Staying powerful over 40: Looking respectable at the gym

Looking respectable at the gym

Looking respectable at the gym

Looking physically respectable gets tougher and tougher as you get older. If you keep the same bad diet habits at 40 or older as you did at 25, or stop being very active, the loser will be your waist line and overall health. Whether you’re trying to play catch up and get your lost physique back, or trying to maintain a good level you’re at, it can still be intimidating to go to a public gym as you get older. Looking respectable at the gym is not as tough as people might think, though.

No matter what one’s age is, if you’re at the gym, and actually working out, then you’re taking steps to improve. And that should be respected by even the fittest people in the gym.

A football coach I used to interview had a quote that always stuck with me. He said, “People never stay the same. They’re either getting better or worse each day. You have a choice each day – which are you going to do?”

If you’re new to a gym, you might get some stares at first no matter what kind of shape you’re in because people don’t recognize you. But if you keep at it, and do the best you can each day, people should take notice of your commitment. Whether you’re bench-pressing several big plates at once or just the bar, working with big or small dumbbells, sprinting or walking on the treadmill, the key is consistency. Don’t judge yourself against anyone but yourself.

At the weight room I work out in, I remember talking to a rather heavy-set woman who said “hi” to me one day when there weren’t many people in the facility and we were both riding stationery bikes. She proceeded to tell me she had recently undergone gastric bypass surgery and that it was tough for her to workout, but she was determined to do it. After that I kept seeing her in the weight room on a regular basis and looked at her with respect – maybe not in the same way as the athletes I’m used to competing with or writing about as a sports writer, but as a person who in her own way was doing her best. And that’s all you can do in the weight room – your best.

If you put some effort into it, the results will last a lifetime.