“You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.” George Burns
To be ageless you need a “look” you can develop into a “lifetime persona”, like Goldie Hawn, Christie Brinkley, Susanne Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer and people like Ellen and Oprah to mention just a few celebrities. It is not because they are celebrities, but because they have a look that works for them as they age, you don’t see the aging, you know their “persona” and it’s been the same, even twenty years later. You know their walk, their talk, their essence. Somewhere early on, they designed a look that best suits them and they are comfortable in that skin. Once you find your “look”, it takes no time at to get dressed as you know what makes you feel good.
This trigger is for you to set up an exercise program, and I don’t mean a daily ‘walk the dog’ walk. Now walking is good, don’t get me wrong, but if you are not including at least fifteen minutes of power walking, stair climbing or jump roping, it’s not enough to get your heart rate up which increases your metabolism and that’s what burns the fat. And you also need strength training to keep muscle. What’s important is the positive answer to the question: is this part of your daily lifestyle or something you do when you feel guilty or see the pounds add up? For most of us, exercising is not fun, you’ve been told to do it and you moan every time you think of it. Or you are just l-a-z-y! . Now you are thinking that you know all this old stuff, so let’s move on.
But, did you know that exercise increases new blood cell development in the bones. These new blood cells then get circulated through out the body rejuvenating not only our bodies, but also our brains. We think of exercise as good for the heart and as a way to burn calories, yet, this particular function of exercise is incredibly important, and this should be one of your prime reasons to get your body moving on a daily bases. Many cancers travel through the blood system, is it possible that new and healthy blood cells could help protect us from some of these cancers? Being mindful of how our body functions helps to keep it healthy. Being healthy is being youthful.
You don’t need a gym, unless you find it motivates you. One or two sessions with a professional trainer or physical therapist can set you up with appropriate weights and resistant-stretch bands and a thick mat for a simple at home workout. A few light body weights and a jump rope can do the trick. If you have knee or hip problems, there are exercises for that as well and with consistent effort, you can be more active. Drop-in yoga classes or a Pilates mat workout can teach you stretches that you can incorporate into a do-it-yourself routine. The secret to long term results and consistency is picking a program that is fun. If it’s not fun, you will not stick with it; it gets boring and you do it less and less until you just stop. Think about it, how many times have you done just that?
Another way to get you to exercise is to remember that females loose muscle mass after 60. Yes, this process is called sarcopenia: muscle deterioration due to aging. If you love sagging skin, jowls, wrinkles, body “mush”, flapping arms and belly fat, continue doing what you do, because if you don’t fight against “time” the normal aging process will take over. Even if we have a healthy diet with the exact same foods and food portions, we gain a pound a year starting at age 40 as our metabolism slows down a tinny bit each year, we hardly notice it. So if we are 120 at 40, we will be 130 at 50 and 140 at sixty. So If I’m 5’4” at 40, that’s a good weight. But at 50 the 130 pounds begins to show and by 60 not only does the 140 pounds make me look chubby, but because I have now lost an inch due to aging, my 5’3’ frame with the added weight makes me dumpy! Without adding one calorie to my daily intake, I am a butterball.
The only way to beat the system is to exercise and build muscle mass, not the hard body builder kind, but the long lean muscle that gives us pretty arms, defined legs and a tight core. Exercise brings circulation to muscles and skin. Exercise can prevent facial wrinkles and firm facial skin. NOTE: facial exercises that supposedly lift the skin by building muscles underneath the skin, do NOT work. The overall blood circulation from a good cardio workout, does. Tiny capillaries in your skin dilate bringing more nutrient-rich blood to your skin. Then these nutrients encourage your collagen cells to produce more collagen cells rewarding you with plumper facial tissue and overall firmer skin from the elastin that’s also generated. And of course smoking just kills all the good stuff, so quit. If for no other reason, let vanity motivate you to exercise and do it with gusto.
After some thirty years, I started playing tennis again; and the first thing I did was do leg, knee and hip exercises everyday for two weeks before I joined the tennis clinic at the local Community College. I started in a beginner class for the first eight weeks and then moved up to a more advanced group, but I’m not pressing my luck so I’m staying at an intermediate level. I get an aerobic workout, I’m having fun and I feel good as well. I’m playing with a much younger group of people, which keeps me on my toes, as well as the fact that with focusing on the ball, my distance vision has improved. I’m not a swimmer, but maybe you are and that might work for you. A sport or exercise program that interacts with others will be a program you are apt to stick with as it’s fun. I have become a tennis junkie and if someone wants to play, I’m there! At the local Community College or local parks, they have classes in almost anything and are inexpensive. You like to dance? Argentine Tango, Belly dance, Salsa, East Coast Swing, Ballroom, Zumba, jazzercise and my favorite is tap dancing.
Yoga and stretching is an absolute must, even if you are taking a dance class. A ten-minute slow stretch workout is the only way to start the day. Never do any exercise without warming up, even your walks! If you are really smart, you will do a few stretches before you get out of bed! Think about it, the mattress is soft and you can stretch your limbs without any harm. It’s getting into this habit, where it becomes automatic like brushing your teeth, that you will see changes in your posture and body firmness and strength. Some women can’t leave the house without makeup; you don’t leave the house without your morning workout and sunblock. You will also notice better posture and an increase in energy burning more calories.
Now STRIP! Take a good look at your naked self, in particular your posture. Do you have old lady posture? You can have better posture even if it’s been years since you stood tall. A knowledgeable physical therapist or body trainer that works with “corrective” techniques will get you started. I work out with the stretch bands every day and because I’m at the computer for hours at a time, I wear a support bra (not a sports bra) that adjusts at the shoulder and front and has strong bands that cross in the back.. And I do wear a sport bra for tennis. Undergarments that help us stand tall are not a crutch as long as you do the upper back stretching exercises.
Before you leave this blog, you need to get yourself a new bra. The perfect bra can change your posture and give you a psychological and physical lift. Do not just pick a pretty bra off the rack. You need help.
When was the last time you got fitted for a new bra?