Getting older - getting fitter

Getting older doesn't have to be full of limitations and restrictions. Great feats are constantly reported in the press by older people who simply decide to live life to the full ignoring the unwritten rules of ageing...

Growing older - getting fitter is a reality and there are countless people in my life who mature and blossom with age. I have a large family who all live fiesty youthful lives, doing sport activities that many of their associates shy away from. At Fitness Cat Zlín I meet mature clients, regularly, with bodies that would make any young athlete proud. Bob is a well known face who at the age of 70 still performs around Europe. His tight, balanced flexible body is proof that you can age and stay in top condition. My good friend Graham Watson in Fife, Scotland started weight training in his mid sixties. Within a couple of years he'd won his first trophy in a National Bodybuilding Competition and picked up his first medal in long distance running. He still trains at his local gym where he inspires many others and his warmth and loyalty to his friends is what makes him an extra special man. John Macdonald, another great man who has dedicated much of his life to coaching young athletes, up in Edinburgh, with youth and vitality continues even today to coach 5 days a week.

There are a number of post 50s out there who put younger bodies to shame with their chiseled physiques and youthful features. Guinness World Record holder Ernestine Shepherd lifted her way to fitness, as did bodybuilder Jim Morris. And former marathoner Mark Sisson credited exercise and a gluten-free diet for his rippling abs.

But we haven't met anyone who goes to quite the same lengths as Gao Yinyu does to stay fit. The 77-year-old retired teacher from chilly northeastern China has maintained an exercise routine that isn't for snowbirds or other warm-weather lovers. He jogs and does a series of gymnastic feats on parallel bars before taking a dip in a lake - all in -25˚Celsius weather (we'll save you the Google search - that's -13˚ Fahrenheit). Did we mention most of his work out is done in his underwear?

He's been doing this routine for 10 years, and, according to reports, has never caught a cold. Feel inspired by Gao's workout commitment? It's good to know a few things about exercising before you begin your own workout.

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