Retire Fit, Fit and Fit: Interview with Author Howard Pell

One of the things that I loved about your book is that it’s a guide book, it’s handy and full of stories and not so dry advice but also it has something practical that people can use. So tell me about your thinking process when you started working on that book?

Ok, my background is I’m an educator, I’ve been teaching people for more than 20 years. I was teaching at the university as well as in a software company. So I’ve always had that the idea that you don’t tell people, you show people and then they do it. I make them do it and when they do it that’s when they’re really going to learn something. And whenever I design my course materials as a teacher and an educator, my work always include something to have them do. So I would talk to them about whatever the software was that we were talking about, show them what it was and then I actually have them write some software or make some code, something that they actually can do. So when the opportunity came with the book, I said I need to include something that people interact with the book, to write and see it in their handwriting.

So I encourage people to make photocopies of the charts and the tables and then fill them out. This is how you learn and it drives the learning rather than you just reading, like you said, some dry material that says you should do this, and you should do that, they are now given the opportunity to do it. I think this helps people. The reader doesn’t have to fill out the tables but it’s there if they just take that extra little step. And what they write then they can use it as a reference later on. Use it as a reference when you’re organizing your life with your financial fitness and the things for your physical fitness talk with your if you have a physical coach and your emotional fitness.

Emotional fitness is important and I really want to focus on. As we mentioned before there are no enough references on maintaining emotional fitness and this is something that you touched in the book.

Yes. For me, I think it was probably the most important part of the three fitnesses. When you retire it’s a huge change in your life and a lot of people think I will just go and sit back and relax because I don’t have to worry about anything anymore. And they as we’ve talked about already they think I will plant the garden or I will fix a car or whatever it might be. But very quickly that euphoria wears off and if you don’t have a plan in place for what you’re going to do with your brain… with your mind… with the emotional side of things, then you’re going to stagnate very quickly. I’ve talked with many people who have said the same thing: they were bored, they didn’t know what to do, all their friends were at work and they were sitting at home watching TV, and they hated it because they weren’t emotionally prepared for the retirement. There’s really two aspects to it. One is the friends who will you hang out with…  who will you do stuff with and the other of course is as we started this interview who are you? Is not what are you anymore, it is who you are?

So, if I used to be a doctor or a lawyer or a bus driver and now I’m no longer a bus driver. So I’ve lost that sort of identity especially if I took a lot of pride in driving my bus, and  I had a perfect driving record for 25 years and something to be truly proud of, then now I’m retired. So I need to find something that I can be proud of. I will always have the pride of my career but, now I need something new. For me, now I can say I’m very proud of this book, I’m very proud of some videos that I’ve created, I’m very proud of my garden, I’m proud of my golf score or whatever it might be.

When reading this book I didn’t feel that it’s gender specific, I felt that anyone can read it and can learn from it, at the end we are all humans and we have the same components, we have our bodies, our souls, our hearts and our brains. So when you were writing the book did you think of this or it just came organically naturally?

I think the two things; one is I really tried hard to make this kind of a conversation between myself and the reader, I wanted to make it an easy-to-read book that people would just read it and it would just flow and that the technical aspect of these fitnesses didn’t get in the way. So, my goal w to make an easy book to read. But also I wanted to like you said, to make it for men and women. There are many single women that I know who would use this book and who have actually helped me with the book either by reading it and making comments or giving me their experiences. So I try to keep all these people in mind as I was writing it. And many people don’t know what it is like to write a book I certainly didn’t and it’s very hard and it’s very time consuming because you’re writing it over and over and over again and I don’t even want to think about how many time.

Howard Pell: I wanted to write a book that is easy-to-read
Howard Pell: I wanted to write a book that is easy-to-read
Can you give us a glimpse of the new book?

It’s really is a sequel to this one where my wife and I were travelling last year. We always meet people while we are travelling and for whatever reason we just seem to meet people who had injured themselves while they were travelling; whether they had slipped on some marble floor in the cathedral or they tripped over something on a cobblestone street or something like that. And it got me thinking that would there be something that we could have done to prevent these accidents? Because you know if you hurt your knees and if you fall and you break your hip at a young age you can recover and you probably wouldn’t even break your hip because your bones are strong. But your body is less resilient as we get older, our bones are weaker and we know all about bone density loss and things like that. So I thought are there some exercise perhaps that we could do to strengthen our bodies to prevent injuries. I started looking and I searched and I found there was lots of it, there were lots and lots of materials that say yes you should exercise as you get older but there was nothing that said if you want to work in your garden, what kind of exercise should you do to work in your garden?

So, take for example gardening where you’re doing a lot of lifting. In the book, we are giving you exercises to strengthen your arms … maybe bicep curls and that sort of exercises that we call the farmer’s, where you carry something and you walk up and down which is what you do in your garden. Great exercises if you want to be a gardener, not such great exercises if you want to play golf or tennis or what about camping or hiking or cycling? Completely different muscle groups, completely different exercises. So in this book, we are going to list about 25 different activities that seniors and retirees will engage in and we selected them so that if we didn’t get the one activity that you really want, there’s something pretty close and then like you said we give you a tailored series of exercise for gardening or for circling or for hiking or for just traveling around, walking on cobblestones and uneven sidewalks and things like that.

Originally posted 2017-06-21 17:07:16.

Leave a Reply

Error: Access Token is not valid or has expired. Feed will not update.
This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

There's an issue with the Instagram Access Token that you are using. Please obtain a new Access Token on the plugin's Settings page.
If you continue to have an issue with your Access Token then please see this FAQ for more information.

%d bloggers like this: