comes with age
When I began writing about fitness I was in that age category I like to call “young seniors.” People still in their 50s. Some at that age may not like being referred to as “seniors.” And I understand. I didn’t care for it either. Still, I drew the senior line at age 50, based mostly on AARP’s and AMAC’s definitions. Somehow they know when anybody in the U.S. turns 50 and a membership solicitation arrives in one’s mailbox.
In my 50s, I still felt like a young buck. I had about the same strength and was still working out with the same intensity as I had been in my 30s and 40s. Even in my 60s, I noticed only small differences in strength and endurance. But in my 70s, some losses started to become apparent. Still, they came on gradually. As mentioned before, the photographs on my website and the one on this page were taken when I was 69 or 70. Today, at 86, I’ve shrunk in both height and most certainly in muscle
I’m sure the average age of my website and subscriber audience is older now as well. I get a sense of this from email responses. Gone, I would guess, are many of my “young seniors“ who are still pushing their limits and lifting heavy iron. It’s understandable. Today, many of my subscribers have aged along with me. Maintaining good health and fitness has become more important than increasing how much we can bench press. It is a healthy transition as we age.
Why? Because dangers lurk.
As we grow older, pushing the very limits of weights lifted, for example, is not the best way to treat aging tendons and ligaments. Of course, movement and staying active are still important, maybe more so than ever. No question about it. But higher repetitions with more moderate poundage are more likely to keep us going longer and more injury free. And resistance bands, rather than free weights,
I might add, are wonderful.
For some, backing off a bit is not an easy sell. When you have pushed the workout limits for most of your life, tapering off is the antithesis of what you believed and practiced in a quest for being the best that you can be.
Yet for lasting fitness and good health, adjusting to more moderate training should evolve. Otherwise damaged rotator cuffs or other such “fun” await those who refuse to moderate their resistance training. And aching knees and backs relentlessly stalk aging runners who refuse to taper off a bit.
One of my favorite quotes comes from the great philosopher, Dirty Harry, who said: ”A man’s got to know his limitations.” Thank you, Clint Eastwood. No, he wasn’t at the time talking about aging intelligently when he said it in a movie. Still, it’s a fitting comment about being smart as we grow older.
As a senior, most of the fitness information you’ll need can be found
Senior Exercise Central
My Photographs: Subscribers ask when the newsletter photo at the top and my website pictures were taken. I’m now 86 years old. The photos were taken when I was a mere 70. 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
your interpretation of it, is appropriate for you.
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