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.
Here are two videos about women surfers, one 68 and the other 71 years old. They both surf at an age that used to be unusual, at least, but which is less so now. On top of the fact that they both love riding the waves, there’s a very interesting difference between them. One has been surfing all her life, and the other only took up the sport at the age of 53.
68 year old Genie and 71 year old Gwyn
A bit of a dry title for an article, isn't it? The only good thing to say about it is that if your brain can be described as ageing it means it's still alive - therefore so are you! So make the most of it! And that's what the Silver Grey Sports Club stands for - ageing doesn't inevitably equal decrepitude, it can mean being strong and fit and so having more time to do your sport. And here is yet more evidence that doing sport and exercise is not only fun and good for you physiologically, it's also good for your brain! It's not the first time we've written about this, and no doubt it won't be the last.
There's a fun side to exercise, and there's a serious side, and here are a couple more examples showing the serious results of the fun side - fun, that is, if you like exercise.
A team at Southampton University, led by Professor Mike Grocott, have discovered that putting patients on a course of exercise training can have highly beneficial effects on the outcomes of their cancer surgery - a treatment that they term 'pre-habilitation'.