Article by FabafterFifty
As we get older, it becomes easier to find excuses to stop exercising. Although we might have the time, it’s hard to find the motivation. It can also be intimidating to work out alongside people half your age at the gym, or perhaps you simply don’t know what exercises are right for your body.
However, the good thing is that it’s never too late to start moving! For celebrity health and fitness instructor Irene Estry, life began at 40. Previously a make-up artist and Max Factor model, Irene had a change of heart at 40, when she joined a fitness class and decided that was to be her life goal – to encourage older woman to work out, get fit and stay healthy, no matter their age.
After a two-year intensive training course, Irene became a qualified choreographer and started running classes and personal training sessions. Today, at 73-years-old, she has several A-list clients – many of whom she considers her best friends as well – including the cast from Coronation Street.
Even now as a grandmother of two, Irene shows no signs of slowing down. She has also written a book called Growing Old Disgracefully: The Mature Woman’s Manual, where she addresses some of the problems women face as they get older.
“I very much believe in natural ageing. I embrace the concept of just being happy about the oncoming years and the journey. I always say to everybody, in order to get older and be reasonably comfortable, you need good genes, good food to nourish your body, good family and friends, and a good positive mental attitude,” Irene says.
“Keeping as active as possible, working with other people, staying focused enough to look forward; never losing your sense of adventure, and your passion for life. Always have a bit of a dream. Although we’re getting older, we’re still kids inside.”
So what kind of physical activity works best for older women? Irene believes it’s about a balance of both cardio and resistance. Aerobic activity works to get rid of excess fat, while resistance activities help to keep muscles healthy and active. It’s only natural to put on weight as you get older, partly due to the change in lifestyle, but also because you start to lose muscle mass after the age of 30.
Doing physical activity releases endorphins, reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke and have been shown to lessen the effects of chronic illnesses. Research has shown that just an hour of exercise a week can halve the chance of getting Alzheimer’s disease, as well as drastically lowering the risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis and cancer.
And it’s not just your body that you have to keep active as you get older; it’s also your brain. Try doing mind puzzles, reading, learning, and most importantly, always have a positive attitude. It’s important to keep moving – both your body and your mind – no matter your age!