Available for Interviews: Dr. Mimi Secor
Dr. Mimi is a fitness and health advocate who is passionate about helping women to lose weight and feel great, and is the author of Healthy & Fit at Any Age: A Guide to Creating nutrition, exercise, and mindset habits for busy women!
Staying Motivated With Our Fitness Goals:
Many assume that older people can’t get healthy and fit and stay healthy and fit. This is a myth. I started my current health/fitness journey when I was 59 and now, I am 68 years young. I lost 30 pounds and 12 inches from my waist (during my doctoral program) and have maintained this nine years later. I started weightlifting, doing consistent cardio exercise, stretching, eating healthy, getting adequate sleep, and reducing my stress. And guess what? I now feel better than ever. I feel better than when I was in my 30s and 40s.
Challenges That Come With
Staying Healthy at 70+?
It is easier to stay healthy as we get older if we were healthy over our lifespan. But it is also possible to improve our health even over the age of 70. I ramped up my health at age 59 and continue to improve my health at age 68 now. Here are some challenges:
- Lack of peer support. Challenges include not having like-minded, same-aged peers to socialize with and be motivated by. We may find over the years that our family and friends are more sedentary as they age which can create peer pressure to do the same.
- Aging bodies. Another challenge is dealing with our aging bodies. Older people are more likely to have orthopedic issues, like hip and knee pain, shoulder and back pain, and mobility issues. Difficulty bending, getting down on the floor, and backup can be significant challenges.
- “Gymtimidation.” The issue of “gymtimidation” is also more of a problem as we age. Many older adults, especially women, are hesitant to go to the gym because they think only fit/young folks will be there. That can be intimidating. They may also not have any idea how to use the various machines, both cardio and weight machines. That can be intimidating. What will they wear to the gym, especially if they are overweight? And what will people think? That can be very intimidating. I know because I’ve experienced this feeling as an older woman walking into a new gym.
- Self-defeating assumptions. Some seniors may feel that being healthy and fit is for younger people. They may not think it is possible for them to get healthier and more fit.
- Less-than-perfect diets. Seniors may also not have optimal eating plans/ diets, and this can make working out more challenging and even be associated with increased fatigue and increased risk of injury during exercise.
- Lack of good hydration. Older people may also not be well hydrated and that can impact how they feel and how well they tolerate exercise.
It’s Never Too Late to Begin
Healthy Habits. Here are 4
- Mindset. Learning how to deal with stress in a healthy way rather than relying on junk food, alcohol, and other unhealthy habits like negative thinking/complaining and blaming others/life circumstances is ideal. When experiencing stress, give yourself extra self-care rather than less—and it works! Resilience is the ability to bounce back from stress. When we practice consistent self-care, no matter what, we can cope with stress better and are less at risk of ‘crashing and burning.” We are also less likely to suffer from the ill effects of yoyo dieting (weight loss followed by weight gain).
- Weights. That might have prevented my career-long back pain and helped in so many other ways too. I’ve not had any back pain since I started lifting at age 59. This is quite remarkable. Weightlifting has also helped my posture, and my hip and knee pain, and has also helped my confidence and mindset to be more positive.
- Stretching. We become stiff as we age and that can lead to a range of health problems including a great risk of orthopedic problems like back, hip, and pain. I’ve been stretching consistently for over two years and feel so much better as a result. I’m not nearly as stiff when I walk and have less pain and stiffness when I do have to sit.
- Meditation. I like to meditate when I stretch and that has helped me feel less stressed (especially during the pandemic) and more centered. It’s a package deal. The more healthy habits we consistently adopt the greater the benefits we can expect.
With daily attention to what your body needs by eating better, exercising, getting more sleep, drinking more water, and building a more positive mindset, you will start to feel better. We serve others better when we take care of ourselves, and we also are never too old to adopt a healthier lifestyle and improve our health. Dreams and goals are not just for young people. The earlier in your life you adopt consistent healthy habits the more your health will benefit—body, mind, and spirit. You will be less at risk for developing chronic health problems, weight gain, and a myriad of mental health problems, and your relationships will probably improve as well. Good health is the greatest gift we can give ourselves.
Interview: Dr. Mimi Secor
Dr. Mimi Secor, DNP, FNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN, is a Nurse Practitioner, Educator, Health & Fitness Advocate specializing in Women’s Health for over 40 years. She is a sought-after national speaker and consultant who has been featured in numerous local and national media outlets and is still actively educating advanced practice clinicians and consumers around the country and the world. She is the author of the #1 International bestselling book, Debut a New You: Transforming Your Life at Any Age, and the newest title: Healthy & Fit at Any Age: A Guide to Creating nutrition, exercise, and mindset habits for busy women! is now available.
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