Let’s Get Moving: 5 Ways to Stay Active and Thriving After 50

Show Notes:

Valerie discusses the importance of staying active as we age and provides practical strategies to incorporate movement into our daily routines. She emphasizes that our bodies were designed to move and that sitting all day can have negative effects on our physical and mental health. Valerie encourages listeners to understand the benefits of movement and to create a morning movement routine tailored to their preferences. She also suggests exploring age-appropriate physical activities, such as swimming or walking programs and highlights the importance of social connections through activity. Valerie advises setting achievable goals and tracking progress using devices like Fitbit or journaling. She concludes by offering a lightning round of easy-to-adopt actions, including incorporating movement during television time and maximizing daily routines.


00:00 Introduction to the podcast episode

01:15 Importance of movement and the negative effects of sitting all day

04:38 Incorporating movement into daily routines

07:11 Exploring age-appropriate physical activities

09:40 Creating social connections through activity

10:28 Setting achievable goals and tracking progress

12:26 Lightning round of easy-to-adopt actions for staying active

14:59 Conclusion and final thoughts

0:15:16 Closing remarks and call to action

Key Takeaways:

  • Lack of physical activity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality.
  • Sitting all day can lead to muscle loss, joint stiffness, and decreased heart and lung function.
  • Incorporating movement into daily routines, such as morning stretches or dancing, can have a positive impact on overall health.
  • Exploring age-appropriate physical activities, like swimming or walking programs, can help maintain fitness and build social connections.
  • Setting achievable goals and tracking progress can provide motivation and a sense of accomplishment.

 Connect with Valerie:

* Facebook, Instagram, and Threads @iamvaleriehatcher.  

* Email at hello@agingwithgraceandstyle.com

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0:00:00 Valerie You. Hello, beautiful ladies. Welcome back to another episode of Five to Thrive. I'm your host, Valerie Hatcher. Our mission is to provide empowering tips for women over 50 to help us navigate this vibrant stage of life with grace, style, and a whole lot of fun. Each week I bring you five practical and engaging tips on specific topics. I hope you find them relevant and relatable and will come back for more.

0:00:31 Valerie Ready for today's episode? Then let's go. Remember the days when climbing stairs was as effortless as breathing? I sure do. But as I've grown older, I've noticed it's just not the same. And I'm not alone. According to the World Health Organization, lack of physical activity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. Staying active as we age isn't just about fitness. It's also about embracing a lifestyle that celebrates movement.

0:01:15 Valerie That's why today we're diving deep into strategies that will help us shun the sedentary and embrace the active no matter our age. Let's get moving. Tip one understanding the Importance of Movement first things first why should we even bother? In our fast-paced world, we often forget that our bodies were actually designed to move. We need to understand how sitting all day affects us. Our bodies start losing muscle mass, our joints can become stiff, and our hearts and lungs don't function as efficiently.

0:01:59 Valerie Plus, there's a mental toll, increased risk of depression, mood swings, and cognitive decline. I can truly attest to this. So several years ago, I went from working at home full time, where I was very active, to going back to the office, which was about a 75-minute drive each way depending on traffic. And then once I got there, I was very sedentary all day. So in essence, I went from sitting in the car to sitting at my desk back to sitting in the car.

0:02:38 Valerie By the time I did all this, I didn't feel like working out. When I got home, I started to feel all kinds of aches and pains that I never had felt before. It affected me physically and mentally. This was also the beginning of my hip issues. So I can attest firsthand that sitting all day has a negative impact to the body. Now, if you're looking for an enlightening read on this topic, I highly recommend Younger Next Year.

0:03:13 Valerie It's by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, MD. Their research paints a vivid picture on how staying active is quite literally a fountain of youth. This book is a total eye-opener. It goes beyond the physical benefits of staying active, diving into the profound positive impacts on the brain, mood, and overall longevity. The other day I was watching Days of Our Lives and Dick Van Dyke is on there. First of all, yes, I do still watch this one soap.

0:03:54 Valerie Anyway, seeing him reminded me of videos that I've seen where he's dancing. This man is in his ninety s and still dancing on videos. His joy and energy are infectious. Proving that age truly is just a number. Tip Two incorporate movement into daily Routines okay, before you pitch your grueling gym workouts, let's reset. Staying active isn't always about pumping iron or running marathons. It's not always about the big actions.

0:04:38 Valerie The smallest shifts can have profound impacts. Many cultures emphasize starting the day with movement. For instance, in various parts of the world, people have morning routines that incorporate physical exercises from simple stretches to more vigorous activities. This not only helps kickstart the metabolism but also sets a positive tone for the day. Whether it's a series of morning stretches, a short yoga routine, or even just a few minutes of dancing to your favorite song, building in a movement ritual can make a big difference.

0:05:22 Valerie Consider creating your own morning movement routine tailored to your preferences and needs. Over time, this can become a cherished and invigorating start to your day. If you're someone like me who often gets engrossed in work and forgets to move, there are tools that can help. Apple Watch reminds you to stand every hour. Now, to be honest, I sometimes ignore it, but I do make an effort to make up for lost time during the day.

0:05:54 Valerie There's also a free app called Stand Up. It's designed to remind you to do just that. To stand up. Setting reminders to stand, stretch, or even just take a deep breath can make a world of difference in your daily energy levels and your health. After my hip replacement surgery, I knew that I could not go back to a sedentary workday. So while I have a stand desk at my office, I'm seldom there. So I purchased a stand desk for home.

0:06:28 Valerie It has been a great way to ensure that I break up the sitting during the day. So here's a thought when you stand so, you're going to set your reminder to stand up. So when you do so, maybe walk around, do some light marches in place, or some shoulder rolls. These are not just for your body, but they can also help refocus the mind. Tip Three explore age-appropriate physical Activities maybe running used to be, but is no longer your jam.

0:07:11 Valerie Don't be discouraged. There are other things you can do. Use this as an opportunity to explore new avenues. What about swimming? Swimming is an excellent full-body workout that's easy on the joints. After my hip replacement surgery, my doctor told me that riding a stationary bike is also excellent for your joints. And we all know that walking is great, be it indoors, on a treadmill, out in your neighborhood, or even mall. Walking programs like Silver Sneakers offer classes designed specifically for seniors, from yoga to strength training.

0:07:51 Valerie These classes aren't just for fitness. They're community hubs where friendships are forged. I remember when I used to go to the YMCA several years ago. They had a Silver Sneakers program. I used to think it was so cute to see this group of seniors meet up. They would do their exercise class and then they'd sit and drink their coffee and catch up. This was before I was old enough to be part of the Senior Sneakers.

0:08:22 Valerie Today, I think I'm at that age by far where I could join, and that might be a good option when I retire. I recently stumbled upon an article on ESPN about the Splash Sisters. They are a squad of basketball players aged 80 and older. Can you imagine playing basketball at 80? Girl I can't imagine doing it at 61. These ladies remind us that age is merely a mindset when it comes to activity. Passion and enthusiasm are key.

0:09:08 Valerie Tip Four create social connections through Activity social connections have repeatedly been shown to have profound impacts on longevity and mental health. Let's face it, exercise can sometimes feel like a chore. But what if you had a friend to chat with while walking? Suddenly it's a fun outing. Being active with friends kills two birds with 1 st. You're fighting off loneliness and you're boosting your health.

0:09:40 Valerie I recently talked about this in my Staying Motivated episode. And I'll say it again there is something about working out with people at times. If you're a gym goer, then that's a good place to meet workout buddies. Over the years, I've made several friends at the gym. Maybe your church has a walking group or other fitness classes. It's worth exploring if you're looking for a workout buddy. Tip Five set Achievable Goals and track Progress setting goals can be a game changer, but they should be achievable so that you don't get frustrated. For instance, I love my boxing classes.

0:10:28 Valerie My goal is to continue to get stronger and to work on my form. Now, an unrealistic goal could be to think that I've gotten so good that I can hop into the boxing ring with someone. Well, I'm sure I could hop in, but after one punch by that real boxer, I'd be running out. So the key word here is achievable. Here's a realistic example you want to walk more, so aim for, say, 3000 to 5000 steps per day initially, and then gradually increase.

0:11:05 Valerie And in today's tech-savvy world, tracking is a breeze. Devices like Fitbit, Apple, or apps like MyFitnessPal give you a clear picture of your progress. And don't forget the manual approach of journaling your daily activities. Not only does it allow you to track, but for me, journaling is therapeutic and can be informative when I go back and look at how I'm doing. Just the other day I read about this lady named Mary.

0:11:39 Valerie She's a 68-year-old, and she began with a simple goal of tracking her daily steps. Over months, she not only lost weight, but she said, her entire perspective on life transformed. Can you imagine what a great feeling? Before we wrap up, let's give you a lightning round of easy-to-adopt actions. Consider this your bonus. Five go to checklist number one television time. Next time you're binging on your favorite series, stand up during episodes or do light stretches during commercials.

0:12:26 Valerie Challenge yourself to hold a yoga pose for the length of an episode intro. Or grab some light dumbbells and do bicep and tricep curls. Two chair exercises can't get to the gym? No problem. Simply sit in your chair and do leg lifts or shoulder rolls and seated marches. They can all be done while you're watching TV or working. Dive into YouTube for a plethora of chair-based exercises. And if you're on Facebook, check out the Guru of ABS for Seniors.

0:13:04 Valerie I found him during COVID and he has some great chair workouts. Three social activities be it a weekly dance class, a walking group, or a book club that meets at a park, seek activities that combine social connection with movement. Four maximizing daily routines when you're out and about, out and about, make small decisions that can lead to more activities. So opt for stairs over elevators when you can.

0:13:41 Valerie Even a single flight counts. Or try parking a bit further from your destination. Those extra steps not only contribute to your physical health but can also offer a brief moment of mindfulness before diving into your errands or to work. If you're parking far away from your office, over time, these small choices accumulate, making a considerable difference in your activity level. And five let's call it a kitchen workout.

0:14:16 Valerie Waiting for that pot to boil or that microwave to beep? It's a perfect time to try some squats or wall pushups. I've done lunges in the kitchen. In the kitchen counter is a great place for balance exercises. You and there you have it, ladies. Five actionable tips to keep us thriving and active. Age may be a number, but the quality of our years it's in our hands. By making these small, consistent changes, we help to ensure our days are filled with activity, joy, and vitality.

0:14:59 Valerie Let's make every moment count, cherishing and nourishing our bodies every step of the way. Until next time, stay active, stay joyful, and remember life. Post 50 is what you make of it.

0:15:16 Thank you so much for joining me for Five to Thrive Tuesday. If you haven't already done so, please subscribe so that you don't miss an episode. If you enjoyed the segment, please rate the review and share it with a friend. Let's stay connected on Instagram, Facebook, and or threads at IAM Valerie Hatcher or email me at hello@agingwithgraceandstyle.com. Until next time, let's continue to age with grace, style, and a touch of sass.

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