Exercise after Menopause? Of Course! (Part Two)

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Pickle Ball

A post by writer and blogger Carol Baldwin:

Too many years ago than I care to admit, I suggested to Barbara that I write a blog post about exercising after 60. She loved the idea. But as we all know, sometimes there’s a gap between an idea and executing it.

By the time I decided I needed to make good on my promise, my husband had retired and we had moved to The Villages, Florida, where there are plenty of exercise options. I realized that it would be better for me not only to share how much exercise means to me now, but to share some of my friends’ experiences as well. I hope these women’s stories—some who are my North Carolina friends and others I have met in Florida–will inspire you to come up with your own exercise routine.

Here’s Part Two:

LINDA PHILLIPS, Charlotte, NC

I believe exercise has helped me ward off osteoporosis and medication.  My recent bone density showed I am in the osteopenia area, and holding my own.  I think the fact that I survived a pretty bad bike accident recently without a broken bone bears this out.  It has taken me a few years to find a good self-directed plan, which boils down to walking for a half hour or more at least 4 times a week, and working out at the gym 2 to 3 times a week.  When my couch-potato, non-gym going husband, Wendell, got his Silver Sneakers card a year ago, I wouldn’t let him weasel out of giving exercise a try.  To our delight the gym has a racquetball court, and to our children’s disbelief, we now hit the ball around at least once a week.  We might even learn how to play the game one of these days, but for now, it is clearly a surprisingly fun new aspect of our golden years.

linda and Wendell on court

When Linda isn’t exercising, she’s writing or visiting her grandkids. Check out her website at: http://www.lindavigenphillips.com

DEB McDONOUGH, Ottawa, Canada

I love being outdoors. I snow ski, snowshoe, bike, skate, hike, and now that I have retired I can add golf and pickleball to my list. Admittedly, if pickleball were an indoor sport it would not interest me. I do not participate in these sports for the exercise. But I do exercise on a regular basis either by taking classes or in our home. Why? So that I can continue enjoying these activities and perhaps a few new ones as far into the future as possible.

deb and steve

 Carol met Deb on the golf course in The Villages. She’s about as passionate about improving her golf game as Carol is.

We played pickleball for the first time during our two month stay in The Villages. Steve has been reluctant in the past; I believe he viewed it as a sport for an ‘older generation’. His daughter and fiancé visited us in December. It was an activity we could do all together so we gave it a try. We were all hooked and played daily during their visit. We laughed, joked and teased each other constantly. In the end, the younger generation wore us down after 2 hours of play and beat us, 3-2.

deb and steve after match

 Steve looks ready to collapse after their pickleball marathon with the “kids.”

BETH SCHULZ, Charlotte, NC

Which form of exercise do I like best? Brisk walking, occasional biking, lugging gymnastic equipment all over two big gyms, stretching and doing squat-thrusts and candlestick jumps with the girls I teach, lifting light and heavy weights in the form of budding gymnasts as I spot them doing their tricks, or jogging on a tumble track?

Of the above, none provides the strength, energy, feeling of well-being, plus relief of inflammation that a 1/2 hour memorized cardio/kick boxing/weight lifting/stretching routine  in the comfort of my own home at a set time of day or night does. Plus, it requires no dressing in specific garb or meeting at a designated place and time.

Combined with a highly nutritious diet of mostly raw fruits and vegetables I find I can maintain weight, strength and flexibility, plus avoid illness if I stick to this regimen, and can reverse pain from inflammation in joints, or sickness, if I just go back to it after being negligent.

exercising in nightgown (2)

Beth has been teaching for 56 years if you count the backyard classes she taught when she was 10-years-old. She’s been teaching gymnastics since college. Here she is in her nightgown doing her common stretching move at 9:00 PM.

Stay tuned for Part Three!

Carol Baldwin’s most recent book is Teaching the Story: Fiction Writing in Grades 4-8 (Maupin House, 2008). She is working on her first young adult novel, a multi-racial book set in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1950. Carol enjoys teaching writing, is a contributing editor to LitChat , and co-publishes Talking Story, a newsletter for educators and media specialists. Find her book reviews and writing tips at www.carolbaldwinblog.blogspot.com. When she is not writing, you’ll find her on the golf course or reading to one of her five grandchildren.

Pickleball Photo Credit goes to Barbara Younger’s neighbor, Jerry Vinski, a pickleball whiz!

 

8 responses »

  1. Barbara, thanks for this opportunity through Carol to share a fun part of my retirement life. I’m pleased to say since that picture was taken, my husband and I have definitely improved and now make regular visits to the gym together. I have to give credit to Silver Sneakers for inspiring us oldies to get off our duffs and out into the active world of exercise in any form.

  2. Carol,
    Another fun segment in the series. Thanks.

    Pickleball is not something I’ve tried. It sounds fun. Linda, I’m glad your hubby is using his Silver Sneakers card. It’s golden! Thanks for sharing everyone.

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