Some new research, led by Kristen Beavers, an assistant professor of health and exercise science at Wake Forest University, sheds some light on two important and interlinked issues that concern Silver Grey athletes - keeping a healthily low body weight while maintaining adequate muscle mass for both your sports and for your health and quality of life.
This new study suggests the way to go is to combine weight training with a calorie-controlled diet and in this way to preserve lean muscle mass which can be lost through aerobic workouts.
People don't all become Silver Grey athletes in the same way or for the same reasons. In the case of Pat Gallant-Charette it was a sudden death that started her on the journey which led to her numerous records for distance swimming.
She set off with the greatest confidence and ran more than 2,000 miles in 39 days but, hugely disappointingly, multiple Guinness World Record holder Marvelous Mimi Anderson’s run across America has been called off due to injury. Just over a week ago on October 18th, having battled for several days through knee pain, an MRI scan revealed bone oedema and the risk of serious stress fractures if she carried on with the run.
Some great television on BBC1, starting last week the second series of “How to Stay Young”. How to Stay Young might be an off-putting title as at SGSC we think that it’s all about owning being older but at the same time being the best older you can be. However, it turns out that the programme is about the difference between what we’d call your biological age and your chronological age, which they call ‘body age’ and ‘birth age’ in the programme, and how to have a positive impact on that difference.
Multiple Guinness World Record holder Marvelous Mimi Anderson, whom SGSC interviewed in 2015, starts her latest record-breaking attempt today, to run across America. Not the first to do it, but she aims to be the fastest, setting a new record by running 53 miles per day for 53 days.
The news really is spreading, muscle is making headlines. Well, bylines, anyway. The journalist Matt Rudd has for some time been the Sunday Times’ fitness and work-out correspondent and after a long spell of high intensity cardio and aerobic work has at last brought his training regime round to the subject of muscle. Too much of the cardio has left him with not enough of it and he has now been advised to remedy that. Hurrah, at last someone is writing sensibly about the importance to health of skeletal muscle. Rather pompously we refer to it by its correct anatomical name to avoid the macho/instagram/facebook connotations that talking about muscles in the plural gives rise to. SGSC tweeted him about it, and you can read that here.
Anyway, to continue ... interesting as that is and even though Rudd is in his early forties and is probably thinking about his future as an older adult he isn’t really in Silver Grey territory. But when one of the foremost surfing and surf forecasting websites, Magic Seaweed, publishes an article entitled How to Surf Forever then we’re much closer to home.
Pilates - once viewed as the domain of 'yummy mummies' and celebrity lifestyle glitterati, this hundred year old discipline is gaining momentum as being a hugely beneficial form of exercise - no matter your age or fitness level. With followers from tennis star Andy Murray, to silver grey writer and broadcaster Joan Bakewell, Pilates is the buzzword on everyone's lips....but it has been around for years.
Originally known as 'Controlology', the system of body weight resistance exercise training was developed by Joseph H Pilates, and refined during his years as a prisoner of war.
If you’ve ever thought that it was too late to start exercising, too late to get more strength and/or fitness as you get older think again.
A new study from the Mayo Clinic, led by Kirsten Coffman, has found that if Silver Greys want to start even a vigorous exercise regime, there's a good chance their lungs will be able to keep up with the pace.
In 1978 Susie Orbach wrote her hugely successful and extremely influential anti-diet book Fat is a Feminist Issue, examining the complex relationship(s) women have with the shape of their bodies and with food, and what those said about women’s relationship with society. These days people usually refer to Obesity rather than Fat-ness, and obesity has become so widespread and affects such a high percentage of people that even though the issues discussed in her book are still relevant, they exist within a much wider spectrum of issues related to body-size. So although one can still say that fat is a feminist issue, it is also a “person-ist” issue, given its ubiquity, and with relevance to SGSC we can also say that it is an age issue.
We have often heard that exercise can be medicine, but in this case exercise is a post-operative therapy. Here is 78-year-old Louis Gomez for whom taking up kiteboarding was the best thing he could do for himself after coming through being treated for cancer of the vocal chords.
Dear Josh Glancy,
We have to take issue with you over something you wrote in your article for the Sunday Times Magazine of June 11th. In the article you wrote that “… technology makes physical strength ever more obsolete…” and we have to say that we find that a very dangerous statement.
Ernestine Shepherd, at one time the oldest competitive female body-builder, titles which she won in 2010 and 2011, has passed 80 - and she’s still going strong.
No longer competing, she still trains in the gym 4 times per week, as well as doing cardio exercise every day - up to 80 miles per week - and it shows. You can’t really believe that she’s 80.
If you ever had any doubt about the effectiveness of exercise on the condition of your body have a look at this - a number of women athletes taking part in age-group competition in the Crossfit Open 2017, all of them over 50 and the oldest of them in their sixties.
There's a lot of talking so the parts to watch - the amazing women athletes themselves - are at 1' 10", 1' 50", 2' 45", 3' 45", 4' 40" and 5' 30".
The Fountain of Youth. It’s an idea that has been around since the beginning of human history, probably, certainly since early civilisation, with roots in Greek mythology and written about as early as the the 5th century BCE, by the Greek writer Herodotus. He described it as a spring that could restore the youth of anyone who drinks from it or bathes in its waters. That story described a quite literal return to being young. The question is, is it really necessary to be young in order to be youthful, or at least in order to have some of the energy that one has when younger.
Apparently not - at least, not according to a report into some research from the Mayo Clinic.
5 years’ ago in 2012, we reported on French cyclist Robert Marchand’s age-group record for cycling 100 kilometres. Now at the age of 105, he is still going strong and still setting records.
In January this year he cycled 22.547 kilometres (14.01 miles) in one hour. Not only is this a record, even the Over-105-Years age group is new, created especially for him.
As the saying goes, it isn’t the first time and it certainly won’t be the last time .... that we get research that shows that the benefits of exercise go beyond muscles and up as far as your brain.
Here is yet more evidence that exercise can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimers disease. It comes from a study carried out at McMaster University in Canada by Jennifer Heisz, an assistant professor in the department of kinesiology.
…OR...“The Underappreciated Role of Muscle in Health and Disease”...
…which is the title of some research published about 10 years ago, and which is particularly relevant to many topics on this site.
Beat Kammerlander is someone who has pushed the boundaries of his sport, sport climbing. Having begun as a teenager in his native Austria, he is still climbing well into his fifties. He is particularly known for developing sport climbing in the Alps.
The German gymnast Johanna Quaas is officially the oldest active gymnast in the world. In 2013, she was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for that achievement.
At 90, in 2015, she was still going strong.
We found this short film about 60-year-old skateboarder Neal “The Dude” Unger. We really love his attitude to sport and age. When he talks about what he loves about skateboarding, we couldn’t put it better ourselves.
The Paralympics have just finished and - wow! What impressive and inspirational athletes, both in their performances and in their attitude. These athletes have to deal with great challenges in their lives, whether from a congenital condition or a disability caused by an event. Such determination, such guts, all channelled into becoming elite athletes performing at the highest level!
A strong swell, and a reasonably strong on-shore wind - to surf or not to surf, that was the question for us as developing surfers. The answer came to to us in the form of 56-year-old RNLI beach lifeguard Steve Stritch, and as you can see from our short clip of him surfing, he said “Yes, yes, yes. Come on in, the water’s lovely!”
So we did, it was, and afterwards we got the chance to tell Steve that he had inspired us to take the plunge, and to ask him a bit about himself.