I remember back in the mid to late 1990’s, working with my grandfather, Leo, an Italian Stonemason.
It was a thing of beauty to watch him work, even as a rebellious teenager that did not want to be working my tail off in the heat of the summer, lugging bricks, cement and doing clean up work.
At the time, he was in his 70’s, but one could have guessed that he was in his mid-50’s.
In fact, about 5 years ago, he had both knees replaced a few months apart and you would have never known it. He just kept on keeping on with his routine.
There were so many lessons that I learned from him and one of those lessons I actually learned from a Coach of mine, but was able to see Leo actually live out.
I am referring to the ‘4 keys to Youth’.
Aging energetically and aging without youthfulness are two very different things.
So, what are the 4 keys to Youth that I witnessed Leo live out?
First: laughter. I can’t recall a time when I was with Leo that he did not laugh or cause me to laugh. We were always having fun. Life wasn’t to be taken too seriously. It was to be a fun journey filled with never ending curiosity.
Second: squatting. I don’t mean squatting with weights, but rather the ability to sit down on a couch and stand back up again without assistance. To have full use of your ankles, knees and hips. Leo always made sure to get his reps in every day, performing exercises such as couch squats along with his daily walking, which I will cover in a second.
Third: fasting. Later in Leos’ life, he adapted quite naturally to fasting. No, he wasn’t going days without eating, but he began to realize that he only had to eat twice per day for optimal energy.
Fourth and finally: walking. Leo was an avid walker, especially after he retired from being a mason. He would do laps around their ranch house, inside, making sure that he reached his daily quota. Walking is the only form of exercise that really lowers stress hormones. It has a very calming effect on the brain and a great positive effect on blood flow.
These 4 keys are things that you can begin at any age. Obviously, the earlier you start the better.
Make it a point to age youthfully, after all, you are only as old as your body tells you that you are.