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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter, Issue #351. A Newsletter's Inception
July 01, 2023
A Newsletter's Inception
When I first began writing about fitness I was in an age category I like to call “young seniors,” people still in their 50s. I know some people may take umbrage at being referred to as “seniors” while in their 50s. And I understand.
I arbitrarily drew the senior line at 50 based mostly on AARP’s definition. Somehow they know when anybody in the U.S. turns 50 and an AARP membership solicitation arrives in one’s mailbox.
Like many, in my 50s I had about the same strength and was still exercising with the same intensity as I had been in my 30s and 40s. Even in my 60s, I noticed only small differences in my ability. In my 70s, losses started to become more apparent. Still, they came on gradually. The photographs on my website and the one on this page were taken of me at age 69 or 70.
I’ll turn 87 in October and I’ve shrunk in inches in height and most certainly in bulk muscle size.
I have no numbers from scientific polling, yet I’m pretty sure that most of my website and subscriber audience is older as well. I get a sense of this from my email responses. Gone, I would guess, are many of the young seniors who are still pushing their limits and lifting heavy iron. And that’s understandable.
Gradually, as many of my subscribers have aged along with me, maintaining good health and fitness has become more important to them than increasing how much weight they can bench press or squat. It is a healthy transition as we age.
Pushing the very limits of weights lifted, for example, is not the best way to treat aging tendons and ligaments. Why? Because joint aches and other fitness dangers lurk. Yes, movement and staying active are still the way to go. No question about it. But higher repetitions with more moderate poundage is more likely to keep us going longer and more injury free. And resistance bands are perfect for seniors, by the way.
For some people, this is not an easy sell. When they have pushed the workout limits for most of their lives, tapering off is the antithesis of what they have believed and practiced in their quest for being the best that they can be.
Yet for lasting fitness and good health, adjusting to more moderate training should evolve. Because such events as damaged rotator cuffs and other “fun” await many who refuse to moderate. Aching knees and backs, as examples, court the relentless aging runner who refuses to taper off a bit.
One of my favorite quotes comes from the great philosopher, Dirty Harry. ”A man’s got to know his limitations,” he said. Thank you, Clint Eastwood. No, Dirty Harry wasn’t talking about aging intelligently when he said that line in a movie. Regardless, it certainly fits as a proper comment about being smart as we grow older.
As a senior, most of the fitness information you’ll need can be found here.
Stay healthy. Stay fit.
Photographs: Subscribers have asked when the newsletter photo at the top of the page and my website pictures were taken. The photos were taken when I was a mere 70. I’m 86 years old now. Though I remain active, I am no longer nearly as muscular as I was 16 years ago. —LF
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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter is a free publication sent twice monthly to subscribers. The purpose is to provide honest and realistic fitness information for people age 50 and above.
I have never been paid or received compensation of any kind to write a positive review or endorse a product. If I say that I personally use a product or service, it is because I find value in it and have paid for it with my own money.
Like newspapers, magazines, and television, this newsletter and my website contain advertising and marketing links. Naturally, I am compensated for these.
The newsletter and website provide information to help users establish and maintain a fitness lifestyle. But fitness information is not the same as fitness advice, which is the application of exercise and dietary practices to an individual's specific circumstances. Therefore, always consult with your physician for assurance that fitness information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate for you.
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