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Are you slowing down?
Old 04-14-2015, 02:56 PM   #1
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Are you slowing down?

We just got back from about 3 weeks or so in Spain. We walked a lot - don't really take cabs much. Boy did we find ourselves much more sore (feet, backs, legs) than we did 2 years ago in Italy. We lost 5lbs each from all the walk (plus could not stay up for a 10pm dinner!)

We are 59 and 60 and wondering if others are finding the same issues? It is making us re-evaluate travel for the future. For example, we really want to do a longish trip to Australia/NZ (maybe 4-5 weeks) but were planning on waiting 5 years. Now I am wondering if we should "front load" active vacations with lots of walking/hiking so we can actually do it.

Thoughts?
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:10 PM   #2
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This is exactly why I started going to a gym. I could feel the atrophy setting in and wanted to hold it off as long as possible. Today I got some encouragement - the guy next to me on the bicycle today said he is 81. So I hope I'm still going to the gym at that age.
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:13 PM   #3
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Maybe it's just because you're not used to doing so much walking at home?

Like you, I typically walk many, many miles through cities in Europe, but I don't get any more tired than I did ten years ago. I'm much older than you, and I think it's because I walk so much here.
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:14 PM   #4
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. Now I am wondering if we should "front load" active vacations with lots of walking/hiking so we can actually do it.
Yes, unless you want to spend some serious time exercising for the foreseeable future in the hope you can ward off the inevitable for a few more years - and there is no guarantee of success.
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:20 PM   #5
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We just got back from about 3 weeks or so in Spain. We walked a lot - don't really take cabs much. Boy did we find ourselves much more sore (feet, backs, legs) than we did 2 years ago in Italy. We lost 5lbs each from all the walk (plus could not stay up for a 10pm dinner!)

We are 59 and 60 and wondering if others are finding the same issues? It is making us re-evaluate travel for the future. For example, we really want to do a longish trip to Australia/NZ (maybe 4-5 weeks) but were planning on waiting 5 years. Now I am wondering if we should "front load" active vacations with lots of walking/hiking so we can actually do it.

Thoughts?
Walking to train for walking is good approach. I try to walk my neighborhood 3 times a week, and meet up with friends to do longer jaunts about once a week. Aside from the excercise, it shakes out bad shoes or other equipment that can mean the difference between a pleasant walk or a miserable one. If over 3 miles, I take a camelback fitted pack so electrolytes and hydration are nearly effortless and I can manage it without missing a step.

My wife & I stop frequently to rest and settle, get a coffee if in a city, and bleed the intensity off.

I don't want to quit travelling, and personally I find the flights and airport time to be the most debilitating part any more. I am determined to adapt to keep doing it.
We have been hitting the hay at about 9:30 for about 30yrs now, so staying up "late" is long gone and rarely missed, but we see the sun come up most days. In my view, there is no shame in a short mid day nap, either. [we are 63 and 64]
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:40 PM   #6
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Before you assume slowing down is due to aging, make sure you aren't deficient in vitamins or have thyroid or other issues.

I'm now walking around 3 miles a day in addition to other exercise during the week and I'm hoping that my next Europe trip is easier. We managed to walk 5 miles or more several times during the last Europe trip. It was tiring, but doable. I'm hoping that this upcoming trip it will be a lot easier.

I don't walk three miles all at once. It's usually broken up into two or more different walks.

My neighbors are in their late 70s and still manage to get several miles in most days and still go on active vacations, so I know it's possible if you luck out with decent health.
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:47 PM   #7
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To the OP: You've got to keep walking until the pain goes away. That's how it works for me. We're about the same age, and we love to walk all over European cities.
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:49 PM   #8
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:54 PM   #9
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Yes, unless you want to spend some serious time exercising for the foreseeable future in the hope you can ward off the inevitable for a few more years - and there is no guarantee of success.
+1

This is why many of us work out regularly at the gym. "Use it or Lose It" is the mantra of many seniors including me. It seems to be easier to get out of shape, and harder to get back into shape, the older we get.

My brother climbed Macchu Picchu in his late 60's, which I find very impressive. He has three more bucket list vacations and is planning them in order (most exertion to least exertion) in his early 70's. After that, he plans to play it by ear.

My mother, who was athletic all of her life, made her last trip to Europe at age 89. She felt it was difficult at that age, and did not travel to Europe any more after that.

As for me, I'm still working on the "use it" part so I don't "lose it". I'm only 66. But F and I do feel like we are scaling back in some things.
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Old 04-14-2015, 04:02 PM   #10
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You do not give enough of your exercise program to really provide good feedback but here are some thoughts. I would find a good personal trainer who understands total fitness (my words, not a category). The trainer should be familiar with toning your entire body (I would not use weights, just things that leverage your body weight), aerobic training (running/walking/biking) and stretching (don't underestimate stretching) . His/her program should include all three. It may require trying more than one trainer to find the best one for you.

We are a little older than you and have been very active all of our lives. For us, it has worked well as we continue to do vacations that include a great deal of physical exercise. We might just be lucky.
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Old 04-14-2015, 04:52 PM   #11
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I stopped to visit a second cousin today who is 70 and we were talking about this. He said that he can feel that he is losing strength. He heats with an outdoor wood furnace and had a bunch of log length wood that he cuts and splits and stacks. He said that he now splits some logs that he might not have before because it is hard to handle larger logs and that some that previously he might have just split half he now quarters.

I can sense it too even though I am only near 60. When I fall skiing getting up is a bit more of a chore than it has been in the past. Slowly losing core strength. I'm being real careful with my knees. I've never had a problem but now don't jump out of the back of my pickup which I would not think twice about when I was younger but slowly let myself down, or perhaps even sit, swing my legs over the gate and then let myself down. I'm trying to avid the knee surgery that DW had to have as a result of a moment of foolishness.
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Old 04-14-2015, 04:55 PM   #12
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I love being on vacation--we are so much more active when the destinations beckon at the end of a walk instead of walking for walking's sake.

DH and I have already decided to front load our travel the next five years or so and then see how we feel. But til then, if something entices us, we are going.
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Old 04-14-2015, 04:56 PM   #13
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One thing to think about is hills. It is quite different to walk around on the flat vs. going up and down good hills. Also loads. If on vacations you are mostly carrying a load, try having a similar pack on your walks at home.

I always have a pack, and usually with a moderate weight. It does help. True that age matters, as eventually we will not be going anywhere, or even breathing. But up to some point as yet unknown to me, what matters more is keeping at it. Physical demands are quite specific. For the most part, the best training for doing something is to do that thing. And avoiding injury. As we get older, injuries can really hold us back, and we can lose a lot of conditioning while we are tying to recuperate.

I am fortunate that I live in a hilly section of hilly city. Not up to San Francisco, but hilly enough to keep my muscles and my wind in ok shape to carry moderate loads up and down hills. Even long stair pitches are different enough from going up a sidewalk that it is useful to train on stairs with your weighted pack, if you will be climbing stairs like are commonly found in old cities.

Ha
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Old 04-14-2015, 05:09 PM   #14
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Now I am wondering if we should "front load" active vacations with lots of walking/hiking so we can actually do it.
I retired mid-2006 and soon fell into the Great Recession! Fabulous timing, huh?

With our portfolio soon 30% down, DW and I had to decide whether to cancel some fairly expensive trips and activities or cancel them as "expendable discretionary expenses" that should be delayed until our investments turned around.

After some tough discussions and a few posts here on the forum, we prioritized time over money and went ahead with our plans despite the pummeling our FIRE portfolio was taking. In our early 60's, we figured that it was now or never for fly-in canoe trips, remote fishing trips, camping in remote locations and that sort of thing. We knew we were slowing down.

No regrets. We enjoyed everything and have lots of great memories and pictures. The icing on the cake is that the investment climate has been so nice since, our portfolio recovered and not postponing our activities didn't put us in the poor house as feared.
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Old 04-14-2015, 05:09 PM   #15
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I'm definitely slowing down. A few months away from 60, and my footing up on the roof isn't what it used to be. And there were some treacherous trails on some mountains that I wasn't comfortable taking a month ago. Yesterday's 10 mile hike tired me more than similar hikes in the past. And today I felt arm fatigue while kayaking. But I am hiking and walking more now than I ever have - just with some aches and pains that I never had before.
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Old 04-14-2015, 05:15 PM   #16
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eventually we will not be going anywhere, or even breathing.
Well, aren't we the cheerful crowd here this afternoon.......... ?
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Old 04-14-2015, 05:17 PM   #17
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At 58 I'm definitely feeling like I'm slowing down. We've recently had to reevaluate travel plans because of difficulty taking long walks. DW is having knee problems and I'm being evaluated by a neurologist in a few weeks for Parkinson's like symptoms. Getting old stinks.
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Old 04-14-2015, 05:19 PM   #18
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....I am fortunate that I live in a hilly section of hilly city. Not up to San Francisco, but hilly enough to keep my muscles and my wind in ok shape to carry moderate loads up and down hills. Even long stair pitches are different enough from going up a sidewalk that it is useful to train on stairs with your weighted pack, if you will be climbing stairs like are commonly found in old cities....
The problem I have around here the hills seem to "grow" a little each winter and seem a tad higher and steeper each spring and summer. How does that happen?
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Old 04-14-2015, 05:29 PM   #19
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The problem I have around here the hills seem to "grow" a little each winter and seem a tad higher and steeper each spring and summer. How does that happen?
Tectonic plate movement!
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Old 04-14-2015, 06:14 PM   #20
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+1
My mother, who was athletic all of her life, made her last trip to Europe at age 89. She felt it was difficult at that age, and did not travel to Europe any more after that.
Thanks- that gives me hope that I can keep going for many years and maybe even take my grandchild(ren) with me! I'm 62 and when I saw the headline Q about slowing down I was going to mention that I'm selling my wet suit on e-Bay because I've decided to skip sprint triathlons (lake water was just too darn cold in last year's) in favor of 35-mile charity bike rides. Yes, I'm blessed.

DH and I are very different. He's 76 and we've really had to make some adjustments. Business class on the long-hauls, minimize insanely early plane flights and one-night stays. Like bld999, we find the flights and the whole airport "experience" the most draining part. We sightsee together till early PM and then go back to the room where he puts his feet up and I go out for a run, or a swim, or whatever, and bring back dinner. I am SO grateful that he traveled as much as he did before he developed health issues, even though I hadn't retired. We're headed for Iceland in August- a short trip from Boston, with overnights in Boston each way. I'll probably book the excursion requiring a hike up an inactive volcano then exploring the magma chamber. I'll come back and tell DH all about it!
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