Updated: Sep 7
Singer and songwriter Bruce Springsteen has been in the media recently, after talking about his age, diet and fitness lifestyle on Apple Music.
It probably comes as a surprise to some that Springsteen is 71 years old, probably because he continues to work in the music industry and maintains a high profile in the entertainment field. In his recent conversation with fellow musician Tim McGraw for Apple Music, Springsteen talked about how he maintains his fitness and in particular his diet.
“I don't eat too much, and I don't eat bad food, except for every once in a while when I want to have some fun for myself,” Springsteen says during the conversation with McGraw. “So, I think anybody that's trying to get in shape. Exercise is always important, of course, but diet is 90 per cent of the game."
He is right, of course. Over the years, I have had countless conversations with people about the balance of exercise to diet and whether one can compensate for a lack of the other. It is probably fair to say that most of us who regularly go to the gym would like to believe that doing so allows us to eat what we like when we like and how much we like.
Unfortunately, that is just not true. Exercise is essential, as is the principle that one of the keys to fitness is to move more and eat less (or to burn more calories than we consume, to be more precise), but the role that diet plays in a balanced fitness lifestyle cannot be underestimated.
Put simply, if we over-rely on processed, carbohydrate-heavy foods containing too much sugar and salt in our diet, exercise can only go so far, whether we want to burn fat or put on muscle. What we eat (not what we don’t eat!), how much we consume and at what times is a question of unavoidable balance for a fit and healthy body, and a clean diet, as far as possible, is vital.
Where fitness training is concerned, Springsteen says in his Apple Music conversation that he prefers to follow a more leisurely pace when it comes to physical activity. "I don't do that much right now," he continues. "I lift a little weight to stay toned, I may get on the treadmill. I walk, I don't run anymore."
It is important to note here that Springsteen remains a commercial artist even though he is in his 70s. No doubt he leads the kind of active lifestyle suited to a man in his position and at his age. The important guiding principle, however, whatever our responsibilities as we get older, is to remain active and engaged. Weight training is good, partly because it makes mental as well as physical demands on us, as does walking regularly.
As with everything, what Springsteen touches upon in his Apple Music conversation is the important need for an intelligent balance in the life we lead, whether that applies to diet, exercise or both. After all, when not working towards a specific objective, there is no need to train like an athlete.