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  • Writer's pictureGregory D. Hamilton

"Why It's Never Too Late to Start Exercising: Debunking Age Limits for Physical Activity"


How Does Your Fitness Horizon Look?

 

How old is too old to start exercising?

 

Is it 40? 55? Maybe 70?

 

We know the answer. It’s never. Personal examples and scientific research back this up. If you want to feel, move, and look better – if you want to live on your terms and enjoy a high quality of life – then you must exercise, starting today if not sooner.

 

Think that doesn’t apply to you?

 

Meet Gwendolyn Bounds, who was a successful news executive in her 40s when she realized something had downshifted in life, “like a drop from E major to E minor,” she writes in her inspiring new book, “Not Too Late: The Power of Pushing Limits at Any Age.”

 

She began a journey that took her from New York City conference rooms to a new obsession, not just with fitness but with the extreme sport of obstacle course racing. 

 

The catalyst came when she overheard an old man ask a little girl what she wanted to be when she grew up. It got Bounds thinking about the vaguely unsatisfying state of her life – and it led her to a fitness conviction and a reinvigorated outlook today in her 50s.

 

“I am a true latecomer” to regular exercise and the endless benefits it brings, Wendy writes. “At an age when so much seemed to be turning a corner toward endings, I found in racing a new beginning.”

 

She’s Not Alone

 

Wendy’s not alone, of course.

 

For example, Angela Staab, approaching 80 as a “senior athlete” and working out with a trainer regularly, shared her no-nonsense motto for anyone trying to get in shape:

 

“You can’t be a slug.”

 

I believe Staab, Bounds, and countless others offer proof that you can start later in life and still gain all the benefits of regular physical activity. 

 

So are scientific studies, including one from the National Institutes of Health. “Physical activity reduces the risk of many chronic illnesses and increases the odds of a longer, healthier life,” the NIH says. “Becoming active later in life can provide substantial health benefits.

 

More Than Her Story

 

Bounds’ beloved Spartan races involve running a course of several miles (the lengths vary) that includes a series of demanding physical obstacles – like scaling walls, carrying heavy things, and crawling through mud. Things you might imagine military recruits half her age doing in basic training.

 

“Not Too Late” is a compelling story of how she changed her life, but it’s also much more than that. The veteran Wall Street Journal reporter and editor also interviewed experts in longevity, philosophy, athletic performance, and more. And many of you will relate to her tale -- even if you have no interest in running obstacle course races.

 

She intends it to be “a roadmap for action and change” that others can follow. You can hear her talk about her fitness journey on the Optimal Aging podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.

 

Regardless of your age or fitness level, it’s not too late for you to gain the benefits of regular exercise. Call today and get moving!

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