I was listening to the radio the other day when the deejay asked his cohost if she knew what was number 1 on people’s bucket list, according to a survey he’d just read.
She couldn’t guess it. But when he announced that over 50 percent of people polled said their top goal in life was to get in better shape, she wondered how she could have missed it.
Getting fit beat out traveling, a dream career and falling in love. Pretty telling, wouldn’t you say?
I know how hard it is. You reach your 40s and your body doesn’t even feel like it’s yours. You are filled with hormones and wonder why your body and energy level has changed. However, the good news is that we don’t have an expiration date. In fact, I can attest to being in better shape during my 46th year of life than I was in my 20s. There is no age limit for getting fit. And whether your goal is to get stronger, lose some weight or simply feel better, there are women out there who can help. They’ve lived it and are here to show you — for free — how you can make those changes to your lifestyle (and body if that’s what you’d like to do), and it can be fun.
The most inspiring part? They are very real about their journey and show their before and after pictures, as well as what it looks and feels like to get off track because they are humans, too. What we don’t need are false positives that claim how easy it is. What we do need to see is that getting in shape is possible — yet it has its struggles. Look to these women on Instagram:
Kendra Jarratt, 48, is a certified nutrition, strength and behavior coach with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). Jarratt has helped many women who are struggling through the perimenopausal and postmenopause years reach their goals and make big life changes — one day at a time. Her page is filled with free workouts, great tips on how to plan your meals, and how to stay on track while traveling. You can hire her as your coach, or join her community of thousands of women and men who keep each other motivated.
Jessica is a 41-year-old mom who has had four kids. She has changed her body through ditching the cardio and focusing on strength training. Her page is a must-follow if you hate running and walking, or just don’t have the time or motivation to get on a StairMaster. She posts several workouts a week, focuses on form, and shows you what she eats (lots of protein and fat). Her page is proof there’s no need to be hungry or feel deprived. I also love that she shows pictures of herself when she’s on vacation — eating whatever she wants — to normalize the fact we all have times when we fall off our routines, get bloated and put on water weight. And there’s no need to worry about it.
Jennifer Fisher is 54 and as active as she was in her 20s. Her page is filled with daily workouts and healthy recipes. (My two favorites are for her watermelon salad and the spinach and corn poppers). The page is inspiring with bold, bright pictures and quick, effective workouts you can bang out in minutes.
Chris Freytag is a cheerleader for women and very frank about the fact there is no perfect or ideal body, as we are all individuals. She is the founder of Get Healthy U TV, and posts regular workouts for all fitness levels — while also taking into account we all have different lifestyles.
Freytag is full of spunk and energy. She reminds us that we can get going on all of our dreams (regardless of what they are) at any age. Oh, and did I mention she is 55? You won’t believe it when you see her, but it’s true.
Mandy Ingber is a 50-something spiritual yoga enthusiast who reminds us self-love is the most important kind of love. She posts yoga workouts, inspiring quotes and beautiful pictures that will motivate you and remind you to breathe. Ingber is a best-selling author and the creator of yogalosophy, which she has said combines yoga practice “with my philosophy.” Follow any of these women and you will find yourself more inspired by the minute. If getting fit and living a healthier lifestyle is on your bucket list, they are all a great place to start.
Photographs from left to right: Javiera Estrada/Courtesy Mandy Ingber; Jordy B Photo/Courtesy Jessica Gunn; Belen Fleming/Courtesy Chris Freytag; Sportograf/Jennifer Fisher; Courtesy Kendra Jarratt