We’ve all picked up those magazines with “through the decades” articles. Whether the topic is personal finance or skin care regimen, they generally begin with advice for each decade of your adult life, through 50 & beyond. Since moving out of the 50’s decade I admit to taking umbrage with the “and beyond.” Really, should I have the same plan at 60, 70, or 80 that I had at age 50? Or, since there fewer of us beyond 60, do we cease to be a large enough part of the readership?
I recently opened the October issue of Outside Magazine and saw a by-the-decades series of articles on living your best life. Warily, I paged through, wondering if there was a decade for me. Starting at 0-20 (been there), on to 20-30 (been there), 30-40 (been there), 40-50 (been there), 50-65 (o.k., stretching those years a bit, been there) and finally, here we arrive at 65+. The + apparently indicates as long as we are sentient beings.
Within the 65+ segment, featured athletes include 79-year old Bill Iffrig (the Boston Marathoner knocked on his butt by shock waves from the bomb who then proceeded to the finish line),
80-year old Lew Hollander (a finisher of 50 Ironmans),
80-year old Yuichiro Miura
(the oldest person to climb Mount Everest), and 78-year old Harriet Anderson (a 12-time Kona AG winner).
I object. Can’t we age 60-70 folks have our own segment where the grueling and impressive feats of those in their 70’s and 80’s don’t overshadow us? No? Well, I’ll go with it, since your recommendations for 65+ reinforce my own personal cobbled-together plan. Those include:
Osteoporosis Testing. Outside warns men they are not exempt from this quiet and debilitating disease. (Yeah, we women get warnings from every direction and get tested, so this one specifically for men is warranted.)
Adding Resistance Bands to your Weight Lifting plan.
I’m onboard with this, having just replaced some worn bands with a fresh set with varying levels of resistance. The instructions with my recent purchase advised against using outdoors, but I do when I travel by car. They’re convenient to wrap around a lamp post or a tree in a rest area for a few assisted squats and stretches. It breaks up a long ride.
Eat more Protein, fewer Carbs. Outside says that dietary guidelines call for at least a third of an ounce of protein per 2.5 pounds of body weight but note some experts think that’s not enough for we Baby Boomers.
I’ve read this in other sources and taken heed. I take in some protein shortly after most workouts, whether its running, weights or swimming. My go-to protein is a shelf-safe boxed chocolate milk. Another favorite is dry roasted edamame, roughly 14 grams of protein in a small handful. My current brand is GourmetNut. Both items are convenient for post-workout and fit in the pocket of my gym bag.
Lots of information on this topic about vitamins and such, although the take-away was to get as much as you can of what you need from quality food loaded with nutrients, like those listed in Outside’s section for 30-40. Had we been eating those items consistently for the last 25 years (yes, I know some of you have) we would have a stronger base now.
The sci-fi blood spinning/youth pill stuff is interesting but it sounds like we in the 65+ group will be out-a-here before most become commonplace or affordable.
Overall, this issue is a good read with current information on how to stay healthy so that we can continue to go out and play. Though much of the content of Outside is targeted to young men, the high quality of writing and interesting exploration of our natural surroundings appeals to this senior woman as well. That quality writing includes an article in the October issue penned by 70-something Jim Harrison, author of books on the outdoors and many other topics that make life worthwhile.
So, Outside, thumbs up, although I’m still hankering for my own decade. Is 60-70 too much to ask?