When many people envision a 62-year-old man, they don’t see Liam Neeson.
What they do see, quite frankly, is a stereotype many of us in this general chronological ballpark don’t resemble.
Not even close, actually.
So what’s our secret?
1] Eat clean. Lots of fruits and vegetables and high quality protein.
Comments: Eating clean will become a part of your daily ritual. You will eventually learn that while cheat days are occasionally acceptable, it’s best to stick with cheat meals. An entire day of bad eating will cost you a week of rehab.
2] Get plenty of rest. 8 hours a night is like not having to pay a plastic surgeon before their time.
Comments: In the days before I had a live-in girlfriend, I was out 6 nights a week. My sleep habits were all over the place, but the “running the nights’ rush helped mitigate whatever I lost in REM 4. Of course, I was also younger, which helped. See, the older you get, the less help you get. If this is lost on you, go back to therapy. If you’re more comfortable with an internist, they’ll probably refer you to one.
3] Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. With water, not vodka. You can squeeze a lemon in it if you want a vague reminder of what it was like to down a lemon drop martini.
Comments: The function of the kidneys, which helps to regulate fluid, declines with aging. The ability to recognize thirst decreases with aging — sometimes older people don’t realize they are thirsty. With aging, the amount of body water decreases. So even a small change in fluid intake can cause dehydration. The fallout from dehydration just isn’t worth it.
- dry mouth and nose
- loose and/or dry skin
- skin “tenting” in the forehead
- increased tiredness and/or weakness
- sudden (acute) confusion
- concentrated urine
- dizziness and orthostatic hypotension (standing causes sudden drop in blood pressure, feeling dizzy, and even fainting)
- increased heart rate
- loss of appetite
- nausea and vomiting
4] Workout every day of the week: 3 days of weight training, 3 days of cardio, 1 day of stretching and recovery.
Comments: Don’t freak out. I’m not telling you to spend your entire life in a gym. I’m asking for one hour a day: 3 days a week of resistance training for strength, flexibility and bone density, followed by stretching. 3 days a week of cardio at 60-85% of maximum, followed by stretching. 1 day a week to recover. I spend a little time with foam rollers and lacrosse balls to break up the fascia and improve blood flow.
5] Manicure your face: trim eyebrows, nose hair, ear hair, and whatever other hair you may or may not have.
Comments: There’s nothing that says “I’m oblivious” than a lack of personal grooming. A lot of old guys look like tree moss. It’s pathetic. Clearly, they’ve given up. But just remember, when you give up, people give up on you. Put another way, you disappear.
6] Use quality skin products. Borax won’t cut it anymore.
Comments: A lot of guys give me shit about my rather robust regimen of skin products, but they never fail to suggest that I’ve gone under the knife, which is not true. What is true is that I take care of my skin because it no longer takes care of itself. My suggestion is that you see a dermatologist for an overall assessment and product suggestions.
7] Keep “toxic” stress levels low. There’s a difference between good stress and bad stress. One gets you out of bed. The other one puts you in the ground.
Comments: One of the many downsides to getting older is that stress is not something the body handles as well as it used it. The good news, however, is that you don’t have to put up with as much crap as you used to, so use that to your advantage as much as possible. I use the line, “at this stage of the game, I’ve earned the right to just say no.”
8] Choose you gene pool carefully. Unfortunately, this one’s out of your hands, which is a drag since it also happens to be the most important one and the main reason why you have to follow all of the aforementioned rules.
Comments: Your genes will determine the lion’s share of how your life plays out. Some say that only 15% of what you do changes the course of destiny, but I disagree. With perfect genetics I could overdose on heroin at 18.
9] Never let a photographer with an on-camera flash get within ten feet of you for photo ops. If you do, you’ll understand why you should not have allowed this in the first place.
Comments: Understand that you cannot compete with your 25-year-old face. This is why professional models tend to be children in adult clothing. With this in mind, the closer an on-camera flash gets to you, the worse you will look. So either tell the photographer to lose the flash, or step the hell back.
10] If your girlfriend is significantly younger than you are, come to terms with the fact that you will get older as she appears to get younger.
Comments: This is a very real problem for both genders who date inter-generationally. The upside is that the younger of the two will always be appear physically beautiful. The downside is that you will always look like their parent no matter how good you look. There is a hidden cost in every seamless transaction.
Liam Neeson was photographed on a set in flattering light, which makes the most of his appearance. But understand that no matter what the lighting happens to be, if you live your life like Keith Richards, you will look like Keith Richards no matter what the lighting happens to be.