When it comes to being fit, it is never too late to learn something new, and/or to establish a new routine. As you may already know, it actually all starts in your brain: you need a strong desire to change and the personal commitment to stick with a plan. For me, before the age of 52, exercise of any kind was avoided completely (Fit After Fifty)……..Fortunately I saw the light! Motivated purely by vanity and excited by Zumba, I quickly discovered a whole new way of life that became a healthy habit, though initially perhaps, an obsession…..over the years I learned to find the right balance and not panic if I missed a class, thinking I would instantly gain five pounds (Staying Fit After Fifty)…….with that said, being fit and at your optimal body weight requires effort and attention on an ongoing basis, not only a post-holiday ‘diet’……On New Year’s Day I turned 58 and I am determined to be in my best shape ever this year – not only for vanity (that’s huge, admittedly), but because it makes me feel better, and it makes me stronger. A strong Grandma is a good thing.
Here are 5 things that help me to stay on track:
- Exercise with a partner. Peter and I usually go to the gym together…….yes, the bottom line is your own personal commitment, but a ‘buddy’ sure helps when you have had a bad day and would rather stay home and open a bottle of wine….
- Mix it up. Try different forms of exercise, different group classes…variety is good for your body and it opens up opportunities to fit exercise in your life. Initially I only did Zumba, but it was frustrating if the class time conflicted with my work schedule….now I do Zumba, Body Attack, Spinning, and free weights on my own. Many more options, all good for different reasons.
- Acknowledge it’s not always fun. It’s called “working out”, there is a reason for that…..with the exception of Zumba (fun, fun, fun), exercise is hard work. Results come from hard work over time. Your reward: the results are fun. 😉
- Watch others for inspiration. Just like being around ‘positive energy’ people can be uplifting for your mood, being around fit people can also be inspiring. Sometimes at the gym I will notice other women lifting a weight or doing an exercise that looks especially challenging – “Holy shit!”, I think…”She can do that??? She is amazing!” Then I will try it myself! (If you have a competitive streak, all the better…)
- Eat healthy and eat less. One thing I know for sure, you cannot exercise off overeating. If you exercise regularly and are still carrying extra pounds, it probably means too many calories going in…..Are you making healthy choices on a daily basis? Are you cutting back on the booze? Are you aware of portion control? Remember, most restaurant portions in our country are ridiculously oversized….salads not only are oversized, but often loaded with high calorie toppings and dressing. Don’t be fooled!
Regardless of your age and whether or not you are a grandma, being fit is a smart life choice. As ‘Papou’ (‘grandpa’ in Greek) says, it is not to live longer, it is to live better for the years we have. True……Live better, and look better. 🙂
Happy New Year!