Ready to get off the couch and back on your bike?

The original focus of this blog was keeping family, friends, and colleagues informed about my training and racing. I decided to make a change after reading that the obesity levels for the senior population in the U.S. is now over 40 percent. Fortunately, numerous studies have confirmed that it is never too late to resume an active lifestyle.

If you are a former high school/college/post-college athlete who has been on the couch for the past 20-30+ years, this blog is now your blueprint for resuming an active lifestyle. I will show you how to reduce your fitness age, a reliable indicator of longevity, by 20+ years over the next 12-24 months. You will definitely be healthier, happier, and an inspiration for your family, friends, and colleagues. What’s better than that?

How do I get started?

Whatever your reason for getting off the couch, typically your doctor’s warning, your family’s concern, the way you look in a mirror, or all three, there are eight steps to resuming an active lifestyle:

Step 1: Calculate your fitness age.
Go to the World Fitness Level website. This online questionnaire is backed by extensive research of healthy individuals around the world. You will get an accurate estimate of your current fitness age, which is your baseline. After 10+ years of competitive training and racing, my current fitness age is equivalent to the average 34-year-old, half of my chronological age. Don’t be intimidated by my result. You can reduce your fitness age by 20+ years without racing your bike.

Step 2: Get your doctor’s approval to exercise and identify any risk factors.
If you have diabetes, for example, or are overweight, these risk factors need to be addressed by your training plan. <more>

Step 3: Set realistic goals and timelines. The two biggest hurdles to resuming an active lifestyle is finding the time to train and having a motivating goal. A recent study reported in Preventive Medicine Reports found competition was the best motivator for resuming and maintaining an active lifestyle.<more>

Step 4: Confirm support from family and friends.
You might face the skepticism of your family and/or friends about your decision to get active again as retirement age approaches. As stated by a prominent sports nutritionist, “…let’s not forget the most wonderful outcome of living an active and sporty life – improved health! While we certainly can’t defy the grim reaper from calling…we can certainly stack the deck in our favour. You control the risk, so aim to choose more healthful options at least 80-90 percent of the time, and lead a healthy example.” And, the perfect response to the taunt that you will be the “healthiest corpse in the graveyard” is “I’ll be the last one to arrive.”

Step 5: Interview coaches/personal trainers. <more>

Step 6: Commit to your goals. <more>

Step 7: Start living an active lifestyle. <more>

Step 8: Document your “experiment of one.” <more>

Should exercise be fun?

“If you’re doing it for fun, I guarantee you you’re not doing it right. There are physiological requirements that must be met in order to benefit from your exercise program, whether you like it or not. The intensity, the duration, the frequency of your exercise are all most important than whether or not it’s fun.” <more>

Why is starting to exercise a mental battle?

The <more>

When is the best time to exercise daily?

The best time to exercise is first thing in the morning, when you have the most control over your daily activities.

Should I change my diet?


What is the best reason to exercise?


What are the three components of an exercise program?

  • “Number one. I want you to work out everyday. I want you to work out first thing in the morning. Every day first thing in the morning, 20 minutes or less and then work against resistance.
  • But here are the motivational principles that say…I want you to define what fitness is. Until you gain agreement about what you’re trying to do, you’re in deep trouble.
  • Two, then I want you to measure fitness. Measuring fitness is a way of identifying what the need is. Focusing on need is the thing that motivates you to do it and take it seriously.
  • And three, I want you to reward physical fitness. Isn’t that important to get recognition for doing it? I found one of most effective reward tools I’ve ever found in physical fitness is the belief that you’re intrinsically doing something that will impact your health. It is the most powerful reason for exercise.”