Had another birthday recently – 72 now. I asked myself how did that happen! Well, it’s just something you cannot escape.  The years roll by and there you are – you’re over 70!

I do think turning 70 is crunch time.  Listen, when I reached my 60s I felt absolutely no different to being 40. It was OK. I still worked, I was up and at it at all times, I was, anyway, a young looking and quite healthy 60-year-old, what was there to worry about?  In my eyes, nothing.

The thing is, I have no major health worries, I am lucky, I get that others are not so, but slowly through my 60s the minor issues begin to pile up. And now, I tell you, it’s hard work being my age, but hard work pays. It’s good to maintain your health and well-being. So what I’m going to do, is highlight just one negative and then a load of positives about being in your 70s.

So, for me it was a psychological barrier reaching my 70s. And why? There’s no escaping the number. It kind of tells you that you’ve reached that age grouping. But you know what? Never ever, think the 70+ are one homogenous group of old people. We are all so different and that includes the pre-war generation and post-war. I do think there is a difference between those two groupings in attitude to life, clothes, entertainment, politics, IT, social media etc, etc.  But stop me right there, as here’s me lumping people together, because even in that pre-war generation there are huge differences. Any of you follow Jean Woods on IG?  She’s @jeanwoods7 and she was one of the four Fabulous Fashionistas (the documentary that went out on Channel 4 a few years ago) read all about her here. She’s my role model for when I reach my 80s as she’s a Doc Martens wearing 81-year-old who shops at Urban Outfitters. That’s the way to do it! See, you move from the negative to the positive!

So what about the positives?

I love my white hair, which is no longer trailing down my back. Yes, I bottled out of growing my hair long.

A couple of weeks ago I got it cut once and then again another inch. I’m going to leave it for 6-8 weeks to grow a bit, but won’t let it go long and lank again. You have to be so careful not to look unkempt – well, I do. I mean look at Jean Woods’ hair – it ain’t long, but it sure has style.

And, the cut has done away with my last inch of dyed hair, and I’m pleased with the colour. My mother was far more pepper than salt, but there seems to be a lot of white at the front, so all good. My message to any of you wondering about continuing to colour your hair, is, you’ll know when the time is right. But note, it’s taken me 18 months to get to my natural colour.

I love the fitness programme I’ve put myself into. But please, do not think I’m being ‘good’ working on this. For me it’s absolutely necessary as I was teetering  on the edge of becoming seriously weak and wobbly. Now, everything is geared towards building up stamina and strength. And it’s not a quick solution either. It’s several weeks since I’ve started exercising in a more systematic and focused way, but there have been many hiccups and breaks, nevertheless, I am getting into a rhythm of doing a small set (because you don’t overdo things) of exercises and weights every day.

Several of you have commented that before you get to 60 exercise is something you can choose to do, or not, but after 60 it should be compulsory. I so agree with that. But remember I took a long time to find the right class, which for me is Pilates.

And as for having a Personal Trainer (which I always said before I couldn’t afford, but look I decided I just had to have one) yes you need to find the right trainer (and note it took me over a year) but it has been worth every penny because everything that I’ve done or discussed with my trainer is tailored to my personal needs. And don’t forget I don’t want to lose weight, in fact I’ve put on 2lbs, and I think that’s muscle. Just go for it,  I’d say. Because why, as well as being essential, you feel better, that’s why.

But as for running – um, not doing that really, but I have my aims. No I didn’t do that race this year, but maybe next.

I’m still on week1 of Couch to 5K but I’m not over-thinking about that as even week1 is better than nothing. You run for 60 seconds and then walk briskly for 90 for 20 minutes – that’s more than I was doing. My great aim is to do Park Runs and I’d like to do these by the end of the year.  Let’s see if I can do it!

What I want to be doing is getting the bus to my local park on a Saturday for those runs, instead of waiting for the bus to see that ridiculous film, the latest Jurassic Park. But you know what – yes, that film was a load of nonsense but it was fun.  You got to have fun in your life, I think!

And there’re loads of things that are good about being over 70.

Above all, I love that attitude of mind you gain as you age, that really, it is of no consequence what others think. You wear what you want. For example, the above photo shows you one version of my Brighton look – I kind of threw those clothes on and those shoes are so comfortable. On other days I might dress up and be almost goth, then another, I’ll be chic and then another I’ll want to be edgy or even vintage.

Feel free people, it’s your life and your day and your look.

That’s all for now, with love

Penny, the frugalfashionshopper





Tagged on:                                     

42 thoughts on “A close look at health, wellbeing and just having fun – as the years roll by!

  • 15th June 2018 at 8:06 am

    Dear Penny – I love your pink shoes and your whole attitude to life. I will be 72 tomorrow and sometimes I wonder where have all those years gone. I agree with you that life is for living and enjoying and for giving too.
    Keep up the good work!

    • 16th June 2018 at 7:57 am

      Oh, wow! Happy Birthday to you! Enjoy the day and the rest of the year!

  • 15th June 2018 at 9:02 am

    Penny, I so agree about turning 70 feeling horribly significant – three score and ten, your allotted span… Now I am about to be 78. I still feel young at heart but realise I probably just look like a little old lady! On the whole I tend to wear what I feel like, but no bare arms, and preferably with the neck somewhat disguised… I too have a personal trainer and am trying hard to keep fit and make the most of what I’ve still got.

    • 16th June 2018 at 8:00 am

      Hello Marion, it’s so nice to hear from you and that you’re making the best of the years to come. My personal trainer package is a starter one, which is not quite finished, but I do feel it really was the best thing I’ve done in years – so useful and helpful. And, I’m standing straighter and have lost that ‘old lady’ curve to the upper back. So good! Thanks for commenting!

      • 17th June 2018 at 7:58 am

        Penny, any useful tips about losing the old lady curve? I do try ( both in the gym and Pilates) but not sure how successfully.

        • 19th June 2018 at 8:56 am

          Well, absolutely not an expert Marion, but identifying my core through Pilates and the standing up straight, pulling up the top of the head and sticking out (but not in an overly way) the breastbone has helped me a lot. I was catching sight of myself in shop windows looking very stooped and am not so now. A Personal Trainer should be able to advise. Let’s keep in touch with this as it’s a universal problem.

          • 19th June 2018 at 11:06 am

            When I was at school we had to sit with our arms folded behind our backs to help with our posture. You could try that ?

  • 15th June 2018 at 9:11 am

    Hi Penny – great article and I love reading your blogs. Persevere with the C25K as it does get easier. I have never previously run in my life (I am 69) but started the C25K a couple of months ago and am now on week 6 and loving it. The days I don’t run are torture and I can’t wait to get back out there.

    We are off to stay in Brighton for a few days tomorrow so hope to bump into you!


    • 17th June 2018 at 7:11 am

      Well, what I’ll do is when I start back on the programme is I’ll go straight to week 2 and go on from there. Thing is I keep having breaks (London and then Wales for a funeral when I can’t run) so that’s why I’ve got stuck – I do enjoy it though. So I will persevere!

      Enjoy Brighton!

  • 15th June 2018 at 9:15 am

    Hi Penny – I too love your attitude and your pink shoes! I was 72 last week – must have been lots of us 1946 Gemini babies. It is frightening how time seems to be speeding up so all the more important to make the most of it. I don’t have major health problems, do Pilates and walk a lot but, if I get over tired, it can take days (and lots of early nights) to fully recover now.

    I love how women of our age seem to generally have found their own style that they’re comfortable with; there seems to be much more variety in clothes and hair styles amongst our contemporaries than I remember there being in my mother’s generation. Oh, when I got married at 21, my mother said ‘I expect you’ll give up those jeans and get rid of the long hair’. Well, I eventually got rid of the long hair as I like my short white-blonde hair now, but jeans? Never!

    • 17th June 2018 at 7:25 am

      I’m like you in that if I do get over tired I’m absolutely wrecked. I try therefore to not do too many things on one day or, after a trip to London for example, which is so tiring, I do nothing the next day, and also understand that I’m coming down from an adrenaline rush which boosted my energy in the short term.

      Yes, in Brighton I definitely see that todays’ 70 year-olds are indeed wearing what they like. So different from our mothers’ generation who wore pale, beige colours and a very safe ‘nice’ style. But you do still see that worn by some. I’m hoping for good weather next Friday to wear something striking for Frida Kahlo!

      So glad you’re still wearing jeans – I remember my mother saying that in her time one would never wear trousers because the shape of them was almost indecent! I mean Katherine Hepburn….

    • 17th June 2018 at 7:27 am

      And happy birthday, fellow Gemini!

  • 15th June 2018 at 9:27 am

    Hi Penny, snap I’ve got those shoes in my favourite colour – pink. Don’t wear them on damp grass though as your feet will get wet due to the holes lol. I get my exercise from walking and gardening. Who needs to lift weights when you have watering cans to lug about?
    Can’t say I ever think about being over 70, Like you I am in good health, and I do take multivits to be on the safe side, but basically just get on with my life.
    Enjoy your blogs, keep them coming!

    • 17th June 2018 at 7:31 am

      Hi Sandy, yes, noticed the holes – they’re great shoes aren’t they. And so good you’re continuing to garden. I haven’t got one now which is why I need the weights. I don’t think about being 70 now unless I hear on the TV or radio some numpty lumping the 65+ in one great grouping for something or other! Thanks so much for the feedback – much appreciated x

  • 15th June 2018 at 10:23 am

    Hi Penny, Love your posts! And you are always so positive; so many “older” people seem to get into a grumbling mode which, apart from being ageing, is so depressing for everyone else. I’m 78 now (hard for me to believe) and quite a few of the old aches and pains do occur and prevent me from quite such an active life as before. Per ardua… ! I have just set up an exercise routine for myself which includes U3A classes – so unbelievably reasonable and fun – in Yoga and Pilates, with the possibility of moving elsewhere if it gets too repetitive, a Toning Tables studio monthly subscription, membership at the local pool, Slendertone belt dusted off and set in motion daily, and continuing the dog walking which I do now. I deliberately chose quite a lot of activities in case I felt I couldn’t manage one or other. Oh, and I do the old 5/2 diet, which suits me. I’m only just starting – time will tell whether I can persevere or not. Fingers crossed!

    • 17th June 2018 at 7:45 am

      Oh good for you, re: your exercise regime – so important as we age. I too ache and am not as nimble as I used to be. My Pilates class though is great and a very reasonable price as well, which is important. Then the exercises which are becoming routine.

      I know what you mean about the grumbling and there are times when I do feel the entire world is going to hell in handcart. So my solution is to say, well, why, is this happening, and how did that happen? And then I write about it in My Other Blog – link on side-bar (or at bottom if reading on a phone). And rather than march that’s my contribution. I’d like to do more of that kind of writing – but gosh, things keep getting in the way, like the running and exercising!!!!!

  • 15th June 2018 at 10:34 am

    Great attitude! I think the somewhat shorter cut looks so much better. and how good of you to get a personal trainer. The fact that you gained weight is great, it is all muscle! Wow!

    • 17th June 2018 at 7:49 am

      I’ve gone down a pound this week! That’s my kind of weight thing, I go up a pound, I go down a pound. But I am one up from my usual weight, so that has to be muscle, I think!

    • 17th June 2018 at 7:50 am

      Maybe see you at a Park Run, Anna! That’s my great aim. Might take some time but it’s something to work towards!

  • 15th June 2018 at 12:37 pm

    I love your attitude – I believe having a curious mind and being willing to try new things helps keep us youthful too and you are definitely role modelling those – going to Jurassic Park for example, not to mention the upheavals of moving house, going back to the gym and so on. Keep inspiring us Penny!

    • 17th June 2018 at 7:52 am

      Ah,thanks Gail! But I do get over-tired sometimes – then I say do nothing, woman, do nothing!!!!

  • 15th June 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Your hair looks great! you are an inspiration and I enjoy your views on life.
    The business of reaching the seventies is interesting.I too now feel some irritating aches and pains and I agree that postwar seventies seem to be so different from wartime born seventies .
    I have just had a short bob cut because I am tired of looking like grey hippy granny,but my head is still hippy inside!
    Keep going?

    • 17th June 2018 at 7:56 am

      Yes, inside, just like you, I’m a hippy!!! And I really tried to do those long, flowing locks. I so wanted to emulate those grey-haired models but the result was simply that my hair looked draggy and lank. Shorter, but not too short is better, as it looks thicker for a start.

      And reaching 70 is indeed interesting and far more significant than reaching 50 or 60. But hey, we’re the post-war baby boomers and we do it our way! Thanks so much for your comment – much appreciated 🙂

  • 15th June 2018 at 3:16 pm

    Hi Penny – your comments on not lumping people together on grounds of age are spot on. We would not think of doing so on grounds of sex or race. As we get older, we have some things in common it’s true but so much that varies. One thing that really gets my goat is all the rubbish that is spouted about so-called “baby boomers”. Not everyone born between 1946 and 1964 (yes it does span 18 years – scope for a baby-boomer toy boy!) owns a house or has a “gold-plated” pension. And few of us planned or wished for the way the world has gone. I’m fairly new to your blog so don’t know if you’ve tackled this subject but would love to hear your views and those of your other followers.

    • 17th June 2018 at 8:00 am

      We definitely don’t all have final salary pensions – sigh – we did not plan all that well for our old age! But we’re OK and I will write about expectations and that very awful thing that you see in the media occasionally, of pitting generations against each other – oh no, so wrong. Thanks so much for that, Jen

  • 15th June 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Like the shorter hair Penny and the pink shoes.
    I hated being 60 but now I’m more than halfway to 70 but don’t think about it much. Not happy with my rosacea either but have had grey/white hair for 15 years – started going grey in my 20’s

    I’d like a personal trainer but how do you find one?? I need someone who understands my severe osteoporosis as well.

    • 16th June 2018 at 7:54 am

      Thank you Lynda – love the shoes also! The thing about a personal trainer is that usually (and I might be wrong) but usually their image is that they’re mainly young and male. First of all, I’d say, don’t go to gyms for a personal trainer – you need to hunt for a trainer on the ‘net who is a woman and dare I say it, older. So how to find the best trainer? What is your nearest large town/city? Could you google for personal trainers in this city, or your local area, and then look at their website and see if they mention helping people with health issues. Later on I looked at my personal trainer’s website and saw that she specialised in issues around age and cancer. But I attended a class she taught and she went round the room putting you into the right position – that was the clue. I have been to so many classes where the class leader just does the exercises and you’re meant to copy what they’re doing – that is the absolute sure fire way to injury, which of course you want to avoid. You need to be corrected and put into a non-injury position. Because that class leader has asked about your health haven’t they? No? Continue with caution!

      Also YouTube might offer some specific exercises for your health. But take care with those – I know you will!

      And. And I really do think local Age UKs really ought to have a list of suitable personal trainers. And if they haven’t – personally I’d put some pressure on them to compile a list. Why? Because there is far too much emphasis on helping and servicing the frail and not much at all about prevention of frailty. So organisations like Age UK really should be on top of this aspect of older age. Tbh, it’s like a red rag to a bull to me, because every GP practice should also have a list of Personal Trainers to get people moving, exercising and enabling people to live longer in a more healthy way. I could go on……. But won’t!

      All very best with your search. Don’t be put off if it takes a long time.

    • 16th June 2018 at 8:10 am

      Actually Lynda, try your local council – seriously! They took over Public Health from the NHS (I did think that was bonkers) and they might even have some people called Health Trainers? Here’s a link to Brighton’s Public Health and Activities page

      Your local area Public Health department might have someone to help you find something???

  • 15th June 2018 at 9:32 pm

    I never felt that I should let age define me, although to be honest, sometimes it does…. I do have to do yoga regularly to stop the aches and pains. Which is fine. And I’m ok with wearing youthful clothes that a 30 year old would wear. I so agree with you Penny, though, physical upkeep seems to need more input with each year…..

    • 16th June 2018 at 8:03 am

      We think alike, as I never want age to define me, but I get tired more easily and I ache in places I never did before. Pilates and a set of exercises is really helping with this. Onwards and upwards!

  • 16th June 2018 at 9:04 am

    We are all OAPies, whether we like it or not!!!
    I have attended gym classes most of my life, and wherever I lived, one of the first things I did was to go in search of a gym class, one was even given in someone’s home, years back!
    So with that and my love of walking/hiking, I’m fairly fit.. it’s part of my life.
    I too noticed that during my 60’s I was able to enjoy everything without any aches or pains or illnesses, but once reaching 70, things have changed!!! Oh, yes!! As each year passes there’s at least one more thing to add to the list of complaints, but mostly getting tired more easily, and having to do less strenuous walks. We just have to slow down at some point, I suppose, accept the way we are now, and enjoy what we do, then, less is more.
    Btw, love your blog!!! Would love a pair of those trainers for the summer classes!!,

    • 17th June 2018 at 8:08 am

      The shoes are Nike and were fitted for me by a ‘running’ shop that looked at my gait – maybe it was all mumbo-jumbo but they are so comfortable and supportive for walking let alone running.

      I too get more tired than before – but I say to myself it’s OK to take a day to recover and do nothing much.

      Yes, the minor issues are racking up but the exercises really do help with the aches and pains, and like you, I’m making the part of my life. And I try to live in the moment, as fully as possible, and then I buy that frock now rather than later!!!! Or in my case, that hat, more about that in another blog!

  • 17th June 2018 at 6:23 pm

    I’ve just celebrated my sixty-fifth birthday and I think it’s wonderful that there are so many outstanding role models to inspire me. I did watch ‘Fabulous Fashionistas’ and I love Jean Woods unique style, especially the Doc Martens! I’ve always exercised and love walking. My hope is to stay mobile for as long as possible. It might be a cliché but I think quality of life is so important. When I discovered recently that I have very high cholesterol and now have to take statins, I was really shocked but I’ve come to the conclusion that there are far worse things that could happen.
    I love your hair and thank you for the suggestions for finding a personal trainer. I’m on the case!

    • 17th June 2018 at 6:49 pm

      Hi June. Re your comment on statins – I was told I had high cholesterol and should take statins. I said I’d try to bring it down with my diet which I did. I did lots of research first of course. I was on a low fat diet so I wasn’t getting enough of the good fats. So I increased my intake of rapeseed oil and ate more oats etc. It worked for me and is worth a try. The doctors are only too keen to put you on statins without looking first at your diet. Good luck.

      • 19th June 2018 at 10:07 am

        Hi Sandy and for taking the trouble to reply. My cholesterol was 8.7 and I was already on a diet which included porridge every morning and I have been using rapeseed oil for some time. I’m not overweight and exercise twice a week. It is looking as if it is genetically inherited in my case. I really didn’t want to take statins but the Dr felt as my cholesterol was so high it was the best solution. I’m due for my first check up so we’ll see. Assuming the cholesterol reduces I’ll argue for stopping them and being even stricter on my diet. Watch this space!

        • 19th June 2018 at 11:32 am

          Hi June. If it is hereditary then that is a bit different. But if you have managed to lower it, do some more research on what is good to eat (sorry if you have already done this). I tend to put a handful of oats in mince dishes and casseroles and of course on top of crumbles! And I eat more nuts now than I used to, so it all helps.
          Good luck, and I shall definitely be watching this space

          • 30th June 2018 at 8:05 pm

            Hi June. Just seen a tip you might like. Ground up oats to make a flour. Then substitute half your white flour with this in any recipe. More fibre and dead easy. Can’t wait to try it!

  • 18th June 2018 at 10:44 am

    Happy belated birthday greetings.

    Well done, Penny, on your exercise regime and I hope you achieve your ‘Park Run’ goal. I’m sure you will. You have a very positive attitude to ageing which is so refreshing; I hope I’m the same when I’m in my 70s!

    I remember watching that documentary and it was so inspiring to me. From that programme I discovered ‘Advanced Style’ and ‘Pinterest’ which led me to other blogs and blogging and I haven’t looked back since…

  • 20th June 2018 at 10:50 am

    Happy Belated Birthday Penny. Glad to hear you are enjoying your exercise programme and can feel the benefits. I do like your hair a bit shorter too. I see those ladies with that luxurious long grey hair and am a bit envious knowing mine would be lank and stringy and a brillo pad grey . I also admire Jean Woods for both her style and love of life and her running ability.Totally agree about wearing whatever you like and ringing the changes as you see fit. I will turn 65 later this year and plan to enjoy dressing in whatever pleases me . I see dressing as my self expression and it makes me happy. Regards, Jill.

  • 20th June 2018 at 9:24 pm

    The years from 50 to 60 went by in a blink. I have a feeling that these sixties are going to fly even faster. I think I’m ok for my age because I just keep on doing what I’ve been doing without thinking about it in relation to age. When you stop and wonder ‘should I slow down’ or ‘should I be doing this/wearing this at my age’, I reckon you’re lost.

Comments are closed.