Maybe someday man will be able to figure out where the fountain of youth lies, but until then we are left to seek out elixirs on our own. Luckily, the clichés that we have been told about for years regarding exercise and eating the right foods are actually true, and can help in maintaining our vigor no matter our age.

Agnes (left) and Stephen (right) stay young and healthy through their passions

Agnes (left) and Stephen (right) stay young and healthy through their passions.

Agnes Javier, at 61, delights in the comfort a splash in the water provides. Stephen Kamphuis, age 54, savors the thrill of victory in martial arts competitions. They offer us some tips and let us know that no matter what skill set you might have, there’s always something you can do to stay forever young.

Seek your thrill

It is easier to stick with a routine if you have a passion for it. Javier professes her love of water sports, which she has been into since she was young. “I remember I would even skip through other activities just to be able to swim,” she recalls fondly. These days, she is enrolled in a swim class to improve her form even more. “I find that swimming offers the best of both worlds for me: it is both my passion and therapy.”

Kamphuis feels the same way about martial arts, having started in judo at age 14, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at age 38. “It almost happened by accident,” he says of his love for martial arts (particularly Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu). “I just enjoyed training and I love having like-minded people to train with.”

Seek people who share your thrill

Boredom can easily set in, especially at an age when so many things attract your attention. It would help immensely to find like-minded individuals to share your thrill with.

Javier has her co-workers with her in her swim class. “It makes it more enjoyable, and it helps you see other sides of them you might not see when at work,” she shares. “I also enjoy traveling with friends and going diving with them.”

Kamphuis, on the other hand, initially started out on his own by starting a gym (KMA Fitness and Martial Arts in Makati) and eventually attracted a sizable amount of students. “I started out with just one student in 2007,” he recalls. Today, his gym has grown to include a number of affiliates all over the country. As such, he feels a strong sense of responsibility to continue with his craft.

You are what you eat

We all want to go back to the time when eating pork rinds would have little-to-no-effect on our body. Alas, at a certain age we can’t help but think we’ve had our fill of fun. “I watch what I eat nowadays,” admits Javier. Now, it would be better to think of food as fuel for our activities.

Kamphuis, who still competes at a high level, says that when it comes to diet, his sport offers him no other choice. “Jiu-jitsu is a performance-based art,” he says. “Thus, you become aware of the role your health plays in your ability to perform.”

Define your goals

Aside from water sports being her true passion, Javier also took swimming lessons even at the age of 61 because it relaxes her. “A great swimming session helps release stress, while going on beach trips allow me to bond with my friends,” she shares.

Meanwhile, Kamphuis continues to be involved in martial arts because he also wants to see his students improve their skills. “I want to make sure that my students enjoy the sport and continue to train,” he says.

Whether it’s the simple enjoyment of an activity or embracing a higher purpose in the pursuit of your passion, setting personal goals will help you push on in your health and wellness journey.

Thumbnail image used under Creative Commons from Jill Wellington

Mike Diez Mike Diez

Mike Diez

Mike has been pretty busy and prolific: a writer and editor-in-chief in publishing, a producer of radio shows, a deejay, and most of all, a hands-on dad. Follow him on Twitter via @mzeid.