What does it mean to be in your sixties?

What does it mean to be in your sixties? It feels surreal to me. I am 68, which is pushing 70. The OutdoorFit ladies are in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. I gear my OutdoorFit workouts to how my body feels. It is important for my own well being, and the well being of the women I coach. . We have one youngster in her 50’s. I have gotten very good at listening to my body. I have shifted our workouts to less burpees and more joint mobility work. I was having issues with my right shoulder and it was affecting my pushups and weight lifting. Since I incorporated mobility work into the workouts, my shoulder and arm are now pain free. I think it is so important not to keep pushing through pain, which I would have done in the past. I now investigate why something is hurting, fix it and carry on with my pushups! I know so many people give up as they grow older, and just stop working out. They might walk in their neighborhood and think that is enough. Strength training and flexibility are so important as we age.

It is exhilarating to try new things. I am so happy that I have found a group of women in their 60’s, and that one youngster in her 50’s, who are willing to jump in the ocean with me! We call it plunging. It sounds crazy, but it has so many benefits! Talking about aches and pains, a 5 minute dip in the cold ocean does wonders by reducing inflammation and making you feel better. Plunging also boosts your neurotransmitters; Gaba, Serotonin and Dopamine! There is an added bonus when the sun is shining. you really appreciate the warmth of the sun. Cold plunges are a great way to boost your metabolism and lose a few pounds! Of course, I love the touch of craziness. The Fall is a great time to start. The water temperature is manageable and your body can gradually adjust to the cold. The weather forecast is for a beautiful Fall weekend. Do you want to try something new (and slightly crazy)? Come plunging in the ocean with me.

Love,

Mary

I feel so much better!

I feel so much better.

Sunday, I walked the CROP walk with Rosanne, the minister’s wife. She said, “Mary, I think you are being way too hard on yourself. Enjoy your glass of wine with dinner.” It felt like divine intervention. I am happy to say I am back to one glass of wine with dinner. Thank you, Rosanne!

I am a little embarrassed. Last week, I posted that I stopped drinking. I reached out to many friends and trusted family members for support. After stopping for 9 days, I am back to my glass of wine. My one glass did not turn into a bottle. It was turning into a glass and a half. The 9 days off was a good thing to do. I took really good care of myself. I meditated, did Wim Hoff breathing and jumped into the ocean a few times with Rosanne.

Saturday night, I went to my husband’s high school reunion and didn’t have a glass of wine. They were handing out champagne as we were waiting to sign in and get our name tags. I said no thank you. I had a nice time at the reunion. I set the intention to have fun, with no drinking and enjoy a nice dinner without overindulging. It was fine.

Have you heard of gray area drinking? My friend Jessica sent me this video which I found very helpful and maybe you will too.

Jolene Park, the Functional Nutritionist in the video, talks about gray area drinking. It is the area of drinking where there is no rock bottom. You use alcohol to manage your stress and anxiety. You feel bad about how much and how often you drink. She also talks about how naturally boosting your neurotransmitters, Gaba, Serotonin, and Dopamine, can help you if you want to stop drinking.

Here is my plan, and I have had a great week! I am focusing on boosting my Gaba, Serotonin, and Dopamine levels. Gaba has a calming effect. Serotonin increases happiness, and Dopamine is associated with pleasure. I plunged in the Atlantic Ocean with Rosanne 3 times this week. It absolutely makes you feel better to be outside in the sunshine at the beach and jump into the 62 degree water for 5 minutes! It feels like a new day. Every night, I enjoy one glass of wine in a beautiful crystal glass and I feel all is well.

Go out and Boost your Neurotransmitters! OutdoorFit will boost your Gaba, Serotonin and Dopamine!

Thanks for reading.

Love,

Mary

We make a cute couple!

I have been struggling with OutdoorFit.

I have been struggling with how to grow the OutdoorFit program. The majority of the OutdoorFit ladies are in their 70’s and 80’s.  I wouldn’t be attracted to what is typically described as an older population workout . That sounds like a low impact senior aerobics class. So how can I promote OutdoorFit? I decided to meditate on it. The other morning, I woke up at 6am, made myself a cup of coffee, and set my phone alarm for 10 minutes. I sat in the darkness. What came to me is that I need to embrace the OutdoorFit women. They are exceptional! I am proud to be promoting them. And, I am 68, which is getting pretty close to 70! So, why not?

There is an image issue that I am struggling with. Do I call OutdoorFit a bootcamp? What 70 year old is going to say yes to a bootcamp that includes mountain climbers and burpees? Last Sunday during my church’s coffee hour, a group of people were talking about the CROP walk. It is a 5 mile walk to raise money and awareness about hunger in our area. A women said she has been walking 2 miles but at “her age” she doesn’t think she can walk 5 miles. She mentioned her ankles, knees and “her age” several times. I usually don’t say anything in a social situation about what I do . I could feel the emotion rising up in my body. I had to say something! I pulled her aside and asked her if she knew what I did. She said,”no”. I said, “I run an outdoor bootcamp”. Her immediate reaction was there is no way I am going to a bootcamp. Do I need a new description? Senior Fitness with Mary just doesn’t cut it. I sent the church women my website and a video of an interview with Elaine. She is 84-1/2 and comes to OutdoorFit 3 times a week.

This video was filmed a year ago, still a great message from Elaine!

OutdoorFit is an exceptional workout because of the ladies that show up. We are a very special bootcamp. You can be like Jane at 78 and still be doing pushups off the ground. You can come back to OutdoorFit after a hip replacement like Mary and Meredith. You can be like Elaine who keeps showing up and is in amazing shape with her 8 pound weights! In the video, Elaine talked about Sissie, another OutdoorFit regular, who at 83, still plays a mean game of tennis and pickle ball. Andrea and Elena, the OutdoorFit youngsters love a great workout and are inspired by the older women. We also have a fabulous group online that I know are thriving as well!

Strength training and muscle building is so important as we age. The ladies bring their own weights. They quickly advance from using 5 # weights to 8’s, 10’s and 12’s! I am there to help every step of the way.

The workout is outside all year long. The cold or heat does not stop us. We do go in for rain or snow. I also live stream the workouts if you are not in the area or just like working out in your basement.

We are Fit and Fabulous…Aging Optional!

Reach out if you have any questions or concerns. Come give us a try!

Love,

Mary

I am noticing a difference in my body already.

I started OutdoorFit 16 years ago in the back parking lot of a local gym. I wasn’t a trainer at the time, but I knew how to work out. I was in my early 50’s, and I was winning some of the gym’s fitness challenges. The owner asked me if I would like to work there. I didn’t want to be a personal trainer that focused on one on one workouts. I have always loved running and being outside, so I decided to start an outdoor class with a few brave women from the gym. The ladies were up for doing something new and different. They all loved that we were outside all year long. It is now 16 years later. A few of the originals are still training with me with me today at 70 and 80 something!

I have made some changes as we have gotten older. Recently, I have introduced mobility exercises to the program. I am taking classes with Petra Fisher, a movement coach. It has been so helpful. I am noticing a difference in my body already. This morning at OutdoorFit, we did wrist flexion, extensions, and circles. It feels like a dopey thing to do, but it was amazing. I didn’t have discomfort in my wrists like I normally do when we did our pushups. AND, I could hold my hands in the proper position without pain.

My intention is to be the best version of myself. I want to feel strong and energetic throughout my day. I can’t do that if I am in pain. I am constantly searching for new ways to bring more mobility to my body which is so key to feeling fit and fabulous. I am honored to be still teaching the OutdoorFit ladies to do the same.

Love,

Mary

Be the Best Version of Yourself!

My sister Kathleen, has started taking ice baths. She’s been adding 30#’s of ice to her bath water. She sent me a text on Saturday. “Just got out. Thank you for this. I am the best version of me when I do things like this.” Kathleen lives in NC. I wished she lived next door. We would have a great time together and I could send Thomas over there to hang out.

This is my morning prayer on the way to OutdoorFit.”Please help me be the best version of myself today.” It is a good reminder to do my best work. I know the importance of taking care of myself to allow the best version of me to come out.

September is my birthday month. I am now 68. I am strong, healthy and fit. I am not accepting getting slower as I age, I am getting better. There are so many things we all can do. I am taking a joint mobility class with Petra Fisher, which has already been so helpful. I started with the cervical spine and I am working my way down. I want my joints to be healthy, and have committed to moving them daily. It will help eliminate and prevent so many muscular aches and pains. Of course, I am sharing the movements with my OutdoorFit ladies.

I am focused on reducing inflammation in my body. It was my birthday and I enjoy indulging in special treats. Who doesn’t love a big bowl of Butterfinger ice cream? After a few days of overindulging, I wake up with a sugar hangover, I feel tension in my face and jaw, and I have itchy patches that make me feel like I am going to jump out of my skin. The sad story is that too much sugar is toxic to my body.

Here are 7 things I focus on daily to reduce inflammation and support my health.

  • Eat organic balanced low glycemic meals.
  • Eat 80 grams of protein.
  • Get a Good Night Sleep.
  • Have a good attitude.
  • Take my supplements.
  • Practice Wim Hoff breathing.
  • Exercise.

I get in a cold plunge when I can. Cold plunges are an excellent way to reduce inflammation! I usually end my shower with cold water. I am easing back in to the season. The water will be getting colder soon! Kathleen joins me in the ocean whenever she comes back home to NJ. It is always a crazy fun time.

Were my tips helpful to you? Are you aging well? The OutdoorFit ladies are aging well. We are all in this together. Please reach out. I would love to hear from you.

Love,

Mary

Get the dumb bells out!
Strength training is so important for healthy aging!

I am so glad that I am OutdoorFit!

Last week, my friend and former OutdoorFit partner, Christa Lippert asked me if I wanted to go kayaking or get together for lunch. We managed to do both on our adventure! It seems like it would be a lot of fun and I felt I was in shape enough to do it. I kayaked once about 25 years ago. I really don’t know much about it. I live by 2 rivers and an ocean. It is about time to take advantage of that.

I met Christa at Victory Park in Rumson to launch the kayaks. Christa had everything! She was unfolding two kayaks, that she learned about on Shark Tank, when I got there. I thought there is no way I am getting into that thing. But of course I did, because I trust Christa. She always has a good system in place for everything! So, I tried to help her strap the kayak together along with snapping the paddles together. Christa is always prepared. She had a waterproof bag to put my lunch and towel in. She had a waterproof case for my phone and a whistle to wear around my neck in case I was in trouble. Apparently, I was going to get wet. We threw the lifejacket in the back of the kayak just in case.

I pushed the kayak into the water and got in. Christa is an excellent teacher and a great trainer. She googled how to kayak and was teaching me! She said, it is all about your legs and core. I would push the foot bar with my right foot and then push the paddle with my left arm. I tried my best to stay focused. We went under the Oceanic Bridge and kayaked over to an island where we had lunch. It took us 45 minutes to paddle to the island and 15 minutes to get back to Victory Park. Once we got back to the park I was a little stiff from my adventure and felt like I had a second workout for the day. Getting out of the kayak was a bit of a challenge. I got out and back into the kayak okay when we were at the island. This time I ended up to my waist in the Navesink River. I need to google how to get out of a kayak with Grace.

A NEW SPORT AND IT INCLUDED LUNCH ON AN ISLAND!

I am going to stay strong, healthy and fit so I can plan more exciting adventures! Are you in shape for the adventures in your life? You can be strong, healthy and fit at any age. I can help you. Click here to learn about OutdoorFit!

Love,

Mary

Christa in her Kayak!

Strong Legs and Glutes!

2022 has been a busy and stressful time. My Dad went into hospice and my Mom fell and broke her hip getting my Dad a beer. Yes, he stills enjoys a martini and an occasional beer in hospice. They are both, 91 and have been married 70 years. They have lived a wonderful life together. There have been so many special moments these past 4 months with my parents. Dad and I have liverwurst sandwiches for lunch while watching Gunsmoke. I spent time with my Mom in the hospital drinking tea and watching A League of their Own together. It has been nice in so many ways.

It also has emphasized how important it is to take care of yourself. I witness what a struggle it can become. Things, I take for granted like putting on your shoes and socks or going to the bathroom. These activities are now very difficult or impossible for Mom and Dad. I want to stay strong and fit for as long as possible. I have begun to work on some new exercises for myself and my OutdoorFit ladies. We are working on our glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps. These are the muscles that you use getting up off the toilet. Do you want to stay out of the nursing home? Keep your muscles strong!

Here is an exercise to get you started!

LEGS AND GLUTES!

Let me know how it goes! If you are interested in joining us online or in person, please CLICK HERE to learn more.

Love,

Mary

Addicted to the Plunge!

I started ocean plunging back in September. Unfortunately, since the beginning of January, it has been too windy, and the air too cold for me to do my plunging in the ocean. I have been taking 5 minute cold baths 3-4 times a week, to keep in plunging shape. Andrea, one of my fellow plungette takes a cold bath almost daily. I’m doing my best to keep up, but I don’t bother with the baths on the days I have OutdoorFit. Training outside in the cold is enough for me.

Sunday, Sophie, our golden retriever woke me up too early. She likes to get up at 6am and I wanted to sleep in. I was annoyed and cranky. I knew if I took a cold bath, I would have a quick change in attitude and feel so much better. I filled the tub with tap water. There is no need to add ice when the tap water is 40.8 degrees. As soon as you get in, you forget all of your problems except that you are sitting in frigid water. I sit upright for two minutes and then try to muster up the courage to get my upper body in as well. I stay in for two to three minutes more. I wash my face in the end. Andrea actually dunks her whole head in. I am not quite there yet.

My husband, Dan is getting tired of the noises coming from the bathroom. Sometimes, he will come in to talk me through. He coaches me to get to the next step. He encourages me with helpful phrases like, “Suck it up, Buttercup.” I am so grateful for his support.

I am obsessed with the plunge. I had an immediate shift in my attitude on Sunday. I felt so much better, Cold, but better. I know if I wake up achy, a cold bath will take care of the tension. I have lost weight. I am sleeping better, and a friend told me that I looked ten years younger. It is a powerful tool. I know it is crazy and that is part of the appeal!

I love the connection with Andrea and Rosanne, my fellow plungettes. I text them every time I am heading into the cold bath. I need all the support I can get. When we started last September, I told Andrea we are going to be best friends. We don’t need to eat or drink together. All we need to do is to jump into the ocean for 5 minutes. We have formed a strong bond. Doing something with a touch of craziness will do that. Do you want to read more about the benefits? Head over to the previous blog post.

I asked my fellow plungettes to share what they love about plunging.

From Andrea: “Plunging has a few fantastic benefits that keep me coming back to this seemingly crazy pastime. First and above all, it lifts my mood. Instantly. And after I do it, my brain feels sharper like when I’ve had a great nights sleep but better. When we go in the ocean as opposed to the tub, there is a feeling of connecting with the planet. And I believe it has sped up my metabolism a bit which is always nice. Finally, it has been a bonding experience with the two ladies who I do it with.”

From Rosanne: “I started to plunge this spring in my pond upstate as an entry into releasing fear around diving into a cold, sometimes dark body of water, after learning about Wimm Hoff and his ice baths.  I began his breathing methods and found it’s benefits very helpful which led to my interest in having friends do the plunging together in the Atlantic ocean.   The experience of being emersed in nature, with the brilliant sunshine and piping plovers encircling us was an amazing experience and has led me/ us to continue the practice.  The bathtub is getting me through the winter and I am excited to return to the ocean with my fellow plungettes once the weather improves.”

This is my from my sister Kathleen who plunges in North Carolina: “Addicted to the plunge. When Mary first told me she was going into the icy waters of the Atlantic for 5 minutes – I thought she was nuts but also knew I had to try it. I have not had the chance to go into the ocean but live near a lake and have been in the sound. It’s exhilarating. My body thanks me every time. The aches disappear and my senses come alive. I’ve been able to do it most weeks – sometimes twice a week.”

I encourage you to give it a try. You don’t need to start with a cold bath. Turn the shower temperature to cold at the end of the shower. Breathe through it for 30 seconds. You will feel invigorated! Let me know how it goes.

Love,

Mary

Temperature Check

A White House.

I have been dreaming about having an all white house. I follow Jenni Kayne on Instagram. Her houses are basically white with natural wood. They feel clean, soothing and minimal.  I would love our house to feel that way, so I started painting. My kitchen and the room off the kitchen are painted  linen white. We bought a new refrigerator in December. Keeping with the theme, I decided to go white.  Now, I feel like I need to add different shades of white to make the refrigerator look more at home. We call the room off the kitchen George’s room after George the dog. We don’t have a dog right now so maybe it is the mud room. I always wanted a mud room. I painted the ceiling antique white. The walls are mayonnaise and the trim will be Chantilly lace. They are all Benjamin Moore colors. I think I might be nesting. Is a dog coming to live with us soon?

I am working on painting a few hours a day, so I don’t feel overwhelmed. I can clean up at the end of the day before Tom gets home. Today, I was running a few minutes behind and Thomas got home before everything was in order. Tom, as many of you know has special needs. He likes his routines and everything in place. He wants to help and he keeps at me until everything is in order. It can be very annoying. My friend Ivone keeps telling me to remember peace and serenity. The minister at church on Sunday talked about being the light and sending love. Thomas went to Sunday school and they made heart cookies. He told me he is sending love. How quickly, it can all fall apart over wet paint and a ladder.

Tomorrow, I am applying a second coat of mayonnaise paint.  My goal is to have it done before Thomas gets home. Do you think I will start craving tuna salad living with walls called mayonnaise?

Thanks for reading!

Love,

Mary

 

I am roasting a pasture raised chicken today!

 

This week, I bought meat from a local farm, Snoep Winkle Farm. They are located in Branchville, NJ. I first learned about Snoep Winkle because they sell their eggs at Whole Foods.

They sell grass fed chickens, pork, beef, and lamb as well.

From Snoep Winkle Farm:

“The more we learned about the conventional methods by which most livestock are raised, the more convinced we became that we wanted our animals to be raised as God intended – eating grass as the basis of their diet.

We do not give our animals steroids, growth hormones, nor sub-therapeutic levels of antibiotics. Raising the animals on pasture is not only good for their diet, but is also the way they were intended to be raised. Their manure is directly applied to the fields by the animals themselves, thus fertilizing the pastures.”

I think it is so important to support our local farmers. It is critical for our health, our family’s well being and  the survival of the earth. Does that seem extreme? Maybe.

I know it is more expensive. If you pay attention to portion control and eat less. It all works out in the end.

Tom and I have been going to the farmer’s market every Sunday. I love to buy sheep yogurt and sheep cheese from Valley Shepherd Creamery in Long Valley, NJ.  It is so delicious! I buy 1/4 pound and that is our cheese for the week.

I love my little back yard garden this year. It is so nice to go out every morning to pick lettuce for a salad. Pretty soon, I will have tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini and cute little red potatoes! I have connected with other people who know more about it than I do. It is a wonderful community and we all learn from each other.

Do you have a garden? What do you like to grow?

Happy Gardening!

Love,

Mary