This is 80% of the battle for fitness over 50

madison walks in verona wi

written by john c ashworth


Yeah, you probably could argue that this is 80% of the battle at any age. I might agree, and when people ask me what my secret to staying fit has been over the course of my life, the first thing I always say is, “consistency.” I’ve NEVER stopped. Ever! And when I was younger I went after it pretty darn hard. Especially when I was playing soccer at a high level.

When you get to age fifty, though, your margin for error is gone!

You can no longer put it off, and especially if you haven’t been good about getting your exercise and staying fit in the earlier stages of your life, now is the time you must correct this. If you don’t, bad things can happen fast.

I began to notice this reality when I hit the age of 40. Ten years later, the idea is like an old friend.

Today was a great example of the mindset you must adopt if you’re going to stay with it for the long run and stop making excuses.

fitness over 50
“Yes! It was in fact that cold out. Allie wasn’t bothered. She didn’t need a hood :)” -John

You can see from the picture above, that even thought It’s April in Wisconsin, the weather can still be nasty; and over the last week the weather has been hard to accept. Cold, windy, overcast, and just downright miserable at times.

I snapped the photo above of Allie and I earlier this morning. We decided to venture out of the neighborhood and onto a new hiking path. I regretted it almost immediately after stepping out of the car. The wind hit me like a slap in the face, and I almost turned right around and went home to watch the Masters.

Instead, Allie and I toughed it out and though the wind and the cold were still somewhat miserable, we still got a nice walk, and on a new path that was challenging and hilly and perfect for a Sunday morning.

At home now, keeping track of the golf tournament, and getting things done, I’m more awake, my body is loosened-up, my mind is clear and I’m ready to be productive.

It would have been so easy to skip this walk today. And the weather is often an easy scapegoat. Instead, I go it done because I’ve come to rely on it so much. I really can’t live without it. It’s like breathing. Does it feel like that to you, yet?

As I make my way into my fifties I’ve gotten a glimpse of how I must continue to pursue this effort to stay strong, healthy, and ready.

It’s not always easy to maintain this kind of commitment to your fitness program. I get that. That’s why you can now find some kind of fitness offering taunting you in almost every strip mall across America. Has that changed our exercise habit? Not yet, I don’t think.

If you’re struggling to stay consistent, a good coach can help. A good coach, who has experience both personally and professionally in working with those over 50, can really help you identify what’s really important right now for your fitness and how can you take the first step today and then begin building on that momentum. If there was one place I had to choose where people go wrong in their pursuit of fitness, it lies in starting too fast too soon, and in mapping out a careful plan for progression as you become stronger, fitter, and more motivated. Yes, those things go together.

That’s the work I did for twenty plus years with clients until I became a full time salesman and business consultant. If you’re interested in talking about taking advantage of the small amount of coaching time I’ve made available this spring and summer, shoot me an email and we’ll talk. No pressure.


You can also always download a copy of my first book on the subject, by clicking here, and becoming a subscriber. I throw it in as a bonus for new subscribers.


[fitness friday] Why YOU Should Consider a Walk in the Woods to Improve Your Health


written by john c ashworth, ma

This is the time of year when people flood to the gym.  All of them with the intention to “stick with it this time.”

How’s that been working for you?

For a select few, the path to long-term health, weight loss and a full commitment to sticking with it and making sure to get to the gym each week is a reality.  For the rest of you, well…I have an idea…

Don’t get me wrong, the gym is necessary.  Especially if you plan to implement the required strength and conditioning program that will ensure long-term function, health, and strong bones and joints to hold you up over the years.  You really do need to find a way to make it in to the gym, or build a space of your own that is devoted to your long-term survival as a bohemian athlete.  A space that is devoted to building strength.

Here is what you also need to do…

Get outside for a walk or a run on a weekly basis.  And not just outside, but into the woods or a park or some place distant from the concrete jungle in which we live our daily lives.  This is vital for a few reasons that I will cover tonight on NBC 15 with Leigh Mills.  One reason is that it will help you stay motivated.  No doubt, the gym routine can become boring, stale, and full of distractions, especially this time of year.

More importantly, new research has shown that a walk or a run in the woods are better for you.  Here’s why…

  • Research at Stanford University revealed that being active in nature produced fewer negative thoughts and made it less likely for people to ruminate on those negative thoughts and emotions.  The group of individuals who exercised in this study in normal city surroundings experienced no such benefit.
  • MRI scans of the brains of the subjects in this Stanford Study also showed a reduction of the brain activity that is linked to mental illness.  Once again, the city exercisers did not experience this benefit.
  • Exercise outdoors may also boost your immune system.  It does this by creating an effect inside our body that is literally the exact opposite of the “fight or flight” stress response that we are all so familiar with in our daily lives.  This restful state was reported by survey respondents in a study at the University of Illinois.  This survey reported that feelings of safety and relaxation creates a hormonal environment inside the body that allows you to shuttle more resources toward your immune system instead of having to metabolize and fight off all of the stress hormones that accumulate during the “fight or flight” response.

I know that personally, I could not survive without my regular walks both with the dog and my family members.  They have a way of centering all of us, especially when we take the time to get away to a more remote location.  I hope this article might inspire you to do the same…


PS For another article I wrote today about how Trail Running can Transform your body, Click Here.


Walking for Exercise with my new dog “Allie…”

fitnessnomad’s Activities | RunKeeper

This is a quick post. It’s late on Christmas night and I’m tired and ready for bed.  The link above will take you to my new RunKeeper Home page (which also links with my Facebook account.  I’ve started tracking all the walking I’m getting for exercise now that we have a new puppy in the house.

Stay tuned for much more on this subject and for pictures of me and my new pup ‘Allie’ 🙂

Happy Christmas!