As most of you know who have ever read about my motto of ‘My Age, Not Your Business” in other posts, I can certainly share with you that it is safe to say that I am over 5o. Fifty, Fit, and Fabulous! Does that sound conceited? I assure you that there is no conceit intended. It is simply the fact that I have earned the position of confidence. You should do the same. That being said, I can attest to some simple but good habits that I have adopted to have an impact on my Fit & Fabulous state. I am even proud to say that although good genes are present in my family, we have also learned and are still learning lessons on how to stay healthy, fit, and fabulous.
To everything, there is a season. So, as we travel in our different seasons of life, we may encounter grey strands, a few changes in our body, as well as a few aches and pains. For many of us, however, aging creeps up on us and comes as a surprise. One minute we are that sweet young thing, and what seems like the next minute, we are in the group that some younger people consider old people. We were once there as well, and before they know it, they will experience this season. Age sneaks up on us when we least expect it and sometimes causes havoc with our memory, and anything else it can throw at us. However, if we prepare ourselves, we can laugh in its face!
One day we look in the mirror and wonder where those fine lines came from that were not there before. We are getting older and there is nothing we can do about it. Aging is a matter of birth. However, looking and feeling fit and fabulous is a matter of choice. I have decided that I am going to fight age every step of the way and I want to share with you some of my tools and tips to make the best of your season. This is certainly not an exhaustive list and there is no particular order, but these tools and tips will certainly make you thrive. Here’s hoping that you stay healthy, fit, fabulous, and happy in your fifties and beyond.
- SPIRITUALITY & TIME WITH FAMILY – Spending time with God first thing each morning is relational. I’m not talking about being religious, it’s about connecting with the Father to talk to Him, to praise and thank Him for each new day. It is also important to find time for Family. It is essential to having a beautiful life. With the bus-i-ness of life consisting of work and school and all the other stressors competing with family time, it is essential to make bonding with family a priority. In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth and on the seventh day, He rested. Resting does not mean sleeping all day. It is a form of relationship. I love spending time with my family and I don’t allow work to interfere with our time together. Typically, we go to church on Sabbath morning, then spend the rest of the day enjoying each other. We have family dinners, and sometimes we go to a park when the weather permits and have a picnic. We love packing a lunch and meeting the rest of the family at a lake. We find the time to just relax, relate, and release all the tensions of the week and escape if only for a few hours. We laugh, we communicate, we bond, and we strengthen our relationships. The reward is priceless. I look back at memories of growing up in a family that make that one day a priority for family time. Try it. I don’t think you will regret it.
- A HEARTY BREAKFAST – My godmother lived to be ninety-seven. She would tell me that her breakfast was the largest meal of her day. She would actually eat beans and potatoes at times. Her lightest meal was dinner time when she mostly ate salads, fruits, and other lighter meals, and she always ate before 6:00 pm. Our metabolism slows down on average at least two percent every ten years. It is essential to have your protein in the morning so that it fuels your activities during the day. It is easier to lose weight when our bodies are fueled throughout the day and avoid heavy meals in the evening. Eating a lighter breakfast can have a tendency to bring on hunger pains more often during the day and possibly entice us to eat heavier during the evening. Furthermore, eating protein twice a day can be a mood lifter, ward off depression, and improve memory.
- MANAGE THAT STRESS – I use to always have multiple job positions. My family teases me that I must be Jamaican with all of those jobs. When I was younger, it was exciting to hold multiple jobs. Not only was I married with two children and a home, but I also had a salon business as well as a fashion store where I sold clothing, Nexus products, and accessories in one area of the salon, in addition to that, I was a Mary Kay Associate. To make matters more exciting, during that time, I was also a real estate agent. We lived in a rather compact city area where it was easy to roller-set my client’s hair, leave her under the dryer, and schedule a home showing if it was close enough during my client’s drying time. Yes, I did that. Luckily, I had an assistant just in case I took too long to return to the salon to finish my client. I didn’t do it often, but it was often enough. Although it was an exciting time and I enjoyed the excitement of it all, I developed hypertension and had to start medication. Still, I continued that lifestyle for several years. One day, I suddenly felt overwhelmed. I decided that it was time for me to let go of some of those jobs. I let the clothing shop go then Mary Kay. I had a closeout sale and then streamlined my accessories. I started working the real estate only on weekends, then eventually let it go on a PRN basis. Chronic stress can kill you. The long-term effect that stress has on your blood pressure increases the risk of strokes and even heart attacks. I wanted no parts of that.
- SUNSHINE & SUPPLEMENTS– Just about everyone can benefit from a bit of sunshine. However, I believe that in addition to sunshine, women over fifty can benefit greatly from magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D. I believe they are essential to maintaining strong bones. This fabulous trio is great for promoting a healthy immune system, magnesium helps to regulate transporting calcium into our system and it also helps to secrete the hormone, calcitonin, which helps to push calcium into the bones. I also find that magnesium and calcium help me to rest better at night and it practically eliminates the leg cramps that nag me sometimes. I also consume a lot of bananas for potassium which is essential to all body tissue and nerve functions. It supports normal blood pressure and helps my muscles to contract. I keep bananas in my fruit bowl. They are even great if I just don’t have time or the desire to eat. At least I know I have a semblance of nutrition when I grab a banana.
- CHECK IN WITH YOUR DOCTOR – Women over 50 should make it a point to check in regularly with their doctor. If your doctor is like mine, they should be an advocate for good health. Encouraging patients to let go of cigarettes if they smoke (not good for your skin at all), encouraging patients to limit the consumption of alcohol, drinking alkaline water to flush the trash from their body, assisting those patients with hormone therapy who are approaching menopause, or smack dab in the middle of it. Reminding them to get that colonoscopy, get their eyes checked as well as yearly hearing exams, and don’t forget oral health as well as sexual health if they are having some issues. Trust your physician to talk to them about it. Partnering with your physician is one of the key things to do to keep your system running smoothly so that you continue to fit and fabulous.
- HEALTHY SEX LIFE – As we age, sex does not have to become a thing of the past. It is understandable that certain health conditions and even medications can hamper or even slow down your ‘sex-capades’. Just because we’re over the 50-yard line does not mean we have to settle for no sex or less than sex. We are sexual creatures and made to enjoy sex. However, if we don’t take care of our bodies, we encounter the risk of losing interest in this beautiful God-given activity. It does not have to be one-sided either. Strengthen your sexual muscles by doing Kegel exercises on a daily basis. It’s no fun when your partner is having all the fun and just you just lying there counting down those minutes to the ending that you are offering little to bring to the proverbial table. Think of sex as another great form of exercise that can improve your mood, make you feel sexy, and improve or increase your confidence.
- EXERCISE – I remember back in the late 80s, I use to teach a thirty-minute aerobic workout class in my basement three times per week that was patterned after ‘Twenty Minute Workout with Bess Motta. It was fun and we all looked forward to the rhythm of “Four more, three more, and reach up left and right…” We even dressed the part which was a part of the fun. Exercise of some sort is vital to keep our bodies moving, our memories sharp, our bodies slim, and our minds healthy and happy. If heavy exercise is too much, a thirty-minute walk can be ideal.
So, my beautiful people, I hope you get active if you’re not, and stay active if you are. So, until next time…Have a fabulous day on purpose!