Jan's 5K Challenge: Does Age Matter?

Published on September 9, 2010

Updated on November 4, 2019

Yesterday I was wondering what I would write about in this week’s post and came up blank. Until a conversation in the gym this morning made me question – “does age matter?”

While on the elliptical a woman I occasionally talk with struck up a conversation.  I’ll be honest, at first I thought about pretending I didn’t hear her, because quite frankly I find it hard to work out and talk at the same time.  For me, it’s kind of like swimming underwater while singing.  But she’s a sweet older woman in her late 70s so I began chatting with her. Soon I was thrilled I did.

It was a difficult morning for her.  She told me how hard it is, at her age, to work out some days. Unlike people of my age. My age?  I responded that I too find it harder the older I get but the alternative, not working out, was worse.  The benefits outweigh everything else.  She laughed and said, “Sure, you have youth on your side.” 

Youth?  How old did she think I was, especially as I had sweat pouring off of me, half from the work out, half from the hot flashes I’ve been experiencing?  So I had to ask and she made my day, guessing no older than 41 or 42.  Woo Hoo!  I beamed from ear to ear and sucked my stomach in a little tighter. For a brief minute I thought I’d keep the truth to myself, but I admitted my age, 52.

Of course my excitement was quickly dashed when she blurted it out for to all to hear!

This conversation made me take a close look around the gym at the varying ages and body types – there was a little bit of everything.  Some were doing high impact workouts, while others walked on a treadmill and did a little light weight training.  The one thing they all had in common is that they were all moving, all staying active, all reducing their cancer risk .

So does age matter? Sure in some things. But there’s a benefit at every age in staying active.

How do you stay active?

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