"I am too old for that"
"i am not as strong as I used to be"
'I can't keep up"
These are some of the most common phrase I hear in my every day life. Almost everytime I have one of these dreaded statements my heart instantly drops a little bit. Not because I am judging or silently agree with that person, but because I know the story in this person's head is keeping them from living a quality of life they can't currently imagine!
I know there is some fear involved in working out after a "certain age". We all have inherent thoughts or feelings on the subject, and they are usually based in some sort mixed messaging from our past experiences. I understand where someone is coming from when they say this to me, but always have to disagree!
Building muscle and improving balance are paramount as we age. Every decade we can lose 3-5% muscle mass, unless we do strength training of some sort. Becuase of this I am excited to share with you a blog series designed to help wipe away some of those fears and get you moving your body just a little bit more!
I have also collected surveys from real FIRE Fitness Camp Fond du Lac members that share first hand what it is like to work out at FIRE after the age 50, and why ANYONE can do it! While I get that this style of working out isn't for everyone, I wanted to give people a chance to see what real experiences have been here at FIRE!
First and foremost, let's look at the benefits of working out as we age:
You loose muscle mass as you age. Building muscle can combat that.
Muscle burns more calories than fat which will lead to an increase metabolism. (Another thing that slows down as we age)
Working out can help stop, delay, or improve heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, risk of stroke, Alzheimer's, arthritis, and osteoporosis.
Mental health. Working out will keep your brain sharp and help you from falling into a funk. On that same note working out in a group setting will help you feel less isolated which in turn will boost your overall mood!
To start us off I want to share with you a note from Sue:
I joined FIRE June 3, 2021. After being thin my entire life, I found myself the heaviest I had ever been
and I was unhappy.
A former co-worker is a member and she looked great. Mind you, she is younger than me but I thought….why not? What have I got to lose (except the extra weight).
I researched and found they offer 30 minute structured camps with multiple times available throughout the day. I’ve tried
no structure workouts/gyms in the past and I wouldn’t hold myself accountable. I definitely needed structure and accountability. I was so nervous that first day walking through the door and thought ‘what am I doing’.
Two people immediately said hi when I walked in and the man asked if it was my first day. I asked him if the terrified look on my face gave me away. He said someone will be right with you. I thought he was a coach – only later to find out it was Jeremy and he was a member. He made a huge first impression!
After a week and a half, I changed my membership from 3 days a week to unlimited. I really liked the workouts and coaches and knew I wanted to come more often. I was very apprehensive in the beginning about my age and ability and looking like a complete fool. I compared myself to others for the first few months. I watched some of the ladies and wondered why I couldn’t keep up with them. I had to remind myself – some of them are half my age.
Now at 51, my age doesn’t bother me. I stopped comparing myself to others and started to compete with myself – pushing
to do better than the day or week before. I’ve come to realize, I get stronger every time I walk through the front door – physically and mentally.
Working out for the last year, along with changing my eating habits through the food program offered by FIRE, has definitely improved my overall health. I no longer have high cholesterol and no longer take medication for it. I’ve lost over 20 lbs and 5 inches in my waist. I have more energy, sleep better and feel better overall.
The atmosphere at FIRE is friendly, safe and non-judgmental. Every coach and member is so friendly and willing to share their knowledge or offer encouragement. Sometimes a little competition is thrown in for good measure. Anyone can have success at FIRE as long as you are willing to put in the effort and invest in yourself.
You don’t need to be young or fit or a complete gym geek. Each coach will work with you to get the most from your work-out, no matter your age or fitness level.
The hardest part is taking those first steps through the door. The fear of the unknown is real but you will
be so thankful you did! FIRE is not just a gym, it’s a family.
Thanks Sue!! We appriciate you sharing your story with us!
Stay tuned over the next couple weeks to hear on how exercise can improve your quality of live, and to hear from more members just what FIRE Fondy is all about for the over 50 crowd!!