Boomer Women – Fit it in, no matter what

    With regards to your health and physical well being, how do you envision yourself, say, through the next 30 years?
    Looking towards that future, what matters to you now with respect to your physical well being and movement?

Last year, I asked those 2 questions in the form of a survey to the Boomer women that come to my movement studio. I wasn’t just polling a bucket of Boomer women with a mean age of 57; these were the women that taught me how to teach them 10 years ago when I opened the doors. Yes, they were still with me, a lot of them. I want to share one answer that really stuck with me. Susan, a 63 yr. old therapist, said this, “The most compelling part of staying strong through the golden years is to be as hardy as possible to ward off health problems and to have as much reserve in my body when health problems do crop up so that I can to enhance my recovery”. Stay strong; hardy; reserves; enhance recovery. Brilliant, I thought!

Echoing this superb reflection was a recent TIME magazine article called “How To Live 100 Years”. The most compelling piece was how “Centenarians appear to be remarkably resilient when it comes to shrugging off ailments; they seem to draw on some reserves that allow them to bounce back from health problems.” BINGO! Act now, build your reserves and save yourself later.

Do we really need more studies to tell us that movement is crucial not only to longevity and aging gracefully, but how we live in the present? Oh, we plan to carve that special time in our schedules to exercise, work out, go to the gym…whatever you want to call it, but… things come up, excuses happen, we get off track, we’re too busy; can’t find our shoes or just plain lazy. We’re squeezed for time, stressed, and over feeding ourselves. All the flow charts and workout cards, intentions and appointment times are just not cutting it. How are you ever going to get back on track because right now you are so frustrated?

Stop it. First of all, get on another track. That one isn’t working, so why continue to try? And here’s a tip in starting: find one thing, just one, which you will do No Matter What (NMW) that has to do with movement. Ideally it is “x” times per week. Your NMW is the base for building self accountability and in my opinion the only accountability that ever matters when it comes to your health and your fitness. Imitating another person’s workout or trying to impress your trainer will leave you with shallow results.

Hone in on your NMW by asking these questions: What do you like to do, what can you do, and can you imagine yourself doing it? Keep it specific and tight. The tighter it is the less it will loosen. Okay, you’ve got yourself one. Start there.

My NMW is to go walking for 30 minutes 3-4 times during the work week between 2-3pm. I know I will not do it if I miss that time slot. Hell or high water, I am out there. My morning workout is excluded from qualifying for my NMW simply because it is my sacred time that delights me. My NMW is to walk for pleasure and clear my head.

Make it simple and do it. It must be one thing and you must do it No Matter What.

You’ll start to notice something as you complete it and build those reserves. You begin to build your own “I did it” without the need to write it down, tell the world, or compete against anyone else. And, you won’t want to let yourself down.

Try it out for 28 days starting today or tomorrow and watch.

Let me know how you’ve done when I see you again in 28 days, and we’ll sharpen your NMW even more!

Lisa Byrne Certified Pilates Instructor

Lisa Byrne is the owner and chief creative officer at Pilates for Sport, LLC in Bucks County, Pa. She has her B.S in Exercise Physiology and is a Certified Pilates Instructor. Lisa has operated her fully equipped Pilates studio since 1999 and has been in the Health and Fitness Industry for 23 years. The studio space is home to private sessions, small group training, and the outdoor circuit buffet, sure to get anyone grooving. Visitors to the movement studio span the range and include average Boomers looking for diversity; young people with Asperger's-Autism; hard core athletes looking to ‘loosen up'; and those in need of chronic pain management through movement.