Working Out: Age Has Nothing to Do with It

Drumroll, please!  I have now been working out for six years, and I have personally discovered that age has nothing to do with working out or not. The ladies above are my friends from our gym.  We have been working out together for a long time and it is their encouragement that has kept me coming back even through two injuries.  But, you are looking at women who have also persevered through injuries, and some who have discovered such a true love for exercise that they join in competitions of all type.  One of these ladies just joined me in our 60s, otherwise, I am the oldest in the group.

I started just days before my 60th birthday, and right after a diagnosis of Osteoporosis.  When I began, I could not even push up from the floor.  I was a mess.  But, six years later, I have reversed the Osteoporosis and remained clear of any medications for it.  Strength training is incredible as to how great you feel and how much more you can do.  The news has been filled lately with women over 70, even over 100 doing amazing things because they workout.  Winning medals running at 102, or deadlifting 200 pounds while over 70.  I could actually see myself doing the latter someday once my shoulder has completely healed.  My shoulder injury was my cat’s fault and not incurred at the gym!

So, what has seen me through the past six years?

  1. My sense of humor…I try to bring a laugh or two to our strength training classes.  Helps me to keep going!  I just do not take myself too seriously.
  2. Modifications…our trainers have always been willing to give me a modification if something is too tough to handle.  You know I have hammer toes and they make balance exercises a challenge, so I am given modifications.  In fact, I have many modifications!  My life is a modification.
  3. I do not compare myself to the ladies above or to the ones younger or the ones working to compete.  I do my own pace and do what I can.  It is amazing the results you see from just a little work.  No matter what you do, just do something.  I gently push myself one day and then gently push the next.  The low impact strength training has a huge yield.
  4. I take occasional rest days.  I can tell when my body wants to rest and I adhere to it.  Many injuries occur from pushing too hard too fast.
  5. I listen to the trainer and follow what they say.  Doing my own thing can lead to injuries.  Your form is very important.  The woman who does that 200 pound deadlift needs to know what body parts she is lifting with and the right way, or it is a back injury or knee injury ready to happen.  I was injured early after beginning on the treadmill, because I did not listen to the trainer.  It was a hip injury which affected my knee.  But all is well now and I am a good girl when given instructions.  He also told me to stop watching what video and TV trainers were having people do.
  6. I rejoice in the results.  I do not have anyone carry out my groceries…I do it.  I use the muscles I have worked to build during the rest of the day.

I want to thank my gym peeps for the past six years.  Thank you so much for your encouragement and support.  I do not think I would still be going without all of you! I look forward to seeing you at 5AM every morning during the week.  You are an inspiration.

One of the ladies who was in the news recently for her running success did not begin until she was 100.  No matter your age, if you have not started doing something, begin now.  How will you get off the ground if you fall down?    Will you need help to get out of a chair?  You will be so glad when you finally start and you just might make incredible new friends like I have.  At least, we are all still hanging around (that’s a pun, look at the picture)

There are plenty of things to help you get started at all price points…spend some time with these retail outlets below!

KEEP SMILING!!

 

14 Comments

  1. Congratulations on your success and perseverance! I’ve found that regular exercise should be considered a lifestyle, and not a means to an end. Having recently returned after an injury, six months back on July 2, it’s become something I just do, like cleaning the house or grocery shopping. It’s part of life. There are days I don’t feel like it, but when that happens I just get dressed and show up, and push through. You always feel so good having accomplished your workouts. I’ll be honest, I don’t love it or live for it, but I do know that it is necessary and beneficial as I get older. So on we go…

    1. I hear you, Karen. I don’t love it or live for it… but know I must. The alternatives are scary!

    1. My body is trained now to get up at 4! I cannot sleep much later even when I stay up later…I also have the cat trained that I will feed her at that time. She will start to whine if I don’t set an alarm. But I prefer a morning workout. I am not going to do it in the evening after work. Too tired!

  2. Congratulations, I too started strength training just before my 60th birthday. I joined a climbing gym for the yoga classes because it was less expensive than the yoga center. My 29 year old daughter was a climbing instructor there. She is a PT during the day to pay off student loans and a climber because she is passionate about conquering project and solving the puzzle of the route. Two years later: I am teach climbing to children. You don’t get bored with exercise when your trying not to fall off a wall. Not only to I get a great workout but I meet people of all ages who are positive and welcoming. Climbing is a very social sport. Check your area for an indoor climbing gym. It definitely gives me social credibility with the middle school students I teach during the school year.

      1. My fitness journey is remarkably similar to yours. I was in terrible shape and always feared falling on the ice in winter. Fear of falling is actually a risk factor for falls. My husband had a heart attack seven years ago, so at 56, I joined him at the gym to support his health. In doing so, I got my own health back. I well remember the amazing feeling I had when I could balance on one foot while lifting the other to trace 12, 3 and 6:00, and to pedal the exercise bike a whole half hour. These days, I swim a mile 5 days a week (in summer), and do cardio on an arc trainer and do a weight circuit in the winter. I take a yoga class once a week, and try to fit in another yoga session somewhere. Best is that I no longer fear falling. Some things to add to your wonderful post: try to find a gym that offers free classes, so you don’t get bored, and schedule your workouts into your calendar, just as you would a doctors’ appointment. Also consider yoga: it will make you stronger and the balance work is phenomenal. It’s also great for stress relief. Pam, this is such an important post, and it is never, ever too late. At the right gym, there is no need to fear judgment; I find most other gym goers are very supportive. Planet Fitness, if you have one in your area, is just $10 a month and they are officially a “no judgment” zone.

        1. Thanks for sharing Linda! You are amazing. My YMCA is a no judgement gym.. we love everyone!

  3. Thank you, Pamela, being in my 80’s, I have just become aware of more quickly diminishing strength & mobility levels. After having lived in a home with multiple levels for 45 years, I moved to a one level home six years ago. Now, I realize all those stairs helped keep me strong.

    Your post today reminds me how important it is to KEEP moving, lifting, stretching…thank you!

  4. This is such an awesome post. As I’ve mentioned to you previously (and I hope you don’t mind if I repeat it) you’ve been so inspirational for me signing up at my local fitness center. I’ve been going since last September and have met the most amazing women — all of whom are in my age group or older.

    I feel better and really look forward to those workout sessions. We have so much fun and encourage each other every time.

    Staying fit is so important as we age. I don’t think it matters what we do, as long as we keep moving and acknowledge that activity is part of balanced life at every age!!

  5. Awesome post, Pam! You’ve inspired me to resume my gym classes, but I can’t do it until after we’ve relocated. Five days left to finish packing and get out! When I’m working out, I look better, feel better, and am more optimistic. Why I let myself fall away from exercising I couldn’t say. The more I avoid it, the more I don’t want to do it. Once we get moved, I’m going to be looking for ways to ratchet up my fitness level. Thanks again.

    1. You are welcome, Kathy. But I understand exactly how you feel. I can so easily stay away. That’s why these ladies have been important to me. They call me out and keep me active. I don’t think I would’ve hung in there without them. I hope you make new friends at your new place.

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