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By

MARIA DIGIUSEPPE

I take for granted that I get up daily and know I’m going to do exercise. It’s the way I think, but it’s NOT the way everyone thinks. It’s my routine because I’m a personal trainer.

Most people think it’s easy for me, that I always want to exercise, and that I work out with my clients. While that’s true some of the time, it still takes effort and planning. I have clients in the morning and after that, have a full-time job managing amenities with a health club in downtown Manhattan. And if you think it’s easier to work out because I work in a health club, it’s not.

Once I get to work, I have other responsibilities so I’m happy knowing my workout is already done! Like so many out there, working full time, I’m trying to keep it all together. I think because I’ve worked so hard for years running races, lifting weights, becoming a trainer, and trying to practice a healthy lifestyle, I’m not willing to let it go!

As you get older, if you don’t keep up with it, you will lose it. Peak bone mass is reached around age 30 and stable until 50, and after that, there’s a decline. But the good news is that bone loss can be minimized, and you can increase muscle mass at any age. Here is a breakdown of how you can stay motivated to stay fit after 50.

FIVE THINGS TO HELP YOUR FOCUS ON FITNESS AFTER AGE 50

As a trainer, it’s a responsibility to stay fit and practice what I preach but I think it’s a responsibility for everyone! We have so many resources available to us, personal training, apps, and online classes for example. There’s so much information out there and we know so much more than we did years ago about good health so there’s really no excuse. But why is it so hard for many people?

My friends ask me how I stay motivated, especially as I’m getting older? I had to think about that. What is it that motivates me? Why do I do it?

#1 FITNESS HELPS YOU LIVE A PRODUCTIVE LIFE

I like working out because I know that my day will be more productive when I’m finished. It’s not something that anyone told me, it’s what I found to be true! That if I get up and go for a run, walk, lift weights or any form of exercise, my day will be much more productive than if I get up, drag myself to work and then home.

Stimulation from exercise can immediately produce hormones such as epinephrine which increases energy! When I was in college, I noticed that it was easier for me to recall information on my exams after my morning runs. So, I started going for a run every time I had a test! It didn’t surprise me to later learn that exercise helps keep our minds young and decreases the risk of dementia.

#2 YOU WILL FEEL GOOD AND LOOK GOOD

Who doesn’t want to look and feel better? Improved sleep, body image and self-esteem are part of the package. When you exercise you lose body fat, so you are leaner, clothes fit better, and you stand a little taller. With increased strength daily tasks are easier.

Being on Zoom over these past COVID years has made me more aware of how people see me. I think anyone can look good and anyone can look bad. It’s not about your facial features, height, frame, the colour of your eyes, etc. It’s about taking care. It’s also important to note that self-care is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.

#3 INCREASE YOUR HEALTHSPAN AND QUALITY OF LIFE

I like knowing that my heart is stronger, that my pulse is lower and doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood through my body. As I get older, I pay attention to these numbers more than I used to. I don’t want to be taking medications if I can avoid it.

Do you know that most of the heart conditions that people have are from poor lifestyle choices? It’s the same with cancer. The same is true for type 2 diabetes and type 2 osteoporosis.

I know it’s hard to get on track once these diseases are presented but I’m a firm believer in taking control of your health. Do your best to reverse what you can but treatment before a condition develops is the goal! Seek guidance from a professional.

#4 INCREASED ACCOUNTABILITY

I must keep my conscience clear. Yes, it’s true! I think it’s important to do our best with what we’re given. I spent many years doing whatever I felt like doing. I had addictions and made poor lifestyle choices. But I turned my life around and I want to help others do the same. I want to be a positive influence. That gives me purpose and that motivates me!

IT’S FUN AND REWARDING!

Not everyone likes going to a health club and lifting weights. But you can always find something you like to do to get active. Maybe it’s dancing, swimming, or paddle boarding. My workouts have changed over the years trying to learn new things and change what I want to accomplish.

But I still like lifting weights, (probably because I started in women’s body building) and I know the benefits. Whatever brings you joy is a great exercise for you! It’s a sense of well-being that is most important.

THE AUTHOR

MARIA DIGIUSEPPE

Maria is a certified personal trainer working in NYC for over 25 years in commercial clubs and with private clients. Certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine in 2003for personal training, she also received certifications from the NASM in Corrective Exercise, Performance Enhancement and Weight Loss. In addition, she is a certified health coach through the American Council of Exercise and also received the Exercise is Medicine credential from the American College of Sports Medicine in 2021 which offers prevention and treatment of special populations including diabetes, osteoporosis, seniors, pre-postnatal, cancer and arthritis. Maria is a breast cancer survivor and has taken courses to help patients begin their exercise program after reconstructive surgery. Strength training is her first love, but she enjoys all types of exercises and tries to learn as many different exercises as she can, staying up to date on the latest trends to benefit as many people as possible. When she’s at the gym, she’s at her best. Her passion for fitness is the same today as it was over 25 years ago!