Welcome to heydayDo.com

heydaydo.com author Greg Simon

Hi I’m Greg Simon. 

Fitness training & nutrition researching since 1982. Surfer. Organic food & wine grower. Congenital heart disease survivor (so far).

heydayDo.com is my Fitness After 50 blog that’s about encouraging an active lifestyle as we age as best we can, and I’m now over 60.

“Look at him go!” (Or try to, haha).

 

I share the fitness and health research I’ve found on the benefits that exercise and good nutrition can give us.

When I get curious about something, I’ll dig into whatever sports science & medical facts there are on the topic to learn what’s real & what’s just marketing hype.

I also write about my experiences product testing and evaluating home gym equipment & fitness supplements.

————–

I’ve had multiple open heart surgeries and lots of related hospitalizations & procedures since I was born. 

Every day of our lives has its own set of challenges, doesn’t it?  

🙂

I’m certain the only earthly reason I’m still here is due to my decades-long commitment & passion (is that love?) for fitness & healthy nutrition, and here on heydayDo I share a little of that good energy & enthusiasm.  

heydayDo author Greg Simon at 60 (Jan 2021) original
The 62 year-old version of me (2021)

What "Fitness After 50" is like for me...

My body’s not in excellent athletic condition by any means, but I figure I’m in pretty good shape all things considered.

Besides my heart problem I also have a herniated disc injury in my lower spine. 

The sciatica nerve pain that comes from that issue is something I need to deal with a couple of times a year, usually whenever I go overboard with physical labor on my property.

So I try to stay as fit as I can given those cards I’ve been dealt.
 

STRENGTH TRAINING BY LIFTING WEIGHTS

The main form of structured exercise I do is weightlifting. I’ve been regularly doing that for 40 years or so, except when heart problems shut me down.

My strength training workouts are a lot shorter & a LOT less intense than they were a couple of decades ago as you might imagine.

I vary my workout schedule throughout the year, and am usually weightlifting 3, 4, or 5 days a week depending on the daily training volume (sets & reps) I’m doing.

Every year I create a handful of weight training routines. I’ll stick with each one for 6-8 weeks at a time, slowly increasing the intensity** of the workout over the course of the cycle. 

(** – To me, intensity in this case refers to either my training volume or the amount of weight I’m lifting for a particular exercise.)

Then I’ll chill out on the lifting for several days before firing it back up again.

THE IMPORTANCE OF RECOVERY

 I usually take a week off in between those training blocks, sometimes a little longer if I’m feeling run down or have a muscle or joint tweak somewhere.

I’m a huge believer in recovering sufficiently between my daily workouts & recovering almost completely between my two-month-long weightlifting cycles…so a week off is a real good idea for me at my age.

I also stop all working out — both lifting & cardio — for the whole month of December. 

This is so I can:

* REALLY RECOVER from any nagging joint or muscle discomforts that have accumulated over the course of the year;

* RECHARGE both my mental & physical engines so that I’ll feel rested & rejuvenated for the new year;

* REWARD myself to freely enjoy eating all** the things I love that I avoid during the rest of the year.

all** – Well, all the things my wonky heart lets me  😉

NOT A LOT OF STRUCTURED CARDIO WORKOUTS

Regarding cardio: I don’t do it year-round, I just work it in occasionally throughout the year.

When I put cardio into my training program I go with low impact cardio, and I do it either on my hydraulic mini-stepper or in our swim spa with a tether.

I don’t want to spend a lot of time working out, so I usually go for brief HIIT-type workouts.

heydaydo author Greg Simon doing low-impact HIIT

Low-impact HIIT: Me on my Xiser mini-stepper…

heydaydo author Greg Simon doing HIIT sprints in a swim spa

…or doing HIIT sprints in the water.

My 40-year Diet & Nutrition Research Journey

1982 — the year I began weightlifting — was also the year that I started learning about (& paying attention to) the nutrition qualities of the foods & drinks I was swallowing every day.

The inspiration to start lifting weights out of the blue was from the same source that strongly advised me to eat more protein & high-quality calories, and cut way back on all the junk I ate & drank every day.

The source of that life-changing spark was a used paperback book, a simple gift from a friend.

Decades later it’s still with me, given its positive impact on my life. Here ’tis:

My Education of a Bodybuilder book - 5x5 workout - heydayDo image

It remains my favorite of all the strength training books I’ve read, & I have read dozens.

I was 22, and it was the first time I learned anything about the important connection between diet & exercise, nutrition & strength, protein & muscles, etc.

I loved it. I put that knowledgeable advice to use & it inspired me to change my body & mind for the rest of my life.

 

WHAT’S IN OUR FOOD?

While reading that I felt moved to go & learn as much as I could about the nutrition content in all the foods we ate, mainly to give me & my body the best chance to live out a healthy long life.

Now remember this was many years before the internet, & way before any usable online search engine existed.

I was a working-class musician, so my options were the local public library & nearby bookstores.

Shortly after finishing Arnold’s book I found this one, which became my go-to resource, my nutrition bible:

Nutrition Almanac 1979 edition - heydayDo author Greg Simon

In a world where quality nutrition information was hard to come by, this book helped me become healthy & strong.

14 years later in 1996, the National Library of Medicine went online with their PubMed online database, which I’ve heavily relied on for factual info since.

That PubMed database is where much of the sports science, nutritional, & medical reference material I share with you here on heydayDo comes from.

My Fitness After 50 Diet These Days

A NUTRITION-AWARE APPROACH TO EATING & DRINKING

I think I stick to a pretty healthy** diet all year long, loosening up some from the Thanksgiving holiday to New Year’s. 

pretty healthy** – My wife the nurse & clinical research expert uses the word “strict” to describe my diet approach to other people…for some reason.

😉 

I don’t keep written track of my calories & macronutrients. But I used to, and I did it for a long time.

So that means it’s now easy for me to have a pretty good idea — every day — of how much I’m eating & drinking in terms of my:

  • calories
  • protein
  • carbs
  • fat
  • sugar
  • sodium
  • fiber
  • cholesterol

I have daily target ranges for all of those nutrient categories I just mentioned, & I’m pretty sure I hit my numbers just about all the time January through November.

I think this is a very useful skill to have, because it allows me to do what I want to with my weight & body composition whenever I feel like it:

  • add muscle weight by increasing the right type of calories;
  • lose weight & lower body fat percentage by decreasing the right kind of calories;
  • or easily stay on cruise control to just maintain my body’s current status quo.

Below are a few of the ‘non-workout’ ways I like to spend my physically active time. 

Greg at San O again

I surf...

…every chance I get.

I’ve gone surfing somewhere between 4,000 & 5,000 times in my life, and I’ve probably ridden around 50,000 waves. 

I am still totally stoked to get wet, so I’m going to keep paddling out as long as I can, whenever I can.

I hike

I trek a ton of miles per year with my Rotties on the mountainside where I live.

heydayDo pic - Southeast backyard view jul2019
The Wild Wild West out my back door, circa 21st century
me & the Kidz summer2019- greg simon

I farm

I grow hundreds of pounds of organic vegetables & fruit each year, and maintain a wine vineyard – working my land by hand.

Fall Crop 2019 - started Jul2019
Seedlings that'll become the Fall crop
South vineyard Jul2019
Rows of wine grapes...

There’s no way I could accomplish any of those things without staying true to that 3-part principle of mine – good nutrition, strength training, & maintaining a physically active lifestyle.

No freebies accepted...

Oh, and by the way — I don’t get free stuff from any of the companies whose products I review here on heydayDo.

 Amazon & a few other advertisers pay me pennies (1¢ – 5¢) on the dollar out of their own deep pockets if you click on their product link & buy something.

And I use that money to keep this heydayDo website up & running…

…and feed him.

heydayDo's Rottweiler CEO sitting next to 3 vegan protein powders without artificial sweeteners - heydayDo image

Thanks for stopping by, & best of luck with your health & fitness goals!

 

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