“Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty.”
– Coco Channel
As I write this article, one week before my 60th birthday, I have to remind myself that aging is a fact of life. There’s no way to slow it down or to stop it. So today, I’m choosing to stay out of the darkness and instead embrace the joys (yes, joys) of growing older gracefully. Aging is a privilege! Aging is not only about how you look but also about how you feel overall. I’ve found that the older I get, the more comfortable I am in my own skin. After all, with age comes experience, wisdom, peace and a certain level of respect.
I have found over the years that if you surround yourself with a positive environment, it promotes a healthy lifestyle which can help you in your quest to age gracefully. I have been fortunate enough to have spent the last 23 years working and working out at Fitness Incentive surrounded by the most positive, supportive and knowledgeable people (both co-workers and members) which have helped me in my quest to “age gracefully.” Fitness Incentive is unique in the fact that under one roof you can choose from a wide variety of classes and personal trainers, get professional nutritional advice (Eat Smart) and expert skin care guidance from some of the most highly trained and knowledgeable skin care experts at Incentives Organic Spa & Salon.
Just a quick background on how this all started. Cor and I met on the Long Island Railroad commuting into Manhattan in 1981 (pre Fitness Incentive). Little did I know how much this meeting would change my life. A great friendship was born out of our shared love for exercise (and shopping). I pursued my career and started a family in the city, and Cor opened Fitness Incentive on Grove Place in 1984. I moved back to Long Island in 1995 and immediately began working at Fitness Incentive at the front desk and as an instructor.
So, what are the secrets to aging gracefully? The answer is “consistency” whether it is with your diet, your exercise routine or in your skincare regime. How can you ensure your best is yet to come?
I always tell new members and students in my classes, “I never regret going to the gym; I ALWAYS regret skipping the gym!” Exercise keeps us young. As we age, two forms of exercise are the most important to focus on: aerobic exercise, or cardio, which gets your heart pumping and sweat flowing, and strength training, which helps keep aging muscles from dwindling over time. In fact, moving more actually slows aging at the cellular level. You’ll also experience an increase in energy, flexibility and overall sense of well-being. The most important factor is finding an exercise you’re motivated to stick with. One of the true secrets for staying young is to never stop trying new things. Mix up your workouts, combine group exercise classes with cycling classes to keep things fresh. Alternate between HIIT classes like Cardio Strength (high-intensity interval training) and more moderate classes like a sculpt class where you work out at lower heart rate to burn fat. After running began to take a toll on my body, I began cycling, both indoor and outdoor, and taking yoga classes. I even started teaching cycle classes in my fifties. I’m a cardio addict! But I also know how important it is to weight train as you age. I need a little extra motivation when it comes to lifting weights so I work out with Kellie Meigel weekly. Fitness Incentive is home to some of the best personal trainers in the business. Over the years I have trained with several different trainers, and each one has inspired me to work harder to achieve my goals.
One of the best things I did for my skin was start with regular facials in my thirties, but your skin changes with age. It becomes thinner, loses fat, and no longer looks as plump and smooth as it once did. So your skin care routine has to change as well. There are so many natural options at Incentives Organic Spa & Salon to address a number of skin care issues from fine lines and wrinkles, to dark spots and acne. Our custom Signature Spa Facial is designed to personalize your facial to address your specific skin care needs. This facial is extremely thorough and relaxing at the same time. I’m addicted to “Skin Tyte” which is designed to promote the production of collagen to give your skin a more youthful and firmer look. If you are looking for more lasting results, you may want to come in for a consultation with one of our estheticians to find out about PCA Peels and our laser services like Skin Resurfacing. We have also just introduced our Hydra Facial which removes dead skin cells and extracts impurities while simultaneously bathing the new skin with cleansing, hydrating and moisturizing serums.
Choosing healthy foods is a smart thing to do—no matter how old you are! A healthy weight while getting needed nutrients is one of the most important things you can do for healthy aging. I have chosen to adopt a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods. The bulk of my meals consist of veggies combined with a protein and a healthy fat. I need a lot of guidance in this area so I did Rachel’s Eat Smart 30 Day Challenge last January. This challenge taught me everything I needed to know to “eat clean.” The best advice I can give you (no matter what nutrition plan you choose) is to set time aside each week to “food prep.” If you have all the right foods at the ready you are more likely to stick to your plan. Just because you are on a healthy nutrition plan doesn’t mean you can never indulge in your favorite sweets or alcoholic beverages, just do it in moderation!
Here’s a list of my personal favorites to help me in my quest to “age gracefully”
Exercise: Indoor and outdoor cycling, cardio and sculpt classes, weight training (with the help of my trainer) and walking.
Skin Care Services: HydraFacial, Signature Spa Facial, Skin Resurfacing, Facial Rejuvenation, PCA Peels
Skin Care Products: Monoi Age Corrective Exfoliating Cleanser, Stone Crop Hydrating Mist, Marine Flower Peptide Serum, Bamboo Firming Fluid, Arctic Berry Radiance Peptide Cream, Marine Flower Peptide Eye Cream
There is no place on the planet like Fitness Incentive; it’s my home away from home and my happy place and has given me the resources to help in my quest to “age gracefully.”
About the Author
Janet Lang is a certified Spin and Group-Ex Instructor. She also manages Secretly Chic, the Boutique at Fitness Incentive.