My 40s: When I came back to civilization, I was so impressed with yoga that I went to the library, checked out some VHS tapes and began practicing on my own. My sister, who was somewhat of a gym rat at the time, invited me to her gym to try out some of the classes.
Yoga remained my favorite, but it was not always easy. For the first year, I was the only guy in the class. But the changes I noticed in muscle tone and the healing of my old sport injuries was encouragement enough for me to continue.
My Early 50s to Present Day: In need of something more challenging, I rediscovered bicycling. Summertime riding is very relaxing. Spin classes and cold and inclement weather go well together, especially when you do yoga afterward as a way to cool down and stretch. Now, I don’t ride as much as I used to, but I do take the time to participate in RAGBRAI , a weeklong bicycle ride across Iowa. If you ever have the time and chance to participate in such an event, I highly recommend it.
My diet has also changed over the years. Servings of meat and dairy have declined, while fruit and veggies have increased, though I doubt I will ever go the way of a full vegetarian . But then again, had you told me 30 or 40 years ago that at age 56 I would regularly practice yoga and ride a bike for hours at a time, I would not have believed you.
Lessons Learned: Well, I did all the “guy things” a guy does throughout the years. The sports, weight lifting, the work-in-progress on my yard and home, but I have found that a consistent regimen of exercise is essential for weight control and good health.
Our lifetime is a journey of experiences and discovery. It is a lot more enjoyable when you take the time to actively manage your lifestyle—especially when you try a few new things along the way. —Greg Walters