If you are in your 40s, 50s, or early 60s, think of your perfect retirement life. How many of these experiences or characteristics make your list?
Lots more time on the course, court, bike, saddle, or dance floor
Travel - seeing the world and exploring
Outdoor adventures - hiking, paddling and immersion in nature
Being able to take care of myself and live independently in my own home for as long as possible
Keeping a “sharp mind” - exchanging thoughts, ideas, stories and my wisdom with others
Making memories with me grandchildren, so many firsts to see
Finally reading all those books, building that garden I’ve always dreamed of, or learning a new language
Moving confidently, capably and freely
Saying “YES” rather than saying “later” or “not now”
We’ve been bombarded with messages about saving money for retirement, investment portfolios, 401-ks, and IRAs. We balance our cash and investments to maximize our returns, minimize the risks and fund those golden years.
So what happens if we get there, we have the funds, but we don’t have the physical capability to do it? Think about it for a second. Every single one of those experiences and expectations requires an energetic, capable mind and body. What if you save enough money to take the grandkids to Disneyland but aren’t able to keep up with the family? Or what if you book that dream cruise and find yourself too worn out to take the tours, telling the others to go ahead without you? That isn’t the golden years I am thinking of.
Just like saving for retirement, NOW is the time to be investing in your body, so that you can do what you want to, say yes to every experience you desire, and enjoy your loved ones.
Your financial plan might include stocks, bonds, money markets and cash. Your Aging Well plan for your body should include 5 specific types of exercise - designed to combat the effects of aging while building strength, confidence, ability and energy.
One difference? Unlike your 401-K or IRA, there are no penalties for early withdrawal. The fitness activities you spend time on now have both immediate and long term benefits.
So what’s in an Aging Well portfolio? I use and recommend these 6 investment strategies.
1. Strength and Power Training with Heavy Weights
Why? - To maintain youthful strength, thinking, functional capacity and energy. Evidence is mounting that regardless of age, the “overload or challenge” of heavy strength and power training improves nearly every aspect of our body including muscle development, neuromuscular control/reaction, bone density, and brain functioning including memory, focus, and learning.
Give it a Try -
Squat Jump with Stabilization (Beginner)
2. Mobility Training
Why? - Enhance joint range of motion, dynamic balance and tissue flexibility so that movement is pain free and activities of daily life are easily done.
Give it a Try - Upper body mobility exercises for golfers
3. Metabolic Training (Cardio) - High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Steady State
Why? - Lower health insurance costs, fewer prescriptions, less “hassle”. HIIT training in particular may help reduce our risk of developing chronic health conditions (diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol etc.). Less time and money spent at the doctor and the pharmacy mean more time for you doing these things you love. Keep your HIIT training sessions to 1-3 per week with adequate recovery. Steady state training (jogging, walking, bike rides) that keeps your heart rate in the aerobic training zone is important for overall cardiovascular health and efficiency.
Give it a Try. - A true Tabata is only 4 minutes long. Each exercise is done for 20 seconds with a 10 second rest. Repeat that cycle 8 times. Great Tabata exercises include burpees, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, lateral bounds and high knees.
4. Core Training
Why? - Power, prevention, posture. Your best swing, stroke and step get their support and power from the core. A strong core stabilizes the hips, spine, knees and neck - preventing common injuries. Here’s a bonus, your core is associated with good, graceful, confident posture.
5. Balance & Stability - Incorporated into your strength, power and mobility workouts.
Why? - You want to live independently on your own terms for as long as possible. One of the most common reasons we lose our independence when we age is a serious fall. As women, we are more likely to fall than men our same age. Ninety-five percent of hip fractures are caused by fall and one in five falls results in an injury such as a broken bone or head injury. You can train your balance much the same way you can train your muscles.
Why? - You want to feel refreshed, happy, energized and healthy. Muscles cannot rebuild and energy can not be restored without rest. Overtraining can lead to injury, tiredness, immune system impairment, and even weight gain and feeling blue.
Give it a Try. - Schedule at least one day each week as a recovery day.
The sooner you begin saving for retirement, the better. The same holds true for investing in your body and it’s optimal health, but no matter what, the most important thing is to just start.
"Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength."
- Betty Friedan
If you want a personalized fitness program to help you meet your retirement dreams, schedule a free consultation with me here. I help women of all ages enjoy more freedom by reducing their physical limitations, constraints and pain so they can enjoy the activities they love, with the people they love right now and for years to come.
Thanks for being here!