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Kickin’ Ass Over 50: Starting A New Exercise Program

I was never one for sports. Even in high school when I should have liked it, I didn’t see the value of exercise. I was one of the girls who was just too cool to do what the gym teacher wanted.


I started running in my 30s to help keep off the weight. But even though I ran half marathons, I didn’t really think of myself as an athlete. Something inside me would cringe when I called myself a runner. I’d stumble over the words and say it in an apologetic way — “Yeah, I don’t look like it but I run a bit.”


But, in spite of the running I do, I could see my strength dwindling over the years. And, I was tired all the time. By my late 50s, I didn’t “bounce back” when I got sick and it took a long time for injuries to heal. Suddenly, I had my mother’s arms. Now, she was a beautiful woman, but I don’t need 76-year-old arms!


I knew I needed something new, and I knew I didn’t like going it on my own. Running is actually a very lonely sport, so I wanted to try something different and fun. My daughter mentioned something she loved, so I decided to try an exercise program called Kia Fit in beautiful Petaluma, California.

KiaFit Petaluma California

KiaFit Petaluma California


Feeling like Miss Smarty-pants, I thought I would do pretty well. I mean, I’m a runner, aren’t I? Well, halfway through first class I was nauseous and shaky. Nothing in my 13-mile half-marathons prepared me for that first hour in this class. We were jumping rope, running sprints, crunches, pushups… OMG, I couldn’t keep up!


And, it doesn’t get easier. Apparently, the exercises changing each day keeps your body working hard in every class. I realized that my running routine was barely challenging me any longer. My body had grown accustomed to the running routine and was “phoning it in.”


And, here I am five or six weeks later in Kia Fit and I’m feeling great. The change for me has been amazing. I feel stronger and have more endurance. I’ve also found that I have a competitive streak that I never knew I had. Not such a bad thing to know about yourself!


So, don’t let anything get in the way! Start something new and get out there. Whatever you try, here are some things to keep in mind:


Be Safe: As always, be sure to check with your doctor as to what the right program is for you.


Be Challenged: Be prepared for a few first workouts to be tough but stick with it.


Have fun!: Find something that works for you. There are many programs out there. This is only one.


I may not be able to say that I look better at my age than I did in high school — who can? But I know I feel better, have more energy and appreciate life more. And, that’s what kickin’ ass is all about!


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  1. Lana

    Sounds like a really interesting class! I’ve found that weight training is the best thing as I get older – helps keep the weight off, plus I feel so strong!

    • Virginia

      I sm really enjoying it Lana, thanks. Virginia

    • Virginia

      The older I get Lana, the more I appreciate the feeling of strength that comes with weight training. You’re right!

  2. Connie McLeod

    I need to do something, this sounds great. I’m feeling too lethargic these days and I don’t like it!

    • Virginia

      I’ve seen pictures of you lately and you look GREAT! Still, I am having a lot of fun doing something new after years of the same thing. Hope things go well with you and let me know what you try!

  3. Dawn

    Hay was a timely article. I need to start something. I have a membership to a club and have not been very consistent in going. I also am finding that my energy is not there. I mean I go to the grocery store and have to take a nap when I get back. This is not how it is suppose to be. I want more energy and to get some of this weight off. I turn 60 in a few weeks and I don’t want to spend my golden years in a wheelchair. I want to be active in those years, Alan will be retiring and I want to be able to do things with him. I guess the best way is to get active now. So starting tomorrow I am going to hit club and ride the bike, do some weight training and then maybe even see if I can do some laps in the pool. Thank you for kickin my butt into action. Love you

    • Virginia

      That sounds wonderful Dawn- and there’s nothing like a birthday to bring on my enthusiasm for taking care of my health. Remember to start small and you’ll be kickin’ it in no time! Happy birthday!

      • Dawn

        Well Friday came and went and still did not make it. But I had a great weekend at an event and I realized that I do need to get my body to work with me not against me as it did on Sunday. Between the heat and the work I was just rung out. I am in recoup mode but it will be tomorrow for sure. I will be in LA in a few weeks and want to be able to keep up with all that is going on and not have to rest so Starting tomorrow – maybe even tonight go ride and then do it again. Love it am I will be in better shape next week.

  4. Lesa Porche

    Two years ago I had a great exercise routine when there was gym in the building I work in. I was there four days a week and doing something different everyday. Like you, I discovered I loved the variety. But the gym closed and my exercise routine is now at the minimum and I can feel it. Thank you Virginia for inspiring me to find new ways to kick ass. I love the photo! It looks like such a fun way to work out.

    • Virginia

      Boy, isn’t that the truth Lesa? You think you have the routine down and then something changes and it’s so hard to adjust it! I totally relate. I’m glad I started looking at other options because there are so many good ones out there. I know you do yoga, which I also think is amazing in so many ways. You are an inspiration to me!

  5. john stundon

    My neighbor wants me to ride a bicycle on some of the abandoned railroad tracks with him. He’s been riding for years so it would be hard to keep up. I will look into getting a bike and start slow.

    • Virginia

      That sounds pretty cool John- especially when you can do it with someone you know. Abandoned railroad tracks sound pretty bumpy, but I hope you have a great time! Virg