Role models for the over 50s

moneyistooshorttomention Posts: 17,940 Forumite
edited 28 August 2016 at 10:58AM in Over 50s MoneySaving
It never struck me until I moved away from my home city just how many other people "fall by the wayside" as to how much exercise they expect themselves to do after they get to "a certain age". Though - goodness knows - statistics indicate just how many people leap in a car for what is only a pretty short walking distance.

So - previously I've been used to seeing a noticeable number of readily accessible (ie for those without cars) group walks advertised and, if I fancied them, then off I'd go and join them. In hindsight, looking back, and I guess many of the people on those walks were younger and it was rare for anyone over, say, 70 to join them - but that didnt occur to me at the time to notice people "falling by the wayside" there as they got older and "let themselves off the hook" for one reason or another.

Cue moving over here to West Wales and I have found a source of group walks sometimes and often go on them - but am spotting a tendency for people to also "let themselves off the hook" and not go as they are getting older. I don't think there is anyone in their 80s or above in the group at all! The average age around generally does seem to be higher than I'm used to too.

I am in a couple of dance groups and there are some people in them around my age (moving more slowly than the younger ones by the look of it....) and I can only think of one person that looks over 70 between the two of them and they come over as rather "elderly".

Cue for me making one friend who says she likes walks - and then finding she only seems to mean a mile or two. Then another friend - and same again. Now another friend - and same again. Oh! Well - I'll keep hoping I make yet another friend who says they like walks and this time they mean it (ie I am definitely no hardened "walker" - but I do expect myself to walk, say, 3-6 miles a time). Meanwhile - oh well...never mind and I'll just go off on my own and then I can walk a reasonable distance without someone "refusing to go any further" after only about 2 miles.

So - I'll keep my eyes out for making another friend - and this time one who really DOES "go for a walk" but meanwhile I mustnt start getting tempted to fall into bad habits just because that's what I see so many others do. There is a little bit of a tendency too, I think, not to be prepared to try out new places/new foods/new anything - whereas I still like experimenting.

I think it would be a good idea to have more positive role models in my age group (ie over 50) and on beyond that to the elderly (ie over 70) - so I dont start "slacking/vegetating" as that would be all too easy to do and tell myself it's "normal" (because that is what it seems to be for so many in my generation and older).

All suggestions for role models welcome. Be it yourself, someone you know or someone you've come across in the Media.

First two I can think of being:
- a woman in her 80s that has been doing the Ironman contest every year for decades and is still doing it. Major respect:T - as I wouldnt dream of doing that myself at any age:rotfl:

- a man of around 100 that was competing in a race recently. He was going very slowly and getting helped - but he was doing it:T

What other positive role models are there?


  • upoiupou
    upoiupou Posts: 136 Forumite
    edited 28 August 2016 at 1:06PM
    Thanks for your post! I enjoyed reading it and looked forward to people's replies.

    I recently moved and looked for a nearby gym. There's one round the corner from me and they have all but put a notice on their website saying "Don't come here if you're old"! Those of any age trying to improve are equally unwelcome. They say things like "We have a great group of members who are young and fit".

    Luckily, there are two other gyms which make it clear they welcome members of all ages (and levels of fitness). They're farther away but, hey, I don't have to be around vain, obnoxious people and I get some walking in too! I would include as role models the 20-, 30- and 40- somethings at the gyms that look beyond age, since they're not expecting people to give up either.
  • Oh dear - that is awful to try putting people off because they are old!!

    Precisely the age group that needs it most I would say personally - ie to prevent (as far as possible) the illnesses so many people get as they get older.

    I know that, when it came to one of my exercise classes here there was an attempt to re-route me to one specifically for the over 50s. I refused to be re-routed:rotfl: I'm going to the standard one. I think it's good for me to see what younger people can do and compare myself to them - as well as to people in my own agegroup.

    NB; Just recalled another "role model" I was reading about recently. It's another woman in her 80s who is busily lifting weights as a hobby - ones I wouldnt dream of trying if I were much younger. So - good on her as well.
  • pogofish
    pogofish Posts: 10,852
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Surely there must be some huge gaping hole in your life/psyche/personality etc if you still feel the need for role models in your fifties?
  • pandora205
    pandora205 Posts: 2,934
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    Try joining your local Ramblers group - there are lots of retired people in most with many hard core walkers. I was doing the short walks for our group (5-7 miles) each week and felt like a real beginner.

    The group walks at least twice a week and some of the rambles are 10 miles +. I don't know the exact ages of group members but I'd say quite a few were over 70. Unfortunately I tore my knee ligaments skiing so haven't been for a while, but I'll definitely be back in a few months time.
    somewhere between Heaven and Woolworth's
  • lessonlearned
    lessonlearned Posts: 13,337
    Combo Breaker First Post I've been Money Tipped!

    Don't know if this would Interest you but I have found a really nice website......

    I am registered with them and they sent out newsletters twice a week.

    I think it's American but they do have contributors from all over the world, including the UK.

    There are lots of interesting articles, links to blogs etc on a variety of subjects, money, health, travel, exercise, hobbies and pastimes, current affairs, business and work.

    The articles are usually thoughtful, well written and interesting, without the unpleasantness and bullying you sometimes see on Internet forums.

    They often do features on interesting women, not just "celebs" - perhaps you may find it interesting.

    Role models - well I have loads......some famous, some not, some alive, some dead, some real, some fictional.

    I am not particularly "sporty", and certainly not a "walker" (sorry I just find it boring) I only walk to get to a destination rather than for "pleasure".

    However I do agree that exercise is very important - for all ages. I think the trick is to find something you enjoy. So whilst walking would bore me to tears, I could dance the night away, every night.

    Money - I once read Arnold Schwarzeneggars auto biography. He talked about exercise a lot - as you might expect. He tells a story about Rose Kennedy.

    He had spent the day with the familay at their compound. They had played tennis, volleyball and swam. He asked if he could use their gym, whilst exercising Rose came to talk to him. She asked him if he could devise a routine for her using weights. Of course he obliged. Rose was in her 80s at the time.

    Maybe she would make a great role model.:D
  • missbiggles1
    missbiggles1 Posts: 17,481
    First Post Combo Breaker
    If I live to 80, I hope I might still be able to pootle round enough to take an elderly dog out for a bit of a mooch, but that's being optimistic. I certainly don't expect to be going on organised walks or belonging to a gym!
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 45,809
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    I'm in a local walking group, and there are others I don't manage to get to. Some of the 'others' are run specifically to encourage non-walkers to walk, and have had initial input from the local health authority.

    However, the group I go to regularly has short walks (up to four miles) followed by a pub lunch. We tend to be the less fit group, and we walk quite slowly. Then there are medium walks (up to six miles), which I go on occasionally, they take a packed lunch and tbh I can't always get that organised. On Sundays they do long walks (up to 10 miles), again with a packed lunch and I'm not free on Sundays.

    I'm definitely one of the younger and less fit members. The trick is just not to stop walking: a few of them have had to after really serious illness or injury or surgery, and it takes them a long time to work their way back again.

    But if you don't stop ... our walk this week was led by a chap to celebrate his 99th birthday!!!
    Signature removed for peace of mind
  • 97 year old Charles Eugster is my role model. Amongst many achievements he holds the world record for the 200m for the over-95s. He advocates body building for the elderly.
  • It never struck me until I moved away from my home city just how many other people "fall by the wayside" as to how much exercise they expect themselves to do after they get to "a certain age".

    This is very noticeable in local sporting events. For example, in my local triathlon this year, the numbers of competitors were:
    Age 17-39 ... 62
    Age 40-49 ... 55
    Age 50-59 ... 26
    Age 60+ ... 9
  • moneyistooshorttomention
    moneyistooshorttomention Posts: 17,940 Forumite
    edited 28 August 2016 at 8:00PM
    People in their late 90s keeping at it = :T. Good for them - worthy role models indeed. Rose Kennedy sounds a good one too in that particular respect.

    Come to think of it - and back in my younger days (ie when the first answer I would have give to the question "Who are you?" would have been "An activist" LOL) - I do recall that there were the few very venerable people at all levels in peace groups and still being very active. The universal opinion of them was that everyone admired them for it (whilst surreptitiously keeping a protective weather eye open just in case of need).

    Definitely no point in getting old before one's time - or even at one's time imo.
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