How to Be Fit After 60!
Let’s admit something first: aging is not for sissies. Even for those of us without health problems or significant weight issues, as we age our metabolism changes, we lose muscle mass, and weight creeps on slow but sure. You can accept all these changes as inevitable – some may call this ‘aging gracefully’ – or you can take control, put in the effort, and enjoy the many benefits of being fit, even after 60.
It was not until I was in my early 50s before I ever set foot in a gym or lifted weights…what caused me to change direction? Plain and simple: VANITY. I noticed a thickening waist and was determined to do something about it, even though I hated all forms of exercise…I tried Zumba, Spin classes, group weight classes, you name it. Although nothing (except for Zumba) was ‘fun’, I kept trying different workouts in my desire to drop some weight and get in shape…
Fast forward to the present. I am 64 and probably more fit than I have ever been due to healthy habits over the past ten years. Many of you have asked: exactly what do I eat, and what is my exercise routine…I am glad to share these details, but I warn you, there’s no big diet secret, and I don’t spend hours in the gym…the real secret, IMO, is to find a diet and exercise routine that works for you, and be consistent. Healthy habits over time, that’s the key!
This is my gym. :-0 Since 2020, my bedroom is where I workout, and since our home is small, I simply hide the weights on the far side of our bed. The pandemic got me in the habit of exercising from home and now I find it to be a great time saver…five mornings a week, after having coffee, I exercise for 30 minutes, starting out with 75 jumping jacks to get my heart pumping, while listening to Pitbull…
After the jumping jacks I do a 2 minute plank, followed by a variety of floor exercises, such as bicycles, crunches, leg lifts, and Russian twists, generally 3 sets of 20 reps… Most of the time I focus on the three ‘A’s: abs, ass, and arms, three areas that can quickly go flabby with age… 🙂
Using different weights (from 5 – 12lbs), I then do a variety of shoulder and arm exercises…pictured here I’m doing front raises on one leg; this also works the core while you do shoulders…squats with weights is another one in my routine, not easy but effective! What’s also effective is change: It’s always good to challenge your body with new movements and/or heavier weights, so I frequently look on Instagram to learn new things from fitness experts…after 30 minutes, it’s time for breakfast!
Breakfast is usually 2 eggs with veggies of some kind: sometimes spinach and mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, peppers…occasionally a half slice of cheese and a thin slice of ham…lately I even enjoy the eggs on a bed of arugula or crispy greens…most days no toast. When I want something different for breakfast, it’s oatmeal with fresh berries, no sugar…
Mid-morning snack: about 12 wasabi almonds, I keep them with me all the time!
Lunchtime, yay! Lunch is easy to eat healthy if you bring your own lunch and/or seek out lunch spots that offer yummy options…almost always I have a salad with protein, and will avoid most carbs, even the ‘healthy’ quinoa bowls…
Late afternoon snack: usually snap peas, baby carrots, Skinny Pop popcorn, watermelon, or berries. This time of day is most difficult for me…it’s when I really want cheese, crackers and a glass of wine…
Dinner is generally a salad, meat or fish, a small portion of carb (quinoa, potato, even pasta), and roasted veggies…after dinner sweet cravings have decreased over the years…a cup of green tea or some watermelon usually satisfies me…if not, a small piece of dark chocolate usually does the trick.
The killer of all: alcohol! I have done dry January (Ugh, never again), I have tried drinking only 3 nights/week, eh – now I just drink sensibly. Some nights nothing, some nights ONE glass of wine with dinner, some nights, lots of tequila! Never ever high sugar drinks, and lately I have cut back quite a bit on wine.
Nothing here seems so difficult, right? As I mentioned earlier, the key is to be consistent over time. And while I certainly indulge on occasion – french fries, ice cream, bread – most of the time I DO NOT. Just because it’s a birthday party doesn’t mean you have to eat cake. Just because someone brought special muffins to the office, doesn’t mean you have to try one. You make deliberate choices that become easier once they become habits.
It is possible to be fit after 60. The hardest part is making up your mind and committing to the effort. I would look very different today had I not made lifestyle changes in my early 50s. YOU can do it too!
Are you ready to make this commitment? How can I help? Leave your questions in the comment section!
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Wonderful advice! You look amazing:)
Yay! Thank you for this post. It is very inspiring and encouraging. I have just simply fallen off the wagon with everything over the last 6 months..no consistency, no motivation, nutrition needs a clean up, even running isn’t fun anymore. I just need to push through and I know of I do the why and want to will return…fake it till ya make it. Watching your journey helps me not give up completely. You are so fabulous and I’m grateful for all that you share with us.
We all have our ups and downs Donna! Creating habits is what makes it easier to have more ups than downs. Thank you as always for your kind words.
Thank you! I follow you on IG. I’ll be 59 this year. My goal is to lose 80 pounds and get in shape. I hate gyms. This post really helped me
This makes me feel so good!!!! Once you make up your mind, just stick with it and over time you will see results! Nothing happens fast. Thank you for the comment, it made my day.