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Every time I look in the full-length mirror, I want to be slim, fit, healthy and strong.
It’s actually my mantra for my health and fitness goals.
And I can’t say that I’m disappointed with what I see (read here how I’ve recently lost 20 pounds), but my body is far from the slender and toned vision I have for myself.
But I’ve now found my role model!
I was recently chatting over email with an Exhilarance follower who sent me a photo of herself in a bikini - and I was blown away.
She’s 61 and looks fitter than any 20-year-old I know.
What immediately inspired me – on top of her amazing physique – was her go-getter attitude and zest for life. She told me: “There is no reason not to wear what we wanna wear (after 40) and keep fit as we age. This is a lifestyle, not a fad, nor a race.”
I told her that I want to be exactly like her when I grow up. 🤣 I’m 45.
So I asked her about her exercise and nutrition secrets. And this is what she told me…
“I exercise (at home now) with dumbbells 5 days per week and have for the last 30 years or so. Plus I danced salsa and argentine tango for the last 20 years. (Hope to get back to that soon.)
I have a lot of food allergies so I'm very selective in what I eat. But yes, I do eat chocolate and even some potato chips nearly every day. The secret is consistency!
For breakfast, I eat one egg with gluten-free toast, plus half a protein shake with organic green powder (I take the other half in the evening after my workout). I eat 1/3 of a protein bar for my mid-morning snack, and a little bit of chocolate and/or a handful of cashews, pecans or walnuts for my mid-afternoon snack.
For lunch and dinner I eat 3-4 ounces of mostly chicken, plus salad or sweet potatoes or brown rice.
I do cheat a little with gluten-free cookies and a few chips or gluten-free snack crackers. I don't drink alcohol, but do drink 50 oz of alkaline water daily.”
I was immediately inspired to research to find out if these tips would work for everyone and what the “experts” recommend. I mean, maybe this very nice woman is just blessed with good genetics and a whole lot of luck from the Gods. 🙄
So here is what I found out.
- As we age, it becomes even more important to exercise and eat right if we want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Fitness after 50 means varying your exercise and modifying your diet.
- Your diet is said to account for as much as 60 to 70 percent of your level of physical fitness. While staying active is important, the quality of your nutritional intake is more important for weight management after the age of 50.
- Past a certain age, people begin to lose muscular strength, balance and flexibility, but that does not mean that you can’t get younger!
- Listening to your body is as important with diet as it is with exercise, and moving your body and eating well will change the way you feel.
Physical activity keeps your bones strong, preserves muscle mass, maintains flexibility, and helps manage age-related weight gain.
Reports show that muscular mass decreases about 2% per year after age 50. Strength training keeps your body younger, stronger, and more functional as each year passes.
If you want to be vibrant and independent for many more years, a strength-training workout consisting of push-ups, rowing, squats, lunges and/or lifting weights will help you achieve just that. A study published in 2009 show women in their 70s can build significant muscle by lifting weights 2 to 3 times per week.
Walking is great to help boost your cardiovascular fitness, manage weight and improve your mood. Furthermore, it is low-risk for injuries, requires little equipment, can be done alone or with friends, and is easy to do anytime, anywhere. Other options include dancing, cycling and swimming.
As we age and become less active, core strength is often one of the first things to suffer. Poor core strength can lead to other physical aches and pains due to poor body mechanics and
alignment. The core muscles include more than just the abs, so it's important to consistently perform a balanced core strength workout.
Do a quick 20-minute core workout 3 to 4 times a week to maintain your core strength and stability.
You might start to realize it’s not so easy getting in and out of the car or getting up off the floor. That’s a sign of poor strength and flexibility. Try joining a Yoga or Pilates class or follow free classes on YouTube.
Here is to you a great detailed exercise plan for women over 50.
As we age, diet becomes more important. Your body needs good fuel, and you need to be aware of what fuel you are giving it.
There are many types of diets out there, some of them could offer a healthful way to lose weight while others might be what you would call ‘fad diets’.
But health experts agree on the basics:
Many older women aren't getting enough protein to maintain muscle mass. Protein is the major building block of the body, and because it isn't stored, it needs to be replenished regularly. Complete proteins are found in most animal sources such as meat, fish, and eggs while incomplete proteins are generally found in vegetables, fruit, and nuts.
So it would seem that our gorgeous 61-year-old knows her stuff! And she has the results to show for it. She’s built muscle mass through regular weight training and keeps her fitness levels up through dancing. Her nutrition is based on high protein, good carbs, good fats, good nutrients, water, and limited sugar.
She’s my hero and I hope she’s inspired you too.
Staying active and healthy regardless of our age can be an achievable goal.
Self-acceptance and a positive body image at any age and size are paramount, but exercise and healthy eating are both vitally important, too.
Life goes by too fast. The older you get, the more you may realize how important it is to make the most of each day.
So, how would you like to slow down the aging process?
While we can’t turn back time, we can turn back the years on our body—with exercise and good nutrition.