Being fit over 50 can mean different things to different people. Do you aspire to compete in an over 50 age group marathon or iron man competition? Or are you more like me and simply want to maintain or improve your quality of life as the senior years approach. I assure you that I’m no threat to finish in the top 10 of any marathon (probably not even the top 50) but when I look around at others my age I do think that I’m healthier and fitter than at least 80 percent of my age group.
It hasn’t always been that way. My fitness journey began back in 2007. My employer partnered with the local medical center and had an on-site “wellness” check for any employee that signed up. This was a yearly event that I had skipped in the past but decided that with the big five ohh fast approaching (I was 48 at the time) that it would be a good idea to see just where I was physically. Sure I knew that I had gained a few inches around the middle and I did feel rather lethargic some days but I just chalked it up to sitting behind a desk all day, other than that I considered myself in pretty good shape for a person my age.
The results of the wellness check shocked me. My blood pressure was alarmingly high, my cholesterol and triglyceride levels were way off and i had elevated levels of protein in the blood. Thank God that I didn’t pass on the wellness check any longer.
I immediately started going to the gym (I had been a member for years but rarely went), slowly changed my diet (I was surprised when one day I realized that I hadn’t picked up the salt shaker in weeks), and started learning how to better manage and in some cases eliminate stress in my life.
For the first 2 years I was almost obsessed with getting fit. Fit over 50 became my mantra. What I found out eventually though was that it doesn’t take as much effort to stay in shape as it took to get in shape. So today I spend 4 or 5 hours a week in the gym and although I watch what I eat I do allow myself a treat every now and then – okay maybe more often than every now and then. Today although I’m not about to compete in any Iron Man events, I am much healthier and happier than I was just a few years ago.
- High blood cholesterol and triglycerides – All Information (umm.edu)
- Lowering LDL Cholesterol (health.usnews.com)