Monday Minute: 8 Fitness Lessons Learned from Seniors

As we celebrate the fathers and father-like role models in our lives, we wanted to focus on the wisdom of the ones that come before us. Many people look to the seniors in their life for advice on making money, on relationships, on coping with loss, on faith, and on perseverance through all seasons. But an area that many people would not think to approach a senior about is fitness and exercise. But that’s exactly what Men’s Health journalist Michael Easter set out to do by going exercising with men 60 years or older, and he compiled 8 tips that he thinks we can all be applying to our fitness journey.

  • Be Social. Oftentimes, people go to the gym closed off, headphones in, world shut out. But in doing this, your fitness journey can become an isolating experience and you may be missing out on tips on form or friendships that can make a commitment to health withstand the test of time.
  • Don’t Overcomplicate It. Nowadays, it can feel like you need a degree to exercise and eat well. We overcomplicate it so much that it can get overwhelming and easy to give up on. Many seniors have just been doing what works for them or what feels right. At the end of the day, it’s all exercise. 
  • Don’t forget to Live. Yes, physical health is incredibly important. But sometimes we can forget that the whole point of it is to feel good while we live our lives. It can be easy to let it take place over more important things in our life and it is important that we stay mindful of that. 
  • Use your Strength. Sometimes it’s easy to go hard in all your workouts with the mindset that pain is gain and that the testing of your strength stops when you leave the gym. Michael was reminded by the seniors he was with that strength should be acquired to serve others in the community.
  • Be Mindful of Mindlessness. So much of strength training requires counting the seconds you hold or counting reps and your brain is working the whole time. But studies show that long cardio workouts where your mind can unwind and lose itself are actually better for your brain than focused interval or strength training workouts. Don’t forget to give that brain space to rest!
  • Warm up the Mind and Body. Utilize that cardio warm up time by reading an article or a book every now and then instead of turning the TV on each time.
  • Personal Records aren’t Everything. Yes, it can be a really good tool to track what you are doing. But realizing that one day, you will go as high as you can go and recognizing that pushing yourself to the breaking point is ego-related can free you from the burden of always increasing. Other things that can be a measure of progress are proper form and control, or being able to continue to do the same high weight over and over.
  • Stay Fit, Stay Young. Making daily deposits of fitness and healthy eating drastically changes the way you age. Michael was really encouraged by the caliber of seniors he met on this quest for senior fitness advice and motivated to be the same 40 years down the road. 

There are so many areas of life where we benefit from the wisdom of the generations before us, it only makes sense that this would apply to the caretaking of our bodies as well. Feel free to post a comment if you have any other tips from the seniors in your life regarding fitness!


Easter, Michael. “8 Lessons Young Men Can Learn Training with Men over 60.” Men’s Health, November 2, 2021. 

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