Fitness Programs are Booming with Baby Boomers

Jumping for JoyThat’s a headline in USA Today, which tells the story of Ron Paquette, a 52 year old Boomer who runs the Bulldog trail faster than almost everyone else his age up the hills.

According to the article, Paquette is “surrounded by Boomers who are running, cycling, swimming, boot camping – doing just about anything that will keep them fit, outdoors and among friends…And, it seems, prove something to themselves.”

Boomers make up almost one-quarter of the members of USA Triathlon, and more than one-quarter of the membership of USA Cycling, the article says.

I admire Paquette and the other athletes features in the article, but I have a different take on why they are doing it.

Sure, staying in shape is a motivating factor.  But what about just having fun and enjoying our body’s remarkable ability to move?

The earliest generation of Boomers are just beginning retirement, and thinking about what they want to do with the rest of their lives.

After several decades building a career and family, they are looking for new opportunities and challenges.

Running, cycling, and competing in marathons or triathlons provides more than just exercise.

It is a chance to re-invent themselves and do something they love…with the added side-effect of staying in shape.

What is missing from the article are all the Boomers who are moving into their bodies without the competitive edge.

Yoga, Pilates, dance forms like Nia and Zumba…all provide the opportunity to move into the inner awareness and expression of our bodies.

If there is one common theme, it is this:

Boomers are choosing to ditch the drudgery of exercise, and embrace the joy of moving their bodies.

It all starts…now!

BicyclingGetting olderDid you ever give up on a dream, just because you think you’re too old?

You know, that old negative voice whispering in your ear —

“You’ll never be a dancer, athlete, writer, musician [fill in the blank] at your age! You blew your chance for that a long time ago.”

Well, I’m here to tell you it isn’t so.

I’ve been reading a lot of cycling news this year, because I decided that I want to finish a 60-mile charity ride for my 60th birthday.

Yesterday, I ran across a story about Henrik Olsen, a 45-year-old engineer who decided at age 40 to become a competitive distance bike racer. Continue reading