Yesterday, my wife commented, “We are getting healthier as we age.” She is right. There’s no doubt that, at 42, I’m the fittest I’ve ever been.
And I’m not alone! Sooner or later, we all start facing the issue of how to stay fit as you age.
Last Sunday, Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady stunned the sports world by notching his seventh Super Bowl victory by a large margin at age 43. His diet is over 80-percent plant-based.
According to this recent New York Post article this week, there’s “no denying that Brady’s spartan diet has played a major part in prolonging his playing career.”
However, his diet wasn’t always “spartan.”
As a rookie quarterback in 2000, Tom wasn’t thinking about how to stay fit as you age. Before each game, he filled up on:
- ham-and-cheese subs
- onion rings
Flash forward two decades, and his all-organic morning/ pre-game smoothie contains:
- chia seeds
- almond butter
and hemp milk.
Tom Brady is also 100-percent dairy-free – a preference he shares with the nonprofit, dairy-free advocacy group Switch4Good’s executive director Dotsie Bausch.
Featured in the Game Changers documentary, Dotsie became entirely plant-based while competing as a professional cyclist. In 2012, 39-year-old Dotsie became her sport’s most senior athlete to stand on the Olympic medalists’ podium.
But plant-based eating’s anti-aging benefits have reached far beyond celebrities and Olympians. I’m just an entrepreneur, blogger, and father. But my fitness level soared when I embraced an entirely plant-based diet.
At 42, I’ve completed 42,000 pushups and 42,000 leg calisthenics (squats, high knees, lunges, and jumping jacks) in the past 42 days. And less than two weeks ago, I ran in and won a 25k trail-running race with my mostly plant-based brother.
I haven’t been this fit since, well… never! However, it’s not just the 40-somethings who are focused on how to stay fit as you age.
In early 2017, one of my friends went mostly plant-based at age 68. At a family reunion in early 2019, some of her relatives remarked on her weight loss and youthful appearance.
One reacted, “You just don’t look anywhere close to 70.”
Last year, after reading my blog for a few months, she went 100% plant-based and was surprised at the difference that small change has made in her energy and physical fitness.
She notices it most while tackling the local hills on her Nordic walking outings. And on every vacation, she makes a point of visiting the attractions with the most stairs!
How to Stay Fit as You Age: Frances Greger’s Story
My friend’s experience reminds me of Dr. Michael Greger’s grandmother, Frances Greger. After several heart bypass operations at the age of 65, she suffered from end-stage heart disease.
Her doctor sent her home to die. Confined to her wheelchair and awaiting the inevitable, she tuned into CBS’ watch 60 Minutes on October 16, 1977.
During an interview with Morley Safer, Dr. Nathan Pritikin recommended a 100% plant-based diet and exercise to combat heart disease. Frances followed his advice.
Within three weeks, she was walking 10 miles a day. She lived well into her 90s.
Frances’ recovery shocked her family so much that her grandson Michael went into medicine. Today, he’s at the forefront of the plant-based diet and nutrition movement.
We’ll all die someday. The term “lifespan” indicates the age when we pass on. But the more critical term “healthspan” refers to how many healthy years we enjoy.
They’re the years when we don’t need medication or therapy to recover from preventable diseases.
Starting at 65, Frances Greger improved her healthspan significantly!
Eating an abundance of plant-based foods and staying active – Tom Brady, Dotsie Bausch, and countless others have discovered these two simple solutions to the problem of how to stay fit as you age. So why not start following in their footsteps?
A longer healthspan (and perhaps even lifespan) are within your power!