Getting over 40, things def changed for m. It always seems to happen on the “9’s” for me. When I was 29, all of a sudden I was at the doctor for this and that.
Then at 39, my body just didn’t respond to my nutrition or workouts as before.
I’m 41 now, but I thought of this as many times women over 40 just accept where their body is and can blame it on being in the 40’s.
What do you think?
Can you change and get yourself super fit or do we have a “pass” because of our age?
A competitive master athlete at 60 may well beat an average 40 year old in their sport. They are unlikely to beat a competitive athlete of 40. There are normal changes with age. One way to say this is that as a whole the effects of exercise are opposite to the effects of age, though not as strong (we cannot stay 20, but we can keep really strong function for quite a long time). My colleague Betty is in her 70s, and does not have a body builder physique… but she was at an inversion workshop with me recently and was doing headstands without her age having to be at all pertinent.
By the way, this is a topic about which I have thought quite a bit. If you are interested I did a blog on it http://blog.ideafit.com/blogs/ariadne-greenberg/age-exercise-and-yoga
I do have some questions about the way you have framed the question.
Are we talking about functional fitness or aesthetic fitness? I think that is a really important question, and one that Karin’s answer goes to. Do we want that fitness so that we can bike across Nantucket, or sail to Barbados, or hike with our grandkids, or dig a vegetable garden. Or do we want it to look a certain way? Also perfectly fine..but the danger is if we want to look a way because we buy into the notion that an older person (and especially an older woman) is inherently of less value. So one might dye one’s hair because one loves trying new styles, or one might dye it because there is gray and that is associated with age, and one does not want to look older, because society tells us age is bad, and we buy into it.
In my 20s I was reading ten hours a day, studying philosophy. In my 30s I was physically very fit: miles of walking, 20 plus classes a week, power lifting, seeing training clients. In my 40s I was mostly practicing the bhakti of motherhood. At 54 I believe I am finally finding the balance of the parts. I do not want to be perfectly physically fit if it means not paying attention to the other dimensions of who I am: a being who is social, intellectual, emotional, spiritual…. as well as physical.
The answer is, of course, depending on one’s genetics and history of injuries a high degree of physical fitness is available even at much older ages. And the broader answer is that if we strive for that fitness because we embrace life, rather than run away from our own arc of age, and enjoy it in the context of exploring our unique multifaceted existence that is a wonderful thing.