Sleep: 1st Priority. You must get sufficient sleep each night. The amount varies by individual, but should exceed 8.0 hours. If your dinner meal knocks you into an after-dinner nap, then you are not getting enough nighttime sleep. To gain more sleep hours, go to bed earlier, not wake up later. If you wake up in the middle of the night, sponge cool water on your body, dry, and return to bed.
Eat: 2nd Priority. You may eat 2,000 calories a day. There is an app for calories: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/diary. Enter your meals each day until you can estimate your portions for 2,000 calories/day. Even at 2,000 calories/day, do not knowingly choose solid fat (either hydrogenated vegetable shortening or most animal fat), sugar (except natural fruit), or salt (except portions with ≤ 500 mg, or condiments with ≤ 60 mg per teaspoon). Some nutrients in the news are calcium (eg, milk), Vit. E (eg, nuts), fiber (eg, oatmeal), omega-3 fatty acids, marinara sauce (eg, tomatoes w/o added salt), fruits & vegetables, lemon water (ie, potassium citrate to avoid kidney stones), coffee (nb: max of 1 cup/day of caffeinated coffee), baby aspirin (ie, fight plaque). You must have a low body fat % to age well. Stop eating well before you “feel” full.
Push-ups/Sit-ups: 3rd Priority. Your goal late in life is to survive a fall. Like anything, you must train for fall avoidance with specific exercises. You need the coordination and muscular reflexes to prevent or correct any falls. No exercise is more specific to falls than push-ups or sit-ups. You may do both or take your choice. The important thing is that you get down on the floor unassisted, do your exercise, and then rise unassisted (ie, do not use your hands to pull or push yourself upward after you have gotten one knee off the floor). Do not use chairs or furniture to assist in getting down or up. Do your push-ups or sit-ups on a soft rug. You should do 100 sit-ups, 100 push-ups, or 100 combined per day. The push-ups are for muscular strength, the sit-ups for back strength.
Muscular Strength: 4th Priority. You may combine your push-ups with your muscular exercises. Buy at least 2 dumbbells. One should be as much as you can lift 5x initially with your strongest arm. One should be as much as you can curl 10x initially with your strongest arm. This is your sequence: Lift the heavier dumbbell with each arm as many times as possible (but not more than 20x/arm), walk w/o a dumbbell for 133 steps, curl the lighter dumbbell with each arm as many times as possible (but not more than 50x), walk w/o a dumbbell for 133 steps, do a set of push-ups or sit-ups or both (but not more than 20x, as your focus should be the process of getting down and getting up), walk w/o a dumbbell for 133 steps. Repeat as often as desired, but not more than 10x (ie, 5,000 steps). You will get tired as you do this sequence, so you may not be able to lift or curl as much on the last rep as on the 1st rep. This reduction in reps is OK. Do muscular strength at least 3 days per week.
Cardiovascular Fitness: 5th Priority. Find a rubberized track or dirt track that is at least 0.1 miles in circumference. Never exercise on concrete or asphalt. Wear a fitness watch with a heartrate monitor. Alternate between running 0.1 miles and walking 0.1 miles. Do not exceed 75% of your maximum heartrate (ie, max HR is 230 minus your age). Run/walk the 0.1 mile intervals for 5,000 to 10,000 steps. Do cardiovascular fitness at least twice per week.
1.5 Mile Test: Once per month, measure yourself by running 1.5 miles. Enter your time, gender, and age at http://www.exrx.net/Calculators/OneAndHalf.html.
- Sleep ≥ 8 hours/day.
- Eat ≤ 2,000 calories/day.
- Have a BMI ≤ 23. (Overweight begins at 25.)
- Have a fat content ≤ 20% (for males). (The maximum for males is 23%.)
- Do ≥ 100 push-ups/day.
- Score on the 1.5 mile run ≥ “good.”
- Lower your resting HR to the range of 40-60 BPM.
- Raise your HDL above 60 mg/deciliter, if this is possible. Do not take pills for this metric.
Weights, Exercises, and Repetitions: You may modify your routine every 3 months. If you are making faster progress than this, congratulate yourself, but still do not change your routine more than quarterly.
Pictures: Take a selfie every quarter. Wear as little as possible, such as a bathing suit. Use the same outfit, same location, same lighting, same camera/lens/setting, same distance between yourself and camera. Takes notes on your routine and measurements. Your measurements would include what you value, such as weight, height, %bodyfat, BMI, and circumferences of body parts.