Most people associate growing old with failing health and a decline in physical activity. Some even think that seniors should refrain from regular exercise to avoid injury as they think their bodies are more fragile. However, there are those who have shown that age is just a number when it comes to exercising, living a healthy life, and even engaging in competitive sports.
Sis. Madonna Buder, better known as the "Iron Nun," is the current world record holder for the oldest person to ever finish an Ironman Triathlon, which she achieved at the age of 82. She only started training and exercising regularly when she reached 48, and joined her first triathlon at the age of 52. Since then, she has joined over 325 triathlons and was inducted into the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame in 2014 at the age of 84. Now in her late 80s, she continues to swim, run, and bike regularly.
Not to be outdone is grandma Ernestine Shepherd, the world's oldest competitive female body-builder according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Shepherd only started exercising at the age of 56 after she realized how out of shape she was when she tried fitting on some swimsuits. Together with her sister, she decided to start doing aerobics, and eventually got into weightlifting, then body-building. Now in her 80s, she continues to have her daily 16-kilometer walk and spends four hours in the gym working out and leading exercise classes every day of the week.
What is inspiring about the stories of both Sis. Madonna and grandma Shepherd is that both of them only realized the importance of regular exercise when they were in their 50s, proving that it is never too late to start changing your lifestyle even though you may be approaching your retirement years.