Exercise after Menopause? Of Course! (Part Three)

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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 Three:

ANN MARIE ROSE, The Villages, Florida

I believe exercise becomes more important as individuals age.  I participate in a combination of aerobic and strength building classes to facilitate my overall health and in particular because of challenges with arthritis.  I feel continued lifetime exercise appropriate to one’s level is essential to maintaining independence and promoting a quality physical and emotional lifestyle.

 DEB BACON, The Villages, Florida

When I retired, my number one goal was to exercise since I didn’t have a lot of time to do so as an elementary principal.  Moving to The Villages has been very helpful in meeting that goal.  There are many exercise classes in which I participate, so I can do different things each day.  Exercise is not only good physically, but mentally also.  I am fortunate to have found some neighbors who feel as strongly as I do about exercising so we enjoy going to classes with each other. This social part is also very beneficial.  Through these classes, I have learned the importance of interval training and weight training, especially for women over 60.  The instructors show us proper form and always have suggestions on how to improve.  Most of the classes in which I participate are based on the interval method which helps build a strong heart.  When I see people in their 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s being very active, I know the time I put into exercising will help me to be healthy and strong!

Besides the land exercise classes, I take water aerobics and some days just walk laps in the pool.  I also golf, walk, run, and ride my bike!! I am very blessed to be able to be retired and have all of these opportunities!!

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From left to right. Some of Carol’s golf buddies on her street. From left to right: Ann Marie Rose, Deb Bacon, Carol Baldwin, Cheryl Altman.

CAROL BALDWIN, The Villages, Florida

As a kid growing up, sports meant swimming in the summer and going for long walks on vacations. Ask any of my children and they’d agree: I was not the athletic one in our family.

A few years ago my husband, Creighton, bought me a set of golf clubs thinking it could be something we would do together. Little did he know that I’d become obsessed with improving my game.  Now I sleep better, am combating osteopenia (especially when I walk the par-3 courses), have increased stamina, and share a fun activity with him. Golf is both physically and mentally challenging and I have gained confidence in physical skills in ways I never experienced before. As a non-sports person, I have a sense of accomplishment from learning and improving my golf game.

Plus, I can eat chocolate and not feel guilty!

I still walk, swim, and bike occasionally. But nothing beats the addiction of going out and hitting a golf ball…because this time I’m going to do it better than last.

How about you? What is your exercise story?

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Every so often Carol wins a couple of holes off of Creighton. But when she doesn’t, she’s thankful for the opportunity to exercise and to enjoy being outdoors together.

 

6 responses »

  1. What a great series of posts on exercise, and inspiring, too! But, uh-oh, I’m perhaps an exercise phobic at heart?! I do exercise when and where I need to in order to achieve certain health effects, like staying clear of arthritis, etc. But, do I really enjoy exercise, per se? I’m afraid that I haven’t found that “key sport” yet. Golf is definitely a possibility, and would love to hear more about women over 60’s experience with golf! And, would love to hear more about Carol Baldwin’s experiences with golf! Do you ride a cart around from one hole to the next, or do you walk? Does anyone walk from hole to hole? Thank you for the inspiration!

  2. Phyllis, The best way to start with golf is to get some lessons and perhaps an inexpensive set of clubs to see if you like it. I prefer to walk between holes because it increases the exercise benefits. Since I live in The Villages, Florida where there are a TON of 9-hole shorter golf courses (called executive) the distance between holes is shorter and walkable. But that is pretty unique in the country, although they do exist in other parts of the country. I never thought I would like it, but find it physically and mentally challenging. Hope that helps.

    • Yes, thanks Carol! I love the idea of shorter golf courses! Walking between holes seems like it would increase the health benefits of golfing, and would make walking a fun activity as well. I am definitely going to look into whether we have “executive” golf courses here in our local area.

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