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.
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!
Nordic pole walking originated in Finland in the early 20th century as a summer training exercise for cross country skiers.
According to Men’s Fitness magazine, “A 200-pound guy who can deadlift 300 pounds for one rep is pretty strong.”
I wonder what they would say about a 78-year-old grandma who can deadlift 228 pounds. Maybe it’s time that they met Shirley Webb, a wonderful person who is inspiring women all over the world to get off the couch and into the gym.