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Four keys to a more youthful, active and meaningful life

May 14, 20246 min read

By Ken Berger

It’s the outcome we all fear … our bodies and minds slowing down at a rate we can’t keep up with. Simple, enjoyable tasks now seem insurmountable. Our memory is slipping, mood is dipping and pain and weakness rule the day.

Dr. Peter Attia refers to this as the “marginal decade,” the season of life when mental and physical decline inflict their toll.

As they reach their 70s, millions of Americans are literally paying for mistakes and neglect of the past that cannot be undone. If only they’d taken the time to make a few small lifestyle changes when they were in their 50s, their life would be rewarding, enjoyable, meaningful and robust. 

Not only would they have delayed – or even eliminated – their marginal decade, but they would have discovered a youthful, active lifestyle that they only dreamed was possible as they got older.

The good news is, it’s not too late. And luckily, it doesn’t have to be this way.

As I enjoy my 53rd trip around the sun, I’ve become fascinated – maybe even obsessed – with feeling stronger and younger as I age. There’s nothing we can do to slow down time, of course. But there’s plenty we can do to blunt its interference with our desire to feel youthful and live a life with meaning and purpose, with rewarding relationships and without restrictions.

Lifting weights is one of the best ways to enjoy a youthful, active lifestyle and reverse the effects of aging.

I’ve never been into podcasts before, but lately I’ve become an avid listener of the aforementioned Dr. Attia’s “The Drive” podcast. I’ll be sharing the key points of what I learn about longevity and healthspan from Dr. Attia along the way.

In the meantime, I wanted to give you a handful of simple, actionable steps you can start taking today to feel younger, be more active, improve your physical and emotional health and age more powerfully

This is by no means a comprehensive list; for example, other than two things I recommend that you drink every day, I’m not even touching on one of the most important anti-aging practices: nutrition. That’s an entire blog post unto itself.

But if you start incorporating the following practices into your lifestyle now, you’ll be off to a great start when it comes to living a youthful, active lifestyle for decades to come.

And the great news is, you don’t have to wait that long to experience the results. You’ll start feeling better almost immediately!

Here’s the simple path to a better life starting today:

Strength Training: Resistance training, or “lifting weights,” helps maintain muscle mass, bone density and overall physical function as we age. As we get older, we naturally lose muscle mass, which can lead to weakness, decreased mobility and an increased risk of falls and injuries. By incorporating strength training exercises into your routine, you can counteract this muscle loss and maintain your strength and independence. And the best news? Vigorous exercise boosts production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which enhances memory, mood and other key markers of cognitive health. (More on another way to get more BDNF below …)

Hydrate with Electrolytes: Most of us begin each day with the holy grail of morning routines: a cup of coffee. Me, too! And I highly recommend a particular type of coffee that I’ll discuss below. But before you pour your cup of joe, try drinking 8-16 ounces of electrolytes first. Electrolytes like sodium, potassium and magnesium help regulate fluid balance, muscle function and nerve transmission, keeping you feeling energized and alert. Starting your day with electrolytes is a game changer when it comes to increased clarity, focus and energy. You can pick up an electrolyte mix at the local vitamin store, or make your own.

Starting your day with electrolytes is a game-changer when it comes to having more clarity, focus and energy.

Drink a Cup of Exercise: As we age, our brains can experience a decline in cognitive function, including memory, focus, mood and problem-solving abilities. The scientifically proven way to combat cognitive decline and enjoy flourishing brain health is to increase your production of BDNF, which is responsible for repairing damaged neurons and building new ones. As mentioned above, one way to boost BDNF is to perform vigorous exercise. Another, even easier way is to do what most of us are already doing every morning: drink a cup of coffee! But not just any coffee. My friend, Dr. Mike Roussell, has created a unique coffee blend called Neuro Coffee that is rich in neurotrophic factor. In fact, just one cup has been shown to increase BDNF production by 143%! The secret to the coffee is that the fleshy, berry-looking part of the coffee fruit – which is discarded when making all other coffees – is infused into each batch of Neuro Coffee. This fleshy, fruity substance is rich in potent proteins and antioxidants that have been shown to boost BDNF.

You can drink a cup of exercise with brain-boosting Neuro Coffee.

Sure, you can get neurotrophic factor in pill form … but who needs another supplement to remember to take? I’m going to drink coffee every morning anyway, so I make sure it’s Neuro Coffee … and you should, too. There is also a growing body of research that suggests that increasing BDNF can enhance sexual performance and experiences! If you're already a coffee drinker anyway, Neuro Coffee is a no-brainer ... so to speak.

Please note: Other than Dr. Mike being a friend of mine, I have no affiliation with Neuro Coffee. I just love it and drink it every day. If you’d like to give it a try, shoot me an email (ken@maxvelocityfitness.com) and I’ll be in touch with the details.

Think Before You Act: Remember when our parents used to tell us to “think before we speak?” Or better yet, “take 10 deep breaths?” From an emotional health standpoint, they were absolutely correct in encouraging us to create space between our feelings and our actions. An even better way to do this is to pause for 30 seconds before acting on a feeling. During those 30 seconds, consider the consequences of the action you are thinking about taking. Dealing with stress and feelings this way can be a game changer, because we are calling on the executive part of the brain (the prefrontal cortex) to take over from the emotional part of the brain (the limbic system). Think of the limbic system as “10-year-old us” when we cried and stomped our feet when we didn’t get our way. The prefrontal cortex is similar to “using our words” … or better yet, noticing and processing our feelings and then acting on them in an executive (not child-like) way. This one subtle shift will result in better decisions, less stress hormone circulating through your bloodstream, and far less messiness in our lives.

Aging is a natural process that cannot be stopped … but can be improved.

By incorporating these four simple habits into your daily routine, you can combat the effects of aging so that you feel younger, more vibrant, more focused and interested, more energized and live a more meaningful life. 

Embrace these habits, and you'll be well on your way to the years ahead of you being the best and most rewarding you've ever experienced.

If you have questions or need help including any of the above in your daily routine, you should schedule a phone chat with me. It's completely free with no risk or obligation ... just me guiding you on the path to a better quality of life. If you'd like to chat, follow this link to schedule your call.

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Ken Berger

Ken Berger is a No. 1 international best-selling author of "Unlocking the Secrets of Lifelong Fitness Success." After 25 years as a professional sports journalist for the Associated Press, Newsday, CBS Sports, The Athletic and Bleacher Report, Ken now takes the lessons learned from the world's greatest athletes and changes lives through exercise and nutrition.

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