Interesting articles for today's over 50s
Scroll down to read our collection of articles about over fifties. Silver surfers and society, seniors on the prowl, the famous 50 plus... Anything and everything about our demographic in the media...
A New Age for Retirement
Ernest Hemmingway believed that retirement was the ugliest word in the English language. His comment seems more prescient today than ever. The retirement process of years gone by is no longer relevant and we have to find a shape; a way of being with our work that helps us to live the life of an economic worker whilst also looking ahead to someday negotiating the smooth flight path into retirement and enjoying our post-retirement years.
The world has been changing fast and nowhere faster than in the workplace. Shifts in demography are changing the shape of our workforce and our communities. Once we had a set retirement target date, a certain age by which everyone was expected to retire. That default age boundary has been taken away in most cases. This has led to a shift of power from employer to employee. Whereas workers could expect to be terminated at the whim of an organization once they reached that ‘magic number’ of 60 or 65, this might no longer be the case. We now have the power to decide when we want to retire and on what terms. However, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t communicate with our employers. By being open with them about what our retirement plans are, we can work with them to negotiate the best path into retirement – for us all.
We have to find a different way to transition from working into not working. How do we know when it is time to stop? And what does ‘stop’ mean? We know that we have to think deeply about it. We have to project forward; we have to plan it. Going abruptly from working full-time to not working at all is not our only option. We can plan to transition into semi-retirement before moving onto full retirement.
For example, we might cut our hours at the office to part-time hours, replacing a few of these hours with voluntary work in the community, sponsored by the company. Or we can replace some of our traditional work with mentoring duties, transferring our knowledge to the younger generation of workers at our organization. It’s about both employer and employee being innovative about the role of young people; mixing with older, wiser individuals and being creative about mature workers’ hours of work and the flexibility of their contracts.
We can afford to think as creatively and flexibly as this, because the boundaries that previously might have restricted us are gone. This is new territory for us all; this is the new age of retirement. And none of us wants to be a victim of being left behind with the previous retirement model.
About the author
Simon North is Founder of Position Ignition, the UK's leading Career Advice Company and co-author of their eBook Moving into Retirement in the 21st Century. Simon co-founded Position Ignition.com to provide career consulting to people looking for guidance and support through their career change, new career direction, job search and career development. Get more career advice from their Career Advice Blog or follow them on Twitter @PosIgnition
Making the most out of your retirement - Travelling abroad when you're over 50
Move over Saga - 50 is the new 30!
Getting older or retiring from full-time employment doesn’t mean that you have to lurk around the house watching day time TV all day. There are plenty of opportunities and adventures available to over 50s, both in the UK and abroad. Although most of us dread Monday mornings, and you may have been looking forward to retiring for many years, often the reality of a lack of structure in your days and less social interaction can be depressing and demoralising. The good news is that these days, people in their 50s, 60s and 70s are, in the majority, able to enjoy the same activities as they did 20 or 30 years ago.
Making the decision to take a “grown up gap year” is not easy. Travelling and volunteering in remote places can be daunting, and the idea of being in your 50s, 60s or 70s (or even 80s!) and surrounded by thousands of heavy drinking, fresh-faced teenagers and twenty-somethings can be even more daunting! However, you won’t be alone, more and more people are deciding to travel abroad at 50, often this is due to retirement, a termination of employment, a divorce or the children having flown the nest. It is very easy to take part in trips and voluntary activities catering to those who are not looking to drink buckets of local whiskey and dance on the beach barefoot for 48 hours (however you can also do these things if they take your fancy!). Depending on your interests and requirements, companies have sprung up all over the internet, catering to every possible desire, to take advantage of the “grey pound” - offering travel and volunteering to the new generation of grown up gappers.
Gap years are an extremely rewarding experience, particularly if you didn’t do much much travelling in your teens and twenties and have always been keen to see the world. The flexibility of retirement, and often some saved up money, can mean that you can travel or volunteer for as long as you like. Volunteering can be particularly rewarding, giving your time and energy is the best thing you can do for people who need it, and having experienced life in other cultures can help you reflect upon your own life, with the effects and memories lasting long after you get home.
Before you begin planning your gap year, there will be few things that you will need to consider:
How long do you want to be away for, do you have commitments at home, or a job that allows you to have a specified length of sabbatical? Gap year, volunteering and travel companies offer a range of trips of varying lengths, some only last a couple of weeks, while others can run for several months or years.
Do you want to go alone, or join a group of other likeminded people? Travelling alone can be beneficial in the fact that you are totally flexible and your itinerary is entirely based around you and what you want to see. However, particularly when travelling to some of the more remote locations, you might want to go with a group who you can share experiences with, and a guide who can speak the language, knows the culture and can show you things that would be difficult to find or arrange when travelling alone.
How much money do you have to spend? Travelling without working or volunteering can be expensive, even if you are going to a country where the cost of living is cheaper than at home, if you stay for several months the cost of your trip can escalate quickly. Although most companies charge for volunteering schemes, you will, usually, be provided with food and accommodation, which can make it easier to plan your budget before you leave.
And the fun bit....where do you want to go and what do you want to do or see? Browsing the internet can be a good way of getting some initial ideas for countries you want to visit and things that you want to see or do while you’re there. Travel blogs are also a great way of reading about other people’s experiences and also activities and places to avoid. Travel Forums, like the Lonely Planet Thorntree Forum, are also good sites to visit as you can ask questions of other users in order to find out more information specifically related to your own plans and ideas.
Once you have a firm idea of where you want to go, what you want to see and whether you want to volunteer, travel or both, there are hundreds of companies on the internet who can help you book activities, volunteering programmes or just arrange your flights if you want to travel overland and immerse yourself in the culture.
About the author
This article was written by Bonnie from "50&Nifty" A new over 50's lifestyle website offering advice and information to help people over 50 get the most out of life.
Why Downsizing After 50 Can Make Sense
While many people over 50 begin to think about downsizing their house after the children move out, there are many other reasons why moving to a smaller home makes sense. Reducing the living area can save money on council tax and utility bills, make maintenance easier and provide more flexibility. However, downsizing is not a simple process and is something that should be carefully considered.
Before deciding to move to a smaller home, there are several issues to consider.
*Lifestyle – There are lots of options today for retirees, many of whom may be as active as ever. Many people in their 50s are still working and may be looking for a place where they are still in charge and can do the things to which they’ve become accustomed, just on a smaller scale. For them, a home with fewer rooms and with less land may be the answer.
Others may want to move to an apartment, where much of the landscaping and maintenance will be performed by staff. Another consideration is community living. These complexes allow peers to live in close proximity and offer meals, housekeeping assistance and activities for residents.
*Nearby amenities – Consider what services are offered in the immediate area, such as shops, medical facilities and places for socialising with friends.
*The old house – Many people choose to sell their homes furnished. This eliminates the expense of moving, or storing, furniture and appliances that there will be no room for in a smaller place. It also adds value to the home.
However, if the furniture has seen better days, prospective buyers won’t be interested in buying it and it could even put them off buying the house. To make the house look more attractive, get rid of any unnecessary items that are just cluttering up the place. Purchase sofa slipcovers to hide any blemishes and give the lounge an instant update. Make sure all rooms are kept clean and tidy and have a clear function. A spare room used for storing junk will not help sell a house.
*The new home – Look for features that will be beneficial over the years. Features to consider include wider hallways and doors; bed, bath and kitchen facilities all on one level; and few steps to the front entrance. As we age, steps become bigger obstacles and narrow hallways can lead to accidents.
With so much to consider before deciding whether or not to downsize, it may not seem worth it. In fact, relocating to a smaller living space can be an emotional experience since so many memories will have been made in the family home. However, there are several reasons why downsizing makes sense for many over 50s.
*Boosting the nest egg – Paying less in housing costs is a quick way to extend the life of retirement savings and pensions. A smaller home costs less to heat and look after, saving money on utility bills and routine maintenance.
*Less maintenance – If the decision has been made to move to a flat or a rental property, repairs are performed by staff.
*Better flexibility – Renting a space allows the resident to try different places over a couple of years to find the right fit. Circumstances may change, meaning another move later.
Downsizing a home has emotional and financial implications and will definitely require some adjustment. For many, the end result can be rewarding and provide an exciting new chapter to their life. With proper planning, it can also lead to more independence and financial security.
The author, Caroline Smith, has written many articles of interest to the over 50s. She runs GetSlipcovers.com, which offers affordable solutions for making old furniture look like new.
Make Your Aging Parents' Home Safer
With life-expectancy increasing, many over 50s are finding themselves in the position of worrying about their aging parents living alone and how they will cope in their old age. Many elderly parents are capable of continuing to live independently and don’t require full-time care. However, age brings with it health and mobility issues, so it makes sense to adapt the homes of older people to meet their needs and minimise the risk of an accident.
When it comes to home safety for the elderly, even items that are used every day can become a hazard. As age increases, so does the risk of falling. About one-third of falls for the elderly involve hazards around the home. While the risk of a fall or other injury cannot be completely eliminated, there are several steps that over 50s can be take themselves to make a home safer and more user-friendly for an elderly parent.
This room has some obvious dangers but also some that are not so obvious. One of the simplest steps to take is to make sure commonly used items are within easy reach. Other tips include:
*Electrical cords – Shock or electrocution can result from appliances or power cords coming into contact with water. Keep them away from the sink and hot areas. Move appliances closer to the wall or to another outlet so they do not need an extension cord.
*Lighting – Open blinds and curtains, and use the maximum wattage allowed in fixtures when replacing light bulbs to increase visibility. Additional light fixtures can be installed over countertops or under cabinets.
All rugs and runners should be removed or taped to the floor to prevent sliding. Electrical and telephone cords should be kept out of the way. Small changes can eliminate other hazards.
*Furniture – Arrange furniture, especially low coffee tables, so there is a wide space to get around. It should be easy to get in and out of chairs and couches. Remove caster wheels from certain pieces.
*Lighting – Make sure passageways between rooms are well lit. Darkened areas or shadows can hide tripping hazards. Just like the kitchen, make sure the maximum wattage allowed is used in fixtures. Install night lights, especially the kind with sensors that turn them on when low light is detected.
*Stairs – If your parents live in a house rather than a bungalow, a stair chair lift can provide easy mobility and reduce the risk of falling down stairs.
Perhaps the most perilous room in the house, several changes may be needed in the bathroom.
*Grab bars – Install these on walls around the bath and toilet so there’s something to hold onto when entering or getting up.
*Add a raised toilet seat, combined with side handles, to make it even easier to get up or down.
*Water temperature – Check the thermostat to make sure it is set at an appropriate temperature to avoid the risk of scalding.
Over 50s with aging parents have busy lifestyles and a lot of other responsibilities and may not have time to visit their parents as often as they’d like. While many believe falls are just a normal part of aging, they don’t have to be. With the proper knowledge of what can be a potential hazard for the elderly, safety can be improved in their home and provide peace of mind for them and their adult children.
Claire Bradshaw, writer and caregiver, has personal experience of adapting the home of an elderly relative and has seen how simple changes can help older people continue to live independently in their own homes. You can find more information about curved stairlifts by visiting her website. Claire believes that adapting an existing house to meet the demands of older age is often a better solution than the upheaval of moving to a new bungalow.
Age UK is launching its first ever TV campaign, aiming to raise awareness of its work, the products and services it provides, the need to raise funds and how people can get involved.
Age UK is the new force combining Age Concern and Help the Aged. It revealed its new brand identity last month, following the merger of the charities and several subsidiary companies last year.
The TV campaign includes four executions, all focusing on the creative theme of the voice of older people, featuring a veteran director, producer, actors and voice artists.
The first advert will hit the screens on 19th April (airing within ITV1’s Emmerdale) and features Brian Cox, aged 63, who is known for his roles in Shakespearean drama and appearances in Braveheart, Rob Roy and The Bourne Supremacy.
Brian Cox appears in the first two creative executions, featured in close up, speaking to camera about the issues and concerns of people in later life, with the audio voiced by different older people from across the UK. The subject matter highlights a range of issues people face as they get older, including the fear of memory loss; the wish to work beyond the age of 65; a desire for companionship; the need for products and services tailored to people in later life and how Age UK can help.
As the campaign runs, a second set of adverts, which uses the same creative technique, is introduced. Due to air from the end of April, these feature Sir Ian McKellen, aged 70, who is famous for his varied roles in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Coronation Street, X-Men and the forthcoming series The Prisoner. This execution focuses on how people in later life can feel isolated and the need to raise awareness and funds to support the work of Age UK.
The third execution, which focuses specifically on Age UK Enterprises’ products and services including insurance, energy provision, and funeral plans*. This is fronted by actress Eleanor Bron. Aged 72, Eleanor is famous for her roles in Alfie, Women in Love and Black Beauty, as well as being the voice of the BT error messages.
Each ad ends with the strapline: “Age Concern and Help the Aged have joined forces, to create Age UK, a new powerful organisation to make your later life better”. Both were directed for the agency Karmarama by Richard Loncraine, aged 64, acclaimed director of films Richard III, Wimbledon, TV’s Band of Brothers and BT’s ‘It’s good to talk’ adverts featuring Bob Hoskins.
Loncraine said: “I wanted to lend my support to the campaign and feel that the creative will be a really powerful tool. Brian, Sir Ian and Eleanor all did a fantastic job of getting across the need to support older people.”
The introduction of the Age UK name and brand marks a major milestone in the journey to create a single new organisation that will work to improve the lives of people in later life. This journey has been driven by the belief that alongside climate change, population ageing is the greatest global transition to face society this century and that change is needed to meet this challenge.
Lisa McCormack, Marketing Director for Age UK said: “The launch of the new brand required a fresh approach to how we communicate to our supporters, donors and the people who use our services. The TV campaign represents the need to speak with one powerful voice and highlight the needs of people in later life and how we can help. Brian, Sir Ian and Eleanor have lent their faces and voices to the campaign and we believe their support will help us to raise awareness and funds for the valuable work of Age UK.”
The TV campaign is being complemented with a multi-faceted marketing campaign to build awareness of the services Age UK provides, what it does and how people can get involved. Including an extensive direct mail campaign, national print advertising and a media relations campaign, Age UK is being supported by the following agencies; advertising agency, Karmarama, integrated agency, Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw, media agency, Manning Gottlieb OMD and digital agency, Agency.com. The new identity and branding for Age UK was by design consultancy, Corporate Edge and PR agencies, Good Relations and Teamspirit are providing media relations support.
Ten years ago, Madonna turned 40. It was, of course, a huge affair, as Madonna was (and still is) synonymous with celebrity, and cantankerous pop culture theorists found it a staggering victory on her part that she still managed to be relevant at such an age. Everywhere, the news of her birthday was upon us. It was almost akin to the Y2K countdown.
This was 1998, before reality TV had killed the video star. VH1 made sure its viewers stayed well aware of the impending milestone by flickering "Madonna Turns 40 in _____ Hours!" across younger incarnations of the singer wriggling onscreen. Then she turned 40, and--to the shock of the entertainment world--it didn't seem to change anything.
Things have changed. In August, Madonna turned 50, and while the paparazzi managed to get plenty of shots of her entering and exiting her London party, this birthday didn't seem such a big deal.
Perhaps it's because there are now so many beautiful women who are breaking barriers in a formerly youth-obsessed industry. Sure, cynics may credit plastic surgery for the staying power of these women, but they're overlooking the fact that surgeried or not, these women are fascinating to watch. Some we've loved for decades, while others hit their strides later in life. All are alluringly mature, and all are sexy. To see the fifty lovely ladies from the top, start here.
When I was a child, older women ran the world
On Sunday last I had a shock, waking up to find that my novel Wolf Hall was 2-1 favourite to win the Man Booker prize. It was almost as much of a shock to be described in the press (repeatedly) as "the 57-year-old novelist from Glossop". I've never been coy about my age, so I don't know why the truth should take me aback when set down in print. It made me laugh; I just couldn't think how I got to be 57. Do men ask themselves this question – how did I get to be 30, to be 50, to be ready for my bus pass? Or is it, as I suspect, just women who can't fit the puzzle together, who feel that a reference to their age is not neutral but a sort of accusation?
We've heard so much recently about the disappearance of older women from our TV screens, and about the difficulties, for older woman, of negotiating public life. Every media picture of the rare and glowing Joanna Lumley feels like a challenge; why can't you all be like that, why does she look like a princess and you look like a potato? Many women of a certain age, when a peer of ours is flashed up on screen, run an instant comparison: is it worse to have her jowls than my wrinkles?
Celebrities trade on their image; perhaps it's mean to snigger at their Botox, but their faces are their fortune and they set out their stalls to attract envy. Not so women politicians. We know we're being unforgivably shallow when we judge them on their looks, but we do it all the same. I have been known to say, regarding Ann Widdecombe, that you get the face you deserve. And my mother, who is the same age as Margaret Thatcher, could never see her in her heyday without remarking, "I wish that woman would go home and look after her neck."
When I was a child – in Glossop and district – no one supposed that women over 50 were invisible. On the contrary, they blacked out the sky. They stood shoulder-to-shoulder like penalty walls, solid inside corsets that encased them from neck to thigh, so there was no getting past them: if you'd rushed them and butted them with your head, you'd have careened off, sobbing. They stood in bus queues muttering dark threats against the driver. They stood in line in the butcher's shop, bloodied sawdust clogging their bootees, and amid the loops of sausages and the tripes they talked about My Operation – they boasted of their surgical crises, as Coriolanus boasted about the wounds he got for his mother country. Almost every one of these women was called Nellie, and the others were called Cissie. Why these names are synonymous with effeminate weakness I cannot imagine. They wore vast tweed coats or impermeable raincoats in glass-green, and their legs were wrapped round and round with elastic bandages, so they took up plenty of space in the world; to increase their area they stuck their elbows out. They had baskets and brown paper parcels. They said, "That child wants feeding/ slapping/its bonnet on," and younger women jumped to it. They'd been nowhere but they'd seen everything. They never laughed with you, they laughed at you. They did not use face powder but scouring powder. They could add up grocery prices at calculator speed, and they never took their eyes off the needle of the grocer's scale. Show them the ageing heroines of today, and they'd have snorted – they were frequent snorters. Helen Mirren, Joanna Lumley they'd have called picked wishbones. They'd have sneered "bleached blonde" at Madonna, while grimly rating those sinewy arms; she looks as if she could scrub a step or mangle a bucket of wet sheets.
At 50 plus, these women ran the world and they knew it. When I was a child I assumed that I would grow into one of them, and have a stubby umbrella which I'd use to point at the follies of the world. I never imagined I'd still be parting with money at makeup counters, or that I'd be racing off for a blow-dry when threatened with a photographer. I assumed I'd wear my hair in round perm, the colour of steel and as tough. Think of the time I'd save; vanity is such a consumer of the hours. With the spirit of my foremothers inside me, I would write even bigger novels, fortified by pies, and any impertinent reviewers would get a clip around the ear. They were tough as the soles of their shoes, these grannies, and they often lived to great ages; but when one of them died, her funeral stretched right down the main road, and a week later her daughter had stepped in to replace her, packed like an iron bolster inside her ancestral coat.
They were not, these women, peculiar to my birthplace; their geographical spread was the whole British isles. Except for their accents, they were interchangeable in their pride. They were unyielding, undaunted and savagely unimpressed by anything the world could do to them. We could revive their dauntless spirit, instead of dwindling, apologising and shrinking from the camera lens; though one problem, I fear, is that you can't get the corsets these days.
Losing and Gaining Hair
Many of us will lose hair on our heads and sprout hair where we don't want it.
Fifty to 60 percent of men will undergo male-pattern baldness, Celestino said. "They will grow it extensively out of their noses and ears." Women don't usually go bald, but their hair can thin as they age. And they may notice dark, bristly hairs appearing on their chins and upper lips. The hairs aren't new, he said. But the changing balance of hormones that comes with aging cause the hair follicles to produce "terminal" hairs, thick, coarse and dark, rather than the soft, downy "vellus" hairs that were there before.
Even as we are producing dark hairs on our faces, we are likely to be growing gray hair on our heads. People go gray because the pigment-producing cells in the hair stop their work, Celestino said. How soon and how much we gray is determined by genetics. We might begin to turn gray in our teens, as did Taylor Hicks, an American Idol winner. Or we might be able to hold on to our natural hair color well into middle age. Most people have developed at least some gray hair by their 40s and 50s.
Our skin starts to age while we are still young, Hess said. In our 20s, we start to slowly lose collagen, a fibrous protein that provides firmness and strength to our skin. In our 30s and 40s, gravity and repetitive movements, such as frowning and squinting, begin to affect the skin, causing lines and furrows. The decreased elasticity of the skin becomes more apparent when we reach our 50s.
The older we get, the more saggy and fragile our skin becomes. We bruise more easily, Palmer said. We develop all sorts of unsightly things on our faces, such as freckles, age spots, spider veins and keratoses, thick, wart-like growths. The tips of our noses start to droop, and our ears elongate. Our eyelids sag and the fat pads beneath our eyes become more prominent.
People who undergo cosmetic surgery on their eyes often look significantly younger, Celestino said, "just because eyes are such a window of youth."
Each decade, from an Astrological viewpoint, brings certain challenges and opportunities. I will outline some issues here that are common to all, yet I must emphasise that specific information will be found in your own Birthchart, based upon your date, time and place of birth, which cannot be conveyed in a more general article of this nature.
Your Birthchart, when accurately set up and properly interpreted will be a useful guide through your life's journey, serving to remind you of your “Original Script” and offering insight into many of your life’s conundrums and complexities.
It can also give clues about other/previous lives and the Karmic balance resulting from those experiences. A summary of efforts made in those other incarnations, lessons learned, or stages skipped... and a reminder of what you could do now, here, in this lifetime. Your natal chart will help you understand better these fundamental questions.
Your natal chart can also describe your parents and your experience of family life, the people who have most affected you and who have had an enormous bearing on your life. The main protagonists will stand out in your chart.
At age 50-51 we experience the Chiron Return – Chiron, a small planet with a most eccentric orbit of 50-51 years around our local star, the Sun, is known as the Wounded Healer. The Centaur, Chiron, half brother to Zeus (so the story goes) became a wise guide, healer, herbalist, astrologer. Though wounded in the thigh by an arrow of Hercules, and often in pain, he developed compassion for others – because of that very pain, and this is the key to understanding Chiron in the Birthchart.
If you now are aged 50-51, you have natal Chiron in Aquarius, where the pain felt, and the healing sought, is within the “Body” of society in general – healing for Humanity, the search for true Friendship, and the heartfelt desire that the deepest Wisdom will flow from the Aquarian Waterpot for the benefit of all.
All of us will experience “Chironic” issues connected with healing in some form or other at this age, more specifically according to Chiron’ Sign, House, and Aspects in the Natal Chart. Your specific skills and talents, especially those developed in the divinatory and healing arts are likely to be more obvious around this time – both to yourself and to others.
At 52 and 53, Saturn and Jupiter transits indicate that you are yet making efforts to fulfil your responsibilities, and to further define your role within the society within which you live and function. Your reputation within your chosen field begins to “crystallise”, though it is possible to abandon unproductive directions and develop new approaches.
The period from age 53 to 56, with helpful Uranus and Neptune transits, is the ideal time to contemplate the Eternal Realities behind and beyond our physical existence (if you have not done so already) ... and if you are reading this the chances are that you are more than a little aware of the importance of the Inner Life. Esoteric studies, deeper considerations, become more significant around this time.
Around 56 we become more aware of the limits of our power and the need to have wisdom about releasing, letting go of obsessions (particularly relevant for the Pluto in Leo Generation – born 1937 to 1958). A younger generation is making its claims – the issue of preparing to hand over the reins will surface here.
At 59 to 60 we all experience the Saturn Return – Saturn having completed its second complete circuit of your Natal Chart. The first Saturn Return was at 29-30 – a time of “growing up” as you (reluctantly?) left your twenties behind. This time the issues again are those of maturity, experience, a gathering realisation of what you have achieved and what is “yours” in terms of accomplishment and achievement; also an acknowledgement of that which you have not achieved.
You have, in a sense “made yourself” what you have become. As an “Elder” and on the threshold of old age, you possess considerable experience and wisdom. Though we may retain strength and vigour well beyond this time, the necessity is to work towards an understanding of the Inner Worlds, study the map, welcome the End which is also a Beginning.
Source: Astrologer David Matthews, www.giddylimits.co.uk
Advice on fighting aging has become as traditional in January as the sales -- yet the various recommended strategies can demand far too much effort for few convincing returns. So here's some of the science on anti-aging -- along with four tried and tested ways to look and feel younger than you are.
The Strong Stay Young
"Challenging exercise is the closest thing to an anti-aging pill for everyone, not just for athletes and health nuts," say the celebrity trainers Tim Bean and Anne Lang, authors of "Turn Back Your Age Clock," to be published this month.
The emphasis here is on "challenging" -- a stroll in the park won't do. You have to work your muscles to the limit, exercising harder and faster to make your body perspire and your heart race, within an aerobic training zone that's between 60 and 80 percent of your maximum heart rate (your age subtracted from 220), according to Bean and Lang.
High-intensity aerobic exercise "increases the body's need for oxygen and therefore improves the capability of heart, lungs and blood vessels to supply oxygen to the muscles," they say. And studies confirm the benefits of challenging your body with regular aerobic exercise to prevent aging-related diseases.
There's no need to join a gym or pay a trainer. All you need is a pair of well-fitting training shoes, and women should wear a support bra, say Bean and Lang.
Four top tips for aerobic exercise are:
1. Brisk power walking. By the time you have warmed up and got into your stride, do the "talk test" -- you should be breathing harder and starting to perspire and be unable to hold a chatty conversation, although not so breathless that you can't utter a few sentences.
2. Jogging. Start slowly until your body has lost its cumbersome slowness and begins to feel fluid and streamlined. Then set yourself a distance and a time, and work at beating your personal best in each workout.
3. Skipping. This most inexpensive and portable cardiovascular workout is a wonderfully intense high calorie-burner for those who have built up a good fitness level.
4. Cycling. This is especially good for the elderly or overweight. To burn calories, you need to increase your intensity and distance. Adjust the height of the seat so that the leg at the bottom of the down-stroke is almost but not quite completely extended.
Bean and Lang promise that you will "look and feel 20 years younger in only eight weeks" -- but to get there, you'll need to alternate 50 minutes of aerobic exercise with an anti-aging workout made up of rejuvenator circuit exercises that "hit on aging hot spot areas".
The favorite exercise for celebrity clients who are preparing to appear on the red carpet is "the turtle": repeat it 20 times three times a week for a defined and athletic appearance to back, buttock and shoulders.
Here's how it's done:
1. Lie relaxed, prone on your front, on the floor with arms extended in front of you and legs together.
2. Inhale and raise your head, arms and legs just up off the floor. Sweep the arms around in a wide arc until your hands reach your sides. Squeeze your buttocks and thighs.
3. Exhale as you return to the original position, then repeat the movement, keeping your arms up off the floor at all times until the exercise is finished.
Welcome to Overfiftiesfriends!
The friendly social network for over fifties. Search for other over 50s, chat with other users, browse the activities organised by members, and much more. Use the menus at the top and to the left to get around.
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