Aging Gracefully with Energy for Baby Boomers

aging gracefully baby boomerAbout a month ago I fell walking up the steps at my house. The first day the only pain I felt was in the shinbone that took the brunt of the fall.

But the second day, getting out of bed was almost intolerable back pain.

Fortunately, my chiropractor could see me that afternoon.

It turns out that what I suffered from the fall was – whiplash. Not only was my lower back a mess, but the fall explained the sudden tender soreness all through the back of my neck.

At the end of a series of three weeks of visits, being elated that I was now down to once a week and on my way to just a routine monthly tune-up, I gleefully said, “Then tomorrow I’ll start back to my hula hooping exercise routine.”

“Tell me about that,” he asked as he completed his notes.

“Well, it’s about a 25 minute routine that …”

Cutting me off mid sentence he looked up from completing his doctor’s notes advising, “It would be better if you eased into it again.”

Curious and feeling like he had a point I asked, “What does that mean exactly?” I hadn’t worked out since seeing him for the past three weeks, each week for two or three visits and I was almost stir crazy without some semblance of an exercise routine.

He explained to me how to work up to the full workout starting with just 1 minute that day. Then in about 2 or 3 weeks, the routine would be set in motion again.

What I have to face is that while I mentally and emotionally am filled with energy, my body doesn’t spring back from bumps and bruises like in the past.

Just how then, does a baby boomer, age energetically gracefully? Just a few ideas from this falling episode:

Accept the change, or listen to the wisdom of a doctor you respect. I was trying to do things the way I’ve done them for, well, decades. But it’s time to listen to both my body and the doctor.

Right after that is to stop comparing yourself to your younger years. We all get older! The goal as you age is to look as good as you can with what you have to work with and stay as healthy as you are able.

Manage your weight with a healthy diet. Many of the women I know complain about weight gain as they age. There’s only been two times I can recall I’ve been overweight, by about 10 or 15 pounds. I upped my exercise and began to eat more vegetables and fruits. I’ve had several doctors ask me to come speak to their patients about staying healthy as you age.

Stay busy. No one would ever accuse me of sitting still. From family, to a car hobby, to blogging, to traveling and the list goes on. Most of my energy comes from keeping moving.

Work out your mind. It might be the introvert side of me but I have insatiable curiosity so any brain game that comes across my radar, is likely something I’m going to play. With the Internet you can go beyond crossword puzzles!

 

What are you finding are ways that you keep your energy as you age?

Have you had an incident that has given you that “Aha,” so you manage more gracefully?

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Comments

  1. I laugh and thought, “This sounds like me!”. I have way to much energy then any one person should have. As I get older I have had to listen to my body, and yes my doctor as to when I have overdone or just about to over do it. I love to garden. I used to go at all day and feel wonderfully exhausted and for-filled at the end of the day. Now I’ve learned to pace myself better and not worry so much that I didn’t get it all done in one day. That is not the easiest thing for me to do… LOL.
    Susan Cooper recently posted…Gainey Chardonnay 2011: WineMy Profile

  2. Mary Slagel says:

    I love that you have a hula hooping exercise routine. Too many people think that exercise has to be this long, boring process that feels great in the end but is boring in the moment. It’s not. Switching it up or adding in props like hula hoops or a jungle gym is a fun way to get in shape while recalling your youth.
    Mary Slagel recently posted…Tips for Getting your Toddler to Eat HealthyMy Profile

  3. I started play soccer about three years ago and spent the first two years limping through the season (September til June). I’d take the summer off and just as I was recouping, I’d wreck myself again. I started taking yoga and it was like night and day. Not only was my energy level up, but the shuffling walk down the stairs that marked my first two years playing my favorite sport disappeared. Yoga can be so restorative and because the practice is personal, it can fit any age or body type. I plan on playing soccer for a few more years, I expect to do yoga for the rest of my life.
    Debra Yearwood recently posted…Saturday Morning Chit Chat – When Did We Catch Up With The Future?My Profile

  4. You remind me of myself; in early May I fell down my basement steps and my left knee hasn’t been the same since! I’m only 38 but it’s obvious that I’m already at a stage where injuries stick with me much longer. It sucks! Especially since I’d been doing yoga/pilates/walking since last August and thought I was getting back into shape.

    All I can do is ease myself through the workouts but keep at it, so I don’t get even worse!
    Adrienne recently posted…Music Monday: Kick In The ButtMy Profile

  5. Catarina says:

    Good suggestions Pat.

    Personally do 10-15 minutes of yoga/pilates first thing every morning and believe it has an impact on keeping my body in shape since it keeps you flexible and agile. To get my heart racing I swim 40 fast laps a week and reward myself with a sauna afterwords.
    Catarina recently posted…Ever heard of the iKnife?My Profile

  6. I’m glad you are on the way to recovery! Your comment that we have to stop comparing ourselves to our younger self really struck a chord with me. Earlier this year I trained too hard and too quickly for a half marathon and my Achilles tendon hasn’t felt good since. I have had to scale back my running A LOT now until it heals

  7. Its really simple, we look after our 16 month old grandaughter twice a week! Two days of that and we are alll goood! Seriously! I used to do yoga and swim but the heck needs that when your running around all day bending and lifting and continuosly saying ” No, don’t go there” No don’t touch that”
    After she leaves we get coffee and just stare at each other for 5 minutes too exhausted to even have an intelligent conversation! lol
    So I recommend this, if you want to exercise borrow a relatives baby for the day and let me know how you feel after 10 hours ;-) (giggles)

    • I know just what you are saying Claire! When we visit our son with our 2 granddaughters – ages 3 and 7 years – I don’t even THINK about exercise. It’s built in to all the fun! I’ve even been able to entertain the 7 year old making cleaning a game while we went up and down 2 flights of stairs and every room in between Thanks!
      PatriciaWeber recently posted…If That Ever Happens to Me I Would…My Profile

  8. It’s not restricted to just baby boomers. Doctors do typically advise anyone to ease back into their exercise routine post injuries. Maybe just walk to compensate for not being able to use your hula hoop.

    Bravo on still being able to use a hula hoop! I can’t remember the last time I even tried.
    Cassi recently posted…Tai Cheng Week 11 CompletedMy Profile

  9. I find that I’m not exactly easing into the aging thing! I know we should be easier on ourselves, but it feels like giving in! I’m trying to alleviate the angst by meditating more, wishing on more stars, and making laughter the biggest part of my day. I don’t know if it’s working. I only know that I’m working at it! LOL Great post!

  10. Ashley Faulkes
    Twitter:
    says:

    Recovering from an injury is always a pain (literally too of course). Each time I hurt something it always reminds me how much I need that part of my body!! My latest is breaking my lower leg into 37 pieces. That one takes a while to fix – 1 year they say until I can do everything again. Walking and riding my bike again now. So progress. Chin up and keep going :>

    • Ow! That definitely hurts Ashley. I broke my right arm in two places at about 30 years old, and my right leg MANY years later, and my left foot just a few years ago. Everything in comparison to my arm took so much longer than I wanted for the doctor to say – you’re free now!

      Sounds like regardless of age, 37 pieces would be somewhat of a piece of art to get back together. Excellent progress.
      PatriciaWeber recently posted…If That Ever Happens to Me I Would…My Profile

  11. Jon Jefferson says:

    I don’t think I have ever been able to hula hoop. But finding a way to work out that you enjoy is the best way to keep at working out. From what I have seen, it always when you stop doing it all and “acting your age” that you begin to lose everything. I say keep doing what youre doing and you will stay young for much longer.

  12. It was amazing how relatively easy it was to get into the hooping Jon. Partly because the DVD instruction was supportive.

    I think exercise if part of what gives me my energy – and besides, I’m really addicted to exercise. It’s my #1 thing to do that doesn’t cost a penny, unless you need to buy a hula hoop. teehee. Thanks.
    PatriciaWeber recently posted…If That Ever Happens to Me I Would…My Profile

  13. Suzanne Fluhr (Just One Boomer)
    Twitter:
    says:

    I am trying to will myself to age gracefully and to be happy about what I can still do. One thing is certain, after a certain age, it’s definitely “use it or lose it” time. I’m glad you were able to follow your chiropractor’s advice. Over-expecting of myself is the path to depression in my case. I’m not suggesting one should not challenge oneself, but “within reason” is a good guideline, especially after an osteoporosis diagnosis. Are you able to share your 7 minute maintenance exercise routine?
    Suzanne Fluhr (Just One Boomer) recently posted…And the Rockets’ Red Glare….My Profile

    • LOL it sure is possible to use it. That’s the same as, rest and you rust.

      If you google 7 minute high intensity interval, you will find two top links give you 1) a list the exercises on a printable poster and 2) the third link down which shows each routine on the NY Times health and wellness site.

      Thanks Suzanne.
      PatriciaWeber recently posted…If That Ever Happens to Me I Would…My Profile

  14. HI Patricia: I enjoyed your post! We can’t stop getting older – sounds like you found a wonderful way to deal with the physical changes that come with the inevitable :) This article is an inspiration to others!
    Ivan Ho recently posted…Landing Page Tips: How To Create A High Converting Landing PageMy Profile

  15. Good post, Patricia. My aha moment this year didn’t happen to come from an injury, but from a little girl on a playground blithely asking me if was someone’s grandma (I’m 52). I blogged about the emotional crisis and panic-stricken, absurdly expensive cosmetic purchases this triggered for me. I’ve never gotten such long, heartfelt comments from readers. I’ve landed at similar beliefs to yours, including acceptance. For me, acceptance means cultivating vitality, rather than “youth” per se, and also growing my capacity to be a giver to others, rather than putting so much emphasis on my appearance.

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