Ten Key Pieces Of Exercise And Training Advice From FitOldDog


Hi folks,

Saft factory near Santa Pola on the east coast of Spain, as a great example of human industry using local resources to create a fruitful living. Photo by author from bus.

Salt factory near Santa Pola on the east coast of Spain, as a great example of human industry using local resources to create a fruitful living. Photo by author from bus.

I was riding the bus from Alicante to Torre Vieja on the east coast of Spain the other day and I espied the ‘Chez Ollie.’ I prefer to think of it as a salt farm, where salt is harvested from the sea as it has been done for hundreds if not thousands of years. I admire this kind of human invention, with local resources being exploited to create a whole industry. I then started to muse as the coast flew by my window, with my mind drifting from subject to subject, until I landed upon the issue of advice. Advice on finding jobs, a career, a mate, a piece of clothing, whatever. I don’t know why, but I guess my thoughts went back to ancient times, imagining a group of humans arriving in this place, wondering what to do for survival, noticing some salt along the shore due to the effects of time, tide, and prevailing winds, putting this observation together with the precious nature of salt, and – hey presto – an industry was born. The power of ideas! This led to my decision to write this post as 10 ideas, or pieces of advice, on safe exercise or training for better health, based on my personal experience. Plus, having severe jetlag it is not so challenging as researching an entire topic before writing, I just have to search around in my head.

  1. Avoid injury at all costs: injuries ruin exercise and training, even preventing them entirely. So train intelligently, as there is plenty of advice out there on the Internet on this subject to guide you down a safe path.
  2. Be patient: a healthy exercise program takes time and patience as your body adapts to the stresses and strains that are inevitably placed upon it, and your mind too for that matter, so take your time but don’t stop.
  3. Be consistent: consistency is the true key to success in training for any sport or just to be in shape in order to look good to attract a mate, or to like how you look in the mirror.
  4. Don’t take yourself too seriously: I saw a great bumper sticker the other day, which said “Am I too self-absorbed, or is it all about me?” I’m still laughing about that one, but it contains sage advice, to not take yourself too seriously, even when you are a competitive athlete taking your sport extremely seriously, as you should. This will allow you to lighten up, loosen up your body a little, and thus perform more effectively.
  5. Stone hawks protect a property from being covered in guano through the power of form and fear. Photo by author visiting Torre Vieja.

    Stone hawks protect a property from being covered in guano through the power of form and fear. Photo by author visiting Torre Vieja.

    Don’t give in to fear: even though fear is designed to protect you from damage or death, inappropriate fear can be crippling, coming in many forms, starting with the little voice that says, “I can’t do THAT, I’m too old,” so you don’t. Respect your fears, but don’t let them prevent you from living your life to the full. Life without risk is no life at all, in my opinion.

  6. Exploit all the resources available: there is an almost limitless supply of experience and valuable advice available in your local environment and/or on the Internet, including this blog, local bookstores, exercise facilities, and coaches, so exploit your environment like the early ‘salt farmers’ on the east coast of Spain, to create a healthy and rich life.
  7. Get the right gear: it is essential to work with good equipment (but don’t blame your tools!), especially when it comes to swim goggles, bike fitting, running shoes, sunscreen, and I am sure that is true of other sports, such as tennis, golf and so forth, so get the right equipment because it can make all the difference to your level of success and enjoyment of your sport.
  8. Set your goals and pursue them with determination: it is easy to be a Monday evening athlete at the gym, when it is often packed, especially the first Monday of a new year. Don’t even think like that, avoid the place on Monday evenings, which is my routine rest day, and do your workouts consistently, even when you don’t really feel like it, unless there is a good reason to take a break.
  9. Make exercise an integral part of your life: I take Bruce Lee’s advice on this issue, by walking whenever I can, taking the stairs instead of the lift (I generally limit this to the first 10 floors for logistic reasons), and make your training an exciting part of your life.
  10. Integrate body training with mind training: your body and your mind (brain) are really just one machine, working in harmony, and one way to improve their integration is to study biomechanics, for which I use the Feldenkrais Method and Continuum to great effect with respect to the sheer sense of being alive.

If anyone out there has advice for FitOldDog I’m always pleased to hear it, but try to be kind to elderly animals.

-k @FitOldDog

Today’s workouts:

Steady run on the beach, barefoot out on the sand, easy back on the road with some gentle pickups, as I get over jetlag.



  1. Good advice for us wrinklies. You’re a great example to us too. I like the bit about integrating it into your life – there are loads of ways to do that. I’m trying to write about that and would love your ideas.
    Best wishes, Rosemary

    PS – I live on 11th floor, which is very integrating, but it doesn’t integrate the shopping.

    • Hi Rosemary,

      You made me laugh on this one. I have an approach to stairs, that I learned from the books by Bruce Lee, which was to incorporate them into your life. That said, I did try walking to the 22nd floor of a hotel one time, and it took so much time that I now limit this journey on foot to the 10th floor of tall hotels, and take the elevator the rest of the way.

      I prefer to live close to the ground, as recommended in the Tao te Ching. I really think that integrating exercise into your life is the way to go, but we all vary with respect to our love of training. I can see how the groceries would be an issue, because there is a difference between safe exercise for better health and continual drudgery. Maybe I’ll write a post about this integration thing.

      Thanks for the comment and the laugh.

      -kevin aka FitOldDog

  2. Wise advice. I’m still ‘seeking level’ for the right combo that doesn’t injure me. Stretching after, carefully, for my body (I know the areas that must be worshipped!) is very important. Thanks for the motivation.

  3. Have you considered Feldenkrais, even a group class is good. -kevin

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.