Challenge One – RE-Cycle

Not my legs. I wish. These belong to my daughter who is a runner. I love it when she joins me at an exercise class!

Here are my top three priorities for challenging myself physically at 50:

1.) Have fun.

2.) Have fun.

3.) Have fun.

Ok, but seriously. First, I want to have fun. No matter what I am doing to get myself moving each day, I want it to be enjoyable.

Next, whatever I do it needs to be convenient because we are all living in crunch time. I can’t be driving all over the universe to get to an exercise class.

Third, I need to feel good when I am finished.

This last point is important. I’ve done far too many things over the last 20 years where I have pushed myself over the edge. My 7th marathon in my early 40s was a good example. The training was exhausting and it felt like drudgery. Consequently I tanked in the actual race.

I want to feel energized when I am finished exercising – not demolished. Feeling tapped out after exercise defeats the purpose. Feeling energetic and strong the rest of the day – that’s the sweet spot.

In choosing challenges this year I am keeping all three of my priorities in mind.

So I recently got back on the bike.

About 3 weeks ago I decided to give spinning another try. I was addicted to it in my early 40s, but overdosed on it by going too hard and spinning too often.

(On a side note, one of my challenges in life is pacing. I have that personality disorder that subscribes to “more is more”.  This has taken me down many times. So this year my goal is to try new things, but to chill the F out. I can push myself physically, but it’s OK to rest. Listen up, workaholics! Let’s work on pacing together.)

Spinning is a perfect type of exercise for all ages, especially mid-lifers. It’s non weight-bearing, which means it’s easy on the joints. And it gives you the best bang for the buck when it comes to cardio. It’s easy to reach your target heart rate (50-85 percent of your maximum) for a sustained period of time.

Plus, spinning is FUN! You can adjust the gears according to how you feel. So do not be deterred by what you hear about spinning. It’s not just for exercise maniacs.

Spinning Class Room at Olympic Athletic Club in Ballard.

Assessment for Mid-Lifers (1-10, with 10 being best)


Fun Meter – 10. Love how I can push myself according to how I am feeling on any given day. Love the music. Of course, the better the instructor, the better the class!

Physical Impact – 10. Spinning is perfect for mid-lifers. It is great for all ages. Even the 70 plus crowd can get on a bike.

Pros – Great cardio. Up beat. Can be self-paced depending on what you make of it. Makes it easy to get ‘er done.

Cons – The first few classes you may have sore butt bones. Do not let that deter you. Eventually those bones will recover and they will hurt no more.

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