Age is no excuse

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Being a personal trainer, I am fortunate enough to work with a variety of ages and abilities, so I see a lot of people achieve some pretty cool things. However, something I tend to hear a lot is, “I’m way too old for that” or “Are you joking? Doing that, at my age?”. Of course it is in all good humour but I have always believed that age should never affect your physical abilities in fitness.

Now firstly, I hate using the word ‘old’. I feel it implies a lack of worth when it comes to exercise, and is very much a derogatory term, when used in context of the gym. My clients tackle this ongoing stereotype on a daily basis, which is why I have chosen to replace ‘old’ with the word ‘smashing‘ for the remainder of this blog post.

I know what you’re thinking: “It’s easy for you to say all this Jack, you’re in your twenties – you don’t know what it’s like”. But I work with people that prove age is just a number. For example, I have a 78-year-‘smashing’ client who can happily row 2000m Sub 10 minutes whilst grinning ear to ear, which I think you’ll agree is quite a feat.

Not only that – every Monday lunchtime, I have the absolute privilege of going to a local village hall to see a group of retired ‘smashers’ (picture above). Before your mind starts to wonder, I run a fitness class there and they are so much fun! Their ages range from around 60 to 80 years old and we always, without fail, complete an hour of fitness. Since I started my work there, the positive changes in fitness abilities I have witnessed has been nothing short of staggering. I always tell them we are doing these exercises so that in 10 years time, they can frog jump up the stairs!

Never let age be a factor in the reason why you won’t do exercise and don’t you let this be an excuse. It’s the same for taking up a new hobby, new musical instrument, new healthy eating plan. The moment you let your age get in the way of what you’ve always wanted to do, is the moment you have stopped being ‘young’. An individual, young or ‘smashing’, can start some form of exercise, no matter what the intensity or level of difficulty may be.

Eliminating my word swap rule now to make a point: If you blame your age on why you choose not to exercise, the only thing getting old is your excuse.

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