Hey there, fitness fanatics! Have you been hitting the gym and counting your macros in preparation for that perfect beach body? Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but I’m not on the same train. Nope, I’m training for the 80+ body!

You might be wondering what the heck an 80+ body even means. Well, let me break it down for you. As we age, our bodies undergo many changes, and training in a way that benefits us in the long run, becomes essential. So instead of looking good in a swimsuit, I’m focusing on building bone density, core strength, balance, healthy joints, cardiovascular endurance, and good mental health.

Sure, I once was focused on a six-pack and toned and skinny, but after age 50, have you ever tried carrying groceries up three flights of stairs without feeling like you’re going to collapse? Or what about trying to keep up with your grandkids without feeling winded after five minutes? That’s where training for the 80+ body comes in. Who needs a beach body when you can have an 80+ body that’s healthy, strong, and full of life?

I have several years left before I hit my 80s, but I am working toward becoming an 80+ athlete. So instead of doing endless crunches and squats, I’m hitting the gym for some weight-bearing exercises and resistance training. Not only does it prepare you for the physical challenges of aging, but it also helps keep your mind sharp and your mood lifted. Who doesn’t want to be the coolest grandparent on the block, showing off your ability to do a perfect tree pose or walk across a balance beam?

The exercise we do today will benefit us as we age; we will have the power to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle by making exercise a daily priority. Committing today to physical activity can improve your overall health, help you maintain your independence, and reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. By staying active, you can also enhance your mobility, flexibility, and balance, reducing your risk of falls and other injuries. So keep moving and stay motivated because, with each workout, you’re strengthening not just your body but also your mind and spirit. As you age, you’ll be able to enjoy activities such as hiking, swimming, and playing with your grandchildren, all because you took the time to prioritize your health and fitness.

So next time you see me at the gym, don’t pity me for not having the latest Lululemon leggings or being unable to deadlift a small car. I’m training for something more important: a happy and healthy retirement. And let’s be real; I’ll still look pretty good in that swimsuit anyway.