Be fit and stay fit


Being fit as young, then being sedentary, and then fit again. This is how it became for this woman. Many have done the same, but even more never get fit again. To blame the age is convenient of course, but nothing we really can do. Can we? Not according to her. And to be honest, age is not an obstacle. We just have to adapt exercise. Still we can do most things we did as young - if we want. This week's interview is both an interesting story and at the same time one which inspires.

Name: Sue Loncaric

Age: 62

Occupation: Group Fitness Instructor, Life Coach, Health Coach

Family: Married with two children, two step children and five grandchildren

Lives in: Gold Coast, Australia

Like so many others, you were physically active as young, but then suddenly found yourself not at all fit and time just went by. Then at mature age you changed. Was it "over night" or a long process?

As a child, I did ballet, tap and jazz and went on to run my own dance studio for 15 years. After having two children, moving interstate and a marriage breakdown, I took a more sedentary job and let my fitness go. I would walk or do aerobics occasionally but didn't have any structured exercise or fitness program in place.

At age 49, I was working in a small office with three other girls who were young enough to be my daughters. They entered into a bootcamp and a 10 kilometers Fun Run and included me! I explained that I was much older but they wouldn't accept that excuse.

That was the start of my new adventure into running and fitness. I went on to complete the bootcamp and went from not being able to do one pushup to pumping out twenty!

My new husband and I engaged a personal trainer who we trained with three times each week which helped us both keep healthy and fit.

You even run marathons. What is the fascination with that? Sounds rather tough to be honest.

After I had done a couple of 10 kilometers runs I decided that with my 50th birthday looming I would run a half marathon. I trained hard and completed the 21.2 kilometers a week before my 50th birthday.

As 55 approached, I needed a new challenge and decided to try for the full marathon of 42.2 kilometers. It wasn't easy but I trained hard and with the support of my husband, who kept me fed and put up with my long hours of training, I completed the full marathon, again a week before my birthday.

At 60 I decided to have one more try at a marathon and the week before I turned 61, I completed the 42.2 kilometers event.

This type of running isn't for everyone but I had caught the bug! It takes commitment and mental strength to stick to a training program and keep going. I was fortunate to have some friends to run with but also had to train on my own at times which was more challenging.

One thing which can be an obstacle is that one has no partner to exercise with and then it all comes to nothing.

It can be very difficult to keep motivated if you are exercising alone. I find that having a training buddy or paying for a personal trainer to keep you accountable helps you to stay on track. You make a commitment to someone else so you are more likely to keep that commitment and not let them down.

As I mentioned above, I had some friends who I trained with. I met these ladies through my daughter and we have been running together for over ten years now. We call ourselves the Saturday Sisters and each Saturday we meet for a long run. At the start of each year, we plan what events and distances we want to enter and then train for those. I also run with my daughter when we she can but with two small boys and working full time that isn't always easy for her to fit into her schedule.

COVID-19 has certainly put our plans on hold and I have not been able to run with my Saturday Sisters for three months. We have still been trying to run on our own to keep our fitness up although many of the events have been cancelled.

Do you ever wake up and feel that today I am not up to exercise at all and if so, do you stay inside doing nothing, or do you still go on with your plans?

I believe strongly in having R´recovery days and also listening to my body. At almost 63, I am quite fit but I also know that I need to be kind to myself both physically and mentally.

We need to be consistent with our exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle which will accommodate us as we age. However, having a day off to relax and recover is vital to avoid injuries and burn out. On these days I usually just go for a mindfulness walk which means going for a slow walk and appreciating what is around me.

I also believe that we need to maintain flexibility as we age and I find that daily yoga is a wonderful way to stay fit and also bring calmness to my mind and soul.

An important point is to find some form of movement that you enjoy doing. We all need to do some form of movement to increase our heart rate (cardio) and also strength training to maintain strong bones, good posture and a strong core to be able to cope with daily activities. There are so many ways we can do this and it doesn't necessarily mean weight lifting.

I have just completed my fitness certification which has been a dream of mine and I've proven that age is no barrier to achieving our dreams. As a certified group fitness instructor, health coach and life coach I find great satisfaction in helping women over fifty achieve a healthy and happy lifestyle.

We are never too old to start!

#sueloncaric #stayfit #womensblogs #overfifty #marathon #goldcoast #australia