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Fit and firm at 50!... persons over 50 and 5k

Published:Monday | June 16, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Beverley Cole
Michael Lee
Caulton Gordon
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Rochelle Keane, Lifestyle Writer

'Age is only a number' is a phrase that we hear all the time with regard to relationships and love. However, this phrase has found another meaning in the world of athletics. Age is not a limitation, it is not something that determines what you can and cannot do, it does not define who you are and it certainly cannot restrict you from getting up and deciding to make a lifestyle change.

Participating in a 5k is nothing new; it is one of the most sought-out events for Jamaicans, especially for those who are fit or getting fit. Participants of a 5k vary in age and no one is frowned upon or told not to, because each person knows their own limits - they can run, walk or jog.

Flair Magazine was able to speak to a number of persons over 50 who are avid runners, walkers and joggers in 5k competitions.

Caulton 'Geego' Gordon has been dedicated to his physical health for decades. Beginning his morning at 4:30 with the treadmills at the Spartan Health Club, Gordon makes sure exercise is his lifestyle and practises healthy habits such as eating right and getting the rest his body needs so he can function efficiently. The only concern he has is a recent knee injury which he realises could have come from an overexertion with his training for the upcoming Grace Kennedy Education Run in July. Gordon made the decision to participate on 5Ks this year after friends encouraged him to enter to test his strength. With entering three runs, Gordon was able to place third for his category for each race.

"The exhilaration when I walk, the camaraderie in the crowd is a good feeling, even though I don't know everybody I walk with. I enjoy it ... . Health is my wealth," Beverley Cole tells Flair Magazine. The biggest benefit of walking for Cole is her improved mood and levels of awareness of nature - the crisp, clean air and simple things like the blue of the sky and the birds in the trees. "I have the feeling of well-being, lower stress levels, and my energy levels are great, even if I stay up later than usual, I function straight through the next day without being tired, and this is all because I walk.

Training and exercising at Gymkhana, she does strength training, weights, dance, spinning and is involved in a walking club. Cole has noticed she is a bit leaner and her weight is maintained with her lifestyle change to work out and eat healthier. Cole encourages everybody to walk and exercise, no matter the age, because she has experienced a total change in her body.

"Participating in 5K runs for me is a personal goal," Michael Lee told Flair Magazine. A little over 50 he maintains a lifestyle of regular exercise entailing running or walking. Going to the gym at east twice a week, he uses the treadmill, does aerobics and weight-training. The competitions for Lee give him a great objective to work out or train and to improve on his previous performances; it gives him the opportunity to meet other persons who are also health-conscious and who he can share fitness ideas with. The only injuries Lee has found himself with are caused by pushing too hard in training, but apart from that, he does not have any other problems with his participation in these runs.

Lee's encouragement for others is, "It is important to have some amount of fun while you're exercising. Try to do even a small amount of exercise on a regular basis even if it's only 15 minutes per day."

It matters little the age you are. What matters is that you live a healthy lifestyle by eating right and exercising. Find something you like to do and stay dedicated to it like these persons have and the results you see will not just amaze you but you will become encouragement to others.

rochelle.keane@gleanerjm.com