Throwback Thursday: What a 70-year-old triathlete looks like on the inside will inspire you to exercise for the rest of your life.

I got a sweet email yesterday from a dear friend who first came into my life when we were 16-year-old science nerds. We were so into it that we got to attend the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Sciences in the summer of 1988: a full-ride six-week extravaganza of studying advanced topics (for a 16-year-old, anyway) and hanging out with other kids who liked that stuff.

Want to be awesome for your whole life? You know what I'm going to say next. Exercise. (Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Want to be awesome for your whole life? You know what I’m going to say next. Exercise. (Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

That friend has dedicated his professional life to medicine – he’s now an M.D./Ph.D. working at the National Institutes of Health. And yesterday he reached out because a mentor of his needs a boost, and he thought Every48 could provide one.

I’ve been asked a few times to write more on the link between exercise and aging – and especially the link between how exercise keeps us vital and healthy and vibrant and, basically, awesome – even in our “later years.” (Whatever THAT is, by the way. I don’t believe in referring to ourselves as “old” because my next question is, compared to whom? Betty White? Justin Bieber? Hippocrates? Seriously. If we’re still here, we’ve got stuff to do, no matter what number you get when you subtract 2014 from the year you were born. I’m just sayin’.)

So I will be writing more, for my dear friend’s mentor and for everyone else who has asked for this topic, in the coming weeks. For today, please enjoy this Throwback Thursday post from January 2014. If you haven’t seen what a 70-year-old triathlete’s body looks like on the inside, prepare to get the biggest dose of workout inspiration this side of being chased by one of those Shark Week critters.

The photo that gets me out there, every time

[Originally published on January 21, 2014]

Quick post today – lots of work to do, and a bike or row at the gym to fit in this afternoon (it will be a game time decision).

A favorite quote:

We do not stop exercising because we grow old – we grow old because we stop exercising.

Dr. Kenneth Cooper, Cooper Institute

Would you like to see the photo that gets me out there, working out consistently, whenever I feel like I just want to stay home and do “something else”? (Invariably the “something else” involves a screen of some sort: a computer or TV or tablet.)

Here it is:

use_it_or_lose_it

This is what exercise does to the aging process. It basically stops it – or delays it really significantly for a very long time.

By the way, I love the title of the study that first published these photographs – “Chronic Exercise Preserves Lean Muscle Mass in Masters Athletes.”

Chronic Exercise.

First time I’ve heard the word “chronic” applied to anything except a serious (read: bad) medical condition. This is the “picture is worth a thousand words” moment of the Every48 blog project.

Or maybe it’s worth just a few words. But those words could save your life.

“Get out there, and get after it.”

(Thanks to BetterMovement.org for putting these photos together from the study that first used these pictures. The study in its entirety can be found here.)

[And back to real time, August 14, 2014]

Recent #Every48 workouts: I’m starting to WALK every morning first thing (or as close to “first thing” as I can – it gets all the creative energies moving in the right direction). This week I’ve gotten in three of those walks so far,  at least 30 minutes each time. I also did a SPIN class Monday (took it easy; see here for full report on why), and a short TRACK workout yesterday (for me, that’s power walking and PT exercises to get this knee back in fighting form). Cool thing about the track workout: I was in major traffic and couldn’t join up with my group until halfway through the workout, but I didn’t let that keep me from getting there, seeing my people, and doing what I could do. Half of a workout completed is way better than no workout completed in my book.

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