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What the Elderly Can Teach Us About Fitness

What the Elderly Can Teach Us About Fitness

We laugh at the elderly for thinking that girdles and jazzercise will keep them young forever. Even I laugh. The oldest, most Russian man in the world goes to my gym in the mornings. He wears an adidas-esque track suit, gold chains, and a fur hat while he walks on the treadmill. He takes off the hat when he goes upstairs and lifts tiny yellow 2 pound weights for about 10 minutes. But he likes it, he’s there every morning, he knows everyone, and he’s fit, and that’s what matters. There are a few tricks those fab 50+ers can teach us about getting fit, and being happier while doing it.

How I finally became happy with my body with the help of PumpUp - Holly's PumpUp Success Story

How I finally became happy with my body with the help of PumpUp - Holly's PumpUp Success Story


You can't develop a positive body image from exercise alone. Holly was no stranger to an active lifestyle before she joined PumpUp, but her confidence was at an all-time low. Though Holly trained in classical ballet for over 20 years, something went amiss once she entered the workforce. "I joined PumpUp because I wasn't happy with my body," she confessed. "I was uncomfortable, and I had more body fat than I wanted. I had trouble finding ways of exercise that I felt comfortable with." More ballet classes seemed like the logical answer, but when Holly took a look at herself in the mirrors of her dance studio, she became quickly discouraged. "It depressed me to see how out of shape I became," she lamented. "It seems backwards, because taking ballet class would have only benefitted me. PumpUp was a great way to exercise in the comfort of my own home." How I finally became happy with my body with the help of PumpUp // Veganballerina's success story

Before Holly began her journey with PumpUp, she ate copious amounts of junk food and fast food. "I didn't exercise regularly and I didn't drink enough water," she shared. "My average day consisted of waking up and going to work without eating breakfast. I would drink coffee at work and not eat anything until lunch." Holly used to skip breakfast and opted for high fat meals during lunch and dinner. She was sedentary during her evenings and went straight to bed after work, often watching movies right before she went to sleep.

Once Holly joined the PumpUp community, her lifestyle made a drastic change. She began her journey on PumpUp a few months after her father died of a heart attack in early 2014. "He had type 2 diabetes and I missed him terribly," she said solemnly. "His death made me really aware of the effect that our diet has on our health. It made me more motivated to live as healthy as possible." With the help of PumpUp, Holly eased into the rhythm of an exercise routine that she loves. "I'm now proud to dance in front of a mirror in a leotard," she said proudly. "I maintain a plant-based diet and I drink water frequently. I do yoga, take ballet class, jog, climb stairs, cycle, and I really do enjoy PumpUp workouts — especially those that involve core strength and weightlifting.

How I finally became happy with my body with the help of PumpUp // Veganballerina's success story

Other PumpUp members motivated Holly to find peace with her body. "I want to help motivate people the way others on PumpUp have motivated me," she insisted. "Reading peoples' posts and looking at their progress has been inspiring and informative and has helped me reach my goal of achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I hope to give back in the way that others have given to me."

She advises other PumpUp members to believe in themselves, regardless of where they are along their health and fitness journey. "Confidence grows," she counselled. "Remember that our bodies are all that we really have. No matter how hard reaching our goals seems, sometimes it is worth it. Without our health, we have nothing." The PumpUp community helped Holly find confidence in herself and she encourages others to find a positive forum where they can share about their victories and struggles. "PumpUp is a great, supportive place full of likeminded people - people looking to become a better version of themselves just like you are," she professed.

How I finally became happy with my body with the help of PumpUp // Veganballerina's success story

Holly's Daily Routine

I wake up and get ready for work while my amazing husband makes us smoothies. I drink my smoothie and have coffee at work. For lunch, I eat bananas and oranges, and I drink water all day. I come home, have a healthy snack and do one or a few of my favorite forms of exercise. Finally, my husband and I make a healthy dinner together and eat earlier in the evening than we used to.


Holly's biggest motivation

My biggest motivation is my husband as well as myself.  I love my husband and I love life. I want to lead as healthy of a life as I can for as long as I can. This way, I can have as much time with my husband as possible.


Holly's workout routine

I love PumpUp workouts but I don’t have one favourite. I like to do a different PumpUp workout, focusing on different areas of the body for a short amount of time - about 30 minutes. I like to combine this workout with stretching or jogging or yoga. Aside from that, I love taking ballet class. I go one or two times a week.

How I finally became happy with my body with the help of PumpUp // Veganballerina's success story

More about Holly

I am a professional performer! I am a classically trained ballet dancer and for the past several years I’ve had the joy of doing what I love, which is performing. The productions I dance in are burlesque shows but with the unique twist of featuring highly trained ballet dancers. It’s a dream come true!

Keep Holly Pumped! Find her on the app @veganballerina and let her know if you have any questions in the comments below.


How a fitness community gave me courage to tackle my biggest addictions - Clodagh's PumpUp Success Story

How a fitness community gave me courage to tackle my biggest addictions - Clodagh's PumpUp Success Story


It's been almost a year since Clodagh joined the PumpUp community after her close friend Wilma introduced her to it. "I have not regretted joining this amazing, positive, and energetic app for one day," she affirmed. "I started working out just before I began my journey with PumpUp, but since I became engaged with the community, this app kept me going and assisted me in my personal growth as much as my physical change." Clodagh made palpable progress especially over the past few months. She documents her victories and setbacks on the app almost every day. "Having such a massive support group helps when you have an 'off day' and feel like you aren't getting anywhere," she remarked. "Just one positive comment from a fellow member can make the world of a difference to another person's day." Not only did Clodagh change her eating habits after she joined PumpUp, she also made a commitment to tackle one of her biggest addictions. "My general intake of food consisted of processed fast foods, but one of my most shameful struggles has to be smoking," she elaborated. "I know it is an absolutely disgusting habit, but with each day that passes by, it gets a lot better. I actually made a promise to quit smoking with one of my good friends. It felt like a contradiction to advocate for a healthy lifestyle while harming myself in different way." Clodagh proudly maintains this goal and turns to the PumpUp community to keep her accountable. She is confident that quitting smoking will boost her running performance and improve her overall health.  "I am most thankful to PumpUp, the PumpUp community, and most importantly, myself," she added. "Realizing your faults makes you a stronger person from within." 

Clodagh found courage to overcome her biggest addictions with the help of PumpUp

There isn't a 'secret' to Clodagh's lifestyle change. It's a culmination of subtle changes that she made over the course of her journey with PumpUp.  Clodagh does weight training and a burst of cardio at the gym for at least 4-5 times a week, and does home workouts if she's short on time. "I believe that there are no excuses  – you are your only excuse," she insisted. "Changing your lifestyle does not happen overnight, it is a daily process. With time, it gets better." Clodagh takes pride in preparing her daily meals the night before. "It doesn't have to be glamorous, but it does need to sustain you throughout the day," she advised.  "I also remind myself that there is nothing wrong with treating oneself.  Life is also about enjoying every step of the way!" 

Clodagh has a refreshingly realistic perspective towards goal setting. She recognizes the importance of focus, determination, and being able to identify one's own limitations. "What counts is that you know what you are working towards and you are happy with your own progress, as well as supporting those around you," she counselled. "At the end of the day, the only person you have to answer to in order to lead a happier life is yourself, so you have to make it count. Self-belief opens many doors of opportunities that have always been there. I used to be too scared to grab them and take them on!" As Clodagh continues her journey with PumpUp, she strives to improve herself physically, mentally, and emotionally. "PumpUp has helped me to view exercise with a positive mind-set," she said happily. "I am a lot more confident and less likely to doubt myself. Knowing that I am accomplishing something on my own for a change is a huge accomplishment already, as I always had a tendency to rely on others."

Clodagh found courage to overcome her biggest addictions with the help of PumpUp

Self-confidence was the cornerstone of Clodagh's transformation. She's no longer a wallflower, blending into the backdrop of other people's lives. "My dream has always been to help people, but self-doubt became my undoing: large crowds drained me," she recounted. "Not being happy with myself mentally and emotionally led to “letting myself go” and I ended up gaining so much weight that it pushed me further into that dark corner." With the help of PumpUp, her family, and her friends, Clodagh had the courage to step up and take her life in control. "I'm still quite shy by nature, but I learned to speak up. Otherwise, I would remain an unhappy person. That wasn't something I wanted to live with every day," she admitted. "You have to believe in yourself."

Clodagh's best advice for other PumpUp members

When you feel like giving up, push harder! Start each day as if it is a new beginning. Set daily realistic goals for yourself. It will lead to less disappointment. Concentrate on the now, that is what will take you one step closer to reaching your long term goals. It also has to be something you want to change within yourself, you have to take into account it is a lifestyle change and not a diet. Once you stop a diet it relapses, and 9 times out of 10 you end up where you were before. Take the slightly longer journey, make healthier choices, and try to live a more active lifestyle in general. We are so lucky to be able to step outside and enjoy the outdoors. Take advantage of those opportunities as well. The possibilities are endless if you open yourself up to it. On a side note, do not allow “changing yourself” to consume you as you do not want it to become an unhealthy addiction. You are not in competition with anyone else other than yourself. We are our worst critics for sure, learning to love yourself and be a better version of yourself in my opinion is a lot more rewarding. Remember everything within moderation. Those are small things I have to remind myself about on a daily basis.

Clodagh found courage to overcome her biggest addictions with the help of PumpUp

Clodagh's biggest motivation 

My biggest motivation is first and most forth myself, but not in a conceited way. I know that if you put your mind to something, anything is possible! My other motivation would have to be my gym partner @grantjolliffe17, without him I think I would not have had the confidence in the very beginning to go to gym. I always felt intimidated, but his wise words, "we all have to start somewhere" gave me the kick up the backside to forget about everyone else as we are all there to reach our own set of goals. 

Another big motivation would have to be my best friend, Wilma. As much as I check up on her daily to ensure she is keeping on track, she has done the same for me. I am always ever so thankful for her 7 years of friendship.

How Clodagh stays active

I do weight training. I'm still very much a newbie and have so much to learn. It has helped a lot with keeping active and it motivated to continue with this lifestyle. I miss running a lot, having done many half marathons, this is something I will start again. I am very lucky to have active friends, so we do try arrange hikes, fun days where we incorporate all kinds of fun activities.

Clodagh found courage to overcome her biggest addictions with the help of PumpUp

More about Clodagh

I am a bookkeeper, and I will be starting my BCompt Degree next year! I have a very demanding job, working in Immigration is very fast paced. I love reading (I'm the biggest book nerd ever). It's important for me to be outdoors as much as possible, I am obsessed with the beauty of nature that surrounds us each day. I consider myself very fortunate to be able to live along the beachfront, so this may explain my tiny obsession with sunsets, I could literally open a photo gallery. 

Keep Clodagh pumped on the app @clodaghsiobhan! Have questions for Clodagh? Let her know in the comments below!