61-year-old reveals how exercise cured her life-long anxiety and keeps her in perfect health
A 61-year-old grandmother claims fitness helped her get rid of her anxiety and has never had any health problems, owing her incredible health to her active lifestyle.
Lynda Jager, 61, from Ontario, Canada, was always a shy teenager growing up and had suffered from anxiety over the years.
At the age of 21-years-old, Lynda began exercising at the comfort of her home, saying she was too afraid to go to the gym on her own.
Over the years, she finally worked up the courage to go to the gym and soon developed a passion for weightlifting, taking part in several fitness shows and competitions across the country.
Lynda now has six fitness championship titles under her belt, and has no plans of stopping.
She claimed that fitness reduced her anxiety tremendously and helped her avoid any major illnesses and diseases, saying she feels better now than she did in her teens.
Lynda said: “My anxiety was reduced immensely with exercise. When I first started working out I was too shy and anxious to go to the gym so I did all my workouts at home.
“After a while I finally worked up the courage to go to the gym alone, as I had no one else to go with at the time.
“There was no turning back after that! I loved it! I felt empowered! It was many years later when I finally worked up the courage to step on stage and compete.
“I absolutely loved that as well and actually did very well out at it, winning five Ontario championships.
“I went on to compete in the Canadian championships and from there I competed at the North Americans, which was my last contest, only 4 years ago.
“I honestly feel that because of fitness I have been lucky enough to avoid any major health problems throughout my entire life.”
Lynda, a grandmother-of-seven, exercises twice a day, waking up at 4.30 am in the morning for her daily cardio and weights sessions and works out in the evenings with Mark, her partner of 15 years.
The 61-year-old said: “I get up every morning at about 4:30 AM and go downstairs into my home gym where I do some cardio or weight training for about 1 1/2 hours.
“I meet my husband at the gym every weekday evening where we train with weights for about 2 1/2 hours. On the weekends we head off to the gym around 9:00 am or so.
“My husband is Mark and he is my biggest fan and supporter. He always encourages me to do the things that make me happy.
“We have an amazing life together, as we love to go to the gym and both believe in staying as fit as possible. We also love to travel and try to do so as much as possible.
“This is the second marriage for both of us, we have been together for 15 years but only just got married 1 1/2 years ago.”
Lynda stressed the importance of eating healthy and aims to get at least 7 hours of a sleep every night, explaining how fitness is the “fountain of youth”.
She said: ‘I think that my secrets are actually not a secret at all. I believe in eating healthy, getting as much sleep as I am able ( I try for at least 7 hours per night) and staying fit. It is the fountain of youth! I also try to take care of my skin as well. I use sunscreen on my face every day, even in the winter months.
“Exercise, reduce stress, sleep lots, drinks enough water, and eat to fuel your body, not just to fill a gap.”
Despite her age, the grandmother-of-seven constantly pushes herself with her workouts and always tries to learn new things, insisting that the mind is the strongest force when it comes to accomplishing goals.
She said: “A lot of people (including the women themselves) think that we are no longer capable of a lot of things.
“Our bodies and our minds are capable of so much more than what we think! That’s why I constantly push myself at the gym, and I am always taking courses to learn new things.”
There are several challenges that come with staying fit at an older age, but Lynda urged people not to put limitations when it comes to their health and that is important to care about your mind and body.
She said: “As we age our bodies do start to deteriorate and certain adverse health conditions are more common.
“These of course, can be a challenge. I always tell people that you need to work out to the best of your ability and just keep moving.
“The problem is, is that people put limitations on themselves just because they are getting older.
“I say, if you are able, then do it! I am often the only woman (and the oldest) in a sea of men over at the free weight area. In terms of looks, many women start to forget about themselves after they reach a certain age.
“I believe we should care about our looks just like we did in our 20’s.
“We only get a few seconds to make a first impression, and I want to make that impression a positive one, so I try to always dress nice, wear appropriate make-up, have my hair done etc. when out in public.”
Lynda has since set up her own Instagram page, posting pictures of her incredible figure and workout videos showing various exercises she performs at the gym.
Speaking about her Instagram account, she said: “I want to be able to show people, especially those over 40 or 50 that you don’t have to give up or even slow down on your fitness goals. If I can motivate even one person to get up off the couch and go to the gym or go for a walk, then I am happy. If I can encourage many people, then I am ecstatic.
“When someone tells me that I have helped inspire them to get back into the gym and pursue their fitness goals, that just makes my day. As I said earlier, that is the whole reason I am on social media.”
She even receives marriage proposals from men online and in one shocking incident, one fan randomly lifted her shirt up at a fitness convention to see her abs.
Lynda said: “I have had 2 marriage proposals, in jest, I’m sure but nonetheless strange. I also had a young woman walk up to me in a fitness convention and lift my shirt up to see my abs!! I’m not even kidding.
In a word of advice to others who wish to achieve their fitness goals, Lynda said it is important to start off slowly rather and make gradual progress in the gym rather than having an “all or nothing” approach.
She said: “I think a lot of people have the ‘all or nothing’ attitude, which doesn’t always work when it comes to exercise.
“If you do too much too soon, you will get sore and hence discouraged. You are better off to start slowly and with purpose.
“You will need to gradually work up to heavier weights and more frequency (if weight training is what you are focusing on).
“Even with other fitness challenges like running or cycling, start at a pace you can handle and gradually work up from there. Set realistic goals and then achieve them!”