of the larger muscles to help move your body. So that's one of the things that I like to tell people and let people know that you need to strengthen your glutes. And then the last thing is like engaging your core. I think that comes with another thing. We're just sitting down for so long is that a lot of people forget how to necessarily engage their core and really think about that. When people say core or like AB workout, they think about like sit ups. Right? But your core moves in multiple directions. It just don't go in that crunchy format. It goes to the side, it goes left to the right, to the front and the back. We need to make sure that our core is stable in order to make sure that everything else is grounded while we run as well.

[00:33:42.380] – Allan

Yeah, I like to explain the core to people I train and say think of it as like a soda can. And when that soda can is full, it's solid, you can put something on top of it, you can move it around, it's not going to crush. But you take that fluid out, which is how most of us are walking around, or worse, put a kink in it and it's going to collapse. And so any kind of training volume you put on yourself, if you don't have a strong core, it is going to break, it is going to break you at some point. So I totally agree with that. Strength training, core training, and then even doing some of your endurance training off of your feet or off of the road so that it's not so much extra repetitive effort on your body just to have a certain level of cardiovascular strength.

[00:34:29.150] – Martinus

Yes, and I think that's a great thing to mention right inside the book. I break up cross training in like two ways, right? You have strength cross training and you have cardio cross training. And I think a lot of people tend to forget that cardiovascular fitness can be brought on through various methods of exercise. It don't necessarily have to be running, it can be swimming, it can be cycling, it can be a plethora of things. But all of that still helps you with running as well.

[00:35:04.060] – Allan

Yeah, well, when I trained for my first one, I was in Washington, DC. And I was training during the winter because it was a spring, it was a February marathon. So I'm like, okay, I'm in Washington, DC. It's cold January in December in Washington, DC. And I was from Mississippi, so I was flying up there, but that's when I had to train. So I'm like, well, I'm going to go over here to this YMCA and go in there and just do some training. There some cross training inside and they had a 20 minutes limit on the machines. So I would get on one machine like an elliptical, and I'd do that for the 20 minutes, and then I'd have to move over to a different machine like a bike or a Stepper or a treadmill or whatever. And then that's how I did a lot of my training was just to cross train there. And I think one of the core advantages of it was that I got my cardiovascular endurance way up without putting so much stress on my knees, particularly running around Washington, DC. Where the pavements like granite. Oh my, yeah, it's not a fun place to run, even when I was in a safe part of the town.

[00:36:11.450] – Allan

But it was cold and it was hard, and I was like, no, I'm not going to do that too much. I did get out some and run, but for the most part, I did a lot of cross training and that was enough. That was enough to give me the endurance to be able to complete the run and my goal time. So I agree with all that. And I think one of the cores and things that you have in here is you're repeatedly thinking about the needs of the runner from the perspective of protecting their investment, protecting their body. So you talk about cross training, you talk about recovery and sleep and nutrition and all those different things. So I think it's a really good book for someone who does. You call it The Ultimate Guide for anyone who wants to run. Boom. That's exactly what this book is. Now, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:37:06.190] – Martinus

Oh, man. So let's start with the happiest. Right. I think when it comes to physical activity, a lot of people get into a comparison trap. They look at you, they look at me or whoever, and it's like, oh, I'm not where I need to be or I'm not where you at, and so on and so forth. And I think that one of the things that I've learned throughout all these years of running is that comparison is the thief of joy. It's the thief of joy and happiness. And one of the things I always like to tell the people that I train is that if your life doesn't depend on winning 1st, 2nd, or third place in the race, you're here and you're running a race to get a participation medal that you've already paid for. So there's no need to take yourself so seriously and get yourself so riled up for a race that A, you're going to get participation medal at the end of it, you're not winning. So you already know that. So you got to have something else that's going to drive you to run. So that's the first thing comparison is a thing for the journey. Fittest, being the fittest that you can possibly be.

[00:38:19.380] – Martinus

I think the best way to do that is through consistency. I think a lot of people underestimate the power of just being consistent, and this can be okay, I'm going to be active most days out of the week, which is, I say four days out of the week. Right. I think there's so many benefits that come with being regularly physically active that you'll get in your body even if you don't lose weight, that I think that there's still so many benefits to continue to be active. And I think that's another thing that a lot of people fail to realize as well is that we've been so taught to understand that exercise equals weight loss, right? So when people do exercise, they don't lose weight. They get all upset and sad and depressed and then stop exercising, not knowing that there's so many other benefits. Better A1C's, better cholesterol, better blood pressure, all these other things. The mental health benefit that comes with it that it's so beneficial that even if you don't lose weight, it's still a benefit, you still continue to do that. And I think that also rolls into the last part of the healthiest right by being regularly physically active.

[00:39:40.090] – Martinus

All of those markers that we look into or look at when we are going to a doctor, those markers get affected in a positive way when you are consistently being active.

[00:39:54.280] – Allan

Cool. Thank you. Martinus, if someone wanted to learn more about you, more about your Run Club and more about your book, Slow AF Run Club, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:40:05.730] – Martinus

You can go to slowafrunclub.com. That'd probably be the best hub to go there to get more information so we have information about the book there. The book is available wherever books are sold. And then we also have an app on iOS and Android. So if you download the Slow AF Run Club app on your favorite phone Apple device, you'll be able to find the app there as well.

[00:40:29.080] – Allan

Cool. Well, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/601, and I'll be sure to have the links there. Martinus, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:40:41.060] – Martinus

Thank you for having me, Allan

Post Show/Recap

[00:40:42.050] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:40:44.570] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. You know me. I love everything to do about running and listening to Martinus share his story was super motivating. His story and his run club, I looked up his Run Club and his website, Slow AF. It sounds like a really fun group of people. It's a really great community.

[00:41:03.570] – Allan

Yeah. And that's kind of one of the cool things. Again, it wasn't one story. I think that was what I really liked about the book, was that he really talked raw about the tough things that he went through, the chafe monsters, and being told he should get on the bus because he's not going to make it. And he knew he was going to make it, particularly because the guy on the bus told him to get on the bus and kept coming back and asking him to get on the bus. And so there's a lot of lessons in there about what running means, particularly for a slower runner. A lot of the things that slower runners have to put up with. He talks about shoes, he talks about everything else. But I think one of the big stories out of all of it was that running, it's a solo thing because you have to do the work, but it's also a very social thing when you let it be.

[00:42:04.460] – Rachel


[00:42:05.450] – Allan

And so the Run Club thing, he formed that online run club predominantly because he couldn't find his tribe in real life. He was trying and he went out with a group and in a place where you would kind of expect a lot more tolerance and acceptance. And he went out to join the slow group and was informed, okay, they're running this trail that he didn't know, and they were going to run ten minute miles, which was about twice as fast as he would normally have wanted to run. That because his running is going to be more in the 15 to 18 range as a normal run, just for a marathon or any kind of longer distance. He wasn't looking to run ten minute miles. Now, he tried because that was the slow group. And then they left him.

[00:43:02.200] – Rachel


[00:43:03.080] – Martinus

And as a result of being left, he turned to go back to the parking lot and got a little lost and then found two other runners that were trying to get back to the parking lot. So they all went back together. I only say that story not that you would avoid a run club because there's a lot of advantages. And I know, Rachel, you can talk a lot more about being in run clubs, forming run clubs and all that, but to me, the cool advantages of a run club is the social aspects of it, of having friends, having those peer groups. When we talk about motivation, there's a peer group waiting for you on Tuesday night to do the 07:00 run. You guys show up and do the 07:00 run, have your beer together, and then it's a social thing, but it's also a safety thing, especially if you're doing trails or doing areas. Running with other people is a huge safety thing. But it's not either of those things if the group is going to leave you. Because, again, now there's no social. You're alone on the trail and there's no safety because you just got left alone on the trail.

[00:44:12.930] – Allan

But there are run clubs out there. And if there aren't, you could form your own.

[00:44:16.770] – Rachel

That's right.

[00:44:17.600] – Rachel

And the great thing about Martinus putting his book together is that he is one of those back of the packers. He was a new runner. He made all the classic new runner mistakes and finally found his people. He found a group of people that he could form a club with and do their thing together, which is so important. And I want to point out a couple of things, is that a lot of people are afraid to start running because there are those fast people out there. There are people that run Boston, which those are only fast runners run the Boston Marathon.

[00:44:54.680] – Allan

But not only no, because again, if you read his book, you'll know that there are lotteries.

[00:45:00.860] – Rachel

Oh, yeah, there's charity, charity groups and.

[00:45:04.710] – Allan

There are lotteries where you can be picked for a lottery. Because he went through that process, too, of lotteries, because he's run some of the big ones, too.

[00:45:15.030] – Rachel

There's some races where you have to qualify, though, have a fast time. And Boston is one of those ones. And Allan, I've been running for 25 years. I am not a fast runner. I will never run the Boston Marathon. I'd have to shave 2 hours off my marathon time, which is not meant for me. But that's the intimidating part of running. And that's why having a run club with people who are not always the fast runners is helpful because then you get to be with people that are more your speed and more your ability and have the goals that you have, which are a little different than running marathons and setting PRs. So the problem with run clubs, though, is that there are so many run clubs. The Roadrunners Club of America has a website where you can look up running or run clubs in your community or nearby your community. And most of them have a website and they'll tell you what they run and they'll give you an indication of what type of club they are.

[00:46:19.280] – Rachel

Right here by me, there's probably, I would have to guess, five, six, seven different run clubs in my area. And I know because of experience, some of them are the fast ones. There's one run club in the city that I cannot even keep up with and it twists and turns through the city. So if I don't have my eye and look which direction the guy's turning, I'll be lost for the rest of the day, just like Martinus was on.

[00:46:45.430] – Allan

That just means you get to do more miles.

[00:46:48.610] – Rachel

As long as I can find my way back to start, I guess we're okay. But with my run clubs that I participate with or that I manage on my own, is we have a local trail. It's an out and back course. And when somebody new joins us, I ask them all the questions. How fast do you run? How far do you want to run if this is your first time out? We'll run a mile together. If you're an experienced runner, I'll tag you with the faster runners that are more experienced. So I kind of watch for people in my run clubs, but not all run clubs are that way. So it's important that you kind of pick and choose. Don't just blindly show up and then not be aware, just like what Martinus had experienced with his run club.

[00:47:31.230] – Allan

And so, you know, again, it's a really good book if you're a beginner, because he does tell the stories of the mistakes and the struggles, and that's actually a big part of why he runs. He runs because of the struggle.

[00:47:49.350] – Allan

Okay? And he runs because he's not supposed to run. He's over 300 pounds. You're not supposed to run when you're over 300 pounds. His doctor even said that. So just realize that you should run if you want to run. You should do what you want to do to live the life that you want to live. And again, as long as you don't have some underlying condition that you don't know about, which he didn't. He didn't have the underlying condition other than being a big boy, a very big boy, then it was, okay, now if I want to run, I just got to do it right. He went and got shoes, and he started, but still, lesson after lesson, the chafe monster got him on one bit. And then there was this getting lost when the run club left him, and that so there were a lot of lessons that hopefully you go through and you start your journey and you've read his book, you kind of have the idea, okay, Cotton is not my friend. Once I start doing more than about 30 minutes of running, just little things like that that don't seem like a big deal, can be a very big deal.

[00:48:58.800] – Allan

But that's what's so cool about running, is at first, you just need a pair of comfortable, sturdy shoes that are going to last a little bit, get out there and start going. Then you can start investing in better shoes. Then you can start investing in better clothes, and then you can start investing in all kinds of gear and stuff and goose and all kinds of stuff. But in a general sense, it's the easiest sport to start and then grow into.

[00:49:26.040] – Rachel

It is it's a great sport. You get out of it what you put into it. It's really all on you, and it's how you're feeling, how far you want to go, what you feel like accomplishing, but it gives you so much more back. It can give you your health. It can bring you to friendships in the run clubs. And that's why I love it so much. And I could drone on for hours about how great it is, especially how great run clubs are, but also back to run clubs. That is a good place to learn, because every single one of us runners has made all of these mistakes at one time or another. And this is how we can help you become a better runner by maybe getting you through some of these mistakes so you don't have to make them all. But it is a great place to be. And his book sounds really fun.

[00:50:14.080] – Rachel

Sounds like a great read.

[00:50:15.540] – Allan

If you're thinking about running or you're a beginner runner, it is a really good book. All right, well, Ras, I'll talk to you next week.

[00:50:23.370] – Rachel

Take care, Allan.

[00:50:24.490] – Allan

You too.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


How to overcome pain and heal from injury – Dr. Tom Walters

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Injuries and pain are a fact of life. In his book, Rehab Science, Dr. Tom Walters walks us through the science of pain and injury and gives us some tools to work through them.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:25.680] – Allan

Welcome, Ras.

[00:02:26.710] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:28.510] – Allan

I'm doing all right. I'm doing all right. Pretty excited. Well, we still haven't gotten any rain. Much rain anyway over the course of the last few days, but things are going good. I'm feeling good. I'm healthy again and moving around and lots of sunshine. Just having a good time.

[00:02:45.960] – Rachel

Back to your long walks.

[00:02:47.680] – Allan

Back to long walks. It's slowed down at Lula's a bit because we're heading into the low season, so things just aren't quite as busy. So it gives me a little bit more time. Southern Miss is playing well in baseball. Nice. They're going to the Super regionals. By the time you hear this, the super regionals will be over and they'll probably end of the College World Series. But they're one step closer to getting into the World Series.

[00:03:11.700] – Rachel

That's exciting. That's always fun to watch. Very cool.

[00:03:15.140] – Allan

I enjoy the College baseball and football. A lot.

[00:03:18.500] – Rachel

Of course.

[00:03:19.960] – Allan

How are things up there?

[00:03:21.540] – Rachel

Good. Same thing. We haven't gotten a lot of rain either. So it's hot summer, beautiful, great to be outside as long as you get out early. So yeah, just making our way through the summer.

[00:03:33.610] – Allan

Good. Are you ready to talk about physical therapy?

[00:03:38.160] – Rachel


[00:03:39.270] – Allan

All right, let's do it.


[00:04:02.350] – Allan

Dr. Walters, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:04:05.300] – Dr. Walters

Thank you so much for having me. Excited to chat today.

[00:04:08.050] – Allan

I am too. This is a book. It's called Rehab Science: How to Overcome Pain and Heal From Injury. And there have been a couple of times in my life when I hurt myself really bad, usually doing stupid stuff, but having fun while I was doing it. And then I would find myself going to a doctor who knew a little bit, and then I would end up in the office of a physical therapist who knew a whole lot and did a lot of good for me. I turned my ankle really bad when I was playing volleyball when I was in my 20s. And I went into the first doctor, he's like, It's broke. And he took X rays and it wasn't broke. And he gave me this cast or this thing to wear. And so I try to put it on. I couldn't get my shoe on. And I'm walking around elephant foot for three weeks. And I'm like, Okay, I got to do something. So I go into a sports specialist doctor and he's like, Okay, cool. He says, It's broke. And I'm like, Well, that other doctor said it wasn't. So we did another X ray.

[00:05:02.880] – Allan

He says, Man, it'd been better if you broke this thing because you've done so much damage down there. And then I went into he said, I want you to go over to this physical therapist in the office and he'll take her. And I walk in, he's like, Why don't you have that brace inside your shoe? And I'm like, Look at my elephant foot. There's no way I get my foot in the shoe. He says, Well, that brace is supposed to work with the shoe. If you don't have the shoe on, the brace doesn't do you any good. And so here's a doctor, gives me something to do, to use, doesn't really know how to use it, so he doesn't tell me how to use it. I walked in, they did ice therapy, elevation, and constriction all in one move. Put me on the table, lifted my legs up, ice water on my ankle. They got my shoe on before I left that office 25 minutes later. With that brace, I was walking around. He says, You need to be walking around on it, not those crutches. Just throw the crutches away. You need to be walking on this.

[00:05:56.430] – Allan

You need to be moving. This is what the ankle needs to heal. It needs movement to heal. The exact opposite of what every other doctor had told me, stay off of it for six weeks. So I have a whole lot of respect. And to see you put this in a book where now it's in our hands to do our own prehab, rehab structure. I just really like that.

[00:06:17.600] – Dr. Walters

Yeah. Well, thank you. You hear a lot of stories like that, right? I have a very similar story. From high school, I was an athlete and had had knee surgery. It used to be more like that where doctors would immobilize people longer. And I think the treatment of these injuries is slowly getting better. But I had a very similar type of thing where I was immobilized and not really given much direction and ended up developing a contracture. I couldn't bend my knee past 90 degrees. It really atrophied and eventually made my way to PT. And that was my first experience seeing how I was an athlete. I knew I only really thought about exercise and movement at that time for performance, getting stronger, jumping higher, all the things I was doing. I was in taekwondo, so I was kicking. That was my first experience with movement and exercise in terms of just muscloskeletal health and rehabilitation. I think these things are slowly getting better. But yeah, that was a huge goal of the book. Just like you said, of course, sometimes it's appropriate to have a temporary period of rest, but too often people are just prescribed rest and without a lot of clear direction after that.

[00:07:32.790] – Dr. Walters

And they end up resting too long. And we know now that there was actually an article a couple of years ago published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine where they looked at what are the best interventions for managing soft tissue injuries. And immobilization is not one of them. And movement, though, protection, elevation, compression, movement, all these things are really important, of course, in the right amount. You have to be smart about the movement. You don't want to just sprain your ankle. I'm just going to go jog in two days. But that was the goal of the book was to take basically what we do in rehab and create programs that have three phases and help people navigate, walk them through the process, gradually exposing the system to more stress, going from less challenging mobility exercises more and then to transition to strength and resistance based exercises to help people get back to normal function, get rid of pain. Because so much of this stuff, if you have the right education, you can just do yourself.

[00:08:38.560] – Allan

Now, I think a lot of us understand that certain people feel pain differently than other people. And in the book, you got into it. And the term you used was bio psychosocial. Can you talk a little bit about pain being bio psychosocial?

[00:08:56.530] – Dr. Walters

Sure. Yeah. The first five chapters of the book are on pain. Pain science is a really important area of science for all of us humans to know a little bit about. And that was why it was the beginning of the book. Pain is the number one symptom any of us really go seek medical care for. And years ago, we used to look at pain in the physical body from a more mechanical standpoint. It's like you think about something's broken on your car, you go to the mechanic and you get it fixed. And that was how I was trained in pain and injury when I came out of physical therapy school. And how most people were trained. It was what we used to call the postural structural biomechanical model. So all pain was looked at from posture, anatomy, biomechanics, how you moved. So it was very mechanical in that way, very physics based. And what we realized over time in the pain science research is that there's a lot of people who have pain that can't be really linked to tissues in their body or how they move. It has less to do with physical forces and things.

[00:09:59.750] – Dr. Walters

And so those studies pointed towards other factors, like how you think, your thoughts, your beliefs, your emotions, stress, sleep, things that might promote inflammation in the body, social factors. We see that people who have chronic pain, for instance, are often more socially isolated. They laugh less. It just becomes more complex. And so the biopsychosocial model came out of that and really this concept of, let's look at all of these factors that go into pain. If we're really going to do anything about pain, because we know the medical system really isn't very good at treating chronic pain, chronic conditions in general. The medical system is great at you fractured your tibia. We can pin it back together, put you in a cast or whatever and fix that thing. But if you've got chronic low back pain, a lot of people that have chronic pain that just suffer with it, and nobody really has a great answer. The biopsychosocial model is, I think, moving us in the right direction of looking at the whole person and trying to figure out what are the primary factors contributing to their pain experience.

[00:11:05.070] – Allan

And I guess the way I thought through that is you've also got into the whole idea that just because you have an injury doesn't necessarily mean you're going to have pain. And just because you have pain does not necessarily mean you have an injury.

[00:11:17.270] – Dr. Walters

Exactly. Yeah, that's so important, that one for people to separate. Chapter 6 of the book, we really separate pain from injury and talk about that because most people do are under the assumption that if I have pain, I've injured something in my body. And just like you said, we have lots of cases where most pain things that people come to see me in physical therapy for are more just irritations. They didn't have a trauma, something cute, injury didn't happen to them. They just slept funny or they tweaked something a little bit. And it's not like something… If you did an MRI or an X ray, you wouldn't see any damage. There's nothing that would be inconclusive. There'd be nothing there, but they still have pain. So for sure, you can have situations where you have pain and no injury. And then you have people who have injuries and don't experience any pain. And a lot of the pain science research actually came from those situations. A lot of it came from phantom limb pain where people have lost a limb and still have pain. So the injury isn't there anymore. You'll hear of people who have pain in a foot, even though, and maybe they've had everything from their knee down amputated.

[00:12:19.470] – Dr. Walters

So their foot is not there anymore, but they still have pain in that foot like it's there. And so those cases and research really, in a lot of ways, started the pain science research. And some of the best examples for injuries that don't create pain are studies where they do MRIs on people who are asymptomatic, who have no pain. And they'll find lots of us, almost half the population, have disk herniations in their neck and low back, have meniscus tears in their knee, labral tears in the hip and shoulder, arthritis in various joints. Those would technically get classified as injuries. If you went in that had pain and had an MRI and say, Oh, you have this injury, and your pain would be blamed on that. But we're finding more and more that it's just complex and you have to think about everything as a piece of a puzzle and see how it all works together and try not to rely too much on what your physical body looks like on a picture.

[00:13:17.320] – Allan

Now, pain is important, obviously, because if it's a signal, it's telling us something's not the way it's supposed to be, even if that's not coming from an actual injury. But in the book, you talked, and you just a minute ago talked about chronic pain, this is one of the three types, but you mentioned the three types of pain. Could you go through those? Because I think these are important for us to understand, the treatment has to follow along with the type.

[00:13:41.240] – Dr. Walters

For sure. Yeah. So when you have pain, you can, in most cases, break it down into these three types. Most people are going to have… If you've had an injury, like you're talking about an ankle sprain, like you sprain your ankle, that's going to fit into the first type, which is the most mechanical type of pain. Sometimes it's called nociceptive because it has to do with these… In our body, we have nerve ending called nociceptors that detect danger and they relay danger to our brain. And so if you turn those on and it creates pain, then that's called nociceptive pain. And that's usually what happens if you break a bone or you twist your ankle or you do something that's traumatic to your body, then you'll have that mechanical pain. You could be picking something up heavy and strain your back. It's something that happens usually in a sudden moment, and it's very localized. It's obvious why it hurts in that spot because you notice that you hurt that spot. Then we have neuropathic pain, which is the nerve type of pain. It's injury to the nervous system itself. Most people, from a general population standpoint, will have things like sciatica or carpal tunnel syndrome.

[00:14:48.860] – Dr. Walters

Even if you hit your funny bone, you bonk your all nerve in your elbow, that's in a type of acute neuropathic pain. It's a sudden stimulus to a nerve. Those are the big ones that most people will think of. That neuropathic pain is the pain that we think of as radiating or traveling. You might even have, maybe you do have a disk hernia that's irritating a nerve in your neck or your low back, and then it shoots down one arm or down one leg. A lot of people are familiar with those. That's called radicular pain. Nerve pain will often travel along the nerves path. That's another type. Then the third one is chronic or oftentimes now we use the term persistent pain because chronic carries a whole set of negative meaning with it. People often feel like you say chronic pain, that means they have no chance of getting better. So the term persistent pain is used more. But that's a type of pain that's been around longer, usually longer than 3 to six months. And it's the type of pain that doesn't do a good job of accurately telling you what's going on in your body.

[00:15:55.220] – Dr. Walters

So it tends to spread. It's more vague. People might think about fibromyalgia or a chronic low back pain or neck pain that's been around for a long time, maybe years and years. And you know you don't have an injury, but it just gets set off. Maybe you get stressed out and it gets set off, or you had a couple of nights of bad sleep, or some people even say they get a cold, they get sick and then their back starts hurting. So you'll hear these things where it's a pain that's been around for a long time, but it's not really telling you something helpful about your body.

[00:16:27.060] – Allan

This is the weirdest thing. I know I read that and that must have put something in my head because I'm coming down with a bit of a cold and I was feeling sore in the back. And it's almost like that got planted in my head. It had to have because I don't have any back problems. It's just weird. Pain is a weird thing.

[00:16:46.670] – Dr. Walters

It's super strange. I think this happens. I've always been interested in this where you might read about… This happens to me often when a patient comes in with a particular pain problem, I will sometimes experience that pain for a day or two after they've been here. We do see… You think about visualization with athletes where you can think about doing a movement and it fires those same circuits in your brain. I often think that maybe when we read about something painful or hear about someone talking about it, maybe we fire some of those regions in our brain.

[00:17:18.280] – Allan

Yeah. You talked about dry needling. And in my head, I could refill the pain of going through dry needling sessions before with a therapist. And I was like, Okay. And so you're right. Yeah, you can feel pain for no reason whatsoever. And it's important to get to the bottom of that because I don't need surgery on my back because I have a little bit of soreness to my back today when I was walking over here. I know it's psychosomatic. It's just coming out of my head and it'll probably go away as soon as I stop thinking about it. Now, when we're going to go through the process of overcoming pain, I think this is important because there were three phases that you mentioned. And I think a lot of times we actually skip the last two. We get stuck and we do the first one and then we don't really follow through. Can you talk about the three phases?

[00:18:07.920] – Dr. Walters

For sure. Yeah. I'm glad you're high telling this because I do agree. I think a lot of times people do skip the last two. I think sometimes that they feel better and so you're just not motivated to keep doing those. Sometimes it could be your insurance ends and you're going to physical therapy and you just stop doing things. And that's where trainers and PTs are such good compliments to each other.

[00:18:28.480] – Allan

And this book.

[00:18:30.180] – Dr. Walters

Totally. Yes, exactly. That was something actually my co author, Glenn and I talked a lot about was using this because we don't want to tell people don't go to physical therapy. Of course, there are times when there's a lot you can do on your own. But if you're not getting better, then you go and the book can be a compliment to that. And it could be something that helps you continue when you're done. But when you look at those phases, the first phase is really about reducing pain and reducing sensitivity, helping the system calm back down, really desensitizing it so that you don't just keep it flared up. You want to try to get rid of that acute pain state and not prolong it. Maybe you've got an injury, you're moving on it too much and you're creating more inflammation, stirring it up. Maybe it's just a non inflammatory… It's a low back pain that you've had before and you just want to try and let your nervous system desensitize and calm down. Most people are pretty good about that. It hurts so you're going to try to do things. But then after that period, as it starts to calm down, the next thing that we'll look at in rehab is addressing impairment.

[00:19:34.590] – Dr. Walters

So trying to resolve impairment, which are really things that would limit your function. So maybe a mobility loss, maybe your joint, you can't move it as far because of that pain. Maybe you've got a strength deficit, maybe you have a balance or appropriate receptive type deficit. So a lot of it in phase two, that second phase, a lot of it revolves around mobility and control, how well the person moves, the quality of their movement. And we really want to work on mobility early because… Your ankle sprain example, right? You don't want to let someone be totally immobilized for too long. And my knee example, because people can get stuck, their joints can become stiff. And as time goes on in the area of heels, it's much harder to gain that range of motion back. So we really try to start right away as soon as pain is coming down to work on mobility and movement control. And then the third phase is all about rebuilding capacity, which is really focused on resistance training. Any good physical therapy program should ultimately turn into a resistance training program where you're using your body weight, maybe external tools like dumb bells, bands, barbell, whatever you do that you eventually get back to where you are loading the system externally and building strength.

[00:20:49.250] – Dr. Walters

And that will help your tendons, your muscles, your ligaments, your bones, everything. A lot of times in the PT world, we'll talk about increasing capacity of the system. And that typically means by strengthening it with resistance training, because we know your musculoskeletal tissues are physical tissues. We're putting load and stress on them all the time. So the stronger they are, they're naturally going to be more resistant to tearing and being injured.

[00:21:14.750] – Allan

Yeah, I know this from experience because I asked for a tore rotator cuff about six years ago. And I mean, tore tore, it was not a partial tear. It was a tear off the bone. Bad, bad one. But I kept training. I kept exercising, I kept lifting. I just told my personal trainer, strength trainer at the time, I said, okay, I can't do pressing movements right now. That's just not going to happen. I can't do presses, particularly overhead. We tried some different things, and that was just a no go. The pain was there, and I knew I was just compensating too much with everything else, and I really wasn't getting any work on my chest of any substance. So I didn't do any pressing movements, but I continued to do lap pull downs and rows and dead lifts because that didn't impact that injury at all. But as a result of doing that work, I felt like I felt less pain. So there's a tie to exercise and pain that even beyond resistance training, just even you mentioned in the book, aerobics and everything else. Can you talk a little bit about that?

[00:22:13.250] – Dr. Walters

For sure. Yeah, we talk about this a lot with pain that movement and exercise are one of the most powerful modulators of pain. A lot of people probably will recognize this. Sometimes when you're really sedentary, maybe something's come up in life. Maybe you're on a vacation or on a plane or whatever. When you sit more, often people will feel worse. Once they get out and walk and just move, there's something I think our nervous system really craves, movement. Like you said, it doesn't have to be resistance training. It can just be active mobility work, whatever. It could just be going through range of motion exercises. Just moving tissue tends to really be helpful in terms of pain. What was the second part you asked on that?

[00:22:53.180] – Allan

Well, the connection of the two. I just felt like I didn't feel pain the way that I would have felt it because a full tear of a rotator cuff and you're moving in a gym doing stuff, you would think I would be in intense pain, and I wasn't. Now, at other times, I did certain movements that would cause pain. But at the same time, I was out running, I was out lifting, I was doing things. And in the end, it actually worked out great because doing those lap pull downs and those rows, the range of motion in my shoulder after the surgery was exceptionally better than it would have been if I had just put it in a sling and sat at my desk for three months while I was waiting for surgery.

[00:23:36.450] – Dr. Walters

Yeah, it made me think. Yeah, exactly. There's a couple of things there. I think we're often trying to encourage people, and I think this has been a change in maybe the last 10 to 15 years, but just that exact idea of keep training as much as you can. So if you've got an injured shoulder, you injured your rotator cuff, you found all these things that you could modify your workout and keep strengthening. And we know that people, like your example, where if they're working on mobility and getting stronger and they do end up having surgery, they recover faster. And we see that people, say you can't even work that side, working the other arm and your legs. We've seen in the research with resistance training, there's this cross transfer effect where actually people lose strength less if they keep training, even if they're not even working the side that's injured, if they work the other side, it transfers over. And I think the other cool thing about movement, especially when you start looking at more chronic, longer lasting back pain, such a good example. A lot of times it doesn't have to be real fancy specific exercise for low back pain, for example.

[00:24:37.930] – Dr. Walters

Things like Pilates, yoga, walking, aerobic exercise, just stretching programs, resistance training, they all have been shown to have a significantly positive impact on chronic low back pain. So I think sometimes people get in this mindset, again, because of probably outdated narratives, but I've just got to do core strengthening if I've got back pain. And really the research is saying more and more, you just need to move, just find something that moves. And if you do have some of the exercises that do target the low back area, that probably is good to add in. But a lot of times it's just moving. Just try to move and find something that you enjoy and isn't threatening to your system. A lot of times when we're talking about pain, that's what we're trying to help people with is you don't want to just blow past your pain, past that flair up line. You want to find something that challenges it, goes up to that line. But it's not considered really threatening by our nervous system. And over time, you can desensitize the system and help get rid of that pain.

[00:25:36.280] – Allan

But do no harm. Don't continue to injure yourself. Do what you can. Like I said, twist your ankle. You're not going out for a jog two days later, but you are walking around with compression socks or compression brace and doing the right things to help that heal.

[00:25:52.780] – Allan

Dr. Walter, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:26:01.780] – Dr. Walters

Yeah, I would say in thinking about this one, the three that I would focus on right away would be sleep. Sleep is… We know there's so much research on sleep, and it definitely applies to the musculoskeletal system. Our musculoskeletal system remodels while we're sleeping. And whether you're looking at performance in the musculoskeletal system or healing from pain and injury, just getting enough sleep should be the foundation, in my opinion, before you even think about these more physical therapy based exercises and interventions. Sleep, and then I would say exercise movement. And like we're alluding to, I always say exercise movement because we just talked about how powerful just basic movement is. So it doesn't always have to be you're getting your heart rate up or doing something that's strength based. It could just be range of motion exercises or activities of daily living that you might do around your house, just moving. But then, of course, exercise, especially aerobic exercise and strength training, can have huge benefits for helping to reduce your chances of having an injury and helping with all kinds of different pain issues. Even just aerobic exercise for people with chronic pain has lots of research for reducing inflammation and sensitivity in the nervous system.

[00:27:14.610] – Dr. Walters

Sleep, exercise, movement. Then the third one, I would say, really revolves around how you think in your psychology. There's a huge degree of stress, fear, and anxiety that comes with pain and injury. That really goes back to that bio psychosocial model. We've been trying to spend a lot of time educating people about pain and injury, the differences between them, what's going on in their system, how their pain system works. And you see lots of studies where the fear of injury, the fear of pain is almost more limiting than what they're actually experiencing. And a lot of times when you're looking at pain, fear and anxiety can actually ramp the nerve system up because you're basically telling your brain that there's something to be worried about, that you need to be threatened. There's something threatening going on, there's danger. Your brain is going to tap into that and be more likely to output pain because it thinks it needs to protect you. That piece, trying to figure out, learn about pain as a strategy for reducing fear and anxiety. Then if you don't have a lot of fear and anxiety around pain and injury, then I would say stress management, which goes in that same category.

[00:28:27.690] – Dr. Walters

Just trying to maybe it's meeting with a PT, maybe it's implementing meditation, mindfulness based things. Even just laughing, trying to find something that makes you laugh. Injuries suck. Nobody likes being injured. You see a lot of people who with true injuries like ACL tears or something, your likelihood of being reinjured is higher if you're fearful of that injury happening again. So there's a lot to be said for, I think, that your mindset and your mental framework than how you look at pain and injury.

[00:29:02.420] – Allan

That's why this book is really helpful because you have the protocols in the book where you can somewhat, let me say, self diagnose, but if you know you have an injury, you're working with a PT, or you're through working with a PT and you want to keep working to work your way through these three phases of recovery, all that's in the book set up exactly like that. So you say, okay, I hurt my shoulder. What can I do to strengthen, to resolve this problem over time and make sure that I'm at least as good, if not better for it? And it's all in the book. The book is called Rehab Science. If someone wanted to learn more about the book or about you, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:29:42.510] – Dr. Walters

Yeah, thank you. So yeah, the book, like you said, Rehab Science, how to overcome pain, heal from injury. The best places are usually Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If people are in the United States, there are groups for international individuals. Black Wells is a bookstore in the UK that's useful. And then people can always message me. I'm at Rehab Science pretty much everywhere on social media. Instagram and YouTube are the big platforms where I'm the most active. But people can always reach out to me if they have a question or want to know where to get the book or how to navigate it because there's a lot. There is a lot of content in there. And I think, like you said, most people are going to come to this for the programs because they're looking for a program, they've got some pain and they want to see some exercises they can implement. My hope is that that will then motivate them to look at the first 10 chapters, which are the science of pain and injury, and then that will give them that framework we talked about because it is so… It's like putting an armor on yourself.

[00:30:37.650] – Dr. Walters

I think if you have that education, you're probably going to have pain or an injury again in the future. The book covers the 50 most common. They're all the things that most of us humans get. So if you have that framework, that toolset to know how to approach a future pain or injury, it just makes it that much easier and it helps reduce some of the fear and anxiety about it. So my hope is though people will be interested in the science, and we try to write it in a way that we were thinking really about the regular person, just somebody who doesn't have a rehab background that wants to learn about these concepts. Of course, I think movement and medical practitioners will benefit from it, too. But we were thinking about both of those groups. And a lot of people asked me, it's not just for practitioners. It was really at the beginning just for the regular person.

[00:31:22.370] – Allan

Well, I'm going to have a copy on my bookshelf.

[00:31:24.960] – Dr. Walters

Thank you. I appreciate it. Thank you.

[00:31:27.730] – Allan

You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/595, and I'll have the links there. Dr. Walters, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:31:37.640] – Dr. Walters

Thank you so much for having me. This is awesome. Thank you.

Post Show/Recap

[00:31:49.290] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:31:50.780] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. Right off the bat, I have to tell you, I think having a physical therapist is just as important as having a general practitioner doctor. They can play such an important role, especially for people in my running community. We get injured a lot, so we'd rather be back on the run, and a physical therapist is the guy that's going to get you there.

[00:32:11.530] – Allan

Well, yeah, I go with the concept of fit for task. And as you try to be fit for task, if you injure yourself, guess what, you're not until you get it fixed, until you actually get out there and say, Okay, I'm going to do something about it. And it's unfortunate that most doctors don't necessarily want to stay in their lane on some things. If you're a general practitioner, I apologize, but you're not a physical therapist, and those guys can work magic. And so I don't mean anything when I say my general practitioner let me down. I just went to the wrong doctor. It wasn't until I said, Okay, this isn't getting better the way he said it would. I've got to go to an expert. And I went to a sports doctor. The sports doctor knew more but still didn't know how to fix me at that point because I wasn't in his world broke.

[00:33:07.890] – Allan

He was effectively a carpenter and there was nothing to fix. It was just, Okay, we've got to get the swelling down. We've got to get this boot on. We've got to have the pressure. And so it was just, okay, now you got to do this contrast therapy and all the things that probably are outdated today. But what I did back then, and so it was just a function of getting to the right person, which was the physical therapist when it was all said and done, that knew the thing. Same thing when I tore my shoulder, it was okay. Not playing around with this. I did not go to a general practitioner. I went straight to a sports doctor, told him it was broke. He told me it was broke. He said, Let's get an MRI. We got the MRI, it was broke. He goes in and does his carpentry work and staples me back together, shaves off a little bit of bone and says, Okay, just go do physical therapy when it's time. And I thought, Well, no, he didn't really say when. So this was Thursday. I made an appointment with a Division 1 football physical therapist.

[00:34:17.450] – Allan

He'd been with the Division 1 football team the year before. So he had seen breaks. He had seen stuff like this. And I told him, I said, I don't want to just recover. I want to be back to exactly where I was before this all happened.

[00:34:32.090] – Allan

And he helped me do that. So yeah, they are among my favorites. But what I really liked about this book was it does allow you to do some self work.

[00:34:44.550] – Allan

When the injuries not as bad as what you would require physical therapist. And if you have a physical therapist for an injury, this is going to be additional aid that will help you because you can pull this book out and sit down with them and say, here's this injury. What do you think about this workout? Because they're going to give you a little Xerox piece of paper that's grainy because it's a copy of a copy of a copy that's been around for 15 years and say, Here's your prescription for homework. Here you can say, well, this guy recommends this training. What do you think about it? And the physical therapist will say, Yeah, that'll do the same thing. But you'll have it in your hand. And so if it's a minor injury, you'll know how to recover from it. Well, if it's a more major injury, then I would say go seek medical attention. Don't be your own doctor.

[00:35:39.190] – Rachel

Yes. Well, I want to just highlight that section right there because we all go down the rabbit hole of googling this symptom and that symptom, and you can get 20 different answers of what your ailment or injury could be. And it is really important just to go straight to the doctor, the sports ortho, or if you can get a consultation with a PT and get the test done and get a proper diagnosis and then do what needs to get done because you're not a doctor, I'm not a doctor.

[00:36:10.510] – Allan

But I want to flip that a little bit. You still are the CEO and their advisors. So if you know there's something wrong and the doctor says, Well, you're just going to have to live with it, that might not be the answer that you want to hear. But get a second opinion. Or if surgery is the only way that, Oh, well, it's a partial tear of this or that. Surgery is your best option. Let me cut you open, please. No, let's take a step back. Is there a way for me to rehab this? So go get the second opinion. Have some conversations. Understand the risk, understand the likelihood that that's going to pay. I knew with my shoulder it was a complete tear. There was no not getting a surgery. I wouldn't have been able to scratch the top of my head ever. So I needed surgery because I would not have been able to lift my arm up over parallel from the floor. And so from that perspective, I knew I had to get the surgery, got it on my own terms. And when it was the right time for me, I did live with it for three months.

[00:37:15.210] – Allan

And I also did a spartan with it, and that was part of it. I didn't want to miss the spartan for the surgery. I was like, I can't tear it more, so I'll go in when it's time to go in. I kept moving my arm. I didn't brace it and hold it and nurse it. I was careful not to hurt myself because I don't like pain anymore than anybody else does. But it was just this concept of, I know I'm going to need the surgery. I'll fit it in when it makes the most sense. And then I'll do the physical therapy like a madman to recover as quickly as humanly possible.

[00:37:51.250] – Allan

And my range of motion was great within a few weeks. Reality is the strength took a lot longer to get back to the strength I had before. Now I'm a smarter man because I know there's no reason for me to be lifting that much weight over my head with dumbells. My shoulders are just not going to be able to handle it. And I assume whatever happened on my right shoulder could invariably happen on my left. And I don't want to have to go through that again. So I'm just a lot more careful. But I still weight train. I didn't stop training because, oh, I might hurt myself. I still want to be fit for task. And that includes scratching the top of my head.

[00:38:31.580] – Rachel

Yeah, that's important.

[00:38:33.290] – Allan

When it itches. When it itches. So make health care professionals your partners. They're your advisors. Put them on your team. Anytime you learn something about yourself. It's an illness, it's a cancer, it's a this or it's a that. Get some professional advice. Dr. Google is fine for you to get some base information. But if you get on one of those forums and someone says, Well, I just made this tea with ashugandha and all this other stuff in it and that cured my cancer, maybe. But that's just a bit of information. That anecdotal post out there on the internet is not a study. They might be right. But again, take it under advisement and do what you feel is right for your health care, for your well care, so you can be the person that you want to be.

[00:39:22.630] – Rachel

Absolutely. And a PT is a good guy to have on speed dial.

[00:39:26.520] – Allan

And this book is like having someone like that. So I would trust what's in this book over anything you're going to search on Google because this guy knows his stuff.

[00:39:37.650] – Rachel

That sounds awesome. Great interview. Great book.

[00:39:40.530] – Allan

I'll talk to you next week.

[00:39:42.490] – Rachel

Take care.

[00:39:43.600] – Allan

You too.

[00:39:44.420] – Rachel


Music by Dave Gerhart


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– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Leigh Tanner
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


The 7 elements of a great wellness journal

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You've probably heard that a journal can be a great tool, but if you're like me, most of the structured journals you buy are just too much work. In episode 594 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss the core elements to make a great wellness journal.


Let's Say Hello

[00:03:15.950] – Allan

Hey, Raz.

[00:03:17.250] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:19.420] – Allan

I'm doing better. I had a cold for a few days, and so I was down, but I'm back and I'm doing well.

[00:03:25.240] – Rachel


[00:03:25.890] – Allan

Just catching up.

[00:03:28.050] – Rachel

Glad you're feeling better.

[00:03:29.780] – Allan

How are things up there?

[00:03:31.300] – Rachel

Good. Would you be surprised if I said I found a new run club to join?

[00:03:37.350] – Allan

How many days in a week are there?

[00:03:38.950] – Rachel

How many run clubs are not enough? Pretty much. And actually, it's not my fault. It's Mike's Fault. My husband Mike's Fault. One of the ladies in our local running club in the city that we live down in Middleville, she works at a brewery up near Grand Rapids, and she said she's been looking to start up again. They used to have a run club, and my husband said, wait, you don't have a run club? We should run there. So we took a field trip up there and ran a loop with a bunch of friends, and everybody loved it. And so our local brewery called Railtown Brewery has started up their run club, and we will be there tonight. As a matter of fact, you do.

[00:04:22.550] – Allan

That run club and then drive down and do that run club.

[00:04:26.030] – Rachel

Yeah, we're hitting them all.

[00:04:28.060] – Allan

Like shuttling kids to soccer practice.

[00:04:30.490] – Rachel

Exactly it.

[00:04:34.870] – Allan

I do have a couple of things to talk about. I got a message from a guy and he was looking at the retreat that I had scheduled that was actually supposed to happen a couple of weeks ago that would cancel because there really wasn't any interest. People were telling me it was just the timing was bad or this and that. So I am going to try one more time to have this retreat here in Bocas. And so I'm looking at right now, August 28, and that'll run through September 1. Because it's low season here in Bocas, I will be able to lower the price, particularly for the VIPs that are staying at Lula. And you'll be able to get cheaper airfare, cheaper flights, I mean, cheaper rooms. All of it will cost less this time of year. So I'm pretty excited to be trying to do that and see if that happens. But I'm just going to try it. This episode is supposed to go live kind of in the middle of June, but go ahead and message me or go to the page 40 plusfitness. Comretreat and sign up. If I don't have sign ups by about the first or second week of July, I'm going to pull the plug again because I can't put money into something that's not going to happen.

[00:05:51.330] – Allan

So you can be interested or you can actually sign up, two different things. So don't just tell me you're interested. Go ahead and go to this page 40 plusfitness.com retreat and go ahead and sign up. And if I get some sign ups, then we'll have this thing. I was pretty excited about it before, and then it kind of fizzled out and didn't happen. I hope this one will. So please do go check that out. And I also have a few slots left in my personal training for the twelve week Shed the Fat program. So if you're interested in that, one of the interesting things to think about is that if you do twelve weeks training, you're going to be in a lot better shape when you come to the retreat on August 28. So consider that, consider checking that out and you can go to 40 Plusfitness.com, message me from there and we can talk about getting you on the twelve week program.

[00:06:50.130] – Rachel

Awesome. That sounds great.

[00:06:52.020] – Allan

All right. So are you ready to talk about journaling?

[00:06:55.480] – Rachel



You've probably heard me say more than once that you need to journal or journaling is a good tool. A lot of my guests have said journaling is a great tool for wellness, weight loss, fitness, health, all the way across the board. A journal can be a great tool to help you on your journey. The question is what should go into a good or a great wellness journal? So I want to talk about that today. When you think about a wellness journal, it's going to be custom to how you want to approach your journey. Things that matter more to you may matter less to me, and vice versa. So take these. These are just ideas. You could probably add other things you want to do. Some people will do a whole lot of extra logging, others want a very succinct and concise log. So it's really up to you how deep you go into this. But this is really about learning. This is a tool to help you learn, a tool to help keep you on track, a tool to keep you motivated. And so I strongly encourage you to journal as a part of your journey.

So when I talk about a journal, I basically break my journal into two pieces. So I've got my global, or kind of my planning stage of this. It's kind of the first few pages where I'll go through and break down my goals and my vision. And I usually look at these in a short term, medium term, long term kind of cycle. So my short term will be like the next 30 days. So what are some things that I want to accomplish in the next 30 days that lead me toward my vision? And then what are some things that I expect that I'll do in the next six months? Again, focused on my goals and my vision, and then the three to five years, which is usually a little bit more aligned with just what my vision is, what I want to look and feel like, how I want to be moving, what I want to be able to do. So I break that down into those three phases, the short term, medium term, and long term term. And I have all those documented. And so what I know is that my 30 day goals are going to lead toward me being able to hit my six month goals, which are going to lead towards me being able to hit my long term goals, which are usually in the range of somewhere between three to five years.

So you know that question, where do you want to be in five years? It's kind of that mindset of a vision, what am I aiming at? And then making sure everything I'm doing in between is leading towards that long term. And that's a part of my global approach. The Journal. And that's the front of my Journal. And then, like I said, I've set my 30 day goals. So now I work day to day. And so I set a daily set up. And each day I record a gratitude. What am I grateful for today? And it doesn't have to be anything huge. It can just be that we got rain because I live on an island and we need water. It can be that I had a great evening hanging out with my wife, or I enjoy spending some time with our dogs, or I went for a wonderful walk and just saw a sloth. It could be anything. But what is something today that I'm grateful for? And I do that first thing in the morning. That's the very first thing I do. And then I write my daily intention. What is the thing that I need to do today to move the needle forward?

And so when I'm looking at my wellness, that could be get my walk in, that could be get my lifting in, that could be whole food, it could be get myself into ketosis. It could be a number of different things. But what's my intention today? What am I going to do today? And having just one intention, because I've found if you have too many and you try to do too many things at one time, some of them get lost in the mix. So I have one major intention for each day. The next is basic logging. So if I'm doing a workout, I log my workout. If I'm looking at my nutrition, then I go ahead and I log my nutrition. And a lot of times I will do this on a hard copy just to see that I'm sticking to my goals. If I need more detail, like I need my macros or I need my calories, I typically will key that into an app like my fitness pal. But I may also record some of the results in my journal just to see how I ate today, what I ate today. And then what I do is I kind of look at how today went, and so I say, okay, based on my logging, how am I feeling?

What's my energy level? Based on how I ate yesterday, what do I feel today? And I kind of get an idea, like maybe I'm doing a really good job on my lifts. And so I'm lifting more weight. I want to tie that together with, okay, I've been consistent with my lifting for this month, and therefore my strength is going up pretty well on these particular exercises. And so I kind of take my log and I tie that into key findings, like, what are some of the takeaways that I have from what I did that lends into what went well today? So I'm always going to end a day with what do I feel like I did well on? So I can feel that success, I can celebrate that success in my journal. And then the next step, the next one is learnings. Okay, so did I do something poorly? Did I do something or something didn't go well? And I learned something from this. So what did I learn? Today is the next one, and then the final one is just wins. I finish out the day and say, okay, what are my key wins today?

And so when I talk about the seven things that are a part of my wellness journal, it includes the global, which is number one is my goals and vision. Okay? And then the rest of them are daily. I do a daily gratitude. That's number two. I do a daily intention. What am I going to do today that's most important? That's number three. Number four, logging and tying. So I log what I've done, my workouts, my walks, my food, my sleep, anything I feel like I need to be working on, I'm logging that, and then I'm tying that to what is going on in my life. And then number five is the what went well today? So giving myself a what went well? I know my lifts were good, my walk was good. Maybe I bonked on my walk, and that's what I learned. So that's the next one. Six, what are things that didn't go well today? But I don't look at it from the perspective of didn't go well. It's like, what did I learn? And I learned, okay, maybe if I'm going to do a 15 miles walk, I should actually eat something before that walk because I could bonk.

It might be that I'm starting to feel a little bit of stress on one of my joints, and I might want to ratchet down on that particular lift. And so the things I'm learning today, I want to carry forward. And then my wins. It's very important to celebrate each time you do something. If you hit your goals for the day, you're working towards consistency. You're getting the things done. Celebrate those often and celebrate even the small ones. So I take some time to write those things down. Now, something I also do, which you don't necessarily have to do, is I do a weekly recap at the end of the seven days. So I'll do the global, and I'll do the dailies, and then I'll have the seven day recap. My weekly recap and that's where I kind of flip back through my week and I say, okay, what are some of the things that I did this week that were good? What are some of the things that I learned this week? And I just kind of refocus my next week and saying, okay, based on what I've learned, based on what went well, what do I want to press on?

What do I want to be more intentional on this next week? And that kind of wraps up my journal. I don't do a monthly recap, although I do go back at times and look to see that I've reached my 30 day goal. And then again, if I need to reset that goal, I will recap and reset. But generally my 30 days are probably not going to be too different from my next 30 days building towards my six months, I tend to stick with stuff a little bit longer, but you may want to periodize. You may want to do something a little different. So you may change up every 30 days or every six weeks. Whatever makes the most sense for you. I tend to be a little bit more on the consistent side of doing the same thing. As long as it's working. I don't really shake things up too much, but I hope this has been helpful for you. I do value journaling a whole lot. I do it all the time. It's a pretty regular thing for me. I don't do it all the time, but I do it quite a bit. It is a great way to keep yourself on track.

It's a great way to document what you've done and what works and what doesn't work. You can look at your food and how your energy level is. You can look at your movement and maybe some pain and things that are going on, and it can give you some great information, some great data for you to understand how your body responds to the things that you're doing. So I highly recommend that you do a journal. And if you want to do a great wellness journal, I encourage you to use all seven of the elements I talked about today

Post Show/Recap

[00:15:21.190] – Allan

Welcome back, Raz.

[00:15:22.830] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. So, fun story. I love journaling. It's a great idea, and I have all my athletes do it, although I don't really do it myself. But after listening to how you line up your journal, I think I'd like to give it a try. I know it would be beneficial for myself to do it, but I have seen how successful it is for athletes in particular to journal. So sounds like a great thing to do.

[00:15:47.470] – Allan

Yeah. This is not a boil the ocean, spend a lot of time kind of thing. This is a pretty simple thing. Like, yeah, I do spend probably about an hour, half an hour maybe, going through my goals and my vision. And that's really just every month at the end of the month. So as we're recording this, I'm sitting down thinking about what I want to do for June, what I want the last half of this year to look like. And so as I go through that, I'm like, okay, here's what that looks like. Here's what I want to accomplish in 30 days. And that gives me a good idea of what each day needs to look like. And so that kind of helps with the motivation to know, okay, for me to meet this goal, I've got to look at each day, and this is the contribution that day makes to that goal. And then the only two things that I think are non negotiable is the first one is the gratitude. And the reason for that is if you express gratitude, you cut through stress, you cut through all the down talk, all the negative self talk.

[00:16:49.860] – Allan

All that stuff goes away, even if it's just for an instant. When you're in a state of gratitude, you just set yourself up to be in a really good mindset. And it doesn't have to be big. It can be just the morning you woke up, your dog was sitting there and looked up at you, and you got down on the floor and petted him, and you just felt that connection with him all over again. He's excited and happy to be in your life, and you're happy to have him in your life. And so you write that gratitude down, and for that instant, your stress is gone. For that instant, all the negative self talk is gone. And then you use that instant to set an intention for that day. And the intention can be something as simple as knowing, okay, this is going to be extremely busy day. I've got all these client meetings, so it's really going to be hard for me to get a workout in, but I want to get something in. So it could be as simple as saying, I'm going to put in five to ten minutes right before breakfast or right before my first call, I'm going to go for a walk, and then I know I've got to walk to my office is five minutes, and I got to walk back after it's five minutes.

[00:17:54.700] – Allan

So it's 20 minutes of walking. And if that's all I can do. And I know that I'm not going to have time to cook dinner because I've only got a little block of time on Mondays to eat dinner, then it might be good for me to pull something out of the freezer that I already had prepped from Sunday. So my intention is pull that out of the freezer and get in at that 20 minutes, and maybe it's broken the way I just tried to break it up. But I set my intention for that. That's my intention for the day, is to do those things. I say usually one thing. Occasionally, yes, I'll throw in a second one. But it's like, that's my intention and what it does, it keeps me on track. It keeps me from having to call out and order pizza. I'm satisfied with 20 minutes of walking when I know I could do 3 hours of walking, but I have to be satisfied with 20 minutes because that's where I am with what I have. And so I just think those two things can help you set up each day to be successful and then to measure that success with, okay, did I meet my intention today?

[00:18:58.730] – Rachel

Well, I love how you said right off the bat that you don't have to boil the ocean. And I think that's a lot of the problem that some people have with Journaling is that like, well, what do I write down? What do I need to focus on? And people get all anxious about it. And secondly, starting with the gratitude part, what's going right? Something positive. And the reason why I think that's particularly important is that it is really easy to find in our lives all the things that have gone wrong or things that are going sideways or things that are just being a pain in the side. But when you start with something that's positive, that things that are going right, something that you feel gratified for, that can learn how to look for happiness and realize some things that bring you joy that you may not instantly think of. So I think that's a really helpful practice. And then you went on to say that I always like to say, if you can't measure it, you can't monitor it. So if you're actually writing things down, what you ate that day and how you feel the next day, well, that could bring some really great insight, right?

[00:20:04.180] – Allan

Because most of us are here. We're here to make ourselves better. We're here to improve our health and fitness. And so data can drive decisions, and without the data, then you're winging it. And for a lot of people, that works. I just keep doing more, and sometimes that works. But for a lot of people, if you're wanting to improve your performance or you're wanting to lose weight, you're wanting to know that you're improving, you need to see it somewhere. So you talked about you keep data on your runs, but you're not really tying that back to, well, what is a bad performance day? What may have caused that that I can stop doing? And so if you find yourself binge eating or eating at midnight, waking up in the middle of night eating, or you're pulling into a drive through that you didn't intend to pull into, what was going on? What was going on when that happened? I'm reading a book with a guy we'll talk about in probably a couple of weeks, and he has this thing for Krispy Kreme, and he was living in a city that didn't have them, but there was one a few miles south of where he lived on a certain highway.

[00:21:13.850] – Allan

And every time he got on that highway, whether it was the intent was Krispy Kreme or not, his internal brain took him to that store. It was almost like automatic. He didn't want to stop. Even if he told himself he wasn't going to stop. He found himself in that parking lot. And so it was a question of him thinking through, why am I sitting where I'm sitting? Why am I doing what I'm doing? Why am I getting the results I'm getting? And he had to come to that. Self awareness and a journal is a great tool to take you through that process of learning what's going wrong and how you can prevent it, seeing what's going well. So not just thinking, oh, I ruined everything with that one meal. And I can't tell you how many times I see that on social media of someone saying, I've destroyed three weeks worth of work in one day or one meal. But they feel that way. But when you actually sit there and say, well, what did I actually do? And what did I learn from it?

[00:22:17.630] – Rachel

Well, that's an interesting part of the written word, too, is that if you're truthful in your journaling, so you went out and had a wonderful birthday dinner with a loved one and celebrated with a wonderful dinner and delicious dessert. There's a lot to be grateful for and happy about in that moment. And when you write that down in your journal, you can tell yourself that you did not just sabotage everything you've been working for. That was one meal. And then you could write down what you're going to do the next day. You're going to have your normal, healthy breakfast and your normal, healthy lunch and your normal, healthy dinner, and you're back on track. Literally one meal is gone. You could be fine about having done that and move on to the next day. And maybe if you see it down in writing, you'll feel better about it.

[00:23:04.750] – Allan

Yeah. And then again, I always like to close out on a positive note. I like to start on a positive note with the gratitude, and I like to close this out the day out with what were one of my wins. And so if my intention was just to walk the 20 minutes and eat the prepared meal, pull it out of the fridge and have freezer and have it ready for tonight, and I did that, that's a win. Those are both wins. And so I can say I walked my intention and I ate my intention, and I met my intention. That's the day. And so, again, if I can stack more days like that on top of each other across those 30 days and those six months, I'm going to be where I want to be.

[00:23:45.660] – Rachel

That's awesome.

[00:23:46.500] – Allan

Or really darn close, for sure.

[00:23:49.390] – Rachel

Now, when you have clients Allan do you have them do a journal or write anything in a journal?

[00:23:55.060] – Allan

I've talked through it with them. I'm not a prescriptive coach, so I can tell them. It's like I think that there'd be a lot of value to you journaling and I think a lot of them poo poo the idea because it sounds like work, always asking me to do work, but I do hold them accountable. And we do talk about these different tools because what's going to work for me might not work for you, but I strongly encourage most people. It's like if you're trying to figure something out, you want to have a plan, you want to measure to it and you want to learn from it. And so the weight loss and fitness thing is a learning exercise. And we talked about this before we came on air. Was it's important? Because we're not going to stay the same. We might know ourselves today, but tomorrow we might find ourselves in a whole different body, a whole different set of circumstances.

[00:24:55.380] – Rachel

That is right.

[00:24:56.460] – Allan

And if that were to happen, then we would need to relearn some things. We need to reapply and approach things from a different way. And so it's a consistent as we age, growing, changing, evolving, and hopefully evolving, like really getting better. Because we learn these tricks, we learn these tools, we learn what works and then we keep applying and we keep learning and we keep getting better. And a journal is kind of the key tool it is to make that happen. Because your inner dialogue is often going to tell you, oh, you had a horrible day, go eat some chocolate. And there you are eating chocolate at the end of the day, which was actually a really good day, except for one thing, and your whole internal dialogue focused on that one thing. You still got your 20 minutes in. You still did this. Okay, this went off the rails. And so now you're punishing yourself effectively for that. And that's that internal I call the fat bastard doing that thing. And so you just keep pushing gratitude, intention and learn. And that's the value of a journal is it gives us a tool to do that.

[00:26:13.180] – Rachel

I love that. Plus the positivity how you start with a gratitude and end with a win. I think that's so helpful. I think we can be our own worst critics, but when we write something of gratitude and write down one of our wins, we can quickly change our critic into our best cheerleader.

[00:26:31.160] – Allan

Yeah, well, it's been great. I'll talk to you next week.

[00:26:34.910] – Rachel

Rachel take care. Allan you too.

Music by Dave Gerhart


The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Leigh Tanner
– Debbie Ralston– John Dachauer– Tim Alexander
– Eliza Lamb

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


May 30, 2023

How to reshape your body for better movement and less pain with Katy Bowman

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

In her book, Rethink Your Position, Katy Bowman teaches us how to improve our posture and movement and feel less pain as a result. On episode 592 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss how you can do simple things to look and feel better.


Let's Say Hello

[00:03:21.050] – Allan

Hey, Ras, how are you?

[00:03:22.780] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:25.020] – Allan

I'm doing okay. We're getting packed up for our trip and heading back to the States for the wedding, Summer's wedding. So this is daughter number two. All kids married out. Two are going through divorces already. But the cycle of life.

[00:03:44.310] – Rachel

It happens.

[00:03:45.600] – Allan

It happens. It happens. And they'll be happy with it when they get done with it. But it is what it is. Anyway, so we're headed back. We'll see family. We'll do the wedding stuff. And then Tammy and I will spend a weekend together in that whole three week period of time traveling around doing stuff. And then we'll head back. Hopefully, it's just an uneventful get in a rental car, drive around, see everybody, have a good time, and then I'm back.

[00:04:14.790] – Rachel

That sounds wonderful. Yes. Well, it'll be nice to see your family and celebrate the wedding. It'll be a lovely time to make those connections again and then go back home to your retreat.

[00:04:29.920] – Allan

Yes. Beautiful place. And so this weekend we adopted another dog. There was a guy, he got married and they want to go on a long honeymoon, like six months, seven countries. And he had this dog and they were posting a picture of the dog. The dog and the dog looks, on the picture, it looked almost identical to our dog Buster. Angel passed not long ago. Buster's been by himself, the only dog. And then so we look at this dog and it could be Buster's little brother. I mean, it's just weird how close together these dogs look and how much they act alike and the whole thing. So anyway, we brought him over. His name is Love. Love will be with us six months or maybe forever. It's just when the guy gets back, or I guess at some point he'll decide if it's just better for Love to have a home, a steady home because he's going to want to travel, is what he was saying. So he was just like, Maybe can't. So we might have Love permanently or part time, but however it works, he and Buster initially were not seeing eye to eye.

[00:05:34.350] – Allan

They had a few doggy conversations and now they're getting along a lot better.

[00:05:39.930] – Rachel

Good. I'm glad they're getting along. That's awesome.

[00:05:44.410] – Allan

How are things up there?

[00:05:45.950] – Rachel

Good. I mentioned last time that I had hit menopause, and that my…

[00:05:53.180] – Allan

It's not as… You've been running this ultra marathon for 50 some odd years. And then, yeah, you thought you were going to finish line.

[00:06:00.680] – Rachel

Yeah, I need a T shirt to celebrate this with.

[00:06:04.970] – Allan

Yeah. So my guess is who's got my kid, dude, where's my kidney?

[00:06:09.840] – Rachel

Yeah, exactly. But it's part of this. My thyroid is broken and so I've been taking this medicine for my thyroid. And I told you that I have to take it in the morning and then wait 30 minutes before I can eat or drink anything. And if you know me, coffee goes in my body the first time in the morning. If I wake up, coffee is going in. And so this 30 minute leg time is quite a challenge for me, to put it mildly. But I decided that I would start doing yoga in the morning for that 30 minute period. And truthfully, it is difficult. It's a hard habit to break, but I have started doing yoga as soon as I get up and I feel great. It feels really good. I really need the stretching. I need the gentle way to wake up and the movement, and it's really hard to change habits. I'm not even going to kid you, but I am making changes and seeing progress, and it feels pretty good.

[00:07:06.850] – Allan

Awesome. That's outstanding.

[00:07:08.560] – Rachel

Yeah, thanks.

[00:07:09.940] – Allan

Great. Now, there's one other thing I wanted to say. I was on a podcast episode recently because I told you guys I was doing some of this. Well, the name of the podcast is called direction, not perfection. And the host of that is Lindsay House. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/lindsey. That's L I N D S E Y. And you can hear my episode, which was 225. And basically we talk about Fit For Task. But I give a lot of tips in that. And so it's again, it's the name of the podcast is direction, not perfection podcast. You can find it anywhere that you like to listen to podcasts. But if you'd like to go to a link where I have it on the web, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/lindsey.

[00:07:55.040] – Rachel

Cool. That sounds good. I love that Fit for Task stuff. That would be great.

[00:07:58.850] – Allan

All right. Well, Rachel, are you ready to have a conversation with Katy Bowman?

[00:08:03.050] – Rachel



[00:09:12.930] – Allan

Katy, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:09:15.890] – Katy

Thanks for having me back years later.

[00:09:18.240] – Allan

Years later. I did miss a book. I apologize for that. But interestingly, we were having this conversation before. You're in Costa Rica and I'm in Panama. So quite literally, we're probably not more than 150 miles away from each other at this point. So it's interesting where you find yourself. The name of the book is Rethink Your Position: Reshape Your Exercise, Yoga, and Everyday Movement One Part at a Time. And I love movement and personal trainer and nutrition coach and doing all that thing. But what was really interesting about your book as I got into it was it was completely backwards to everything I've ever been coached or told in my entire life.

[00:10:06.250] – Katy

Wow. I want to know more about that.

[00:10:10.080] – Allan

Because everything else always starts from the ground. And works up. Your book started from the top and worked down. And at first I was like, okay, I'm really interested in why Katy would do that. Obviously, I've read the book, so I know why Katy did that. Will you tell me, why did you start from the top and work down rather than the floor and work up?

[00:10:38.730] – Katy

That's the first time I've done that. I usually always do it the other way, like so many other people. But to mix things up a little bit is like the general answer reading is such a sedentary activity. I knew the reader was going to be engaged with this material for the next few days or weeks or however long it takes you to read a book. And I wanted to start off right away with a movement that could be done in volume while you are reading the book to make my point that movement is something that transcends the experience of exercise. It can go on to an activity like reading. And that movement was the head ramp. It was a head and shoulder adjustment. And so for that reason, I decided to go from the top down.

[00:11:28.780] – Allan

Yeah. And that's what was so cool is you literally were changing my behavior while I was reading your book.

[00:11:35.930] – Katy

That was the plan.

[00:11:39.360] – Allan

Okay. Your evil plan came true. Or actually not evil, but… Okay. Why is body alignment so important?

[00:11:49.710] – Katy

I do think we tend to think of posture as something that affects how you look. The reason that you do it is for how you present to the eyes. But alignment is different than posture in that it's about the way things work. And so our body, not to get too overly mechanistic, is not a machine. It's biological, it's organic, it grows, it responds, it adapts, but it still operates similar to machinery in a lot of different ways. And so the alignment of our body is important for the same reason. The alignment of our car is important, or the reason that you don't run your coffee maker on an angle counter to 30 degrees is because the orientation of things affects the way things work. And that goes for your car and that goes for your coffee maker, and it goes for your body as well. And that's why alignment matters quite simply. That's the most simple way I can explain it is there's a lot of things happening in the body. There's a lot of physical experiences not so pleasurable. The way we view aging, a lot of times has more to do with the orientation of our parts, the way we've organized our body relative to gravity and the frequency with which we do that, it can have negative outcomes.

[00:13:19.730] – Katy

Just knowing like, oh, you have some options here when it comes to the orientation of your parts, that's the message that I'm trying to get across.

[00:13:27.870] – Allan

Yeah. Now I'm on an island and we get a lot of surfers and hitchhikers and whatnot. I watch them walk. As I'm walking to work, I'm around them, I see them. I know you're a people person, watch your person too, because it's like fascinating to watch how people move. I'm watching them carry a very heavy pack on their back or a very heavy pack on their stomach or both. They're like camels walking through the streets. But one thing I've noticed, and this is very young people, I'm not talking about people in their 40s and 50s, but people who are in their 20s and I'm thinking, Wow, you keep doing this and 20, 30 years from now, this is going to be fantastic in a terrible way. But this is this thing called tech neck.

[00:14:15.130] – Allan

Where they're at their phone or on their phone so much with basically their shoulders hunched forward, their chest is compressed, their elbows are down, their head is down. And it creates this thing technique, I guess, is what it's been classed as. Can you talk a little bit about that and how someone who… Well, quite frankly, we almost have to be on our phones because that's how we communicate with everybody now. And nobody shows up where they're supposed to. My generation is like, Hey, I'll meet you at the restaurant at six o'clock. We all just showed up at the restaurant at six o'clock. We didn't think about it again. Now it's like, No, let's go to a different restaurant. Now there's a whole chain and we're all going to go somewhere else. And we never make it to the restaurant we were originally going to go to. That's quite normal. So as we get older, we're still doing this and we're changing our head structure, our neck structure, and the whole kinetic chain. Let's talk about tech neck and what we can do to manage that.

[00:15:12.600] – Katy

Well, tech neck is just a rebranding. It feels like a rebranding to me. That posture is old posture. It's an upper body forward curve and a neck. The upper body rounds forward. It's called hyperkifosis. But the neck really bends back in the opposite direction. It's like hyperlardosis. So you get this deepening of the upper back and the neck curves that is similar to what we would have found in older populations over a longer period of time. That wasn't tech neck, that was just hyperkifosis and hyperlardosis. But we are seeing that body position now not show up when someone is in their late 80s. We're seeing it in teenagers. We're seeing it in 20 year olds who are otherwise active. Maybe that's why it gets a rebranding because it's no longer associated with age or a particular level of physical robusticity. It's just a shape that is brought about when you look down at a device quite a lot, you get that same set of curves. And to go back to that first question, why does it matter? Is it simply about how it looks? And no, not really. It's about I in the book, I try to show swallowing is affected by this position.

[00:16:31.100] – Katy

Space for the lungs to deploy fully is affected by this. Spinal loads to the disk and to the bones of the spinal column are affected by this. Shoulders and the way that they can move are affected by this position. This position, this tech neck, forward head, position of the body ends up reducing the total amount of movement of things like your shoulders and your head. And it's not talking about the fact that you just drop into the position. It's when your body strengthens and stiffens in this position and you can no longer stand up straight. You can no longer slide your head back because everything is so stiff and tense and habitually in this position that it ends up affecting how things work from the head to the rib cage, breathing, swallowing, and then the way things feel, achy in the upper back, achy in the headaches and things like that. So it's important to realize that the environment that we're choosing to be in quite often is setting us up for some of these issues. But as I try to point out in the book, your phone doesn't require that you stand like that.

[00:17:53.730] – Katy

That's just the way we use our phones mindlessly. So that's another one of the early exercises also. I figure you're going to be spending a lot of time reading this book right now and also if you're like most people on some device. So you can adjust those curves quite simply. It's not required. We're just not being thoughtful about positioning our body when we're on the phone, like we might be thoughtful about positioning our body in other situations. We have mindless phone tech use habits, and it goes all the way into the body. So it's just developing more mindful physical practice around all the things that we do, including when you're using your phone. You're going to do those same upper back and head adjustments. And then you might have to hold your phone up a little higher, but so be it. It makes using your phone better for you.

[00:18:45.420] – Allan

I want to take one step back because, like I said, you changed my behavior by putting the head and neck in the front and then working your way down. And you gave us this exercise in the book of basically bringing your head back in alignment. Can you talk us through that?

[00:19:04.890] – Katy

Sure. It might be easiest for folks to try it against a wall for those listening. You don't have to have a wall, but standing against the wall helps. And if you reach your hand back behind you and if you feel where there's a part of your rib cage, the middle back where a heart rate monitor strap would sit or a bra strap sits, that goes against the wall. It's touching the wall. So your upper middle back is against the wall. And for many people, that would mean their head is now off in front of them. So the exercise is to keeping that middle back touching the wall. Low back doesn't have to touch, just the middle back. Sliding your head back towards the wall as well without tipping your head back. So you're not tipping your head back where your chin lifts. It's sliding the head back. But because of the way the vertebrae are shaped in the upper back and the neck, sliding your head back also means sliding your head up. So if you think of lifting your head up towards the ceiling, that often brings your head back on its own. So you're doing two directions.

[00:20:14.610] – Katy

You're actually doing three, but we'll just make it easy. Your head is going back and your head is going up towards the ceiling at the same time. And then what that does is it reduces that excessive curve in the upper back and it reduces the excessive opposing direction curve in the neck or what's called lardosis. You get two curve adjustments for one movement, which is, again, why I led with it. It is such an impactful, simple move that requires no equipment that you can do no matter the activity you're doing. So why bury the lead? Put it in chapter one. Put it in the first part of chapter one.

[00:20:52.180] – Allan

And unlike your grandfather, you'll be taller for it.

[00:20:55.270] – Katy

And that's right. My dad. That was my dad.

[00:20:57.320] – Allan

Your dad. Your dad. That's right.

[00:20:59.780] – Katy

So yes, and showing how this changes height. The book is done in essays, so you can really drop into it wherever you want. You don't have to read it through. But if improved swallowing or addressing why maybe the shoulders aren't functioning isn't that motivating. You can go simply through, you'll be taller by the time you're done with this exercise.

[00:21:20.170] – Allan

There you go. I love that. Now, you wrote a sentence in your book, and then you actually re-repeated it because it's probably the most important sentence that's ever been written for someone who's really looking at the way to maintain their body, maintain their joints. And I think this should be printed out and put in every gym in America and around the world because it is such an important statement. I'm actually going to probably end up saying it twice myself. The ligaments are not the breaks of the joint. The muscles are.

[00:21:55.860] – Allan

Could you take a moment to talk through that? Because when I read that sentence, it was the same thing. I was like, Whoa, that's important. This means something. And so many people are going through pain of movement because they don't understand this fundamental thing.

[00:22:16.400] – Katy

Right. We're not really taught movement. We're not modeled moving well. And so it's no wonder. But yet we are still fairly dynamic. As sedentary as we are, our bodies are our vehicles, our vessels are moving around from point A to point B. So what that statement means is, what's the best way to explain it? You're using your joints all the time to pick things up and set things down. Talking about your arms, your legs are also essentially doing the same thing as your arms. Only the thing that it's picking up and setting down is your torso weight and your arms, the rest of your body. Musculoskeletal muscles are contracting and relaxing. And when they can do it with control, when you're able to generate enough force to move you and to lower you, well, the muscle does the work throughout the entire arc of, let's say, a movement, getting up out of a chair, walking down a flight of stairs. Different muscles are doing different things at different times, but some are holding and lifting parts, some are slowly lowering parts and gently setting you down. That would be the optimal situation where your muscles are able to carry, yes, your total body weight, but really the way muscles work is that each set of muscles are carrying the weight of various segments to and fro.

[00:23:44.850] – Katy

So you might be able to be like, look, I can stand. I can carry my body weight. I can move across the floor. Yes. But if you're walking with a really heavy landing, like every foot strike is a thunk or a thud, you've probably read it many times, walking is just controlled falling. I disagree with that. I think that a lot of people are in a controlled falling state, but that would be an example of your muscles are not strong enough to carry you through a gait cycle. So there's these heavy landings. And instead, what you're using are the ligaments. You're using more passive connective tissues. And some connective tissue like fascia can generate a little bit of force, but it's not in the same way that you don't want to use your connective tissue in lieu of your musculoskeletal muscle. You want to be using that as a primary force generator with everything else supporting. Right now, we're getting a lot of crash landings in all of the movement that we do. And that means that these tissues that don't have the same adaptive property as muscle… One of muscle's amazing defining properties is that it adapts to load and gets bigger.

[00:25:01.400] – Katy

It gets more voluminous. It's like, what are you doing with your body? How can I assist? Let me feel that. Let me increase in mass so that you do that better and more safely. We're rarely using our musculoskeletal system. We are using the more connective tissue that does not have that same, let me feel what you're doing and adapt and change. It has to take it. So like a seat belt in your car, if you're going fast towards the wall, the best thing for the car parts and the body inside of it is to apply the brake. That's the musculoskeletal system. What we tend to do is hit the wall and depend on the seat belt to stop the impact. And if you imagine doing that in a car over and over again, not only would you total the car, which is a joint, so to speak, the seat belt, the ligament, begins to after a repetitive load in that way, and it does not have the properties to adapt like muscle does, you begin to thin or fray or otherwise damage the ligament, loosen, however you want to think about it. And then there's some people who have connective tissue issues or disorders who already have connective tissue that is more lax than others.

[00:26:30.840] – Katy

And that group tends to use their ligaments for deceleration. So in a culture where people are so sedentary or when they do move, it's so repetitive, everyone, whether you have a ligament issue that already gives you loose… Loose is the easiest way to understand it. Or you've already done some damage to ligaments. In either case, learning how to use your muscloskeletal system better with more control over a greater range of motion will benefit not only your musculoskeletal parts, your joints, the part that tend to hurt, it also makes you more metabolically healthy. You end up addressing those metabolical reasons that we are moving more when you approach it that way. So yeah, thanks for bringing that up because I do love that sentiment.

[00:27:25.330] – Allan

And the way I broke this down myself was I see people who know they have a problem with their knees, and so they do quarter squats or half squats. And that's using the ligaments as breaks. And that's part of the reasons why they're still hurting. They want to do something. They want to squat. And they're like, just get down into the squat. Keep your weight reasonable, your load reasonable. Get down below parallel. And now it's your glutes that have to fire because they're the only breaks left. And it's a lot easier to do that than to really focus on your quadriceps or the breaks because, again, you end up with the ligaments taking the brunt of that. And the walking downstairs, I liked how you went through the process of explaining how we can drop our hip and basically, again, use our glutes as the primary muscle that's the break and then holding us as we bring the other foot forward. So can you talk just a little about that, about how we can focus on those muscles and use them the right way. In the book, I think you did it brilliant, and you did a little exercise you called the pelvic lift.

[00:28:37.360] – Katy


[00:28:38.000] – Allan

List. Okay. Can you talk just a little bit about that?

[00:28:42.580] – Katy

Well, culturally, we share a lot of movement habits. The biggest one is that most people listening to this, grew up in a culture where chairs are fairly ubiquitous, which means we're not really comfortable dropping our hips down below the height of our knees. Our cars, our desks at school, our desks at work, the chairs in our home, getting down to the bed, our toilet, everything is at the height of the hips getting to the same altitude or elevation as the knee. So what's happened is we are a culture that is stronger, more used to using the front of the thigh. We don't really use the back of the thigh. We don't use our glutes, we don't use our hamstrings, nearly to the same degree that we use the front of our body. You can see it in standing posture is when the hips rest forward, we're even standing at rest. We're using the muscles on the front of the thigh to hold us up, and the back of the thigh and the glutes don't do much for our entire life. And so for many people, knee pain is going to resonate. And also knee pain while taking the stairs, usually going upstairs, but downstairs is usually the killer.

[00:29:58.750] – Katy

A lot of people can go up, but they can't come down. And I'm trying to flesh out why that is. It's because when you're trying to lower your body down something, we come with all these joints to share the work distribution over our body. Well, we don't share it. When you think of the human skeleton, think of the pelvis. Think of the… If you've never held a femur, which is that upper thighbone in your hand, it's massive. And it's massive because it has to be able to withstand the tension that is placed upon it by these musclesthat can carry our body weight with every step, but have never really had to do it. We've given it to the quads, and the knees are like, I can't carry you down this hill. I've carried you every other step that you've taken in your entire life. And I'm sorry, we don't go downhill anymore. That's a little cartoon, but that's really what the narrative is. We can't do it. That body part is tapping out of going downhill, which is fine because that's not really your downhill primary mover. You've got these massive lateral hip muscles that have really great leverage that come with strong bones that could have strong bones.

[00:31:12.670] – Katy

If you would use this piston like action, I'm using my hands because we can see each other, but those listening can't. There's a piston action to your size. When you have one leg that's free and you drop one hip when your pelvis lists to one side, that is an easy way to get your heavy mass, adults are heavy, down something without having to use the knees. And so a large part of what I do is say, let me reintroduce you or introduce you for the first time to large parts of your body that have been pretty much unused most of your life, even if you're already an active person. I have Olympian athletes who will come and go through this same process of having these major sedentary spots within their otherwise fit and active body. So you can be full body sedentary or you can be part by part sedentary. And learning how to list, again, is one of the most important things we can do to preserve our knee joints, but more importantly, to preserve the activities we'd like to do with our legs that our knees are tapping out of.

[00:32:27.380] – Allan

You mentioned earlier the chair. Some people might argue, the best invention ever, because I get to sit down and it's easy and then I can get back up. I can watch what I want to watch and do what I want to do, sitting there comfortably for hours and hours. And then you mentioned my favorite workout implement, I think it might be yours too, the floor.

[00:32:51.120] – Katy

The floor is great. It's right there. It's just right there. It's always underfoot.

[00:32:55.780] – Allan

Yes. Let's talk about the floor and how this can be a big part of your overall fitness and movement. Just getting.

[00:33:04.240] – Katy

Down to it. Again, it's one of those things. It's always around for the most part. We've done a disservice to ourselves by putting all of our understanding of movement on this thing called exercise, where you go to the place and you use the thing, the equipment, and that's it.

[00:33:23.410] – Allan

And usually sitting there, too.

[00:33:25.470] – Katy

Oftentimes, a lot of times people will take their exercise sitting down. Again, because they're not paying attention to the fact that the legs have lost the ability to hold up the body for a long period of time. And the idea is, but I'd still like to exercise, which is great, but functionally speaking, there's a lot of experiences that you carrying yourself around on your body weight opens up. And so because we've pulled fitness a lot of times out of the practical because we see it as something I need to do 30 minutes for my heart or my lungs or for my cholesterol or for my resting blood pressure, we forget that movement is a feedback loop of when you move your body in a certain way, you become more able to move your body in that way. And that exercise is great medicine in that if you can't currently carry your body well on body parts like your legs or your arms, you can't use your limbs. They're not able to carry your weight around. You can use movement as a tool to restore that ability in many cases. And that's a much richer definition of movement versus using it, taking it and sitting down.

[00:34:42.480] – Katy

So anyway, to go back to your question about the floor, it's very practical to get down to the floor and get back up again. That is a major exercise, if you will, in that it mobilizes multiple joints. It challenges the muscles of many parts to be able to get back up. It's a very nutritious food, so to speak. There's a lot of nutrient density to that move, and yet it's very hard to make us do something like that. So floor exercises are great because there's always this period of time where you have to get down and get back up. But just getting to the floor and getting back up can be an exercise itself. Just getting down to the floor, sitting in three different positions while you're down there and getting back up is equally an exercise that you adapt to, just like anything else that you're calling exercise that uses similar muscles. So get more familiar with the floor, not only during exercise time, but during non exercise time. If you take in entertainment in the evening, get down on the floor while you do it. Once you're down on the floor, you will feel just the pressure.

[00:35:56.260] – Katy

Chairs aren't only problematic for their geometry, that they reduce the full range of motion of our parts, they're often usually covered in fluff, which means we are missing out on pressure. Pressure itself is another movement our bodies are not only accustomed to throughout the human timeline, but need. We have all these sensors all over our body that need physical pressure, and we've made the world quite soft. So get on the floor and just roll around on the floor, roll from your back to your front. It's very similar to what happens when you're getting a massage. It's not as enjoyable, I'll be truthful, but it uses more of you. It's tenderizing your body. It's breaking up. Same thing that you do to other meat when you're trying to break up some of that overgrown connection that's happened between parts. We need movement, we need pressure to be able to deal with that. Yeah.

[00:36:49.960] – Allan

And you said functional, and I think that's why I really like this is because I can tell you a story. My wife, at the time, she's my girlfriend, her son was dating this woman who had a daughter. And for one reason or another, the daughter was just terrified of me, just terrified. And I wanted to fix this. And I'm like, Okay, how do I fix a relationship with a child? And I'm like, Well, I'm not going to fix it by being an adult. I'm going to fix it by being a child.

[00:37:21.390] – Allan

And so I literally took my laptop and I put on Sponge Bob, which I knew was her favorite. And I went over on the floor and I set my laptop down. I started watching Sponge Bob. And she came over and sat next to me. And we sat there and watched a few episodes of Sponge Bob together, and it changed everything. And so when you start looking at, Okay, what if I fall? What if someone else falls? What if I want to get on the floor and crawl around with my grandchild or me now, I've got some dogs and one of them has hip dysplasia, and so she can't move around a whole lot. I make a point once a day in the morning while my coffee is brewing to go sit on the floor and just hang out with Angel. She loves it. It's like, I'm at her level. I'm down there with her. And it's a tile floor. It's not comfortable. But it helps because what I found is that I can just get down and I can get back up and then I can get back down. And so it's not exercise, it's movement, it's function.

[00:38:21.880] – Allan

And me having a great relationship with my granddaughter or having a great relationship with my dog or just knowing if I found myself on the floor, it's no big deal to just get back up. I think that's really important. And so I am glad the floor is there, and I think people should use it more.

[00:38:40.640] – Katy

I agree.

[00:38:41.830] – Allan

Katy, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:38:51.280] – Katy

Well, I imagine that the easy answers would be intake excellent dietary nutrition, regular movement, and good sleep. Those are the three, but I imagine those are three are given all the time. So I'd want to modify those three. And one would be… I mean, I want to modify one of the three movement because that's my field. And one would be get movement every day, but one, make sure some of it's outside. Expose yourself to some nature through your physical movement. That could be doing your exercise outside. That could be just taking a walk outside. That could be gardening. It could be spending time with animals or kids outside. It's this idea that you are consciously going, I need to move my body outside a little bit every day, which is just a level up from move every day. Another one would be to add community, to add some community to your physical time. You're going to be most supported. You're going to be able to move more when you try to overlap your need for movement with your need for others. And the pay off is, like you said, there's more to movement than just health.

[00:40:14.350] – Katy

There is the relationship aspect of it. And when you get down to the floor and invite other people to get down there with you, you're changing the movement culture a little bit. And then the third step for me is I like to be grateful. I always am most grateful for my health when it's poorest, when something hurts, if I've injured something is when I long most for when my body felt really capable and felt great, which seems like it was just yesterday or three days ago, whatever it was from the time of the injury. Those moments remind me to check in daily with appreciation for all that you can do. It's really easy to focus on all the things that you can't, what you feel like you've lost, this way that you feel that's bad. We need to give more attention and awareness to how much of us feels good and how capable and able we are. Even if we're not choosing to use it all the time, it's a form of gratitude practice. It's just giving a little bit of gratitude to yourself every day. I'm so glad that I don't hurt today or make my back hurts.

[00:41:30.090] – Katy

I'm so glad my shoulders feel so great. Let me just move them around a little bit. That little gratitude for your physical capability, totally able to be scaled to what you can do, I do think is a part of our whole wellbeing, physical and mental.

[00:41:45.100] – Allan

Thank you. Katie, if someone wanted to learn more about you and your book, we got lots of books, but your current book, Rethink Your Position, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:41:55.230] – Katy

You can go to rypbook.com or your local bookstore. And you can get it any place books are found. But if you come to my website, I think there's a discount code for podcast guests.

[00:42:08.920] – Allan

Okay, well, we'll get that offline and I'll make sure to list it in the show notes. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/590, and I'll be sure to have a link there. Katie, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness,again.

[00:42:23.470] – Katy

Thank you for having me. I'm 40 plus. I love it.

Here is a discount code for 25% off Rethink Your Position if purchased via nutritiousmovement.com.

Code: RETHINK25 (active 5/1/23-12/31/23)
Direct link to book: 

Rethink Your Position: Reshape Your Exercise, Yoga, and Everyday Movement, One Part at a Time—PAPERBACK

Post Show/Recap

[00:42:36.400] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:42:38.800] – Rachel

Hey, Allan, I love listening about posture. It's such an important reminder because I do spend quite a bit of my own time hunched over. When I eat, I eat hunched over. When I do dishes at the sink, I'm hunched over. And of course, I'm on my phone like everybody else, hunched over. So it's good to have the reminder to be a little bit more cognizant of my posture periodically.

[00:43:03.880] – Allan

I have the workstation, it's a movable desk. It rises up and goes down and I have my camera. So if I'm on a call, it's up high above the monitor. I probably could put a little higher and it would be better. But basically I'd like the monitor up. And so right now it's generally at eye contact level. And so that helps a lot. But I do read a lot and I'm on my laptop a lot. I'm not on a phone a lot. A lot of people get on their phones. I don't like reading anything on a phone. I just don't.

[00:43:33.360] – Rachel

It's too small.

[00:43:34.250] – Allan

I don't like typing on a phone. I can type about 120 words per minute. So when I get on a phone, it's like I feel like a caveman. And so I okay, Allan, you are a caveman because you don't want to use the phone. Go back to your computer, caveman. But it's easier. It allows me to have a better posture, a slightly better posture than I would if I was on the phone. Given the amount of time that I spent, if I was going to read a book, a digital book, and I'm going to read the heads down. And so it was just funny when she first starts the book, it's like, I know you're going to be hunched over reading this book or looking at it on the screen, like on your Kindle or something. And so I want you to do these exercises. Suddenly, your whole… You just change. You're like, Okay, crap. Now I've got to do this crap. And as I went through her book, I did, which was great. And it was just interesting that she and the Starretts and Jill Miller all came out with books around the same time because it's a similar topic.

[00:44:34.660] – Allan

Our bodies were made to move. They were made to move certain ways. And if we move the right way, we're doing the right things for our body, we're going to be healthier and fitter as we age. And things that you see happen to other people, particularly when it's posture related, you see it like the hunch back women and the old rickety men that can't straighten their legs. There's a way to age that way. And if you're spending a lot of time on your phone, you're probably already experiencing some of that. If you get headaches, if you notice, okay, there's backache, it's probably a posture problem. So working on the posture is going to go a long way towards eliminating pain or preventing it in the first place.

[00:45:20.060] – Rachel

Well, she mentioned standing up against the wall to realign and feel where your head and neck are sitting. And you had just recently mentioned about maybe getting on the floor instead or on a workout bench or something.

[00:45:32.320] – Allan

Yeah, I can tell if I've been reading a book on my laptop, it's about 6 to 10 hours that I have my head lunch down because my laptop is sitting on a desk and not raised, I notice I go to lay down on the bench and my head doesn't immediately just go down and rest on the bench. There's a little gap there. I'm like, okay, I've been looking down too much. I need to go to my office, raise my desk up and spend more time looking up. It might be more uncomfortable to type that way, but so be it. I'm reading a book, I'm not typing. So just look for ways that you can change your work, change your posture, change your movement. It's going to go a long way.

[00:46:15.960] – Rachel

Well, like Katy had mentioned, too, with the tech neck, with that forward leaning head and your shoulders hunched over, she mentions it's not good for swallowing. It compresses the lungs, so you're not giving deep breaths. And with the shoulders in, which I do also, I have my shoulders in quite a bit, it just restricts your movement. It just doesn't feel very good. And just notice, be body aware and feel when this is happening, and then just make the cognizant change to do something about it, to stand up straight or stand against the wall or lay on the floor and try and get yourself real aligned. Yeah.

[00:46:53.480] – Allan

Well, there's a productivity trick or hack called the palmodoro method. W hat the Palmodoro method is, is this concept that we really weren't designed to sit and focus on something for hours and hours and hours. Our brain isn't wired that way. Our bodies aren't wired that way. We're wired to move and look for differences and keep moving. So if you're going to find yourself sitting and working, what this palmodoro method is, is where you would set a Timer for 25 minutes and then you would focus. You wouldn't take phone calls, you wouldn't answer emails. You don't do anything but focus on that one task for that 25 minutes. When your alarm goes off at 25 minutes, you get up and move around for 5 minutes.

[00:47:40.670] – Allan

And what they found is that you can get more work done in an hour taking 10 minutes off to five minute rest breaks. You get more work done in that hour and it's higher quality work.

[00:47:55.370] – Allan

So when you say, I don't have time to exercise, I don't have time to do stretches. You do. You just have to structure the way you think and work a little bit differently. And the Palmadoro method is a great way to say, Okay, 25 minutes, focus, get this done. You may not get it all done, but 25 minutes over, stop and get to moving. Stretch out, move around, do something, walk. Just get yourself out, work on all that, and then come back and focus on that task and you'll get it done. But you'll get more done in that hour than you would have if you just sat there and tried to grind it out.

[00:48:31.430] – Rachel

That sounds awesome. That sounds like a good reminder.

[00:48:35.030] – Allan

Yeah. And there's even apps you can put on your phone or on your computer that every 25 minutes just runs the numbers for you. So you go through your work day, you're like, yeah, I've got to sit here for eight to 10 hours. Well, set your Timer, set your alarm, do your 25 minutes. What's the task? I got to get done. Focus on the first one first and then just run through them and just look for ways to do shortcuts. I've got another one for you here. It's an application I use every day, every week. Sometimes it saves me hours a week. And it's called Text Expander, and it's an app. You do have to pay for it. It's on my computer. And what it does is if there's something I type a lot, like my signature on an email, or maybe there's just a phrase like when I'm going to invite someone to the podcast, I have a template that I use. Or when I'm going to do my show plan, I have a template that I send out. Instead of typing all that stuff up or going and finding it and copying and pasting, I just do hot key stroke.

[00:49:33.800] – Allan

So I've got a little system where I know what those key strokes are. And so three or four key strokes and it types the whole thing. And so because I'm not having to type it each time, it's saving me that amount of time that it would take for me to type it. And so each week, I get a report from them. This week it was you saved 24 minutes, and this is 60 weeks in a row of using this app. And so this app has saved me hours and hours and hours over the course of the last year plus just not having to type the same things or going and finding it on another document and then copying and pasting just to save the typing. And so it's a lot fewer key strokes, a lot less time on the typewriter or on the keyboard. Yeah. Again, caveman. But it's just a lot less time doing that stuff. And so I can get a lot more done. And it's really up to you as how much memory you have in your head as how many key strokes you'd use. You can leave a cheat sheet somewhere.

[00:50:36.780] – Allan

This is like, okay, here's all my codes. Here's the things. So I know my hot codes to do. But literally, once you get it set up, every time you find yourself typing the same thing again, you can just make it a text clip and text expander will do the work for you. And so that's just another one where you're saying, okay, it's hard for me to get enough time to do something. Well, if this thing saves you 24 minutes in a week, well, that's a workout.

[00:51:05.980] – Rachel

Yeah, that's a lot. That's great. Super cool. Yeah.

[00:51:10.770] – Allan

All right. I guess with that, I'll talk to you next week, Rachel.

[00:51:14.640] – Rachel

Sounds good. Take care.

[00:51:16.210] – Allan

You, too.

Music by Dave Gerhart


The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Leigh Tanner
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


You are not a victim

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Too often, we use a fixed mindset when we approach a challenge and struggle. As long as we have this victimhood frame we won't be successful with change. On episode 589 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss growth and fixed mindset and how you can change the way you think and find success on your health and fitness journey.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:38.130] – Coach Allan

Hey, Ras. How are things?

[00:02:40.310] – Coach Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:42.480] – Coach Allan

I'm doing okay. We're having a water issue again, so I don't want to get into all that because it's just going to frustrate me again.

[00:02:50.040] – Coach Rachel

Oh, jeez.

[00:02:50.750] – Coach Allan

But we're working on it. But no, I'm happy to announce that I have a few things that I told last week. I started interviewing on different podcasts, and so some of those podcasts have come out now, and I wanted to share a few of them. I was on Paul Hanton's podcast called The Healthy Fit Life. You can find that one at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/paul.

I was on Natural Health Matters with David Sandstrom. You can find that one at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/david.

And then I was on Jillian Lockditch, which we had her on last week. I was on her podcast. Growing Older, living Younger with Jillian Lockditch. And that's at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/gill. And that's Jill spelled G-I-L-L. Like from Jillian, but Gill and you can find that one.

So Paul, David, and Jill, I was on each of their podcasts. And so 40 Plusfitnesspodcast.com and then those names Paul, David or Jill. And you can catch those episodes there.

[00:04:01.180] – Coach Rachel

Awesome. That's exciting. I can't wait to give a listen to those.

[00:04:04.900] – Coach Allan

Yeah, it's interesting to be on the other side of the interview. Sure. Because even if we've discussed kind of what we want to talk about, I don't have a script. I don't go in this like, this is how I say these things. I listen to a question and then I say, okay, this is the best way to answer that. So it's a lot more off the cuff than a lot of the things that I do when I'm interviewing a guest on my podcast. I've read their book and I have specific things I want to discuss here. I go at it not necessarily knowing what they're going to ask me. So it can be kind of interesting. So, yeah, go check those out.

[00:04:46.960] – Coach Rachel

Awesome. That sounds fun.

[00:04:48.730] – Coach Allan

How are things up there?

[00:04:50.180] – Coach Rachel

Good. I just wanted to share with you and our listeners real quick. My doctor just told me some pretty important news the other day. I'm post menopausal. Yay, I made it. I made it. And kind of related to that, my thyroid is finally tanked out, so I'll be starting some thyroid medicine. I'm hypothyroid, which is now the reason why I've been so darn fatigued lately, just because my thyroid has not been functioning quite as well. And it's kind of funny because as an ultra marathoner, fatigue is kind of the name of my game to begin with. But now I really know why I'm actually as tired as I am, so I'll be starting that pretty soon.

[00:05:33.370] – Coach Allan

Man, you're going to be blowing out your PRS like nobody's business.

[00:05:36.350] – Coach Rachel

I'm hoping. I'm hoping to get some of my energy back, but I just wanted to share real quick as I learn more about what this means for me as a woman. And by the way, I'm 51, and I didn't know that 51 is the actual average age that women hit menopause. So yay, I'm textbook.

[00:05:57.890] – Coach Allan

I thought it was closer to 53, but yeah, okay, textbook.

[00:06:02.350] – Coach Rachel

Yeah. So as I figure some of this stuff out, I'd be happy to share my story with our listeners. But just for right now, I've got official notice I'm menopausal, and we'll see what happens.

[00:06:15.350] – Coach Allan

Basically, the way that I understand that they diagnose this is if you go without a period for a year, then they consider you in menopause.

[00:06:25.540] – Coach Rachel

Yeah, well, it gets kind of tricky because I had an Ablation done, so I haven't had a normal period in a couple of years. So that makes it a little difficult to figure that out. And I've had a lot of symptoms. The heat flashes during the day, night sweats at night, a little bit of moodiness. But again, those are kind of normal. And for pretty much any woman that actually either has a period or is going through the perimenopause and apparently now in post menopause. So it's important to know that some of these symptoms can get worse. My thyroid is probably in the mix with all these hormone fluctuations and changes, but it's important to spend time with your doctor as well. I go to my annual physical every year. I see a high risk breast cancer doctor, and now I see a women's health specialist who specializes in menopause and can give me a whole ton of information, but they did the right test at the right time. And now I know for sure what's happening with my hormones. And it's going to be very helpful as I navigate all these symptoms moving forward.

[00:07:38.760] – Coach Allan

We're good. I mean, you know, at least once a year I try to have a woman's health expert on. We're typically going to talk about perimenopause and menopause and that type of thing at least once per year, sometimes more. So I've had several episodes on, so there's lots of material out there. But this is going to be good because I'm going to have a pro on my side next time I do interview. That's right. Yeah. We can approach that one a little bit different, but cool. All right, well, are you ready to get into our episode about victimhood?

[00:08:12.420] – Coach Rachel

Sounds great.


You are not a victim. That's what I'm calling this episode. And it relates to kind of a cultural trend that I've been seeing out there lately where victimhood is being kind of almost touted like a virtue. And I'm here to tell you that if you're trying to improve your health and fitness, if you're trying to lose weight particularly, you're going to really struggle if you have this state of mind, this victimhood state of mind. So I'm going to go through some statements. These are statements that I've heard people say I've heard people or seen people post them on Facebook and or on Twitter. And it's so common that it was easy for me to find several different ways that this shows up. So the first one is I want something I don't have, therefore I'm a victim. So if someone has something you don't have, obviously you're a victim. The next one is, I struggle more than other people, therefore I'm a victim. And so this goes on, the idea that your life is harder than theirs and therefore you're a victim because you have to struggle so much harder to do the basic things that everyone else is doing or that you believe other people are doing to get their success.

Now, this is a very common one, particularly in weight loss areas. I'm addicted to sugar and carbs, therefore I'm a victim. And this one's really, really common. I see it a lot. Now, don't get me wrong, sugar and carb addiction is kind of a thing. But the reality of it is it's not as hard to break as some other addictions might be. And there are steps to take. You are not a victim. You chose to eat sugar and carbs, or at least you ate them when you were given them and you've continued to eat them and buy them. So having sugar and carbs around you is the same thing as maybe sending an alcoholic to a bar. It's just something you wouldn't do if you're trying to beat alcoholism and if you're trying to lose weight, being around sugar and carbs might make that very difficult for you, particularly if you believe you're a victim. I don't have the energy to work out. I love this one, therefore I'm a victim. Okay? I don't have the energy to work out. Now, there's this little known thing in our body that causes us to actually get hormones and endorphins feel good stuff in our brain when we work out, that gives us more energy.

When we build strength and endurance, we have more energy. So the not having energy to work out is really just an excuse to not get started, okay? Other people sabotage me, therefore I'm a victim. Now, don't get me wrong, there are plenty of people out there willing to sabotage you if you let them. But again, you're choosing victimhood. In this case, they're choosing to do what they do. They're choosing to try to take you off track in some cases. Sometimes they're not. Sometimes they actually think they're doing something nice for you. But if you feel like other people are your problem, you are the problem. You are not a victim. But you'll say you're a victim because those other people, well, they're in your way. And then I've tried everything, and nothing works. Therefore, I'm a victim. And again, this is just that concept that you've really given everything the best shot possible. You really worked your way through it, and all these failures have just become an evidence of your limitations. So we're going to talk about that a little bit about what victimhood is. Now, victimhood fits in the mindset frame of being a fixed mindset.

And this is a psychological concept that was developed by psychologist Carol Dweck. And so what she talks about in her writings and in her studies is that you either have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. And guess what? Those aren't fixed. You can have the one that you choose to have. And there's a reason why these fixed mindsets are a problem. And one of the main things is that people with a fixed mindset, people who believe they're victims, they avoid challenges. And anytime there's a failure, even a little failure, you're more likely to see that as evidence of your limitations, okay? And so what that does is that creates fear of failure in yourself and you're not willing to take risks. So the signing up for a gym membership or hiring a coach or buying the food service that's going to be delivered to you, you don't want to take that step because if you fail, it's just more evidence that you're limited, that you're a victim, that you have a problem. And then another tendency that fixed mindset people have is to compare themselves to others. Now, in some cases, this is to seek external achievements so they can say, okay, well, at least I'm not as heavy as that person.

But they also end up with the negative and the limiting beliefs that they see someone else and they don't think they'll ever make it to that same spot. So these external comparisons are really holding them back on both sides. One is, well, I'm actually kind of normal. When I look at everybody else, they're all overweight. I'm overweight, therefore this is just the way it is. We're all victims, okay, and you're not. But that's a fixed mindset. Now, in contrast, a growth mindset refers to your belief in your ability and your intelligence that that can be developed, that you can improve yourself over time with hard work, dedication and perseverance. So the question you have to ask yourself is, do I believe that challenges and failures are opportunities for me to learn and grow rather than an indication that I'm going to fail? And if I fail, therefore I'm broke, therefore I have these limitations. So with a growth mindset, you always give yourself the best opportunity because you're willing to take the risk. You're willing to hire that coach, you're willing to join the gym, you're willing to try a diet or a way of eating or exercise program.

Again, even if you know everything else failed, you're going to go at it again. And you're going to go at it with the idea that these things that happen are teaching you something. They're giving you an opportunity to improve. And that's where the importance of this is. If you feel like you're a victim, you don't have control. But when you take on a growth mindset, you're suddenly taking on this idea that I am not limited by the mistakes and problems I've had in the past. Yes, I had problems with these donuts, and yes, I struggled when these things happened and yeah, with the stress of my job or the amount of time I was traveling, all those things, I could use those as excuses or I could try to find ways to improve my life despite those problems. And that's where the difference in these two come from. So to break away as a victim, there's a few things that you need to ask yourself, and these are important. So if you're not driving or running or doing something and you can get a pen out, this is a good time for you to write down these questions and really spend some time thinking about it.

Okay? This is not something you're just going to answer while you're listening to this podcast. So the first one is, are your actions consistent with your values? And here's what I mean by that. Let's say you want to be the best mother or the best father you can be or the best grandparent you can be. Okay. Are you living in a way that allows you to do that? You may say, I want to make sure that I'm there for my spouse, I'm there for my children. I want to be that person. Are you? Are you living in a way that makes that possible? Are you living in a way where you're going to be there for one and that you're going to be capable of doing the things that you want to do? How do you want to live the rest of your life? What are the values that you want to carry on? I've talked about it several times. I want to be there for my wife. I want to be there for my children. I want to be there for my grandchildren. I want to be there to run the bed and breakfast, to do the things.

I want to be able to physically train people for a long, long time. And I want to be independent my whole life. I do not want someone to have to take care of me. Those are my values. So then looking at your actions, ask yourself, are your actions consistent with your values? Because this can help you break through this. This can help you take that next step I'm going to talk about in a minute. Okay, the next question. Are you able to learn from mistakes or do you see them as evidence you're broken or flawed? So you go out for dinner and they bring around the dessert tray and it all looks awesome. And so you tell yourself, well, I'll just get a little bit of chocolate. I did go to the gym this morning, so I'm just going to go ahead and get a little bit of that chocolate death by chocolate thing. And they bring out this 32 ounce chocolate menagerie on your plate and you go digging into it. Now, the next day, how are you going to look back at that? Are you going to say, oh, my God, I failed, I'm a failure?

Well, no, you're not. That's an opportunity for you to learn. So ask yourself, do you really think you're broken when you do those things? And the short answer has to be no. That's an opportunity for you to see where you made a mistake. So you could just tell the waiter after you've gotten your meal, please do not bring that dessert tray by here. And if you're in the United States and you're listening to this, you can be very clear. If you bring that dessert tray by here, you will not get a tip from me, okay? Guess what that waiter or waitress is not going to do when you say something like that. They are not going to bring that dessert tray because they do not want to jeopardize their tip. So you just tell them, if you bring that dessert tray by here, I will not tip you. And guess what? You're going to get past that. So that's the second question. The third question is, are you willing to push outside your comfort zone? And this is a big one because most people want easy. They want the easy button. Tell me the diet.

Tell me what to eat. Tell me what not to eat. Tell me how to move. Tell me how to lose my gut. I just want to lose the belly fat. I don't care about anything else. I just want to lose the belly fat. They want the easy they want the thing that's inside their comfort zone. So they teach us. And when we go to coaching for our business, and they say, tell them that you can do X-Y-Z without them having to do this other thing. So you can tell them lose £20 without exercise or diet. And because people want to stay in their comfort zone, they don't want to exercise. They don't want to change the way they're eating. That sounds very appealing to a victim mindset person, to a fixed mindset person. So if I'm talking to you and you're feeling that way, are you willing to get outside your comfort zone? Because that's where the magic happens. The good things in your life do not happen in your comfort zone. Change does not happen in your comfort zone. You've got to be willing to push outside the comfort zone if you want to grow.

So again, the third question, are you willing to push outside your comfort zone? So those are three really important questions that you should be asking yourself over and over again to make sure that you're keeping a growth mindset, that you're not falling into that victimhood virtue thing, okay? So this can be very scary. Don't get me wrong. I know change is hard, okay? It's easier for you to stay in your comfort zone. That's where most people are today. Most people are very comfortable foods everywhere. Good. I'm never hungry. I'll never be hungry. I'll never try to be hungry. I'll never let myself get to a point where I'm hungry because food is readily available. But getting outside your comfort zone, saying, maybe I'm going to let myself get a little hungry from time to time. How about that? I'm going to feel what this feels like. I'm going to get out of it because I'm not starving. The words we say, I'm starving, but you're not starving. Starving takes days. Starving takes weeks. And so if you're a little hungry, you're not starving. And so, so many people are in that comfort zone that that's where we want to be.

The safety was safety with numbers, okay? And that's not where you need to be. You cannot be in your comfort zone and be successful. The other thing that makes change hard is it's so easy to compare yourself with others. I mean, look, 67% of Americans are overweight. Okay? What does that mean? Well, that means if you're overweight, you're in the majority. You're winning that vote. 40% of Americans are approaching obesity. So when you start looking at this, the vast majority of people out there are overweight and obese. And so you just look at that, well, I'm not as heavy as that person is, and, oh, look, I'm at the grocery store, and I'm actually maybe not the weakest person here. Maybe I'm not the fattest person here. And we justify where we are. So that's, again, that's a push against change, because staying where we are means we're just like everybody else, okay? And then change is really, really hard if you just decide that you want to change. And the reason is decision is really not a strong enough way to approach this. See, if you have a growth mindset, you're going to commit to this.

You're going to take that risk, and you're going to go all in. You're going to get outside your comfort zone, and you're going to make sure this happens. But that takes commitment. That takes that step, that daring, that knowing that, okay, I'm going to do this, but I'm not going to die. I'm going to get better, because I'm just going to keep pushing. I'm just going to be persistent. I'm going to do the hard work. I'm going to be dedicated, and I'm going to make this happen. Okay? That takes commitment.

Now, the one thing I'd like to leave you with on this is, yes, change can be scary, and change can be hard, and change is something that is not natural for a lot of us. But you're not alone. We have a wonderful Facebook community. You go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group, and you can join our Facebook community. I do challenges. We're all there. If you want to share something, you need accountability, whatever you think you need. I have a group environment that's very caring, and we're not doing a bunch of that Flex Friday stuff and not trying to make others feel bad because we look good.

This is an environment where you can feel safe, and it's a private Facebook group, so it's not out on the interwebs for everybody to read. This is just for us to share and to support each other. I'm out there all the time, so I'll be answering questions if you have them. So you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group to join us there. And if you're really ready to commit to this, I'd encourage you to get in touch with me. I coach people to lose weight. I coach people to get more fit. I only coach people over the age of 40. And I look to help people develop a growth mindset, so they learn from their mistakes. They get better, they get more comfortable being outside their comfort zone, and they change and they grow and they get better. And I know you can, too. It just takes that scary thing. You got to do that scary thing. And if you need help, I'm here to help you.

Post Show/Recap

[00:23:54.000] – Coach Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:23:56.540] – Coach Rachel

Hey, Alan. Well, that was a lot that was a lot of good information. And as a fellow coach, I have encountered some people with a fixed mindset and just the absolute I can't run because or I can't work out because, I can't lose weight because fill in the blank. I've heard some of those things. And it's hard as a coach to go back to that person and say, well, wait a second, what can we do? If you've got a problem, what do we need to do to solve it?

[00:24:27.510] – Coach Allan

Well, I've definitely had clients that I would say didn't have a growth mindset to start with, but they had to at some point or else they wouldn't succeed. The reality is, if you have a fixed mindset, you're not going to get outside your comfort zone. If you don't get outside your comfort zone, nothing's going to change for you, and you're going to be right where you are. So it's the Harry Ford quote. If you think you can't or think you can, you're right. You have to have the mindset that you're going to get it done. For some of us, that might just be the commitment. For a lot of other people, it's a health scare. And so something has to shake you out of being a victim. Someone comes screaming, and they slap them in the face. I mean, kind of the whole thing is the people are panicking, and you just slap them in the face to get their attention, and it's like, calm down. You're not accomplishing anything. And so I think people sometimes need that slap in the face to make this happen. But if you're listening to this podcast, then you want something to happen, then you just need to transition that over to a commitment, not just a decision.

[00:25:53.810] – Coach Rachel


[00:25:56.050] – Coach Allan

And I can tell you that if you're not willing to deal with setbacks, which this is where the victims really struggle, is that if you do something, maybe you're doing something and it's working, and, you know, okay, well, I've lost this same £20 over and over again. And then you get to the lose the £20, and then something happens. You have a bad day, and you go do something you didn't want to do. You ate some things you didn't want to eat, and now you're going to blow off your whole weekend because, well, it's kind of screwed up Friday night. And then it becomes this thing, and then you start seeing the scale move back up. So you just stop stepping on the scale. And then yeah, you find yourself six weeks later right back where you were, if not heavier. You start running, and you feel a little bit of a tweak in your ankle or a little bit of tweak in your foot. You're like, oh, no, I can't run anymore. Instead of trying to do the things that are necessary to rehabilitate that, so you can start running again, doing the things you can do.

[00:27:02.380] – Coach Allan

So I can pedal a bike, I can get an elliptical, so I can keep my stamina up. But that takes this idea that you have a choice. This is not put on you. You are not a victim, right? And until you get past that, you're not going to be there. And so most of my clients that come in with this growth mindset, they're fed up, and they're like, hey, this is it. I'm doing it. I'm doing it. I'm doing it now, okay? And once that light clicks on, it's like, this is too easy. This is actually not that hard. It was scary, and it never worked before, but it's different this time. And it's different because now they're looking at this and saying, okay, I don't have to be perfect, right? I don't have to worry about if I make a mistake. I can always course correct that's, right? And it just keeps them on task, and they're like, okay. And then they get a win, and then they get another one. So just even just this last week or so, one of my clients, he had gone to this thing, it was like a government thing, and he was just really talking about how if you guys, if, you know, is wearing a tie, he couldn't button his top button in his shirt, okay?

[00:28:25.220] – Coach Allan

And so he was like, that was part of what his self and that was affecting his self image, and he was unhappy with it. And then he's three weeks into my program, and he's like, I had to wear that suit again, and I could button the collar, the neck. And he's lost £10. And he's feeling great, and he's doing more and more now. He's getting ready for some exciting things, like 100 miles, bike ride. This is the way it works. Another client was a very similar situation. She got called in for an interview. She wasn't really thinking so much about doing work, but she heard about this position. She puts in her name, and they call her, and then it's this panic. How am I going to look in my clothes when I go in for this interview now? Because we have a kind of a weird self image sometimes of ourselves. She didn't recognize that she had lost a good bit of weight and that she was smaller. So she puts on those clothes and they fit perfect, and that boosts her confidence. And she goes in and. Aces that interview and pretty sure she's going to get that job.

[00:29:39.930] – Coach Allan

Okay. That's growth. That's a growth mindset. And sometimes we're not always 100% behind ourselves or we don't see it happening for ourselves, but we just stick with it.

[00:29:52.900] – Coach Rachel


[00:29:53.490] – Coach Allan

And the good things are happening.

[00:29:55.250] – Coach Rachel

It does. And the benefit to having a coach or like the run club groups that I have is that you get to see these types of examples. It is possible. And maybe when you get to see examples like with your clients, that other people are losing weight at a later age or under these difficult circumstances, it's possible for you, too. And if you just pause for a second and reevaluate your situation, you might be able to think through what you need to do next, whether it's hire a coach or not or join a run club or not. But you do have options, and sometimes you just need to think a little bit outside the box to see what might work for you. But that's the great thing about hearing stories, like with your clients. And as I see my runners develop in the run clubs I participate with, it's totally possible. It just shakes what your norms are.

[00:30:48.110] – Coach Allan

Well, if someone had first told you when you first started running that you were going to be doing ultras oh.

[00:30:53.350] – Coach Rachel

My gosh, I would have laughed.

[00:30:55.870] – Coach Allan


[00:30:56.850] – Coach Rachel

Or running 50 miles right before I turned 50, I would have laughed. It's just inconceivable for me.

[00:31:03.350] – Coach Allan

I remember you sitting up on a couch with your foot in a cast, and you were so upset, and you're like, and I'm losing it, and I'm losing it. And that was a very down time for you.

[00:31:15.520] – Coach Rachel

It was.

[00:31:16.250] – Coach Allan

But as soon as the doctor cleared you, you started working your way back up and way past where you were. You just blew that away after you got yourself healed. And so it's just understanding where we are and saying, okay, I can't make that up in a day.

[00:31:36.080] – Coach Rachel


[00:31:37.010] – Coach Allan

But I'm going to grind it out. I'm going to do it and then see what happens. And that growth mindset that you had going back into your training, training smarter. You don't do it again.

[00:31:49.970] – Coach Rachel


[00:31:51.970] – Coach Allan

That's made all the difference.

[00:31:53.620] – Coach Rachel

All the difference, yeah. For sure.

[00:31:57.030] – Coach Allan

All right, well, Rachel, I will talk to you next week.

[00:32:00.950] – Coach Rachel

Awesome. Take care, Alan.

[00:32:02.620] – Coach Allan

You too. Bye.

[00:32:03.710] – Coach Rachel

Thank you. Bye bye.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Melissa Ball
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


How to live to enjoy your retirement nest egg with Thomas Hine

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Most of us work and save our whole lives to have a comfortable retirement. In his book, The Balanced Wealth Approach, Thomas Hine teaches us how to have the health and fitness to truly enjoy that retirement. On episode 587 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss how to put your health plan together.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:40.370] – Allan

Hey, Ras, how are you doing?

[00:02:42.180] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:44.550] – Allan

Well, it's been kind of a rough week. We had to say goodbye to angel. Her nerve issues in her back and then the hip dysplasia. She pretty much declined pretty quickly and was not able to walk on her own, couldn't stand up on her own. So we would stand her up and sometimes she could move around a little, but she was so hobbled, and you could just see it on her face how miserable she was about the fact that she couldn't get out and do things. And seeing Buster go off and run around and do his thing. And Mama's going to walk Buster, and Daddy's going to walk Angel. She wanted to be with them. That's what they did. They go for their walks together. And it just got to a point where she couldn't and she knew it. And she was starting to see you could see it on her face that she just was not where she needed to be. And laying around all day long, it was causing other health issues for her, so we had to help her pass on. First time I've ever had to dig a grave for a pet.

[00:03:45.630] – Rachel

Oh, wow.

[00:03:47.050] – Allan

Well, I can say it's a pretty good workout.

[00:03:49.380] – Rachel

I can imagine.

[00:03:50.450] – Allan

Especially when you have to dig through two and a half feet of clay. So I was a little sore for a couple of days after that. Not just sore outside, but sore all the way through. So it was a tough week, but we're recovering and mourning and moving on.

[00:04:11.720] – Rachel

I'm so sorry. So sorry for your loss. It is hard to lose a loved pet. Someone's been in your family for so long. I'm sure the house has been a little bit quiet this week without her there, and my heart goes out to you.

[00:04:27.430] – Allan

Well, Buster is making sure that we stay entertained.

[00:04:31.150] – Rachel


[00:04:32.790] – Allan

He's a good dog.

[00:04:34.200] – Rachel

Good. Well, I'm glad to hear that.

[00:04:36.350] – Allan

How are things up there?

[00:04:37.840] – Rachel

Good. We have spring at least today. The weather has been great. And I had mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was tapering for my big race, which last week I ran my big race, and now I'm in a reverse taper. I'm just taking my time getting back to running, which is wonderful. Now that the weather is turning, it's really easy just to go out there on a beautiful day like today and just get a mile or two in. I'm just taking my time and enjoying the run and the weather until I feel strong enough to get a few extra miles in at a time.

[00:05:13.680] – Allan

Awesome. Well, congratulations on that run. I know you got a PR and all that. Now you got to do the recovery, right?

[00:05:21.000] – Rachel

That's right. Yeah. Taking my time.

[00:05:23.430] – Allan

All right, well, are you ready to talk to Tom Hine?

[00:05:27.390] – Rachel



[00:06:16.810] – Allan

Tom. Welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:06:19.710] – Tom

Thank you, Allan. Welcome. And I'm glad to be here with you and your audience.

[00:06:24.020] – Allan

The book is called The Balanced Wealth Approach: Secrets to Living Long and Living Rich. And I think I was growing up in college and everything. I went to college for accounting, became a CPA, worked in that. And it was always the thing of you don't want to outlive your money. Most of us today don't actually have that problem. We have the other problem of not living long enough to enjoy our money. And so that's kind of what this book talks about, is finding that balance of saying, okay, build wealth so that you have what you need when you're older, but at the same time build health so you're actually able to enjoy those years. It was always kind of, I guess, a trope, if you will, where people would live, they'd work to 65, they would retire and die at 67. And I think now with with longevity happening the way it is, better medical care to keep us alive, not necessarily keep us healthy, we're living longer. And again, from someone from the financial planning, you're basically probably telling your clients you can't expect to die at 67 like people did 40 years ago.

[00:07:30.370] – Allan

You've got to expect to live to 90 or 100, and you want your money to last that long, but you want to be able to enjoy those years as well.

[00:07:37.720] – Tom

Correct. Yeah, it's about values clarification. I like to say these markets will heal, recessions come and go, but when your money recovers, will you be there to enjoy it? And there's a big talk today, as you know, about lifespan versus health span, right? It's how long you live, but how long do you live healthy? And one of my messages to my clients and your audience is you really want your health span to equal your lifespan. Right? We don't want the last ten or 15 years to be hooked to tubes and running from doctor to doctor. Not to say that doctors don't help us, but like you've said, so many other podcasts, we want to be proactive. We want to be CEO of our own health so that we try to do the best we can before the doctors have to intervene with more severe measures. So, yeah, I'd love to have people balance it. And also, more importantly, if you look at longevity and what's going on today, I heard on one of your other podcasts about Alzheimer's is type three diabetes, right? We talked about the MCT oil. We know so many more things today than ten years ago that those of us can take advantage of or at least bounce those ideas off our physicians and medical people to say, is this something I should consider for my own longevity?

[00:08:53.930] – Allan

I was having a conversation with Ras, who is my co host, so we have some conversations around these. And when I said this next statement, I got a visceral response from her, which I think is actually brilliant. It's a seven figure portfolio. Doesn't really matter if you're six foot under but you said a little differently in the book. But it's that concept of, okay, you did this great thing, you built this great portfolio, there's your big chipstack, and then you're out of the game. And the concept I wanted to take out of that was, okay, if you were running a seven figure business, you would want to run it well, meaning that the business is operating well. It's a healthy balance sheet in addition to a healthy business. So your relationships with everything and everybody you work with. And so the concept you brought up in the book was being the CEO of your own health. Could you jump into that concept a little bit? Because I've talked about being an advocate before, but I think the way you put it was really on point.

[00:09:55.040] – Tom

Yeah, thank you, and I will. One of the famous quotes that jumps out to me from doing the research was, and you'll appreciate this is, a healthy man has a thousand dreams, but a sick man only has one. Right? So the idea is, while you're building this seven figure portfolio or business, we like to say and doctors have shared this with me there's what we call acceptable level of optimization. There's an acceptable level, and there's an optimized level. So if you think about it from a business standpoint, you could have the auditors look over your books and records and cash flow and say, hey, things are going well, but these are the things you want to do to optimize your company. Whether it's R and D tax credits from my end, it's helping clients save money, convert to a Roth IRA, whatever it is in the financial planning end, when you make that parallel to health and wellness about being CEO of your own health, it's don't just go once a year to your own primary care. That's a great starting point. But add those extra measures that you would learn from podcasters like yourself.

[00:10:56.560] – Tom

Be proactive. Why? Because we know that diet, sleep, exercise, and stress reduction, those are some of the key pillars that every doctor will tell you we have to manage better. And then you add into that, what are people doing on a daily basis? I wear my oura ring all the time. That's one of the things I talk about, actually. I'm actually wearing the whoops wrap, too. I'm trying to compare one versus the other because they have different metrics. And then in addition to that, what can you do with diet, sleep, exercise? We have a lot more control, as you know, Allan, over what we eat today, right. How we exercise. I just attended a great seminar on grounding and red light therapy and EMF. I mean, that's a whole another generation of research, but we know so much more how to take care of ourselves, and yet some of us get so busy, we actually don't tender the store. And so that's what I want to remind the listener, is you actually have a lot more control today over what you eat, how you sleep, how you track it. And then don't let yourself get so busy building that mega company that you neglect your own health and end up spending all that money to recuperate the very health that you were trying to preserve.

[00:12:06.770] – Allan

Yeah, you may not know a lot about my story, but I had made it up to C suite at 39 years old as a top auditor of the company, had all the trappings of success. I had the money, the stock options, the restricted stock, the 401k, all of it. And I'm going through this process of realizing I'm completely miserable and unhealthy. I spent eight years trying to find balance in all of this, and it finally came about when I was willing to do some of the things you talked about in the book, about your own story, about how I flipped it and said I've got to spend more time on my health. And so at that point, for me, it was diet and exercise. And then once I kind of got that built up, then it was okay. Next thing is sleep, and I kind of got that zeroed in. But I felt as long as I was the C suite executive of a large company, standard Porsche 500, I was never going to hit that fourth pillar of stress management. So by good fortune or bad fortune, however you want to look at it, I got laid off.

[00:13:18.660] – Tom


[00:13:19.500] – Allan

And I made the decision at that point to not go back into corporate because I said this fourth pillar of my health is more important than me adding more to my wealth. And so, in a sense, I did my scorecard and I began to weigh the health side a lot more than the wealth side.

[00:13:44.380] – Tom

And congratulations, Allan. You're exactly right. And the challenge we all have, I just had it happen to a client six months ago. They had saved up all their money without getting the details and doing a review and dies of a heart attack. And now the spouse has all this money and no one to enjoy with the grandkids. It's nice, but not her spouse. And so you're right. But here's the thing. It's often tough. As I said in the book, mine was in the go go 1980s when they told me to quit martial arts and burn the midnight oil. And I said, luckily for me, I can't do that. It would be against the grain and against my values clarification. But it took that moment for me to realize I had to go left or I had to go right. And like you, I said, I'm going to take the turn that enriches and nourishes me. Looking back, I never regret a day. In fact, many of my peers did work themselves, ultimately either to an early grave or more importantly, to unhappiness. And at the end, that wasn't the journey they would have wanted either.

[00:14:44.060] – Tom

So congratulations to you on that.

[00:14:45.920] – Allan

Well, it took me a couple more decades than it took you to draw that conclusion, but I did eventually get there. But you have a tool that you put in your book. It's called the balanced wealth scorecard. And I know you now use this with your clients that you're counseling or advising on their wealth strategies, but you're having this additional conversation with them of what else about your health? How are you going to live well and retire well? Can you talk about your balanced wealth scorecard? Not so much. I mean, we can talk about the financial side a little bit, just so they know what's in it. But obviously this is a health and fitness podcast, so I'm not going to give them financial advice on this show other than they might want to reach out to you if they've got some money they need to manage. But beyond that, can you talk about your balanced wealth scorecard and how that's used?

[00:15:42.260] – Tom

Yeah. Thank you, Alan. And it's a joy for me because the scorecard and first of all, my disclaimer, I always tell even my clients that know me, I say, I'm not a doctor. I play one on TV and they laugh. But nothing is proprietary. Nothing violates HIPAA. They're not sharing any medical information. The scorecard is subjective, so the input comes from the user or the client. What I like to do is ask them. There's four topics on finance, which we don't really have to get into in detail, but the other four are on health, right? Hence the term balance. What I asked them is, if you were looking back over three years from now, one year from now, five years, looking back, what would you like to achieve in that space that would put you further along the line of health and wellness? And a lot of times, the first thing is, nobody's ever asked me that from a financial planning end. But what I just got an email yesterday from a client out in the Midwest, which I love. This client said, I finally got why you kept asking me about an oura ring, which she finally ordered one.

[00:16:41.870] – Tom

She said, I understand now why I said, I don't get any benefit, but it may help you and your journey on tracking, exercise and sleep. So the scorecard is designed to have them input on a score of, let's say, zero to eight or twelve on a scale on where they feel they fall. Obviously, the lower numbers mean they've not spent much time thinking about diet, sleep, exercise. The higher numbers mean, yeah, I've spent some time, but I haven't systematized it. And you and I know, based on all your great work, too, on podcast, once you create a system, it's easier to follow it, and then you can always insert something new. And so typically about twice a year, at the end of a regular review of their portfolio or their tax situation, I'll say, let's take out that scorecard. And what would you I asked them, what would you like to talk about next? One client recently got rated on his life insurance because his A1C is too high. So I said, okay. Great. What's your primary care telling you? And then what are his next steps? So that he knows, as a reminder, I'm there to coach him on, to encourage him on that step if he wants to share that.

[00:17:48.230] – Tom

So we typically use it as an accountability partner. And then for those people, Allan, that really want to do a deep dive, obviously, I have doctors that I've worked with that I can always refer them to. There's no finders fees. They can go right to these doctors and inquire and like many of your great podcasts, these people are experts in a deep dive, whether it's Alzheimer's, brain research, Parkinson's, I mean, you name it, they've all done their homework and they've got peer reviewed work in that area. But that's if somebody needs to do a deep dive more than the traditional. So it's an accountability partner, we like to review it. And more importantly, I love it when the spouses or their partner weighs in, because I like it to be where it can be a couple's thing. And as you know, when couples are both on the same page, the goals, the odds of reaching a goal are multiplied when you've got someone there cheering you on. So that's a big part of it, too.

[00:18:42.260] – Allan

Yeah, well, beyond cheering you on, it's the whole concept of, okay, if this is a lady and her husband doesn't want to eat the foods that she's eating and she's trying to commit to increasing or improving herself in this area, she's going to need his support at some level. Otherwise it's going to be a struggle. And it's not that he has to eat the way that she's eating, but at least at that point, if he's on board to help her reach these goals and understands that these are important to her, which includes she has to communicate these things to him. If you're doing that, if you're doing that, if you're communicating this, look, I've done this scorecard, and these are the things that are now kind of my priorities. They're my values. They're what I want to be. You can take that scorecard to your doctor. You can take that scorecard to your spouse or significant other. You can even share that because most of us are in our 40s. Our kids are going to be old enough 40s and 50s. Our kids are going to be old enough to understand that we want to be healthy and be there for eventually their kids having those conversations,

[00:19:44.500] – Allan

This is a really good tool to say, okay, I want to be financially secure. I want to be healthy. And so these are my priorities going into this next quarter, next year, however we want to approach it. But that gives you a great tool. And you mentioned something else that I think is really important is I don't like to talk bad about doctors. So I'm not talking bad about doctors. Please don't hit me up and say you're not listening to your doctor. Well, look, there are doctors that are in the current process that follow standard of care. They know the basics. They had the education that was necessary for them to be a doctor and do what they do, which is great. There are other doctors and very smart people who are on the other side of this. And look at this more from a well care perspective and they've raised the bar well above the sick care that most of our doctors currently have to practice. There are people out there, there are these experts, if you will, in the way that you can deal with nutrition. There's experts in the way that you can deal with supplementation.

[00:20:50.580] – Allan

There are tests that you can do that only these doctors are going to do. Because your doctor isn't going to necessarily say, just because your A1C is high, we should do a genome test so we understand if there's some genetic predispositions for that, or whether this is just something that's based on the fact that you're eating McDonald's every day and should just cut it out. Your doctor is just going to say eat better. And that's about all they're going to say. And then you got to figure that out. And then again, I'm a nutrition coach, I'm a fitness coach. And so there's people like me. I know what an ETF is, I know what stock is, I know what bonds are, I know about what is it? Diversification. I even know a lot about cryptocurrency and all those other things. Now, a lot of people don't. So they come to someone like you who's an expert to get advice so that they can optimize, so that they can do better than they could do on their own. Can you talk about how someone should go about picking an expert, knowing it, finding an expert, picking an expert and then working with one?

[00:21:55.510] – Tom

Yeah. Thank you. And also I'll give the analogy, which you'll certainly appreciate, health and wellness, just as I say in the book, when you diversify your portfolio, stocks, bonds, cash, real estate, I also mentioned diversify your health care, right. If you've been a good saver, maybe you don't just have primary care. Maybe you have a massage therapist or I say a chiropractor approved by an orthopedic surgeon. Maybe you have these other people in the background because we know that there are many different experts that can weigh in and you don't have to have pay a king's ransom for all this. I mean, a lot of these great health practitioners aren't always at the very highest end, but they have really great knowledge. But to answer the question, we believe the basis of everything should be a financial plan, right? Just the way that Chatbot, GPT and OpenAI have taken the world by storm. A financial planning software that's robust, literally incorporates long term care, Social Security, Medicaid planning, estate planning, roth IRA conversion, all the things that are important. And I often tell clients, ten years ago the software wasn't that advanced or what they call in fintech.

[00:23:04.110] – Tom

Well, now we literally get updates from the companies every week on we've changed this module because Secure Act 2.0 was passed last December, right? Or we've changed it. So number one, the basis of everything should be a financial plan, number two, and that's easy to do. But the second thing is the plan should be reviewed a couple of times a year when life conditions change. And that's where we add that balanced wealth questionnaire at the end or what do they want to do on that. But the third thing to remember is along the way, the government is really forcing people through this Secure Act 2.0. They want people to take more money out and get taxed now because we know the government sadly, is broke, right, the deficits, and I'm not blaming one party over the other, they both contributed to it. So our government is going to be reaching into your pocket, Allan, and your listeners and my pocket. Not that we don't want to help the government to protect us and there's some good things the government can do, but there's also some inefficiencies, right? And I tell my clients, if you don't do the right tax and financial planning, you're volunteering to give more money to the government rather than doing the right amount for your fair share.

[00:24:12.240] – Tom

So financial plan, a review on top of that. And ultimately, even though people are in their 40s and 50s and relatively young, I still want them to get a Will durable power attorney. I've had too many stories and I know you probably have known people who died unexpectedly and all of a sudden their spouse or their kids are left with a situation where you got to go through probate, which is basically salt in the wound of that. So we believe that's part of a traditional financial plan as well.

[00:24:40.560] – Allan

Yeah, well, I live in Panama country on an island. So yeah, when people pass here, it's fun. It's fun. And so one of the things I wanted to bring up, because you are a financial planner and coach, but the health savings accounts, I think what a lot of people think is, well, this is when I go to my doctor and I have to pay the deductible, I can use that against my health savings account. If he gives me a prescription and I have to pay for part of that, that goes against that. Certain other things that I would buy for my health would be in that. But what about things like coaches and nutritionists and things like that? Those are included in that whole model as well, aren't they?

[00:25:25.540] – Tom

They are. And the key thing about it I'm glad you brought that up, a lot of people don't know they've got, I'll never say free money, but money set aside for coaches and people like that, absolutely, it's allowed. And I suspect even more. This is where people really want to get in the nitty gritty of their planning. If you're smart about your own 401k, and we can't get into details here, but what they call Roth conversions and all, you can generate tax free money and retirement that can also be used to pay for these services. So a lot of people, if you're listening and you're over the age of 60, you might think it's too late. No, it's not necessarily too late in your 40s and 50s and still adding the HSA accounts are absolutely one way to do it. To allocate to that. It's a smart move

[00:26:09.910] – Allan

because I had a client and she's like, I need you to do these jump through these little hoops for me, and I can claim this on my HSA. And I was like, cool. And it saves her some tax money, too.

[00:26:22.170] – Tom

Yeah. And I would also share Allan, although I'm not a tax expert, but this is something for your audience, because a lot of times a little bit of research goes a long way. One of the reasons why I enjoyed writing the book for my current and future clients is I am and my accountant blessed that I'm able to expense this healthcare R and D research, because it's not just about me, it is for the benefit of my current and future clients. So I cleared it with him before the book even got published, and he said, it's your line of business. So for your audience, if people love what you do and others, and you can make it part of your business and integrate it, then you have the ability to ethically and legally deduct these expenses as part of R and D and all, whether it's for you or your training clients or your coaching clients. That's certainly within the purview of what's allowable under the IRS law.

[00:27:11.610] – Allan

Tom, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:27:21.150] – Tom

So the three that I like to focus on, and the big one is sleep, right? There's no question every book's been written about it. There's some great ones about sleep. And again, whether you use your Apple Watch, I like to use the oura ring. I have no investments in these companies. I'm just sharing what works. But I love to be able to track the deep sleep, the REM sleep, your HRV, all these critical aspects of it. And if. You don't know all the details. There's plenty of websites. I know some of your podcasts have covered that. So number one, and I just listened to, by the way, a very well known military expert give a talk on another webinar and they asked him regarding all of the challenges in school violence and all that stuff like what's the one thing people can do to take advantage of being alert and responsive and healthy every day? And this is a military person. He said sleep. Sleep is the thing that people really need to focus on. So that thought that was fascinating coming from a lieutenant colonel. The second thing, clearly I would add, and I've done more of this work out in the last month, is this idea of circadian rhythm, sunlight, grounding.

[00:28:28.630] – Tom

The fact is, a lot of the way we evolved over 10,000 years and more was a lot of our artificial light. Today we're in buildings a lot. The research has clearly shown that if we get back to nature and where you are is a perfect place to get back to nature, right? And they said the blue zones, a lot of people in the blue zones around the world, guess what? Outside, near the beach, near the ocean, near the sand. So I think a second one is just be mindful of how many hours you spend indoors versus the natural sunlight and the circadian rhythm. I'm learning a lot more about that for me. So when I have my travels and I think the third thing is, for me, it's been again, I'm not a nutritious like you, but clearly the keto diet has been I didn't come into my program a lot of overweight. But I dropped a lot of weight doing the fasting and keto diet, and I realized I could live on a lot less calories and have the energy. The key thing is, as you know, is training your body to burn to that glucose before you get to the ketosis stage.

[00:29:30.960] – Tom

And a lot of people never can get over that hump because there's social challenges. I'm sure you know this, friends and family and people stop in and you're like you can't tell everyone that you're fasting all the time, right, because you got to eat meals. But I found that if you can work around that, those are the three things that have helped me now. A year from now, I may change them up a bit. But those are the three that I found that keep me on a mindset of health and wellness and more importantly, allow me to be CEO of my own health and not sit there and be frustrated by schedule changes, airline delays, or whatever's going on in the world.

[00:30:06.930] – Allan

Well, Tom, the book is called The Balanced Wealth Approach: Secrets to Living Long and Living Rich. If someone wanted to learn more about the book, more about you and what you're doing, where would you like for me to send them.

[00:30:19.100] – Tom

Thank you. Yeah, it's thebalancedwealthapproach.com. It's literally the title of the book.com. And they can learn about the book. There's a questionnaire, there a scorecard they can fill in, and then that can begin their journey, as we like to say, we can bring you to the door of health and wellness. We can open the door, but they have to walk through that door. And the great work that you've done, listen to people and the experts that you have on. And I'll continue to gather information from my clients because I think this is just the first inning of what's going to be a great long term run for all of us.

[00:30:53.730] – Allan

Great. Well, you can find that episode at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/587. Tom, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:31:03.870] – Tom

Thank you, Allan. And thank you very much for sharing some time with me. I enjoyed it immensely.

Post Show/Recap

[00:31:17.370] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:31:19.010] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. This is a topic that we've talked about a little bit lately. It's so important to just like Tom said, be the CEO of your own health. I mean, when you prepare for retirement, there's more to retirement than just having enough money to live on. You need to have the health to take you through those retirement years.

[00:31:39.330] – Allan

Yeah, that whole live part.

[00:31:41.490] – Rachel

Yes. That's pretty key.

[00:31:46.450] – Allan

Yeah. I think a lot of people look at retirement and they're like, okay, did I save enough money to last? And how long am I going to be here? We started it years ago, probably most of us. Put a little bit away in your 401k, do a little bit here, do a little bit there. And then as you start getting into your forty s and fifty s, you really start thinking about socking away a little bit more, pushing up that amount so that you're kind of building this portfolio. But so few people think about their health and fitness in a similar light of, what am I investing today for my health and fitness? And it's time. It's effort and sometimes money when you need that assistance and accountability. And so few people are doing it, they're sort of just coasting along and it's like, ho hum. And it's sort of like, I guess I'm going to work for the rest of my life kind of mindset. But that won't be nearly as long as you think if you're not taking care of your health and fitness.

[00:32:48.560] – Rachel

Oh, that's so true. Just to play devil's advocate here, I can tell you that in my 20s, I was also focused on my career and didn't have to think too much about my health. In my 30s, when I was having kids and raising young children, my time and attention was focused on them, and my husband Mike was focused on his career. So it's like years tick by before we really even needed to think too hard about our health. And then before it's too late, you want to get into that. It's just important to maintain that focus. And it's better in your younger years. It's easier to start a running regimen or a weightlifting regimen or any sort of program when you're younger and healthier and you can bounce back faster.

[00:33:37.040] – Allan

It is easier to be fit and stay fit. So maintenance is an easier way than starting later in life. But the point being is you can. It's the whole point. They'll tell you it's like, don't think you've lost it. You can still be putting money away for your retirement now, whatever you can. And it's sort of the same thing with fitness. It's like what you can with what you have right now, because every little thing you do, every little investment chips away and puts a little bit in that bank to make you healthier and make you more fit. And so as you start looking at not just how you want to live that other part of your life, the second half or the rest of it, however you want to line that up, basically, what quality of life do you want to have? What do you want to do and enjoy? You know, I've talked about my grandfather, 80 years old, had to quit playing golf because he couldn't. And he kept living. He kept living, and he lost the most important thing in his life, which was golf, and he lost it, and he lived for another 15 years.

[00:34:45.610] – Allan

As you kind of look at this and say, I want the life and I want my retirement money to last as long as I live. But you should also want your health span to last as long as you live.

[00:34:57.920] – Rachel

Oh, gosh, yeah.

[00:34:59.220] – Allan

Because I can't even imagine sitting there and withering away.

[00:35:06.320] – Rachel

Oh, yeah.

[00:35:07.250] – Allan

As an older, frail person losing independence, looking at that jar of pickles I bought that I can't open and waiting for someone to come by and open it for me, not being able to take care of myself. I can't even imagine spending years, potentially years and years of my life in that state. But if you're not doing something today, you're setting yourself up for stuff just like that.

[00:35:35.040] – Rachel

Oh, for sure. It's so easy to get busy and focus on our careers. But what's going to happen when you don't work anymore, when you actually quit work to be retired, and you've got all this time on your hands, and what are you going to do?

[00:35:50.510] – Allan

We're going to go to the Mediterranean and do these hikes, and we're going to go to Machu Picchu and do that thing, and we're going to do all those things right, but then we're not doing anything now. So it's like you get to 65 and it's like, wow, I can't walk up the stairs without getting winded. There's no way. And then, yeah, you go on that cruise. But leaving the cruise ship. Someone's got to drive me to the top of the volcano because I can't walk there. So now it's not the same experience, it's not the same as what you thought. And it just becomes harder and harder because you're just not doing the things necessary to be ready for those. So if there's something about your retirement that excites you, start working on it right now. Yeah, it's the whole thing. It's like, yeah, I'd love to do these cruises and do this thing. Well, you got to save the money for it, right? Well, it's the same way you've got to build your stamina and your energy and your strength to be able to do those things and enjoy the life that you are meant to enjoy.

[00:36:49.760] – Allan

You worked hard, you worked hard your whole life to save for that retirement. And as you said, seven figure portfolio and you're 6ft under is not the plan. So you got to start doing things on both sides. But health and fitness is probably an area where many of us might have be falling short. We're probably saving plenty of money in our 40s and 50s because we know it's coming. We a little bit behind the curve on this stuff, but we're doing it. And this is the same way. Start investing the time and the effort and in some cases money to get where you want to be.

[00:37:24.880] – Rachel

Yeah, for sure. That sounds great.

[00:37:27.630] – Allan

All right, well, Ras, I will talk to you next week.

[00:37:31.410] – Rachel

Great. Take care, Allan.

[00:37:32.950] – Allan

You too.

[00:37:33.880] – Rachel

Thank you.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Melissa Ball
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


April 11, 2023

Get functionally fit to live a life you love

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Everybody wants to be healthy and fit, but what does that really look like and how do we get there? On episode 585 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss how to get functionally fit so you can live the life you love.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:42.440] – Coach Allan

Hey, Ras. How are things?

[00:02:45.420] – Coach Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:48.220] – Coach Allan

Busy, as always, but enjoying it. Bringing on some clients for my new program, and I'm actually doing a little bit of in person stuff. One of the reasons I wanted to do the retreat was I kind of missed having someone in the gym lifting and doing the thing, so I went ahead and brought on some local clients, working with them. They're all over 40, so I'm not breaking any rules, so I'm kind of doing that. And then our daughter Summer is getting married in really just a few short weeks. So also planning a trip back to the United States for a few weeks, see family do the wedding thing. Second and final, daughter married off. All kids married off. Done. Scratch that.

[00:03:39.180] – Coach Rachel

Nice. That's fantastic.

[00:03:43.250] – Coach Allan

And enjoy some time with Tammy while we're up there traveling.

[00:03:48.150] – Coach Rachel

That sounds wonderful.

[00:03:49.760] – Coach Allan

How are things up north? Way up north

[00:03:52.870] – Coach Rachel

Good. Yeah, way up north. I'm the exact opposite of you. I am doing my best to relax and rest this week. I'm kind of in taper. I've got a big race this weekend, so I'm doing my best to get a few miles in, but not too hard, and to do all my recovery and rest tricks and tips that I tell all my athletes. So I'll be ready and ready to go this weekend.

[00:04:18.420] – Coach Allan

So for folks that really haven't done a whole lot of training for running but are interested, can you explain what taper is?

[00:04:27.340] – Coach Rachel

Yeah. So the taper would be the few weeks between your last big week of training and the run, your actual race, and it depends on how much time you need to taper, depending on the run. So if you're doing maybe a five K or something a week, taper would be plenty of time. You kind of taper down the amount of running and the intensity, and you rest. You focus on fueling, you focus on nutrition, you focus on getting your head right, strong and confident and ready to go. And I'm actually tapering for an Ultramarathon, so I've been tapering for a couple of weeks now, but my big race is this weekend, so same thing. I'm still running, but fewer miles and less intensity, and I'm pounding in all the best nutrition and hydration I can so that my body is ready for this weekend, for the miles.

[00:05:21.900] – Coach Allan

How far is this ultra?

[00:05:24.860] – Coach Rachel

This one is about 34 miles, so a little over 50K.

[00:05:29.630] – Coach Allan

Cool. I know you got this.

[00:05:32.290] – Coach Rachel

Looking forward to it.

[00:05:33.280] – Coach Allan

We'll talk about it.

[00:05:33.950] – Coach Rachel

Oh, I know it'll be fun. Yeah. I'll let you know how it goes.

[00:05:38.590] – Coach Allan

All right, great. Are you ready to talk about functional fitness?

[00:05:44.260] – Coach Rachel


Episode – Get functionally fit to live the life you love.

What I'm going to do on this episode is I'm kind of kind of wrap up a whole lot of different topics around fitness and mindset that I've discussed over the years. I just haven't really ever done it in a full wraparound thing, and so we're going to be bouncing to a lot of different things. But if some of this resonates with you, I definitely want you to check out the quiz that I'm going to talk about at the end, because that'll kind of help start you on this journey or get you further down the line on it anyway. So now a lot of times the reason that I'm talking to a potential client or a new client is that they really struggle to stay motivated when it comes to fitness. In some cases, they hate exercise at all. They don't like working out. And even some say, I just don't want to get sweaty. I don't like being sweaty, or I don't like the gym, or I don't like. There's a lot of things that they're using as these barriers that are keeping them from being fit.

And some of that's real and some of that is imaginary. But we're going to talk about these in a way that you can explore this thought, this process, and find a way to stay motivated to work out and get fit. So one of the core attributes for the way I approached training, it's the way I fixed myself, was commitment. Getting away from the levels of decision and resolution and willpower and all of that and really just drilling down into commitment. Now, commitment has two parts. There's the why. Why do you want to do this? Why do you want to be more fit? And the why kind of usually has about two aspects to it. Sometimes it's a little bit more, there might be something exciting in your future that you want to be ready for. But in general, the why relates to people. Almost always relates to people. We don't do this typically for ourselves, although sometimes we do, but there's usually other people involved, the people we care about. We want to be fit so we can be there for them and so that they don't have to take care of us. The second aspect of that is what we want to be able to do.

And that gets a little bit overlapped into the vision. But sometimes just having that big goal is reason enough. I wanted to do a tough mudder and I wanted to do it with my daughter. I wanted to be fit and be able to participate in her life. And so that was my why. That was a very compelling why for me. And so it pushed me to do more. Now, before I got started on the journey, though, I had to understand my vision. What does that mean? What does it mean for me to be fit? And so initially there were some capabilities that I needed to have. I needed to be stronger, I needed to weigh a little less, I needed to have more grip strength. So there were these capability, things that I wanted to have related to that race. My capabilities that I need now are actually much the same. I'm the guy who lifts things at Lula's. I have to be there when I'm working out with my clients in person. I also have to be able to move the equipment around and I need to be able to be strong enough to protect them if they were to drop a weight or make a mistake.

So there are certain capabilities that I need to have in my life also. Your vision can be driven around lifestyle. We've talked a lot about things that our parents used to do or grandparents used to do that they no longer do, and their lifestyle changed. My grandfather loved to play tennis, and then at the age of 80, he couldn't play tennis anymore. And that changed his lifestyle significantly. Not being able to take care of himself changed his lifestyle significantly. So thinking about the capabilities and the lifestyle that you want to have kind of starts to give you a clear picture of what your vision is. And then the final bit is about values. And this is where we tie the vision to the why. The values are who you are. They're how you want to be seen in the world. So you don't want to be seen as someone who's dependent. You don't want to be seen as someone who's not capable. You don't want to be seen as someone who's weak. And so those values of you wanting to be a contributor, wanting to be a part of things, wanting to be independent, those values that you hold dear are the wraparound.

That's how we form this commitment, because it ties the vision to the why. Okay, so now when you think about that vision and you think about what you need to be able to do, the lifestyle you want, the values you have, now, this is not so much about working out. Working out doesn't sound fun. It sounds like a job. It sounds like another thing to do. Exercise. That word sometimes even sounds worse. Sometimes exercise just sounds like we're doing something for no apparent reason at all, like running on a treadmill, going nowhere. I'd like you to introduce the term training. When you're doing something that's improving your fitness, you're training. You're training to be the person that has the capabilities that you want to have. You're training to be the person that has the lifestyle you want to have. So you see how now it changes the complexion of exercise, working out, movement in general, because now it's done on purpose. You have a purpose. And so for us to meet that purpose, for us to accomplish this vision, we need to start training in a way that builds just that. So no longer are we just going into the gym for half an hour and piddling on that and doing a bit of this.

We literally go in with a mission. We go in working on what we call functional fitness. And functional fitness is where we're able to build a fit for Task body. It's where we're able to get ourselves in the condition we need to be to do the things we want to do. And that could be something special. Like, I did a tough mudder. I've talked to people who want to do Mitchell pushu and other hikes and other things, races and whatnot. And so you're training for those things, and you're also training to have what you need to succeed in all of your life, to have the lifestyle and the capabilities that you want. So let's break that down. What does that look like when you start training for your vision, when you start training to be functional fit for task? Well, first it's important for you to consider this from three different optics, okay? There's a short, a middle and a long. Now, initially, we need to be playing this from the long term perspective, okay? What am I going to be like when I'm in my 80s? What am I going to be like when I'm in my 90s?

What am I going to be like when I'm over 100? And so we don't want to do short term things that break us too far away from our long term goals. So I know some people want to have six pack ABS. It sounds cool and all, but a lot of times when you see the actors or you see the bodybuilders with the six pack ABS, they're doing unhealthy things. They're doing things that are actually messing with them in the short run to have those ABS, to do that movie or win that show. So when you're thinking about this from a long term perspective, first priority, it changes things a little bit. Now you're doing things to maintain health. Now you're doing things to maintain this over time. We're not damaging joints. We're not doing things that are silly for the sake of a short term thing. And then you can start looking at the short term things. So you may want to run a five K. You might want to lose a little bit of weight, whatever it is. Those short term things, being able to pick up a tennis racket again, being able to play volleyball again, those short term things are the quick wins.

They're built in such a way that you should use them to know you're moving forward and help build confidence. So the Couch to Five K program tends to be a really good approach for someone that wants to build stamina so they can keep up with their grandkids. And they use that as a training mechanism to start building that stamina. The Couch to five K. You can go in and start a basic strength program initially for the short term of putting on some muscle so you look a little better for the summer coming up really quick here. But you're looking at your long term and you're going to be able to do more. And so as you watch the weights go up, as you get stronger, there's some confidence building there. You know you can get stronger. You see yourself getting stronger. So your long term drives the whole thing. The short term are these little stepping stones that are going to show you how you're moving forward. So they're basically mile markers. And I'll talk about goals in a minute. But this is a way that you build a program that works for you because you get the short term wins building towards the long term.

And then there's sort of this midterm. And this is where when I said I want to be a participant in my daughter's life and not a spectator, that's where this comes in. So the midterm things are where you look at life tasks. When you look at bucket list items, you look at things that you want to be able to do ten years, 15 years, 20 years. You're looking at the midterm of your life and saying, if I'm going to be on this planet for another 50 years, I don't need to be training the whole time just to be stronger, stronger, stronger. I need to have some things that I'm going to enjoy. I want to be able to enjoy my retirement. I want to be able to enjoy grandchildren. I want to be able to enjoy a lot of things in my life. So I'll have these midterm goals that are basically where I expect to be on the aging curve at any given point. Because we have control over our aging curve, we're still going to age, but we can do it quickly and peter out, or we can slow that down, stay strong, keep our stamina, and be able to do things for the rest of our life.

There's zero reason my grandfather should not have been able to play tennis in his eighty s, I mean, golf in his 80s. There's zero reason if he had started training in his thirty s and forty s and fifty s, he would have been able to play golf. But he played golf, and that's all he did, and then he lost golf. So training would have helped keep him in the game much, much longer. Okay? When we look at the long term, we're looking at healthy aging. We're looking at maintaining our health and our independence. We're looking at being able to do the things that are necessary. So I make the joke I want to be able to wipe my own butt when I'm 105, but that's on purpose. That's my long term. I vision the long term. And I've heard I'm kind of weird for doing this, but vision the long term and build your programming to think in terms of the long term first, then the short term, and then we break out the midterm and say, how does that look? And we manage that, and we have training programs, and we take those steps, and there's always the short term.

We keep looking at building towards the midterm and then the long term, but we got to keep that all in mind so we're not sacrificing one for the sake of the other. Now, a few weeks back, I guess maybe a couple of months back, I talked about smart goals, where we add the extra A, making it smart goals. Now, if you've worked in business, in a corporate environment, I know you know what smart goals are, and they're typically listed out as specific measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound. Okay? I added action based, because if an outcome is your true goal, which it's a vision is an outcome, if your outcome is the goal, it's really hard to measure, it's really hard to achieve, it's really hard to make it time bound because the outcome isn't 100% in your control. You could have an outcome goal of wanting a PR on your next half marathon or your next five K, but if you twist an ankle that's out, it's not going to happen. So smart goals are about actions. Smart goals are things about actions, things you can control. So the way I want you to think about it is to have what I want, what do I need to do to get there?

So if I want to get a PR on a five K, well, I need to work on my running, not just running the five K, maybe running a little further than a five K in some of my training runs, maybe running a lot faster on some of my training runs or running hills. So the actions are certain training mechanisms that I want to do in a given week and the weeks leading up to that five K. So if the five K is eight weeks from now, I might have a training program that says, okay, week one, I'm running two to 3 miles a day, five days a week. And then I say, okay, the next two weeks, maybe I go ahead and take one of those days and I bump it up to a three mile, I mean to a five mile run, and I take one of those days and I turn it into a speed on the Hills speed and Hills Day. So now I'm building more endurance so that the five K, which is 3.1 mile, is actually easier for me because I can run further and I can go faster because I've worked on my speed.

And so my smart goal would be, here's my training program. I'm going to do this training program for the next eight weeks. It'll include these runs these days and here's why I know I can do it. Now, this is relevant to my short term goal of being able to get a PR on my five K. So it works. And I'm running these five KS just as a measure of building stamina so I can keep up with my grandkids when I take them to the zoo this summer. So you can kind of see how you can break all this down and build these smart goals. And then each of those workouts, you click them off. It's like, I did my five miler, I did my Speed hills day, I did my runs for the week. And so each of these is that little step. The training you're doing is the step, it's the next thing. And so that becomes more motivating because you're seeing it happen. Some people even like Tony Horton was on the show a while back, and he pulls out a paper map and just basically says, let's start checking off workouts. So if five runs happens to also correlate with your five days of the week for the weekdays.

Then literally, you should see an X or check mark on every one of those days during the calendar. And maybe you have a couple where you see, if I miss it, I'm going to do it, make it up on Saturday or Sunday. You can do that too. But you see the check marks, you see them happening, you're getting a streak going. You're getting it going, and you're seeing the results. And so that's where this all kind of comes together. Now, all that said, this sounds practical and easy when I say it right. And you've probably gone down this line a few times of setting goals and starting the workouts, and then something happens along the way that derails you, okay? And that something is us. It's our own mindset. And so that's where the rubber hits the road on. A lot of this is going through that self awareness practice. So we know what our tendencies are. We know what's going to go on. I wake up in the morning and I'm supposed to do my run, and it's raining, and then I don't do my run. What happens? Well, maybe I miss the next run too, or I eat like crap that day because I messed up.

I didn't do my run. I should have got on the treadmill and done my run, or I should have run in the rain or whatever, but I didn't. And so a lot of times we get in our own way now in doing that self awareness work. And this is really work you'll do for the rest of your life. We don't really ever solve ourselves. We just learn more and learn more, and that makes us better at being ourselves. And so as you go through your self awareness work, and you keep going through your self awareness work, it's worth going back and kind of relooking at it and reanalyzing it. So as I've worked with clients over the years, I basically come up to about five different mindsets as people approach fitness. And each of these mindsets, if they're not worked toward and understood, tend to get in the way. So they can block you from being more fit. But many of them are also superpowers. If you know them, you can lean in. You can lean in and figure out how that mindset can make you stronger, how that mindset can make you faster, how that mindset can help you build stamina so you can go longer.

So all the fitness things that you want, once you know your fitness mindset, it makes it a lot easier to stay on course and get where you want to go. And so if you want to learn about this and you want to learn what your primary blocker is, you can go to 40 plusfitness. COMFIT. This is a free quiz. It won't cost you anything. It takes about 60 seconds. So quite literally, if you started right now doing the quiz online at 40 plusfitness. COMFIT, you'll finish that quiz before we finish this episode, okay? And now this will tell you what your primary blocker is and then you'll know what you need to do to get past it and use it to move forward. I don't run all my clients through this, but I have a good conversation with them at the very beginning of our sessions, and we talk about what they are and how they work. And nine times out of ten, I could just call out their primary mindset at the beginning because the words they use and how they approach it and what they've done in the past, it becomes apparent to me.

So this quiz is going to help you a lot, figure out what your fitness blockers are so you can go to 40 plusfitness. COMFIT. So let's take a step back and kind of recap what we've talked about today, okay? You need to be a certain person. You need to be a certain person today, tomorrow, and maybe 50 years from now. And to be that person, you need to train. And so when you train for a purpose, a function of who you're going to be, that's functional fitness. So you should look at your training, not exercise or workouts or sweat sessions or whatever they are. You doing something to train yourself to be something else. Like we went to high school, to graduate high school, to be adults and live in the society and know how to speak and write and read and everything else, right? This is training. It's the same thing, okay? Now when you're looking at your training, you want to focus on all of your needs across your entire lifespan, your aging, span. Start looking at the long term so you have a good picture, mental picture of where you're going overall.

Then you can start working on the short ones that are going to give you kind of that quick hit, confidence boost, easy win, quick win. So that's the thing you can do that's going to happen this month. So not this huge long term thing, but what can I do this month? What's important to me this month that I know is also kind of moving me in the right direction for my long term goals. And then you can start peppering in the medium one. So maybe you are retiring at 65 and you want to go do Mitsubishu. And so you want to be fit from a stamina and strength perspective to be able to do that at 65. So your medium term goal is to make sure that you build and maintain stamina and strength and balance and that you're ready for when that day comes. So you see how you can take your long term. You can mix in in short term wins and then build out your medium term to make this all fit together into a long term program that serves you your whole life. Now, the way we get these short term ones done and that just builds the blocks going forward is the mile markers to keep us moving forward are the smart goals.

So we're specific measurable attainable or achievable and action based relevant. So they tie back to who you want to be long term, medium term and short term. And they're timely. So again, most goals need to be a month or maybe a quarter, but usually a month. And when you're doing the month to month, it allows you to adjust. As your life changes, you can adjust them. So timeliness needs to be in your face, it needs to be now. And so if you're writing your goals for your short terms that are driving towards your medium and long terms, you've got everything set out in front of you. And the only thing left to do beyond that is to look for those blockers and do some self awareness work so that you know what could get in your way and what could prevent you from reaching those goals and therefore hitting your short, medium and long term visions for who you need to be. So I hope this was helpful for you. If it was, go ahead and email me or message me on Facebook and let's have a conversation. I'd be interested to know what your long term vision looks like and how you want to build a program for yourself that's going to take you there.

So message me on Facebook or you can email me. Coach at 40plusfitness.com.

Post Show/Recap

[00:29:22.010] – Coach Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:29:33.900] – Coach Rachel

Hey Alan. I always love talking about functional fitness and being fit for task. And the other thing I like to talk about, especially something I've been reflecting on lately myself, is having this level of fitness later in life. We spend a lot of time planning our careers, our families. We plan, we know we're going to retire, we put money away in the account for that, but we don't spend quite as much attention to detail or planning on planning a healthy retirement. Like, I want to travel, mike and I want to be busy when we do get the chance to retire. And we want to be healthy enough to hike mountains and do all sorts of fun stuff in our retirement. So we kind of need to start planning now so that we're active and healthy and good to go today. So that a decade or two decades from now, we still have maintained a level of fitness so that we can be as active as we want later in life.

[00:30:32.420] – Coach Allan

So, yeah, way I kind of equate that is, is your fitness paycheck to paycheck or is your fitness are you investing in a 401? So there's going to be something there later, right?

[00:30:43.620] – Coach Rachel

Sure, yeah, that's a great way to look at it.

[00:30:47.140] – Coach Allan

And your fitness should never be paycheck to paycheck because that just means that. You're going to age and you're going to dwindle and you're going to lose. You're going to lose in this thing because you've got to put something in the tank and you got to be consistent about it. You got to be doing it now and a little bit, a little bit, a little bit. It's not like you got to kill yourself. And it's not like you have to train for a 34 miles ultra, but just a little bit. And thinking, what do I need? What am I going to need? What kind of stamina will I need to keep up with my grandkids? What kind of things will I need to be able to be there for my family, be there for my wife when she needs me? And so it's making a small investment now that, you know, will pay off and being consistent about making that every single time, the same way you do your 401, it just becomes automatic. You just do it and you don't think about it anymore. You just do it. And there are times where you step it up a little because you can, and it makes sense.

[00:31:42.970] – Coach Allan

And there's times you back it up a little bit because you just can't. But you're always putting something in and you're always on it and not looking at this like, well, I'll do that tomorrow. It's paycheck to paycheck kind of fitness.

[00:31:57.340] – Coach Rachel

Yeah, well, you also mentioned the word exercise. And who likes to exercise? Nobody likes that word. It's a terrible word. Well, you know, we do, but we're not really exercising, like you said. We're training. We're doing something that we love. And I love to run. You love to lift, heavy things other people might like. Tennis or pickleball is a really growing sport right now, and there's all sorts of things that are out there. And when you're doing something you love, pickleball is not exercise. Hiking the Appalachian Trail is not exercise. You're training to do these things, and it just gives it a whole different connotation. And I'm sure that there's something out there that somebody would love to do, maybe not running like I do, but there's got to be something out there.

[00:32:46.830] – Coach Allan

Yeah. And if you find that there's just something holding you back and you're just really not wanting to do this, then I would definitely look at that quiz I talked about, the 40 plusfitness COMFIT. So 40 plusfitness COMFIT, it'll take you 60 seconds, and you'll learn something about what might be keeping you from making that investment perfect.

[00:33:09.640] – Coach Rachel

That sounds like a great thing to do.

[00:33:11.670] – Coach Allan

All right, well, Rachel, I'll talk to you next week.

[00:33:15.780] – Coach Rachel

Great. Take care, Allan.

[00:33:17.400] – Coach Allan

You too.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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