Bill is 70 now and has been working out in gyms for years. The former Marine is healthy, happy, and super-enthusiastic about exercise.
But it wasn’t always so.
The first time Bill walked into a gym, some 30 years ago, he felt intimidated by the people who looked stronger and seemed to know what they were doing. There were so many machines he didn’t know where to start. “I thought, ‘I’m gonna look like an idiot. Everybody’s gonna laugh at me,’” Bill recalls.
Does that sound familiar to you? Is that fear of the unknown – or possible “gym-timidation” – keeping you from starting your fitness journey? Do you find yourself saying, I need to get in shape before I can join a gym?
We hear that a lot – and we understand. And other people right now are concerned they’ve gained weight during the pandemic, or they’ve grown comfortable at home.
But please don’t let these common worries keep you from improving your health and your quality of life. We are here to welcome you warmly, show you how to use the equipment safely and effectively, and come up with healthy habits to help you reach your goals.
We’ll also show you that it can be as fun and as social as you want.
Why You Need Exercise
You already know some of the great reasons why people over 50, 60, 70, or older should work out. Here are just a few of them as reminders.
- Physical exercise is good for your heart, sense of balance, and bone density.
- It fights off dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- It gets you out of the house and socializing with a supportive community.
- Being strong, toned, and limber is helpful for golf, tennis, gardening, and other physical hobbies.
- It helps you lose weight, look better – and perform everyday tasks with less risk of injury.
A Safe Place to Start
For newcomers, a fitness center can feel like a school dance in junior high. You think everyone looks better than you and that they’re going to stare and make fun. But, in reality, they either feel the same way or they’re too busy enjoying themselves to notice you!
Remember that awkward feeling? And since then, you’ve lived way too much life to let something like that keep you on the sidelines.
Do what Bill suggests.
- He stays “teachable,” or open to new things.
- He likes working out with a partner for the encouragement and accountability.
- He keeps a positive social outlook, smiling at everyone he meets.
- And he focuses on how proud he feels for improving his lifestyle every time he exercises.
“As time goes by, you become more familiar with your surroundings,” he says. “You don’t know what your body can do until you give it the chance.”
Holly Kouvo is a personal trainer, functional aging specialist, senior fitness specialist, brain health trainer, writer, and speaker.