A few months into the coronavirus crisis, we have learned and been reminded of so much important information about fitness and healthy living after 50.
If it helps to find a silver lining, let’s share just 10 things that have come up since all this started – and draw inspiration from them to carry on with a healthy lifestyle.
Top Ten Healthy Living Lessons
- We’ve gotta keep moving, even if our options have changed. I’ve been a personal trainer for decades and am over 50 myself. If you want to keep your body and mind as healthy as possible so you can deal with the stress of the world we’re living in today, you have to keep moving.
- A simple way to do that: Stop sitting so much. Get up and walk around the house during commercials. Put on some music and dance. Work in your garden. Do some bodyweight exercises in your living room. It all counts.
- Remember 150. World and US standards say most adults need 150 minutes of moderately vigorous aerobic activity a week, plus at least two sessions of resistance training. That’s the minimum for healthy living, folks 😉
- Everyone can, in fact, adapt easily with technology. How many times have we been told that “older” people are afraid of technology? That has proven to be false, as so many of you quickly started working out via FaceTime, Google Duo, Zoom or other online video services. “I am open to new things – I am NOT an old fogey,” Helen, 74, told us after she overcame her dislike for electronic devices so she could continue her workout habits. I have clients ranging in age from late 60’s to mid-90’s using FaceTime or Google Duo to do virtual training sessions with me because they understand how important it is to keep up their strength and fitness.
- Walking is great for everybody – and every mind and spirit, too. Have you noticed how the bike trails and sidewalks are busier than ever with people out getting a walk? It’s good for their energy levels, endurance, mood and creativity, too. As Thoreau said, “The moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.”
- We are craving the connections that exercise provides. Being a part of a community is important to maintaining good exercise and nutrition habits. We’ve all been spending more time at home, of course, but gyms and studios still help us maintain our social bonds through online workouts and other activities. As Jean, 64, put it: “I love to see my friends on there and say hi. I wouldn’t want to give it up.” I am able to start meeting with clients in person again at a private 12,000 square foot facility in Eden Prairie. It is not like a big box gym with lots of people around – basically everyone there is working with their Personal Trainer. There is plenty of space between people and lots of sanitizer for cleaning equipment between each use.
- We’re reading more – whether it’s “bucket list” classics, nonfiction about pandemics and social issues, or fun “beach reads” to escape. Reading improves our memory, brain function, and decision-making abilities. It reduces stress and helps us fall asleep.
- We’re practicing yoga, Pilates and tai chi. Did you know that 10 million Americans over 50 practice yoga regularly? And that was before more gyms and studios started offering it online!
- We’re focusing on broader wellness. We’ve been forcefully reminded that our wellbeing involves more than physical exercise. It also encompasses emotional, cognitive, social and spiritual health, among other aspects. Many of my clients are also taking this time to focus on improving their eating habits or learning to meditate.
- Fitness isn’t merely possible – it’s necessary for better living. “Exercise is vital for functional longevity, no matter how you do it,” says Dan Ritchie, PhD, president and co-founder of the Functional Aging Institute. “You can’t afford to take two months off.”
Which takes us back to the top: We’ve gotta keep moving!
What to do Next
I’m here for you now and in the future, with a variety of activities and approaches to helping you reach your fitness and healthy living goals. Whether you want to work out at home or come to a private gym, contact me today to see how I can help you get the results that you want.