Fitness over 50: Is it ever too late?

TYLER (KYTX) - People over 50 now make up the fastest growing segment of the fitness population, according to recent reports. The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association says the bottom-line is people want to age well.    

Study after study points to exercise as a way to boost your health and live longer.  Research out of UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas shows it may also lower your risk of getting certain cancers, heart problems, pulmonary conditions, stroke, kidney disease, diabetes and Alzheimer's.

Mollie Hertwig is retired from work, but not from working out at the gym.

"I was a afraid to get sluggish. I was afraid that I would not get back into a program," says Mollie Hertwig.

Mollie's exercised all her life.  Turning 50, even 60 didn't slow her down-- too much.

"I think, for me, being so busy all of the time, my mind is busy all the time like my body is busy, busy. Exercise is my form of meditation," says Mollie. 

She hits 360 Fitness in Tyler 5 days a week. Two of those days are reserved for sessions with her trainer. "His goal for me is my goal for me. I think it is important to have a trainer and let them know what your goal is and my goal, at my age and with the knee surgery and aches and pains, my goal is to keep my core strong," says Mollie.

360 Fitness owner and trainer, Melinda Prince says as we age our muscle cells degenerate.

"If you don't use it, you lose it and that really is true with our joints and our muscles.  It is so important as we age, to keep the joints, ligaments and tendons nice and strong. It prevents falls. It helps with activities of everyday life," says Melinda Prince, 360 Fitness. "It helps us with those aches and pains we start to see after age 50." 

Melinda says Fitness over 50 really should include a safe, weight lifting program, tailored to your needs.   

"that's the only thing you can do to preserve muscle tissue and prevent that process. So, it actually makes you younger. It slows the aging process," says Melinda.

And who doesn't want that?

Melinda says there's a misconception that if you're over 50, it's too late to achieve your fitness goals.  But, she's worked with people in their 70's, who are in better physical shape than when they were 40.


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