FEELING GREAT: Seasonal tips for the lifestyle-rich over 50s

If one of your goals in 2014 is to be more active and to “be healthier”, I have a great series of columns for you that you’re not going to want to miss, over the next six weeks.

Even better, if you’re close to, or have already tipped past the age of 50, then they are written with you specifically in mind.

Your health is a marathon, not a sprint. And one thing I find linking most healthy and active people in their 50s is a game plan.

That is they all have something to work towards. And this is an important step.

But begs the question: What?

Well, crazy as it may sound, and contrary to popular belief that most people out there will have you believe, most of the people I know who have “cracked the case” and found an exercise rich lifestyle, are NOT motivated by wanting to feeling any healthier or better about themselves.

Sound strange? It should do. Because you will hear so many messages that encourage you to be healthy, you’d be forgiven for believing that the big motivator is better health.

Negative. Fact is, you are much more easily motivated to avoid something bad, than achieve something positive and therefore more likely to do somethingabout dodging ill health, than you ever are towards achieving great health.

Test: Think of the deepest, darkest, nastiest place you could ever imagine being in with your health. The negative feeling it creates means you’re more likely to take action to get out of their much faster than you are ever to get to a place where everything is rosey and the sun is always shining, so to speak.

Proof: When your GP gives you the not so great news you must stop drinking and smoking or cut out the full English breakfasts if you want to live longer, he or she is unlikely to start by telling you how nice the next few years of your life will be if you do.

No. You’ll be given a graphic account of what your life will become (bad) should you not heed is advice and what your family will have to suffer if you were to make an early exit from this world because you failed to do it.

So write this one down. In an attempt to find a “lifestyle-rich” rest of your life, you first must have a think about what it is you’re running, or walking away from.

And not where you’re running or walking to. And then never forget it.

Speaking of running. Did I ever mention that there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it?

Read next week for the second real, actionable tip to get you in the lifestyle rich club with all the other men and women aged 50+ that I know from Hartlepool.