Fitness in the 50’s – Especially for those of us who aren’t that fit.
I have never been someone who has been super fit. I have been ok with regards to getting around and engaging in mild physical activity but have found as time goes on this is much more difficult to do unless you really work at it.
Over the years I have worked through a gamut of exercise regimens. I started with John Valentines Fitness centres back in the 80’s which were like today’s gyms but not quite as intensive. At this time, I partnered the exercise with extreme dieting which ultimately lead me to vow to do things in moderation from that time on.
Once my two gorgeous boys came along I used running after them as my exercise regimen, as well as lots of walking as I didn’t have a car at that time. I also went back to playing netball with friends which helped with my fitness.
I have never been a fan of going to the gym, but I did acquiescence at one stage and joined but it was short lived as I didn’t really enjoy it, always being happier doing group fitness with friends.
When I went back to work fulltime as a teacher I really didn’t have time for much, so used the fact that I was on my feet walking 5 days a week as my fitness program. Not intensive but still moving. And this is the one thing that I think I always had in the back of my mind that it is always important to move.
As time went on I realised that while I could walk all day on flat ground, but any steep steps or hills really puffed me out. I then realised that I needed to do more before our next holiday which was a trip to the tip of Australia. It was through a friend that a few of us started to work with a personal trainer once a week and that made a huge difference. It was a small group of friends and there was no judgement which is something I think that has stopped me before. It worked really well, and I walked the track to the tip of Australia with ease. Without that training and personal attention, I am sure that I would have struggled, I would have got there but not without huffing and puffing along the way.
When the personal training finished I went back to walking to keep fit but not long after that I went back to my old ways of making excuses, one being a problem with my knee. This was another easy way out until it got so bad that I had to do something and after seeing a land physiotherapist for months with no results, I started at Aquaphys which is basically physiotherapy in the pool. I work with my physio Luke who has made such a difference in mobility with my knee. The physio work was intensive but makes such a difference and it also helped to up my fitness as well. I combined this with Pilates, which kept my muscles stretched and I felt that the combination of both were good for my all-round health and fitness.
Working at this is a lifestyle change that I need to keep up as the minute you stop doing the exercises at home or making excuses to not go to the pool the issues resurface, and you have to start from scratch and this is where I am at this moment in time.
Putting off doing what needs to be done makes life more difficult and while I enjoy the walks I do with The Wondering Women group I am selective as I my knee prevents me from doing any walks with steep stairs or hills. I know now that as you get older your body doesn’t spring back to normal as easily as it did and if you don’t keep moving, stretching and exercising your quality of life is affected. I want to be able to go on holidays that are demanding at times so need to make a conscious decision to do more, eat less and keep up with my daily exercises if I am to succeed.
by Kim Archibald