Getting fit at 60 isn’t what it used to be.
When I was a newly qualified aerobics instructor in 2002 the very first regular class I was offered was the ‘Nifty Fifties‘ aerobics at my local community gym.
I turned up nervously and saw a sea of ladies, who were definitely older than 50, and I remember quite clearly them telling me that I could work them harder than I had done. I’d definitely fallen into the trap of thinking that it needed to be gentle.
Over the past 17 years things have moved on and exercise for over 60’s is more about exercising and moving regularly than worrying about whether you’re the right age for the class.
If you’re in your sixties in 2019, you were in your forties when I qualified and chances are you were juggling a career, children, ageing parents and squeezing in exercise where you could – if at all.
If you’ve been moving since then you’re almost certainly still moving now. How you choose to exercise may have changed, but I would imagine that you are still active.
This habit will be serving you really well and you may take for granted what you are able to do. You’ll never know what it would have been like if you hadn’t, so do keep that up and enjoy what you’re doing!
I have a client who at 70 runs a 10 mile run each week as part of her regular training and gets frustrated with herself if she’s hitting the 10 min mile times, much preferring to stay near 9.30.
I have another client at 55 who rarely walks much more than a mile a week. It’s all relative.
However, if you’ve been putting it off then I am here to share with you 7 reasons why getting fit at 60 is both safe and extremely good for your health.
It’s never too late to move more and exercise. Studies have shown that improvement in muscle growth has been seen in the elderly and de-conditioned participants when they follow a strength training programme. This can be using body weight or lifting weights in a gym.
Increasing muscle strength and growth helps posture, bone strength, weight management, pain management, diabetes type II, sleep and more. It’s also been shown to prevent falls in the elderly. Falls are one of the biggest risk factors for broken bones and prolonged hospital stays. It’s never to late to start moving.
Exercising to raise the heart rate 2-4 times a week benefits heart health, circulation, weight management, immunity, sleep, mental health, the ability to maintain normal household function like gardening, housework and playing with grandchildren.
Socially inclusive – partaking in regular exercise with others helps both adherence to the activity but also builds friendships and bonds that stretch beyond the class itself. At Fit Camp I’ve seen the relationships between campers vary between the supporter and the supported over the months they spend together. Knowing that you’ll be missed if you don’t attend a session is a good incentive to keep going each week.
Rehabilitation – it’s not pre-determined but it’s not unusal for there to be cause for more medical intervention by the time we reach our sixties. We’ve had clients at FastTrack Fit Camp come back to sessions after knee replacements, hip replacements, shoulder surgery and prolapse. When you have a relationship with your workout provider they’ll be able to accommodate your new needs as you recover.
Retirement – I’ve spoken to many people who have been afraid of retirement. They’ve not known how they are going to fill their time and what their new purpose will be. I rarely speak to someone three months later who hasn’t wondered how they ever found time to work before! Retirement allows you the gift of time, the gift of doing something for yourself at a time that suits you with people you like. It also gives you time to think about what’s important and what you need to do to keep it that way. If you value your energy, your ability to take active holidays, your capacity for looking after your grandchildren then keeping going with whatever it was that got you there is essential at this time.
Exercising outside is frequently shown to benefit mental health more so than being inside. At FastTrack Fit Camp we love being outside, all year around and it’s a perfect exercise for over 60s as it is for any age for the immune boosting benefits – fewer colds, a stronger constitution and more energy as standard!
How much do you need to do?
It’s been shown that it can take 8-12 weeks to really notice a difference in someone’s shape and fitness following a regular training programme as they lose body fat and build some muscle.
Unfortunately it can take as little as a week of bed rest due to illness or injury to make a significant and, in many cases, irreversible change to someone’s muscle mass that may never be recoverable if they are over 60.
150 minutes of moderate exercise a week is recommended for maintaining good health and fitness. This is activity like walking, swimming, dancing or yoga.
75 minutes of vigorous activity per week is recommended for improving fitness and health conditions. Activities like weight lifting, aerobics classes, running, boot camp style sessions, badminton, circuits and tennis for example.
- It’s good to move.
- It’s good to exercise.
- The best day to start is from childhood, the second best day to start is today.
Click here to find out how Eamon has used FastTrack Fit Camp as his ‘health pension’ for the last 8 years. He’s now 66 years old. Works out with us three times a week in Swallowfield and, when I asked him to describe Fit Camp in 3 words said, ‘Passport to Health’.
Click here to find out how Janet has used FastTrack Fit Camp as her opportunity to get fitter and have more stamina. She’s 63 years old. Works out with us three times a week in Henley-on-Thames and, when I asked what her favourite exercise was she said skipping (she’s a great rope skipper!).
Imagine that! A reliable, friendly place to get your weekly prescription of all things health and well-being whilst having fun doing it.
Contact us to find out how you can try out our week trial to see if FastTrack Fit Camp is for you.
We look forward to welcoming you to our community.