Remember in your 20s and 30s when you thought you'd have it all figured out when you were older?
Of course, you’ve learned a thing or two (or a million) along the way. But somehow finding balance still seems so out of reach. And, you're not alone.
We all know or are that person that says "I want to get in shape, but [insert reason]" Mostly it's that you have no time or you're waiting until after the holidays or you don't have a gym nearby, and so on.
Let me tell you about my friend. She’s in her 50s, married, raised two kids, is active in her community and built a nice career. She’s busy but comfortable and enjoys a nice life and she wants to work on her fitness goals, but guess what she doesn't do?
When did everything start hurting so much? Remember when you could move around without pain? Getting older brings on a certain set of challenges. Aches and pains start happening during simple, everyday activities like walking or climbing stairs. Even just squatting down to pick something up can be tough on the knees as you get older.
When you first search for a weight loss solution, balance is probably not the first thing on your mind. Even so, balance training is something any worthwhile health coach or weight loss program will incorporate. This is especially important as you age.
I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve heard both men and women tell me that they can’t lose weight because they have a slow metabolism, or because they are over 40, or 50 and their metabolism has slowed down and they accept the fact that they won’t be able to lose weight. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. Do things slow down as we get older? Sure they do. Does that mean you have to settle for being overweight or unfit? Absolutely not.
Gone are the days when Dad worked 9 to 5 and Mom stayed home raising the children and taking care of the household. In 1967, 49 percent of mothers were stay-at-home moms, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Today it is roughly at 29%, and has been on the rise since an all time low in 1999 of only 25% (Pew Research Center) Being a working mom or a single working mom can certainly take its toll on your health as you try to juggle all your responsibilities. Let’s face it; Mom’s put everyone else’s needs first.
But there’s an even bigger drain on women these days as the number of 40 year olds enter the Sandwich Generation. If you haven’t heard of the Sandwich Generation, this is the age group that is taking care of both elderly parents and grown children.
How many times have you tried to lose weight? I don’t know the exact percentage, I’ve read anywhere from 65% up to 97% of the men and women who lost weight gain it all back. And that the average person, by the age of 45 has tried 61 diets! This according to an article in the Huffington Post A new program becomes popular and everyone flocks to the stores, or Internet, to grab a copy of the book, DVD, or new fangled exercise equipment because THIS time, it’s going to work. Because THIS is what I really need to lose weight.
If you’ve been struggling to lose weight, it’s quite possible your lack of sleep could actually be making you gain weight. Most of us know that getting enough sleep is important, but how many people actual do get enough sleep? We constantly work into the wee hours of the morning, binge watch our favorite TV shows or force ourselves to stay up late simply because we need the downtime. But do you even know what poor sleep habits can lead to?
Too many women over 50 believe it’s too late to get in shape. They mistakenly believe they have to accept the fact that since they are older they will never weigh what they did in college, or they won’t be able to get rid of the belly fat or widening hips that seem to come with middle-age (not to mention the stiffness, lack of balance and diminishing flexibility).
Lisa Swanson is an ACE Certified Health Coach, Personal Trainer and Orthopedic Exercise Specialist as well as a certified AASDN and PN level 1 nutritionist. With over 35 years experience helping people turn their lives around, she is on a mission to provide relevant and useful knowledge to help women in midlife reach their goals.
Check out my interview with the Magnificent Midlife podcast on staying fit and healthy long-term.