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Making the Most of Turning 60

Once you reach a certain age, your body seems to have its own agenda. It might be good if they could issue us precautions:

“Stop! Don’t Go There! All the systems you’ve been taking for granted are soon to be going out-of-whack!”

Could be the eyesight, memory lapse, or achy knees, hips, shoulder…and in my case, lately, of all things, the heels. Having enjoyed fast walking as my #1 form of exercise, and changing out my athletic shoes twice a year, the strange, piercing pain sent me straight to the internet. I self-diagnosed plantar fasciitis.

New inserts in my shoes have helped tremendously. Rolling my foot gently over a cold pack gives temporary relief. But as pain persists, I’ve made adjustments.

One of my favorites is a handy tool called a rebounder. It’s maybe five feet in circumference and looks like a mini-trampoline. First, I stretch really well: deep knee bends; fingertips to floor from an upright position with slightly bent knees, and straightening… you get the idea. I’ve also discovered how important it is for me to stretch AFTER a workout. The jogger provides great cardio workout and is reported to be beneficial for the endocrine systems (all that gravitational pull) and I can last for about thirty minutes. Plus, it provides low-impact exercise, and my heels don’t seem to mind.

They say “No pain, no gain” but I’m here to say, if you’re in pain, take a break to assess what’s wrong. Modify your routine. I’m no expert on exercise, but have found regular, intentional movement crucial for maintaining my weight, for more energy, and for overall cardiovascular strength. I love hearing my doctor, after he listens to my heart, say, “You work out!”

I’ve also discovered when new muscles are being used, they may start screaming at me. With no warning whatsoever, my left underarm became sore. No clear understanding as to why, I began to worry the pain could be associated with my breast (close by) so I performed self-examinations for several days straight (no bumps, lumps or soreness there). When I applied gentle pressure into my armpit, there was no lump or bump there. I began wondering if I should report the strange pain to my doctor. But the nagging soreness in my arm pit eventually went away. Then it dawned on me: I’m right-handed. I’d begun carrying a large book bag filled with books with the left arm. Had I become that weak? And who knew I had a muscle in my arm pit? Jostling that heavy book bag weight had led to the aggravating soreness. In hopes of avoiding any future strain, I sometimes carry two book bags, one under each arm, for balance. And, I’ve begun to lift small weights.

Hindrances to my agenda, now that I’ve reached the age of 60, are becoming commonplace. Skills and abilities I’ve taken for granted: good eyesight and even my once-good memory, now require new discipline.

  1. Write everything down, especially when a person gives instructions.
  2. Schedule sleep.
  3. Drive only when roads and skies are clear and bright. My increasingly limited vision while driving in the dark—or fog, sleet, rain, or certainly snow–and the windshield wipers only exasperate my problems.

I consider these adjustments as normal for me. Even slowing down a bit. I routinely have blood work studies to make sure my hormone levels are balanced. Considering I didn’t take very good care of myself from the ages of sixteen to thirty–spelled out plainly in my new memoir, “As a Result”–thankfully, thirty years ago I gave up smoking, and thirty-three years ago, drinking. I’m actually quite content with the energy level I do have. Remember Paul’s words in 1 Timothy 4:8:

For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. {NKJV}

If obstacles to my expected routine cause me anxiety, maybe I’ve focused on the wrong priorities.

Today, at 60, with the background I have, I consider myself very blessed to be able to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle from, say, 6:00 a.m. until about 8:30 p.m. And with a generally positive attitude of gratitude, especially when I can fit in an hour-long nap in the afternoon.

 

Grace & Such strives to advance Christian growth among women. While we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we also recognize human interpretations are imperfect. Grace & Such encourages our readers to open their Bibles, pray for wisdom and study for themselves what the Word says. For more about who we are, please visit the About Us page.

Sarah Robinson

Sarah and her husband, Jim, have been married over 40 years. They are the parents of three daughters and the grandparents of three granddaughters. Sarah fills her days with Moms in Prayer, Bible study, writing, and joining her motivated walking group.
Sarah Robinson

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5 Comments

  1. Tammy on February 13, 2019 at 10:13 AM

    I love this article Sarah-I’m laughing and smiling cause I can definitely relate!!
    Love Tammy

  2. Sarah Eshleman on February 17, 2019 at 9:13 AM

    Getting older really frightens me sometimes. But your practical approach to recalibrating for the changes really comforted me.

    You rock that 6-0. 😉

    • Sarah Robinson on February 17, 2019 at 5:39 PM

      I’m glad you got some pointers. We are in this together. I felt that same support at our 40th high school reunion a couple of years ago. All of my classmates were experiencing the same issues with aging, but honestly, when I looked into their eyes, they were the same eighteen year olds I struggled saying goodbye to when we all left for college. I do love how connected we are and how much strength we have to share, especially the iron-sharpens-iron strength of God!

  3. DianeK on March 4, 2019 at 11:11 AM

    “If obstacles to my expected routine cause me anxiety, maybe I’ve focused on the wrong priorities.” Amen, sister! But I love the focus verse you used…”but godliness is profitable for all things” – It reminds me to focus on what’s important in God’s eyes not in mine, or the world’s. Thanks, Sarah!

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