Fitness pro Natallia Bubnova shares her take on why her 50s is her best decade yet.
If you’d asked me a few years ago what age I’d choose to be if I could go back, I’d have probably picked 30. Old enough and strong enough to have my whole life ahead of me. And I had a great body.
Now I pity the thirtysomethings. Life was so much harder at that age; I was stumbling my way through life, trying to be a parent and a businesswoman, while trying to also have a social life. I was pretending to have it all when inside, I was actually exhausted and bewildered.
So what exactly is so good about being 50? For one, we have wisdom and life experience on our side, established careers and grownup kids, but above all, we can do things in a way that we couldn’t at 30, in particular when it comes to taking care of our bodies and enjoying life to its fullest.
And while the effects of the aging process can diminish the mechanical, metabolic and hormonal systems of our bodies, research has shown that regular exercise and physical activity, especially of moderate to high intensity, can help ensure that these systems function at an optimal level of performance as we get older.
With age, too, comes the wisdom that being active is the true fountain of youth. It becomes less about having a particular body shape or size, but rather about being fit means being healthy and having the ability to perform physical tasks. For me the true sense of being fit is having energy and ability to enjoy my favourite activities the rest of my life.
Another lesson that’s come with age is that although following a specific workout plan can make dramatic changes to your body, the best results come from when exercise becomes a habit. One that is as routine to your day as brushing your teeth. I think a shift in focus, which can come with the wisdom of being 50-plus, to looking at fitness as a means to improve your health and enhance your quality of life versus trying to achieve a certain body ideal makes leading a healthy lifestyle a much simpler and pleasurable goal. When you forget about appearance but consider instead that exercise will give you the ability to do what you want to do when you want to do it, it is ultimately more motivating and rewarding.
Photos by Dave Laus