It starts simply enough: You graciously help a friend move, go on a ‘short’ hike that becomes an all-day event, or simply wake up and – surprise! – something new hurts.
Are dark cold winter days leaving you feeling cooped up inside your own home? While it might feel ‘off season,’ hiking during the winter actually offers you loads of physical and mental health benefits and best of all, gets you out of the house!
Now that you’re over 60, are you feeling stiff in the joints, have trouble bending over or have slowed down significantly? Do you spend hours sitting in a chair writing, watching TV or sitting on the couch?
Here’s the thing about fitness information: It changes constantly. New research, trends and fads steer us in directions we believe will be The Answer to whatever fitness problem ails us.
The older I get, the more I realize that age is no reason to stop playing sports. In fact, as the “golden years” sneak up on us (really, what are they anyway?) and the demands of family and employment lessen, we may have more time to participate.
In my experience, most older adults don’t think about the importance of balance exercises until they have a scare. Perhaps, like me, they experience a fall. Or, maybe they see an older relative struggling to stay independent because of his or her lack of balance.
I’m not going to sugar-coat it – achieving a high level of physical fitness after 50 is tough. As the founder of Sixty and Me, a community of over 500,000 baby boomer women, I have seen firsthand how people our age struggle to lose weight, strengthen our bodies, get flexible and improve our physical appearance.
We often hear about the need for strength training at any age, but did you know that power training is even more important to functional independence?
You might associate power with elite sports or the massive athletes who “power lift” 800 pounds, and then drop it to the ground with a huge clang. You can just hear the argghhh!
In my mind and heart I still feel like I can do what I did when I was 30. But it’s just not true. I hung up my tennis shoes a decade ago because the discs in my back are degenerating and they won’t take the pounding anymore. My body has betrayed me.