Fit(ish) in Your 60s – Week 5

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Today, we complete our Fit-ish series with Brenda Braxton from KGW on how to be healthy and fit through the decades. The goal of the program was to provide tips for achieving optimal health without causing too much stress and anxiety. Fit-ish is about balance, not obsession.

Here’s the Youtube clips from the full segments on KGW discussing the 20s through 60s and beyond:  20s – Week 1, 30s – Week 2, 40s – Week 3, 50s – Week 4, 60s – Week 5.

Trainers Bob Hoffman (61 years) & Leah Minick (63 years) walk the talk for how to be healthy and fit as we age.

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Key tips for healthy living when you’re 60 years and beyond are as follows:

Focus on Balance

Your balance system is just like any other system. If you don’t use it, you lose it. The risk of falling, broken hips and secondary complications that can result, can be devastating to your overall health so start implementing these types of basic movements immediately.

One leg balance while brushing your teeth

Balance walk across a 2 x 4

Focus on Posture

The effects of gravity and aging can cause slouching and a ‘hunch-back’ posture leading to aches and pains in your back and neck. Take measures now to assure you maintain good posture and an elongated spine.

Lie across a couple pillows or stability ball every night to open chest and stretch through upper back.

Improve Flexibility That Will Help You Throughout Your Day

As we get older, our tissues become more rigid and we get tighter. If you’re already inflexible to begin with, it can lead to a loss of mobility and general aches and pains. Spend some time everyday performing gentle mobility and stretching.

Incorporate wall stretching for gentle stretching and anti-gravity effect. For example, lay on your back, hips against a wall and legs up in the air.

Choose Exercises and Movement That Use Your Brain and Your Body

Research demonstrates that physical movement is beneficial to cognitive functioning and reduces risk for dementia and Alzheimers. That benefit is compounded when performing exercise that requires thinking and/or strategy.

Enroll in dance lessons or play tennis or pickle ball where there’s an element of strategy as well as physical exertion.

Add a Social Element

Social isolation is harmful to our mental health.

At least once per week, team up with a partner or group. It’s a social activity that helps keep us sharp and fulfilled as we age.

The bottom line is it’s never too late to start moving. Studies show people who begin moving in their nineties can experience massive benefits.

Whatever your age “all or nothing” is out. It’s about activities you can add, subtract, and enjoy over time. Americans could learn a thing or two from other cultures around the world that do more moderate physical activity, but do it consistently. They don’t grind at CrossFit, for instance, but they do walk more or do Tai Chi. Fit-ish is a way of life that is easier to sustain!

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

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