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6 Ways Turning 56 Was Far Different than 50
Posted By Barbara Hannah Grufferman On March 21, 2013 @ 6:00 am In Be Your Best | Comments Disabled
A few months ago I turned 56. To commemorate and celebrate, I ran 5.6 miles around Central Park. It felt good knowing I could run that distance and still be fit enough to join my husband and daughters at a birthday dinner downtown a few hours later.
That’s a sea change from when I turned 50. Then –what now seems like a lifetime ago — running two miles would have been out of the question. I was out-of-shape and stuck in the mire of midlife madness, believing that gaining weight, feeling invisible and throwing in the towel were the only solutions to aging.
Years of media messages had wormed their way into my brain , tempting me to pull the proverbial blanket over my head, ready to give up and give in. I started to believe the articles, research and reports telling me that women over 50 are powerless, averse to change, glum, cranky consumers, unsexy and should step aside to make room for the infinitely more beautiful, desirable, hirable, acquisitive and loveable younger generation. Worse still, they all conspired to convince me that the only true path to happiness was to look younger, at any cost.
Luckily, I snapped out of it, came to my senses, and decided to research and write my first book, The Best of Everything After 50: The Experts’ Guide to Style, Sex, Health, Money and More.  I started running (with walk breaks), doing 20 push-ups every day, held a Plank position for 60 seconds, changed how I ate . . . and basically took control of my health and my life. The pounds came off, my health check numbers improved, and by my mid-50s I was feeling pretty darn good about myself. Good enough, in fact, to run in the New York City Marathon last year to celebrate my 55th birthday. (I followed the Jeff Galloway program which calls for slow, gentle running with walk breaks …perfect for every post-50 body.)
So what made turning 56 so different from when I turned 50? Here are my most important reasons, all of which are surprising (since I didn’t think I’d ever be where I am at 56 based on where I was at 50):
There are many other reasons I feel differently now than when I turned 50, including how I need to have a pair of readers in every room, and the fact that I am inching my way to 60, moving ever further away from 50, brings moments of worry and concern. Will my good health continue? Will I have enough money to live a nice life as I age? Will I feel as good about aging in four years when I turn 60 as I do now? It isn’t always easy being fearless after 50, but it’s one of the most important tools in our arsenal.
I’m the National Osteoporosis Foundation ‘Ambassador for Bone Health’ and a fierce champion of positive aging. For more tips on living your best life after 50 (or 60, or 70…) check out “The Best of Everything After 50: The Experts’ Guide to Style, Sex, Health, Money and More ” and www.bestofeverythingafter50.com . Keep me posted on how you’re doing by subscribing to me on Facebook  and “tweeting” me on Twitter at @BGrufferman .Photo credits: from Barbara Hannah Grufferman’s personal collection
Article printed from AARP: http://blog.aarp.org
URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/03/21/6-ways-turning-56-was-far-different-than-50/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Run-on-56th-Birthday-12-23-12.jpg
 brain: http://www.aarp.org/health/brain-health/info-08-2012/memory-lapses-that-are-normal.html
 The Best of Everything After 50: The Experts’ Guide to Style, Sex, Health, Money and More.: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0762437405/ref=s9_simh_bw_p14_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-9&pf_rd_r=0RY36AV2RWKK9ANYCYWQ&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1348437102&pf_rd_i=283155
 running every other day: http://blog.aarp.org/2012/10/04/need-help-getting-fit-after-50-adopt-a-dog/
 Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Marathon-photo.jpg
 my makeup: http://blog.aarp.org/2012/12/29/5-top-best-of-everything-after-50-beauty-picks-for-2013/
 classic fashion style: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/02/28/the-1-secret-to-style-after-50/
 fashion: http://blog.aarp.org/2012/09/28/7-beauty-blunders-women-over-50-keep-on-making-and-how-to-stop/
 embracing my age: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/01/04/2013-make-this-the-year-to-embrace-your-age/
 re-enter the workforce: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/02/27/getting-back-to-work-at-50-deborahs-story/
 Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Barbara-presenting-at-BN-event.jpg
 www.bestofeverythingafter50.com: http://bestofeverythingafter50.com/
 subscribing to me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/barbara.hannahgrufferman
 @BGrufferman: https://twitter.com/bgrufferman
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