You’re never too old to get fit
This week I took the opportunity to interview one of my clients, Karla Brookes. She is over 50 and has been training with me for the past seven years. As we get older, sometimes we think it is too late in life to begin a fitness routine. However, as you will see below, it never is.
When did you start exercising?
I started my journey with exercise rather late in life. A friend and I were out walking in the Arboretum about seven years ago and we came across you training one of your clients. To be honest, I was ashamed of how out of shape I was and felt embarrassed to even try to have someone work with me. My friend suggested we talk with you to see if you would consider training us. My friend insisted, so I reluctantly agreed to start once a week.
Were you ever really into fitness?
I was the kind of person who enjoyed reading and art. I love a great cup of tea with friends and enjoy having a good conversation at dinner — hardly activities that promote fitness. Going for a run or doing an exercise class was far from my priorities.
Do you have children?
I have four wonderful kids and my last pregnancy came as a bit of a surprise, aged 40. Needless to say, it took a toll on my body. I began to have frequent back pain with standing, and my muscle tone was non-existent. I was very aware that my disinterest in exercise was impacting my day-to-day activities and wellbeing.
Has weight ever been a factor? If not, why do you continue to exercise?
I have not had a huge battle with my weight, but definitely with muscle tone and strength. You have been such a terrific support and very patient and encouraging. I pointed out my areas of weakness and you focused on strengthening exercises that were manageable for me. This has been a critical choice in my life and my back pain and muscle tone are remarkably better.
How does having a personal trainer help?
At age 54, I train twice a week and it keeps me focused and accountable with my exercise. Believe me, if it was not for accountability I would be too lazy to do it on my own. I know that it is essential for me to keep up so that I control my weight as I age and to maintain muscle tone and core stability as it relates to my back.
What other benefits has exercise had on your life?
Another benefit has been the positive impact on my family. I want to be a good example to them on how to take care of themselves as they grow older; how to be the best they can be. Sometimes my girls will join me and we have a great time with a dose of healthy competition.
What advice do you have for anyone over 40 that is contemplating starting an exercise routine?
I'd like to encourage other women in their 40s and 50s not to give up. Don't think it is ever too late to start working on your fitness! Our bodies are a gift from God — amazing machines that need discipline to maintain.
• Get fit over 40 and B-Active For Life! Betty Doyling is a certified fitness trainer and figure competitor with more than a decade of experience. Check her out on Facebook: facebook.com/B.ActiveForLife