Senior Olympics

- Fitness

Health, Fitness After 50….or So

My slightly younger brother likes to remind me that I’ve reached the mountaintop and sliding down the other side headfirst with arms outstretched. It’s a nice little visual way for him to remind me that I’m ‘over the hill’ now that I’m on the other side of 50. But if this is true I’m not feeling it, in fact I’m feeling as good as I have in quite a while. I just recently took off about 20 pounds doing the low carb diet, and looking as healthy as a horse, at least an old nag anyhow. What does it take to feel and look healthy at this time in life?

Although it’s been said many times by different people, I do believe that health starts with the right attitude. Although I’m not quite sure that I would buy the notion that positive thinking can help cure disease and other health issues, I do believe that it can go along way towards preventing them in the first place. Thoughts are things, and if you carry around the right kind of thoughts, you’ll tend to get the same kind of things. So first off, you might want to give yourself a checkup from the neck up. Are you a glass is half full, or half empty kind of person?

While a positive attitude is a good place to start, if you’ve got bad health habits that you’ve had for a good period of time, like excessive drinking or smoking, the previous paragraph will mean little to you. But for those other borderline bad habits like watching too much T.V., or maybe spending too much time in front of your computer, change it. I never turn my T.V. on during the day. In fact, I don’t watch it a lot in the evenings when I get off work. Now I wouldn’t expect everyone or anyone to live such an ascetic existence, but in place of watching one of your favorite programs how about taking a 30 minute walk instead? You’ll feel better for it, and you can probably catch that show as a re-run a few years down the line.

By the way, health ‘experts’ say that it takes only about 21 days to instill a new ‘habit’ so if you get out there and start some activity such as walking, after a few weeks you’ll WANT to do it. Sort of a positive addiction thing.

What kind of exercises are best? While I’m not a doctor or any kind of health expert, I do know what works for me. I make walking a daily part of my life. I prefer several short 10 to 15 minute walks daily. You may prefer longer walks, but doing it is the key. Just get out there and start moving those old bones. You’ll find it great not just for the body but the mind as well, and as a side benefit you may notice some things that you haven’t seen in years. Trust me on this.

Swimming is another great exercise if you’re fortunate to have access to a pool. Swimming is much easier on the joints as the water provides buoyancy and can provide great cardiovascular benefits as well. Many places now have Senior Water Aerobics. It’s a great way to meet people and stay in shape as well. I have a friend who goes to a local Y.M.C.A. The cost is very reasonable and she reports that all of her male friends like the results.

Another important thing that I work into my daily ritual and I believe to be as important as anything else is doing a lot of stretching exercises. Whether toe touching, sit ups, side bends, side twists, or what have you, I believe it’s vitally important to keep yourself flexible as you get older. I seldom if ever experience joint stiffness and I believe that a lot of that has to do with my consistent stretching routines. You know what they say, ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it’. Keep those joints limber by using them everyday.

There are many other components that go into good health and fitness such as genetics, good nutrition, right habits and lots of luck. I guess I’ve been very lucky up to this point, but I think a lot of it has to do with my attitude towards health and exercise. I’m not trying to win the Senior Olympics, just trying to stay healthy for as long as I can. Hope you choose to do the same.

Bill Thomas lives in Seattle, Wa. He is actively engaged in E-Commerce and Internet Marketing. His current website is–Create Lifetime Income from Home on $10 a Month