Among the most common for people over 50? Playing with grandkids, traveling, maintaining physical autonomy, and continuing to enjoy their favorite activities.
Susan Kupferberg, 65, has all of those and more motivating her quest to get strong and stay fit.
“I had been feeling some deterioration and I want to fend that off,” says Susan, a psychologist and former attorney pictured above hiking with her husband in Spain. “I’m approaching this with eagerness and optimism. Bring it on.”
Susan knew that strength training is essential as we age – for independence, mobility, staying healthy, and so much more. See how many of her motivations resonate with you.
Susan and her husband have traveled internationally on hiking and biking trips for decades.
But when her grandkids arrived a few years ago, Susan knew she’d need to gain strength to play an active role in their childhoods.
And her 65th birthday last December drove the point home.
“Now they’re just 4 and 2, so it’s spending time on the playground with them,” says Susan, who’s looking forward to softball and soccer years. “We follow them around, climb up there, lift them… Just getting up and down off the floor isn’t as easy as it used to be.”
Susan started working out twice a week with a trainer in January and didn’t let a wrist fracture throw her off for longer than necessary.
Being diagnosed with osteoporosis gave her even more motivation to build strength.
She was back in the gym as soon as possible, lifting weights with him – grateful for the coaching and the accountability, which many people need to keep them on track.
“There are things that I did not expect to be able to do. But then I do it, and it feels great.”
Susan stands as an example of what many people go through later in life regarding fitness. She wants to be an active grandparent. She wants to continue her adventure travel. She’s finally gaining the strength she wanted.
She and her husband have another biking trip in Greece planned later this year. They’ve been to Vietnam, Japan, and countless other spots around the world biking and hiking.
“I want to still feel like I can do it,” she says. “Of course, it’s going to be harder and I’m going to be slower, but I never want to get to the point where I can’t do it.”
For most mature adults starting strength training, an element of fear or caution creates internal conflict and doubt.
Not for Susan.
“I’m drawn by enthusiasm for this,” she says. “It’s our lives, and I want to get the most out of it, to delay as long as possible any disaster or infirmity.”
We’re here to help you do the same, because as Susan says, “There are so many things we have control over, and this is one of those things – taking care of our bodies. So, I’m gonna do the best I can to stay healthy.”
Thanks for the inspiration, Susan. And for all those powerful motivations!
Holly Kouvo is a personal trainer, functional aging specialist, senior fitness specialist, brain health trainer, writer, and speaker.