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Active grandma is an inspiration for health at any age
MultiCare sports medicine physician Dr. Jason Brayley says 71-year-old Lorinde Williams demonstrates that age doesn’t matter when it comes to working out and feeling great.
Lorinde Williams rarely misses her twice-weekly weight lifting sessions with her personal trainer. She takes hour-long indoor cycling class one or two days per week, in addition to gardening in her yard and working around her Puyallup home.
Considering that Williams is 71, her activity level is more than impressive – it’s inspiring.
“From the moment I met Lorinde and learned how well she took care of herself, I knew she would be an amazing example for other patients who needed some extra motivation,” says Dr. Jason Brayley, a sports medicine physician with MultiCare Orthopedics & Sports Medicine.
“The outcome of her diligent resistance workouts is incredible,” Dr. Brayley adds. “She literally looks decades younger than her age.”
Bodybuilding and a new motivation
Williams has always been active. She grew up riding horses and started working out regularly in her 30s. But she really ramped up her commitment to her physical health when she began bodybuilding at 59.
“I did it for the challenge,” she says. “I thought I can do this – and then I really started seeing the results.”
She kept up the strict workout regiment – which required working out at the gym five or six days per week – for a year, ultimately competing in three bodybuilding competitions.
These days, Williams has a new motivation: Her baby granddaughter. Williams cares for her three days per week, often carrying the 15 pound baby in a front pack.
“My new goal is seeing my baby go to school,” she says. “I’m such a proud grandma.”
Her competitive days are behind her, but Williams still tracks all of her workouts, meticulously noting the weights she lifts and the number of times. She keeps her personal trainer because he “doesn’t treat me like a cotton ball.”
She struggles with arthritis, but she says the threat of aches and stiffness challenges her to push herself even more.
“Now I notice that if I don’t work out I feel stiff,” she says.
The bigger picture
Exercise is just one part of William’s commitment to her health. The Puyallup woman also pays attention to what she eats. She avoids sugar and fried foods, and focuses on eating four or five smaller meals per day, instead of three big ones. And she still indulges now and then.
“I still love my ice cream or a bite of something sweet,” she says.
Her focus on her health has paid off. Williams says she feels strong, healthy and able to do the things she wants and needs to do. Her advice for others: Spend the time to educate yourself about exercise and nutrition, and don’t be intimidated by who you see at the gym.
“You can’t look at someone else and say, ‘I want to look like that,’” she says. “You have to recognize that you’re doing it for yourself, because you want to look and feel better.”
Getting Started: A doctor’s advice for beginning an exercise routine
“She’s made a commitment to making exercise a normal part of her life, and the effects really show,” Dr. Brayley says. “She has an apparent energy that is far beyond other patients her age, and she is not afraid to let some of the minor aches and pains that happen with aging take a hold of her life.”
It’s never too late to incorporate exercise into your life. Dr. Brayley offered a few tips for getting started – and keeping up new healthy habits.
- Talk with your doctor before you begin a new exercise program, and evaluate your health. Consider customizing or modifying your physical activity to prevent injury. For example, Williams modifies some of her weight lifting moves to accommodate her arthritis.
- “Don’t feel like you have to ‘go big’ from the beginning,’” Dr. Brayley says. “Even starting with five minutes a day is five more minutes than you did the day before.”
- Don’t be afraid of the aches and pain associated with getting your body moving. “Your body will happier in the long run if you help it re-learn to get active,” Dr. Brayley says.
- For more information about orthopedics and sports medicine, visit http://multica.re/UVE3PK
Posted on Jan 22, 2013 in MultiCare Orthopedics & Sports Medicine