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.
It’s ironic that the winter holidays, which are meant to be filled with relaxation, love and peace, often turn out to be a time of stress and tension.
Like many women, I never quite found my groove when it came to fitness. Gyms were no go zones for me. It wasn’t just a matter of laziness. It also felt like the travel time, expensive clothes, complicated equipment, showering and coordination would take away from my other priorities.
“I’m a complete beginner to gentle yoga.” “I’m a total newbie.” “I’m a bit stiff and overweight.” “I’m a complete novice, with practically no strength or flexibility.” These are a few of the ways that women in the Sixty and Me community described themselves when I asked them if they were interested me producing a series of gentle yoga videos for older adults.
When it comes to smoking, drinking and a lack of exercise, many women that I know have a fatalistic perspective. If you are in your 60s or 70s, it’s easy to convince yourself that “the damage has already been done.” But, is this really true? As it turns out, no, it isn’t – not in the slightest! Researchers are increasingly showing that it’s never too late to get benefits from abandoning a bad habit. For example, recent studies have found that people can add years to their life by quitting smoking, even in their 60s.
Like many women over 60, one of my biggest goals is to keep my brain in great shape so that I can enjoy everything that life offers in the decades to come. While I occasionally do something stupid, like leave my keys in the freezer, for the most part, I think that I’m doing a pretty good job. I get plenty of exercise, write for several hours a day and even try to keep up on the latest research on the aging brain.
Women of our generation have a reputation for being willing to try new things. Through six decades of life, we have embraced new fashions, challenged the status quo and reinvented ourselves more times than we can count.
Most people would find the idea of completing 75 triathlons in 75 days daunting, but, this is exactly what Daphne Belt did to celebrate her 70th birthday. Daphne’s experience is inspirational, not just for her personal triumph, but, also for the message that it sends to women about exercise over 60.
You see, Daphne was not a born athlete. According to The Guardian, by her 50th birthday, Daphne was struggling with her weight to the point that she had difficulty climbing the stairs. Now, 25 years later, she is living proof that life after 50 can be filled with vitality, energy and new experiences.
Loneliness is a terrible emotion. It steals the fun from life, hurts our health and prevents us from following our dreams. Unfortunately, it is also a taboo subject, which few are willing to discuss in public. So, we let it sit quietly in our hearts and convince ourselves that we are alone in our loneliness. I want Sixty and Me to be a part of the solution and, as a first step, I reached out to the members of our community to ask them about their own experiences with loneliness.