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Aging, Fitness and Keeping it Real!

As we age it becomes, admittedly, a bit more difficult to get our bodies in sync with our minds and what we'd like to do or who we want to become. Sometimes it's injuries or illness and other times extra weight makes it difficult. In my mind, the thing to remember is that whatever limitations we have now, or had in the past, they don't necessarily predict an immobile future. We can change our physical destiny with careful planning and heeding our little inner voice that warns us when we're pushing a bit too hard.

I started taking my health and fitness back about 4 1/2 years ago and have finally progressed to a place where I'm comfortable with my weight, my body and my activity level. Honestly, it was a lot of trial and error and there were times I pushed too hard and injured myself but didn't give up or let the injuries ruin my motivation. I worked through them. At one point, I let a shoulder injury go too long trying to work through it and ended up with frozen shoulder. That put me out of commission as far as weight lifting (my favorite form of exercise) for about 4 months and 10 weeks of physical therapy. The therapist told me he thought he could bring me back to about 90% but I worked really hard and managed to come all the way back.

Since I couldn't lift weights I decided to start running. I'm not sure why, because I never enjoyed running, but for some reason, because I was hooked on exercise I decided to give it a try. The first couple of weeks were awful and I hated it but I kept trying until it gradually became somewhat enjoyable. About 4 months in I ran a 5K and began training for a 10K and then knee gave out on me..........LOL. A shot of cortisone helped but I was not allowed to run for awhile.

Fortunately by then my shoulder was healed and I was able to go back to lifting weights and swimming (something I've always enjoyed). Long story short I guess is that even though I was injured and quite discouraged sometimes with my body and the way it wasn't cooperating I still tried to find something I could do. Exercise has become a fact of life for me after all this time...............I really can't live without it, at least not happily.

I think if you think about other women or men you might know in my age group (ugh I was born in 1950), or perhaps even a bit older, and see how immobile some of them are, that should be enough motivation to get moving. You may not be able to run a marathon or lift a 200 lb barbell off the ground, but you can do something. We all have limitations, more of them as we age, but we shouldn't let those define us!

I'm 67 and we had dinner last weekend with two other couples we've been friends with for over 40 years. I'm very involved with taking care of my 64 year old sister in our home who is on hospice and dying from throat cancer, and so I was so looking forward to getting away from home with my husband and unwinding with friends for a few hours.

Unfortunately, the conversation, nearly the entire night, centered around everyone's aches and pains, surgeries, medications, negative experiences with doctors etc, etc. I couldn't wait to come home! I'm a very sympathetic and compassionate person but honestly I wanted to scream!

None of them have cancer, none of them are really disabled or seriously ill, but they couldn't seem to find a reason to pick themselves up and change their trajectory! And that includes my husband.............ugh

I'm probably ranting a bit and I'm not trying to embarrass or discourage anyone here who has real health or injury issues but honestly, if you can move you need to. It won't get any easier than it is now.

91 votes + -


BobbieInCA wrote 5 months ago:
Love you, Lulu, and your "rant" is my Mantra!
UncleMac wrote 5 months ago:
You never fail to inspire me, Lulu. I'm so glad you're my friend!!
runningforthetrain wrote 5 months ago:
I hear you Lulu! And I know exactly what your talking about. It is so easy to make excuses... you continue to be an inspiration to me.
brandiuntz wrote 5 months ago:
So true. I knew I didn't want to go down the road to immobility/poor health, so just before age 40, I started to seriously exercise and lose weight. As I now enter peri-menopause and read all the "slow metabolism, lose muscle mass, etc", horror stories about my future, I realize that a lot of it is in my control. Eat healthy, keep the weight off, and stay ACTIVE. Makes a world of difference.
dutchandkiwi wrote 5 months ago:
So very very true. I am nigh on fifty and get those negative medical stories all the time and it annoys me. Sure people do get ill but a lot of these people only look at the negative side, not what is left and don't do anything about it and do not take the responsibility at all.
More than once I have left a place thinking; "that was one hell of a medical consult thrown at me"

I prefer to go your way - do what you can try to expand and work that body so it stays as strong as it can be. Sure bad thing can still happen but at least I have changed the odds into my favour as much as I can.
lovesretirement wrote 5 months ago:
You nailed it, LuLu!
Once we determine our “whys,” they will become motivating forces.

“Get busy living, or get busy dying.”
Ke22yB wrote 5 months ago:
I just turned 70 born in 48 I was morbidly obese till I was 60 and your rant is also my mantra I swim about 90 minutes every morning Monday to Friday and run at least 5 miles 5x a week and some fitness classes. I love my aches and pains because they come from physical activity not sitting on my rump whining. I just shake my head when someone goes on and on about Drs and Meds etc. I took by BP from 200/100 at its worse to 116/66 without ONE PILL.
I am no superman if I can so can everyone else one step at a time as the benefits are well worth it.
From 367 pounds and not being able to tie my shoes and walk around the block to 190s and running races
That's why we are here to share our stories encourage one another and being healthy and fit
heatherpb01 wrote 5 months ago:
Amazing post. Good heavens does that tell it like it is! Thank you! I'm Going to read this when I need a reminder why we need exercise.
luluinca wrote 5 months ago:
Thanks everyone! I feel the same way, if I can do it anyone can. Find your sweet spot and live in it.
The_Movie_Chair wrote 5 months ago:
Health issues are the pits but they don't define us. I am "only" in my 50's and it already started. I have two chronic diseases and some limitations. It's part of aging, it is not who I am.

Aging is not for sissies and it's not the same for everybody.

We live beside a woman who constantly complains or makes diseases up. Talking to her is very healing for me. :-)

Since months, I am fighting to walk one mile without a break, still, I haven't managed it but I am close. It is different for everybody. Some days I am in pain, some days I am not. It is what it is. :-)

If I have learned one thing here than it is that I should not ever compare my situation to others. We are all unique and so is our journey. I try to do my best, that's all I can do!

You have every right to be proud of yourself -we are!

SaraKim17 wrote 5 months ago:
I love this! Thank you so much for posting. 👏

debk0718 wrote 5 months ago:
Thank you for this rant. I needed this so badly! You've given me the kick in the butt to pick myself and dust myself off. Great post, thank you so much for sharing with us.
ggeise14 wrote 5 months ago:
A true inspiration!
carolamacd wrote 5 months ago:
I too am trying to stay mobile. I DO NOT want to be one of those elderly people who shuffle to get from A to B. and I too keep injuring myself but find another way. Running being my go to when everything else is hurting. Thank you for confirming I am on the right track. I was born in 1960.
barneshall wrote 5 months ago:
Love this! I am your age and have recently started weight lifting, pilates and continue to golf.I am still obese but fighting hard...your post is my inspiration. Thank you
Sztheday wrote 5 months ago:
Aging is not for sissies! Your post is very inspirational. Great job sticking with it!!!
TAMayorga wrote 5 months ago:
I am almost 53 and running is my main form of exercise. I have found that my internet-diagnosed sciatica flares up if I try to go farther than 3-3.5 miles. I will push it occasionally and go for a 10K run, but will feel the consequences. And I hear you on the aches and pains: my mom refers to it as the "organ recital". I have vowed as I age to keep the state of my physical complaints as much to myself as possible. My goal is to be a healthy and active senior.
mk2fit wrote 5 months ago:
I am 59 and get told all the time how wonderful it is I run/walk/exercise. None of those people, including my husband, exercise at all. Well, ok, I do drag my husband out for walks. How I wish there was a way we could talk our loved ones into joining us, even a little. Thanks for sharing, Lulu.
SilverSheWolf55 wrote 5 months ago:
Well, lulu, that's one of the reasons I love being your friend. You are so inspirational, AND, I'm trying to not complain too much. I am 62 and, although my brain is still in my 30's, my body is feeling every bit of my 62 years. HOWEVER, after hearing and seeing you, I have so much more hope and inspiration that I never did before. I CAN DO THIS! Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I see now that it's never too late, as long as I keep it real. :-)
Dispatcher123 wrote 5 months ago:
Your post is very inspirational, I’m 75 with a bad back but must keep going !!!!
I walk 45- minutes to one hour a day, I think it helps my back from getting worse.
Thanks for your post💕
robiniapa wrote 5 months ago:
Good job! I'm 64 now and made a decision about two years ago that I was simply not going to become immobile as I got older. I started doing yoga classes for stretching and flexibility and was pleasantly surprised at how much strength I gained in the bargain. I was carrying about 30 extra pounds and made a decision in January that it was going away. I'm already down ten pounds and counting. I can no longer run because of back issues, but I can use an elliptical machine. Now I go to a gym for elliptical and circuit machines a couple of times a week, practice yoga regularly and hike for about two hours every Sunday, and am very comfortable with that level of activity. It's not realistic for me to expect to have the body of a thirty- or forty-year old, but I look at my high school classmates, many of whom are obese, inactive and already well down the road of hip and knee replacements (partly because of stress from weight) and feel blessed to be where I am and determined to stay there. Thanks for sharing, Lulu. Right there with ya, sistah!
Suanough wrote 5 months ago:
I'm 75 and starting an exercise program on Monday. Your blog has helped me believe I can do this, too...
luluinca wrote 5 months ago:
Thanks again everyone who commented! It's nice to see so many of us working hard to become or stay fit and mobile as we creep up in age! Keep up the good work!
lknewstub wrote 5 months ago:
To The_Movie_Chair
Thank you for your post to Lulu's rant (which was great too). You are so right! It is not the same for everyone. Many of us take the mobility and general good health we do have for granted. I know I do. But truly I don't know when I may lose all of that. It could happen in one instance. So At 66, I am bucket trying again, to form better exercise habits and track my eating in an attempt to eat more healthfully.
robiniapa, Ke22yB, Suanough, luluinca, Thank you all for your inspirational posts. I am so glad I stumbled onto this blog this afternoon.
KeriA wrote 5 months ago:
In my 50s I decided to get the weight off and get moving. I didn't have any health problems or injuries. I got 40 lbs off and exercised an hour a day. I started running too and started to love it. Then I went back to fulltime work once my field picked up again. It is harder to exercise and eat right and I gained a lot back. I have started to get regular exercise and am eating better and have stopped the gain. I did it despite some injuries. The told me that I couldn't run anymore (arthritis in my knee). Now I have to get even more exercise and lose the weight I gained. I am in my 60s too. I love my job. I am going to get fit. Like you I find whatever I can do to get exercise but I just need more. Love your blog and the comments.
joanthemom8 wrote 5 months ago:
I have a twin sister - we are 52. She retired a year and a half ago, has no kids and she STILL doesn't exercise. Last summer she had a heart attack. She has major digestive issues... she STILL doesn't exercise. She will try and convince me to take whatever kind of hippy-dippy supplements... but the one thing that helps me most (physically and mentally) is exercise. I've tried to explain that to her over and over. She has a treadmill - doesn't use it. Drives me bonkers! I want her to be healthy and happy, but I try not to nag her too much.
Frater_Nox wrote 5 months ago:
Am 41. Six months ago I began my journey. Lost 52 lbs. I am taking your words to heart. Thank you.
cornerstonetransport77 wrote 5 months ago:
I will be 68 in Apr. I have RA and COPD-and very overweight. I work 10 to 12 hr days in front of the computer. Exhausted, after work I go from computer to recliner to bed. Just took a trip with my daughter and son in law to Lake Havasua.
I loved it-the lake the-Palm trees -the weather. Because I have been so inactive, I was only able to walk a whole 2 blocks,before my legs started cramping and I became too weak to walk. I was walking a mile a day before the snow started and it became to cold for my lungs.
MY RA flared and my daughter had to be my caretaker. I was horrified at how out of shape I have become. My vacation went from 7 days to 4 days. I too, was born in 1950. Your blog has certainly inspired me. I do not want to become dependent on anyone. It is true your life can change overnight. One day I did not have RA the next day I was in terrible pain, with no idea what was going on. I may have to live with RA the rest of my life, but I am determined to do it as healthy as I can. Thank you for the inspiration! 68 is young if we take care of ourselves.
lodovice wrote 5 months ago:
Hi there! I was born in 1953. I retired 2 yrs ago and finally had time to work hard on health and fitness. It was very very hard at first; seemed like a different body part hurt every day. I just kept pushing myself and hoping I didn't get hurt. NOW; I have lost 31 pounds, I can run, and I finally like it, joined a local gym, love it, ride bikes, cross country ski. I will literally try anything if it works up a sweat, because it makes me feel truly happy. Don't give up people; good things come to those who persist.
luluinca wrote 5 months ago:
All of your stories are inspiring me and if I've been able to encourage you to keep moving and thinking about your health and mobility then I'm happy I put my little rant into words. Life is hard sometimes as well as joyful, and we always seem to have things to overcome. Really though, we have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and do the best we can for not only our families but for ourselves. We're important! You're important! I sincerely hope you all keep moving and push yourselves to the limit of what you're able to do and that you never give up!

Thanks also for all the friend requests from this blog...LOL, you're all the best!
knox50us wrote 5 months ago:
Great blog. I have 40 pounds to lose but am very fit and active with no aches and pains yet (age 66) but when I get around my friends including my husband, it really is all about aches and pains that they want to complain about but not do anything about.

Look forward to following your blog. Well written, too.
moya_bleh wrote 5 months ago:
I love this post! I'm 44 next month and I'm so looking forward to staying fit into the next stage of my life.
5838fish623 wrote 5 months ago:
This is a great post. I have similar friends as you described,usually complaining about something but not interested in taking an responsibility for anything. My spouse included too. I'll be 70 in 2 months and refuse to give in.
daleschmieg wrote 5 months ago:
You described, with great eloquence, my thoughts for the past few years! Since my youngest was born, I have really become sedentary! Prior to that time, though, I was in pretty good shape, and I am not willing to "settle" for the status quo! I see others with a sedentary lifestyle and it honestly scares me how easy it is to just sit. That is my motivation! Also, here's a take-away that I learned from living a year in Norway---few things cannot be cured with a bit of fresh air and movement every day. (That's EVERY day, no matter the weather! They have a saying---"It's not the weather that's bad, but the choice of clothing!") So, I am going to take heart from your post and the above comments and work on my healthy choices every day, be it rest, food intake, or exercise.
musicsax wrote 5 months ago:
My philosophy is use it or use it !! I'm almost 60 and am determined to keep as active as I can for as long as I can - I walk about 8 miles a day and it's not only my exercise, but it is also the time when I plan, reflect and it's "my" time !!

You keep up your exercise and "keeping young" programme.
danakline43 wrote 5 months ago:
I am 68 and work out at least 5 mornings at 6 with a kinetic fitness trainer and do body sculpting one night and a do 1/2 hour on the eliptical and and 4 sets of 40 hypers on that machine. I was 60 lbs overweight 5 years ago and had a near fatal car accident when I was 43 that crushed my right arm, my right ankle and my pelvic bone. they put me back together but I do not have a tri cept muscle in my right arm and my hip is crooked and turn in I have always tried to exercise in some way but went thru a divorce and had to get to a point that I was having trouble carrying my groceries etc up my steps. I took off the weight and have kept it off and i get more active every year. it give me energy and I like my body this way. I wear a size 4 with some definition and it is fun to be able to lift what i need to and just hike without getting winded or run a 5k. It is hard to get started and you need a caring trainer that will not let you get hurt. Quality of life is everything. Like with all good things it is an ongoing building experience. I could have been handicapped or healthy and happy. if you have that choice make it happen. it is so worth it
357girl wrote 5 months ago:
Rant, Lulu, Rant. Someone has to! I'm 47, have multiple autoimmune diseases and love sweets and bourbon and coke every now and then. I lost my mom in December and I'm taking a new look at what is really, truly important in life. I have achilles tendonitis for the past year and it's darned tough to exercise with it. I can lift weights but cardio is difficult this time of year when snow covers the ground and you really want to take your bicycle out! My grief sent me into a tailspin that I'm now working to get out of - started Keto to jump start weight loss this weekend. I need to lose 20 pounds at this point. I'm with you, we have to take care of ourselves so we can enjoy life! Thanks for the post!
dbhDeb wrote 5 months ago:
Thank you for the kick in the pants = D
marthahorn wrote 5 months ago:
I joined MFP in 2013 at the age of 53 and my goal was to lose weight and become more healthy; to do what I could with what I had! Over the past five years I have lost 31 pounds (only 100 or so to go!) and changed my eating habits. Yes it has been slow and not always something I was excited about but change has not come easily for me in this area - food was my drug/painkiller of choice! Recently I have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease (they're still testing to figure out which one but it's likely RA) with symptoms that I now recognize started about 10 years ago. I could kick myself for my slower pace but I'm NOT-I'm 31 pounds lighter! My eating habits are a whole lot better and going to get better yet! Life is precious and I plan to live a lot longer and enjoy every bit of it. It is NEVER too late to start. Thanks for the reminder!
luluinca wrote 5 months ago:
It's so encouraging to see so many of you either determined to face the future stronger and healthier than ever or working right now to make your present the healthiest you can.

I'm impressed with all of you and wish you all a long and healthy life doing all the fun things you want to do, whether it's just being able to get down and back up from the ground while playing with your grandkids, running a marathon, or anything in between. My oldest grandson and I enjoy hiking together in the Rocky Mountains of CO and I wouldn't want to miss those moments for anything!

We've all got this!
itsme7276 wrote 5 months ago:
Your story is exactly what I needed this morning. I was born in '54, and I've started my fitness journey -- again. It's been going on in fits and starts since I was in my late 40s, I guess. But this time I feel like it will stick. I really need (want) to lose weight, and so far, after a month of hard work, I'm down the recommended 2 lbs. a week. I'm setting myself smaller goals that I can reach each month. All done with walking -- lots and lots of walking -- and weight lifting. I'm like you. LOVE lifting weights. It makes me feel powerful, and I like that feeling. You're a real inspiration. Thanks for that.
debbiasberry wrote 5 months ago:
Great post - LOL I thought you were going to say the conversation centered around how fabulous you look (Those arm muscles!) and how do you keep so fit!! You are an inspiration to me and so glad that I am working at it now so I can be around the next 40 years and not rely on other people to take care of me. There are so many spiritual, physical, emotional issues that can be addressed with healthy eating habits and exercise. I have lost 70 lbs as a result of healthy eating and exercise habits I am off of most of my meds - even my thyroid improved. Everyone wants a quick fix and the truth is it takes time, planning, and dedication. Thank you for your post.
stringsNlinks wrote 5 months ago:
I love this great post! My mother is 85 years young and she golfs 18 holes, bowls and takes the "little old ladies" in her neighborhood grocery shopping. She can't afford a gym so she uses gallon water jugs (with varies amounts of water) for her arm strength exercises. She swears by it for her golf swing! I am doing my best at 50-something to keep up with her mind, body and spirit and I feel so fortunate to have such a great role model.... agreed, keep moving!!!
before58 wrote 5 months ago:
Thank you have written what I think....and I often talk about why am I not exercising like I did ....I certainly talk about it and just for some reason can't dig deep to get going and I am healthy now ....despite fifty pounds to lose but am I waiting until I can't then wish I could .......I love that feeling of exercise but full time work and then doing the books for our businesses as well I am tired .....but I think more cause I just don't exercise we are leaving on another winter vacation tomorrow for a week ....and when I am back this has to stop and fitness, eating well has to become first in my life ...I want to cherish and enjoy my health to see my beautiful grandchildren grow and play with them thank you ....ther is so much more to life and we only get one chance to live it !
Trixie568 wrote 4 months ago:
Your post was exactly what I needed today...I am once AGAIN starting my journey to a healthier lifestyle. I was able to lose 47 pounds back in 2014 but have since put it back on with a few extra pounds !! I just turned 71 and am weighing in at 229 pounds. Today is the anniversary of my sons death seven years ago and I am going on this journey today to honor his memory...and to help myself. I have COPD, high blood pressure and a fatty liver with thyroid problems...I know I can do this as I have done it before. Just need to focus and read such encouraging blogs as yours Lulu !! Thanks for the inspiration!!!
Snowflake1968 wrote 4 months ago:
I am 49 and most of my friends are my age or a little older. They all complain about getting "old", their aches and pains but none of them want to admit that their weight and lifestyles are probably contributing to it. It's frustrating to listen to them.

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