Are We Free Men Capable of Behavior Change – or Marketers’ Negative Stereotype?

Talk to ad industry people and you’ll learn that a disproportionately small share of ads target us 45+ guys. Though we’re a large portion of the population (and consumer spending), those who steer the spending of ad dollars are more interested, proportionally, in women and younger guys.

But OlderBeast isn’t about business, so why bring this up? Because it reflects “conventional wisdom” about us: that we rarely try new things, and that in many categories (e.g. nutrition), women make decisions for us.

Why highlight this at OlderBeast? As positive provocation for OlderBeasts: Let’s cultivate willingness to experiment and change, and take charge of health-impacting decisions for ourselves!

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Talk to ad industry people and you’ll learn that a disproportionately small share of ads target us 45+ guys. Though we’re a large portion of the population (and consumer spending), advertisers are more interested, proportionally, in women and younger guys.

But OlderBeast isn’t about business, so why bring this up?

Because it reflects “conventional wisdom” about us: that we rarely try new things, and that in many categories (e.g. nutrition), women make decisions for us.

Set in your ways. Don’t choose much for yourself. Even when the beneficiary or victim of the product is yourself, as is the case with nutrition. Does this describe you, brother?

I’m not trying to change ad spending. Rather, I highlight this as positive provocation for OlderBeasts: Let’s not be the stereotype…let’s cultivate willingness to experiment and change, and take charge of health-impacting decisions for ourselves!

EXPERIMENTATION IN YOUR FITNESS ROUTINE

Researchers say perception of time—whether it seems to have flown or rolled slowly by—is greatly impacted by how many different events and themes there are to remember.

That’s why a week traveling among cities and seeing new things seems longer, in memory, than a week at the beach.

So, by seeking variety and new experiences, you can make the years of your life feel longer. And if experimentation with physical activities is one way you do this, then you can actually add years to your life, as well.

Friendly Challenge: In the next six months, do two or more of the following. In addition to physical benefits, you’ll meet new people and go new places because of them (wellness benefits that make life richer).

1. Take up (or return to) running

2. Include swimming and/or yoga in your fitness routine (for sure, at least one of these, since they have special benefits from controlled breathing).

3. Get into a High-intensity Interval Training (HiiT) workout program.

4. Since you never forget how to ride a bike…start riding one.

5. Start (or return to ) strength training. It doesn’t need to be about the gym and weights if you don’t want – bodyweight “calisthenics” are great.

6. Try out kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding.

7. Plan an adventure, big or small. A cycling or backpacking trip, a long hike, an adventure race with friends.

8. Just start walking. In your neighborhood, near your office (or maybe to your office), in parks and on trails. At the beach.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR NUTRITION

For many guys, marketers’ stereotype is true. Your wife or significant other mainly decides what food’s in the house. Nutrition-focused media and advertising thus mainly ignore you.

If you’re like many, you’re more attentive to what you put into your car, how you feed your lawn, or what kind of light bulbs you use…than you are to what you put into your body.

Meanwhile, every day there’s further evidence food is one of the best medicines out there for all kinds of health issues, big and small. Or one of the worst poisons: e.g., obesity-related diseases continue growing, and people refer to sugar as the new tobacco.

Even if you’re just focused on appearance, most people find exercise alone is not enough to really change how you look. Especially at our age. You need to add strong nutrition into the mix, dude.

So, please start paying attention to things you need to know about nutrition, and participate in household food choices. For basics of a sound approach, start here.

Friendly Challenge #2: During the next six months, target at least one positive nutrition improvement (add a good-for-you thing into your diet). And at least one removal or reduction of a bad-for-you thing (sugar, white flours, high-saturated-fat foods are good places to start).

TAKE ACTION for behavior change

Fitness and nutrition sometimes get stuck in an ever-receding self promise of “I’ll start being better about this stuff soon.”

It’s easy to understand why. With life being busy, there always seems to be a reason why today is not convenient to undertake a new activity, or to plan and make changes to food you eat. And it doesn’t seem like a big deal to have a little more time go by before you focus on health.

So, many of us might say to that marketing person who steers ad dollars away from us, “I’m not set in my ways or dependent on someone else’s decision-making forever…I’m just in that mode right now.”

But it gets harder to make these positive changes the more time goes by, man. And meanwhile, depending on whether you want to frame this negatively or positively (I’ll do both): there’s damage being done…OR, opportunities being missed.

Given human nature, sometimes it’s more motivational to prove other people wrong, than it is to be right ourselves. So if thinking about it this way helps light a fire…let’s prove those marketers WRONG, guys.

 

“Doesn’t have a point of view, knows not where he’s going to. Isn’t he a bit like you and me? Nowhere man please listen, you don’t know what you’re missing. Nowhere man, the world is at your command.” (The Beatles, Nowhere Man – click to listen)

If you think this would be useful to others, please help spread the word about OlderBeast by sharing this post with the social media buttons below. THANKS, MAN.

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How to Overcome “That Sluggish Feeling” When It Threatens Your Workout Plan

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1. You plan to work out that day. Then as the planned time nears, you start to feel a physical and/or mental sluggishness. Nothing dramatic, but you just don’t feel like working out. You start to flirt with the idea of taking the day off, considering various possible justifications.

2. But rather than explicitly, decisively declaring a day off – sometimes you need one, even if unplanned – you let minutes tick by without moving toward your workout OR deciding not to. Deep down, you might know what you’re doing, but you don’t admit it to yourself.

3. Then all of a sudden, voila, it’s “too late” for your workout. You missed the window of time you had before your next work, family or personal obligation. Even though you caused this, you don’t feel glad about the “can’t workout now” reality. You immediately feel like you’ve let yourself down.

This ever happen to you?  If so, you just fell victim to That Sluggish Feeling (“TSF”).  

I’ve devised a new response to TSF when it strikes. I don’t seek to move directly from sluggishness to exercise. Instead, I do a short, easy “bridge” activity in-between, to change my energy and get me into a better frame-of-mind to decide if I’m really, intentionally going to skip that workout. Here’s how it works.

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You can take active steps to increase your feelings of happiness every day — and let those feelings make you more effective in all you other goals and endeavors. One example? Think of the “STAGE” verbs — savor, thanks, asipire, give and emphathize.

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In defense (and praise) of the EASY workout

It’s important to keep physically challenging ourselves as we age. That’s why OlderBeast feature things like push-up challenges, exhortations to increase your weekly workout frequency, and calls to keep on running uphill.

But the name of the game is to do it thoughtfully, man — in a way we can sustain for years and hopefully decades. And on some days that calls for a game-time decision to do an EASY workout.

There’s the planned easy workout, to recover from intense effort yesterday or get ready to go hard tomorrow. But here, I want to talk about something different…a last-minute call to just do something “light” today.

Maybe a shorter and/or slower run. Or just some light body weight exercises and stretching. Or some lower-intensity cardio on a machine and then a short core routine.

The idea of switching to an easier workout is really about our relationship with motivation: having more than one response to call on when we feel unmotivated.

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