How to Get Fit and Stay Fit Over 60
You Have an Exciting Road Ahead of You
Step One: Believe You Can Do It
I'm over 60. There, I've said it. I've lived in a small town almost all my life. I stopped dyeing my hair years ago. Everyone knows I'm over 60. I seem to be the only one that finds it hard to believe.
I'm not as fit as I was ten or twenty years ago. Part of that is due to the aging process, but it's just a small part. The reality is that I'm not as fit because I'm not as active. It's easy for that to become a vicious cycle. You do less, so you become less fit, so you do even less and so on.
Slowly but surely I am going to turn that around. I will be fitter. I will be more active. I will be healthier and happier.
I hope you'll join me on this journey.
Step Two: Understand Why You Want to be Fit
Take The Poll
At one time, you may have been seriously into fitness because you were a competitive athlete, needed to lose ten pounds for a big date or just wanted to look hot.
If you are over sixty, chances are you just want to live longer and live better. Maybe you are struggling with health issues. There are countless studies that show that exercise doesn't just improve our bodies, it improves our brain function.
Fitness over 60 is a tough sell. Look at the ads on television geared towards seniors. They usually involve life insurance, incontinence, pharmaceuticals, hearing aids, walkers, scooters and walk-in bathtubs.
We are much more than that!
The second problem is the age old acceptance that we have worked hard. It's time for us to relax. It's time for nature to take it's course. It will, but in the meantime we can FIGHT BACK!
Every step we take counts. Every stretch counts. Every weight we lift counts.
Let's get started.
Are you over sixty and want to get fit?
Every step counts
A year from now you may wish you had started today.— Karen Lamb
Step Three: See Your Doctor
How many times have you seen the warning "Consult your doctor before beginning this or any other exercise program"?
I've seen it dozens of times. I've never consulted my doctor. However, if you are over sixty there are three main reasons you should talk to your doctor.
1. You want to make sure you are medically fit to exercise. A heart attack is not the goal. We're striving for better health and a better quality of life.
2. You should get baseline values for things like cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Have them checked again after three months. You should see an improvement and won't that be nice!
3. Similarly if you are on medication for blood pressure and/or diabetes you may find your medication dosage may need to be lowered or even discontinued as you get fit. Any changes should only be done under a doctor's supervision.
Younger Next Year Review
There are thousands of books and programs designed to help people over forty get fit. There are fewer for people over fifty.
It's really difficult to find something geared for people over sixty. Younger Next Year claims to help you "Live strong, fit and sexy - until you're 80 and beyond".
The book is co-written by Chris Cowley, a seventy-something athlete, and Dr. Henry S. Lodge. Cowley provides the personal touch with great anecdotes about his fitness journey. Dr. Lodge provides the science behind exercise and aging.
The book is fun to read and loaded with valuable information. There's also a Younger Next Year for women.
I got a lot out of this book. This was the biggest lesson... When you go from needing a cane, to needing a walker to needing a wheelchair you lose more and more freedom and independence.
For a large percentage of the population it does NOT have to happen. It's just a matter of taking that first step and then another.
Watch the Video ..Simple and Inspiring
Step #4: Get Started
I can't tell you what your first move should be. Perhaps you get winded just walking around the block. Perhaps you haven't been on a bike for twenty years but you'd like to try it again.
Maybe you're interested in Yoga, but you don't know where to start.
The key to your first move is the word MOVE.
If you have led a very sedentary lifestyle for some time, I promise it won't always be easy.
I also promise that as your activity level increases, you will feel better. You will look better. Most people can be as fit as they were when they were forty. It starts with that first move.
Step #5: Make a Plan. Keep a Log.
Research shows that people who write down and verbalize their fitness goals have a greater chance of successfully achieving them.
There are plenty of free online programs let let you track your fitness. I prefer old fashioned pen and paper.
I want to wake up in the morning and see my fitness log on the nightstand, reminding me that I have work to do.
I want to be able to go back and see how much I weighed two months ago or three months ago. I want to how much further I can go and how much faster I can go.
I want to see how much more weight and can lift and how much more flexible I've become.
A fitness log can be a valuable ally on your journey.
Your Fitness Log
Step #6: Stay Motivated
1. Make a plan. Be realistic. It took a long time to get out of shape. That's not going to change overnight. The goal is to get gradually fitter, not to run a marathon three weeks from now. If you push yourself too hard your mind and your body will balk. You simply won't do it.
2. Enlist a fitness buddy. Every day I see two women in their seventies walking a five K trail near my house. I'm sure that there are many times than one or both of them would rather stay home. They go because they have made a commitment to themselves and to each other.
3. Join a group or take a fitness class. Being social is a key part of staying young. See what's available in your area. If you feel a little awkward around young super-fit people, ask about beginner programs that may be more suitable to your fitness level.
4. Don't say "I'm too old". My son goes to the gym on a regular basis. He says there is a man in his seventies who goes and works out every day. My son thinks this man is an inspiration.
I Didn't Know My Feet Looked do Funny. At Least I Can Still See Them.
My Fitness Journey
I have blood work scheduled and a doctor's appointment two weeks from now. I've already begun a very simple program of walking at least thirty minutes a day.
Here's my starting point: Weight 145 pounds. (more than when I was pregnant)
Running without getting winded 2 1/2 minutes.
After one month my goal is is weigh 137 pounds and be able to run for 3 1/2 minutes without getting winded.
I plan to come back every month, update my progress and set goals for the new month.
I hope you'll join me.