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Age Discrimination?

luluincaluluinca Posts: 3,176Member Member Posts: 3,176Member Member
I don't rant very often but here goes..............I was browsing through bodybuilders.com awhile ago after following a link there about exercise for seniors. Their recommendation for over 65 year olds was a couple days of circuit training with light weights and a few days of walking. It sort of pissed me off because most 65 year olds can do more than that if they want, or work up to it.

Then the other day I read a complaint in the newspaper from a 65 year old man about age discrimination at his doctor's office. He's a very active 65 year old and went in complaining of knee pain............his doc said maybe he should be cutting back a little on the exercise at his age. Seriously?

I don't know about other 65 year olds, but I plan on having at least another 20 years of an active life. As soon as I quit everything I'm doing, and retire to a daily walk once or twice a week and 5 lb weights, I believe that 20 could easily turn into only 10 or 15. I bounced back from 3 herniated discs, a broken foot and a deadly intestinal bacteria that kept me out of commission for 18 months..........so I think at 65 I still have a little life left in me.

Even my enlightened kids suggest that I be careful because they don't want me to hurt myself, and yet I'm betting that right now I'm decidedly healthier than any of them.

So.......the moral of this story is just because we, or you, are getting older, doesn't mean we can't achieve a level of health through diet and exercise that compares to many people much younger than we are.

BTW, my trainer called BS on Bodybuilders.com and the doctor. With his encouragement yesterday I was able to achieve a new PR of 175lb on my dead lift. He thinks I'll easily make it to 200 soon. It took me a year and a half but so what, I have plenty of time.
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Replies

  • luluincaluluinca Posts: 3,176Member Member Posts: 3,176Member Member
    I can't believe this isn't an important issue to anyone but me????
  • yopeeps025yopeeps025 Posts: 8,692Member Member Posts: 8,692Member Member
    luluinca wrote: »
    Except that weight lifting increases bone density..................but thanks. I don't think I am an outlier really though. I just put the work in and don't make a bunch of excuses. I think progress is a little slower as we age but as long as we don't have a debilitating illness or serious physical limitations we can get there.

    Yeah don't believe every doctor you talk to. If I believe mine I would never really be doing heavy bench press. Honestly I do not know anyone 65+ still hitting the gym heavy. So I would agree you are an outlier. If you live in the USA the average person doesn't even exercise I think. I hope that stat has changed.
  • htimpairedhtimpaired Posts: 1,341Member Member Posts: 1,341Member Member
    luluinca wrote: »
    Except that weight lifting increases bone density..................but thanks. I don't think I am an outlier really though. I just put the work in and don't make a bunch of excuses. I think progress is a little slower as we age but as long as we don't have a debilitating illness or serious physical limitations we can get there.

    That bolded sentence is why you could be an outlier. I wish it wasn't the case, and I intend to be right where you are when I'm at that age. But I can honestly say I haven't seen this type of commitment to that type of exercise at my gym, or with the people in my life.
    Absolutely, age should not be an excuse. Or gender. Or a multitude of other excuses people give all the time.
  • teacton11teacton11 Posts: 65Member Member Posts: 65Member Member
    I'd believe they were right except a few weeks back I met a man on a marathon training run that was in his 60s. Shared a short conversation him. He showed up an hour early to try to beat all the "young bucks" on the course. He was on mile 22 training for his 3rd marathon. During his last training season he had some issues with his blood pressure medicine that caused him to blackout during a training run. He went to the doctor, got it adjusted and was back out the next week. My mind was blown and he was added to my list of personal heroes. Hope I still have that determination when I get up there.
  • luluincaluluinca Posts: 3,176Member Member Posts: 3,176Member Member
    I rarely listen to my doctors. I'm 57 and started running 4 years ago on hips that have been replaced twice. I was told I shouldn't do any running and stick with easy walking. 5,300 miles later with no wear on the hips, my doctor has finally acknowledged that my running and weight training might actually be helping me "despite my age".

    Excellent!!

  • luluincaluluinca Posts: 3,176Member Member Posts: 3,176Member Member
    teacton11 wrote: »
    I'd believe they were right except a few weeks back I met a man on a marathon training run that was in his 60s. Shared a short conversation him. He showed up an hour early to try to beat all the "young bucks" on the course. He was on mile 22 training for his 3rd marathon. During his last training season he had some issues with his blood pressure medicine that caused him to blackout during a training run. He went to the doctor, got it adjusted and was back out the next week. My mind was blown and he was added to my list of personal heroes. Hope I still have that determination when I get up there.

    I suppose people might call him an outlier also, but the only difference between him and other seniors, is the level of effort he puts into it............IMO!

    Great story!

    edited May 2015
  • luluincaluluinca Posts: 3,176Member Member Posts: 3,176Member Member
    htimpaired wrote: »
    luluinca wrote: »
    Except that weight lifting increases bone density..................but thanks. I don't think I am an outlier really though. I just put the work in and don't make a bunch of excuses. I think progress is a little slower as we age but as long as we don't have a debilitating illness or serious physical limitations we can get there.

    That bolded sentence is why you could be an outlier. I wish it wasn't the case, and I intend to be right where you are when I'm at that age. But I can honestly say I haven't seen this type of commitment to that type of exercise at my gym, or with the people in my life.
    Absolutely, age should not be an excuse. Or gender. Or a multitude of other excuses people give all the time.

    Good for you............I can promise you, it makes life so much more enjoyable too!!!
  • BigLifter10BigLifter10 Posts: 1,150Member Member Posts: 1,150Member Member
    It's human nature to just 'lump' people with certain stats together. Doctors are people too, so many of them will do that because that's what they know. There are always exceptions to everything. For me, I plan on being carried to the grave kicking and screaming bloody murder - so, while I can see the angle the doc is coming from, I think that they just see so much of the down side and deal with it regularly. Yes, it's harder to recover as you get older, but that just means not being as reckless as one may have been when 20-something.

    If I were in your shoes, I might look for another doctor - one who embraces a healthy way of life all throughout the decades. If you can't do that, then just keep on keeping on. Someone above also mentioned most people not exercising (in the USA). I tend to see that as being a reason also. Who knows, maybe your doctor isn't that active and he feels sluggish and the effects of his/her age. Just a potential reason. Maybe it has nothing at all to do with your age and that is his own world view (everyone in his family got sick or early death).

    People say (fill in your own word here) things all the time. That'll never end. I know we all expect MORE from our health care professionals, but they have their own limitations as well.

    Keep up the great work! You are already ahead of the game.
  • jemhhjemhh Posts: 13,574Member Member Posts: 13,574Member Member
    Was the bodybuilding.com info for people new to fitness or to people with established fitness routines? I know that their 35+ forum has quite a few seniors so it's not as if the company has never heard of older people being fit. But I could see telling seniors to start light and work from there. I don't see a problem with that.
  • maroonmango211maroonmango211 Posts: 883Member Member Posts: 883Member Member
    I know a lot of seniors have underlying issues that can make many harder exercises difficult.... but so do a ton of people under 65 so I agree the judgement there is ageist a tad. My 93 year old grandmother runs a fitness program out of her care home and many of her 'students' have seen massive improvements in their regular check ups than before. When she was younger (70's) she was still an avid yogi and her and her husband used to bike for miles and miles. I think she's proven to the people around her that age has nothing to do with ability, that's a case by case, depending on a whole lot of things that can prevent a person from performing certain exercise. Most of them can hit much earlier than 65 and for some people they never do.
  • ninerbuffninerbuff Posts: 41,099Member, Greeter MFP Greeter Posts: 41,099Member, Greeter MFP Greeter
    I think that MOST 65 year olds probably do need to be more conscious about their exercise, etc. because bones get weaker as we age, etc. I would suggest that you are DEFINITELY an outlier when it comes to this kind of stuff and that you may have a higher threshold for pain/discomfort due to your past obstacles.

    BTW - I am going to be 47 years old in a few days, and I COMPLETELY agree with your outlook! I hope you keep on doing what you're doing and get that 200lb DL very soon!
    Actually bones get weaker when there's less stress on them. So exercising increases bone density.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

  • PAtinCOPAtinCO Posts: 129Member Member Posts: 129Member Member
    Older people can definitely stay active and in shape. My Dad is 67 and is in as good of shape as I am at 44 (probably better...lol). My Father in Law is 77 this weekend and was still hiking Colorado 14ers last year and plans to again this year. I also ran into an 85 year old at the top of a Mt. Democrat last summer too.

    I say keep it up. :)
  • RavenLibraRavenLibra Posts: 1,795Member Member Posts: 1,795Member Member
    The older a machine gets, the more likely parts will get worn and break down. AT 50 I definitely know that I will not soon be anywhere near the fitness level I maintained 25 years ago... BUT knowledge and wisdom offers me some confidence that I can be healthier and happier than I was 25 years ago... the old saying IF I knew then what I know now... well so long as you can put that knowledge to work NOW... you don't have to look back... LIFE is about progression... so good for you OP for taking that wisdom and running with it... BUT beyond the physical... there are larger emotional hurdles to get over than physical ones for a lot of people approaching your.. and even MY age level... it's a doctor's job to preach prudence and moderation... WHY look down on them for that?

    anyway... speaking in generalities is rarely a constructive conversation... holding yourself up as the "norm" or even as average... belittles anyone else making their best effort and falling short...
  • luluincaluluinca Posts: 3,176Member Member Posts: 3,176Member Member
    I think it's their target audience.

    You are not their target audience. They're trying to communicate to seniors who are not active.

    Would you suggest someone who is 65+ to hit up a gym and start lifting heavy weights? Hell no.

    Just like I wouldn't suggest someone who is 20 who has been sedentary their entire life to hit up a gym and start lifting the heaviest weight they can.

    Everyone needs to start (relatively) small and build up their fitness to the point where there is a lower risk of injury.

    The difference between someone who is 65+ and 20, however, is that the 20 year old probably doesn't have to worry about osteoporosis, arthritis, loss of dexterity, or other things that commonly come with aging.

    So, I agree with the article because someone who has been active and into fitness all their life is not who they are communicating to. They're communicating to those people who have been sitting on their *kitten* all day and are realizing, "Hey, if I don't start exercising, I'm going to die tomorrow." For those people little 5lb weights and a 30 minute walk everyday will do them wonders and might give them a few more years of their life with a very low risk of them injuring themselves.

    ETA: Yes, you are an outlier because 90% of the American population are not active and fit like you. You are not the general population, therefore you are an outlier and not the target audience of the article.

    I quickly looked and couldn't find the article again..................but will keep trying. It wasn't a beginning point for people who've never exercised before or in a long time. It was a progression of decreasing exercise based on aging. For those over 70 the suggestions were even less intense.

    I found it insulting personally.
  • fannyfrostfannyfrost Posts: 756Member Member Posts: 756Member Member
    My uncle is 90 years old and rides his bike into town, like 2 miles everyday. He walks, he was in a Kayak race (won since he was the only competitor in his age group). The point being you don't need to slow down, keep moving and keep lifting.

    There are some things that you do need to watch as you age. Tendons tend to tighten after age 40, so be sure to watch that. I have had some serious issues. BTW I am 49 years old. I also have arthritis, so jumping is no longer the option it used to be.

    However, most of my issues have nothing to do with working out. The workouts actually help my problems.

    1- Twisted my ankle because I was in platforms and twisted my foot, didn't hurt immediately, but ended up with a tendon problem.
    2- Bad back, I carried a heavy bag on one side of my body. Well I got uneven.
    3- Swollen meniscus, the side that my back hurts, caused issues with my leg being tight.
    4- Achilles tendonitis, this was an over use problem. Flip Flops and being bare foot, well some moves in Zumba didn't help, but not exercise related.

    I did hurt my shoulder like 11 years ago, was from too much exercise. It is a tendon problem, took me a long time, but I can now do chest presses with 25lb dumbells. I achieved it this year. The more I lift the more I fix most of my issues, including the arthritis.

    My mom is 85 and she can't even lift a pot of soup anymore. I will not be her. I will continue to lift and stay strong so I can do things on my own when I am old!!!!! I want to be able to carry my own groceries!!!
  • luluincaluluinca Posts: 3,176Member Member Posts: 3,176Member Member
    RavenLibra wrote: »
    The older a machine gets, the more likely parts will get worn and break down. AT 50 I definitely know that I will not soon be anywhere near the fitness level I maintained 25 years ago... BUT knowledge and wisdom offers me some confidence that I can be healthier and happier than I was 25 years ago... the old saying IF I knew then what I know now... well so long as you can put that knowledge to work NOW... you don't have to look back... LIFE is about progression... so good for you OP for taking that wisdom and running with it... BUT beyond the physical... there are larger emotional hurdles to get over than physical ones for a lot of people approaching your.. and even MY age level... it's a doctor's job to preach prudence and moderation... WHY look down on them for that?

    anyway... speaking in generalities is rarely a constructive conversation... holding yourself up as the "norm" or even as average... belittles anyone else making their best effort and falling short...

    I'm not particularly holding myself up as the norm, but I think if I can accomplish what I have, there are others out there who could use a little encouragement to push themselves a little harder as well.

    I'd prefer to think I might be inspiring them rather than looking down on anyone.

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