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, and train for long-distance biking and ultra-marathons.
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. Following are people over 50 years old who inspire me with their dedication to health and positive outlook on life.
Click on photos below for quick facts and more photos for each person. 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!