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Staying young

Fitness secrets of a silver surfer

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Laird Hamilton is still surfing 60ft waves at 57, says Greg Presto in Men’s Health. He starts each day in California with a “really hot” shower or sauna, or by jumping into an ice bath. The extreme temperatures give him “a good kick” – a cold shower isn’t bracing enough. Each morning he drinks coffee with added fat to boost his energy. He’ll stir in ghee or some of his own Laird Superfood coffee creamer, sold on Amazon. After that he won’t eat until the afternoon: “I can run or ride or swim or surf for six, eight hours and not need anything.”

Hamilton does intense underwater XPT workouts that combine weightlifting and swimming in a pool. Fans can simulate these safely at home by holding their breath for 10 seconds every minute while training on a rowing machine or spin bike. But in the end it comes down to attitude. Hamilton believes most older people give up and use their age as an excuse not to train intensely. It’s all about tolerating discomfort. “Bite down on the strap and deal with it.”

A life coach turned my world around

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In bed one morning, “I realised I hadn’t had an original thought for about two months,” says Joel Golby, 34, in The Guardian. The book I was meant to have pitched nearly three years ago was little more than a collection of sticky notes. So I enlisted Tomas Svitorka, a 38-year-old life coach, for a £3,000 “eight-week blitz” to “shake me by the shoulders and tell me to wake up! Wake up, idiot!”

It worked. Tomas identified how I was treading water, socially and career-wise, in what he calls “the zone of tolerable discomfort”. So he helped me to set goals – run 100km in a month, pitch my second book – and became “the to-do list on my shoulder”. I spent two hours, during the worst hangover of my life, tidying my office so I could prove to Tomas that I did it, and ran 12km “just to get a thumbs-up from the guy on WhatsApp”. It’s amazing what a bit of discipline and accountability can do. Perhaps the only downside is that everyone I go to the pub with “is completely tired of hearing about how much I love life coaching”.

Dear diary, you’re good for me

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Keeping a diary is good for your mental health, says Valeriya Safronova in The New York Times. It can ease symptoms of anxiety and depression, and boost emotional resilience. When people write they “increase emotional regulation, clarify life goals, find meaning and give voice to feelings”, says Dr Vaile Wright of the American Psychological Association. Looking back through old diary entries can remind writers of a time they “struggled but persevered”. It’s also a way of getting offline.