In our 40s and 50s keeping moving becomes more important, but often more challenging. We looked for some inspiration and advice from an iconic Cayman Islands athlete, Chris Sutton, a 60-something who recently finished the Boston Marathon in under 3.5 hours.
Sutton, who is respected and admired across Grand Cayman’s fitness community, says he stays active as a way of staying fit and controlling his weight.
Sutton typically exercises twice a day, but always incorporates at least one day of rest every week.
“I focus on three disciplines: riding a bike, swimming and running,” he says. “Training for the three disciplines ensures that I don’t overtrain and end up with an injury.”
Sutton says he normally goes for a 10- to 15-mile bike ride early in the morning and then goes for a run or a swim in the evenings. “I try to maintain a baseline fitness level so that I can enter 5k or 10k runs or bike races without too much additional effort.”
Diet is very important at his age, Sutton says.
“I eat less than I did in bygone years and only eat clean food,” he says, adding that he avoids complex processed foods, processed sugars, refined carbohydrates and typically “anything that has more than five ingredients on the packaging.”
He also avoids alcohol, which he admits is a downside to a diet regimen.
“But it is a treat on occasions.”
For those who currently live sedentary lifestyles and want to get active, Sutton suggests they join a gym or a fitness group.
“At the start, don’t focus on just one thing or exercise too often,” he says. “Gradually introduce routines or sports like walking, running, swimming, weights, aerobics or yoga.”
He also suggests people find a companion with whom they can train, someone who can provide encouragement on days when they don’t feel like exercising.
Sutton says Grand Cayman offers many opportunities to keep people active, including several that are either inexpensive or free.
“The on-island sporting community is very friendly and generous in sharing the benefit of their knowledge and experience,” he says. “Companions, friends and challenges make exercise
Mature people getting into exercise shouldn’t be discouraged if they can’t perform as well as they once did, Sutton says.
“If you enjoy the exercise, you can overcome the challenges to be competitive, once you accept that you won’t be as fast as you were in your 20s.”
Tony Watts is a 50-something-year-old fitness fan who teaches cardiovascular and weight/resistance training classes at gyms on Grand Cayman.