Many older women are trying to be more physically active. Some of us want to shed a few extra pounds. Others women just want to improve their overall fitness to get more from life. Unfortunately, losing weight after 60 tends to present a few unique challenges.
Why is Losing Weight After 60 Difficult?
For starters, our bodies’ metabolisms might not be as fast as they used to be. In addition, many of us have a few extra aches and pains to work around. And, let’s be honest, there are also those of us who feel a bit intimidated about going back to the gym.
There is good news though. Losing weight after 60 does not require an expensive sports club membership! Instead of going to the gym, there are many other ways to change your daily routine, lifestyle and physical activity levels to get the results you want. Here are a few tips to get started.
Change Your Eating Habits
Ok, this is obvious, but, that doesn’t make it any less true. Reducing your daily calorie intake is one of the tried and true ways to lose weight. One trick that I once heard a psychologist recommend is to hide all of the big plates in your house. This will force yourself to eat smaller portions. As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” so, perhaps this will help you to avoid temptation.
Of course, it’s not just about how much you eat, it’s also about what you eat. Take a fresh look at your eating habits and educate yourself about healthier eating choices. Consider buying more fresh produce and eating fewer processed foods. You might also try replacing sweets with “natural” desserts like berries or smoothies.
Control Your Alcohol Consumption
I recently wrote about a report by the UK Office for National Statistics that discussed the dangerous drinking habits of some older adults. But, alcohol is not just a problem because of its impact on our organs. It can also be a big provider of unnecessary calories. Feel free to enjoy a drink now and again, but, be careful not to make it a habit.
Experience the Earliest Form of Exercise – Walking!
One of the easiest exercises is also most natural – going for a simple walk outdoors. Even 10 minutes of walking per day helps you to feel energized and less stressed. Since many people eat when they are worried, walking may indirectly help you to reduce your calorie intake as well.
If you naturally love walking, you’re set! Just pick a time of the day that works for you and stick to it. If walking doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, there are plenty of ways to make your daily jaunt around the neighborhood more interesting.
One idea is to listen to audio books, while you walk. I’m personally a big fan of this approach and always have a new book on my iPhone ready to go. This doesn’t even need to be an expensive option. There are free services, like Librivox, that provide audio books at no cost. Another option is to find a friend and make it your mission to get fit together. Having someone to keep you company while you walk may be just what you need to stay motivated. Starting your walking habit can take as little as one minute a day, so, why not start now?
Eliminate Absent-Minded Snacking
Do you eat while watching TV? Do you snack while standing in the kitchen? Do you keep snacks in your car? There are many tricky occasions during the day where you might be consuming calories “mindlessly” or absent-mindedly – even if you’re really not very hungry.
Make your eating more deliberate, focused and on schedule. Set a rule that you will only eat at the table and if possible, ask your partner or a friend to join you. You will be amazed by the progress you can make just by eliminating absent-minded snacking.
Get Back to the Garden
Working in the garden is a great way to lose weight. It also has the side benefit of helping you grow fresh fruits and vegetables that can be used to make healthy snacks and meals.
Dance, Even if it’s with Yourself
Moving your body to music is a great way to burn calories and feel energized. This is true whether you’re dancing at home (for fun, try “Happy” by Pharrell Williams), or going out dancing with friends. Dance is a great activity because it’s social – and socializing also can help boost your mood and support your overall fitness goals.
Find Small Ways to Move More Each Day
Everything you can do throughout the day to keep moving will help you lose weight. Make moving a way of life. Park your car farther away from the grocery store and walk through the parking lot. Get a pedometer and track your steps throughout the day. Every step burns calories.
Or get creative and use tins of soup for weights, do squats while doing the dishes and sit-ups while cleaning the living room. The important thing is to stay connected with your body throughout the day and make moving a part of your everyday life.
Take Advantage of Technology
If you don’t want to go to a fitness class, look for a free online class in yoga, belly dance, Zumba or Pilates! You can often get guidance from watching videos online to learn how to do various exercises.