Last week, I had dinner with two of our members who are in their 60s. They asked me how many of our members are in the over 60 demographic. GOOD QUESTION! So, I crunched the numbers and I am so proud to report that 9% of our gym members are over 60. Some have been at our gym since the first week we opened, so almost 12 years, while some are newer. The average time these people have spent with us is over six years!
So, what does this say? For one, our program is suitable for all ages. Secondly, exercise is the fountain of youth.
Fact: we have members well into their 70s. And they are all vibrant and capable human beings. Were they always active? Some were, so they never lost it. But, others had never trained and were looking for greater health. They found it.
Are these people “freaks of nature?” Not necessarily. They are hard-working, no-excuses individuals that value longevity and optimal health. They can squat below parallel, they can press overhead, they can hinge, they can run, they can jump, they can lunge. Many can perform strict pull-ups and rope climbs. They continue to get stronger. And, as a result, they enjoy life and wellness, not sickness. What makes these people different? They don’t make excuses. They have a positive mindset. They are life-learners. They persevere.
We’ve all heard the cliche, “age is only a number.” However, the harsh reality is that many people start to decline once they hit more advanced ages. Here are some statistics I found online from the Administration on Aging:
- Most older persons have at least one chronic condition and many have multiple conditions.
- In 2016, 38% of people age 65 and over had 0-1 chronic conditions, 47% had 2-3 chronic conditions, and 15% had 4 or more chronic conditions.
- Leading chronic conditions among older adults include hypertension (67% in 2015), arthritis (55% in 2015), heart disease (29% in 2015-2016), physician-diagnosed diabetes (22% in 2011-2014), cancer (19% in 2015-2016), and stroke (8% in 2015-2016).
How the hell does this happen? I would venture to say that activity levels decline and food consumption becomes less-then-optimal. Once those patterns have set in, it’s very hard to change and get motivated. However, it’s not impossible.
Consider these facts:
- In a new study, researchers found that increasing physical activity led to 11 percent drop in heart disease risk among people age 60 and older.
- Alternately, stopping physical activity increased heart disease risk by 27 percent.
- Researchers say the findings show it’s never too late to start working out.
Is it easy? Nope, not at any age. You have to make time to exercise. You have to build new habits. You have to be open to learn and work hard. But, is it worth it? HELL YEAH!
Just take a look at some of these awesome people…