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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter, Issue #221. Senior Fitness Success
February 15, 2018
February 15, 2018
In this newsletter . . .
Senior Fitness Success
Newsletter subscribers often submit fine success stories that include smart advice for all of us as we age. Many of them have also overcome illness or injury, and their stories can be especially inspiring. It’s worth our time to read them.
As those of us who have exercised most of our lives grow older, we eventually find that we cannot train as we once did. Most of us adjust our workouts accordingly. But there are always some who won’t adjust their training and they can end up doing themselves more harm than good. Aging tendons and ligaments, for example, often rebel and aches and pains become more frequent.
Most unfortunate of all are the guys – sorry, but it’s usually us, the males – whose egos will not allow us to admit that we can’t do as much as we used to. Some just quit working out altogether: “If I can’t be the studly guy I was twenty years ago, what’s the point of training at all?” is their thinking. Usually women don’t fall into that trap
Those who quit outright are the most unfortunate of all because they throw in the towel right at the time in life when regular exercise is more important than ever. Instead of adjusting by doing age appropriate workouts, they drop out. And what happens to them? Their muscle loss accelerates while fat accumulates. We’ve all seen it happen to people we know.
My departed old friend, Rich Lalami, used to say, “You can miss your bus. And you can miss your girlfriend. But never miss a workout.” Rich was right. But a message to the wise: If you have been pushing heavy iron and are now entering your senior years, don’t stop training, no matter what. But do adjust.
Switching from heavy, all-out efforts to lifting more moderate weights, while doing higher repetitions, can make a world of difference. And you'll last longer. You might also try using resistance bands rather than lifting free weights. Many professional athletes, such as football quarterback Tom Brady, to name one, use resistance bands and love them. Or try devices like the Total Gym. Experiment and discover what works best for you, personally.
In my own case, I adjusted my cardio exercise by gradually replacing running with hiking. Years ago, when I ran long distances (I was really just a plodder), I did have fun. However, I noticed a good number of aging runners ran with chronically aching knees and backs. I don’t experience any of that from walking/hiking, and I still get to enjoy the beautiful outdoors while exercising my heart and lungs.
Of course if you happen to have absolutely no aches and pains at all, maybe that's a different matter. And if you fully recover from lifting heavy after a good night’s sleep . . . well, as the saying goes: "If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it." On the other hand, never ignore the little unpleasant messages that Mother Nature and your body may be sending. Aging happens. Yes, keep on training, but adjust.
Either way, I hope you’ll read some of the success stories. You may find someone or something that inspires you personally. Or you may decide to send in your own story. It’s easy to do using the form on the Your Stories page.
Senior exercise beginners, please start here.
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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 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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