Sometimes I get the coolest emails from readers… here is one of them he allowed me to share.
I’m the 80 yr old Aussie swimmer who thinks your programs are more suited to
younger folk. I did quite well at the Aussie Masters Swimming Nationals, 1
gold, 5 silver and a bronze, so my coach got a big thank you. A few thoughts
re fitness for people in my age group. Regarding diet, I think vitamin and
mineral supplements are essential, especially a powerful anti-oxidant. I do
meet people older than me who say they have never taken these supplements
because they believe good food should be enough. I don’t know about Canada
nowadays, but in Australia the earth in most places is very poor quality.
Secondly, The supermarket chains here will take fruit and veg before it is
fully developed so damage doesn’t occur in storage and on long deliveries.
Thirdly the older we get the less our bodies absorb vital nutrients. So our
fruit and veg may look nice, but it may well have less to offer in the way
of nutrients. As a post script to this my anti-oxidant also helps my body’s
biological terrain move from an acidic to alkaline state.
Regarding exercise I look at it from both a mental and physical point of
view. I firmly believe we are products of our environment. Sure, when we are
young the genetic factor is very important, but at least in my age group I
think whatever genetic factors are still important, the environmental ones
are even more important. So I still write books, play bridge and belong to a
few groups and with my wife do a lot of world travelling. On the physical
side, I am active in swimming, badminton and tennis. Now and again we will
go for a walk, ride a bike and do a little resistance training. At the
moment tennis gets played once a week for an hour to an hour and a half.
Badminton once a week for two one hour periods, (twenty min coffee break
between. ) Some games (doubles only) slower, faster etc. I do three to four
swimming training sessions a week depending how I feel. My coach has me
doing a mixed session of drills and swims, all strokes, totaling about a
kilometre. At my age it is difficult to ignore aches and pains, but
fortunately I don’t get many. There is an interesting thing about ageing in
the sense of realizing that your body is different. So until the age of
about forty I would think most guys believe they are still pretty much as
fit as they were ten years ago.
Then say about sixty, you are still pretty much as fit as you were five
years ago. But in your seventies each couple of years and sometimes each
year is different!
A post script on both nutrition and exercise is stress. If you have had a
stressful life, by the time you get to my age and do very little about diet,
supplements and mental/physical exercise you are probably already dead, so
you don’t have to worry about it! In my case I have had a very stressful
life but I started taking anti-oxidants in the late 1970s.
The country that interests me from a masters swimming point of view is
Japan. I went to their website the other day and they have about 40,000
masters swimmers. More than 500 are in my age group 80 to 84. I think there
are about 200 in the 85 to 89 age group and of course a lot fewer in the
nineties. However, in the 100 to 104 year age group they have four
competitors! (My worst nightmare is coming second in the one hundred metre
freestyle in the 100 to 104 yr age group!!!)
I haven’t spoken about my wife, who is younger than me but also very active
mentally and also does the physical thing too, but Shirley is happy to
compete full stop, while I still like winning.
I think you have a winning website, Ray and I can see you are really helping
many people. I may not be able to do justice to your emails so I hope you
Kind Regards Ken Bullock
P.S. I migrated to Canada from England in 1949 and served in Canadian Naval
Aviation from 1950 to 1966 when the Canadians got fed up with me and
deported me to Australia!