It is summertime! It is a happy time! It is a beaching time! It is my favourite time because I can dive into the exquisite ocean that surrounds us on every shore. I love to swim in the turquoise sea, struggling with the current, fighting with the waves to the far reefs off Elbow Beach.
I know where a school of silver jackfish with big eyes hide in a dark cavern there. They greet me with curiosity and swim out into the sunlight and surround me in a shimmering curtain and I feel alive and in touch with the mystery and ancient rhythms of a world as old as time itself.
Summer is when I explore the beach in my favourite white bikini, racing along on that brilliant white expanse with the hot sand under my feet. I breathe the tangy air from the sea and feel as free as the exotic longtails dancing in the endless blue of the sky.
I love running in the caress of the surf and the touch of the wind on my body. I feel alive and joy unfolds in my heart like a flower under the steady gaze of the sun.
I am often asked these kinds of questions: how to stay slim? How to continue to be in good shape? How to feel energetic and active? Is it difficult? What are you doing and what you are not doing? Honestly, it is difficult to be slim. I realised that after 50 it becomes even more challenging, but it is possible at any age and a lot depends only on you!
Some people tell me: “If I had only had money I would have gone to the gym, signed up for yoga, done tennis classes … I would be in great shape then.” Believe me, it is not about money.
I exercise at home. I have a mat, 22lb weights and an inflatable ball; I build my routine around these simple things. Plus, I go to the pool or swim in the ocean during the summer time. Walking is free and so is running. Run in the mornings and early evenings when it’s not so hot. Catching a frisbee is both fun and free. Stretching is free. Yoga … you can do it at home watching YouTube videos. What about a “dance till you drop” challenge in front of the mirror? Maybe a hula hoop competition with your kids? It is so much fun and great exercise for your waist. I did it with my stepdaughter and we laughed so hard! What do you need? Desire, motivation, and a goal.
What is most important to me? Discipline and consistency and patience. To form new healthy habits takes time. It takes more than 21 days. The results do not appear immediately. To be in good shape, it is best to practice every day, or even every other day, for at least 20 minutes.
Initially, you have to push yourself, then it becomes easier. After two months, you start seeing the results and you want to do more. Then it becomes a habit, and with that begins a new way of living.
I came to the conclusion that to be in shape is, first of all, a matter of determination. To be energetic and healthier requires the same thing as any journey. You take a step. Then another step, then another. Soon you are on your way, out into the sunshine and sea and fresh air or to town to buy a smaller pair of jeans!
• Nina London is a certified wellness and weight-management coach. Her mission is to support and inspire mature women to make positive changes in their body and mind. Share your inspirational stories with her at ninalondon.com