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exercises for those over 50

Fit Over 50, How One Guy Got His Groove Back

By Davida Wright Galvin

I’m inspired by a lot of the older people who show up to exercise with me. I know I feel my bones aging and it’s easy to stay home and relax. But I have a room full of people who are fit over 50 years old who show up every week to do the work of keeping their bodies strong and mobile.

Fifty-six year old Khalil Amani caught my attention as your not-so-typical Zumba-holic. He’s an older African-American man who stands out in the exercise class because of his color and his ability to own the moves. Khalil is the first older black man I’ve met who really loves Zumba. He knows it’s rare to see men like him in these classes because it’s not macho. But he says he loves women and feels comfortable being with them. Khalil used to dance a lot in his youth and even belonged to dance teams. But like the rest of us, adulthood took over his life and he had little time to devote to exercise or classes. Over a year ago he said he started looking at his expanding waistline and his slower steps and decided he had to do something about it. He wanted to get fit over 50. He remembered trying out a Zumba class where he aggressively followed the moves and then collapsed in the back of the room after two songs. His ego bruised, he never returned. With new determination in January 2016 he decided to give Zumba another go.

Also see Davida’s Tips on Weights & Exercise

“I’m not gonna lie,” Khalil said, “those first four months were hard and I dreaded Wednesdays, the night of the Zumba class.” But Khalil was resolved to build his stamina and lose weight and be fit over 50.

He realized he had a break through when he no longer looked for excuses to avoid the gym and instead told his wife whatever she wanted to do would have to wait till after the Zumba class. Now sometimes he does two classes on Wednesdays and looks for another on the weekend. Khalil is down 11 pounds and has progressed to doing daily push-ups, planks and squats. He’s working toward doing 100 push-ups in a row. “I am stronger now then when I was in my 30’s,” he boasts. Being fit over 50 is not easy Khalil admits, but he hopes he’s adding years to his life.

He is in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics showing black men have the highest rate of diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, which is still the number one killer in America.

Men of color are also less likely to meet government guidelines for exercise or visit the doctor. Khalil has high blood pressure and considered pre-diabetic but he is hopeful his doctor will take him off his medication if he continues exercising and watching his diet. He wants to be fit over 50. Khalil is definitely a good role model because he is very active on social media and posts weekly about enjoying his workouts and feeling stronger. He’s gotten his co-workers to join him performing push-ups and squats on breaks. He now plans on becoming a Zumba instructor so he can help others in his community find the joy of exercising and staying fit over 50. Talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise program.

CDC Statistics:

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