David E. Frost is a certified Master Fitness Trainer, a rowing coach, a champion competitor, and award-winning adjunct professor. After decorated careers in the US Navy and business world, he founded Well Past Forty LLC to promote wellness and longevity. He specializes in nutrition, endurance, and strength training; adapting sessions for people dealing with cancer, MS, Parkinson’s, Cerebral Palsy, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. His writings about 21st century knowledge workers became a chapter in: Advances in the Technology of Managing People: Contemporary Issues in Business and Education.
Frank Samson: Welcome to Boomers Today. I’m your host, Frank Samson, of course, each week we bring you important and useful information on issues facing baby boomers, their parents, and other loved ones. And I’m pretty excited for today’s show. We have another wonderful guest with us today, a fellow Californian here. So I’m pretty excited about that. David Frost, who is a Certified Master Fitness Trainer, a rowing coach, a champion competitor, and award winning adjunct professor. After decorated careers in the US Navy and the business world, he founded Well Past Forty LLC to promote wellness and longevity. He specializes in nutrition, endurance and strength training, adapting sessions for people dealing with cancer, MS, Parkinson’s, cerebral palsy, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
His writings about 21st century knowledge workers became a chapter in Advances in the Technology of Managing People: Contemporary Issues in Business and Education. David, welcome to Boomers Today. Thank you for joining us.
David Frost: Thank you so much, Frank. It’s a wonderful day to be alive.
Frank: Absolutely right. So you’ve got a wonderful background. I want to quickly thank you for your service in our Navy. I’d love to hear a little bit more about the business that you were involved prior to setting up Well Past Forty.
David: Thank you. Part of the reason America is what it is, is because of our current servicemen and women and also those who have served in the past. So I was honored to do it, until Bill Clinton signed my discharge papers and I moved into industry. In industry, I did leverage what I learned, my time in the Navy was spent chasing submarines back when the Russians were coming. If some of you remember Red Storm Rising, the Clancy novel, well, that was me. But maybe the Russians, hopefully won’t come, but that was my professional portfolio.
And when I left the Navy, I realized that my portfolio, could be leveraged to help build the next generation systems to make our military work smarter and hopefully have better tools at their disposal. I was involved in undersea warfare for many years. As I got more senior, I moved into marketing and business development. I worked for companies as small as one person up to a large corporation named Lockheed Martin Corporation.
Frank: That’s great. That’s wonderful. Great story. So there’s a term you use called Stamininety. Stamininety. And I’d love you to explain. I know you explained a little bit to me, but to our listeners, tell us a little bit what Stamininety means.
David: Sure. And thank you. It is a compound word and it’s not in your Funk & Wagnalls yet, however that compound word can be pretty powerful if you reflect on it. Stamininety means that you are investing in the bedrock, stamina, your endurance, etc.So that’s part A.
Part B is that our idea of thriving and striving into our 10th decade is living better as you live longer. And there is some simple, yet hard things that are embodied several levels of detail beneath the compound word Stamininety. But again, it’s a bedrock term with a time span. For those of us that are Medicare age, we’re looking at minimum, hopefully, good Lord willing, 25 more years in our encore act. And we want to be able to continue our activities of daily life. So living longer and living better is what we meant to be with the new word Stamininety. It’s not registered yet, but it is a website and it does have a ring, we think. And if it catches people’s attention, that’s okay. We want people to join the movement and get excited about forming habits to thrive and strive into your 10th decade.
Frank: So how is Well Past Forty working with people? I mean, are you more consulting than one-on-one? Is it an educational website? Are you doing training? How does that all work?
David: Thanks. The answer is yes. All of the above at this point. Well Past Forty LLC registered as of two days ago with the government. That started off, what I love best is the one-on-one, or one-on-few training, Frank, I really learn from every client with which I’m associated and hopefully I impart a few hacks, lessons, tricks to help those folks on their journeys toward blowing out 90 plus candles. So I really love the one-on-one and one-on-few. Yet, I am a rowing instructor for a wonderful outfit called The Row House. It is a chance to work with more people and share the passion I have for a zany sport, where you sit down and go backwards on the water. Right now we’re not allowed to go on the water with more than one person in a single scull.
So long-winded, Frank, but yes, all of the above, one-on-one, one-on-few, group fitness and organizational fitness as well. As a rowing coach, I do get to work when the underserved youth, I get to work with wounded warriors. But corporate America in this new age of knowledge workers, telecommuting, and so on. We need the mind body connection, and I think that I have something to offer some organizations to help their staffs work better as knowledge workers.
Frank: That’s great. That’s wonderful. So you use the term motion as medicine. You’re not suggesting that people start working out and throw away their prescription drugs, are you?
David: I’m not an MD, nor a registered dietician, but I, in the intro to a book called KaBoomer, offer a knock-knock just for provocation, if you will. And the knock-knock goes, “What’s the difference between a Boomer and a KaBoomer?” And the answer is a boomer might take two pills at a time, and a KaBoomer strives to take two steps at a time. I think there’s a statistic of four to five prescription drugs is an average. And that’s all good if it’s helping people live longer. But I ask folks to think about, “Can I live better by things that I can control on my own?”
Frank: It certainly makes a lot of sense for sure. I mean, I think that sometimes people have those aches and pains and first the thing that comes to their mind is, “What can I take?”
David: And again, not to overgeneralize, if I may give a case, I mentioned that I blew out my back. For a period of time, I was on a NSAID to cope with my injury. But I weaned myself off of NSAID because I found with stretching and breathing, I didn’t need to take something that might have unintended consequences. Now, there are some people that absolutely cannot get by without NSAIDs or other pain solutions.
But I ask people to take a deep breath and is there something that I can do naturally? What we were, our four F’s, fight, flight, feed and frolic, didn’t say meds, didn’t say polypharmacy. So gaze at the stars, breathe, and maybe there’s a drug or two that you don’t need to take. Because we know they’re costly. And I am not saying anything other than talk to your doctor, but just ask yourself, “What would it be if I could wean myself off something?” In this case, it was a nonprescription drug, Frank, for me, it was a generic Aleve for a swelling in my lower back.
Yet, I found it was stretching, breathing, and motion that we have our own painkiller system. Pain is feedback. And it’s powerful feedback if it doesn’t become chronic. So I honor pain or discomfort as a signal, something isn’t right. It could be an imbalance. It could be a condition. And certainly we know the guys, we know men probably more than women, not as a stereotype or prejudice, men don’t like to go to doctors. But if something doesn’t feel right, take a deep breath, but never hesitate to see a professional. Gosh, it could save your life. But we can control a lot.
I mean, Mr. Paleo, thousands of years ago, didn’t have an MD. Might’ve had a shaman somewhere along the way. But didn’t have a MD to prescribe Aleve because his back was sore after pumping a Mastodon for dinner.
Frank: So you brought up something that leads me to my next question. We’re talking obviously more the boomer age group, but we can certainly talk about other groups as well. But somebody is going to start saying, “Hey, I got to start, forget about calling it a workout. Just this is going to be part of my life now.” Should the emphasis be on strength? Should the emphasis be on cardio? Should it just be stretching? All of the above? Does it depend on the person? What are your thoughts there?
David: Oh gosh, that’s a platinum question. And certainly I will offer you my thoughts, but I would offer and I do quote Bill Bowerman, before Phil Knight founded Nike, a guy named Bill Bowerman said, “If you can move, you’re an athlete.” So yes, I believe that every athlete is different and no matter what our challenges, physically, medically, I’m honored to work with amputees and spinal injured war veterans in the sport of rowing. The cornerstone, I believe, is resistance training, the ability to move stuff.
The capstone of my model is sleep. It’s a marvelous way to spend a quarter to one third of our lives. If we don’t have restorative sleep, our amazing brains don’t restore, flush out the byproducts of chemical computing. More sleep means more calorie burn. So the capstone of my model is sleep. The currency is clean eating. Anti-inflammatory eating to honor your brain, your body and your gut. The flexible spending is the stretching. The insurance policy is stability. And the thief is stress. So there are six pluses and one minus, this thievery, stress that can steal years and tears from your life.
But in answer to your question, stability is most important for boomers. I argue that stability is the thing that you can work on the quickest, stretching takes, stretching is also pretty quick. Stamina takes seasons, takes months to build capacity. It’s just the way we are. Strength also takes weeks and months. Yet, it’s all valuable. It’s all worthy.
We boomers think about returns on our investment. I argue that our physical investments can be as critical as the money you tucked away in your fiscal investments. Holistically, we need them all. You could be extraordinarily flexible like a Gumby, but if you have no muscles and you’ve suffered a terrible word, sarcopenia, which is loss of skeletal muscle with age, if you don’t work your muscles, that’s bad. If you don’t sleep, we all know the zombies can just wear us out. And we’re not ready for the grandkids when we can see them.
Frank: Great. Well, what I’d like to do, Dave, I mean, it was a great answer. We’ll zero in on a couple of those points. What would you recommend to Boomers who are trying to remain injury free?
David: I joke, but also I don’t joke that we folks that have learned how to keep ourselves reasonably fit and learn from our own experience, whether it’s pain management or strength training, or stamina or stretching or stability or clean eating. I say with candor, that it’s my job, when I work one-on-one or one-on-few to put myself out of business with that client. I want clients to be well past 40 and to be self-sufficient. There are some folks that are self-starters with Dr. Google, that wonderful search engine. They may be able to find a YouTube video that helps them stretch or work a certain issue, be it a tennis elbow or an imbalance because you do a sport like rowing where one side could be imbalanced over the other.
Some people are self-sufficient. All they need to do is grab a water bottle, a clean water bottle, no plastic, if you can, and a towel and move to sweat. Some people are able to do that. The one thing we worry about is form and function and wear, and we’re blessed that some boomers, I hear, I am not a Silver Sneaker participant. My healthcare provider in Medicare does not honor Silver Sneakers free access to gyms, but many boomers should check AARP or other outfits to see if they have free sessions with a professional to help them establish the right form for moves. Be it weightlifting move, or body moves, functional moves to support your activities of daily life.
Or if they’re able to, if a boomer does have the fiscal, with an F, not physical, but if you do have fiscal resources to try a trainer, it may not be a bad idea so that you learn how to stretch and workout with them so that you don’t injure yourself.
But some people are able to do it on their own. I just say, try it, have a plan. Circling back to how do you get started, have a plan and then execute the plan and then modify the plan as you get stronger, fitter, more endurance, more stable, start to challenge your system. We, humans, are competitive. We, humans, respond to stimuli and challenges and factors.
Unfortunately, a lot of factors are stressors, but a good stress is, can I beat that same person my age walking up that hill? Or whatever. So by nature, in our four F’s, we love to frolic and we love to enjoy life. And the better equipped we are with our physical 401(k), whether we do it on our own, or whether we look for the help via Silver Sneakers or a personal trainer, just try it, just try it, have a plan and try it and stay with it. Habits take time. As Dr. Rosen shared with you back in November of last year, habits, simple, yet hard things. Some people have trouble sticking with them. And sometimes a buddy, sometimes a loved one, sometimes a kid, one of your kiddos can say, “Hey, dad, you’re getting more Apple shaped than pear shaped.” And you don’t want that.
Frank: Yeah. So, Dave, I want to make sure we don’t run out of time before you have an opportunity to let people know how they could get ahold of you. How can people reach you?
David: Thanks so much. Wellpastforty.com, no hyphens or spaces, just those characters. Wellpastforty, F-O-R-T-Y, .com is the website. If you’re on Instagram, hashtag KaBoomerKoach, that’s with a K for KaBoomer and K for Koach. And Twitter, it’s @DEFPtrainer. And golly, I’m on this planet to get people to join the movement. So I hope people, if you’re interested with any question, small, medium, or large, that they would reach out, I’d be honored to tell you what I think I know and what I don’t know, but I’ll get an answer for you.
Frank: Great. So with a couple of minutes left we have, I’m going to leave you with this one question for our listeners. Sometimes the biggest challenge is keeping your mind and your body aligned. So tell us a little bit more about that. What is your recommendation on how best to do that?
David: It’s a challenge and we’ll stick with mind, body, but folks don’t forget those trillions of cells in your gut. That 27 feet from your nose and your tongue down to the sanitation department. The gut is like a second brain. It’s very involved in inflammation and things that are bad for us. When we start to think about folks, we’re even talking about mind-altering things like dementia and Alzheimer’s are related to the gut. But back to mind-body, the brain is an extraordinary chemical computer. It’s an extraordinary calorie burner both at day, but more importantly at night. If we get our seven hours of sleep at night, we’re going to burn about a quarter of our daily metabolic rate. And that’s, hey, if you want to lose a little weight, sleep is a good way to do it. So it’s again, a holistic look at take little steps, sometimes simple, sometimes hard.
I closed the book KaBoomer with a quote from Henry Ford, that great industrialist. And he said something to the effect of, “Whether you think you can or you cannot. You’re right.” And I encourage boomers to think about being right by listening to their bodies, by reaching for that brass ring and see if they’re little steps, simple, yet hard steps to live longer and live better. And if I can just share, we lost a great American this past week, several great Americans, but Congressman John Lewis passed away, he offered a quote. I’ll never forget. I have it on my wall. “Never give up, never give in, never give out.” And of course he was talking about something other than healthy aging, living long and living well, but doesn’t that kind of profound platitude make sense for what boomers are all about?
Frank: Yeah, certainly it is.
David: Stay wise, stay with it. And God bless people like John Lewis that stand up and say what’s important. So to him and his family, we miss him. But boy, as I say that, “Never give up, never give in, never give out.” It’s going to stay with me for a very long time.
Frank: Yeah. David Frost, Well Past Forty, check it out wellpastforty.com. Thank you for joining us on Boomers Today. Really appreciate it, David. And I want to thank everybody out there for joining us on Boomers Today. Just be safe out there and we’ll talk to everybody soon.