Thursday, July 28, 2016

Mature Fashion: Another Quick morning routine

All of us have experienced the unexpected obstacle to our best laid plans for going to  an exercise class.  I know that I can "be prevented" from going to the gym fairly easily. (in other words, obstacles, although legitimate, supersede going to the gym!)  For example, a  long time friend who I have been playing phone tag with called just as I was leaving the house.  I answered the phone, had our catch-up conversation.... for over an hour!  I had on my gym clothes, and fully intended to make up the exercise (45 minutes of mixed strength training, stretching, and aerobic- the Jane Fonda DVD for seniors) but, somehow or another, I did not "find the time" to make up the exercise. I do, however, usually manage to spend at least five minutes doing whatever exercise routine I am doing.

I recently read an article that I want to pass on to others, and keep a reminder for myself that provided  an alternative to my fall-back AARP routine that I have shared in the past. (that one takes only 15 minutes and is a series of 6 exercise movements). Unfortunately, if I do not complete the routine, I have only exercised the first movements.  I am going to share one with you a maintenance routine that takes only 5 minutes and will allow exercising all of the body. I find it a great "fall-back" routine when I have missed a class or have not managed my AARP program.   Here is the routine that I obtained from a friend who teaches an exercise class:

- march in place for 30 seconds, bringing your knees as high as possible-then rest for 30 seconds.

- perform squats for 30 seconds (whatever number you can manage during the 30 seconds-remember to keep knees "soft"  and spread legs slightly apart)-then rest for 30 seconds.
-bending at the waist and keeping the back flat, elbows close to the body, "row" for 30 seconds.  Rest for 30 seconds.
-lying flat on the floor, using legs, "bicycle" for 30 seconds.  Rest for 30 second.
-lying flt on the floor, hand behind the head, raise head and legs making a "v" for 30 seconds-rest for 30 seconds.

 I like having more than one routine because I can always find time for one of SOME length!! That way I have no excuses for not doing anything!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Mature Fashion: Fashion as Pharm

Getting dressed every day is exactly like taking medicine; if you have the right prescription and are administering it correctly, you receive the benefits.  In fact, there have been many articles written stating mood elevation caused by a fashion make-over, spa treatment, etc. can be as significant as psycho-therapy!!  

I recently had another conversation with a woman in my age group who was basically 'trashing' the entire fashion industry and detailing her abhorance of current fashion, disgust with the 'frivolity'. etc. (unfortunately, this happens all too often when someone finds out I write a fashion blog). I was immediately reminded of "Miranda Priestley's" ("Devil wears Prada") response to the character played by Anne Hathaway when she trivialized the fashion industry. I am taking another page from the same notebook without all the financial impact, employment stats, etc. 

Unless you are a full time nudist, EVERYONE WEARS CLOTHES;  Fashion is NOT trivial in any way, especially when it come to our mental health.  Almost every woman is affected by her mirror; some so much she may refuse to look at herself in it!  Confidence levels are measurably and demonstrably affected with how a woman feels about the way she looks.

We all put on clothes when we begin our day, and we all take off our clothes at the end of the day. Clothes mark the milestones and journeys of our lives.

Unfortunately, many women who now have a "mature" figure feel that the best years have passed them by.  (almost all women who are 40+ do not have the same figure they had in the previous decade; all too many resign themselves to "what used to be, sigh, enter into a low level depression and defensively "give up...and why bother")

A sad reality is the woman's unhappiness with her physical attributes at forty, but she would long for that same body when she reaches fifty.  Another sad reality is that same woman can ALWAYS improve her appearance significantly by making fashion her friend rather than ignoring its benefits. Fashion is a woman's best friend; it can make her feel youthful and vibrant. It can actually give her a boost in confidence, and also a boost in the good endorphins that improve our mood, reduce pain symptoms, and generally feel better.  It is also a great emotional boost (those endorphins again) when her mature and fluid life takes a downturn such as in divorce, loss of career dreams, and even the loss of a loved one.  

No, fashion is NOT trivial.  It can provide a visual loss of almost twenty pounds; it can warm skin tones adding vibrancy and a glow of youthful health.  Both Beau Brummel and Audrey Hepburn are famous for taking as long as two hours to dress for an event, then never looking at themselves while wearing their clothing; that's confidence.  We can apply that advice knowing we look great and feeling great because we know it; best of all, when we know we look great in our clothes, then we can forget about clothes.  Looking great and feeling great is an important component in both physical and mental health!.