Fit at 50: Live Strong

I noticed this fall 2020, after a full season enjoying and working in the garden, that my hips and back could use a daily strengthening program, to help me last longer in the garden, and to support my physical fitness for life in general. 

I purchased a few books and I read about others over 40, 50, 60… who have embraced fitness as a way of life to enjoy a greater quality of life. I learned more about my specific imbalances and the specific interventions recommended to increase strength. I started experimenting with the suggestions and found a rhythm to include mini strengthening routines morning, midday, and evening.

I hired a registered nutritionist for a few weeks, and learned more about the type of diet optimal for building a lean, strong body.

I tried osteo-massage therapy. The massage therapist I found near me, offering this type of massage, has been amazing. She has helped to open my left side body in a way that my deeper breath reaches deeper places – I now feel my deeper breath reach into the left sacroiliac spaces, an area I am rehabilitating. Thanks to her great bodywork, I’m also able to achieve deeper hip stretches and hip healing.

I tried an acupuncturist, recommended by a friend. A few sessions helped to open and balance my body’s chi (energy).

I requested and received physical therapy from my primary care provider.  The specific benefit I noticed over six weeks/twelve sessions was strengthening of the left ribcage to iliac crest area.  When using a rebounder and jumping, this area now feels more “knit together.” Each day I practice a “home program” they prescribed, which gives me feelings of ability, hope, balance, and strength.

I’m working with a personal trainer who is helping to continue physical therapy benefits, and build a new at-home daily strength routine.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Well, I’m practicing lifting heart-rate-raising pounds of prevention to avoid aging with limiting long-term disability! Right now, I’m still in the early stages of living a more robust daily fitness program that includes strength training. The program takes a certain level of energy (which I fuel with a pre-workout snack and reward with a post-workout snack, and better nutrition habits throughout the day). Showing up each day requires an inner motivation and determination, planning, persistence and passion.

My Chinese friend told me that during my 2020 Year of the Rat, I might want to wear red underwear to increase all the benefits. It’s been a great year of self-discovery and self-renewal. Making a commitment to become a stronger self has put me on a trajectory for better overall health long-term.

The Rat is the first of all zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. The Rat tricked the Ox into giving him a ride. Then, just as they arrived at the finish line, Rat jumped down and landed ahead of Ox, becoming first.

The Rat is also associated with the Earthly Branch (地支 / dì zhī) Zi (子) and the midnight hours. In the terms of yin and yang (阴阳 / yīn yáng), the Rat is yang and represents the beginning of a new day.

Inspirational/Recommended Reading: Miriam E. Nelson and Sarah Wernick, “Strong Women, Strong Bones: Everything You Need to Know to Prevent, Treat, and Beat Osteoporosis.”

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