Ok, so I’m approaching the BIG
FOUR – TWO
at the end of this year. I know that doesn’t seem as big of a deal as the BIG four – o, but for me, somehow, it seems bigger. It is now time to accept my commitment to this fourth decade of life.
It’s not that I’m that concerned with growing older – in fact, I feel blessed for having made it this far. I wouldn’t go back and re-do my twenties for anything – or my thirties for that matter. I did enjoy living through them once but, that was enough. I actually relish all the wisdom I’ve gained through the experiences that came with aging.
So, why this big to-do about approaching the big four-two? Well, it has to do with the fact that I have this one area of my life that always, always needs work.
(There’s more than one I’m sure, but today I’m focusing on this one).
Throughout my adult life, I seem to have gone in and out of maintaining any sort of “workout” routine. While I’ve accomplished big goals like running a marathon and biking across Italy, I haven’t been as faithful at sticking to a continuous workout program.
I realize, though, that it’s time to get more serious. Here’s what starts changing for us women in our 40s:
- our metabolism starts to decrease, if it hasn’t already, making it easier to gain weight than it was in our 20s & 30s (oh lovely) – starting at age 40 you need 120 fewer calories per day – and just at a time when “happy hour” seems to fit so conveniently into my life
- the ratio of body fat to muscle increases as muscle mass decreases
- our bone mass decreases creating a reduction in height (beginning at around age 43 – as if I’m not short enough)
- our shoulders narrow as our pelvis widens (not only do our shoulders narrow but that nasty thing called gravity works it’s magic on our female gems)
- collagen and moisture decreases in our skin creating more wrinkles and brown (age) spots
What we can do:
- increase our calcium intake starting at 1,200 mg a day
- increase our Vitamin D intake to between 400 and 800 i.u.
- Add weight bearing exercises to our workout routines to help prevent osteoporosis
- start stretching exercises to keep our muscles, tendons and ligaments flexible
- exfoliate our skin…not just our faces but all of our skin with a loofah (or, as I prefer, dry brush each morning before bathing)
- consume more brightly colored vegetables and fruits and small amounts of nuts and seeds each day to increase the vitamin A, C and essential fatty acids in our diet which can help with the production of collagen (good for the skin)
So, for me, it’s time to get serious. Currently, I walk with Pops and Bubba every morning for anywhere from 40-90 minutes or more depending on what route we choose. I’m happy with this as it gets us moving and gives us time to really connect with each other without phones ringing, etc. I realize that this is just not enough.
Let me add here that Pops is one of those people who “walks the walk” and “talks the talk” and, while I’m so happy he’s so super healthy and health conscious sometimes it can make me frustrated as I realize I’m not giving that same kind of commitment to my own health. Since his retirement two years ago, he’s really established a lifestyle that would make anyone jealous (though hopefully one to be inspired by).
Basically, I need to add to my workout routine which aside from the daily walk is pretty much non-existent. So, I’m going to add doing weights 3 times a week for 20 minutes increasing to 30 minutes as I get going. I’m doing the weightlifting in a sort of circuit training way not stopping in-between sets but continually moving from machine to machine to keep the rhythm going.
I’m hoping by blogging about it here and keeping you, my friends, updated on my progress, that I will actually stick to this new plan which needs to become a lifestyle.
Today was day 2 of the weight workout and I’m choosing to celebrate that fact. Even though it’s a very small accomplishment, compared to the ones all the athletes, triathletes, bike racers, and marathoners we know, I’m going to take the joy of thisa accomplishment!
As far as addressing the rest of the list above, my daily routine goes something like this:
- dry-brushing my body in the morning (to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells)
- drinking a vegan protein shake for breakfast
- drinking a water bottle filled with 16 ounces water and 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar twice a day
- taking supplements including: multi-vitamin & mineral, vitamin D, B12, flaxseed, vegan omega-3, and CoQ10
- eating a small handful of nuts in the afternoon
- drinking water, water and more water
- getting 8-9 hours of sleep
So, there it is, my share and commitment down in writing.
Do you want to join me in your own program? If you’re ready to make a commitment to a healthier lifestyle, let me know. Define what program will work for you and we can be support buddies. I’d love to have the company.
I encourage everyone to do some research – especially checking in with your doctor about what will work best for you and your body.
Be healthy & well,
~ Lita (soon to be Queen-Weightlifting Lita)