Getting Back On Track With Fitness - une femme d'un certain âge

Weekend Update: Getting Back On Track

Eiffel Tower in Paris as seen from rue de l'Universite. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Well, this week sure felt like “the one that got away.” 😆 I started out with every intention to be productive and and tackle some longer posts and projects. But technical glitches and other distractions pulled me off track, and I’m still playing catch-up.

A Peek Behind The Blogging Curtain

First, thanks for your patience with the glitches. The blog was down for a while on Thursday. I couldn’t even get into my dashboard to trouble-shoot.

Fortunately, last year I signed up with a support team (chloédigital), that provides tech support, among other services. They were able to access my site on the back-end, clear the conflict, and get me back online. For those who aren’t bloggers, there are software add-ons called “plugins,” which do everything from managing comments (and flagging/deleting spam), to visual formatting, to interfacing with other entities that I rely on for statistics and information. Apparently one (or more) of these plugins ran into a conflict with other code/script that powers the blog, and poof! made the whole thing inaccessible.

Tech issues (especially being offline) are very stressful, but having someone I can contact for help (and know they’ll find and fix the issue) takes some of the panic out of it.

Getting Back On The Fitness Track

I’ve kept up with my weekly Pilates sessions, and continue to notice improved strength. I can hold a plank position for almost a minute now, and a wall squat for almost two. I’ve also noticed that my posture is much better, and my stomach (especially lower abdomen) is a little flatter.

But I haven’t done as well with maintaining a regular exercise routine outside of that. I used to rely on daily 30+ minute walks with the dogs to get regular movement. But as they’ve aged (and Byron’s had back problems) their walks are now down to 10 minutes per day. My efforts to get daily exercise have been sporadic at best. Part of the problem is that I’ve been resistant to setting a fixed schedule, but I think that’s what it’s going to take. So I’m blocking out 30-45 minutes every afternoon to either walk or engage in some other form of movement. My weekly Pilates session has become a habit, and I need to use the same strategy here.

Let’s Go For A Walk…

Travel Ahead…

St. Regis cafe on Ile St. Louis in Paris. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Just a little over 5 weeks until we travel to France and the UK! We’ll start off in Beaune in the Bourgogne region, then spend a few days in Paris, and finish up with a few days in London. It’s still too early to decide what I’m packing, as weather is anyone’s guess at this point. But I will be following my formula of 4 bottoms, 8-10 tops, plus outerwear and accessories.

If you’re planning a travel wardrobe, or looking for packing tips, do check out my

Travel Wardrobe posts by season and trip length. More at une femme d'un certain age.

It’s set up so that you can filter by season and trip length to find the most relevant content. And I’ve also highlighted some of my favorite travel clothing, shoes, and essentials; just scroll down.

Do you maintain a regular exercise schedule?

Bon weekend, and Happy Mothers’ Day to those who are celebrating!

Stay in touch.

Affiliate links in posts may generate commissions for See my complete disclosure policy here.


  1. Karen
    May 11, 2019 / 1:18 am

    I’m waiting for my flight home from Paris. It was quite rainy and cold (not as cold as Amsterdam though). I learned the difference between water resistant and waterproof on this trip! My Eileen Fisher jacket didn’t do the trick but luckily I had thrown in my waterproof Uniqlo jacket in the last minute. Thanks for recommending the Emme bag – it kept me very organized.

    • May 11, 2019 / 10:00 am

      One REALLY needs waterproof in Amsterdam. Idem Brussels and London. And can’t hurt in Paris.

  2. Mary
    May 11, 2019 / 4:35 am

    I’ll be watching to see what you’re taking to France since I’ll be there at about the same time. And as someone who tends to over pack and returns home with unworn clothes I hope to do a better job this time.

    As for exercise – I joined my local wellness center and take ‘Aqua Boot camp’ classes 3 to 5 times a week. I realized that it’s too easy for me to skip exercise unless I’m in a class with others and I’ve made such wonderful friends in the 5 years I’ve been going. In fact – I’m going to France with one of them.

    • Kathleen
      May 12, 2019 / 10:06 am

      Because of artificial hip, I need low impact exercise, so I do water aerobics 3-4 days a week. On other days I do an hour walk. I am fortunate to live in a Trilogy community with a beautiful lodge with indoor pool and lots of classes….and friends to exercise with. Also there are gorgeous trails and state parks nearby.

  3. Teresa Landers
    May 11, 2019 / 5:09 am

    A schedule is pretty essential for maintaining a fitness commitment. Otherwise “life” will certainly intervene. I’m a solo exerciser, but I don’t think that makes any difference. If you don’t schedule in exercise and make the commitment, it just won’t happen. I walk 2 hilly miles every morning. Do 25 min of core/floor exercises for my back (bonus cosmetic benefits!) and 40 minutes of strength and cardio 4 times a week. That sounds like a lot to some people, but I like to be outside for the walk and everything else is in front of my favorite tv shows, so it fits in fairly painlessly.

  4. Sandy
    May 11, 2019 / 5:12 am

    My morning routine is fairly fixed. One hour for prayer and Bible Study, then an hour for exercise (walking, yoga, weight lifting.) Once it becomes a habit, it is second nature and you don’t think about NOT doing it. Good luck establishing a routine.

  5. Melanie Hybart
    May 11, 2019 / 6:12 am

    London?? So happy to hear you are going to the UK. I’ve loved following along on all your Paris trips and look forward to seeing your London pics as well. Hoping to visit England next Spring.

  6. Margot
    May 11, 2019 / 6:20 am

    I think I am like you in that I am struggling to make it a habit. I have a weekly yoga class that I never miss but haven’t had much luck finding others with instructors I like at times that work into my schedule. Daily walking/biking aggravates my arthritic knee enough that the stairs become a struggle – and shouldn’t I be feeling better rather than worse? The intro to Pilates class is at the same time as my yoga class. I am still working at improving my exercise habit but it isn’t easy.

    • Eileen Miller
      May 12, 2019 / 2:25 pm

      Try water aerobics or just plain swimming if you prefer that. Water exercise is great for arthritic people.

      • Brenda
        May 13, 2019 / 2:58 pm

        Please don’t call people “arthritic people” – i know you mean well and it’s thoughtless. People are not a disease they may have – after all, we wouldn’t say “cancer people”. Perhaps a small thing, yet the language we use is important. and

  7. May 11, 2019 / 6:21 am

    I swim four or five times a week (always outdoors, at least twice a week in open water) and take a mixed Pilates/barre class three days a week. My challenge has been to work in more weight-bearing exercise: My mother had severe osteoporosis, and that memory is a negative incentive. Earlier this year I sprang for a Garmin Vivosmart fitness tracker, which counts steps and even translates my pool laps into “steps.” I’m just nerdy enough, and goal oriented enough, that the gadget does the trick. It nudges me with a vibration when I’ve been sitting for an hour, and if I haven’t achieved 10,000 steps and 10 flights of stairs by mid-afternoon I go for a walk. (I live a couple of blocks from a lake, and there are always lots of people walking around it.) Unlike some fitness trackers, this device is slim and unobtrusive, and the silicone band is comfortable (and ideal for smaller wrists).

    • Ainsivalavie
      May 11, 2019 / 7:58 am

      Yes, I have one too( Vivosmart 4) and I love it! It is more of a wellness band than a fitness band ( though it works well in that category) as it records sleep time, stress levels and sleep pulse O2 levels with a graph. Although not diagnostic, this can be a good tool to share with your doc if you think you might have sleep apnea. Love that it comes in silver, pink or yellow gold trim options and the silicone band is smaller wrist friendly. Only downside is the recharge battery but it lasts quite a few days and charges very quickly. I have always preferred Garmin to FitBit. I wore the last one til it died:(
      My job is all about the walking and 10,000 steps is pretty normal but upper body strength is very important. Lifting heavier is key, you won’t turn into the Hulk. At any rate lifting weights less than 10-15 lbs is not going to help much. If you have mobility issues or feel heavier weights aren’t an option try using bands. They travel well and there are many YouTube videos/DVD’s devoted to training with them. In my practice I see soooo many older (50+) ladies with osteopenia/osteoporosis or just generally weak women. BUT I also see 95 year old marvels who walk every day a good distance, eat well and are cognitively sound. Exercise isn’t just to maintain your figure it helps the brain as well.

  8. May 11, 2019 / 6:27 am

    I agree that scheduling exercise into my day makes all the difference. It’s all too easy to allow other stuff to fill up the day. In the heat, that means getting my walk in before it gets too sticky. My barre classes are scheduled and we need to sign up in advance, with cancellation less than 2 hrs ahead subject to a fee, which helps us to stay committed! I am currently on hiatus from my barre class due to shoulder surgery and I sure miss it.

  9. kate
    May 11, 2019 / 7:10 am

    My suitcase is packed for Paris, just watching the weather now to see if some things need substitution. As we will be there a month and then go on to Scotland there are a few challenges…mostly the Scottish weather! And the need for something decent to wear to a garden party…not usually part of my packing process. Always a raincoat though. I am taking more shoes/sandals than usual (3 pairs) and wearing booties on the plane so there is less room for clothes this time but we will have a washer and dryer and “repeats” are also okay by me.

  10. Carol Montanti
    May 11, 2019 / 7:11 am

    It is interesting how weather can be so different. I came home a week ago from 2 weeks in Paris, where my first week was sunny and between 25 and 27 degrees, which is basically summer weather for Paris!! It was a sudden surge in warmth so I ended up doing some shopping for lighter-weight pants and a couple of cooler tops!! And only used my umbrella once! And ran out of bandaids too! Now that I am home I have to wonder how I can possibly keep up with my “croissant-cafe creme motivated” daily walking of several kilometres a day!!

  11. kate
    May 11, 2019 / 7:15 am

    Oh…exercise! Pilates once a week has been great plus stretch bands, floor exercises and weights at home twice a week and some walking but not very “dedicated” walking. To keep on track I print out a monthly calendar and tick off the home exercises which somehow makes me more accountable.

  12. Penelope
    May 11, 2019 / 8:05 am

    Two tips from a long ago trip to The Golden Door, put your exercise clothes out in the evening and put them on first thing in the morning. Also go through your calendar and schedule in your daily exercise appointmenspts ( with self or others) in advance.
    I am headed to Paris and London plus a British garden tour on Monday! All packed ( serious rain gear included) and excited.

    • Elisabeth Mestlin
      May 11, 2019 / 9:10 am

      I am very lucky,I started exercising very early in the morning bevor work .now I am retired and take exercise as my work . 5 am for 2 hours 5 days a week .i walk,I ‍♀️ ,i do far it’s working .almost 70 and no pills .yay .

  13. Elizabeth
    May 11, 2019 / 8:13 am

    It took a hydration attack to make me realize that I needed to add some sort of exercise program in my life..detrimental really..I now do aqua fitness twice a week for each one which is rather time consuming but it works for me..I have had to make it a priority daily in order to participate with a group and of course having an understanding hubby really helps…amazing how many pairs of yoga pants and sneakers and bathing suits get added to the wardrobe…fun though…

    • Elizabeth
      May 11, 2019 / 8:17 am

      That should read heart attack…darn autocorrect…

  14. Sara
    May 11, 2019 / 8:20 am

    This blog really spoke to me, Susan!
    I started Pilates when I retired last year and really benefit from and enjoy it. I always mean to do more than one class per week but somehow ……. life does get in the way. I think your followers here who stress the importance of factoring it into to regular slots have it nailed. Unfortunately, I have yet to turn my good intentions into actions. I am working on it.
    I’m sure that part of the problem is a subconscious resistance to having too set a routine, following over 40 years of full time work; my career involved very flexible daily activities, depending on the needs of the day in children’s mental health, but I did have to go to work every day and, despite work being immensely fulfilling, I am relishing the freedom of retirement. I do take the point that if I do not keep fit, I will curtail that freedom but to date, free time is winning out over common sense! Wisdom will come…..
    Meanwhile, enjoy Paris, my all time favourite city. As an inhabitant of a different part of England, I urge you to try some out of London trips another time; we have a beautiful (if small) country and I’m sure lots of your followers will inundate you with suggestions, wanted or otherwise!

  15. Rebecca Ford
    May 11, 2019 / 8:36 am

    I agree with committing to a regular schedule for exercising is best, but I have another tip. I listen to books on my phone. Being in the middle of a great “listen” always gets me out the door. I reserve at the library or use Audible..

  16. Lisa
    May 11, 2019 / 8:39 am

    I am 64 and recently fully retired. I feel so much more vitality when I exercise regularly, that has been motivation for me to keep at it. Over the last three years I have worked at creating an active lifestyle and have built in habits that help — such as taking the stairs instead of elevator for anything less that 5 or 6 floors (although I have recently retired from my 4th floor part time work, so there are fewer opportunities for this one!). There are also a few errands I can walk to in my neighbourhood. Walking is also motivated by conversations with hubby, or by listening to a good book while I walk. And travel always includes LOTS of walking and sometimes biking.
    The local recreation centre is close by, and I try to get in an hour to hour and a half at least 5 days a week, with elliptical and walking uphill on a treadmill at the centre and then use of weight machines and free weights aiming for twice a week, or more. Stretching and planks afterwards. Got started with a personal trainer so I could learn proper form, and now get occasional coaching by kinesiology-studying-daughter. Yoga when I can!

  17. Jan Whichard
    May 11, 2019 / 8:42 am

    I work with a trainer twice a week and have for 25 years. Dex scans show no osteoporosis and I’m over 65 now. I’m responsible for cardio and am not doing a great job at the moment. But what I want to say is core…core…core. As we age, our balance can go if our core muscles aren’t strong and that is the leading cause of falls which often begin a cascade to very bad outcomes. Balance is key.

  18. Lily
    May 11, 2019 / 9:46 am

    I use my exercise bike three times a day. I ride it in front of a TV, so great distraction. Great for the legs and glutes. I wish I had access to a Pilates class because I really need to strengthen my core, oh let’s be honest, flatten my stomach. My diet is terrible. Sweets are my favorite food group, so there’s that.

  19. Kristina
    May 11, 2019 / 9:47 am

    Also headed to France and UK this summer. I have read and re-read your travel wardrobe posts and love their new organization! I, too, have an aging dog so I have had to make daily walks more of a personal commitment. I also love golf and now work with a trainer to strengthen my game – but it’s still all about balance, flexibility and strength. I also walk my golf game when I can. (Love my Garmin too!)

  20. Min
    May 11, 2019 / 10:24 am

    I am 68 and have osteoporosis. I started rowing a couple of times a week indoors. The instructor keeps it interesting. Rowing is supposed to be an excellent low impact workout for osteoporosis, it provides upper and lower body workout and burns calories too.

  21. May 11, 2019 / 10:28 am

    My problem this spring was our far worse than usual winter. I usually walk for at least an hour when I can’t cycle, and confessed I curtailed that somewhat out of a fear of falling. Sure, I did some stretches and danced with small weights, but that is not enough, and it was hard to get to the Y or another fitness or community centre with all the ice on the streets and sidewalks.

    Now I have my bicycle out and am cycling everywhere, for exercise as well as errands, meeting clients and friends, but that doesn’t solve the winter problem. Fortunately it is not usually so icy.

  22. Elizabeth G.
    May 11, 2019 / 11:29 am

    I rebound 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening on a Bellicon mini trampoline. For me it’s the perfect exercise and other exercise I get done during the day is “frosting” on the cake. Rebounding exercises every cell in your body-even your eyes. It is weight bearing so it strengthens your bones. It strengthens your “core” and tones every muscle in your body. Because it has bungees instead of springs I can use it in front of the TV or computer as it is virtually silent. I use it inside with hand weights, but you can move it outside on a beautiful day. I sometimes exercise in my PJs! Did I mention that it’s fun?!?!

  23. May 11, 2019 / 12:27 pm

    Well, I just started walking in the hills every morning. I walk for about 40-45 minutes. It’s a beginning. I find that doing it first thing in the morning gets it our of the way before I collapse in the afternoon. I need to start back with Pilates and planks. Love your travel resources. It’s so helpful. Great idea.

  24. May 11, 2019 / 1:06 pm

    I highly recommend an exercise program that you can stick with. We go to a Wellness Center 3 times a week. I do 30 minutes of cardio, 45 minutes of strength training for upper and lower body, and 45 minutes of therapy-type stretches including planks and bridges. I have chronic back pain and exercise and stretching are essential. I am in my mid 70’s and have actually gotten much stronger thanks to a regular exercise, plus we enjoy our friends and visiting while there. If you can get yourself into a routine it sure makes it easier. Good luck and thanks again for all the work that went into your travel planning guides and tips.

  25. Kathryn
    May 11, 2019 / 5:13 pm

    Can anyone reccommend a utube address for yoga or inner core exercises for those days when it is too cold or wet to walk?

  26. Debra
    May 11, 2019 / 7:05 pm

    Oh gosh, we were in Beaune last year and loved it. I’m looking forward to seeing it again through your posts, and also looking forward to seeing another travel wardrobe. Mid-summer in France is the time I have the hardest time packing for (because, no shorts).

    I too have a doggie upon whom I depend for my daily exercise. Bob is 15, a maltipoo, and can still go 3+ miles a day. I’m dreading the day he slows down as one of us is going to be disappointed.

    Glad you are back up and running!

    • May 12, 2019 / 2:29 pm

      Bravo Bob! Many dogs age out of long walks long before that. Kiss him for me (I love critters)

  27. Sheila-Merle Johnson
    May 11, 2019 / 8:59 pm

    Thanks for your recommendation for the Vionic pewter and black shoes. They are so comfortable and chic!

    • Susan B
      May 12, 2019 / 1:34 pm

      You’re very welcome! I’ve been wearing mine frequently.

  28. Nancy
    May 11, 2019 / 11:18 pm

    Good morning, ladies, from cold rainy Rome. My husband began abdominal, stretching and strength exercise a few years ago so as to ba able to meet death (many years away we hope) standing. Seeing him do this 6 days a week encouraged me to do the old Strong Women Stay Young program. I should do much more but so far well into retirement, have only been semi- consistent with ballet. It is becoming more popular for older women, and some men, believe it or not, and is most valuable for balance and posture, plenty of introclasses inour area, Northern California, and wish we had Britain’s Royal Ballet Silver Swan program.

  29. No Fear of Fashion
    May 11, 2019 / 11:28 pm

    I even employ a woman (over 50) who is my IT helpdesk and who monitors my blog for tech issues every month. So nice. I know the panic.
    As for travelling and packing, I am not as good as you are in this area, but getting better. Shoes are the biggest “problem”.

    • May 12, 2019 / 2:38 pm

      If you are travelling by car or by rail, it isn’t such a challenging problem. The problem is flights across the pond (Susan has a whole continent to cross as well) or from one end to the other of one (Argentine friend who returns to Buenos Aires province yearly from Montréal – there are just a few very cold bits left above and below). I really hate flying, and not just because of environmental issues, but extreme discomfort, but I have friends I love dearly across the pond. This gets more important as we age and life becomes more visibly finite.

  30. May 12, 2019 / 4:32 am

    Pilates is miraculous. I have abs of steel (under a layer of post-menopausal fat, or, as I call it, insulation) to an extent I never achieved despite decades of daily situps and crunches. Back problems are mostly gone. I do the whole exhale-and-tighten routine before picking up anything heavy, which has prevented injury. Love it. I go to a class once a week and also do a weekly session with a couple of friends, just us. We correct each other and really chain the movements together quickly. Great workout. Glad you found the same.
    BTW, if you want a great Paris experience, try the hammam at les Bains du Marais. A friend recently went and loved it. For that, pack a swimsuit.

  31. Annie
    May 13, 2019 / 6:22 am

    It has taken me a lifetime but I now, at last, have exercise sorted. I make it a priority to walk every day – unless weather is too awful and a bit dangerous (ice) or if I am travelling or if I am unwell. Minimum an hour. I love this because my brain can just go into a different mode – all my best thinking is done as I walk. Plus I do crunches and wall press ups almost every day. About 50. I’ve been doing this for 18 months and the difference is amazing. No gym, no youtube vids, no studios – just lie on the floor and listen to the radio. Either as I get up and dressed or in the evening. For years I would start but soon fizzle out, feeling deflated and as though it wasn’t worth it but now it works. Wish I hadn’t wasted time in negativity. I will never have a six-pack but that is absolutely fine. Hopefully I will never have stress incontinence either.

  32. Maggie Vita
    July 15, 2019 / 2:21 pm

    I just signed up for a water aerobics class for adults through my local parks & recreation and begin twice weekly back-to-back shallow and deep water programs tomorrow! So excited because it’s hot here in the Los Angeles area and I’m thrilled to be able to exercise in the water (although not so thrilled about donning a swimsuit given the extra pounds I’m carrying at the moment.) I also do a great at-home, low impact program – Leslie Sansone’s Walk At Home. I do 2-3 mile programs 5-6 times/week. The time goes by quickly when you’re following along on your laptop or TV (you can stream the videos.) I subscribe to get full access to all videos but there are some on Youtube, too. Some of the videos incorporate light weights or resistance bands in addition to low impact walking. I also kick it up a notch by using a fitness step to make the walking portions more challenging when I want them to be. It really works up a sweat and gets your heart rate going without repetitive impact on your joints. I have lower back, hip, and knee issues but am able to do the Walk At Home program without pain.

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