This grandmother says it can help. And experts back her up.
May 22, 2000 -- At least five mornings a week, I hustle to the Fountain of
Youth. After tumbling out of bed and into workout togs before I've had a chance
to think about it, I'm out the door headed for the gym. Clad in tights and a
leotard to smooth my bulges, I feel energetic already.
It's a 20-year-old routine. At this point, I could be the poster girl for
senior citizen exercise. I'll never see 70 again, and that's as specific as I'm
going to get. My regimen includes not just aerobics -- walking the treadmill or
taking a class -- but strength training, which the American College of Sports
Medicine says is especially crucial for aging bodies like mine. Pump iron, the
experts say, and you'll have less of that flab that can make you feel old.
This information is provided as a resource and does not constitute an endorsement for any group. It is the responsibility of the reader to decide whether a group is appropriate for his/her needs. For evidence-based information on diseases, conditions, symptoms, treatment and wellness issues, continue searching this site.
The strength training part of the routine, also called weight training, is
the part most people blow off. Too boring, too repetitive, too difficult. Those
are the main excuses.
Not so, I say. I'm a great-grandmother, and I only took up weight training
five years ago. Sticking with it, I've found, isn't so tough -- as long as you
follow a few simple steps.
Here are my secrets.
Plan Ahead (and Don't Forget to Brag)
Every Sunday, I plan the week ahead, scheduling time for workouts as
religiously as I make time for work. For me, when something is written down,
it's as important as a work assignment.
My workouts are no secret, either. I tell friends, enemies, and
acquaintances all about the weights I work with, the number of reps I do, and
how often I go to the gym. I'm sure it bores them to tears, but having said all
that, how could I possibly quit?
Mornings, Music, Good Company
It's important to work out first thing in the day, I think. Go to the gym,
your home gym, or wherever you go to sweat before the business of the day
overtakes and overwhelms you. I go to an all-women's gym, which to me means
that I can wear whatever I want.