Do you remember what your body felt like at 40?
You were probably still in pretty good shape and able to do most things without too much difficulty. It may have even been the time of your life when you looked better than ever.
Now, as you look back on those days, you might wish you could go back and reclaim that feeling.
Of course, that’s not the healthiest mindset and we absolutely don’t recommend that.
The promising news is no matter what your age, you can be in shape and healthy. And you can absolutely reclaim that vibrant feeling.
The best way to do this is by starting now with simple lifestyle changes that can have lasting effects on the quality of life. Besides, we all know there’s no perfect time to start making positive changes and it’s definitely not a reliable path if you wait until you feel like it.
If you’re wondering how to be fit over 60, here are six effective tips that will help you stay healthy in your golden years.
6 Ways to Transform Your Body at 60
#1 Get Your Skin Back on Track
Your skin loses elasticity and water as you age. But the good news is that the right routine can help it look (and feel) better.
Here are some skincare tips to help you get your skin on a healthier path:
- Protect yourself against sun damage
- Avoid using hot water
- Choose natural products without fragrances
- Exfoliate weekly (but don’t overdo it)
- Hydrate and moisturize daily
Apart from getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, and taking care of your nutrition, the products you use are immensely important.
Just be prepared for some trial and error while searching for the skincare products that suit the specific needs of your skin. Like anything worthwhile in life, one size doesn’t fit all.
#2 Focus on Enjoyable Physical Activity
You’ve heard the saying ‘no pain, no gain,’ right? Well, it’s time to break out of that mindset and start thinking about what feels good both physically and mentally to be fit over 60.
It can be hard to stick to an exercise routine if it feels like a chore. In fact, lack of motivation is one of the biggest barriers to exercise that older adults face. But studies show the importance of enjoyment when engaging in physical exercise — the more you enjoy it, the more likely you’ll do it.
Maybe running outside in the fresh air makes you feel energized? Maybe a weight-lifting session at the gym keeps your mood elevated? Or do you prefer to engage in some light stretches at home?
Whatever it may be, find a form of exercise that suits your needs and schedule, then commit to it consistently.
#3 Put It in Your Calendar
If you don’t plan your workouts, there’s a great chance they’ll fall through the cracks and never happen.
Research shows that planning your exercise and scheduling it in your calendar actually makes you do it more frequently.
If you want to stay fit over 60, instead of trying to find the time to work out, make the time for physical activity.
It helps to literally review your weekly calendar, and see where a regular appointment would fit in. If you can schedule it for the same time each day, your exercise routine will become more of a healthy habit and less of an unhealthy mental battle.
#4 Set Specific Goals
Getting started is always the hardest, but once you set your mind on your goal, it’s much easier for you to keep going and persevere.
In fact, research shows that goal setting has a beneficial effect on motivation. In one study, recreational exercisers were divided into three groups — those focused on the outcomes, the process, and a control group.
Those in the process goal group, which was made up of people with a focus on what they wanted out of their experience and not just how it would turn out, had significantly higher interest, enjoyment, and success than those in the other two.
This is exactly why you should use the SMART goal method. Make any goal Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
For example, if your goal was to be fit over 60 and lose weight you could set a SMART goal like:
What most people miss is they don’t make a goal that’s specific enough, so it’s worth following the acronym all the way through (as cheesy as it may feel).
#5 Be Mindful of What You Eat
It’s a fact that as we age, our bodies and nutritional needs change.
Many are unaware of how to adjust their diet, which leads to almost 50% of older Americans being malnourished. This is exactly why you have to be mindful of what you eat to be fit and to stay active, healthy, and engaged over 60.
If you need a little reminder of how to adjust your nutrition check out our comprehensive guide to nutrition for older adults.
#6 Start Small
Have you ever tried to “get in shape” and failed?
You’re definitely not alone. And you probably spent the first two weeks working out like a mad(wo)man and then gave up after realizing how sore you were from all that exercise.
You know, 0 to 60 with your newfound vigor. We’ve all done it.
To avoid the all-or-nothing or yo-yo fitness regiment, try building your exercise up steadily, instead of pushing yourself too hard at the start.
After all, on average, it takes about 2 months to form a new habit. So choose a new activity that supports a healthy lifestyle and take it one micro-step at a time until it becomes a part of your routine.
It’s much more powerful to do 10 minutes a day consecutively than to skip several days and overdo it for an hour straight — from both a habit and fitness perspective.
Could 60 Be the New 40?
No. And it shouldn’t be. Aging is inevitable and there are plenty of amazing positives to aging that unfortunately aren’t glamorized in the media. But I digress.
Ultimately, you’re in control of how you spend your golden years and how you feel about them.
It’s never too late to make changes to your lifestyle and you can always set yourself up to age as successfully as possible.
We’re not saying you have to train for a marathon or start going to the gym every day. But we are suggesting that it’s time for you to take some action. Debunk aging myths, incorporate these fitness habits, and start feeling like your best self.
Your health is important and your future self will thank you for the healthy changes you make today. We recommend that you start by gauging how fit you should actually be and then implement our tips to stay fit in your 60s and beyond.