Over the last several years, I’ve had the opportunity to talk with hundreds of baby boomer women about their happiness, health and financial security.
Through these conversations, I have come to realize that the single best thing you can do to have an amazing life after 60 is exercise regularly.
We all know the truth. We’ve heard it hundreds of times: some form of daily or almost daily exercise after 60 will keep both your body and your mind happy.
I used to detest lifting weights. I thought it was boring, pointless, and, well, hard. I’d much rather run or do yoga or go surfing. Then, last year, my son Chris, a fitness expert and record-holding powerlifter, asked me if I’d like to compete in a local deadlift competition.
I went on my first diet when I was 14. I had been a gymnast and a diver when I was younger, and as I slipped into the more sedentary life of a teenager – and my body entered puberty – I started worrying that I weighed too much.
I’ve always had a sneaking suspicion that some people were more “cut out” for exercise than others. At school there were those who loved Physical Education lessons and those who dreaded them.
What happens to our bodies, emotions and memory in our 50s and 60s? They take us by surprise.
It’s easy to think of your body as being completely separate from your brain. After all, your emotions and thoughts feel very different than the sensations in your body.
The reality is that your body and brain are intimately connected – and this has serious implications for dealing with stress and anxiety. This is one of the many reasons that exercise over 60 is so important.
A few days ago, while I was working my way through my usual workout routine at the gym, I noticed a woman in her mid-60s going through her 60-minute orientation.
Last year, at age 61, I held a plank for 7 minutes. Now, setting personal records for holding planks may not be a priority for most women in their 60s, but I like a good challenge!