Fitness Fan Forever

Did my love for physical fitness begin in elementary school, when PE class consisted of doing toe touches and push-ups to the “Chicken Fat” song?  And, of course, climbing up that scratchy rope that was attached to the gym’s ceiling (what the heck was that all about??) 

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Nah.  

How about in middle school, when we were introduced to swim class, rubber swim caps that left dents in our foreheads and stretched out swimsuits that had been worn by God knows how many others?

semi_simple_swimming_sketch

Nah. 

Could I have fallen in love with physical fitness in High School, where I was always one of the last ones chosen for floor hockey games, and actually fractured my thumb after hitting a wall during relay races? 

And again, Nah.

No, I became a fitness fanatic at the age of 19, when I decided my knees were too chubby. For some reason, (too many French fries?) my clothing size had increased to double digits. I took drastic action:

  • I would walk for miles or ride my bike for hours. (A bit extreme, right? Hey, I was young).
  • I would attempt a hundred sit-ups a day (not known as crunches back then).
  • I (foolishly) over exercised, believing that if some exercise was good for you, excessive workouts would be even better. 

Then came the eighties, with its high impact aerobics and Richard Simmons dancing and sweating (not attractive, Richard) to the oldies. And of course, Jane Fonda, looking good in her tights and leotards, cheerfully leading us flabby people in those complicated steps and grapevines (bulimic, but who knew?). Unfortunately, my left foot never figured out what my right foot was doing. Bummer.

Somewhere along the way, I learned to love to sweat. I also figured out that I didn’t have to overdo it and exercise every stinkin’ day to get its benefits. 

Exercise is a great way to laugh in the face of aging. I love it because it makes me feel like I can kick ass, even at age 58.  I hope to be able to exercise until just before I kick the bucket. 

Benefits of Exercise:

Studies Show Exercise Can Improve Your Sex Life

The Hidden Benefits of Exercise

Resistance Training Health Benefits

It is exercise alone that supports the spirits, and keeps the mind in vigor. (Marcus Tullius Cicero)

 

Shake it Up for Vital Aging

It’s no longer the wellness project – It’s Bea Boomer’s Vital Aging Project – Day 37 – 3/27/15

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Bea’s Buzz for Friday

Bea has seen several of those YouTube videos, with a variety of everyday people lip synching to Taylor Swift’s song, Shake it Off.  

While enjoying the version sung by two country boys (one of the best ones, in Bea’s opinion), she had a smashing idea!  Bea decided to rewrite the song’s lyrics to reflect what vital aging is all about.  Bea’s contemplating a YouTube performance – but she may need voice lessons first!

So here it is, Bea Boomer’s song:  Shake it up! 

I got wrinkles on my face – got grayin’ in my hair

That’s what the mirror says, mmm hmm – That’s what the mirror says, mmm hmm

I stay in too much – got cobwebs in my brain

Now that’s no way to age, mmm hmm – no that’s no way to age, mmm hmm

But I had it with this pace – yea, I gotta make a change

And that’s what it’s about, mmm hmm – yea, that’s what its about, mmm hmm

‘Cause the birthdays gonna come, come, come, come, come and birthdays gonna go, go, go, go, go 

Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake – I shake it up, I shake it up

‘Cause the birthdays gonna come, come, come, come, come and birthdays gonna go, go, go, go, go 

Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake – I shake it up, I shake it up

Won’t let agin’ get me down, I’ll just kick it in the butt

And that’s what it’s about, mmm, hmm – yea, that’s what its about, mmm, hmm

I’ll never miss a chance, keep steppin’ up my game

And that’s the way to age, mmm, hmm – yea, that’s the way to age, mmm hmm

I keep on learnin’ – can’t stop, won’t stop growin’ 

It’s like I got this power in my mind, sayin’ it’s gonna be just fine

‘Cause the birthdays gonna come, come, come, come, come and birthdays gonna go, go, go, go, go 

Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake – I shake it up, I shake it up 

‘Cause the birthdays gonna come, come, come, come, come and birthdays gonna go, go, go, go, go 

Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake – I shake it up, I shake it up  

I love my attitude – don’t care what people say

And that’s the way to be, mmm hmm – yea, that’s the way to be, mmm hmm

I’m steppin’ up my game – get more power every day

And that’s what they don’t know, mmm hmm – yea, that’s what they don’t know, mmm hmm 

‘Cause the birthdays gonna come, come, come, come, come and birthdays gonna go, go, go, go, go 

Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake – I shake it up, I shake it up 

‘Cause the birthdays gonna come, come, come, come, come and birthdays gonna go, go, go, go, go 

Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake – I shake it up, I shake it up

Shake it up, shake it up

I, I, I, shake it up – I shake it up

I, I, I shake it up – I shake it up

I, I, I, shake it up – I shake it up

©Bea Boomers Wellness 2009-2015

Bea’s Aging Philosophy

Bea Boomer’s Wellness Project – Day 35 – 3/23/15

I have a simple philosophy about aging:  

  • Do the best you can with what you have.
  • Be pro-active to maintain both your emotional, mental, and physical health.
  • Take responsibility for yourself.
  • Oh yea – have fun with it! 

Captureaa(Created at mywebface.com)

For me, the key is “growing old,” not simply “getting old.”  Like my oldest sister, who is 75, I call myself “age empowered.”   I hope to always feel this way. 

Now I know darn well that no matter how proactive I am about my health and wellness, there will be things that come up that will scare the hell out of me.  But I also believe that over the years, I’ve learned to become resilient.  I’ll do my best to bounce back from life’s curve-balls.

What about you?  What’s your attitude toward aging? 

Further reading about Aging and Attitude

Book: “Attitude is Everything. 10 Life-Changing Steps to Turning Attitude into Action.” (Keith Harrell)

This article describes 10 “thought distortions” that lead to negativity and provides some strategies that lead to positive thinking:  Positive Thinking for Healthy Aging

According to the American Psychological Association, people with a healthy attitude toward life just may live longer:  A Healthy Mind, a Longer Life

A person’s beliefs about aging (that is, whether or not they believe in those negative stereotypes) can affect both their physical and mental health: Older People Become What They Think

Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength. (Betty Friedan)

 

©Bea Boomers Wellness 2009-2015

A Journey to Self-Confidence

 

Bea Boomer’s Wellness Project – Day 17 – 2/11/15

Today, I’m just going to be myself, Camille – not Bea Boomer. 

Cam Photo

For many years, I lived with my eyes open only to my weaknesses and what I believed I was constantly doing “wrong.”  In high school, I tried to hide – I felt ugly. In young adulthood, I made wrong choices, based on my lack of self-worth.  In my thirties, I often felt my daughter and husband would be better off without me. 

It wasn’t until I was in my forties that I realized I had to take the steps toward building my self-confidence. My brother died unexpectedly at 50 years old, and I realized how short life was.  My life was passing me by, and I wasn’t living the life I wanted to be living! I was afraid, and didn’t think I had what it took to achieve my goals. The first step to change involved taking charge of my inner beliefs. 

At the age of 47, when I got a job in a workplace that offered tuition reimbursement.  I made a commitment to myself and finally pursued my dream of getting my Bachelor’s degree (many years after getting my Associate’s at a local community college).  I graduated with high honors at the age of 50.  I felt so accomplished! 

Then at work, I became one of the primary members of our workplace wellness committee, and I got the opportunity to write health/wellness email newsletters for the employees.  And people liked what I wrote.  Then a work friend gave me a magazine article about blogging, and encouraged me to start a blog of my own.  It was so cool to be doing something I’ll always be passionate about:  writing about health and fitness for women.

These were a couple of the things that made me realize I had something valuable to offer the world.  As does every woman I know, and those I don’t know (but who I hope are reading these words).   I’ll be 58 soon, and I’ve finally content with myself, flaws and all.  I believe that changing my outlook will help me “grow” as I age, rather than just “getting” old.

Vital aging is not only about resilience, as I wrote about on Monday’s post.  It’s about discovering the wealth inside yourself.  It’s about becoming the self-confident woman you should be, no matter what your age. 

For several strategies you can take to build your own self-confidence, see Bea’s Buzz on Friday, February 13th. 

 

Introducing Bea Boomer’s Wellness Project for 2015!

Bea recently read in the newspaper that we’re living longer than ever. Sounds great, right? The problem is, we’re not living better. All the advances by medical science we have these days, and those of us born during the baby boomer years face more disability and chronic illness than ever.

Gen X, it doesn’t have to be that way for you ~ take charge of your aging, throw out those old stereotypes, and get ready for quality longevity! Generation X women, ranging in age from 35 to 50 in 2015, are at a prime time in their lives to take actions that will impact their everyday wellness  in positive ways.  This everyday wellness can lead to a healthier and more enjoyable aging process.

Often, all this involves is making simple choices that can be easily integrated into our lifestyles.  We just need to love and respect ourselves enough to take that first step.

Visit Bea on January 1, 2015, when she embarks on her 2015 wellness project.  Then, beginning on January 5th, come on back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each month for Bea’s health and wellness tips for Generation X women – covering the physical, mental, emotional and social aspects of healthy aging. Why fear aging, when we can change aging?

Silhouette of a girl jumping over sunset

7 Keys to Age Empowerment

So here’s the question of the day:

Are you simply getting older, or are you growing older?

The key is in the word growing.

Think about it this way:  You can be a “Senior Citizen,” or you can be what my 74 year old sister chooses to be: “Age Empowered.”

Baby boomers, we have a choice to make every day.  As of 2014, we range from the age of 50 to 68.  We can’t turn back the clock and return to our twenties or thirties, and do we really want to?  I know I don’t.  I don’t want to be young again.  I DO want to remain healthy and happy as I continue this journey into “old age.”

We can all do that by having an age empowered attitude:

  • Never stop learningFrom continuing your education, no matter what your age, to playing brain games, to fearlessly trying new technologies; we can keep our brain cells active and strong. 
  • Open your mind to other possibilities. Let’s face it, we all tend to get judgmental, and set in our thought patterns, especially as we age.  Seeing things in black and white, however, is limiting; it keeps us from opening our minds to other people’s points of view.  We can learn from each other!
  • Stay physically active. Exercise is such a powerful life enhancer. We don’t have to be marathon runners (though many of us boomers ARE), we don’t have to be body builders or world-class athletes.  But we can, and should, take care of this body and brain we’ve been given – this gift of life – and do our best to ward off those age-related diseases, protect our minds, and keep ourselves from getting frail and weak. 
  • Stay connected to others. Loneliness and depression can come with aging, if we keep ourselves isolated from others.  Stay socially connected through your church community, your local senior center, a volunteer group, a walking or running club, a quilting club . . . .
  • Accept the changes that come with age.  The Help Guide website has a wide variety of articles that talk about the basics of healthy agingHelp Guide is a great resource for people of all ages.
  • Stop and smell the stinking roses, would ya?  This is even more important over the age of 50, because you just don’t know when your time will be up on this earth.  Enjoy those grandkids, learn to forgive, continue to make great memories with family and friends.  Take time to go outside, breathe in that fresh air, and thank God (or whomever your higher power is) for this gift of life you’ve been given. 
  • Find the humor in life. Laughter is an absolute necessity in our lives.  Laugh at yourself, laugh with others – you’ll relieve stress and worries, and you’ll remain healthier.

For further reading:

National Center for Creative Aging

Older People Become What They Think

 

 

 

 

 

Eating the “Right Foods” is Anti-Aging

 

Eat the right foods, and you can look like a teen-ager again! (Without the zits, I hope).  No facelifts or Botox necessary. Alright, I’m stretching the truth a bit here.  But
according to health experts, eating healthy foods CAN help protect your body from age-related conditions, as well as slow down the aging process.  You’ve heard it before, haven’t you? You are what you eat.

 

Can you believe this couple is pushing 70? That's what a healthy diet can do for you!

 

What the “Right Foods” Can Do:

According to the authors of the book, Growing Younger – Breakthrough Age-Defying Secrets, eating a healthy diet can power up your energy, build a stronger immune system, help improve your memory, eyesight, and hearing, add muscle and increase bone density.

Dr. Vincent Giampapa, who heads the Longevity Institute International, maintains that a “longevity diet” helps our body become more youthful in three ways:

  1. It increases our “youth hormones:” the human growth hormone (hGH), the insulin growth factor (IGF-1) and finally, dehydroepiandroseone (DHEA) (I can’t even pronounce that word!)
  2. It slows down damage from free-radicals, which are damaging to our cells and DNA. Ugly foods, such as refined carbohydrates, sugars, saturated fats, and foods with trans-fats produce free radicals in our bodies.
  3. It builds up our bodies’ cells. Many of the foods we eat in our country contain chemicals, pesticides, fertilizer, and other toxins (sounds yummy, hmmm?) By eating a healthier diet we “clean up” our insides, and our cells work more efficiently.**

It’s hard to believe that simply eating right can make such a difference!

Some examples of diets that can revitalize us and keep our bodies going strong:

**Source:

VanTine, Doherty, & Prevention Editors. Growing Younger Breakthrough Age-Defying Secrets.

    For Further Reading:

     

     

     

     

     

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    May Recommend: LifeGoesStrong

     

     

    Recently, while aimlessly wandering around the internet, I  stumbled upon the LifeGoesStrong website, which is actually a network of sites aimed at those of us in the 45-65 age group.  A boomer goldmine!

     

    I love finding sites I can relate to and that provide the kind of stuff I want to read!
    Sections within this site include:

    • TechGoesStrong – Provides personal tech experts for those of us who are un-techy.  (Ok, that last word isn’t in the dictionary, I just made it up)
    • StyleGoesStrong – Who doesn’t want to look good?  The style experts help us do that, with fashion and beauty advice.
    • FamilyGoesStrong – Baby boomers today may be raising kids, becoming grandparents, and taking care of their elders. The family experts share knowledge to help readers improve their family relationships.
    • HealthGoesStrong – My personal favorite, because healthy aging and wellness are a couple of my top priorities. These experts can help with midlife questions readers may have, as well as provide information about diet, nutrition  and exercise.
    • HomeGoesStrong – Experts who talk about dining, entertainment, home improvement, home safety, pet safety, and much more.
    • PlayGoesStrong – What do you do in your spare time?  These experts talk about travel, hobbies, books, music, volunteering, heck, even what to watch on television!  They help readers have fun and relax.
    • WorkGoesStrong – Are you still doing the nine-to-five every day, like I am?  (Retirement seems so. far. away.) Get career advice, find out how to cope in an office, get some ideas for a second career after retirement.

    What I like about LifeGoesStrong:

    1. Clean and crisp homepage.
    2. Easy to read font
    3. Simple navigation through the site (though I did find it to be slow to change pages at times)
    4. The advertisements aren’t intrusive
    5. The “What We’re Reading” Links in each section

    On the homepage you’ll find: The most current article links are shown at the top of the page; scroll down to see a section-by-section choice of articles.  At the bottom of the page, even more choices of articles, with relevant photos to pique a reader’s interest.
    My favorite articles so far:

    Join the LifeGoesStrong online community to share comments,  win free prizes, and sign up for newsletters geared to your interests.

     

    Quote of the Day:

    The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly. (Buddha)

    Good Blog Find: Happy Health

    Happy Health is a site that defines itself as a “Lifestyle Health Guide for 55+” and that’s a good description. 

     Whether you’re looking for 55+ recreational activities, health articles for an active lifestyle, vacation options, dating and relationship tips – you’ve come to the right place. 

    Happy Health has a team of writers, each one concentrating on a different area of the 55+ lifestyle. 

    Mary Albert  is the team’s health writer. Mary recently wrote a guest post for Bea Boomer’s Wellness, an article about exercising your brain to fight memory loss.

    She’s written some good articles on Happy Health as well, including:

    For those of us who are taking care of elderly parents, Mary has also written several articles about medical alert systems. 

    Other team members include:

    Jack Stewart, recreational writer:

    In this article, he describes the social wellness and health benefits of yoga.

    Other recreational articles for 55+ folks include:

    Alice Mitchell, travel writer, talks about online travel deals in this article:

    And provides some tips for newbie RV travelers in this post:

    Finally, Dorthy Wilson is the relationship writer. Are you in your fifties and dating? Dorthy gives you some tips in her articles:

    Happy Health also includes a link to Product Reviews, where the writers review medical alert systems. You can also sign up and get a free e-book on Natural Anti-Aging Tips.

     

    Taking Charge Of This Aging Thing

    Ahh, Youth

    When Bea was young, her body was like a raging furnace, burning off calories as fast as she could munch ’em down. She had energy to spare, at one time working two jobs (around 76 hours a week); then going out at night to party with her friends.

    Sleep? Ha. She didn’t need it. And she didn’t give any thought, much less a worry, about the future of her muscles, bones, and brain cells. She was young, man, and that was gonna last forever (or, at least until she turned the big 3-0; yea, at one time,  Bea thought 30 was OLD.

    Silly girl.

    Argghhh. What Happened to Youth?

    Suddenly, the “forever young” Bea turned 40.  What the heck happened to thirty, for gosh sakes?  And as her forties raced into her fifties, her body mysteriously began to change. Her once highly energized metabolism started dawdling. Her bone mass started shrinking. Her muscles got, well, a little flabby.  She needed more sleep, yet often woke up, tossing and turning, in the middle of the night.

    Okay. We all know it’s inevitable. Our bodies age, and change. Sometimes that change ain’t pretty.

    But we can make this aging thing easier to swallow, and empower ourselves at the same time. 

    Here are some of Bea’s ideas:

    (1) Take charge of your physical health.  

    • For Bea, that means going to the doc for all those annual tests, and being sure to ask questions about any health concerns.  It also means trying to keep those age-related conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and blood pressure at bay by eating a healthy diet (low fat, high fiber) and making exercise a regular habit.

    (2) Hang onto those brain cells!

    • Dr. Paul Nussbaum, a clinical neuropsychologist and co-founder of the FitBrains website talks about 10 tips for a healthy brain in this article from Reader’s Digest.

    (3) Boost muscle mass with strength training.

    • Strength training also helps build up our bone density and revs up our metabolism. According to this Forbe’s article, we should strength train at least twice a week.  Bea loves exercise DVDs that combine cardio and strength training, such as Chris Freytag’s Walk and Sculpt, and her Walking Cardio Shape-Up

    (4) Eat your greens!  And your purples and reds, too. 

    (5) Take care of your emotional health. 

    •  We all get the blues occasionally, but if you’re down in the dumps for more than a couple of weeks, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.  If you’re worried and anxious all the time, find an empathetic listener! Always stressed?  Check out these stress management tips. Nurture yourself; you deserve it!

    These are just a few ideas – I’m sure you have more!  What kind of things are you doing for your health, and your sanity, as you age?  I’d love to hear from you.