My Ikigai to Stay Healthy at the Age of 60


I told you that I had won the outstanding performance award of the Next Publishing POD Award 2022 on March 23. The award certificate has arrived.

In the last post, I shared with you how to find Ikigai to stay healthy after the age of 60, and setting certain goals such as running a marathon or going trekking can keep your motivation.

I’ll be 60 years old next month and I want to do something special to commemorate it.

Two years ago, I was thinking of cycling around Europe,

At the Age of 60 Cycling Around Europe

but now it is difficult to do it, so I have to think of something else.

I first thought of challenging Omine Okugakedo trekking, which is hiking through a 100 kilometers(62 miles) trail in the Omine mountain range in Nara Prefecture for a duration of 4 to 5 days. Omine Okugakedo was originally used as a Shugendo training ground, so it would be a perfect location to do it as an Ikigai Bio-Hacker. I was going to climb Mt. Omine, the heart of Shugendo, anyway, and it would be an even more intense experience of the Shugendo pilgrimage.

The only time I can have 5 days off is during the Golden Week, a long holiday week in Japan between April 29 to May 5. The problem is it is packed with people everywhere during that time and mountain lodges are all full. Getting to Mt. Yoshino, the starting point, is hard with heavy traffic. Plus, I have never done a 5-day-trekking or even a 2-day-trekking, so it is wiser to first try shorter trekking.

Then, I found out about the international trail running competition in Hieizan between Kyoto and Shiga on May 21. There was one program for 23 kilometers(14 miles). It sounded great. Since I have never done a full marathon or even a half marathon, it would be a great challenge for me.

However, to participate in the competition you have to be vaccinated twice, or take a PCR test. That’s troublesome. When I watched videos of the past events, many people were packed together running a narrow trail.

Well, I might as well do a solo marathon, like I did Hinoichi cycling. This way I don’t need to worry about the crowd.

Hinoichi Satoyama Cycling

I measured the distance by car, and it was just 42 kilometers, the length of the full marathon race.  Doing the Hinoichi marathon, running around Hino, could be a good fitness testing event. I can do it in one day and I don’t have to worry about the traffic jam, I can just start from home.

Having said that doing a full marathon without any preparation is tough. Like I said I had never done a full marathon or half marathon.  I have less than two months to prepare for it.

How about if I do Hinoichi Nordic walking? That would work. I go Nordic walking every morning and I am used to it. It will be a great promotion for Nordic walking, too.  After all, running is not something I am advocating, Nordic walking is.

42 kilometers(26 miles)is still a lot of walking for me, the longest walk I have ever done is 30 kilometers and that was when I was 16. Sixteen and sixty sound similar but we can never move like a teenager anymore, can’t we?

Yes, it is challenging enough for me.

Yet, not too challenging. This is the sweet spot.

You don’t want to do too much if you are aiming for longevity. It isn’t endurance testing or competition. I like the idea of doing a solo event for that reason, too. There are too many competitions out there, and it can be a new trend just to motivate your regular exercises without making it a competition. You are challenging yourself, nobody else. I want to enjoy it, too. Nordic walking around Hino will be visually aesthetic, especially during the Golden Week with all rice planting going on, and new leaves in the mountains. I would like to have some relaxing walking time to appreciate the scenery.



The Ikigai Diet and Bio-Hacking