Mary Frances Benton, 61, knew it would take time to lose 40 pounds. But she dropped 15 pounds in just a few months last year, boosting her spirits, and she’s continued to slim down and gain strength ever since.
Besides, she knew better than to expect “instant” results, partly because she had done this before. Like millions around the world, the fight against obesity has been ongoing for a while.
About 12 years ago, Mary Frances noticed that she was gaining weight. She went to a friend’s gym and asked for a trainer. Within a month, she was feeling better – stronger, and with more endurance.
An out-of-nowhere stroke nine years ago took its toll. So did the pandemic – Mary Frances didn’t make it to her gym during lockdown. Now, after returning in 2022 to work with the same trainer she knows and loves, Mary Frances has slimmed down and feels great.
“I have a Peloton at home, but I prefer coming to the gym,” she says. “I know he’s going to push me, and I need that.”
Obesity Continues to Rise
In 1990, about 11 percent of Americans were obese. But now, it’s 41 percent, according to research. That got worse during the pandemic, and it wasn’t all just because of Covid-19.
Conventional wisdom has told us that our metabolisms slow down as we age. But research in Sciencesuggests that simply isn’t true. To feel more energetic, we can stop focusing on age and focus instead on lifestyle choices we can control – like exercise, eating right, managing stress, and getting enough sleep.
It’s good for most of us to limit your caloric intake to around 2,000 calories a day – and to burn more than that in activity.
Eat plenty of plant-based food, limit the amount of super-processed material you consume, drink plenty of water, and make sure you’re eating enough protein.
Then, of course, you’ve got to move that body – every day! US and international recommendations say that each adult should get 150 minutes a week of moderately vigorous exercise a week – plus at least two sessions of resistance training or weightlifting.
Whatever term you prefer, it’s essential to health and maintaining a proper weight after 50.
And, no, women don’t need to worry about getting bulky.
She Prefers Weightlifting
Just ask Mary Frances, who loves weightlifting more than running (and she’s run two half-marathons).
“Unless you take steroids, it’s just not going to happen,” she says. “When I first started working out, I was going thru perimenopause. The weightlifting really helped with mood swings. I prefer it to cardio.”
She’s looking forward to an adults-only trip to Disney World with her husband and two grown sons. And the exercise is all a part of her plan to live well.
“I’m going to keep doing this and keep eating right,” she says.
Say hi to Mickey for us, Mary Frances. And keep up the excellent work. You’re inspiring others to seek help with living a better lifestyle.
We’re here to help YOU.
Blue Zones’ Series Shines Light on Longevity
Do you want to live a longer, healthier life?
Then we have a show for you.
The idea of blue zones was popularized by author Dan Buettner in his book, “The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest.” He discovered five places in the world where have greater longevity and happy, healthy lives past 100.
Now this fascinating research has been adapted for a beautiful Netflix docu-series, “Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones,” hosted by Buettner, who takes viewers to these locations and introduces us to people who live there. It’s a great show – well worth your time.
Buettner identified nine lifestyle habits of people in the blue zones. Here’s some of what he found, and how we can adapt them to our routines.
Move every day. Maybe you can’t walk to work, but you can walk somewhere. And you can join us for workouts for functional fitness.
Purpose. The Nicoyans call it “plan de vida” or why we wake up in the morning. Know your purpose: It adds seven years to life expectancy.
Downshift. Blue zoners have daily routines to shed stress. What do you do to deliberately relax?
80 percent. A Confucian mantra reminds us to eat till we’re 80 percent full. Think about this before you reach for seconds.