In 2015, Harriette Thompson, 92, became the oldest woman to complete a marathon. (She ran her first marathon at the young age of 76.) And 70-year-old Chau Smith recently ran seven marathons on seven continents in – you guessed it – seven days.
Sure, these women may be outliers when it comes to longevity and fitness, but they don’t have to be. They and other like-minded older adults are living proof that it’s never too late to get in the best shape of your life.
And the important word to focus on in that last sentence is “your.” You don’t need to worry about competing with anyone else’s marathon time, weight loss or other fitness stats. It’s all about your fitness goals. With hard work (and maybe a little coaching), you can get there. Here are a few hints to keep in mind:
- If you’re already in pretty good shape, then you may not see huge fitness gains quickly. So try to be realistic (and patient). Set a goal for yourself that keeps you motivated and challenged, and congratulate yourself on already being fit!
- If it’s been a long time since you’ve put on your sneakers and worked up a sweat, then remember to start slowly. Celebrate small milestones as you work towards a bigger goal. You don’t have to run a marathon to be in great shape (unless you want to). Just don’t quit.
- If you need some extra motivation, then think about this: Getting in the best shape of your life could actually help you live longer. Recent research shows that greater muscle mass helps increase longevity. So be sure to include strength training in your routine.
And check out the stories in this month’s issue for more tips and inspiration. The fitness feature will help you work on building muscle mass after age 50. In the nutrition story, you can learn about the nutrients you need more of as you age. Plus, get the lowdown on the screenings you should be getting as you age, and learn about the negative effects of smoking beyond cancer.
Cheers to you getting (or staying) in the best shape of your life,
Your Healthy Lifestyles Coach