You are never too old to start!


I am inspired by stories of seniors accomplishing amazing physical feats.  I keep an eye on a program called “Growing Bolder” out of Orlando.  They tell stories of 82-year-old body builders, 100-year-old runners, and recently a 77-year-old woman who is now the oldest person to sail around the world solo.  Some have always been active, but many picked up their new calling “later in life.”  If a woman can learn to skateboard in her 60’s, why can’t I?

While I’m not sure skateboarding is my thing, I look at these marvelous examples and think, what is my excuse?  If they can do it, so can I.  Now that October is here, and hopefully cooler weather, it is time to get back outside.  I know several people who started walking in 5K races (that’s 3.2 miles) in their 60’s.  They are now running them and loving the camaraderie that come with a community event.  Some of you are thinking, “I’m too old for that.”  Why?  That is the mindset Growing Bolder is working to debunk.  Just because I turned 50 this year, does that make me too old?  At 82 my father is still golfing and fishing.  He walks every morning.  In fact, he walked a 5K one week after getting his pacemaker.  Too old?  Rubbish.

Yes, I turned 50 in July.  Back in January I realized that I wasn’t practicing what I’m preaching.  I didn’t want to start my fifties out of shape and feeling “old.”  I started slowly, doing what I could.  I stayed open to try old and new things like dance, yoga, and walking to see what fit best.  As someone who once ran a marathon, it was humbling.  As I lose weight and strengthen, I find I am happier and have more energy.  I still have more to go, but I see the truth in staying active and firmly believe it can be done at any age.  We need to stop telling ourselves we are too old and making excuses.  Just start.

Here are my recommendations:

1. Consult your doctor.  Really!  It is important to know where to start.  Incurring an immediate injury would not be helpful.
2. Start small and reward yourself for each little accomplishment.  Yes, you used to run marathons but that was 20 years ago.  This is where you are now.  You walked to the end of the block?  Awesome!  It is more than you did yesterday.
3. Have a partner.  It helps motivate you and keeps you accountable.  If you are walking outside there is also safety in numbers.

At Seniors Helping Seniors we often walk with our clients to help them say active and healthy.  We’ve gone to water aerobics, the gym, and even golfing!  If you would like to know more, please call 321-722-2999.

This article was printed in HSOBC Newsletter, conveniently tucked in the October edition of Senior Scene Magazine:

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