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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Living a Fit Life

Robert Manni - Friday, June 07, 2013

Image courtesy of NBC Bay Area

They say all good things come in moderation.

I agree, except when it comes to sex, but that’s for another post. This one is about living a fit life. I’m no fitness expert, but I just ran the 6.2-mile loop around Central Park for the third time this week and have logged three marathons. I know what’s worked for me. You can decide if it works for you. Here are a few concepts to consider, Guy’s Guy style.

1. You are what you eat. You’ve heard this a thousand times for a reason—it’s true. I’m not going for the deep dive, but studies have shown that all sickness and disease comes from your gut, so you'd better think about what you consume. In today’s world, eating and food are very different concepts than they were thirty years ago. GMO’s, pesticides, weird chemical additives, and all that disguised sugar can lead to a big gut and a heavy heart. How do we manage this while eating three times a day? First, consider eating six small meals a day to keep your metabolism humming. Ultimately, it boils down to consistently making mindful choices. Like many guys, I’m a snacker and I turn to food as a crutch. Plus, I’m Italian so I can’t escape people offering me food. The solution? Each time I sit down and stop and think before shoving food into my face.

2. Go easy on the meat. As we age, our metabolism slows, so digestion takes longer. That succulent porterhouse stays in your system a lot longer when you’re over forty. I stopped eating beef, lamb and pork six years ago and finally dropped poultry this year. Why? My body was telling me that I had enough, so I turned to fish, veggies and fruit and I’ve never looked back. I became ill about a month after cutting out meat, but I was told that this was a result of my cells detoxing. Bottom line, I have more energy and I don’t miss eating meat.

3. Walk. Although I walked to and from school while growing up, I never realized the pleasures of a good stroll until I moved to New York. If you really want to catch the vibe of this great city, walk. I mean walk everywhere. When I first moved to New York in the eighties, each Sunday I’d walk from my flat on West 34th Street to Chinatown for lunch and then back to Midtown. I’d take a different route each time and it gave me a great taste of what was a very different Manhattan.

4. Run. If your body allows you the pleasure of a good run, just do it. There is nothing like that long, sloping loop around Central Park or a jog along the boards at the beach. I bring running shoes when I travel because running helps reset your internal clock to prevent jet lag and it’s a great way to get the flavor of another city. And, I worked out my entire novel in my head while running back and forth from Asbury Park to Spring Lake. Plus, you need to maintain some semblance of fitness if you run.

5. Sleep. There is nothing like a good night’s sleep, but in today’s noisy world, sleeping soundly has become more of a rare feat than something that comes naturally. That’s why when you feel tired and you have time to catch a few zzz’s, it’s a good idea to nap. I never was a napper until I hit forty. Now I grab some shuteye when my body tells me to, and when my schedule allows. I’m still a night owl, but I do my best to not watch TV in bed. I also keep a calm environment in the bedroom and have an active love life.

We’ve only scratched the surface on fitness, but I think if you follow these general adages, you will create a foundation for a healthy lifestyle and good health.

Are you doing what you can to maintain a fit body and mind?

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is Fauja Singh, (the Turban Tornado), recently retired 101 year old world’s oldest marathoner.

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