Are You Too Old to Start Exercising?

This is the second post in my series on health and fitness. Check the first one out here, and all the earlier posts on health and fitness by clicking here. In these posts, I try to answer the most common questions and address the most pressing concerns I receive as a fitness instructor.

A very common question that I get asked  is:

I'm xx years old. I have never exercised in my life. Can I start now?

And when I say xx years old, it's usually 40+. 

The answer, of course, is yes. I'm not talking about a medical condition or an injury that's stopping the people who ask me this question. You need to consult your physician for getting his/ her approval on exercising when you have a medical condition or post-injury. But this is simply about age. Many students ask me if they can start an exercise based solely on their age. They're afraid that since they're a particular age now, starting an exercise program or joining a gym will be useless/ harmful to their health. This is so far from the truth. You can start working out at ANY age.


Your previous lifestyle doesn't matter. Only your willpower and dedication matter. The body is an incredible machine controlled by an even more incredible power- the mind. Whether in fitness or in life, whatever you want to achieve, you can. You can start an exercise program at any age. It doesn't matter if you have never, ever exercised, ever, in your life before.

You can start working out at 23. Or you can start going to the gym at 56. You can become a gymnast at 60. You can become a yogini at 67. What's more, you can become completely fit and get rid of all your health problems even at this seemingly "advanced" age of yours. 

Don't believe me? Here are a few examples:

Ernestine Shepherd is 82 years old. She started exercising when she was 56. She used to be a competitive bodybuilder and holds the record for being the oldest competitive female bodybuilder. Although she doesn't enter competitions now, she still maintains her exercise regimen.

Johanna Quaas used to be a gymnast when she was young. She had to stop due to various reasons such as gymnastics being banned in the city in Germany where she lived, and dedicating herself to her three daughters. She started training again at the age of 57. She won the title for the competition that year. She holds the title of the oldest gymnast in the world. She's 92. And she still competes.

Jean Dawson lives in England and started going to yoga classes at age 67. Growing up, she was never interested in sports. Today, she's 100+ years old now and continues going to her yoga classes every morning and credits it to improving her health.

There are many more examples of men and women who started a dedicated workout plan after their 50s and became fitter and healthier. From personal experience, I've had a lot of 55 to 60+-year-old women in my Combat classes, throwing punches and kicking as best as they can. Their energy levels and positive attitudes are better than most young people I know. 

Don't think that your best years have passed by and you're too old to become fitter or to get that 6 pack. Whether it's weights, aerobics, or yoga, you can start any kind of exercise at any age. You might need to check with your doctor first if you have any condition that will get worse due to a specific type of exercise, but your age is not an obstacle to beginning a workout routine. Or starting to make your lifestyle a healthier one in general. You just need a positive attitude and willpower. 

If you have any questions, leave me a comment below or get in touch with me on my Facebook or Instagram. Or leave me a comment below!

Until next time

Shabana Feroze

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