Table of Contents
It’s Never too Late…….5
Retirement is the New Puberty……….5
How to Use this Book..6
Chapter 1 – 40: Real Life in the ‘Third Age’7
Fitness at 40……9
How to Find the Time..9
How to Get Started…..10
What to Do……11
40: How to Eat15
Eat Fewer Calories than You Burn..15
Introducing the Starvation Mode…..16
What to Do if You Want to Lose Weight…16
Some Good News……18
Clearing Up the Nutrient Confusion19
Making Peace with Carbs…..20
The Place for Protein ….20
Putting it all Together20
The Bottom Line……..21
40: How to Stay Healthy…….22
Chapter 2 – 50: The New Majority…23
Body Changes, Body Complications……….23
Fitness at 50….24
A Fitness Reality Check……..24
How to Exercise Safely and Effectively…..25
Pay Attention to Your Body.25
What to Do……27
50: How to Eat29
How to Incorporate These Guidelines into Your Diet……31
Recipes for Keeping Healthy32
50: How to Stay Healthy…….34
Take Care of Your Emotional Health………34
Chapter 3 – 60: Who are You Calling a Senior Citizen?.36
The Problem with ‘Taking it Easy’..36
Fitness at 60….38
How to Begin Exercising Safely and Effectively..38
What to Do……39
60: What to Eat……….42
How to Eat Well When You Don’t Want to Eat….42
What to Eat…..43
How to Put These Guidelines into Practice44
60: How to Stay Healthy…….48
Tests You Need to Take in Your Sixties….48
Chapter 4 – 70: Vigorous and Loving It……50
Beat Back the Lion…..50
Fitness at 70….52
Why People Don’t Exercise..52
Exercise and Arthritis52
Exercises Appropriate for Arthritis Sufferers……..53
How to Get Started…..53
Your New Exercise Schedule……….55
70: What to Eat……….58
How to Survive Healthy Eating…….59
70: How to Stay Healthy…….62
Different Screenings to Consider in Your Seventies……..62
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40: Real Life in the ‘Third Age’
If statistics are correct, you have either been married for a while or are recently divorced. You may be reentering the dating scene after a long break away from it. You have kids at home and a mortgage payment to worry about. Work is stressful. You eat out a lot. Your parents are getting old and, if they don’t require care now, are heading in that direction. You are operating on too little sleep and not enough time.
Does this sound familiar? This is generally the decade where life gets the most complex. You have a lot of outside commitments and a lot of debt. Add to that a lower energy level and it’s no wonder over 50% of people in their 40s don’t exercise.
Unfortunately, this is also the decade where everything starts catching up with you. If you are part of that sedentary 50% you’ve probably noticed that your old habits have made you put on some extra pounds. Starting around your mid thirties you start to lose muscle. This slows down your metabolism.
Translation? The diet that allowed you to maintain a steady weight in your twenties and early thirties will put an average of 3-5 pounds per year on your body. By the time you hit your 40’s you are looking at a 10-40 pound weight gain.
Most of this weight has probably settled around your middle and on the backs of your arms. Gravity has given you a more ‘droopy’ appearance. And muscle loss is giving you an aching back. Even if you’ve kept pretty active you’re probably noticing that the same amount of effort isn’t giving you the same sort of results.
This information isn’t meant to depress you. If you want to look good and feel good you have to know where you are starting. Anyone who has ever had to navigate through a strange place knows that the only way to get to where you want to go is to first know where you are. The same is true about your weight loss. Once you know what you’re up against, you can do something about it.
Every fitness manual and personal trainer advises you to ‘consult your doctor before beginning this or any other workout.’ It is a good idea in general and for a person in his or her 40’s it is now mandatory. Go in and get a comprehensive, ‘30,000 mile’ inspection. Everyone should get their blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked, along with the physical appropriate for your gender. Get weighed and ask your doctor for a healthy weight goal. Find out if there is any exercise that you need to stay away from based on any underlying medical conditions or past injuries.
Again, don’t get depressed by what you find out. Your 40’s are a pivotal time period. This is when most people decide (consciously or not) if they are going to age well or fade into a fragile senility. You’re not old. Those aches and pains you’re starting to feel are not natural. New research has shown that all the symptoms we associate with getting older are really only diseases of inactivity. This means you really are only as old as you let yourself become. (2,3)
No matter what abuse you’ve put your body through; it isn’t too late to change. Your body is designed to move. It functions best when you are active. If you start exercising and eating right, your body will reward you with a higher energy level, a sense of well-being, and a sleek physique. You will lower your chances of developing cancer. Adult-onset diabetes won’t be an issue. And you will reduce your chances of having a heart attack.
If you don’t exercise, your body will make negative changes. You will gain more weight. Your clothes won’t fit and you will have an even harder time moving around. Excess body fat is linked to cancer. Your unhealthy diet will probably lead to heart disease. You’ll look like a melted marshmallow and feel horrible.
I’m being blunt for a reason. You need to understand what’s at stake. You don’t have to settle for a dumpy figure and a low energy level. You don’t have to slow down. You can reverse your cellular age until you run circles around most 20 year olds. But you have to be willing to put in the effort.
You aren’t going to let Father Time win, are you? I didn’t think so. You’ve put yourself on the road to health. Let’s take the first step.
Fitness at 40
Exercise is the critical ingredient to a long and healthy life. A 20 year old can live on diet alone because he or she has youth on their side. That is no longer an option for you. But I can already hear the objections piling up. You already have so much to do. How are you supposed to fit in exercise? Good question. Fortunately, you already have the answer. Don’t believe me? Let’s prove it.
How to Find the Time
Pull out your calendar and a piece of paper. Write down, hour by hour, a couple of your typical days. Most people have two or even three different versions of them. You have the days you have to pick up Jr. from soccer, the days you have to work late, and who knows what else. That sort of thing. Write down from when you wake up to when you go to sleep. Fill in the time you spend watching television. Don’t forget to add in the time you need to commute between your various activities. Pencil in the time it takes you to shower, dress, etc.
No matter how crazy your life is I bet you’re watching a couple of hours of T.V. a night. Am I right? Or maybe you spend time on other ‘filler’ activities. Do you surf the web after work? Well knock it off. THAT is an order. Your life is complicated enough without adding more challenges. Easier said than done, I know. But you are going to have to shed some of your filler activities if you want to shed some pounds. It is as simple as that.
Highlight those filler activities. Note: If you have an activity you do regularly to decompress—and it isn’t eating, drinking, watching T.V. or checking email—don’t highlight it. Maybe you talk to your best friend on the phone every night. Or perhaps you read a magazine or work on a craft. It is the activity that consistently leaves you in a better mood than you when you started. If you are lucky enough to have something like that, then keep doing it. It is a necessary activity.
You will need an hour to an hour and a half’s worth of time out of each day. In the beginning you’re only going to be working out for 20-30 minutes. The rest of that time is for getting to where you’re going to exercise, and for showering and changing afterward. As you get into your routine you will spend more time exercising and less time getting ready for it.
Right about now someone out there is panicking—if only inside your mind. ‘I can’t find an hour and a half for exercise! Impossible! I have to do x,y,z. I’m too tired. I don’t have the money for a gym membership. My local gym sucks. My neighborhood isn’t a safe place to walk at night. It’s snowing outside. I don’t have enough room to exercise inside, etc. etc.’ Let yourself think of all the reasons why this program won’t work. You might want to write your reasons down.
Now treat those excuses the same way you treat your kids when they start whining. Nod your head and then make yourself do it anyway. Crumple up that paper and throw it away. Those objections are just suggestions that you are free to ignore. Every time they surface, give them a mental ‘Uh huh, uh huh, you’re right’ as you put on your workout clothes and go exercise. Don’t beat yourself up for not wanting to exercise. Just get in the habit of ignoring your inner whiner. That little voice may never completely go away, but if you start ignoring it, it will lose its power over you.
At this point you have found a free hour or two. Now you have a decision to make. Will you exercise during that time slot, or shift other things into it so you can exercise at a different time during the day? For example, if you have the hours of 8pm-10pm free, is it better for you to exercise then, or to move some of the things you do in the morning into that slot so you can exercise first thing?
The answer is really up to you. Are you a morning person or a night person? Some people find that they won’t exercise right after work. They’re tired, hungry, and unmotivated. Others just can’t get up at 5 in the morning. It messes them up for the entire day. All things being equal, pick the time that works for your body rhythm.
Having said that, I have to put in a plug for exercising in the morning. . . stuff happens. You know that. If you get your exercise out of the way before you start your day, then life can’t get in the way of your health. But either way, choose a time slot you will actually use, and stick with it on a consistent basis.Other Details
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