Category Archives: Inspiration

Running After 20 Years Off (How Strength Training Helped)

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When a group from work, Body Kinetics Health Club in Marin County, CA, suggested running in the Marin County Half Marathon (or 10k or 5k), together as a team, I realized I hadn’t run in 20 years, since I was in my 40’s. I thought, “Well, I can certainly walk a 5k (3.1 miles) so I signed up. Before that, the only cardio I’d been doing was spin once a week, and a workout class once a week that included a cardio component. Otherwise, I was mainly strength training 2 to 3 times per week. Whenever I was required to do a jog in a class setting, like around the room a few times, I’d be dying, out of breath. My husband, Jeff, signed up with me and a couple months before the race we began slogging (a very slow jog) 5 minutes and walking 5 minutes. We had a 1.8 mile flat loop. We did this twice a week and graduated to 5 minute slog, 1 minute walk. Eventually we were slogging the whole way. Then we changed our route to a 1.6 mile loop with a long, steep hill built in. I had to do a heart rate check at the top each time because I was worried about overexerting myself, I was gasping that hard, but I never reached my max heart rate, I just reached my max pain threshhold! Initially, I had to walk on the downhill because it hurt my knees, but I worked on form, sitting back more in my stride going downhill. We got stronger. After about 6 weeks of this, I did a trial 3 mile run on the track and was pleasantly surprised that my time wasn’t too bad (12 minute pace) and I actually jogged the whole time.

On race day I was so excited. Right out of the shoot, I was panting. I couldn’t figure out why it was so much harder than the day at the track. I figured it out afterwards when I realized I finished the race with a pace of 10:09, so much faster than my practice run. Turns out I was second in the ages 60-69 women category, fifth in 60-69 men/women. I finished 99th overall out of 371 runners. Ok, it wasn’t a race with a bunch of elite runners, but I was so blown away and proud of my performance. Most of all, being able to run so well is a testimony of the benefits of strength training.  What I didn’t have in cardio conditioning, I made up for with leg power. My husband and I are continuing to run once per week. Who knows, maybe I’ll be like Harriette Thompson who ran her first marathon at age 76 (see post below)!

 

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Girl Goes from Scrawny to Muscular in 100 Days

The power of daily practice. Here’s another inspirational video from the Give It 100 (giveit100.com) website. This young woman started with a poor body image feeling week and ashamed of her scrawny body. Watch this time lapse video is see where she is a 100 days later.

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Ok. The woman is YOUNG, but I’m not and I’ve experienced impressive changes to my strength. If you ask me, I’ll show you my muscles, too! Since Halloween, 2013, when I began a weight/strength training program, my body image has changed. Whether I’m at the ATM at twilight (better not mess with me!), lifting something at home, holding myself upright in better posture, I feel STRONG. This is just from a steady, progressive, weight training program practiced regularly twice a week in addition to my regular cardio or other gym workouts.  You can, too, in just 100 days!

World’s Oldest Hip Hop Group

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Move over Yoko Ono, the world’s oldest Hip Hop group, Hip-Operation, is coming to Las Vegas. Made up of dancers in their 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, clearly they’ve gotten the memo, moving is good for you.

Read more about them, watch the video pictured above, or see the group’s first music video by following this link:

http://seniorplanet.org/watch-the-worlds-oldest-hip-hop-crew/

81 Year Old Hottie is a Marathoner, Strength Trainer

If you don’t know who Dr. Metzl is you should find out about him. His book, The Athlete’s Book of Home Remedies: 1,001 Doctor-Approved Health Fixes and Injury-Prevention Secrets for a Leaner, Fitter, More Athletic Body! expounds on his belief that humans are meant to move. Every day. Even (safely) through injuries. He explains how strength training will prevent injuries and enhance athletic performance. This video with Dr. Metzl and 81 year old marathoner Elaine Breiger pretty much sums up his philosophy! Prepare to get inspired!

Are You Ready to Get Fit for the Rest of Your Life?

71 year old Fred was. What a difference 30 days can make! Fred went to a boot camp for 30 days, changed his diet, his exercise, and his pants size. Maybe you can’t go away for 30 days, but you can start now. Decide to exercise every day. Just make a commitment. The rest will follow if you put yourself out there. Watch Fred and get inspired.

It’s Never Too Late to Dance (and make a music video)

Yoko Ono turns 80 and she’s made a music video with some of her famous neighbors. “I’m a Bad Dancer” shows her busting a groove in less than sprightly moves with no apologies. You go girl. Gotta keep moving!

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Click here to watch the video.
http://seniorplanet.org/watch-yoko-ono-im-a-bad-dancer/

About Me – My Story

I’m in my 60’s and I’m an athlete. No, I don’t do anything amazing like running marathons. I’m just really fit. It wasn’t always that way.  Born pre-Title Nine, I wasn’t exposed to sports; there were no teams for girls. I grew up smoking with friends at the mall.  In my 30’s I quit smoking and began working out. Over the years I ran, lifted weights, and was physically active.

In middle age, I gained weight, lost weight, and began years of yo-yo dieting. I tried every weight loss program available, losing 25 pounds then gaining 30, losing 30 then gaining 35. In my fifties, I topped out at 174 pounds! I’m barely 5 feet tall.

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As my weight went up, my physical health deteriorated.  I experienced stiffness in my joints, difficulty bending down and getting up off the floor, high cholesterol, and nagging, constant knee problems. After surgery in one knee, my doctor said I had severe arthritis and I should limit strenuous activities. Luckily, another wise doctor suggested I begin biking to strengthen my quadriceps to take pressure off my knees and to lose weight. I followed her advice.  I wanted to change, but where to start?

I decided to make a long-term lifestyle plan combining healthy eating and consistent exercise that continues to this day. I decided I would never diet again, I committed to eating healthy most of the time, and not to deprive myself when I really wanted to eat something. By reading books about healthy food like Omnivore’s Dilemma, and Food Rules by Michael Pollen and watching documentaries like “Food Inc.” and “Forks Over Knives”, I began to consistently make choices to eat fresh, wholesome foods because they were good for my body (and good for the environment, too).

With a long road back to fitness, I committed to exercise at least 5 days a week, making it the most important thing I did each day. I began walking, then joined an obscure gym where I wouldn’t know anyone! Miraculously a yoga teacher-in-training established her first yoga class at the elementary school where I worked. We were a small group and I couldn’t let her down by not showing up. My weight gradually dropped. I took spin classes and rode a bike around town. Slowly, my weight was down 40 pounds.  Pilates mat classes three times a week helped develop a strong core, and added spin classes, then, eventually, body toning/boot camp kinds classes. I gradually lost more weight, 2 to 3 pounds at a time, until I reached my goal weight. My pain and physical limitations disappeared. I began feeling so much fitter and healthier, I was motivated to become a Personal Fitness Trainer to share the joy of transforming one’s fitness.

Feeling already pretty fit and strong, I began stepping up my weights with progressive strength training, high intensity workouts and daily flexibility exercises.  This has been a life changer,  like taking a youthfulness pill. Daily activities and sports are so much easier! I keep changing it up and doing all sorts of things –  I’ve dabbled in running, Crossfit, masters swimming, road biking, golf.  The strength training gives me a base of fitness that enables me to jump in and make a decent effort at whatever I try. I enjoy participating in a variety of activities and am enjoy being just really fit!

In the meantime, I am enjoying helping others become their healthiest self, FIT FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIFE!

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