Vagabonding: It’s Not For Weaklings

January 28, 2015 Updated: January 28, 2015

Original article on

Most of my life I’ve been healthy and physically fit. I’ve hiked fifty miles in one day several times. Just ten years ago I hiked from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to the South Rim in 14 hours. That’s a distance of 25 miles involving elevation changes of 11,000 feet and temperatures up to 125 degrees. But that was then. This is now.

Now I’m 66 years old. Everything hurts more than it did. Everything takes longer to stop hurting. In short, I’m slowly disintegrating. For a traveler, this is not good. I still want to walk the streets of new towns and hike the trails of new mountains. I’m not ready to buy a cane and hobble like some old man. Lately though, this is exactly what I have found myself doing.

I spent the months of December 2013 and January 2014 in Arkansas trapped by weather into a two month period of inactivity. Somehow, during that time, I injured my knee. Then, to escape the weather, I hopped a plane and flew to Ajijic, Mexico. It was an all night flight counting the layovers in Dallas and Los Angeles. By the time I arrived I had pain not only in my knee but in my entire mid-section, my core muscles.

Without good core muscles the body simply won’t stand up to any physical stress for long. I knew it was time to get off my butt and do something. Then, I found Ron Krayewski and his Super Senior Fitness training center here in Ajijic. I’ve been working out with Ron three times a week for about three weeks now. I can already tell the difference. My main goal for the month I will be working with Ron is to strengthen my core muscles but, perhaps more importantly, to get back into the habit of healthy living and exercise suitable for an old(er) Senior Vagabond.

I asked Ron what advice he would give to older folks like myself who want to travel and stay active and healthy. I think what he told me is so important I’m quoting him, with his permission, exactly:


Lifestyle Mistake #1: Lack of Sleep. To put this simply, you need to sleep more. Most adults need an average of eight hours of sleep each night, and I know you aren’t getting that much. When you don’t get adequate amounts of rest, you’re more likely to be hungry, overeat, and gain weight.

How does this work? Something like this:

If you’re tired, you won’t feel like cooking a healthy meal, and you’ll opt for fast (fattening) food instead. This very same lack of energy will also likely cause you to skip the gym. On top of that, sleep deprivation causes your metabolism to slow down, and if you’ve not heard, that is not something you want when trying to shed a few pounds.

Lifestyle Mistake #2: Too Much TV Time: Many people are in the habit of sitting in front of the TV for hours on end after a stressful day at work. Yes, you may be worn out and need a break, but sitting on the couch, zoned out, watching TV is not the way to lose inches.

If you must watch the evening news or see your favorite show, use the time to burn a few calories. Keep some hand weights next to the couch and work your biceps and triceps. Stand up and do some squats or lunges to work your legs and buttocks. Get on the floor and do some sit-ups to tone your abs or push-ups to tone your arms.

Lifestyle Mistake #3: Skipping Breakfast. Want to know a secret to successful weight loss? Eat breakfast! Try cutting calories by skipping breakfast, and you’ll be excessively hungry by mid-morning. As a result, the healthy calories you would have eaten at breakfast are replaced with calorie-filled snacks and an over-sized lunch.

Once again, fitting breakfast into your busy schedule may mean dramatic lifestyle changes. But research shows that the habit of eating a healthy breakfast is key to losing weight and keeping pounds off. Get to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual and set your alarm 10 minutes earlier to give yourself time to eat breakfast.

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Copyright © 2015 by Vagabond Journey Travel. This article was written by Gar Williams and originally published on