Who doesn’t admire a mature woman who glows from the inside out in a state of vibrant good health? We’ve all seen her; poised and confident with a beautiful head of silver hair, radiant skin and great posture. Vitality oozes from her very being and yes, we understand that it can only be achieved systematically through right choices in diet, exercise, healthy introspection, and increasingly relevant for today, spiritual or mental fasts from media, noise, pollution and negativity. I want to be THAT woman! The reality is, too many of us will start with good intentions, have a vision of the end in mind and fizzle out somewhere in the middle. Here are a few simple and very doable tips to help you become 40+ and Fitness Fabulous!
1. Release Faulty Beliefs
So what if you didn’t exercise the first 40 years. Is that any reason not to do it for the next 40? But often women believe if they neglected themselves in the first half of life then it’s too late to do anything about it now. THAT’S FALSE! I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing hundreds of women, many whom report not having even developed a passion for exercise until their forties or fifties. The most amazing news is, they also report having much healthier body images today than in their 20’s and 30’s. So even if you’ve had a completely inactive lifestyle, it’s never too late to start exercising and improve your health.
2. Start Where You Are
Been comparison shopping for the right gym membership terms? Interviewing and taking recommendations for personal trainers. Stop your stall tactics, you! Spending a fortune on clubs and trainers is just not necessary. In fact, you have everything you need in your home (stairs, soup cans, pet, curtain rod) or neighborhood (walking trail, park) to start a solid workout program the minute you finish reading this post. And here’s a tip from me, to keep my arms looking toned, I do 10 push ups in the morning and another 10 at night!
3. Set Realistic Expectations
Those arm wings didn’t appear overnight so no fair to start your program thinking you’re going to get 6-pack abs and buns of steel in 30 days. NO FAIR!! The more unrealistic you are about your goals, the more likely you are to think you’ve failed and quit. Even though you may not notice the visible results right away, your strength, balance, flexibility and endurance are reaping major benefits. And over time, with consistent, steady effort, while you may not look like Ernestine Shepherd, you will begin to see the visible results of leaner muscle and looser fitting clothes.
4. Understand Family History for What It Is…HISTORY!
Listen, just because your grandmother died of heart disease, and her father died of heart disease, does NOT mean you’ll die of heart disease. No more than a black cat crossing your path means anything other than it was simply trying to get to the other side. Knowing our family medical history is important so that we can do better, not seal our fate! It is indeed wise, based on family history, to make appropriate lifestyle adjustments. But much less wise, I might add, to internalize a history of medical conditions as your own inevitable demise.
5. Disguise Your Exercise
I never much cared for exercise until I discovered Pilates. I guess because I find it to be less like “exercise” and more like… relaxation. For you outgoing, festive types, a Zumba workout is cleverly disguised as your hanging out with friends dance party. For you meditative, deep thinkers, Tai Chi or Yoga wears the disguise of gentle stretches and poses and may be your perfect fit The most important thing here is to find something you love that’s taught by an instructor who’s willing to meet you where you are.
6. Celebrate the Small Stuff
Never be self critical. If you skip up a day, so what; pick up the next day and keep going. And don’t wait for the big changes; celebrate the baby steps along the way. Started out with 10 arm curls and now you can do 12? CELEBRATE!. Started out doing 10 minutes of Zumba and now you can do 15? CELEBRATE! Celebrating the little things will keep you fired up, motivated and on track for the big things. Before you know it, you’ve reached your original goals and now have to set some new ones.