Many women, especially those over the age of fifty, believe that fitness just isn’t for them. I’ve heard so many of my aging loved ones say that they are simply “too old” to get into shape. That’s just not the case!
Don’t believe me? Meet Ernestine Shepherd, a 79-year-old who started working out at the age of 56 and is now one of the world’s most inspirational female bodybuilders. She is living proof that you don’t have to be young to be fit.
In fact, light weightlifting and regular cardio during the week can do a world of good for your body. According to a new study featured by AARP, physical fitness post fifty was “linked with less chronic disease – including heart trouble, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, kidney problems, lung cancer and colon cancer – as participants aged.” And in addition to a stronger immune system, physical fitness can also help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety which may arise as you age.
When I started weightlifting, I was skinny and weak and worried that lifting weights would make me bulk up. Then I started seeing a nutritionist and fitness trainer at the YMCA, who explained that light weightlifting for women actually helps us build lean muscle and definition. I started out with light weights and a little bit of cardio, and gradually built up repetition and intensity until working out became a part of my daily routine. Before long I was toned and strong, only a few pounds heavier than I had started off with, and I was looking and feeling better than ever.
And it turns out that weightlifting had a ton of other benefits I hadn’t anticipated. I wanted to eat better to fuel my body for workouts, my anxiety and stress levels had decreased, and I was sleeping more soundly than I had in months. My skin even looked better and brighter than it had before I started working out. I couldn’t wait to share my story with others to inspire them to start a healthy living routine that would benefit them in so many ways.
If I could offer one piece of advice to women over fifty it would be this:
Don’t let yourself be defined by a number.
Whether you’re twenty-five or fifty-two, the power to change your life is in your hands. All you have to do is decide you want to start living better and you can. You’ll soon find that you are happier, healthier, and more gorgeous than ever! What’s not to love?
If you’re concerned about starting a new fitness routine after fifty, seek advice from your primary care physician about where to start. Additionally, many fitness centers have certified trainers and nutritionists on staff who can discuss your current and future health goals. It’s never too late to start building a better life for yourself, so why not start today?
And remember… “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” - Jim Rohn