55 and Fit!

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Being physically fit is important at any stage of your life, yet even more crucial as we age. Kathy Bartnick, owner of Shape Your Life Studios, says staying fit once you're 55 is heavily tied to an increased quality of life and is all about finding something you love—and jumping in.

"We want to be able to run around and sit on the ground to play with our grandchild, climb stairs, and walk to the car from the grocery store and carry our bags," said Bartnick, who notes strength training is a great way to accomplish this.
"Using weights and bands are very effective with all ages, because you can easily adjust the weight you're lifting or the resistance of the band you're using to match your own individual fitness level."

Bartnick stressed that modifying exercises in this way is the critical in helping women 55 and over to succeed and feel empowered in fitness classes.

"You can modify everything, including doing push-ups and mountain climbers on the wall instead of on the ground."

Shape Your Life Studios offers a range of exercise styles with personal training and spinning, accommodating varying needs of women looking to stay fit—at any age—in a welcoming group setting.

"So many women get discouraged and think that all exercises become way too hard as they get older but that's not the case," said Bartnick. "Women are able to make friends in class and feel that they're able to fully participate because we've changed up the workouts to work for them—and they really can do it!"

Women feel comfortable doing group personal training, Bartnick adds, because they know they will fit right in and not feel left out.

"The social benefits of group workouts are the best. Make friends and be healthy together!"

If you're a woman who still feels wary, Bartnick offers some advice.

"Please try it first before counting anything out! If you go to a good studio or find the right class, they'll help you feel safe and get a great a workout."

Written by Sarah Suydam, Staff Writer for West Michigan Woman.

This article originally appeared in West Michigan Woman.


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