Laird Hamilton – 10 Tips For Living Forever
Laird Hamilton is the greatest big wave surfer of all time. He is also a pioneer in unconventional training and at 53 is still the ultimate waterman. Here are his 10 tips for living forever and getting the most out of your life.
[Editor’s Note: I recently read the following article and thought I would share with our readers. It has been modified slightly for readability, so if you want to read the full article, you can see it on the official LairdHamilton.com website. Thanks and enjoy]
Perpetual youth is a whimsical notion suited to screen writers and 16th century Spanish explorers but a career requirement for Laird Hamilton.
In the ocean as many as five hours most days, the inventor of tow-in big-wave surfing, modern-day stand-up paddleboarding and hydrofoil surfing, Laird Hamilton uses a unique diet and training regimen to maintain a chiseled fitness that astonishingly belies his 53 years.
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Here, Laird Hamilton, the father of three explains why he hasn’t had a drop of alcohol in a decade, heartily devours fat, hangs upside-down with regularity, pals around with an 83-year-old for inspiration — and keeps searching for the Next Big Thing.
LAIRD HAMILTON’S THE 10-POINT PLAN TO LIVE FOREVER
Tip #1: Forget age. Just keep driving the car
Laird Hamilton takes better care of himself today, not as an accommodation to age, but to maintain continual high levels of performance and just to feel good.
Laird has a friend, Don Wildman, who’s 83 years old — and the guy’s an absolute stud who works out with weights, mountain bikes, paddles, and surfs every day. Don’s a living example of what it’s like when you just keep driving the car.
To Laird Hamilton, what happens is that we decide we’re old and we just stop, and everything stops working. There’s so much stigma and weirdness around being older.
“Don’t worry about age; get over it and keep moving. Don’t wait until you have a health scare or collapse. Get off your [butt] and feel better now.”
Tip #2: Take care of everyday priorities
Laird Hamilton believes that you need to take care of your everyday stuff first— your sheets and towels, the food you put in your body — these should be your priorities. Not a fancy car or fancy clothes or fancy watches.
Tip 5: Golf-ball your bare feet
Laird Hamilton grew up barefoot in Hawaii and didn’t give a thought to walking on gravel, but noticed some people who’d been in shoes their whole life couldn’t even cross the driveway. According to Laird, the feet are loaded with nerve endings and are the key to balance — and he is in the balance business.
Laird believes the Earth is charged with an electrical frequency that matches the bodies nervous system and immune system. Because of this, he believes bare feet allow us to absorb that energy and that it is a critical part of our wellness.
Having them trapped in a boot, toes squeezed together, affects your whole system. To restore dexterity and balance after he’s been in shoes too long, he’ll warm up a couple days a week by standing with one foot on a golf ball. He recommends everyone do this and roll it around, poke it, and putting weight into tender spots.
He says it’s amazing how your system will be stimulated through working your feet.
Tip 6: Watch your back
Laird has had many back issues and injuries over the years. “When your back goes out, you’re out of commission,” he says.
Laird believes that you should give your back relief with stretching and inversion, and strengthen it with core work. Laird uses stand-up paddle boarding as a tool to build his core and to relieve tension in his back.
Laird read somewhere, “If you did 20 minutes of headstands a day, you probably wouldn’t age.” He says that gravity is always pulling us down, and inversion fights it.
Laird uses inversion to decompress the spine regularly, but does it on a teeter board or on an upside-down hammock, not gravity boots, which don’t allow your legs to relax and decompress.
Since your power comes out of your core, which supports the back, you have to fix tight psoases and weak abdominals. Laird favorite core exercises are planks and rotational exercises with medicine balls and kettlebells on a Swiss ball.
He says that any natural pick-lift-twist-drop movement pattern, like picking something off the ground and putting it on a shelf, is the best way to build core stability. Though, he says the best exercise of all is stand-up paddleboarding. He says it flexes the back and the stabilizers — and helped cure his back issues.
Tip 7: Do the water workout from hell
To Laird Hamilton, swimming laps in a pool is like punishment — being in a cage. Out of his disdain for lap swimming, he developed what in his opinion is the greatest exercise routine you can possibly do: a bouncing, no-impact, high-intensity strength and cardio workout that is a cross between swimming and weightlifting.
Holding small waterproof dumbbells in your hands, jump into a fairly deep 10 to 12 foot-deep pool and sink to the bottom. Then jump up as hard as you can to pierce the surface and gulp some air. As the weights pull you back, blow it out.
Get in a rhythm; exhale as you fall, inhale [after] you blast up. The exercise blasts your legs, which consume five times the oxygen as your arms. It‘ll make you a better, stronger swimmer without having to swim laps.
Tip 8: Be innovative in all aspects of life
Coming up with new ideas keeps Laird Hamilton young and excited. [Hamilton and Wildman invented the GolfBoard, a kind of skateboard for golfers that won the PGA’s New Product of the Year award in 2014. His wife, Gabby Reece and Human performance expert Brian Mackenzie launched their new fitness lifestyle brand XPT.
He also has lines of stand-up paddleboards, superfoods, and clothing and fitness wear.] According to Laird, be creative and travel. He thinks traveling to unique places gives you an opportunity to be active.
Tip 9: Get role models
It’s monkey see, monkey do. It’s hard to be the monkey that doesn’t see. We all need an example, a road map, to tell us what’s possible, a Jack LaLanne. Laird says that he isn’t going to fret that he’s old and washed-up when he’s mountain biking and paddling alongside Don Wildman, who’s 83!
Don is Laird’s role model and lives, wears and eats a youthful lifestyle. And, by the way, who does Wildman use as his role model, since all his friends are dead? Laird Hamilton! So get younger buddies too!
When your friends get older and says, “I want to go play some bridge” you say, “I don’t think so — I want to go jump off the bridge.”
Tip 10: Make it fun
Laird Hamilton is a firm believer that having as much fun as humanly possible is one of the keys to staying young, so find fun, physical activities you love. He says he often forgets about the time when he’s out there on a [stand-up paddleboard] because it’s fun. Activities are better than the gym because you’re not looking at the clock.
Laird believes you’ll do more reps in nature than you’ll ever do in the gym and go for hours and hours. Plus, being outside causes you to be thinking healthy thoughts — not about how old you are.
If you would like to learn more about Laird Hamilton, we highly recommend you check out his book, Force of Nature (below). You can also learn more about him and his training philosophies at XPTLife.com and on LairdHamilton.com
Get Laird’s Book Here:
Force of Nature: Mind, Body, Soul, And, of Course, Surfing
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