I am going to avoid the obvious Tiger Woods jokes and tell you that if you, like me, are a man over 50, golfing is not the thing to take you into your golden years. Having a low libido (uh, not one of my issues) could turn out to be the least of your problems if you don’t pay more attention to the quality of your exercise.
I never thought I would have to pay attention to these issues but being firmly entrenched in my early 50′s has forced me to turn a spotlight on things that had previously only concerned “other people.” Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy grabbing the mantle of wisdom that is assumed with the half century mark. I delight in the challenge of maintaining a cognitive and physical edge on not only my peers but on many of the weak and insipid young men I come across.
You can’t ignore the signs though. I was taken aback to learn that direct marketers have a term for people like me – “Grumpy Old Men.” Yes, my brothers, we are GOM’s. When you get this age, you also become aware of terms like “aging in place” (I think that means the ability to remain in your home and adapting the environment to make it more elder friendly). GOM’s have a lot of concerns:
- frustration with technology
- feeling like outsiders in youth culture
- weight gain
- relationship problems (as a result of the empty nest, etc.)
- sleeping problems
- lack of energy
- financial concerns around retirement
- prostate issues
- feelings of a wasted life
Being part of this demographic, with a couple of these concerns on my list and a website named Boomer Ronin, I figure I have to take a crack at some of this stuff. The exercise piece covers a bunch of this.
Until very recently I came close to obsessing about whether I should put together a workout based on linear vs. conjugate, vs. undulating periodization. Now I find out from the literature on aging that there’s something called “sarcopenia” (which essentially has to do with us older people losing muscle mass with resulting problems with balance, gait, bending, etc.) and that I may have trouble just getting up from a chair!
Well, join me in raging against the dying of the light! research in things like the British Journal of Sports Medicine (yet another publication that I read so you don’t have to) talk about the effects of regular exercise reversing the effects of dementia, promoting neuronal growth, preventing cognitive decline, preserving healthy hormonal levels, etc. What you should know is that, while any exercise is better than nothing, the intensity of the exercise is more important than the volume.
Libido is negatively affected by things like alcohol, drugs, obesity, high blood pressure, and anger. A program of intense exercise will have a positive affect on these conditions. Your physical and mental profile will improve when you seek out the social support and get ‘er done. Look up people like Arthur Devany, Dan John, Paul Chek, or Frank Forencich for exercise prescriptions or you can send me an email. Challenge yourself with programs like the Crazy Monkey Defense System with its physical and Embodied Warrior programs, or figure out your personal “Shugyo” (a periodic physical and mental purification through vigorous and focused physical challenge).
Bottom line, it doesn’t matter where you are now. It’s not too late to start. I want you vigorous, happy, and healthy. Let’s all “age in place.” There are a lot of soft kids out there who need role models.