The Francis Santa Complete Guide to Health Over 60

Francis Santa discusses staying healthy in your 60's, and how to balance a healthy lifestyle for busy professionals.

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Francis Santa has spent much of his life dedicated to pursuing fitness. One the captain of his high school football team, he has always worked hard to push himself and his body to reach new limits. Over the years, he has completed 3 half marathons and has finished each time in the top 3% for his respective age group. While he has much experience with how food and water intake, sleep, and other factors can affect your workout, there is one thing he has had to find new ways to accommodate: aging. Not only does aging take a toll on our bodies, but also comes with responsibilities that can take up our free time and our priorities. Here, Santa gives us all the details on what he has done to stay fit as he passes 60 years.

On ways to have a fulfilling workout with a good degree of intensity:

  • Use a Sauna Suit twice per week
    • A Sauna Suit is essentially a waterproof tracksuit that retains both your body heat and your perspiration as you complete your workout. A sauna suit can help you to lose weight, but it also helps to burn fat, lower blood sugar levels, and increase your aerobic fitness. However, Santa says you should consult your Doctor before trying the suit, as it may contribute toward dehydration or heat-related illness for some.
  • Daily Calisthenics Exercises
    • Calisthenics are exercises that use a person’s own body weight. They are performed with differing levels of intensity and rhythm and allow for the development and enhancement of strength, flexibility, endurance, and coordination.
  • Weight training with dumbbells 3x per week
    • Dumbbells are great for strength training, but they also help you to burn fat and improve muscle and force as well as build bone density. 
  • Use a heart monitor
    • A heart monitor not only helps you track your heartbeat, but also your energy expenditure as well as your exercise habits. A heart monitor can also be useful for monitoring progress and how much your body is improving and changing.

On ways to improve workouts outside of the gym:

  • Eat right, but enjoy life
    • Eating the right foods will always be an important factor in your workouts, but it is important not to deprive yourself. Prolonged food deprivation can lead to binge eating or other harmful eating habits which will ultimately not be helpful for your overall fitness. So, it is important to eat well but not obsess over counting calories. Santa himself boasts a Kosher diet, which helps him have plenty of energy for his workouts. However, generally eating nutritious foods and mostly avoiding junk foods is enough to make sure you have the energy to continue through your entire workout.
  • Avoid smoking, alcohol, and drugs
    • All of these things decrease the quality of your workout. Smoking leaves you out of breath faster, alcohol dehydrates you, and other drugs can have any number of other negative effects.
  • Find what motivates you
    • It can be hard to continue on your fitness journey without a concrete goal in mind. Whether it be to lose weight, build muscle, or just to maintain a healthy lifestyle, identifying and setting your goal is an obvious but often overlooked part of staying fit. Further, finding and creating new goals after achieving previous ones is crucial. As your body adjusts, the same workouts will not bring the same results. Being clear on what your desired results are will help you determine the best exercises to achieve them.

On ways to “workout” the time

  • Pick a time and stick to it
    • Finding the time to squeeze in a workout can be challenging when other responsibilities are always cropping up. This is why choosing a specific time in your schedule for your workouts is crucial. It is much harder to skip a workout that has been scheduled than one that has yet to be confirmed, which helps maintain consistency.
  • However, don’t be inflexible
    • While it is important to try and keep your workouts scheduled into your calendar for consistency, don’t feel like you’re unable to have any flexibility. Sometimes things happen that are unexpected, and the attitude that nothing is allowed to deviate from the plan will leave you feeling dejected when something inevitable comes up during your workout time. Being flexible is key to maintaining motivation through anything that may become an obstacle to your fitness journey. 
  • Turn a work out into bonding time
    • It can be difficult to schedule a workout when it takes time away that you could be spending with the people you care about. This is why exercising together with a friend or family member is a great way to make the time to do everything. Doing exercises together can help build trust, expose common interests, and can help all parties with staying motivated throughout your workout. Next time you feel guilty about spending your limited free time in the gym, try inviting someone you’ve been meaning to see to join you!
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