Never too late for a baby boomer to get fit

It’s a question we all probably ask ourselves: is it too late to get fit? San Antonio-based fitness guru Bob Merz answers the question for BoomerCafé readers, and tells us how to get started.

I’ve had several boomers approach me and ask, “Is it too late to get fit?”

Bob Merz

Bob Merz

Really … several. And I am mostly amazed that this is even a topic for discussion. So I address the question seriously, but with a bit of lightheartedness too … and I bet you can guess which way this conversation goes.

I tell them that it’s never too late to be get fit, not at any age, but especially in the boomer range. I mention that I started at 48, just on the cusp of 50, and I wasn’t at all fit at the start. But I got fit and I’m still fit at 66!

I also tell them that if they haven’t worked out in some years, they do need to begin slowly to have real success. For example, a 55-year-old woman started working out with me recently. In trainer lingo, she was de-conditioned – a little overweight, some balance issues, no core or upper-body strength.

We began with two sets of exercises on each major muscle group at very light weight. A few weeks later when she said, “This is getting easier,” I knew that she was ready for more weight and a third set of each exercise. A month later, she was using double the weight she used at the start, and she had lost weight that was noticeable!

So, no, it’s NEVER too late to get fit.

Mature couple at fitness centre

Be aware though that haphazardly jumping into an exercise regimen can come with some potential peril. If you’ve been sedentary for awhile or never worked out at all, you need to proceed properly to make gains and avoid sustaining injuries. Injury can come from everything from simply dropping a weight on your foot to performing a strength exercise with poor form. That old mantra, “No pain, no gain,” is not only old, but misguided. Pain does not move you forward.

And by the way, since “back in the day,” workout theory has changed and continues to change. So be sure your workout plan is based on current, more advanced fitness protocols. For example, a full-range sit-up, no longer considered a safe or even efficient abdominal workout, has been replaced by crunches and other moves that are easier on the lower back and neck, and more effective.


Finally, you might consider hiring a personal trainer to get you started off right. Or for a less costly alternative, get help from some online sources, some of which have exercise libraries and workout routines.

Boomers begin to work out for various reasons: strong advice from their doctor, a significant event approaching, etc. Whatever the reason, the journey is the same -– start out correctly and build gradually for your continued success. To paraphrase an old adage, anything worth doing is worth doing right, and safely.

So, if you were thinking it’s too late … it is not. Get up from that couch and get moving!

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