Everywhere you look there are ads for weight loss and dieting. Most are aimed at women over 50. However, it’s no wonder because people in the US are growing larger every day. The obesity epidemic in America is a natural disaster.
The thing is – diets don’t work
You may lose weight for a short time, but you’ll gain it back as soon as you start eating normally again.
Most“diet foods” are processed with chemicals and marketed to satisfy our sweet tooth. How many chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry diet smoothies have you seen on the shelf? They’re everywhere you look. Even worse are diet pills, which are outright dangerous. It’s better to forget about dieting and get fit instead.
Baby Boomer women grew up with Twiggy as a role model. If you know someone as skinny as she was, especially if they’re over 50, chances are they have an eating disorder or faulty metabolism. Being thin doesn’t mean you’re fit and healthy. Thin people have heart attacks, strokes, osteoporosis, and other problems just like anyone else.
It’s better to focus on being fit and healthy than it is to achieve the perfect weight. When you improve your fitness level and eat well to stay healthy, your weight will naturally adjust to the perfect size for you. A person who is strong and healthy is more protected from everything from heart disease to broken bones.
Unless you’re disabled, there’s no reason to put off getting fit. Every person over 50 should be doing some type of aerobic exercise and strength training for a minimum of 30 minutes a day. It’s also a good idea to include stretching and flexibility exercises like yoga, Tai Chi or Qi Gong, and relaxation techniques to reduce stress.
You may be saying to yourself, “I don’t have time to exercise.” The truth is – you don’t have time to NOT exercise. The more sedentary you become, the fewer years you live.
There are 80 and even 90-year-old people who are still racing down ski slopes and jumping over moguls. I don’t suggest you do a “Sonny Bono” and crash into a tree, but it’s still possible to ski in your later years if you’ve been doing it your whole life. If you’ve never tried it before, it is probably not a good choice. No one wants to break their bones after they’re 50.
Being fit reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, protects the heart, bones, lungs, and keeps you mentally alert. Make sure to move your body every single day. The minute you plant your butt in a chair and become a “couch potato” for long periods of time, the more you risk keeling over from a heart attack or having a stroke.
It’s important for women in particular to strength train. Men use their muscles more often. Women shy away from lifting weights because they’re afraid they’ll bulk up and look like the Incredible Hulk. Unless you’re training to be Ms. Universe, that won’t happen. Strength training is necessary for bone health. You don’t want to break in two at the slightest sneeze or end up needing a walker or wheelchair when you’re old.
Hire a personal trainer, workout with a group, exercise on your own at home, or pop in an exercise DVD as long as you do it consistently.
I get up early and take my dogs out to do their business. Then I take them back home, feed them, and take off by myself to walk for 40 minutes. I live in the hills, so I get aerobic exercise walking up and down them. I purchased a heart monitor from the drug store that looks like a watch so I can monitor my heart rate. When I get back home, I strength train using 5 lb. weights. After that, I do squats, push-ups, sit-ups, leg lifts and yoga stretches. It takes me a little over an hour all together and then I’m ready to take a shower and start the day.
I work in front of a computer writing or working on other people’s websites so I have to make sure to get up every half hour to move around. Even when you have a regular exercise schedule, you still have to move throughout the day or you’re considered to be sedentary. I get up, stretch, do leg lifts, walk the dogs again, and sometimes dance around the room. It all helps to boost my metabolism.
Forget about “going on a diet.” Just make sure to avoid packaged and processed foods with hidden chemicals and sugar. So do yourself a favor as a woman over 50 and get fit to stay healthy.
How do you work in your fitness routine? Please leave a comment below and share.