Not long ago, 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.
What captured my attention was a lengthy piece called “Your Personal Trainer May Be As Important As Your Financial Adviser.” A good title. 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.
He wasn’t the only old guy in great shape. There were other fine fitness examples. One woman, aged 86, regularly does workouts that include burpees, mountain climbers, and planks. These are hard-core movements. A late bloomer, she began training when she was a mere 78.
So? While these examples are great, on the other hand, does every senior need a personal trainer? Not necessarily. It’s situational. Yes, a beginning senior really does need an experienced guiding hand of some kind when starting out. And even some “old pros” do better with a trainer. Because there are some people who simply require a regular nudge to keep themselves on the straight and narrow. But many others don’t. Once having gone through the beginner stage, they do just fine exercising alone or with a partner or two.
People are living longer. The whole idea now is to stay as fit as possible for as long as possible. Formal exercise or everyday movement of all kinds is the key. What about diet? Most of the old folks in the WSJ article eat well. Plant-based diets are favorable and highly processed foods are best avoided. Some partake in adult beverages, a cocktail or two. But none that were mentioned
Family ties and friends and owning a pet were other important 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.
Some subscribers who write me are beginners but most are experienced and are 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. Speaking generally, women usually dominate group workouts while men tend to pump iron, solo, or with a buddy or two. There are exceptions in all categories, of course. The “one size does not fit all” rule always applies.
It is all good, as long as your routine or program is regular and includes some degree of cardio, resistance work and flexibility. And you must like what you’re doing. Anything that is dreaded won’t last, either with exercise programs or the latest diet craze. Those are the key ingredients for success. They aren’t complicated.
Stay healthy. Stay fit.
Senior Exercise Central
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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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