According to the women in the Sixty and Me community, losing weight and making new friends are two of the things that we struggle with the most after 60.
I can certainly relate to this. There are days when I sit behind my desk for hours at a time, barely lifting my head for long enough to make a light snack, let alone get to the gym. Whether your weakness is the computer or the TV, I suspect that many of you feel the same.
One of the problems is that traditional exercise programs are both solitary and, let’s face it, rather dull. I know that I need to get in shape, but, the idea of lifting weights or jogging is about as appealing to me as watching paint dry. Actually, given the choice, I think I’d go with the paint!
Don’t get me wrong. I know that there are plenty of women out there that love running. In fact, I recently profiled two amazing athletes over 60 that are living proof that life after 60 can be filled with energy and health. Here on Sixty and Me, we also offer two gentle yoga programs that you can do from the comfort of your home. But, if you only have a limited amount of time, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to find activities that helped you to make new friends, while still having fun?
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to accomplish both of these goals at the same time. We just need to be willing to break out of our comfort zone and try something new.
Here are 6 ways that you can increase your chances of losing weight after 60, while making new friends in the process.
Dance combines the best elements of physical activity and calorie burning. It’s a fat burning party and everyone’s invited!
A few years ago, if you wanted to try your hand at dancing, your choices were fairly limited. You could experiment with tango or salsa, but, that was about it. What a difference a few years make! Today’s dance classes bring together traditions from all over the world. So, no matter your personal style, you’re sure to find something right for you. Let’s go through a few examples.
Belly dancing is a fun option for women over 60 because it burns calories, while strengthening your core muscles and improving your posture. It also offers an introduction to Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cultures.
If you are looking for a fun and accessible dance option that will get your heart pumping, why not consider a Masala Bhangra Workout? This style brings the vibrant dance steps of Bollywood into an easy to follow format. As someone who has always had a fascination for Indian culture, I have to admit that this is one of my personal favourites!
One final dance option that you have probably already heard of is Zumba. This style was inspired by Latin dance moves, but, has been forged into a fitness program. Speaking from my own experience, it’s almost possible to forget that you’re working out in a Zumba class because you are so focused on the music and motion around you to pay attention to anything else. It’s a blast!
If all three of these styles seem a bit adventurous for your taste, don’t worry. There are still plenty of more traditional options, like ballroom dancing. They may not burn as many calories per hour as some of their faster-paced cousins, but, they will still get your feet moving, which is the main thing!
After what feels like a lifetime of cooking for other people, it’s easy to fall into predictable patterns. When our kids were still in the house, time was always of the essence and we didn’t always have time to cook from scratch. Now that our family life is simplifying, we have the opportunity to take our cooking skills to the next level, while losing a bit of weight in the process.
One of the best ways to lose weight is to eat better, so, why not invite a few girlfriends to join you for a cooking class at your local community center or school? Don’t worry if your friends are too busy. There are plenty of other people who are interested in learning new cooking styles.
One of the easiest ways to find cooking classes in your area is to use Google to search for activities in your area. In addition to community colleges and community centers, I’ve seen specialty grocery stores offer cooking classes. I’ve even seen embassies offer classes as a part of their cultural outreach efforts.
Put on your white chef’s hat and get ready to make new friends while losing your waistline.
One of the best ways to get in the mood for exercising is to make your physical activity about more than just losing weight. So, why not invite a few friends to join you on a local charity run that supports an organization that is near and dear to your heart?
Many organizations hold events to raise awareness of and money for serious medical conditions. Joining will help you burn a few calories, while making friends and helping a worthy cause. A few of my favourite places to look for charity sports events include the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Healthy Heart Run.
Exercise is so much easier to stick to when it involves an activity that you love in the company of people whose company you enjoy.
Humans are social animals. We were meant to do things in groups. This includes exercising!
So, if standing on an elliptical machine in total silence for an hour doesn’t sound appealing, why not call up a friend and venture out into the world? There are so many social exercise options available that your biggest challenge may be deciding which one to try first!
Do you enjoy working out by yourself? Or do you prefer to exercise in the company of others? Why do you think losing weight after 60 is so difficult? Please let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to share and like this article if you enjoyed it.