From the moment that we are born, we begin to age. Often each milestone is a celebration. A first birthday, the first tooth, the first day at school! The longer we live should be the greater accomplishment. Someone who reaches 100 years old often will get their picture posted in the paper. They may have a large celebration. Think of the great accomplishment it is if you know how to get in shape at 60.
Often as we age, we realize how much we could use some improvement. Maybe we have a classic muffin top or spare tire. Perhaps it is just more difficult climbing that set of stairs.
Keep a Positive Perspective
We want to be aware of our perspective as we are entering our senior years. We want to have increased happiness and satisfaction as our lifespan increases. There are plenty of jokes about ‘old people’ who are crabby. But we enjoy being around those seniors who can still smile, laugh and have a pleasant story or two.
As we reach our increasing lifespan, we like to look for Quality of Life. What are we doing to increase our Quality of Life?
I would like to:
- Be disease-free
- Increase my present strength
- Keep my thinking sharp
- Stay connected with the people around me
Aging is a natural part of life. I remember saying to my mother, “Grow old gracefully”, when I was young. Now it is time for me to pay attention to that myself.
We should take responsibility to maintain our independence for as long as possible. I can think of some areas that would be helpful.
- Take advantage of preventative care. Seniors should be aware of what things are available. That would include flu shots, shingles vaccines, also mammograms and colonoscopies, to name a few.
- See a physician when you are not feeling well.
- Avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Some of my TOPS pals try to get their 10,000 steps by walking inside the house when it is not possible for them to get outside.
- Maintain healthy eating habits to keep your body strong.
- Get an adequate night’s rest.
- Keep a positive attitude. A good perspective on life contributes to your well-being.
- Keep up a social network. Read the newspapers, volunteer, and keep in contact with friends on a regular basis.
Age Is Not – One Size Fits All
I know of some 80 years old people who still travel the globe and are as active as some people who are in their 50s. Some people, as they age, pick up a new hobby. Some learn to play an instrument and join a band. One man I knew of always wanted to play the trombone. After he retired, he picked up the instrument, learned how to play, and now is part of a band. Age is a mindset. We are better off keeping our minds and hands busy. Group activities are great. It is great to still have to ‘match wits’ with our peers.
We Are What We Think
It can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I am too old for that. Sure enough, we believe what we tell ourselves. Before long, we find ourselves sitting on the couch, ‘because that is what people of our age do’. Maybe we need to get some new friends. Maybe we need to find some who like to keep their minds engaged and bodies moving. That doesn’t mean that we need to throw caution to the wind and start mountain climbing. We can change our activities at a pace that our bodies can keep up with.
Attitudes are more powerful than genes, as Christiane Northrup emphasizes. One study found that people who have a positive attitude towards life, live on average, more than seven years longer than their counterparts.”
Keep Active, Even at Home
A friend of ours has been going to the gym for years. He can lift more than many guys younger than he is. He has retired, and no longer goes to the gym. That doesn’t mean that he has to give up what he enjoys doing. He has weights at home and continues to get his exercise right at home. He has learned how to get in shape at 60.
While I have been a member of a gym 3 times during my lifetime, I went to the gym on a regular basis. However, going to the gym is not working for me at the present. Never the less, I have been determined that I will not let that stop me from doing whatever I can. Through trial and error, I found what has been working for me, and I have some equipment right in my own home. In nice weather, I will walk outside. When the weather is not great, I can still keep active at home.
How to Get in Shape at 60
I have to realize that my body has limitations which it did not have when I was younger. (You know you are older when your social life is planned around your trips to the doctor’s office!) That doesn’t mean I have to sit still all the time, neither does it mean that I can never put my feet up. Balance is the key. It is great to be able to enjoy my age. I have spent a lot of hard work getting to this place! I like to have time to read, get together with family and friends, time to do the things that I enjoy. But I know that if I did not get my exercise done, I would not feel as well and in the long run, my body would not thank me for it.
As a Final Note
How to get in shape at 60? Perhaps we should ban the term, “senior’s moment” from our vocabulary, and add the term “rise and shine” instead. Stay as active as you can, and keep as engaged with others as possible. Jeanne Robertson, an American humorist, admonishes us to “find the humor in our everyday situations”. “Live, Laugh. Love” is good for us all to remember.
“How you move through time is what determines how you’ll grow older” -Dr. Christiane Northrup