Ageing well is not about looking young, it's about loving and respecting yourself, and crafting a plan to truly "age well."
When you’re in your 20s or 30s it’s a breeze looking your best. With youth you enjoy supple skin, toned muscles, glossy hair, a flat tummy and a strong body.
But what happens when you hit your 40s and 50s? Your skin loses moisture and elasticity, love handles and grey hair appear, your bones start to hurt, and then there’s the declining energy level.
And this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the reality of growing older.
Knowing all this is the motivation for these men and women in their 50s to stay as healthy as they possibly can, for as long as possible.
While they each have different lifestyles, they are similar in having a strong sense of self-worth and discipline, perseverance, and the aspiration to live their best life.
I'm Really Worth It
When people meet Kevin Poi for the first time they are usually shocked to learn that he is over 50.
“People think I’m in my early 40s,” says Poi, who is 53.
His thick hair is jet black and he says he doesn’t dye it - one of the proofs that he's definitely ageing well.
Poi is a picture of health and his friends tell him that he looks pretty much the same from a decade ago.
Born in Johor Baru, Poi is married to fashion designer Rasta Rashid and the couple has two daughters, aged 11 and 15.
Poi travels often in his job as regional sales director for Tenable Network Security, a US-based IT software company specialising in cybersecurity.
“How do I look great at this age? Honestly, I don’t consciously set out to achieve a certain look,” he says, and explains, “All my life I’ve been passionate about sports, everything from football and hockey to rugby. I also regularly work out and eat healthy. This happens to be my lifestyle and looking good is the natural byproduct!”
Poi’s enviable chiselled and toned body is the result of steely discipline, as he does 100 push-ups every morning without fail and plays several football games with friends weekly.
He explains that doing 100 push-ups helps burn fat and works your core body muscles for your waist, chest, arms and shoulders. So there’s no need to get to a gym, as it’s an all-in-one body exercise routine.
“This gives you the strength training. Cardio will help you lose fat but doesn’t give you a firm body. One needs strength and cardio workouts. With consistent commitment you will see a quick body transformation in a few weeks. A lot of people run and may lose weight but their bodies are not toned.
“Food-wise I choose non-oily food, proteins, fibre, vegetables and fat burning food, but I also indulge in nasi kandar. If you deprive yourself you will crave and suffer. So enjoy your food, then compensate by working out more.”
With alcohol Poi says he drinks only during occasions or at office parties and he doesn’t incorporate a “happy hour” habit in his life.
“Other than vitamin C and fish oil I’m not into supplements and anti-ageing stuff, as I feel that all comes from within. I’ve seen people who consume collagen but I really don’t see the difference.”
Poi says he’s lucky as his skin isn’t dry and he only uses sunblock whenever he’s out in the sun.
“I don’t believe in aesthetic procedures and I pray I won’t contemplate going in that direction! It would be like giving a car that’s rusty inside a new coat of paint on the outside.
“Realistically, none of us has a perfect job or life, so it’s about making the best of it and being positive. We need to love what we do or have, and learn to manage stress.
“Otherwise, you draw negativity towards you and you age faster. I have seen people in their 30s looking really old stressing over things they cannot control.”
Poi avoids socialising with negative people to avoid inviting negative energy into his life, and believes in spending time with young people like his two young daughters who know how to be happy and carefree; they, along with his family and friends, make him happy.
“With ageing the challenge in maintaining ourselves is lower energy levels. You don’t have to drive yourself to exhaustion. A 15 to 20 minute workout every morning will help you stay trim and young.”
When you stay optimistic, work out, and eat healthily your body will naturally be youthful, Poi sums up, adding, “I think when I look good it’s all about self-esteem and feeling good about myself.”
Turn to Page 2 to read about yoga instructor Lim Lay Gaik' s secret to staying young and lithe.
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