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9 Healthy Habits for Women Over 60

Over the years, I have discovered there are certain pieces of common sense, a.k.a., healthy habits, that apply to our weight and overall health. And whether we lose or gain weight, there are also certain undeniable facts that we must acknowledge – unless we want to bury our heads in the sand, or have discovered the secret to Eternal Youth and still have the body we had when we were 18!

It’s a fact that as we age we experience two major changes: loss of hormones and slowing metabolism.

Loss of hormones involves thickening around the waist and changes in hair (e.g., beard, moustache, and the rest). Slowing metabolism includes all the above as well as feet a size larger, tiredness, a bigger bust and dry skin. The list is endless.

In other words, there are some things we cannot change because they will happen anyway, and it becomes a question of degree. However, if you happen to have any information that will keep hormones at pre-menopause levels, and keep metabolic levels at those of an 18-year-old, please share! We all need this type of information.

Sharing Healthy Habits with Each Other

There are a few tips I would like to share, which you may find of some use, especially over the Christmas period when you may abandon or start at a gym and, for whatever reason, change your eating habits. Yes, I know; it’s Christmas and your eating habits will change.

These are nine small points that I always like to remember, especially when I start at a new gym. Here I find myself surrounded by gorgeous young things, all trying to tell me what’s wrong. Why do they assume I don’t know?

You Are Unique

If you go to a gym, or sign up for an online class, and the 21-year-old girl with the 21-year-old body tells you to do something, it doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Understand your limitations, which are there for a reason. You may not have exercised for a while so take it easy when you start. You may have arthritis which is worse some days than others.

Weight Loss Isn’t Always Good

If you’re sacrificing your bodily health to shed kilos too fast, weight loss becomes dangerous.

Weight loss doesn’t necessarily equal fat loss. Weight is a terrible way to measure health. You need to consider the muscle to fat ratio.

Throw the Scales Out the Window

The only thing they’re measuring correctly is how bad you feel. Use photos and measurements to track your progress and keep an eye on your stats. You will see real results and feel terrific about yourself.

Health Is a Lifestyle

A body transformation program can be a fantastic kick-start, but the program that gets you started isn’t necessarily the one that will keep you going. Healthy habits are not limited to 30-day restriction programs.


Proper sleep is as important as the food you eat and the exercise you do. A healthy good night’s sleep can improve your health and your results in the physical realm.

Stop Cutting Calories

Cut them to stupid levels and you will only slow your metabolism, lower your energy levels and increase your appetite! Cutting back on food volume is the sensible way to go.

Take Your Health Less Seriously

Having an anxiety attack over what to eat or a missed training session is doing you more harm than good. Chill out: you’re human!

Slow Down

Achieving your health goals will never happen quickly. There will be no instant gratification on this one and yes, you will have setbacks and plateaus but you know that even slow progress is progress.

Start Thinking in Outcomes

Having a “naughty” meal or missing a training session won’t ruin your health. Feeling like a failure for tasting the forbidden fruits of frozen yoghurt will. Guilt is bad on every level… never feel guilty, just enjoy it while you can!


Let’s Have a Conversation:

We are always interested to hear about the exercise regimes and eating habits of others so please, share with us. Especially share those handy little tips and tricks you may have for getting through the Christmas period! Please join the conversation.

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Once upon a time in a butcher’s shop, one gentleman in front of me bought 3 kg of bacon. The saleswoman put the bacon on the scales and it was a veeery large pile. At that time, I was overweight about 20 kg and I realized that my poor legs, knees, hips had to carry four times that pile of fat everywhere all day every day all year round.
When I buy kibble for my dog in a 15 kg bag, it is difficult for me to lift. I really wouldn’t like to carry that bag with me everywhere. Now, when I have cravings for excessive eating, visualisation of a pile of bacon or a large bag of dog kibble is helpful.

Susan Goodman

I have emphysema, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis. Last year I gained 20 pounds because I was moving, a car hit me hard, and I got shingles. I was given a lot of steroids on top of the ones I already take for my chronic problems. My problem with steroids is they make me hungry. I fight it but I have not been successful. At least I’m not gaining more weight and losing a little bit.
I am 81 years old and I would love to be thin again but I don’t think it’s going to happen. So I have decided to relish my life and to relish my chubby body. I have a good sense of humor and I’m smart enough to get by. So it’s too bad I can’t get thin, but I can still have fun with family and friends.


What works for me in keeping my weight down is reducing my consumption of SUGAR and playing tennis weekly. But tennis may not be your thing, so just MOVE. I am not so sure that as older women we are destined to thicker middles!

The Author

Penelope Jane Whiteley is the self-appointed Queen of Aging Disgracefully. A writer, international speaker, clothes designer, stylist and traveller, she helps other women to live their lives on their own terms. Her courses include “Lose 10 pounds in 10 minutes,” “The Reboot,” “Just Write the Damn Book.” Find her on, Twitter, and Facebook.

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