Keeping Fit at Midlife - Elegantly Dressed and Stylish
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Keeping Fit at Midlife

Hi Ladies

Thank Goodness its Friday! We have had some beautiful days here in Charlotte over the past several week, cool breezes and the sun shining. It really does make a difference in my mood if there are a multitude of grey days and rain. That is one of the reason I left Pittsburgh. I love my hometown, don’t get me wrong, but I prefer bright sunny days over cloudy. Speaking of sun, bathing suit season is here, so I hope to share with you some suits that you might enjoy if you’re in the market for a new one.

I thought I would get your thoughts on staying fit at midlife. I know we read about “middle-age spread”, requiring less fuel( food) as we get older, what parts are sagging and drooping due to genetics and lack of exercise.  For me, I have always loved sports. I was involved in softball, swimming, weight lifting etc as a teenager and kid, and also enjoyed hiking and biking. One of the reasons we moved to Charlotte was the proximity to the mountains and our enjoyment of hiking in the woods.

When we first got here I was going to spinning class bright and early three days a week and loved it. I enjoyed challenging myself and trying to “kick my own butt” on the bike. Classes were great as I felt the time flew and it was a better way for me to keep my mind on the activity. This was, however, before I felt the symptoms of EDS and started to have physical problems.

After EDS, I was unable to bike, due to the strenuous nature of using my leg muscles and my hypermobility. However, I thought to myself, I was not going to succumb to being unable to exercise, but rather find something I was able to do and that was more gentle on my body. So, for me, moderate exercise and eating healthy was a lifestyle that was pretty easy to adhere to.  I do believe in order to be fit, or keep healthy in midlife, there were certain things I was going to have to do.

According to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, adults can gain substantial health benefits with just:

  • 2.5 hours (150 minutes) moderate aerobic activity per week. That’s just 21 minutes each day of the week or 50 minutes of activity 3 days a week.
  • Or, just 1.25 hours (75 minutes) of vigorous aerobic activity per week. That’s just 10 minutes each day of the week or just 25 minutes 3 days a week.
  1. Find an activity you enjoy. For me, I have always loved swimming. I am not crazy about the amount of time it can take to prepare for it, ( if going to a gym) but once in the pool, I use pool weights and dumbbells, that help strengthen without worry of injury or pushing myself too much. I vary between doing some laps and pool exercises, which are easier on my muscles and joints.
  2. In my 20s I would do back to back classes of step class or ride a bike for 45 minutes and then take a class + lift weights. The reality is, I think I was overexercising. I don’t feel a need for this to keep fit at this point in my life.
  3. Weight lifting even lightly, will help prevent bone loss. Osteopenia and Osteoperosis is more prevalent in later years, I can try to  prevent this.
  4. Moderation is key. I don’t deprive myself of things I enjoy, but don’t eat a huge portions. I have Gastroperesis, ( food moves slowly through my body) so I really can’t anyway. I love ice cream, but often choose frozen yogurt, or a small portion. I feel life is too short to not have some of the things I enjoy!
  5. Walk with a friend or spouse. I think companionship is a great way to exercise. Some people love the focus and structure of a class, but it can be just as rewarding and fun going to walk in the outdoors with your friend or spouse. I enjoy being outside more than in, so this works for me.
  6. Don’t live by the scale. I know everyone has a certain weight they feel good about, in clothes etc, but don’t let a few pounds destroy your day. I am 5 foot 9 and 121 pounds, but try more to focus on how my clothes feel and how comfortable I am.  I find myself, that if I eat healthy, I continue to crave healthier food choices.
  7. Take care of yourself. Staying fit means you have the energy to do so, so getting enough sleep is very important.
  8. It used to be said that your metabolism slows down as you age. In a recent study, they found this to be false. *The metabolism doesn’t slow down, but many people become complacent about working out or exercising at all; thus it is  more about eating more and exercising less. In order to continue to be fit, eating in moderation and exercising is the healhtier way when we age. * MayoClinic
  9. I like eating mini- meals throughout the day. For me, it helps with digestion, and also keeps the metabolism fired up throughout the day. Small portions.

Speaking of staying fit, now that the weather is nice, we have a great pool at our HOA. Besides having to do a photoshoot there, I will be swimming this weekend and using pool weights to increase upper body strength. I bought these and these for use in the pool. ( dumbbells and gloves)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Jess xo

  • Nyatichi
    Posted at 10:28h, 29 June Reply

    i have learned that eating small portions spread out throughout the day are beneficial, in addition, a little cardio helps as well

    • Thomas
      Posted at 05:22h, 30 June Reply

      I agree…that’s usually my routine every weekday…I look forward to Sundays #CheatDay

  • Rena
    Posted at 13:07h, 25 June Reply

    Yours is a wonderful list of tips and reminders that it just takes a little amount of effort to get big results.


    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:21h, 26 June Reply

      Thank you Rena! I think just being active and moving is the most important thing. Everyone can find 20-30 minutes a day to walk or find another activity that they enjoy. With a chronic pain disease, it is easy to get into a funk and lay down/rest but that is more detrimental to the muscles and further pain. xx

  • barrettadeb
    Posted at 22:04h, 19 June Reply

    Hi Jess!!! I actually find I enjoy getting a .little physical activity 20 minutes a day. I like to mix up my exercises by following along with some ladies on YouTube. Plus I do indulge, but I also eat lots of veggies. Sugar is my weakness so I am trying to incorporate more fruits. Thanks for the post doll. Come visit me at Stylewise by Debra! Hugs,

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 11:34h, 20 June Reply

      Hi Deb! I will visit you! Thanks so much, glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, I do enjoy some treats on ocassion too, you would have to! That sounds interesting. I know there are alot of great you tune videos out there and whatever motivates 🙂 xx

  • Sheela Goh
    Posted at 11:50h, 18 June Reply

    I never liked to exercise until a few years ago and now I can’t imagine not working out anymore. I’m one of those who likes to box or does plyometrics for an hour and finishes with another hour of weights. I do have to take it easy once every few weeks because sometimes I get cardio-induced Angioedema or my joints are hurting because of the Lupus, but we all have different baselines and whatever makes us happiest should be our threshold, right? Endorphins are lovely magical little creatures, and they work such wonders for us 🙂

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 12:35h, 18 June Reply

      Thanks for replying Sheela. I used to love weight class and kicking butt ( my own) in spin class, but have to go with less impact. I know what you mean as if you are active, then it is hard to not be! Sounds like you have a great program..plyometrics is tough! I think that is awesome, yes endorphins certainly help in many ways and improve mood 🙂

  • Tif @ Bright on a Budget
    Posted at 22:21h, 17 June Reply

    Thanks for the encouragement! I need to be more active.

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:52h, 18 June Reply

      Thank you Tiffany, glad you liked the post. xx

  • Elle
    Posted at 11:43h, 17 June Reply

    Great advice Jess, and I love the dress you re wearing! I walk everyday, and that is not much, but I walk fast like a New Yorker!
    I understand the need for sunshine! Vitamin D! You love fabulous!
    xx, Elle

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 12:22h, 17 June Reply

      Thank you Elle! I haven’t worn the dress on the blog in a long time, I’ll have to get it out to style again. Walking is great! One of the best excercises without the pounding on your joints ( running can do). I appreciate you stopping by as always! Yes, the sun really affects my mood, we need it right? xx

  • thisblondesshoppingbag
    Posted at 08:22h, 17 June Reply

    You look great Jess and your tips are on point. It does get harder to stay fit as we age but we can’t let that be an excuse to stop. I read this little funny one time, “If I knew my body was the only one I was gonna get I would have taken better care of it” and that is so true! Thanks for linking up to Fabulous Friday!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 12:24h, 17 June Reply

      Hi Kellyann, thanks very much. haha! Funny little saying. Yes, I agree there is 30 minutes out of everyone’s day, and movement is the key! I think the key is finding something fun you enjoy doing. xx

  • Amy Christensen
    Posted at 11:47h, 16 June Reply

    Great post, Jess. My main activity these days is walking. I try to get at least 10,000 steps, so I wear a fit bit. I need to start doing some other things too, like weight lifting for the bones. Since having my kidney stone last month I am trying to cut back on soda and sodium. I also have irritable bowel issues so I am trying to cut back on desserts and things that seem to irritate that. I appreciate you posting this. It reminds me that I can still take charge of my health and try to do better. Have a great weekend. – Amy

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 12:04h, 16 June Reply

      Hi Amy, thank you! Glad you enjoyed the post. Sounds like you have some great goals. I do enjoy walking as well and do so with my pups and hubby.Walking and swimming are my mainstays right now. I use the pool weights for muscle building as well. Oh, my hubby has had kidney stones, so I know they are painful! Thanks for sharing about the IBS, as I know it can be tough. I have this as well as Gastroperesis, so I am careful about eating certain things that irritate. Thanks so much and enjoy your weekend as well. xx

  • Jodie
    Posted at 09:50h, 16 June Reply

    I’ve gotten so out of the habit of really working out, but I do eat small portions many times through out the day!!
    Great tips, Jess!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:21h, 16 June Reply

      Thank you Jodie. I love that I can walk down the street to our pool.. where Ill be headed later today. Just find something you enjoy doing so it doesn’t feel like working out per say! Yes, the small portions work well for me too! xx

  • Rosemary Davis
    Posted at 08:23h, 16 June Reply

    Good morning Jess,a very inspirating post today! The key is to keep moving and for me each decade has brought the desire different activities. Yoga, swimming or just walking the choices are ours to make.

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:23h, 16 June Reply

      Hi Rosemary! Glad you enjoyed the post. So true! Moving is very important, and the mere fact that 20-30 minutes will do the trick, I feel one can always find the time. I find that just doing something I enjoy to be the way to go! Appreciate your comment! xx

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