Older AND Fitter - wait a minute - how can you be both? You become less fit with age; only the "young" can experience peak fitness, right? Upon reaching that half-century mark, you are expected to do less challenging physical activities and physical decline is inevitable. Be satisfied with a couple rounds of golf or a stroll on the greenbelt. Wrong! Many of today's fiftysomethings and beyond are busting that old-school myth wide open and defying conventional thinking. No more excuses, they say, as they climb onto their surfboards, paddle their kayaks through whitewater, summit tough peaks, train for long-distance biking and ultra-marathons, and do aerial yoga.
With the increase in research and and explosion of fitness books, techniques and websites, "older" people are challenging themselves and finding their fitness and wellness improving with age. Yes, fundamentally physical decline is unavoidable in the long run, but in the meantime it can be slowed. Challenge our body physically, and it responds by getting stronger. Don't challenge our body, and it responds by getting weaker and less "fit". A decline in fitness causes aging, but aging does not cause a decline in fitness. Mike Carlson, running coach, Y.M.C.A. trainer, and five-time Race to Robie Creek champion said, "Even though age diminishes our physical capacities, it will happen even faster if we don't test ourselves."
I'll have to be partial to baby boomers, of which group I am a proud member. As of 2018, baby boomers are 54 - 72 years old, and their spunk, spirit and drive won't let them go away quietly. "Old age should burn and rave at close of day; /Rage, rage against the dying of the light," said poet Dylan Thomas. He wasn't referring to high intensity interval training (HIIT), which aging science supports in order to extend fitness into our later years, but baby boomers and even some in the "silent generation" have discovered this secret to wellness and feeling healthy.
There are so many "older and fitter" people that inspire others with their commitment to fitness and their philosophies on wellness. They make fitness a priority - they find time to take responsibility for their health. They exercise even when they don't feel like it, because by doing so, they are that much closer to their fitness goals. Some have developed a habit for a health/fitness regimen; some are very disciplined, some aren't. Some never step foot in a gym, some have developed strength, balance, flexibility, and body awareness by going to the gym. Many have found inner peace through yoga and reduced back pain through strengthening. I'm inspired by many people who get fitter after 50 as well as those who have made fitness a commitment for most of their lives. Following are people over 50 years old who inspire me with their dedication to health and positive outlook on life. Many of these people have gotten fitter over the age of 50.
Click on photos below to find out what motivates each person to become fitter after 50 and how they do it, along with more photos for each. I will keep adding more - if you want to be included on this page and you are over 50 years old, please contact me with your facts and photos!
Interesting Articles on Aging and Health
She's Powerlifting at 76, So You're Officially Out of Excuses
Extra Time: How Smart Exercise Keeps You Younger for Longer
The Butterfly Effect Powers a Masters Swimmer
How Old is Your Body? Here's What Your Fitness Age can Tell You
To Stay Speedy in his 70's, he got Buff
An Ultramarathon Runner at 71
Exercise Wins: Fit Seniors can have Hearts that are 30 Years Younger
Fitter Than You: Three 50-plus Athletes Who can Kick Your Butt
Why Exercise Alone Won't Save Us
The Healthiest People in the World Don't Go to the Gym
New Physical Activity Guidelines Urge Americans: Move More, Sit Less
The Best Foods for Athletes
How Often Should You Work Out? The Perfect Weekly Workout Routine
(most articles above courtesy of Dave Brasuell)