Meet Millie Hylton and Margaret Grant, ages 81, and 73, respectively. Yes, that is their true ages! While exercising most of their lives, what keeps these two ladies forever fit is their exercise regimen. They have been dedicating five days a week, 90 minutes a day to exercise for the past 16 years! They also credit their great social life due to the friends they’ve made at 24 Hour Fitness, where they meet to exercise.
Hylton says all she has to do to draw another friend to her “band-o friends” or fellow “gym rats” is to smile, say hello, and voila — they’re in! Hylton is the type of lady who is so classy, if she were a car,she’d be a Cadillac. Toned for any age, blonde and beautiful, she can light up the room with her smile — and speaks with a southern accent that puts the “A” in adorable.
I think she could quite possibly be Marilyn Monroe’s twin!
Grant is a feisty lady who has the look of a fitness instructor. She is slim, toned and voluntarily helps her inner circle of friends by showing them the newest balance, core, and pilates moves. Being a music instructor for 16 years gave her a natural ability for teaching and the willingness to help the other gals out.
Hylton and Grant are quite the pair. They love their gym — not only because it has given them a place to get fit, it has also helped them with depression and anxiety. To use their words, “Friends keep the depression away.”
Grant lost her husband of 43 years about seven years ago. She is extremely grateful Hylton entered her life when she did. In addition to their crew of friends, you will also find Joe Powell, Hylton’s fiancé, accompanying the gals five days a week. Standing more than six feet tall — and obviously in great shape himself — Powell too says he has made an abundance of friends at the gym.
So, do you want to know Hylton and Grant’s secret to a healthy mind and body? Their success is no secret at all! Here’s their fitness regimen:
1. Treadmill or elliptical for 30 minutes;
2. Free weights/machines;
3. Fun instruction from Grant;
4. Socialize with gym friends and laugh a lot; and,
5. Repeat number 4!
I’d like to think that I will be like Hylton and Grant at their ages. They are fit, trim, and carry themselves with great posture. They move like svelte 40 year olds. Not only are their bodies in tremendous condition, their attitudes on life are fresh, upbeat and driven by the fact that they are healthy.
Exercise for the elderly is critical. According to Dr. Len Kravitz, an author, research and exercise scientist, there’s a number of benefits to exercise for the elderly.
“Physical activity in elders has been linked to playing a role in the prevention of some cancers, as well as reduced risk to heart disease, hypertension, osteoporosis, obesity, type II diabetes, osteoarthritis and abnormal cholesterol. Mature adults who maintain high levels of cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility are also less likely to be dependent for long-term care. Strength and flexibility exercises may prevent falls and injuries by improving balance and mobility. Falls have been shown to be the leading cause of fatal injury in people over age 75. Improved strength also helps individuals function independently, with improved gait and bodily control.
“Additionally, exercise is associated with effective stress management, fewer sleep disorders, enlightened mental outlook, reduced loneliness, and lowered depression and anxiety.”
Did I mention that the Hylton and Powell travel quite a bit on their Harley? Hylton rides on the same bike — but is the designated driver! They quite often ride over to the Barstow area where they have a second home.
One of Grant’s motivations to stay fit are her young grandchildren. She sees them on a daily basis and has to stay in shape to keep up with them, she says.
When they are not exercising, these gym friends can be found going to coffee, dinners and to each other’s homes.
What a positive influence they have on each other!
I know, as a personal fitness trainer, that any age is the right age to begin exercising. Who says you’re too old to get up and moving? Not Hylton and Grant! These ladies are both looking and feeling good!
Questions? Comments? Please email Rolow at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gina Rolow, owner of BODY BY GINA, is a local fitness trainer. Rolow conducts one-on-one private sessions. semi-private sessions, and a weekend boot camp. She also teaches fitness at Cal State Bakersfield and has a combined 30 years in the fitness industry.