A Fitness Folk Tale for Africa’s Middle Aged Middle Class

If you are like many people who take the entrepreneurial plunge, you do so most successfully when you are approaching or entering into middle age. Your middle-aged years are also ironically around the time many people start to suffer problems with eroding health and weight problems. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have the best of both worlds: financial freedom and optimal health?

I once heard Dr. Dennis Kimbro say on a television interview that most millionaires fail a few times in business, and suffer some bankruptcies before they become successful. Another salient point he made is that most of people become millionaires around fifty years of age. Why this is the case I don’t exactly know, unlike Dr. Kimbro I can only speculate on these matters.

My observation of many people makes me think perhaps the middle-age launch into business ventures has to do with people finding the confidence later in life. You have to have self-assurance to risk business ventures. Usually people don’t have this type of business confidence until after they have run other peoples businesses.

Or at least they feel more confident once they have worked for other people.

Andrew Morrison, the owner of Small Business Camp, alluding to the book “Think and Grow Rich” said that many men become more successful in their middle years because they are less focused on sexual pursuits. I can relate to this because when I was in my twenties I would be too focused on dating, to have the focus to run a viable business.

(In Africa middle age is around 25-35, given that average life expectancy in 2017 is around 47! At 70 an African would be considered old – and lucky to still be around….)

And so, most of Africa’s “young Turks” are already middle-aged! Just when they are coming into the money…

However, what would be the point of having a successful business if you don’t have the health to enjoy it?

Most people would agree business is a very competitive and challenging. It also stands to reason you should try to be at peak performance when undertaking a business venture. This is why you should seriously consider investing in your health to afford you the extra push — to drive you to business success.

Some of the major reasons you may want to bolster your health and overall fitness are because:

  • Studies show exercise helps relieve stress
  • Exercise helps elevate your mood
  • Exercise will help you think more clearly
  • Resistance training will help increase your muscle and bone density which tend to decrease with age
  • Stretching after exercise will to help keep you flexible which also tends to decrease with age
  • Regular strenuous exercise can help you increase natural hormones in you body like testosterone which will increase muscle mass, sexual desire, and overall health

These are just some of the many well-known benefits you will achieve with a regular exercise program. It is no wonder that I find many people who are successful in business come from athletic or sports backgrounds. Many successful entrepreneurs have a regular fitness programs.

If you are a woman who has had children and find yourself with some undesired pounds good balanced workout programs could be considered from people like Denise Austin or Donna Richardson. For men you may like the workouts of people like Billy Blanks.

According to fitness trainers like Denise Austin, the focus of your workout should be on the balance of strength training, aerobics, and flexibility.

Most fitness experts like Jason Martin have made the point that strength training as alluded to earlier “will increase bone density and muscle mass, aerobics will burn fat and give you more cardio fitness, and yoga or martial arts will help counter the inflexibility associated with age”.

One thing you may experience as you age is you don’t obviously have the natural energy you had when you were sixteen years old. Another problem you may experience is pain in your joints like your knees.

If you notice pain in your knees and elbows especially on damp or humid days you may be experiencing the on-set of arthritis. Arthritis can be demoralizing when you are trying to obtain optimal health. It is definitely something you didn’t have to worry about or contend with when you were in your twenties. Don’t let arthritis totally derail your pursuit of health in your most productive midlife years!

Seek the help of your doctor and perhaps explore some alternative remedies of relief. Personally I have found that some alternative treatments to be superior to pharmaceutical drugs.

The most important thing is to remember when embarking upon a health and fitness program is to do so with moderation. Don’t overdue it and risk injury. Make sure you invest in good fitness shoes with good heel and ankle support. In Denise Austin’s words “avoid boredom by doing various physical activities that you enjoy with your family”. If you are quite a bit overweight maybe you should start out with walking more.

In the end what does if profit you to become a millionaire, if you are totally unfit to enjoy your investment? Like the saying goes “your health is your greatest asset”.

This article was originally published by Kamau Austin

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