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Have no fear of perfection; you'll never reach it.

— Marie Curie, chemist who was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize
In the newsletter this week, we’ve got golden-years fitness inspo, and some tips on introducing ritual into your life. Read on... 

Joan MacDonald is like a lot of fitness influencers: she posts cute Instagram pics of herself in swimsuits, is sponsored by a fitness gear brand, and has a YouTube channel. Did we mention she’s 73 years old?

Training shoulders with one of her favorite exercises: seated lateral raises

Three years ago, at age 70, Joan was suffering from high blood pressure, acid reflux, and arthritis. Luckily, her daughter Michelle—a personal trainer—urged her to change her lifestyle. Joan bought a gym membership and a food scale; she started lifting weights and eating right. As a result, she lost 60 pounds and, even better, was able to get off her medication.

In an interview discussing her late-in-life body recomposition, Joan told Women’s Best: “I feel very humbled that others would feel inspired by what I’ve accomplished… I never thought that my life would bloom to this degree and I only hope to be able to help many men and women accomplish their goals of a healthier life. Our lives don’t need to end when we reach out to middle years.”

Wishing you a long lifetime of wellness, Katherine & Linda
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Keaira Lashae
As a professional dancer and choreographer, Keaira LaShae toured with stars, and choreographed for Nicki Minaj and Usher, as well as for TV shows like America’s Best Dance Crew and So You Think You Can Dance? A career transition to fitness and a personal trainer certification prompted her to post her dance workouts on YouTube, and she’s now closing in on a million followers.

Some of Lashae’s most-popular videos are her twerk tutorials, which require both lower-back flexibility and stamina—twerking is tougher than it looks!

LaShae’s bubbly, encouraging personality keeps her workouts entertaining. In an interview with Black Enterprise, Lashae explained: “My workouts are way more fun than the average boring at-home workouts. Regular workouts always seem like a chore and my workouts have fun, edgy moves with great music so it doesn’t even feel like you’re working out! You realize it only after the workout because your muscles are feeling it and you’re dripping with sweat. Plus, you can take my moves to the dance floor!”

Try this: Lashae’s 18-minute Dancing Ab Twerkout is a great introduction to her fun dance-based cardio style. For a full-length routine check out her 30-minute Hip Hop Tabata to Torch Calories, which takes you through explosive cardio rounds of  20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest.
Creating rituals to give life more meaning
When a regular action is imbued with purpose and ceremony, it becomes a ritual. While the concept of “ritual” may bring to mind incense or prayer, tudies have found that even in modern settings, rituals can make people feel more centered and in control.

Tonya Papanikolov, author of the blog The Well Woman, offers three questions for creating a ritual:
  • What is my intention for creating this new set of habits?
  • How do I want these rituals to serve me?
  • What feelings or experiences do I wish to gain? What is the action required of me to feel this way consistently?
How could you apply the concept of ritual to your own life? For example, Leo Babauta of Zen Habits suggests that even for something as mundane as taking a shower or eating lunch, you can turn it into a ritual by focusing on being fully present, approaching the activity with appreciation, and closing in gratitude. “The ritual of taking a shower, then, becomes an act of appreciating the body you have, taking care of it, and fully loving it. It’s an act of devotion.”
 Take a fresh-air lunch break! A list of the best fitness walking apps to help you get daily low-impact cardio (VeryWellFit)

 We’ve known for awhile strength training is essential for longevity, and new research shows total muscle strength matters just as much, maybe more, than total muscle mass. (Outside Online)

 How you can track your sleep—and manipulate temperature, light, and sound—for better rest (Humanos)

 An authentic-tasting yet low-carb version of Indian favourite chicken tikka masala—serve with your favourite roasted vegetable as a side (Cassidy’s Craveable Creations)

 If you want to build muscle, you can’t eat at a caloric deficit; here’s how to eat more nutrient- and calorie-dense food to help your body make strength adaptations (Shape)
Thanks for reading, Fit Girls! We’ll return to your inbox next week with more inspiration and knowledge. Got a tip for us or opinion to share? Email us—we love your feedback. Enjoyed this issue? Please forward to a friend—your referrals help us grow!
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