FITNESS THROUGH YOUR AGES
After several attempts and gyms, running clubs and so forth I finally discovered martial arts. Initially in the form of Karate and then following a house move a with into Taekwon-do. I have now enjoyed a continuous period of 12 years training in Taekwon-do twice a week, and have been motivated to do other activities such as cycling to improve my fitness for Taekwon-do.
My first introduction to Taekwon-do was driven by my kids desire to become the next Power Rangers. They were 8 and 10 at the time and I was 38, each of us took different benefits from our Taekwon-do training.
My youngest son is a keen footballer but no so confident away from the football field - with Taekwon-do his flexibility improved, helping his football and his self defence abilities developed giving him confidence around his peer group. As a consequence he was able to carry himself in a way which basically eliminated bullying without the need to actually draw on any Taekwon-do skills.
My eldest son was an equally keen footballer but hadn't enjoyed the same inclusion in school and local teams. Indeed he found it difficult to find his sporting "thing" amongst the typical mainstream sports. Taekwon-do filled a real gap for his personal development and confidence and gave him a sport he could do well within.
Both kids won several medals and went on to achieve their 1st dan black belts.
For myself, I came to Taekwon-do much later in life, I wanted an activity which would help me get fit and secretly had a desire to explore my inner Bruce Lee and make up for the lost opportunity during my youth. At first I was inflexible, couldn't jump and found the ordeal of taking gradings to be quite a challenge. However, the feeling of achievement and the evident progression in capability helped me to quickly put this downside to one side. Indeed the regular resetting of goals as progression moved from one colour belt to another has kept me motivated throughout this period and now as I approach 50 I am as committed to achieving my next Dan/Degree as ever.
Teaching Taekwon-do is equally satisfying and I encourage a wide range of ages and levels of fitness to get involved. Recent research from UT Southwestern in Australia has shown that it's never too late to benefit from regular exercise. Indeed their recent study, which involved individuals from 45 - 64, showed that the correct type of exercise can reverse heart damage.
Many people in this age bracket are put off from starting a new exercise activity. At Canda Taekwon-do here in Oldham we have a class specifically for adults who want to get back into some form of regular training. Classes are run at speeds to suit the individual but always with a level of encouragement to help everyone make progress and improve. If you'd like to give it a try look us up at http://www.canda-taekwondo.co.uk and join the likes of Hilary, Phil and Pauline - all at the upper end of our age range - and they'll show you how you're never to young to get involved :)