My Top Workout Tips in Midlife – Tracey Acock

I am actually a cancer nurse working over my career predominantly with patients with breast cancer. However, I have recently taken early retirement and have relocated back to Cornwall in the last few weeks. I was about to start a Personal Training course but am a bit undecided at the moment what my next move will be and these are certainly times of personal change for me.

I have always been really active and have ridden and owned horses for many years. However after a fall a few years ago I decided it was time to find a new interest. Although at the time I was really nervous, I signed up at a local gym and had a personal training session which has proven to be a game-changer.

Health and fitness has now become literally a way of life. I try to stay “in shape” by eating well and nutrition is absolutely key for me. I manage some exercise every day even if it is a dog walk along the beach, with currently 3 home workouts per week. I also stretch every day and that has made a massive difference to my workouts and takes all of 5 minutes! I have yet to find a gym in our new area and miss it so much and the feeling of being strong and literally cannot wait to get back to it. It isn’t always easy in times of change to stay focused on our fitness goals. I have tried to think of it as “embrace ageing” and believe there are some things we can definitely do to help ourselves.

My Top Workout Tips

1. Never go four days without a workout. Although breaks from routine are good, make sure you do some exercise or movement every day if possible, as even a brisk walk counts!

2. I have found it is not so much motivation that keeps you consistent in your exercise routine but a healthy habit. For me a morning workout is key…after 12 midday and I come up with all the excuses (literally I turn into a pumpkin!) so find out if you are a lark or an owl and structure exercise and prioritise it like an appointment into your day.

3. Take a photo! It is a great way to measure the changes all this fitness will bring you and one of the main reasons for my well known gym selfie pics… be proud of those muscles you’ve earned them!

4. Stay accountable either to a group of friends or your “tribe” or community as there will be days you need to support each other.

5. Find what you love and do that….any movement is beneficial. Those endorphins are real and the buzz after exercise are definitely addictive, so find what you love and do that!

6. Find someone who inspires you. So many different women inspire me and to be honest my (previous) patients who keep going. They literally were on a roller coaster of emotions, living their lives around treatment and hoping each scan and blood test is good news. I guess this is real life and definitely keeps me grounded as it is the reminder that health is everything.

I think of it as if you don’t move as you age you WON’T move to be honest. Ageing has its challenges of course but my favourite hashtag is #ageisjustanumber and getting older need not be downhill at all.

By Tracey Acock

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