Working at a gym, I see all different types of people. Muscular men and thin girls are prominent, but not the entire make-up of the crowd. What you may be surprised to hear is that the majority of Manhattan’s gym members are adults over 50 years of age. In fact, our gym’s oldest members are a married couple who are 87 and 91 years old. They are not only members, but daily users of the gym.
Looking at this beautiful couple, you would have never guessed that they were that old. The wife, Muriel, is in excellent physical condition. Her and her husband David do weight lifting and cardio together.
Another lovely lady I’ve befriended over the years, Mickey, comes daily as well. Her husband Bob drops her off at the door and takes off to play around the town while Mickey gets in a workout. I asked Bob how long Mickey has been coming to the gym, and if she enjoyed it.
He told me, “She made the decision one day when she looked at a picture of herself and didn’t like what she saw. The next day we signed up. Now I can’t keep her from coming. She loves it.”
You can enjoy it too!
So many people think of working out or going to the gym as a chore. That could be because when many people who are out of shape or have gone a while without exercising think of working out, they picture long boring runs on a treadmill. However that doesn’t have to be the experience. If you join a gym, for example, sometimes you can get perks with your membership, such as the use of massage chairs or help from a personal trainer. Some gyms offer memberships that allow you to bring a friend or family member when you go to workout, thus providing an excellent opportunity for caregivers to show their support for their aging parents’ fitness goals. Additionally, many gyms have televisions above their cardio machines, making the workout more entertaining.
Gyms are great places to make friends!
Mickey and I chat everyday, and it’s one of the things I look forward to most. I asked her why she comes to the gym every day.
“It’s the people.” she states. “I just love being here. I like working out.”
She also told me about the 37 pounds she’s lost since she began and how she works out for her health. When I implored Bob as to why he didn’t stay to work out with his wife, his answer made me laugh.
“People ask me that a lot. Why don’t I go to the gym? I do! I go twice a day. Once to drop her off and once to pick her up!”
Go to local.healthy.net for a listing of fitness programs for older adults in Manhattan and www.yelp.com for tips on how to pick the right gym and program for you or your senior loved one, as well as a full listing of gyms in your neighborhood.