Heart Choices: Aging Gracefully -->

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Aging Gracefully

Aging gracefully ...is it possible?

On this Fitness Friday I want to address something that we'll all have to deal with eventually ...getting older.

You may only be in your 20's. Or maybe you're closer to 60. But whatever your age, you're older today than you were yesterday.

Take a look at this sign? Is this what you picture for yourself one day?

Now before you start feeling depressed, I want to tell you that there are certain things you can do to prevent that from happening.

And to all of my friends who think that just because they're a certain age they should start slowing down; I say NO WAY!

I've got a new medical word for you. It's called "sarcopenia".

What is it? Sarcopenia is a weakened condition caused by a change in body composition from the loss of muscle mass and an increase in fat.

The bottom line is that as people get older they tend to become more sedentary and so they lose much of their muscle mass. At the same time, the fat on their body increases. And one of the areas where the fat accumulates is around the abdomen.

It becomes a vicious cycle. People tend to sit around because they're feeling tired, thinking they just need more rest. But they actually get more tired from being sedentary and on and on it goes. Something has to change if you want a different outcome, right?

And of course, I'm getting to that. It's called ...exercise!

Big surprise. But you know this is Fitness Friday!

Actually the older we get the more important it is to continue to get exercise.

Losing weight might be important but consider focusing on building muscle at the expense of fat.

There's just no getting around it. If you want to have energy for whatever you enjoy doing and you don't want to become old and frail, you've got to ...exercise!

And building muscle is the key to feeling better, especially as you get older.

Now don't worry about becoming muscle bound. Women do not build muscle like men.

But I have to say that I wouldn't mind having the muscle tone of Nicole C. Mullen. How about you?

BTW, Sandy is on hiatus from Fitness Friday for a bit because she's in the midst of posting about what the Lord has been saying to her. Of course, you know her blog is called ...God Speaks Today.

I'll be back next Friday to share more tips on aging gracefully. So, no matter what your age, it's never too late or too early to get started.

(Elderly people sign photo credit: Freefoto)

Debbie Petras
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  1. In this last year, I have discovered yoga. I know that it is something that I can continue to do as I age. I read a book last year called "Having Our Say" about a couple of African American sisters who lived almost a decade into their 100s. They did yoga every day.

    My life has been VERY stressful lately and I was ORDERED by my doctor to continue to make the time to go to the gym. I am hoping to gain enough strength to begin going back to the gym an additional day.

    Thanks for such a great post!


  2. Dear Debbie,
    As you well know my age will be 60 this year.
    I suffer from two chronic diseases, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and osteoporosis.
    With osteoporosis,exercising, or at least walking is essential to strengthen the skeleton. Pains from the many broken bones must be over won.
    The ME is not compatible with exhaustion.
    I have had these good friends, calling every Tuesday to drag me out for a slow hike. If I don't feel like it, no hard feelings, they'll be back next week.
    COMPANY is important exercising.
    These last weeks I have been in more pain than usual.
    The hubby and I agreed to try and go for a 20 minutes walk every day I wasn't doing other exercises.
    New trainers has made wonders, and also the fact that I'm slightly COMPETITIVE. I like to break a record, if only with one minute.
    I know there are elaborate ways to how and what groups of muscles one should consentrate on.
    To me that is not an option. Moving for 20 minutes is possible. So I do that.
    Once a week I work for an hour with my FELDENKRAIS physiotherapist. She has brought life to my broken back and made wonders I would not think possible. A rare gift from God, that's what she is.
    My good friend Liv comes to pick me up Friday nights. We go for a candlelight swim a half hours drive away. Cool and hot baths, massage-pools, water and fresh fruit served. It's such a nice place to be, I willingly give up Friday night entertainments.
    When exercise feels like LUXURY instead of torture, most people will be willing to prioritize the health.
    Your HEALTH BLOG has been a weekly inspiration.
    KNOWLEDGE and INFORMATION are key words.
    FOOD is the last issue that I'm emphasising.
    Again your blog and my always encouraging daughter are main inspirators.
    I make a note from every thing I eat, and I have gradually changed to a no sugar, low fat diet. I am not dieting for short term weight loss, but have changed the way my ordinary meals are composed.
    Luckily hubby Gunnar has also with no pressure of mine, willingly changed his eating habits.
    I have slowly been moving on this new path sinc February, and I see a health gain both for me and my hubby.
    AGE is no diagnosis, but it may be a CHALLENGE.
    Thank you for keeping up your health & heartblog.
    From felisol

  3. So true, Debbie. It's harder to exercise the older you get though. I have a knee problem that prohibits me from doing a lot of walking. Knee replacement surgery would be the answer but I'm not eager to do that. LOL

  4. Great post. I am very aware of the need for more energy...as I just put a VERY active 2 year old down for nap (that grammy needs very much:o) I walk at an indoor track every day with friends, but know I need to step up the exercise both for weight loss and more energy to keep up. As always, thanks for the encouragement!

  5. Ah, aging. If you're not already in heaven, you're here in an aging body.

    Sometimes mine feels like it's aging really fast (I'll be 46 tomorrow). But exercise makes a HUGE difference. I think it's the best anti-aging tool we've got!

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  6. The main thing is just keep doing...keep active. Don't stop doing things just because they are more difficult (and they do get more difficult as you get older.) And whatever you do, don't let sitting down become your goal. Never let the words "but I just sat down" become you excuse for not getting up again.

    I've watched this happen with an elderly person I love. They refused to do any movement beyond the bare minimum and now are on the verge of being wheelchair bound and still refusing to move.

  7. Powerful post!

    Whatever age we are we are aging daily as we live in a body that is decaying. We must take better care of ourselves (spirit, soul and body) in order to age with grace.

    I only got serious about the body part 2.5 years ago. Soul and spirit has been something I've been very serious about for MANY years. I'm glad for GOD's grace!! Oh so glad.

    I'd take her muscle tone too in the arms!!!

    I had visited Sandy so I know she is taking a break from FF. I look forward to your continued series.

    I love you.

  8. I just posted your link on my Living a Fit Life blog Sweetie.

  9. Lots of truth written here..Loved it. Thanks SO much for sharing..and sharpening us..Proverbs 27:17

  10. I know what you mean about feeling tired and sitting, then sitting and feeling more tired. I've really reached the point that I am tired of sitting. You've suggested a few things, the weights, and I'm determined to do it.
    Keep up the encouragement!
    Love you, h.


I love to read your comments! I know you have something to share so join in the conversation. And thank you for taking the time.

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