Why exercise is so important to me: I compare it to having a cup of coffee in the morning—I get that kind of energy from it. Also, as a physical therapist, I’m hyperaware of the fact that as you age, strength training is essential to maintaining muscle mass, which helps you perform everyday tasks. A lack of muscle mass can even shorten your life span, due to chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
How I get it all in: Sometimes I start my day at about 5:30am in my home gym. I don’t love running, but I’ll get on the treadmill and run a mile or so. Then I’ll do some strength training, like pushups, arm raises, curls, or bench presses with dumbbells, and then planks for core work. Other days, I’ll go to the gym and work on the larger muscle groups. I do things like back squats, lunges, and deadlifts with barbells. I try to incorporate stability work as well since balance can become a problem as we age. So, for example, between lifts, I’ll stand on one foot while moving my upper extremities and rotate my head to increase difficulty.
I also play in a racquetball league. I get about 75 to 120 minutes of vigorous competition twice a week. My wife and I have also started a new routine since our daughters went to college: We take an after-dinner walk around the neighborhood almost every night. It’s a great time to chat about our days and to destress together.
My favorite post-meal snack: Chocolate milk and a banana, which helps to replace the potassium and electrolytes after excess sweat loss during exercise. And subjectively, I feel like chocolate milk gives me more energy after a workout.
What I tell people who don’t get enough activity: Make a mental deal with yourself—if you reach your fitness goal, treat yourself to something you love. For instance, if you get on the treadmill five times this week, you can play a round of golf this weekend. If you lift weights this morning, reward yourself with an ice cream sundae tonight.