Looking for some Healthy Inspiration? Look at These Senior Olympians

After 50, motivation can be the toughest part about working out. However, watching clips from a new documentary about Senior Olympians titled, Age of Champions, it is hard not to be inspired. This uplifting story of five competitors who sprint, leap, and swim for gold at the National Senior Olympics makes going to the gym three to five times a week look easy.

Each champion has made lofty goals, and surpassed them.  If Roger Gentilhomme can be a tennis champion at age 100 after battling cancer, arthritis, hernias, and concussions, shouldn’t I be able to do 20 pushups?  I think we could all use a bit of his dedication and motiviation.  As he puts it, “As long as I can compete, I’m going to be out there,” and “as long as I live, I’m going for the gold medal!”

Thankfully for us that need some help in getting started, Restart Retirement has posted tips for individuals over 50 who want to get motivated and get moving towards their fitness goal.  Here is their advice:

If you want to start exercising:

  • Set a goal – any project or plan without goal will be a struggle
  • Develop a plan to reach your goal – this is a must no matter what activity you enjoy
  • Start small – if you are just starting set realistic goals
  • Set interval goals and reward small short term accomplishments
  • Create rewards that are pleasurable and away from your exercise
  • Change routines and change often
  • Develop a competition with yourself or a partner and relate back to rewards
  • Chart progress so you can monitor and remember successes

If you are already exercising:

  • Remember good days
  • Remember the feeling of success and your pleasure rewards
  • Focus on the big picture
  • Withdraw during your routine
  • Stay grounded but dream big
  • Join a team or league if you are motivated by others and in a team or league sport
  • Know what your urges are to quit and be aware of them
  • Continue to mix things up
  • Visualize your success
  • If you get lost with mixing it up – get a coach

To read more about getting motivated over 50 head over to Restart Retirement’s post, Over 50 – The Toughest Element in Fitness is Motivation.

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5 Responses to “Looking for some Healthy Inspiration? Look at These Senior Olympians”

  1. Connie says:

    So very inspiring! Motivation is defiantly a big issue for me. I needed to lose weight and started out by substituting about half of what I would normally eat with vegetables. I didn’t get hungry and the weight started coming off. However after 10 lbs, I need to add exercise and movement to my routine. I started sitting my grandkids and I lost 30 lbs easily in a year. I enjoy it so it’s easy exercise! I feel so much better now. Exercising and just moving around is so important!

  2. mackenzie says:

    Congrats Connie! I think we all struggle with motivation, but I am glad you have been able to find ways to get around that and be successful!

  3. Richard says:

    I’m 65 and workout about 8 hours a week, mostly jump rope but also weights – I got here entirely due to your point about – ‘Remember the feeling of success and your pleasure rewards’.

    What I found over 30 years ago is you can systematically develop an appetite for those rewards. I did it by committing to “Just start” a workout everyday after work when I was most burned out and also felt the least like exercising – I could quit in 5 minutes if I wanted, but I would always start. And it worked! With the dread taken away I was able to get through that moment in time when you have to actually start. And after a few weeks my evening didn’t start until after I rode the exercise bike.

    I discovered jump rope at 55 and I’m now in the best shape of my life – but not because I was trying to be fit; The point is to focus on the pleasure of how you feel because then exercise satisfies an appetite rather than being a duty. If you’re lucky you’ll find something that’s fun, like jump rope is for me My whole blog is pretty much a variation on those themes.

  4. Richard says:

    I don’t know where I got 8 hours a week. It’s more like 5 1/2 at the most. Doesn’t change my point of course.

  5. Wow! These people are so impressive and inspiring. This only shows that when you put your mind into something and you don’t use your age and condition as an excuse not to exercise and move around. This will definitely inspire me to exercise more. I hope I can get my ideal weight soon!

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