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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter, Issue #229 Senior Fitness Challenges
June 15, 2018
June 15, 2018
In this newsletter . . .
Senior fitness challenges
I’m an old guy now, 81 years. When I put up my first fitness website many years ago, I was a relatively young senior who aimed at a core audience of people at age 50 and above, people I defined as seniors. If 50 was the eligible age for AARP membership, which it is, it seemed a reasonable place for me to draw the line as well.
At the time someone had written: “Fifty is the youth of old age.” That always sounded about right to me. In our 50s, most people can still handle some pretty intense training, once we’ve gotten through the beginner stage. In our 60s, some can still maintain a pretty high level of training, lifting heavy iron, etc. In our 70s, or more, our bodies tend to tell us that age-appropriate training becomes more and more important.
For years, I kept pretty good training logs and can look back and compare my abilities in my late 50s with today. At 81, I’m a shadow of who I was at 50, which should surprise no one. The other day, I was talking to my son-in-law who is challenging himself by training to do 100 non-stop pushups, in good form. I told him that as a young Marine I could do it. Today, I can’t even imagine it. Still, I’m grateful to be physically active and enjoying life.
This reminds me of a good story that a subscriber once sent me. I’ve probably told it before, but I’ll repeat it because it’s a good one.
The Cigar Lady
A doctor on his morning walk noticed an old lady sitting on her front step smoking a cigar. Though very elderly, she seemed quite happy with herself and obviously enjoying her stogy.
So he walked up to her and said, "I couldn't help but notice how happy you look! What is your secret?"
"Well,” she said, “I do smoke several of these cigars every day. I just love 'em. And before I go to bed, I usually smoke a nice big joint. I also like Jack Daniels a lot . . . and, frankly, I’m not careful about my diet. I eat junk food. On weekends, I pop a few happy pills. And in case you’re wondering, I don't exercise at all."
"That is absolutely amazing! How old are you?"
“’Thirty-four," she replied.
I love it.
Meanwhile, senior health club memberships are growing faster than any other age category, as most of us are treating ourselves a little better than The Cigar Lady.
It is sarcopenia, the wasting away of muscle that robs seniors of strength, balance and, eventually, their independence. Resistance training — weights, resistance bands and bodyweight calisthenics — is the antidote to sarcopenia.
In case anyone is wondering, I don’t think following The Cigar Lady’s lifestyle will do the trick.
The Clean & Press
When it comes to "Old School" training, the Clean & Press immediately comes to mind. It's one of the great full-body movements that challenges and builds most of your body's pulling and pushing muscles in a single exercise.
To your fitness and good health.
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 web site contain advertising and marketing links. Naturally, I am compensated for these.
The newsletter and web site 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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