Author Topic: Maximum fitness over fifty  (Read 8006 times)

Offline Changing Form

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Maximum fitness over fifty
« on: August 03, 2011, 01:44:12 AM »
Hello,

This is my first post to the forum :)

Iím here to ask for guidance to help me effect a major change :)

Iím 57, female, 213lbs, have mild osteoarthritis in hands and knees but am otherwise physically healthy and very contented with life. Ten years ago I discovered what makes me truly happy. I changed my life completely and am more content now than Iíve ever been before.

However, at this age and weight Iím lucky to have got this far without a major health problem. I try not to think about what damage I have probably already done, and am concentrating instead on making another major change, but to my body this time.

In the past I studied Nutritional Medicine at post grad level. Iíve long been convinced that Palaeolithic is the way to go for maximum health, and Iím going to take it up as my usual diet for today on. I also want to do more of the exercises I already do.

I love cycling, walking, rock scrambling and using free weights at home (heavy weights, low reps, no supplements), but recurring incurable endogenous depression puts paid to that every year while it lasts (January to July). The rest of the year I  exercise outside in the early mornings when no one else is around. Not because I'm overweight, but because I'm a nature lover :).

So my major question is this. Considering my age, relative lack of fitness, and extra weight, how fit can I get if I eat Palaeo, lose the weight, and exercise a lot more?
In mind and body I'm well past relationships so Iím not interested in how I look, Iím just on a mission to regain maximum fitness, flexibility and strength. I also want to work out an indoor exercise strategy for my down periods. I have stairs in the house, at least, but have no room for exercise machines.

I would very much appreciate any help or advice you can give me regarding people taking up Palaeo eating at this age and stage of fitness. Iíve searched the net for examples of transformations of this type without success, but it doesnít discourage me. Maybe Iíll have to be the first :)

Iíd also be grateful for any advice about exercise that isn't gym-based. Cycling doesnít sound very Palaeo, but itís been my only form of transport since I was six years old, so it stays :)

I will be strict but not obsessional about what I eat, and I wonít beat myself up about occasional small slips. Iím going cold turkey today, and am prepared for the coffee withdrawal headache ;). I'll keep a weekly diary here too.

Itís good to be in such motivated company :)

CF

Offline kyleen66

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Re: Maximum fitness over fifty
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2011, 07:39:17 AM »
First off, welcome!

Second, AWESOME!

I'm olderish at 45 and have a wealth of autoimmune issues. I started Paleo eating last February and haven't felt this good in flipping YEARS! I'm not in it to lose weight, but just the process is giving me those results.

Cycling may not be that "paleo" because we didn't have bikes, but it's great exercise that doesn't tear up the joints as bad. Walking is great too. Everything you already mentioned sounds like a good start.

How fit can you get? It's hard to say, but I'd be willing to bet you can get darned fit as long as you keep challenging yourself.

I'm looking forward to watching your progress. You are inspiring!


Offline Changing Form

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Re: Maximum fitness over fifty
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2011, 08:12:11 AM »
First off, welcome!

Second, AWESOME!

Thanks, Kyleen  :)

Quote
I'm olderish at 45 and have a wealth of autoimmune issues. I started Paleo eating last February and haven't felt this good in flipping YEARS! I'm not in it to lose weight, but just the process is giving me those results.

I can believe it. I tried Paleo eating twice in the past and apart from steadily taking weight off, it also completely resolved a number of other gastrointestinal health problems for me, probably due to the avoidance of gluten. But that was in the past when other stresses caused me to go off the diet. Now everything is so much calmer I can adopt it as a diet for life. 

Quote
How fit can you get? It's hard to say, but I'd be willing to bet you can get darned fit as long as you keep challenging yourself.

That's what I'm hoping. Although I'm a couple of years post-menopausal now, my bones appear to be strong, and I can still build muscle. Stiffness and pain from osteoarthritis are the most vexing problems, but I believe that I can strengthen the joints by building up the muscles around them.

Losing weight will also take a lot of strain off my knee joints and make things like exploring coastlines etc. much easier. My flexiblity isn't bad for my age at all.

For me this is a big adventure and experiment. I have no particular goals except to achieve and maintain maximum fitness. I've always loved wandering around in the countryside and on rocky beaches, and want to be able to do that for as long as possible. As depression keeps me housebound for so many months of the year it would kill me to have to stay in all year round.

Quote
I'm looking forward to watching your progress. You are inspiring!

Thanks again :) At the end of each week I'll record my progress in terms of weight loss and fitness achievements. I'll just go and post my first diary entry.

How has being on the Paleo diet affected your autoimmune issues?

CF

Offline Jean

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Re: Maximum fitness over fifty
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2011, 06:49:16 PM »
Good luck CF! I'm also 45, started paleo earlier this year. Lost more than 20kg without trying, knees don't hurt any more, IBS gone away, blood sugar stable, more energetic. I can't believe how much healthier I am - I'm feeling better than I have since I was a teenager. Now looking forward to being sprightly and fit into my sixties and seventies. I am totally in love with paleo!

It's possible your depression might improve on paleo - I think the higher fat in the diet helps.

Offline goodsamaritan

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Re: Maximum fitness over fifty
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2011, 08:58:48 PM »
I'm 42 and my non health educated life expectancy was 100.

Then I learned about raw paleo and now I expect nothing less than 120 and vibrant till death.

I've a feeling we will all grow old together.


Offline Changing Form

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Re: Maximum fitness over fifty
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2011, 01:08:55 AM »
Good luck CF! I'm also 45, started paleo earlier this year. Lost more than 20kg without trying, knees don't hurt any more, IBS gone away, blood sugar stable, more energetic. I can't believe how much healthier I am - I'm feeling better than I have since I was a teenager. Now looking forward to being sprightly and fit into my sixties and seventies. I am totally in love with paleo!

It's possible your depression might improve on paleo - I think the higher fat in the diet helps.

Hi Jean,

So glad to hear of all the good results you've had :)

When I tried Paleo before it was only for a couple of months each time when in my thirties, but I was in a highly stressful marriage then and ended up going off the diet through high-carb comfort eating. Even so, it was long enough to see the excellent benefits. Like you I lost weight effortlessly, had lots of energy, and all my GI tract problems vanished quickly. Now I live blissfully alone and can do as I please so this is the right time to make a permanent change in my eating habits.

As for the depression, I'll be happy if the Paleo diet leads to even the smallest kind of relief. It's biochemically-based and medication and fish oils combined are the only things that have helped me. So a complete change in diet and an increase in exercise has a good chance to help as it will certainly have an effect on my neurotransmitter levels. I have five more months to get myself in better shape and then we'll see what can be done in January for the following six months when my energy levels  take a dive and nothing seems worth doing. Just maintaining my diet and fitness levels would be reward enough. But I'm concentrating on each day as it comes for now.

Your mention of blood sugar levels has reminded me to post my starting 'fasting lipids' and other relevent blood test results in my journal :)

CF

Offline Changing Form

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Re: Maximum fitness over fifty
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2011, 01:19:38 AM »
I'm 42 and my non health educated life expectancy was 100.

Then I learned about raw paleo and now I expect nothing less than 120 and vibrant till death.

I've a feeling we will all grow old together.

Hi Good Samaritan,

I've heard about raw paleo before, and imagine that it must be the best way to go for longevity. It's something I would consider experimenting with once Paleo eating has become a way of life for me. Until then, Steak Tartare and rare steaks are as far as I can go. I'll read up more about it in the meantime, and would be grateful if you could recommend any books on the subject.

I like the idea of being 'vibrant' until death. Being at the beginning of the diet and having all the expected blah's today, I can't wait until I'm through those first few weeks and finally enjoying the increased energy and feelings of well being that I got when I tried the diet before.

Growing old together sounds like a much better prospect on Paleo :)

CF

Offline el cogollero

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Re: Maximum fitness over fifty
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2011, 09:56:26 PM »
we'll see what can be done in January for the following six months when my energy levels  take a dive and nothing seems worth doing.

Have you considered a long holiday somewhere sunny in December?

Offline Changing Form

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Re: Maximum fitness over fifty
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2011, 10:54:03 PM »
we'll see what can be done in January for the following six months when my energy levels  take a dive and nothing seems worth doing.

Have you considered a long holiday somewhere sunny in December?

Oh yes  :)  I believe that living within 30 degrees of the equator can be extremely helpful for seasonal depression, but it would mean relocating for the whole six months and I don't have that kind of money.

The other problem is that although it would do me good to move somewhere sunnier, I need to live in temperate or colder zones. I actually can't bear hot weather or full sunshine. It makes me feel tired and actually nauseous to be out in the summer sun for too long (regardless of whether I'm overweight or not), and sunbathing would drive me insane from boredom. I don't know why. It seems paradoxical. My distant ancestors all came from cold countries. Maybe that's it  ;)

CF

Offline UKtroglodyte

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Re: Maximum fitness over fifty
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2011, 12:08:37 AM »
I have a friend who had fantastic results from using a light therapy lamp. She bought a very bright one and sits by it for 20 mins each day. She also decided to meditate while she was doing it as meditation helps relieve depression. She claims it's made a huge difference to her life. She also adds it's worth learning meditation (mindfulness) before the depression sets in and to start using the light from about November time.

I guess supplementing with D3 would be a good idea too.

Offline Changing Form

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Re: Maximum fitness over fifty
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2011, 12:40:08 PM »
I have a friend who had fantastic results from using a light therapy lamp. She bought a very bright one and sits by it for 20 mins each day. She also decided to meditate while she was doing it as meditation helps relieve depression. She claims it's made a huge difference to her life. She also adds it's worth learning meditation (mindfulness) before the depression sets in and to start using the light from about November time.

I guess supplementing with D3 would be a good idea too.

Hi, and many thanks for the info  :)

I'm already taking vitamin D3, but as that kind of supplementation has been implicated in kidney stone formation, I've been cutting down.

I'm definitely going to use the light box, and November sounds like a good starting date.

Meditation's the only stumbling block for me. Sitting meditation for relaxation actually has the opposite effect on me. I get really stressed after about five minutes of trying it. I've tried all kinds, by myself, or with others, but it always ends up with me feeling as if I'm dying of boredom. But many of my friends swear it works miracles for them.

The most effective thing for me is to keep walking or cycling for hours at a steady pace. The resulting, and very pleasant sense of exhaustion when I collapse on the sofa at home afterwards is the most relaxing feeling I know :)

When I've used the light box sporadically in the past, I like to process photos I've taken. Its a very pleasant non-verbal activity which always calms my mind.

CF

Offline PrimitiveHealth

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Re: Maximum fitness over fifty
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2011, 07:43:23 PM »
Fitness over 50 requires lots of work, admittedly, but it's worth it.  I've been running a lot, and my feet were taking a pounding.  I've switched to barefoot and/or running in extremely minimalist shoes.  There is a great website where you can get instruction on making your own huarache sandals, or you can buy them there:  http://www.InvisibleShoe.com/go/PrimitiveHealth.  If you're interested, take a look.  Over 50 we need all the help we can get!

Offline Thunderchild

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Re: Maximum fitness over fifty
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2012, 08:01:30 AM »
Hey what happened to "Changing Form"? I wanted to keep track and read up on how she was doing. Anyone know?

 8)