Fittest After 50: Get Off The Treadmill

Fittest After 50: Get Off The Treadmill

posted in: Essays | 8

Is it physically possible to be your fittest after age 50?  The best you’ve ever been?

As Later Bloomers, we want to make the coming decades our most creative and productive, so health is crucial.  In the next three installments, I explore why most people get fatter as they get older and the real secret to losing weight.

What About Aerobics?

I have a friend who maintains that despite spending 60 minutes on a treadmill 5 times a week for 3 months, she didn’t lose a pound.  She eventually blamed her metabolism and gave up—for good.

I wondered if she’d been sneaking a pint of Hagen Daz after her sessions, since she said her thyroid was normal.

Before my hysterectomy, I walked 2 miles, 3 times a week. In six months, I lost only five of the 35 pounds I’ve put on in the last six years. I became convinced my hormones had morphed into little gremlin fat horders, finding new and interesting places to hide their stores. I silently apologized to my friend.

You’ve probably heard some version of this:

Your metabolism slows by 5 percent each decade. Compared to age 25, you’ll burn about 100 fewer calories a day at 35 and 200 fewer at 45. Do nothing, and you could gain eight to 12 pounds a year.  —Madelyn H. Fernstrom, Ph.D

Which sounds exactly like what happened to me. Vindicated?

Not completely. You certainly don’t want to spend every minute on a treadmill (physically or metaphorically). What’s the solution?

Next, Fittest After 50: Pump Some Iron.

Post image, left to right: Wendy Ida (56), Ray Moon (83), Tosca Reno (52) got in the best shape of their life through bodybuilding.

8 Responses

  1. Karen McFarland
    | Reply

    Well this will be an interesting topic Debra! All is not lost yet, eh? Good to know! Will be watching for the following posts! Thanks! 🙂

    • Debra Eve

      Thanks, Karen. I’ll be rebooting this series soon!

  2. Diana Lesire Brandmeyer
    | Reply

    Please tell me you found the answer. It’s been a frustrating last three years of trying to lose weight.

    • Debra Eve

      Remember, Diana, everyone’s body is different. For me, it means moving a lot more, at least at this stage. At least 45 minutes a day, 5 days a week until you tweek you metabolism again. Not on a treadmill, but a combo of strength training and say, walking. I’ve still got a long way to go, but plan to reboot this series shortly. Stay tuned!

  3. charles brown
    | Reply

    Wattabout a recumbent bike at home while watching tv? I also play golf.

    • @DebraEve

      Whatever it takes, Charles! I really like the recumbent bike idea.

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