I am not a
licensed trainer, exercise consultant, or medical professional. I am a writer who also happens to be a lawyer.
At 65-years, my physical condition is my credential. It is evidence that I have done, and am doing, something right; and there are many others like myself.
For decades I have been asked about my state of fitness. Doctors almost inevitably ask what I do. Because of the degree of interest, I considered writing a book on the subject, but decided to begin with a website.
community is decades behind those of us who have experimented with exercise,
diet, and supplements over the years. We may not have understood how something
worked at the time, but we knew that it did because our bodies were, and still are, evidence that certain things produce great results.
Unfortunately, there is also evidence around us that demonstrates how some things do not work – bodies dying or suffering from chronic and debilitating diseases when 70% of those conditions are preventable.
I began lifting weights when I was seventeen-years old because I didn't want to be skinny anymore. Within a year, I was no longer skinny. As a result of that experience, I developed a strong interest in diet and exercise.
During my pregnancies, I walked two miles, daily, through sandy soil, and practiced yoga poses, stretches, and breathing exercises. My doctor was so impressed by the way my body snapped together so quickly, he referred some of his female patients to me.
How fast was that “snap?” I looked great wearing a bikini two weeks after my first baby was born. I had never seen a woman’s body after childbirth, so I wasn’t aware that there was anything different about me.
My interest in the benefits of exercise grew beyond mere curiosity.
Around 1973, I started working as the assistant manager of a women’s health spa. The majority of those women weren’t getting results from the one-size-fits-all program. So, I experimented with those ladies by adjusting the amount of weight, number of repetitions, and sets. The changes were measurably better.
In 1975, I was working out in gyms when women were nowhere to be found in weight rooms.
In my thirties I became a fitness consultant and aerobics instructor. I knew enough to train competitive bodybuilders and was sought out to judge several bodybuilding competitions.
In the 1980s, I lost interest in competitive bodybuilding when fine, natural physiques were losing to steroids.
Over the years I consulted with and trained several doctors, who admitted an utter lack of knowledge when it came to exercise and weight training. They were so pleased with their results that they referred friends, family, and patients to me.
I feel badly
for people making the effort but not improving in their fitness endeavors simply because they aren’t doing things correctly.
Some pay exorbitant fees for a trainer, and their progress is either non-existent or so slow that the only gain is happening in the trainer’s wallet.
prefer efficiency, and I am results-oriented. I don't believe in wasting my time, nor do I want you to waste yours.
Most medical professionals are clueless about exercise and fitness. I could write a book using examples where medical experts shunned things because, according to them, those things didn’t work. Yet, we now know that they do.
For example, us “health nuts,” or “health fanatics,” as we were disparagingly called back then, were wrong to think that we could derive benefits from using vitamins or certain oils on our skin. Skin, we were told, does not absorb anything deeply enough to benefit us in any way.
Fast forward to today. How many things can you think of that are now delivered through the skin? There are patches and creams of all kinds. Our skin does absorb things we put on it -- sometimes to our detriment.
I didn't succumb to, “Sweetie, you shouldn’t be lifting such heavy weights. You might hurt yourself.” This is coming from a twenty-something when my 38-24-36, forty-seven-year-old body was doing three sets of twelve flies with 45-pound dumbbells, and three sets of fifteen repetitions on a leg press using 400 pounds.
Then, there’s the proverbial, “You are getting older, you know. Maybe you should slow down a bit – just to be safe.” How absurd is that at a time when I had no indications of any health problems to even suggest a need to slow down? Thank God I never listened to those doctors!
According to the just-catching-up data and the bodies of evidence, exertion is essential as we get older.
Fortunately for us, there are doctors who focus on preventative and lifestyle medicine. Current research in the areas of aging and sports medicine is helpful in understanding why certain things do or do not work.
Unfortunately, the results of research are sometimes conflicting, and the AMA still tends to shift its positions on a regular basis.
I recognize the fads, and how the 'latest' exercise is actually the same movement we were doing over forty-five years ago – with a new name.
I'm sure you have heard the term "core" exercises. Those same exercises have been around for decades. We just didn't call it "core." In the early 80's, I referred to it as sidewalls of support.
I have been faithful to maintain a great "core" since the early 1970s. Why? Because I found that it protected my lower back from injuries, and provided the needed support to pursue any physical activity. I know that it works.
Some of the current books on the market extolling the new-found benefits of exercise may be new-found to the authors, but for thousands of us it has been a given over decades of personal experience and observation.
Nothing in life is bullet-proof; but, I think it is best to err on the side of decades of undeniable evidence, currently substantiated, staring you in the face.
I used to think that at 65 years of age, I was one of those 'older' individuals who was living proof. I now see that I am quite young among the many examples of people who exemplify the benefits derived from their lifestyle choices.
I have met people in their seventies and twenty years beyond who are still skiing, biking, and smashing tennis balls around the court.
My goal is to present hundreds of profiles on this site – bodies of evidence sharing their stories. I hope you will find them as inspiring as I do.
It is never too late to delay, stop, or turn around a deteriorating body.
It really is a choice!