Fitness beyond sixty requires attention to physical, emotional, cognitive, spiritual, sensual and financial well-being.
Being well at 60 and beyond means more than push-ups and jogging 30 minutes a day. Fitness after retirement requires attention to physical, fitness yes, but equal attention to emotional, cognitive, spiritual, sensual and financial well-being. Each element feeds off the other; the whole is indeed, the sum of the parts.
Here are my perspectives:
PHYSICAL FITNESS –
Exercise most days. Thirty to forty minutes of cardio combined with muscle strengthening aka resistance exercises. To achieve consistent results and avoid injury, alternate upper body, core and balance exercises throughout your week.
Developed by personal fitness trainer Karina Inkster, here are three regimens you can adopt:
Day 4, 5, 6: repeat days 1,2,3.
Day 7: REST!
Nutrition go for quality. I’m big on the Mediterranean diet. Internationally recognized as favorable for cardiovascular health, Mediterranean-style diets focus on monosaturated oils (olive, safflower, sunflower, canola) as opposed to butter; fish & poultry: vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds and red wine. Yes, red wine.
Alcohol one standard drink for women, two for men per day. A standard drink = 12 oz beer, 5 oz wine, 1.5 oz distilled spirits. Avoid taking alcohol at lunch; nix daily consumption, inebriation.
Weight get it line. BMI no greater than 30; better yet 20 – 25 Here’s how to calculate BMI (Body Mass Index) https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm
EMOTIONAL FITNESS –
Engage. There’s nothing that says you must leave employment at 65. If you enjoy what you’ve dedicated your life to, why set an arbitrary end date? Contributions from experienced professionals are invaluable.
Start new. Use everything you’ve learned along the way to launch a new enterprise.
Volunteer. If you’ve had it with the bump and grind, your community needs you. You need them too!
Kindness. Practice random acts with loved ones, your intimate partner, acquaintances, your brothers and sisters. Let go of bias, prejudice. If just maybe you should, say you are sorry.
Give of yourself to your community, church, children, partner. See the other persons point of view, empathize.
Mend fences. Are you really going to carry family crap to your grave? Reach out.
Entitlement by virtue of age, service, hard work, accomplishments? Hell no! Let go of that self-centered brand of arrogance. It’s a level playing field.
Lift depression & anxiety. Practice mindfulness. Count not the days, count the opportunities.
Stuck? Seek professional counseling.
COGNITIVE FITNESS –
Seek and contemplate the perspective of alternate points of view
Visually or hearing impaired? Be smart; get more out of life. Address the deficiencies rather than deny them.
SENSUAL FITNESS –
Although sensual expression changes over time, the need for affection, love and touch never dies. Studies reveal many men and women maintain interest in sexual expression well into their 70’s and 80’s. Hold hands, reminisce the good times, share feelings and thoughts. Discover new ways to explore intimacy and sexuality. Orgasm never grows old. To learn more about sexuality after sixty: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2426743/Inhibited by challenges? Seek professional counseling.
SPIRITUAL FITNESS –
Ratify the elements of emotional well-being. Seek truth. Wash your heart and soul with it. Discover the awesome marvel of life in all its forms and the interconnected power of its creation.
Respect the divergent perspective of others.
Give thanks to your higher power.
FINANCIAL FITNESS –
Share your wealth in the here and now. You can’t take it with you!
Enjoy! Dig into that bucket list! You can’t take it with you.
Reserve for those that matter most. Age with grace.
Lindau, S. et al, 2007. A Study of Sexuality and Health among Older Adults in the United States. Online [available at]: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2426743/ Accessed May 6, 2019.