Fitness Icon Laird Hamilton Shares His Secrets To Staying Fit At 55

Big wave surfer and fitness icon Laird Hamilton isn’t about to let age stop him from living life to the fullest. But he needs plenty of energy to do the things he loves like being a superfood scientist, a trainer, an author, and an entrepreneur. So, in his book, “Liferider: Heart, Body, Soul, and Life Beyond the Ocean,” he gifts us with his wisdom on how to stay fit, even at 55.

He’s A Jack Of All Trades

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As a surfer, Laird Hamilton gained fame tackling some of the world’s most challenging waves. He’s also created a line of paddleboards and metal-infused clothing that can withstand the most grueling outdoor workouts. Hamilton has also trained some major clients like music producer Rick Rubin. He even created a line of natural food products called Superfoods. But you might be familiar with his training program called XPT (Extreme Performance Training), which is designed to push your body’s ability to adapt. If his statuesque physique at 55 is any indication, the workout clearly works!

Fear And Music

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There’s a reason Hamilton is able to surf 50-foot walls when he’s in his fifties and stay fit and focused. He follows a couple of simple rules, which he mentioned in his “Liferider: Heart, Body, Soul, and Life Beyond the Ocean.” For starters, music is an essential workout tool because it winds you up and gets you going. But he recommends challenging yourself by doing something that scares you. “You can use music to wind you up and get you going, or to help sustain — I use it a lot for endurance type stuff — or even to help you drift off. Hamilton does admit there is a time and a place for tunes: “Doing something like riding giant surf, it can be a distraction,” he explained in his book. Fear isn’t something we should shy away from according to him because it plays a big role in our workouts.

Meditation And Coffee

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Hamilton doesn’t believe you have to sit in serene silence to meditate. You can focus during exercise, too. Even intense workouts work. He calls it “active meditation,” and it allows him to shut things out and help him focus on the situation at hand. But if you ever need a boost of energy, he recommends drinking coffee. Caffeine is performance enhancing, which is why he came up with a coffee creamer that offers the right balance of fat and caffeine to feed your brain and simultaneously time-release caffeine.

Working Out Is A Must

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Working out should never be optional. Exercise can be done at any age, so there’s no excuse to give it up for several weeks or months and then go back to it. Hamilton feels that you should make exercising part of your lifestyle. He loves mixing up different exercises, but he’s a major fan of headstands and burpees. He said, “I like combining a burpee with a hindu squat [in which your arms swing while lowering] and a pushup — those have been around since Genghis Khan.” Asides from traditional workout movements and sets, Hamilton believes that fear is an emotion that has incredible health benefits for the human body. “Even if it’s just mountain biking a little faster than normal, or into conditions that are a little more slippery, that moment of alertness is really important,” he explains.

Refuel With Food

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Hamilton suggests staying away from white milk, white flour, and white sugar. He also suggests looking at food as fuel and tailoring your meals to match the time and intensity of your workout. But he also believes that you can’t get all the required nutrients from dieting because food isn’t grown the way it used to be.

Breathing And Saunas

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Mastering breath control is important in every type of workout, according to Hamilton. So, he recommends you breathe through your nose and not your mouth to absorb more oxygen.  But recovery is also important. So, he doesn’t mind numbing his sore body by doing sauna sessions after his workout. “All my boys and I hit the sauna for at least 15 minutes after we train,” he wrote. The heat releases hormones that aid in recovery and it also relaxes you. So, find a gym with a sauna and stay there for about 15 minutes after training to relieve your old, weary bones.