Do any of you remember that old pop song from the eighties by Australian singer, Olivia Newton-John called ‘Let’s Get Physical’? Round about that time, pretty much all the girls were going about hopping mad, jumping onto the fitness craze bandwagon with their then-stylish leg warmers and sweat bands around their blow-dried hair. I tried to join in then but I couldn’t keep up. Apart from looking bloody ridiculous with a skimpy leotard stuck all the way up my bum which was reminiscent of an elephant’s behind, I found myself running out of gas once too often.
It was back to my tubby cakes and chips and sausage rolls. I was quite ok then with the self-resignation that physically and mentally, I just wasn’t meant to be slim and trim and the proverbial health nut. My belated membership of the health and fitness racket was also fortuitous, I believe. Today, so much more is known on how to keep fit in the healthiest possible way and all the other supporting contributors, such as eating balanced, healthy meals everyday of your life and keeping the mind and soul sound, than back then.
Even for someone as large as me – I was a short five and a half feet and weighed nearly three hundred pounds – it was quite possible to transform the body and mind without posing any undue risks such as collapsing and having a heart attack. Not only has it become part of my lifestyle, it’s also become a healthy part of my work life too. One of the jobs I’m tasked with at the old age home where I work is to run fitness classes for senior citizens, mainly those who have approached being regarded rather negatively as being geriatric.
Most of the old folks are well into their seventies. There are still a few ‘youngsters’ in their sixties, but these folks had seen better days before being foisted onto us by their children. Then there are the stalwarts who have endured. It is from them that we can all learn a lesson in life about keeping fit. Inevitably, they do reach a certain stage in their legendary lives where they can no longer live normal, independent lives and take care of themselves on their own.
But even in the home, these folks, well into their eighties, some already in their nineties, are still fighting for another day. So, researching for relevant coincidental information to go along with this blog post proved to be futile. From what I could gather, there were some well meant intentions and there were some hideously exploitative (commercial) intentions. All I was looking for really was suitable fitness plans for the old folks I, just moments ago, mentioned.
Can you honestly see a woman in her eighties lifting weights? Is it even really necessary? I also discovered that, no matter what your age, modest exercise, rather than high intensity regimes, does a lot more good. There’s far more enjoyment and a lot less stress. It’s something fat old me took to heart a few years back. Also, common sense should also tell you this, there’s a lot less likelihood of sustaining serious injuries, something old folks cannot afford to bear this late in their lives anyway.