A while back, The Wall Street Journal ran a special section titled “Best New Ideas in Retirement.” As expected, there were articles about social security, Baby Boomers, financial independence, brain training and other items of senior interest.
There was also a lengthy piece called “Your Personal Trainer May Be As Important As Your Financial Adviser.” Yes! It began with a story about a man who has followed the same 26-minute exercise routine since the Eisenhower administration. The writer said the man feels a sprightly 70. He is in fact 97.
A woman, aged 86, regularly does workouts that include burpees, mountain climbers, and planks. Those are hard-core movements. A late bloomer, she began training when she was a mere 78.
In spite of the neat title, does every senior need a personal trainer? Well, not necessarily. But yes, a beginning senior does need an
experienced guiding hand of some kind when starting out. Even some “old pros” do better with a trainer. But others don’t.
People are living longer. And the whole idea, of course, is to stay as fit as possible for as long as possible. Exercise movement is the key. But what about diet? Most of the old folks in the WSJ article eat well. Plant-based diets are favored and highly processed foods are best avoided. Some partake in adult beverages, a cocktail or two. But none mentioned overdid it.
Family ties and friends and owning a pet were other factors that lead to a happy and longer life.
To the question about Personal trainers: Do you need one? If so, there are many types, and not all of them work in health clubs. Many will come to your home.
Some subscribers who write me are beginners but most are experienced and working out on their own, at home, outdoors or in gyms. Some prefer group workout classes, which of course are led by an instructor/trainer. Generally, women dominate group workouts while men tend to pump iron, by themselves, or with a buddy or two. There are exceptions in all categories, of course. The “one size does not fit all” rule always applies.
As long as your routine or program is regular and includes some degree of cardio, resistance work and flexibility, and you like what you’re doing, those are the key ingredients for success. They might not always be easy — but they
aren’t complicated.. . . . .
Some time ago, a subscriber, John Kosciak, sent me a wonderful video interview with Doug Hepburn, considered the world's strongest man back in the 1940s and '50s. John's cousin, Paul Pjarnason, of Vancouver, B.C., provided it. I think you’ll find it entertaining and wise. Its called, A lesson on life.
Stay Healthy. Stay fit.
Senior Exercise Central
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.
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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
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