Birthday Reflections

And just like that, it’s time to celebrate another birthday.

Is it me, or does time really ( seem) to move faster as you get older?

Gone are the days where the only concern was how much play time you had or which friends were available to hang out. Lazy summers and no cares in the world.

Those times in our lives seem rather fleeting don’t they?

But wait. Hang with me.

This isn’t a sappy post, but one I more enjoy doing as a way of reflection on the year gone by.

It gives me opportunity to see areas of growth and areas I need to shape up more.

I’m smack in the mid 50s now.

#50ish

Go me.

I get Aarp fliers in the mail and am close to qualifying for discounts in some places.

Yes.

Yes I will shamelessly work my age to save a few bucks ūü§£

I go for my yearly doctor visits and the little 20 something girl checking me in acts surprised I don’t have a bag of meds with me.

Ah well. Whatever.

Age is merely a number that I’ve never allowed to define me.

Have you ever noticed though, how people do? And boy, do some people get bent out of shape when you don’t stay in the box and play by all the same old and tired “rules”.

**yawn** what’s a box?

Like at certain ages there are expected normal behaviors because you’re “that age.”

Listen, I have no problem diving onto a swing and flying through the air when I’m with the grand babies at the park or any other unadultish shenanigans.

The expectation of society is as you get older you should lay things aside, and uh, “act your age”.

Whatever that means.

Just be quiet and fade away…not likely.

So here I am grateful for another year to live, move, and breathe in this beautiful gift we have called life.

Wisdom

I have to laugh as I hear so many of my young friends bemoaning the fact that they are only a couple years from….30.

It does amuse me ’cause I’m well to the other side of that and I know that life is still good, better even, and really it’s ok.

I enjoyed all the decades behind me but I long for none of them. Each one was a season in my life. A season to learn and grow. To gain wisdom and a wee bit of maturity ūüėČ

It is now, sitting in the middle of another decade, that I can reflect how each one was a working out of the woman I am.

Good times, bad times, hard and easy, frustrations and joys, light and dark, every single season was shaping me.

Wisdom is a gift I greatly appreciate and I can see it more clearly now that ever.

Comfortable in the skin I live in

I have always been comfortable in my existence. But getting older has only solidified that.

I’m good with myself.

I don’t say that in an egotistical way, just a fact. To be comfortable with who you are, the very essence of who you are, is freedom.

It means being ok with your good stuff and not so good stuff. It’s knowing I’m not perfect but strive to be the best I can be. I try to remain open and teachable.

It’s also accepting every part of my physical self and never, ever comparing myself to someone else. To do so only would breed dissatisfaction and be an affront to my Maker.

There is only one of me. I will appreciate the gift of that.

No approval needed.

I don’t need approval to be me….and same goes for you. By that I mean at this stage of my life, I know who I am.

I know what I like and what I don’t like. I know what makes my heart sing and what weighs it down. I know how to speak up when I need to in being able to express myself, how I think or feel,or to nicely say no thank you to something.

I know how to stand up and own who I am ( and I don’t mean in a rude or disrespectful way) I know who I am.

It’s not worrying about others or their personal opinions. It’s not being concerned if someone approves or disapproves based on what they would or wouldn’t do.

This past year I’ve…….

Experienced alot of things. Lots of ordinary life stuff, but also bigger events that have challenged me.

I started my fifth year with this blog. It’s been an outlet in writing but my main goal is to keep offering sensible, sane, realistic lifestyle and fitness encouragement and help. I’m blessed by all of you who take the time to read, comment, and offer words of encouragement back to me. I’ve slowly built my own brand as Sassyfitnesschick and plan to keep offering my own flavor of health and fitness tips, all with a side dish of sass ūüėČ

I trained for, and finished my second duathlon. I also again, took first in my age group. I cannot tell you what a challenging yet fulfilling event this was for me. The training as much as the cold,rainy, miserable race day all shaped me in a different way.

I learned more about resilience,tenacity and a whole lotta stubbornness in me.

Ok…well.. the stubbornness is nothing new ūüėČ

I recently was talking to hubby about something and I said ” I don’t quit” to which from behind his glasses and iPad I get a snort followed by “realllyy??”

And then…”Well that’s not a bad thing”

And I don’t. I jump into the deep end with anything I do and I give it my all.

This month marks my one year anniversary since I started my little vintage business last year. When I jumped in I thought I’d try a few months and see how it went. Before I knew it I had hit the 6 month mark. Spring time I moved into a bigger space ( and bigger rent) yet somehow each month it seemed I was to keep going.

Last month when I was notified the lease on building wasnt being renewed and I’d have to either uproot and move elsewhere or just fold it all up and…quit…well that just wasn’t an option. And then there was a perfect space just waiting for me…and now I’m in and settled and can hardly wait to see how this year unfolds.

As a writer, who has a blog, it’s hard for me to not observe people. As a very social creature it’s quite easy for me to interact with just about anyone. This year I’ve met some interesting people, and not always people who look “normal”. By that I mean they are colorful in their clothing choices,word choices,art work on their bodies or offbeat fashion style, not to mention colorful personalities. I find that refreshing. I love how they are good at pushing back against the norm. Long ago, when my oldest was in a rock band, I learned not to judge books by their covers.

My home could often be filled with big men in all black, wearing tons of makeup, plenty of piercings and other non- main stream looks. Yet under it all were sweet guys who loved raiding my cookie jar. Being reminded of those truths makes it quite easy for me to appreciate those who march to the beat of their own drum.

That’s how life works right?

Day by day it unfolds full of the daily norm, the unexpected, the high’s and low’s and if we look for it, plenty of joys too.

The unfolding of this last year has shown me ( more than ever) that I really can do anything. I’ve learned so much more about mental discipline. It’s the strength and unwillingness to quit which spills out into everything I do.

New challenges can be hard and I strive too let them to do the work of making me stronger. I’m facing some now and am trying to remind myself of this.

Getting older isn’t some horrible thing.

Some will never have the chance to experience it.

What’s horrible is remaining unchanged, unyielding, holding onto grudges, judging, poor behaviors, or personal slights, refusing to see different view points or being unwilling to listen to how another person sees something. It’s horrible to age and still hold onto things that should’ve been let go of a long time ago. In my opinion those things are far worse than getting older.

I think age really, is a huge state of mind. I believe how we view it impacts how out loud we live all our days.

My goal is to do it gracefully, to love well, to continue to be open and teachable, to learn and grow from this ride called life, and most of all, never, ever quit.

Cheers to a new year!

This Is Me

“I am who I’m meant to be, this is me, look out ’cause¬†here I come and I’m marching on to the beat I drum, I’m not scared to be seen, I make no apologies, this is me…..”

So I finally got to see “The Greatest Showman” this weekend when hubby and I took off for a date night. I’d read¬†the¬†reviews and seen my friends posts and assessments of it, but really, you won’t get it till you go see it.

greatest showman

 

The movie is a musical so if that’s not your gig than you might go see Star Wars or a current documentary or something ūüėČ

One of the songs called “This Is Me” resonated with me, and I know probably many others. I have a few songs in my arsenal on my ipod that are what I think of as my “fight songs”.

No. I don’t go beat people up.

I mean they are the songs that stir my blood, stir my passion, make me think deeper into myself, make me consider all I’m made of. These songs push me and challenge me in the depths of a hard workout or when I need to remember who I am and all I’m capable of doing.

In an interesting way this ties together quite well for my Monday Musings, a safe place for my otherwise random thoughts to come bouncing out all in one place. This is a rather new thing so if you’ve missed previous weeks, it’s short reading for you but you can find them here….. https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/01/22/monday-musings-2/¬†¬† or here….

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/01/15/monday-musings/

So today’s musings.. this might be a rant….fyi……

I¬† recently saw (again)¬†another article that was titled something like “ Make up tips for women in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s.”¬† There are other similarly stated articles I’ve seen,¬†just change it up to “fashion” “exercise” or whatever.

All for women in those decades.

Mind you, not that if I did read it I would do what it says #rebel but I’ve just always laughed ’cause it’s like if your out of the 40’s,¬† older than that¬†well, you’re just a lost cause. We’ve got nothing to offer you, sorry.

I find it vaguely amusing.

Oh. I should make a disclaimer here to all my guy readers. This post might be more “girly” than what I usually dial up… so if you wanna leave…well I understand. ¬†Do they have similar things for men?¬† Tips, fashion ideas etc for your age group?¬† Please tell me if they do cause I’m like…curious. I’m pretty sure guys don’t deal with all that stuff, nor do they mostly care.

Some others¬†that amuse me most circulate through Facebook and it’s all about posting photos of yourself to proclaim your beauty and tagging other beautiful women so they can say the same thing.

Recently there’s been one ( undoubtedly started by an older woman) basically acknowledging all of the glorious beauty of being a 20 something woman,¬†but pointing out being older means we’ve earned wrinkles, given¬†birth, raised¬†kids, had years of¬†no sleep and caffeine deprivation¬†and grey hair and all that crap… meaning like, ya know, ¬†we’ve lived life. Then you post a photo and put your age.

It’s like in a backhanded way of¬†apologizing for not being young. Like really.

I guess because I’m not a follower and¬†“march to the beat I drum” I have no interest in participating in a copy and paste¬†status ¬†someone else¬†started to justify my age, or worse yet, apologize because I’m not a younger age?

Maybe it’s because if I do a creative photo or one that seems rather striking or fun, I simply share it because it pleases me,¬†If others like it, well that’s cool too. I do it when the mood strikes me. I enjoy being creative, clever and fun.

Maybe because of the age I am, I just feel less and less like I need to apologize for having lived life or that I’m doing life,

No, I’m not 20, 30, or 40 something. I’ve lived all those and done it fairly well. Those years were all good, would I go there again ?

Probably not.

Those years have brought me to where I am today… who have made me who I am. To have lived those years has allowed me to own myself more, to be more confident in who I am, to express myself freely ( in whatever form I choose to) to worry less about others opinions, to live freely and boldly, unapologetically.

I know I will be to strong, to outspoken or bold for some. I will be to energetic and to athletic for others.¬†Some might think I don’t say or do the right thing. ¬†I¬†do not follow middle aged rules and that really can trouble some. I will not and have not stayed in “the box” for getting older, and gosh some don’t like it when you don’t play by those rules. I’m far to edgy for others. I don’t have to fit in molds of other women. ¬†I can be deep and reflective as easily as I can be cheeky and sassy,¬† those who choose to really know me, will know that.

And really, it’s¬†all ok… “I make no apologies, this is me..”

I don’t have to be less.¬† I don’t have to shrink away or be quiet. ¬†I don’t have to be “younger” to prove my worth or value or anything else. I don’t have to act like anyone else. ¬†I don’t have to do a copy and paste status to justify my age,¬†having laugh lines,¬†or being beautiful.

I don’t need news stories or society¬†telling me if I’m over a certain age I can’t do something, wear certain clothes or act in certain ways.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned by now at my… advanced age ha… I can do whatever floats my boat.

So that’s where my random musings have been this week. Pondering why there is the ever present need society places on¬†women to justify who we are or where we are in life, or worse yet, apologize because we aren’t younger. prettier, smaller, taller, more educated, more talented,¬†or anything else you wanna add to this list.

If we’re fortunate and blessed we will see many decades and we will become stronger, more confident and powerful in knowing exactly who we are and what we’re about.

My only wish is to age gracefully, to love passionately, to continue to have fun and be energetic, to see the unique beauty of others around me, to embrace all of life, to not be afraid of speaking boldly, and to be unapolegetically myself, laugh lines and all.

My hope is that you too will embrace who you are, where you are right now at this point in time and live freely in it, man or woman, no apologies.

“I’m not scared to be seen, I make no apologies, this is me…..”

 

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Aging And The Fountain Of Youth

Botox. Creams. Anti-aging serums. Plastic surgery. Lotions and creams that promise to restore youth or keep you young looking are all over the market and you don’t have to look further than magazines or the tv to find¬†numerous products being offered to help you look younger.

The question that begs to be asked is this…. “is there such a thing as the fountain of youth?”

Is there some secret, magical potion that will keep us looking young and vibrant ? Is it to be found in bottles or jars? Is that secret lurking in our medicine cabinet for us to discover?

The skin care industry is a booming business and lots of it comes from products promising a youthful appearance.

But… what if it isn’t found in a¬† jar? What if it’s something that’s free and you always have it available to you? Would you want to use it?

My childhood friend accuses me of voodoo or some kind of witchcraft telling me I’m not aging and in fact appear to have gotten younger. She proclaims to not love me for that but I think she’s lying ūüėČ

Where that is a flattering compliment, the reality is, of course I’m aging like anyone else. However, it’s what I do¬†and how I live¬†that might be actually slowing that progression down.

So what is this secret formula? How do you get your hands on it ?

It’s already in you waiting to be used, every single day, and it’s exercise.

grow old

Now wait! Don’t check out on me here. Not yet since I’m fixing to share some scientific(y) stuff with you about exercise, our bodies, and the whole aging process. I’ll try to keep it basic and to the point but of course I’d encourage you to do your own research if you want to learn more.

Exercise cannot change our chronological age as that is set in stone.¬†We were born on a certain day and year, our “age” hinges on that. It’s immovable.

Our biological age boys and girls, is a whole new game, and exercise fights against aging by protecting cells from the ticking clock.

Our biological age, can be changed.

Say what ?

Exercise can fight against a cellular level and staying healthy means you can keep your cells young.

Keeping cells young allows tissues to function properly.

Exercise boosts muscle levels of a compound  called NRF1 which impacts telomeres at the ends of each of our chromosomes.

Yikes! What is NRF1 and how does that work for me?

As simple as possible, it stimulates the production of proteins that are needed for cellular energy production and proteins involved in the making of new healthy mitochondria.¬† If you don’t remember from biology class ( cause I didn’t ) mitochondria are the powerhouse of our cells and are responsible for creating more that 90% of energy needed by the body to sustain life and support organ function.¬† Their function typically declines with age but with vigorous exercise mitochondria function improves ( and you can grow a lot more)

Exercise boosts muscle levels of the compound called NRF1 which impacts our telomeres at the ends of each of our chromosomes.

Hang on with me here ok?

Maybe you forgot what telomeres are. They are basically like little biological clocks on the ends of our DNA.  When in good shape, our DNA (cells) stay young. When they get damaged the cells get old. Telomeres are protective caps at the end of our chromosomes that keep them stable- think like plastic at the end of shoe laces. Every time a cell divides telomeres get shorter. Eventually they become to small to protect chromosomes and cells get old and die resulting in aging .

Unfortunately, telomeres get eroded with time.

Pay attention now boys and girls…….

the speed of erosion is not fully fixed which explains why you can impact biological age! This is where producing NRF1 is helpful. when activated by exercise it can produce protective molecules for telomeres, like varnish on nails. This all works on an anti-aging level, biologically.

Not all exercise is created equal for these benefits…

where as all types of exercise is good for our bodies, relieves stress, keeps our health balanced and leads to overall fitness, the type of exercise to reap the biggest anti-aging results is HIIT or cardio exercises done for at least 30 minutes or more 5 times a week.

Strength training is good for building muscle and overall body strength but it won’t have the same benefits for cell renewal as cardio or high intensity exercises.

In a study done by Newsweek in May 2017, it found of 5,000 adults in a research study that those who exercise regularly are younger on a cellular level than their sedentary or moderately active counterparts.  The study also compared telomere length with levels of physical activity. The study showed significant differences between those who did vigorous exercise and those who did not. The adults who did strong, vigorous exercise were biologically 9-10 years younger. ( for the study a high physical level was considered to be 30-40 minutes of running at least 5 days a week)

Why exercise appears to preserve telomere length is not known but it could be linked with inflammation and oxidative stress over time.

To see a real difference in slowing your biological age it appears a little exercise won’t do the trick, you have to work out regularly and at high levels.

Of course other benefits that come with strong level of exercise is reduced inflammation in the body that comes with aging, which can also help decrease your risk of developing related diseases and conditions like heart disease, depression, muscle loss and decreased memory.

Skin deep…..

Why do some of the fittest 60-plus women look younger than their age? The answer lies in the question. A recent study from McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, found that women over 65 who worked out for a minimum of two hours a week for three months had the skin composition of women 20 to 30 years younger. It seems that sweating it out at the gym leads to pumping myokines, a group of proteins secreted by muscle cells and diffused throughout the body. (Best Health Magazine)

and it’s true…some of the fitness women I know don’t look their age.¬† ( I’m not leaving the guys out… vigorous exercise can yield similar health benefits).

The Game Plan….

Don’t worry about fancy creams, instead, get on a consistent, regimented exercise plan and stick to it.

Don’t look for instant results but keep in mind all of the great health benefits your body will reap by being active and sweating a lot.

Don’t forget other factors that can help keep your age a secret too. Make sure you’re nutrition is focused on whole, healthy foods, skip the smoking and drinking, watch your sugar/processed food intake, hydrate well with plenty of water, get adequate rest, protect your skin, laugh a lot ¬†and get your exercise in at least 5-6 days a week.

And¬†then… hey…go ahead and share your age… no one will believe you ūüėČ

Has exercise helped you maintain more than just being fit? Have you noticed results in your health and appearance  from consistent exercise?

Birthdays And Reflections On Another Year Older

A New year begins today.

New goals. New perspectives. New opportunities to love, laugh, play, and breathe life in.

I’m talking about another birthday to celebrate, specifically mine.

Humor me. I can do that since I’m the birthday girl today, right ? ¬†ūüėõ

Birthdays get me a bit reflective some years. Not in a weird “OMG I’m getting OLD!!” way. ¬†I’ve never really had “issues” with hitting any certain age… I’m just happy to still be invited to the party, know what I mean?

Chronologically, I know what the calendar says and it technically puts me somewhere between “getting old but not as old as dirt” status. That chronological thing is set in stone for all of us.

However, how I live my life and the things I do with myself determine how young I feel and to a great extent, how I age.

My reflections on the past year have made me smile and tear up almost all at once.

In this last year I welcomed a beautiful new granddaughter into my life, and lost my dad to a battle with Alzheimers a few months later. Only two months after that  I walked the path of grief with my daughter in law through the loss of her father.

In between those months of loss, my oldest son announced he would be getting married later this year.

There have been many “up’s and down’s” that also go along in a families life and a married life.

There have been¬† those “normal” kinda days that you realllllyyy cherish and appreciate on days that are hard. And there were days that were very, very hard.

Life and death.  Joy and tears. The past and the future. New goals and plans. Hope and anticipation. Excitement and disappointments.

And suffering. If I’m writing an honest reflection to you today, I will say there has been a lot of that in this year too.

Birthdays remind me that I’ve been privileged to experience it all…. the good, bad and everything in between. They aren’t a guarantee or a given to any of us.

This is my fourth one without my Mom and it still makes my heart ache to not have her with me for it, or have her make my cake ( although my daughter does a great job making me one ūüôā or receive the beautiful cards she used to give me.

I’ve embraced every new year I’m given. I don’t think about age as I find it irrelevant to whatever I want to do nor do I give much thought to it.

I have a fun group of young friends. They don’t see my age either. They like me, think I’m “cool” and give me a hard time about my athletic shenanigans ( as in, they tell me I’m crazy¬†¬†ūüėõ )

I find them refreshing and their enthusiasm and sometimes out right craziness makes me laugh.

We learn from each other.

They talk about¬†their struggles and dreams,¬†or family or whatever is on their mind. I’m old enough to offer life wisdom to which they sometimes ask for. Sometimes, we just talk about deeper¬†things like… ¬†music. ūüėõ

I have friends my own age because it’s only those who’ve walked similar paths with you who can truly relate to some of¬† the struggles you may be currently in or offer advice that only a “older” person might offer.

I’ve found though that age is a number and that there is great maturity in many of my young friends, just as I’ve found great immaturity in people older than me.

Like a¬†kaleidoscope it shows me different¬†colors of life… beliefs, thoughts, opinions, and personal view points.

I believe you are richly blessed when you have a wide circle of people who care about you and who add a fullness to your life.

On the topic of learning…

I’ve made it a point over these past years to learn about the people who interact in my life.

The checker at the store, the baristas who happily serve me coffee, a random customer I engage in conversation ( ahhh maybe more than “a” person hahaha)

Why? People matter and¬†my life seems richer when I do. Because I often walk away with a new perspective being around people from my “usual” circle. Different thoughts and views can be a good catalyst to make me really think about what¬†I believe and why.

I’ve learned to freely give away a smile to a person I walk past, I have no problem dishing a compliment to a woman I think looks pretty or has something on I think looks like the bomb. I’ve had it done to me and I know what an unexpected “gift” it is to receive.

On social media I ¬†comment on something they’re doing, especially if it offers them encouragement or support, like working out or losing weight.

I mean, why not?

I’ve tried to practice the art of not “withholding”… compliments, smiles, encouragement, praise, etc. because people NEED that stuff.

It makes me feel good to offer that back to others.

The older I get the more I embrace more of what life is… all of us twined together in some form or another…

I’ve realized more than ever this past year that my tribe is¬†the most valuable gift I possess in this wild ride of life. My husband is strong, fearless, and the most patient loving, giving, generous¬†man on this planet. I’m so blessed to have him.

My kids who are now all adults have turned out rather amazing in spite of some worrisome years in the past. It’s crazy to me they are getting married and having babies and living in their own houses and all that other stuff… I can’t be that old… can I ???

Ah yes, indeed I am, and it’s perfectly ok.

I’ve never felt stronger, more energetic, fit, or fierce in my life. I have no wish to be any other age or place than where I am right now. I’ve earned these years and all that goes with them… smile lines and all… and I don’t try to hide it.

My only desire is to age gracefully, love wildly, not be afraid to take on new things, and truly¬†appreciate all I’ve been blessed with.

So I stand on the threshold of another year. To take on harder challenges, to stretch myself, and hopefully to be able to grow more in my thinking and understanding, to learn, laugh and love more.

I’m¬†surrounded by people who love me warts and all, who celebrate my achievements and challenge me to be all I can be, there is no greater blessing.

So cheers to another year, another pure gift of life, for which I am beyond grateful.

 

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50ish…. again.

 

 

 

Exercise And Aging

Exercise ~ activity requiring physical effort carried out especially to sustain or improve health and fitness.

exercise health

Exercise. I might have made some attempts to sell you on the idea ūüėČ

Ok.. maybe I feel a bit passionate about it. Maybe I know once you get started, get over that “obstacle” that holds you back from committing to it and making it a new habit in your life, you will not be able to imagine not doing it in your day.

I don’t know what your “obstacle” is.¬† But if you aren’t doing it and make excuses not to, you have an obstacle.

Exercise really isn’t something that we naturally and inherently flock to… like… “ohhhhh yes! Of course I want to feel uncomfortable and sweat and breathe hard and have my heart pounding out of my chest!”

No one does. This¬†is the point we can see, feel and know … ugh… we are really out of shape. In turn, this makes us feel worse, feel inadequate and that we’ll never “get there”.

We quit before we start.

dont quit

Exercise then, is something we must teach ourselves to do.¬† We have to push through our own personal obstacles.¬† We must do it until it begins to feel weird if we don’t do it.

We’ve got to turn it into a new habit.

Building new habits my friends, takes time and a healthy amount of determination.

I recently ran into an woman I had gone to school with. I don’t think I’ve seen her in person since then ( she’s only seen me via social media). We chatted about many things when the convo turned to exercise and she commented on my physique telling me how inspiring I was.¬† When I mentioned I didn’t start exercising till I was 46 she was shocked. I told her it was a few years later that my athletic side really started to kick in… when I started getting more serious about running and ultimately training for marathons.

She asked how I did it and I told her I just kept at it and didn’t quit. The rest is history.

When you press on and exercise every day ( or almost every day) your body responds in wonderful ways and there are tons of health benefits that come with it.

Here’s a few:

controls your weight, reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease, reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, lowers blood pressure, reduces risks of some cancers, strengthens bones and muscles, improves your mental health and mood, increases your chance of living longer, and improves your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls, if you’re an older adult.

Let’s not forget things also like gaining new energy, confidence, and overall feeling good. If you’re looking for the fountain of youth more and more research suggests exercise is the key to it.¬†In order to stay healthy you have to keep your cells young. ¬†Exercise forces new cell growth and turn over in our bodies causing an anti aging effect ( this is sooo simplified right now. Maybe I’ll do a blog on just this idea … stay tuned!)

Let’s just say this.. our “chronological” age is pretty well set and that’s something we have no control over. Our “biological” age… we have a huge amount of control over.

This is why two people the same chronological age can look years different.

Ok if all that isn’t enough let’s just focus on the part about being older and still being able to do daily activities and being strong and balanced so you don’t fall. Falls are one of the leading causes of death in older people and reasons as well why they are in care homes.

You don’t want to wait till you’re “old” to start exercising. You start now wherever you are. Being fit and strong is something that you will draw from as you get older. There is a huge misconception that getting old means you get weak and frail. That you lose strength because you are.

No. You get weak and frail because you’ve stopped using your body and the old saying is true “use it or lose it”.¬† But at some point in your 30s, you start to lose muscle mass and function. The cause is age-related sarcopenia or sarcopenia with aging. Physically inactive people can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass each decade after age 30.¬† This is what contributes to weakness and not being able to do things as people get older.

You must counteract all of that to preserve and build muscle. Enter strength training and muscle building exercise.

You can’t¬†wake up old¬†and decide to pop some Geritol or some magic pills and hope they will carry you through. Ideally you work out and you work hard, most days of the week. Then as you age your body is used to labor and the things you’ve done help you maintain balance and strength ( hopefully protecting you or totally keeping you from falling) you then live a strong, energetic, and independent life doing the things you like and want.

But… you’ve got to start now. It’s like saving money. You don’t have any to draw on if you don’t save it.

Goes like that with exercise. If you want something to draw on years from now, you need to start now. You work¬†your body¬†every day and let it do things that will help you live strong and independent when you’re older.

If you don’t know where to start, start walking. Everyone can do it and it’s generally safe for most people. Be sure to walk briskly and move at a steady pace for at least 30 minutes. You will seriously want to incorporate some strength training in your week too.

Think of activities you like that you might want to try. Experimenting is one of the best ways to find your passion.

Focus on taking one day at a time. Don’t allow yourself to make excuses to not do it. Think of how you’ll feel when you are finished… strong, accomplished, clear headed and moving forward to a healthier more fit you now, and in the future ¬†ūüôā

exercise

Younger Next Year For Women Book Review

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Among other things I enjoy doing in life, reading is at the top of the list.

Weird, I know, someone who writes likes to read.

Sometimes I have a hard time just being still to do it. However, if I get into¬†a good book,¬†well then, the house could fall down around me and I’d be oblivious.

Anyone else out there like that?

Ok so I’ve just finished a book I’m excited over. It’s a¬†fun, easy read, and packed full of humor and super¬†good information. I’ve been eager to finish and write a book review on it ’cause I really think everyone should read it… it’s like…that good.

It’s called “Younger Next Year For Women” . Of course, anyone can read it, but it’s really driven at the middle aged crowd. The “over 40 and pushing the Senior citizen discount crowd.”

Don’t let the title distract you.

It’s not coming from a point so prevalent in society today… trying to physically look younger with often extreme measures involved in a pursuit to look like we did in high school.

The title of the book does imply, being older but still being young at heart, strong, active, full of life and vitality. Being able to physically do things you did 10 years previously. Sometimes, doing them better.

Why wouldn’t you want to be able to do that?¬† Sign me up.

My doctor recommended¬†the book¬†to me when I was in for my yearly checkup telling me I “embodied the women” they wrote about.¬† She thought I’d be encouraged by the information since I was already doing many of the things the authors encouraged their readers to do.

Well, of course I was intriqued.  I had found it on Amazon before I ever pulled out of the parking lot.

It cost me a whole $4.00.

I realized seeing the authors names that I had read excerpts of their writings in magazines and found them entertaining, highly informative, and spot on with the truths they were preaching.  I guess because they were truths I had already been living out.

I was excited to get my hands on the entire work and not just pieces of it. Two men wrote the book, one  a Doctor, the other interestingly enough came into his life as his patient. Together they make a great team.

Meaning you have lots coming at you from a medical perspective and you have the other perspective from someone who’s walked the walk and is 70ish living a strong, healthy and energetic lifestyle.

So I’m going to just give you my personal take on it, my thoughts and observations.¬† If anything I hope you’ll spend a few dollars on¬†the book¬†and glean truths out of it that will help and motivate you to live a healthy, positive life, for the rest of your life.

Their first¬†book, “Younger Next Year”,¬†¬†was written with an eye towards middle aged men.¬† It was evidently such a huge success they had women asking them to write¬† a woman’s version of it¬†with a focus on issues women deal with.¬†¬†They did and it is appropriately titled, “Younger Next Year For Women”.

This is what my book review is on ’cause well… I’m a woman ūüėõ

On a side note, I was reading on the patio at my favorite coffee hang out one afternoon. I was intent on finishing the book. I noticed a couple sitting there when I walked out. They were “older” but looked healthy and fit. After about 5 minutes the man asks of me… “are you enjoying the book?”

I think he’s just being polite and has no idea what I’m reading. The wife is smiling and she finally¬†says… “we’ve read those books! we thought the men/women’s were so good we gave them as Christmas gifts to all our friends!”

I had to admit it was pretty weird timing to have them sitting there while I was polishing off the book, giving me their glowing review of it.

The overall idea of the book and the truths, thoughts and suggestions contained within are on living a strong, healthy, fit, (and gasp), even still being sexy, in what they refer to as the third stage of life.

Meaning, life after menopause.

You don’t have to “get old”, turn frumpy, get fat, tired, develop diseases and then die. ( seriously, they put this all in such a humorous way…don’t depend on me to spill it all here.)

Sadly, there is a pervasive thought that this is just “what happens”…like we’re helpless¬†victims of aging…¬†and so much of it doesn’t have to happen¬†and is preventable.

I know, you might be looking at the title and ¬†seeing that sexy part and think “hey, I’m old. Sexy went away a long time ago.”¬† Define that how you will,¬† but I still want to feel good about myself and I certainly have no intention of giving up my edge ’cause I’m not 20 or 30ish anymore. I’m not quitting and turning in my woman card just ’cause I’m older.

Ok.. besides that…. what my doctor already knew about me when she recommended the book, and what I’ve figured out since reading it, is that I’ve been doing all the things they are encouraging women to do to live a strong, and healthy life.

But when I read the lines “A book of hope, that shows you how to¬† become functionally younger for the next five to ten years, and continue to live thereafter with newfound vitality. How to avoid 70 percent of the normal problems of aging, and eliminate 50 percent of illness or injury. And how to live brilliantly for the three decades or more after menopause.”¬†

Now I’m not sure what “how to live brilliantly” exactly means but I’m down for it.

Who doesn’t wanna live, brilliantly ??

From the first few pages, I¬†was hooked on it.¬† I already feel like I live an extremely active life compared to the majority of people my age.¬† My doctor teasingly calls me her poster child for middle aged fitness. I’ve been practicing an active, healthy lifestyle for quite a few years now and I know how I feel and the difference it’s made in me physically, well it’s made a difference in all areas actually.

Eating well and vigorous exercise make big impacts on our bodies and our minds.

And of course I’m interested in learning how I can keep doing the things I’m doing now…. for the rest of my life.

Who wouldn’t want to ?!

When I look ahead, I see myself doing the things I do today. I have no desire to be less active or not be able to do the things I do now.

What happens for so many is that they stop moving.  They stop using their bodies.  They gain weight and become more and more sedentary. This causes weakness and frailty as we get older. This can also contribute to the development of diseases.

The aging process.

I loved this line in the book “you do have to age, but you don’t have to rot”

That line just landed hard on me. That word…. rot….. just the mental visions it stirred up.. yuck.

I don’t want to be a part of the rotting group.

From birth, we begin an aging process. The authors point is that we all go through the aging process. We rot when we stop using our bodies. It gives creed to the jokes of “getting older and falling apart”.

Their point… it doesn’t have to happen. You will age, but rotting, can largely¬†be prevented.¬† Illnesses and age related issues that people think “happen ’cause you’re old” can be avoided.

The book is laid out in an easy¬†conversational tone¬†with the “patient”¬† Chris, and the Doctor, Henry. Each one takes a chapter and addresses different thoughts or ideas. Chris, from¬† living a lifestyle as the patient who needed to make changes and the impact that’s had on him and Henry, the doctor who basically called him out on his lifestyle and how it was affecting him. He of course brings all the hard hitting physical and medical truths to us in the book.

Their writing is humorous and easy to read. It’s smart and intelligent.

It’s also hard hitting and blunt… just a heads up. They call things as they see them and pull no punches.

Straight truth. It might make you squirm. Or convict you. It might even make you mad if it hits close to home.

Why? Because they are passionate about what they do, what they believe, and the HUGE impact they see on people who do the things they recommend.

As I’ve contemplated what to write you about this book, I’ve realized I just want to share entire chapters with you and that won’t do ’cause then you won’t have to get the book and read it!

And you should read it… remember… it’s pretty cheap information on being strong, fit, and healthy for the rest of your life.

Below¬†are¬†their cardinal rules for living this life I’m talking about. This¬†will have to do for now. ¬†They greatly expand on all these areas in the chapters of the book,¬†which you’ll have to get it if you want to learn more about what they say on these points ¬†ūüėČ

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Not just that…if you like to laugh… you’ll want to read it. Delivering anything with a stroke of humor always works for me.

But more than anything, read it if you want to make an impact on your future life.

Have you read anything¬†lately that’s made an impact on you ?

 

 

 

Aging Or Decaying?

Random. Spontaneous. Adventurous. Fun.

Some of those adjectives describe me at any given time…. especially when it comes to doing fun, off the cuff pics. I recently had posted and shared this playful one after the AARP magazine had come in the afternoon mail.

 

Aging Or Decaying
No. This isn’t my usual reading material.

AARP for my readers outside of the U.S. means American Association of Retired Persons.

I know I’m in that happy¬†“¬†you’re getting all middle-aged and old, get settled down” zone but honestly, I relate on no level whatsoever to it.

I know there are probably one or two people who want me to get the memo about middle age and want me to talk about getting old and achy with my middle aged complaints¬†and put up my Converse and torn jeans but I don’t foresee that happening any ‘ol time soon.

Nah.

I have a wide age range of friends, but totally love my younger crowd. I love their energy, passion, plans for the future,  and their outspoken openness on many things. I find conversations interesting and fun with them and in turn, they actually enjoy me too.

Age is pretty irrelevant to me.

That being said… after I took the pic and set the magazine down an article on the cover grabbed my attention…

“31 Proven Age-Erasing Secrets”

Most of the time I read these articles honestly not expecting to walk away with much. I look for things I find usable or that I can share with my followers.

The article first of all, was immediately engaging and witty. You can always pull me in with that.

Humor is the way to my heart ūüėõ

The article went on to discuss how to remain healthy, strong, fit and active in what they refer to as your “third act”.¬† Some people refer to it as your “golden years”, you know those years you are supposed to hang it all up, chill out, and watch the world go by.

It goes on to mention that an active healthy lifestyle can prevent many health issues and keep us moving and doing things that we love. ( something I firmly believe)

Then they used an interesting term I’ve never heard, but it really had me thinking for the rest of the day.

It was this….”most of what people call aging, and most of what we dread about getting older, is actually decay. We are stuck with real aging, but decay is optional.”

Yeah, just let that breathe over you for a minute or two.

Decay is optional. Those words hung out in my head the rest of the day. I’ve just never thought of it in such a way.

It’s true if you think about it. We begin aging the minute we are born into this world.

Aging, is a natural part of the life circle.

The article goes on to say that basically, we don’t have to decay, yet many will.

“In the absence of signals to grow, your body, including your brain, decays and you “age”. The keys to “overriding” the decay signals? Daily exercise, good nutrition, emotional commitment, and a real engagement with living.”

The article continues on with all the health benefits of daily, strong, vigorous exercise as the main way to prevent “decay”.

It should be noted that decay is listed as all the illnesses, aches, pains, and overall decline that people associate with, or believe is, a part of “getting old”.

It just doesn’t have to be.

Remember that “use it or lose it” term ? if you don’t actively use your body in time you will lose muscle and muscle strength.¬†¬†Walking to your bathroom will feel¬†like you ran a marathon. Daily, easy tasks will feel harder. Basic things will take more effort.

The biggest contributors of decay is inactivity, an overall sedentary lifestyle, followed by poor nutrition.

On a personal level, I think there’s a lot to be said for strong, daily exercise and good nutrition. There are payoffs. No, they aren’t instantaneous. Yes, you have to invest time and energy but is it worth it to live a strong, energetic, healthy life?

I absolutely believe so.

So I was left pondering this question… how do I want to live out my life?

Do I want to age? … which is a natural part of life.

Or do I want to decay? …. be sedentary, eat poorly, be overweight, develop diseases associated with¬† being overweight, live a sedentary lifestyle and have aches and pains from¬†a body that isn’t used?

And I’ll leave this question with you.

Do you want to age, or decay?

Below are 7 rules to stop aging from the authors:

1.Exercise 6 days a week for the rest of your life.

2. Do serious aerobic (cardio peeps, cardio) exercise 4 days a week for the rest of your life.

3. Do serious strength training, with weights, two days a week for the rest of your life.

4. Spend less than you make.

5. Quit eating crap.

6. Care.

7. Connect and commit.

Pretty straightforward, right? The most important thing is to start. If you get two days in a week, great. Set your goals on three etc until you are working out most of the week. I know aerobic (cardio) hard breathing, sweating exercise a lot of people don’t like but that’s youth building stuff… do it.

Just start somewhere, where you can, and then build on more days as you’re able.

Ok and before I leave you, I did find and read this book. It was sooooo worth the few dollars I spent on it. I won’t spoil it for you, but you can find my review for it here…..https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2017/05/04/younger-next-year-for-women-book-review/

 

Want more info on this? Check out the “Younger Next Year” series of books by Chris Crowley and Henry S Lodge M.D.