These days, with all the efforts that are being made to combat climate change, the watchword for every kind of transport is fuel efficiency. The world’s favourite environmentalist, Jeremy Clarkson, believes that hydrogen fuel cells are the answer to non-polluting car power; other people think it should be electric cars powered by sustainably generated electricity - or solar powered cars, even. Until any of those things happen, though, it will still be all about fuel efficiency. And now, it seems, fuel efficiency is something Silver Grey athletes can aim at and benefit from.
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
If you want to see more of the footage.....
There’s an old joke that if you give up smoking it’s not that you live longer it just seems that way - or drinking, the same applies. Now, it seems, the real way to keep yourself living longer is to keep your body shape lean. OK, it’s a statistic not a guarantee, but if you do keep yourself lean then statistically you give yourself the best chance of living longer according to some recently published research. On top of that, another piece of research asserts that if you lift weights - twice a week, say - that’s another way to extend your life-expectancy. And with particular relevance to SGSC, when it comes to the weight-lifting research it’s based on results from the observation of weight-lifting among older adults.
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.
At SGSC we ourselves try to be what we encourage in others. We work hard to keep our bodies at the level which makes doing the sports we love possible.
At the moment, we are both recovering from a flu virus and energy levels are low, the idea of getting back into training a daunting prospect. Then over the weekend we found our inspiration. We read an article about a young woman, so brave, so courageous we found our motivation to get going again! We believe you will find her just as amazing as we do.
Well, is there or isn't there? Is there good news or is there uncertainty? Certainly, there is good news, but there is also a small amount of uncertainty. The uncertainty concerns the question "is it genetics or is it training?"
What is it all about? It's about Motor Units.
She has in the past been rather scornful of what she had always considered the rather desperate attempts by some of her fellow actors to battle the passage of time by daily 4am gym sessions. Now Helen Mirren has revealed that she herself partakes in gym workouts - "occasionally" as she says in an interview in the Sunday Times on 27th March. At her age (71, if you're interested) she says "it's necessary". No evangelism, no fuss, just an understated acceptance that working on her body is an essential part of keeping herself fully functioning and in good shape to continue the work she loves.
So it's as simple as that, you have to do it. And if The Queen says it, it must be true!
Well, finally it's cool to be old, as we've known all along - if you're into adventure sports, that is. And the proof, if you need it, is that several of the winning entries in a competition for short films of "unique human-interest stories within the world of action & specialist sports" featured athletes who were definitely in the SIlver Grey category. And here's one, about 77-year-old kitesurfer David.
In February this year there was quite a bit in the press on the subject of a recently published report on some research which proposes the theory that, beyond a certain modest amount, exercise does not use up extra calories. The reporting continued along the lines of "if you exercise primarily to lose weight, tough luck - because it doesn't work!". More of how this theory works later, but the main point that we wish to take issue with is the general tone of the press commentary which went along the usual lines of "Now we can stick two fingers up at those smug types who feel so good about themselves because they go in the gym and torture themselves, or they run for mile upon mile etc etc. Here's some research that shows us it's not worth doing more than an easy walk for a couple of miles since anything more than that doesn't use up any extra calories, so is pointless. Hah!"
A life-long Silver Grey Sports Club dream, to ski in Canada, was fulfilled this winter when we had a trip to Whistler in January. It most certainly won't be the last time there. Plenty of Silver Greys on the piste and which led to our being informed of the existence of the Whistler Senior Ski Team (SST), a group of Silver Grey skiers we referred to in a previous piece A Tale of Two Whistlers.
And of the two Whistlers referred to in that piece SST definitely falls into our camp, in fact their web-site strapline "We Grow Old Because We Stop Playing, Never Stop!" echoes the very sentiments expressed in our own motto.
In June 2015 53-year-old Devon man, Mark Berry, ran the 630 mile South West Coast Path in a record breaking 11days, 8 hours and 15 minutes, shaving an impressive 3 days off the current world record of 14 days, 8 hours and 2 minutes, which had only been set just over a month previously.
Born - Sometime around the Second World War ; Location - Val d'Isère, France / London, England / New York, USA ; Activity - Ski Instructor / tennis coach / creator of instructional ski books, dvd's and smartphone app, available at www.skitips.com
His 2nd ebook, "Powder & Off-Piste", is now available at the Apple iBookStore, along with the 1st one, "Learn To Ski"
Marty Heckelman has been skiing a long time. He should be pretty good by now....and he is.
It is often said that age is just a number. But even if it is just a number, it's a number that's attached to you and which follows you around all your life. It's also a number that implies a lot about you which is not accurate, especially from a health point of view. So if, from a health point of view, age isn't the right number, what would be the right one? It seems that the right number, as far as health is concerned, is what is termed your Fitness Age. And there are two pieces of good news with regard to your fitness age. Firstly, it is not the same as your chronological age, and secondly - and more importantly - it is totally subject to your efforts to lower it, with important consequent benefits.
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'.
Almost all the people on the pages of SGSC, with a few exceptions, are able to do what they do as a result of having spent a lot of time in physical training and conditioning. Whatever the level of performance they are looking for, it takes time and most of our Silver Grey athletes have put in that time, and as a result they have an enviable fitness level.
But what about people who don't already have that level of fitness but who would like to achieve it, particularly people of an age for whom achieving fitness might not seem to be a realistic goal? How to start out? What to attempt, and how often? Will the results be worth the effort?
…how a little vanity can go a long way.
We live in an age of unparalleled vanity and narcissism, even though these traits are not exclusively modern phenomena. Much of the world's cultural legacy is the result of vanity - great buildings, symphonies, paintings which are commissioned in exaltation of the commissioning party - national or regional rulers and the like, people who on the face of it don't sound as a whole to be a collection of retiring, self-effacing types. The difference is that in contemporary life
Think you know what old people look like? Frail, walking unsteadily and their back bent over from the weight of their head? Spindly arms and legs, bulbous elbow- and knee-joints? Think again!
Here are a couple of people who demonstrate how people can look even into their late seventies - strong, capable and full of energy.
Have a listen to what 77-year-old powerlifting grandmother Willie Murphy has to say about lifting weights, how the work in the gym makes such a difference to her life out of it.
And as for Darshan Singh Gill, he is equally impressive.
Keep Your Muscles!
Keep Your Muscles!
Keep Your Muscles!
We've said it before, we're saying it again, and we'll keep saying it - Keep Your Muscles!
We're not talking about maintaining a body-builder's physique, we're talking functionality.