Challenges of a Healthy Over 60 Lifestyle

If you are younger than 60, and you do not exercise in any way, do not wait another day…begin some kind of routine NOW!  And if you are in your sixties and you do not exercise, then it is not too late….begin now.  Regrettably, I did not join a gym until I was right at age 60.  I had just been diagnosed with osteorporosis and knew I needed strength training with weights and a trainer to get my bones turned around.  That was five years ago.  The advantages are incredible:

  1.  My bone scans turned around completely and I have remained medication free.
  2. My energy level is higher.
  3. My mind is sharper and my attitude brighter when I am working out.
  4. I feel younger than I am

However, the later you wait to begin, there are more challenges to face.  I have fallen off the horse several times, but always stood, brushed off, and saddled up again.  After two injuries early on, I finally took seriously warm up preparation before a workout.  That kept me healthy for a long time.  My trainer was the one who noticed my occasional boughts of vertigo at the gym about three years ago and suggested I get it checked out.  That lead to sinus surgery for a significant blockage, so after six weeks down, I saddled up again and returned to the gym.  The advantages are too great to let a set back keep me down.

I have had a long stretch here of encouraging workouts with a new program, and though it is really tough, I look forward to it three times a week.  Then, came last Wednesday.  I got up to get ready for my 5AM workout when our rather large cat, decided to run right at my ankles.  She actually took my feet out from under me and I fell hard on my right shoulder.  Now, here is the good news:

  1. I got up on my own (5 years ago, that would not have happened)
  2. The hospital doctor said, if I had not been lifting weights, I would have a broken shoulder.

The frustrating thing is that I do have a severe sprain and he said, “at your age (don’t you hate those words) it will take a while to bounce back.”  Right now, my husband has to help dress me!  I cannot lift the arm I use the most. Yes, I have battled feeling old, frustrated, and a little depressed. You have to admit falling over the cat sounds like something that happens to elderly people. Yet, I resonded well to a fall like this due to working out.  So, please if you are doing nothing, get started today, so you don’t face worse if you happen to fall.  The best news is, I fully plan to get back on the horse!

I am not sure what my blogging will look like this week.  It is asking alot of my husband/photographer to help me get dressed plus take the pictures.  We will see.  But, I will be posting…just not sure about outfit posts (if you see them, then it all worked out!)  One of my co-workers told me to bedazzle my sling…the sling I am ready to ditch!  Nevertheless, though the accident got me down for awhile, I hope you will join me today as I

KEEP SMILING!

53 Comments

  1. So sorry to hear about your accident. Your post about the important of exercise in an older adult so correct. Use it or you will lose it. Hope you recover quickly. I love your posts.

    1. Thank you Paula. I often say to myself…especially at the bottom of a big staircase…use it or lose it! Thanks for the reminder.

    2. I too am so sorry about your injury and hope it heals up quickly! Yes, yoga and tai chi , healthy eating, and long walking helped me last Fall when I ended up hospitalized with sepsis (kidney stone). I spent time in intensive care when organs shut down, and doctors said that my healthy eating, exercise regimine etc. helped me through it. Always look forward. It will get better!

      1. Thanks for sharing, Paulette…so glad you made it through that episode…I am sure my sharing this it will encourage others as well.

  2. I’m with you Pan I fell on my right shoulder last feb. like you no broken bones but didn’t exercise afterwards and now have recurrences of pain. Steroid shot not very helpful. but this time I will exercise as soon as I can start.
    So my advise is to put yourself first and remember to get an exercise program started and stick with it….that’s my advise to myself anyway.
    Btw. I didn’t fall over a pet. I was walking backwards while filming our shop for a selling campaign and tripped on a flaring table leg….still did bring that old lady image to mind.
    Take good care
    Dee

    1. Well, we can feel each other’s pain and know what it is like. As I wrote I have been exercising for over the past 5 years with stops and starts, so I will get back on the horse and return…as soon as I can put on an exercise bra by myself!! I hope that will be soon. Thanks for sharing your story, Dee.

  3. Go Pamela! You are so right. I believe movement is the key. If nothing else, just walk. I try to park farther away when I go to work or go to the store. At work when I go to the copier, I walk the perimeter of the office. Every step counts!

    1. Yes, it does, Mary. And my FitBit helps to keep me moving. I have been parking farther for a long time and it does help…and I am so glad to me in a work environment that supports constant breaks and walks during the day.

  4. Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear about your injury! I also have a large cat and understand exactly how that happened. But what wonderful news that your body responded so well to your fall. All your hard work really did pay off. It really hits home that I need to start doing more to take care of my body. I always have the best intentions…..
    Please make sure you take care of yourself! Don’t worry about taking pictures. Just keep us posted on how you’re doing. We care more about you than fashion!!

    1. Such a sweet comment, Linda! I remember five years ago when my first trainer had me lay on the floor to do a push up, I could not push up or get up. I have come a long way and so thankful that I finally started. It motivates me to get back at it as soon as I can.

  5. Pamela – we love our cats but they are a hazard sometimes. Hope your shoulder mends well and quickly. Our independence is so important.
    Best Wishes – Margaret

    1. Yes, it is Margaret…and I guess it never hurts to have a reminder of that or do have a situation which gives me empathy for those who don’t. I have navigated tripping over the cat before, but when she literally ran into my ankles it was different. Be careful with yours as well.

  6.  You just never know, do you? Anything  can happen to take you down  in a heartbeat, but like you pointed out, it’s  imperative to get back up. I found this out several  months ago with a completely by surprise locked back, then these months of very painful sciatica. I’m  starting PT this week with high hopes. Yes, that comment “women your age…” always  takes me by surprise. I cringe, then determine to not be what they are implying. I don’t feel like a senior  citizen or as they write on office notes, ‘elderly.’ What is that??? My mom is elderly, not me. Anyway, your points are well taken. Since my sciatica issue, I’ve been doing gentle yoga instead of my intense sweaty workouts, and am keeping up with walking. Being active also helps us mentally, and working out with others is social  which also benefits us mentally. Exercise is the answer to many problems! Wishing you a quick recovery Pam, I’m sorry you are going through this, but know you are going to come back strong.

    1. Thanks Karen! And sorry about your pain as well…but it sounds like we are both determined to work through it! Talk about it being social…it was one of my ladies I work out with who took me to the emergency room (my husband was out of town all week). I knew she would be up at that hour! But I am so thankful for her.

  7. Pam, I am so sorry for your accident but glad your hard work helped to avoid a greater injury. Recently while pulling a grocery cart out of the line of carts at the grocery store, I stepped back and tripped over a curb falling backwards. I was able to interrupt my fall and avoid falling backwards onto cement. I credit regular swimming and dance classes. At 68 I’m very concerned about balance and stability.
    My Dr. has a great line, “if you don’t take care of your house (my body) where you gonna live?” I think of that phrase often.
    Best of luck on your recovery.

    1. Now, I will think of his phrase, Cyndee. Thanks for sharing it…and so glad the shopping cart incident wasn’t worse.

  8. Pamela, so sorry to hear of your fall. I have two cats, so completely understand. And I have injured my right shoulder during a couple falls. You are such an inspiration! I know you will recover better than ever!!

  9. When we adopted our dog, she came with instructions that she was not to be around small children or the elderly. She is a rescue dog with behavior issues. Small animals get underfoot easily. We do have to make use of her crate, and we’re mindful of holding onto handrails on the stairs. I hope she never knocks us off our feet literally, but she has done so figuratively, so we hope for the best.

    Nice to hear that exercise helped in a situation like this.

    1. Sounds like you know to take care. I have navigated around her before, but she just ran straight at my ankles that morning. I will pause now to see if she is near. She is a big cat. Thanks for sharing…

  10. Very sorry to hear about your accident. Shoulder pain is so bad. Be kind to yourself and please don’t bother with the blog until you are 100% well!

    1. Thanks for the advice, Jill…I don’t sit down very well. Already been planning posts but I promise to be careful

  11. So sorry to hear this news! I’ve tripped over cats & puppies too. I hope you recover quickly, but until then, just take the best care of yourself. Don’t worry about dressing for photos & blogging if it’s painful. Your readers/fans are cheering you on & will be here when you return!

    1. So kind, Cindy…thank you! I also blog for state of mind…so it is good to keep going and keep me thinking! Thanks for being here…

  12. Sorry to hear about this. Many kudos to you for already working on your fitness b/c we never know do we? I had frozen shoulder several years ago and I was determined to get it better but it’s long process. Hang in there.

  13. Wow, what a good testament for getting in shape! I’ve always had so many excuses, too hot, too cold, too tired, too early, too late…You’ve convinced me to start right now. I tripped on an Alaska cruise exactly one year ago and bruised my entire left side. I’m re-thinking that trip. Maybe I wouldn’t have fallen if I was stronger. It’s not a size issue–it’s a fit issue. We all need to work out. Hope you heal quickly, and thanks for the heads up!

    1. It is a fit issue, Connie. I have been able to stop a couple of falls because my legs are stronger now. I encourage you to set aside the excuses and do what’s best for you.

  14. I do enjoy your blog and am sendng only best wishes for your recovery!! Do let us know how you are progressing. Remain optimistic as it can help in recovering!

    Mary Jane

  15. So sorry to hear about your injury, Pam, but I’m glad it prompted you to write such an important message! I have been exercising seriously since age 40 and I’ve always eaten a healthy diet. Living right didn’t stop me from being diagnosed with an incurable cancer at 60, but I know that it has contributed to the fact that I’m doing amazingly well and living a very full, pain free life 5 years later. My healthy lifestyle includes a morning routine of strength and flexibility exercises 5 days a week year round as well as weight lifting 3 times a week during our long winter months and lots of outdoor activity during the summer. I’m particularly proud of the fact that I was able to paddle a kayak for over 3 hours on 2 different occasions this summer. I wish you a quick recovery which I’m sure will be hastened by your improved fitness level.

    1. Elaine, you are such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing and I hope to get back on the horse and strive to be like you!!

  16. Pam, so sorry to hear about your injury. But I really am encouraged to hear that it would have been worse if you were not as fit as you are!!

    Again, you prove to be a true inspiration for all of us!

    Heal quickly!!

    1. Thank you, Beth…I hope others will start to work out. I wish I had started earlier and hope to keep what I have started going!

  17. Hi, Pam! Good luck on your recovery! You should be very proud of all your exercise has accomplished! I am just wrapping up a year recovering from four fractures of my upper arm bone and shoulder. I fell racing to see the first FaceTime of our newborn granddaughter! All the physical therapy has been worth it—I was able to pick her up during our last visit! You, too, will survive! We are so lucky to have husbands who will help us with Everything!

  18. I am so sorry to hear of your injury. I am a newcomer and have been enjoying your posts. I wouldn’t worry about posting photos. We are concerned about YOU. Thank you for sharing your wellness program and your accident details. I find this a good reminder not to take health and wellness for granted.Wishing you speedy healing.

    1. Thank you so much, Karen. This is so sweet and thank you for being here. I hope to have an outfit up by the end of the week!

  19. Hi Pam –
    I’m reading this a little late so I hope you see this. I’m so sorry to hear of your fall but I know because of your strength training you will recuperate better and faster. I fell on ice a few years ago, ironically outside the gym on day one of my first strength training lesson. Physio really helped. I now have a vision problem and bump into things more often so that provides another falling risk. Working with older adults (we no longer use the terms senior or elderly), I can tell you strength is the best gift we can give ourselves as time goes on. Thank you for sharing and keep us posted on how you are doing.

    1. Love your comment…strength is the best gift we can give ourselves….I wish I had done it sooner, but glad I finally came around. Just hope it won’t be too long before my return. Thanks Janet!

  20. So sorry to hear about your injury Pam. My son in law always says “motion is lotion”. How very true. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

  21. I am so sorry about your fall but am glad it wasn’t worse. I hope your recovery is quick & complete. Bless your husband for taking care of you.

  22. I am so sorry to hear of your fall. I hope your recovery is quick and smooth. You have inspired me to work’out more.

  23. I’m so sorry to hear about your injury. I did something similar earlier this summer. I tripped over my dog. She suddenly changed the direction she was going and I ended up on my back. My left foot was badly bruised and sprained. I too was glad that I had been exercising so no bones were broken. I hope you have a speedy recovery and don’t worry about outfit pictures.

  24. Hi Pam! Hope you’re feeling better and based from your sharing of how you keep yourself physically fit, I know you’ll bounce back soonest! 9 years ago, I slip on a puddle of water and I had a complete fracture in my left arm, my husband was helping me too in dressing up and even in fixing my hair! So, thanks God for blessing us with good hubbies. Take care Pam.

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