Ep. 12: – Stay Sharp, Stay Active in Retirement

Brighter Wealth Retirement

Brighter Wealth Podcast, Episode 12 with Lorraine Ladish on staying sharp and active during retirement. You can find Lorraine Ladish at Vivafifty.com, or Viva Media.


>>Devin Peterson (00:00)

Devin welcomes us back to another episode of Brighter Retirement Radio. He tells us today’s episode will be talking about staying sharp and active in retirement. He welcomes his guest Lorraine Ladish. She is a bilingual author of 18 books, a writer, a speaker, a yogini, and the creator of Viva 50 Media, which creates body, mind, and soul content for those that are midlife. They discuss physical and mental health tips that will help you to stay strong and sharp in retirement. Her responses may just shock you. She’s a little tough love, super optimistic, and a lot of energy. It’s no secret that living your life to its fullest is important to having health and happiness.

>>Devin Peterson (01:08)

Within this episode, Devin and Lorraine talk about how many retirees initially struggle to find a love of staying active. Lorraine shares her perspective on how to find that love and also a hard stance to realize or how to have a mental shift if you struggle to find that love initially. They also cover how mental illness and disease is becoming so common now and how to control that and to stay sharp mentally.

>>Devin Peterson (01:38)

Devin introduces Lorraine to his listeners and asks how she is.

>>Lorraine Ladish (01:58)

She replies she is good and thanks Devin for having her on the show.

>>Devin Peterson (01:59)

In this episode, uniquely, they are going to talk more specifically about physical and mental health instead of the financial aspect of retirement. To find a brighter retirement, you need both physical and mental health as well. Lorraine is a bilingual author, editor for vivafifty.com and quite honestly a guru at many things. Devin asks Lorraine if she would agree?

>>Lorraine Ladish (02:45)

Lorraine replies that she thinks she is just a guru in life really.

>>Devin Peterson (02:39)

That is a great thing to be a guru in, and he says she definitely owns that. That it’s a great title.

>>Devin Peterson (02:54)

The focus today is a few steps and tips to stay sharp, active, and connected in retirement. Let’s focus on two specific topics. Mental health and Physical health when approaching retirement. So in your fifties, sixties, or seventies. Both of these aspects of health are so impactful and enable us or empower us to enjoy life around us. Devin asks Lorraine to start with the physical aspect, since she is in this age demographic and helps other people around her maximize and improve their physical health. He asks her for a few tips that they all need to hear.

>>Lorraine Ladish (04:02)

Lorraine states that she is 56, with hopes to turn 57 in August. She feels she is in her best physical and mental shape of her life, but close to when she was really young. She has realized it’s not about looking a certain way when you’re a specific age, it’s about feeling a certain way regardless of your age. She was lucky to have grandparents and a father that were creatives and took care of their health and were always moving. She used to run with her dad when she was a teen and he was in his thirties.

>>Lorraine Ladish (05:02)

Her dad is now 81, and is still mobile. He continues to be mentally active, and still writing. A huge physical part about it is being mobile and being able to enjoy life. She works out everyday, and has since a young age. Initially she did it for mental health reasons, mainly because she feels she was born with a chemical imbalance and has dealt with anxiety and depression most  of her life along with an eating disorder when she was younger. Medication helped to an extent, but staying active she felt so much better and more powerful. Like she could deal with anything life brought her way, and it helped her overcome a number of obstacles in life.

>>Lorraine Ladish (06:01)

At this age, she’s very grateful that she can prevent something as simple as a fall. When she trips and stumbles, she’s able to recover. For someone that doesn’t have balance, or reflexes to do that because they aren’t used to moving, they could have fallen. Also, there’s the aspect of prevention. Women, she would have all the risks to have osteopenia or osteoporosis at 56 and she has neither. She’s thin, and has small bones, She had an eating disorder and is post-menopausal, yet her bone density is great. Aside from perhaps good genes, it also has to do with the fact that she does weight bearing exercises every day, and she does them outdoors which is a good source of vitamin D. It’s not just about exercising, it’s about enjoying life without feeling limited.

>>Devin Peterson (07:20)

It’s not just about looking good, but also being able to accomplish everything you want. Lorraine mentioned family, prevention, and mobility. None of those would happen without physical health. Devin asks about something she said in her blog. That the fifties are not the new thirties, that your fifties are your fifties. With physical health, he asks what she means by that?

>>Lorraine Ladish (08:07)

She says of course there are changes that happen with age. Menopause, or if she wanted to have another baby at 56, that would be ludicrous. If she was 30, she could have another baby. What she doesn’t agree with is when people say that statistically  she’s more likely to die in 20 years than she was at 20. Of course there’s wear and tear on a body. Her body at 56 is not what it was at 20, if she busted it in any way like many have, the recovery is shorter. When you do that when you’re older, recovery isn’t as fast in many ways.

>>Lorraine Ladish (09:00)

Not even abusing it in a bad way, but a run, and getting injured in a half marathon at 48 years old. She had to give up running for a while. You have to be aware, and try actively not to do something to put yourself in danger just to show what you can do at age 56. So, she tries to take care of herself, but is also more aware of her, if I fall, I can get hurt. She warms up more than she used to.

>>Lorraine Ladish (10:03)

Wisdom is possibly one of the best things about being older. Which is acquired usually through trial and error and making mistakes. She has thrown her back out and a number of other things, so she knows to be careful when twisting and avoids crazy yoga poses because she knows she may throw her back out.

>>Lorraine Ladish (10:59)

Working out and being active has become so in tune with it. She has come to this moment where she is like, what do I want to do today? Not what I have to do. Sometimes it’s a run, sometimes it’s yoga. It’s like when you’re going to eat normally, you’re like, what am I going to eat? You don’t say, should I eat?

>>Lorraine Ladish (11:56)

When you get used to exercising, you do it because you know your body needs it. She took an addictive personality that she knew she had, and focuses it into work producing content, writing books, or creating content online and sports

>>Devin Peterson (12:53)

Devin asks what advice she would have for someone who doesn’t like working out?

>>Lorraine Ladish (13:35)

Her husband dislikes working out unlike her, he knew from watching his father lose mobility due to not being active from a certain age, he didn’t want that to happen to him. He went to the gym, and now that they aren’t doing that he works out in the backyard, it may only be 5-15 minutes, but it’s still something. If you don’t enjoy exercising, find something you enjoy that gets your body moving. Garden, walk, play pickleball. Go line dancing. It doesn’t have to be boring and structured, it can be something you enjoy.

>>Devin Peterson (15:07)

Devin reaffirms, that her advice is if you don’t like exercising to find something that lights you up, and that you can enjoy.

>>Lorraine Ladish (15:15)

Maybe it’ll take a long time. Maybe you have to try 50 different things.

>>Devin Peterson (15:20)

A lot of people just try the regular gym and lifting weights and decide they don’t like it at all. But there are a lot of other ways to look outside of the box to be active, but even then you might not totally love it until you really get into it. Finding something you love and can get into that habitual space is important.

>>Lorraine Ladish (16:14)

She doesn’t think anybody really likes taking medication. The effort, and energy, and time and money you put into being active, exercising and taking care of your body in turn is money you won’t have to spend on medication for high blood pressure, less trips to the doctor overall.

>>Lorraine Ladish (17:01)

Exercise is a huge stress reliever and a saver of hearts. 5 or 6 years ago her dad had to have a quadruple bypass coronary bypass. He wouldn’t have survived that if he hadn’t been in good shape, and his doctor told him that. It was Atherosclerosis, it wasn’t a heart attack. There are things you can control with aging and illness, and there are things you can’t.

>>Lorraine Ladish (18:00)

If we take care of ourselves and we get ill, we have higher chances of recovering and your immune system is stronger. So, the thing about enjoying or not enjoying exercise is that sometimes, we do that’s that we don’t enjoy. Nothing is always fun. Even though Lorraine loves her job, there’s still parts of it she doesn’t like. At a certain age you have to be wise enough to make the decision that not everything has to always be fun, just necessary.

>>Devin Peterson (19:18)

That’s not too brash or hard, it’s honest. People tend to default back to do things they enjoy, which is of course desirable. But there are some essentials, that even if you don’t enjoy working out, do it to take care of yourself. Put it on your calendar and get it done.

>>Lorraine Ladish (19:58)

Most people tend to not like a certain activity because it’s hard and painful at that moment. When she started running, she hated it, couldn’t breathe, everything hurt, and she wasn’t even 20 then. But when you learn proper techniques, you become more efficient and so does your body. You will enter a flow where you can do it and zone in.

>>Lorraine Ladish (20:52)

Exercise became more of a social thing, that connected her to other people. She really disliked and kind of abdominal work, core, and pushups. Now that she has trained long enough and smart enough, now that she is strong it’s easier and is more pleasurable. There’s always a learning curve, it seems like you’ll never be able to do it, but once you do it becomes second nature.

>>Devin Peterson (21:59)

Devin asks Lorraine to touch more on the mental health side, as he knows his audience moving into and through retirement is wanting to stay sharp mentally. Many people listening have a spouse or parents dealing with Dementia or Alzheimer’s or another cognitive impairment or memory loss. He asks if she has any insight on how to maintain some mental health too.

>>Lorraine Ladish (23:02)

A lot of articles recommend older people to do crossword puzzles or sudoku, you can also learn a language or social media. Lorraine taught herself how to touch type when she was in her thirties after a whole lifetime of looking at the keyboard. Maybe learn a new dancing event because you have to remember the steps. It’s a physical activity, sure, but it’s also mental because you have to remember steps, and coordination and move your body in different ways. Any problem solving, staying updated and communicating because it’s nice to stay in touch with the whole community.

>>Lorraine Ladish (24:11)

Lorraine does blogs on YouTube, which are video blogs. She did one on fear of aging, she thought she would get response from older people but it was younger ones that are afraid of getting older and not being relevant anymore. She tells them to go look at her instagram, and she feels more relevant than ever. She doesn’t live in the past, she believes so many people make that mistake of saying when they were 20 they did this and those were the great old days. No matter your age, you can make them great days. What can you do with your skills now? How can I make myself feel relevant to myself?

>>Devin Peterson (25:57)

Devin asks if she has any advice for those people that start to use it as an excuse, like their memory is not as good as it used to be, or I can’t do this, I’m not as sharp?

>>Devin Peterson (26:25)

Pull themselves up by their bootstraps and have the courage to attack a new skill.

>>Lorraine Ladish (26:31)

Having been there herself, men don’t usually know but menopause brings with it something that also happens in pregnancy which is mental fog. You lose this mental sharpness, the ability to focus and concentrate and just hammer out a blog post or even communicate eloquently. It was scary, and it’s a hormonal thing apparently.

>>Lorraine Ladish (27:25)

But the point is, she didn’t let up. She continued doing what worked for her, which was exercise and writing and things she enjoyed. Try not to get lost in the anxiety of it, anxiety can trigger more memory loss and creates just a not good attitude in general. Then fear takes over and you don’t want to go places in your car, or if you forget a word and then you panic. Just keep going.

>>Devin Peterson (28:42)

Devin reiterates that what you should really do is take courage and don’t give up. Take things like that as a signal to jump in and try and learn a new task instead of dwelling.

>>Devin Peterson (29:01)

There are a lot of things within our physical, emotional and mental health that we can control. We do need to give ourselves a little bit of grace for those things that are outside of our control. But it’s good to keep a sense of accountability which Lorraine has really enforced with this conversation. We can control more than we think, we can step into uncomfort and conquer more than we actually think.

>>Lorraine Ladish (29:58)

Always, but of courses there are things you can’t control at all either. But the purpose of what you can do to make yourself feel powerful. She is trying to do a handstand freestanding without the wall, it makes her feel powerful in other areas of her life.

>>Lorraine Ladish (30:57)

She knows she can’t control other people, but there are certain things that you can step back and be like well alright, if I can control this little thing that just depends on me, I can do anything. It can be anything. That feeling of being empowered. It’s life changing at any age.

>>Devin Peterson (31:42)

Devin asks Lorraine what he asks a lot of his guests. A bit of a personal question, what makes you feel alive? I’m sure there’s a lot of things, but what is the one thing that makes you feel alive and makes you feel most relevant with those around you?

>>Lorraine Ladish (32:17)

Sharing with other people. Overcoming obstacles and sharing how I did it. That makes her feel relevant.

>>Devin Peterson (32:27)

Inspiring others by your own journey, and your experience. Is that what you’re saying? I don’t want to put words in your mouth but that’s what I heard?

>>Lorraine Ladish (32:36)

That was much more eloquent.

>>Devin Peterson (32:39)

Wonderful. Devin thanks Lorraine for joining him on the podcast. If any of the listeners want to hear more about her or read some stuff, he asks where they can find her?

>>Lorraine Ladish (32:52)

Lorraine Ladish, she’s the only person in the world with that name.

>>Devin Peterson (32:57)

Lorraine Ladish, and another place where he found her and has become very familiar with some of her work is Vivafifty.com or Viva Media. Devin thanks her again for joining him and wishes her well in all her endeavors.