Next year I turn 40.

I’m finding it vaguely worrying, and I wasn’t sure why.

I was 33 when I started running, I didn’t discover Roller Derby till I was 35, and now, approaching 40, I’m noticing that I’m a lot older than other people who do what I do.

If girls are dropping out of sport at age 14, you can pretty much guarantee that by age 40 the number of Women involved in physical activity is on the low side. In fact 45% of Women don’t meet the minimum activity guidelines for good health, and 1 in 4 Women apparently do less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week.

There’s no denying that staying active as you get older is a different ball game (or roller skating game) than it is when you are in your 20s. I have muscle aches and creaks and it’s important to make sure I warm up and stretch properly.

Maintaining my flexibility with Yoga and Pilates is something I’m making more of a priority. Making time for rest and recovery is also more important and making sure I eat and fuel myself well. Long gone are the days when I could stay up drinking into the small hours and then consider leaping out of bed to run a 10k. (I’m not sure those days ever existed, but you get my point).

I love a scroll through Instagram. I follow some great Fitness Influencers and I love to see their posts, but some days it feels increasingly hard to relate to their world. A lot of “big” fitness Instagram stars are in their 20s, they look amazing, they take beautiful photos, they have shiny hair and an amazing gym wardrobe, but as I approach 40 I can sometimes find them more of an irritation than an inspiration.

I know that there are women over 35 out there doing the thing. Whether your goal is to look super shredded, or excel at your sport sometimes we all need a little inspiration that we can really identify with. I actually hunted long and hard for some really inspirational people to follow on Instagram. Some accounts I found a little too polished, they were often Americans and had a product or course to push, and they pushed it hard. Some accounts were at the other end and were a little too personal, grainy gym selfies interspersed with family photos. I think that the 6 accounts I’m about to share with you all get the balance about right.

They’re relatable, they’re fit, they’re fabulous, and they’re over 35.

I would LOVE to hear your recommendations for more people to follow! (P.S. While we’re here, my own Instagram tends to be a mix of fitness, fashion and food. And I’m definitely over 35. Find me here!)

Cornish Bird in Dorset

Tracy Acock, AKA Cornish Bird in Dorset is my first inspiration. She’s not just over 35, she’s actually nearly 60. She looks amazing AND takes awesome gym selfies, so basically, an Instagram must follow.

A few life adjustments going on! If you’ve been following me you know I had a bit of a gym break for a few days to enjoy family time. So although I’ve been back to it this week I’ve got a bit of a SI joint issue which hopefully will come right with treatment but i do need to ease up on the weights for lower body temporarily & I am having to rethink my goals after seeing the chiropractor this morning….just call me hopalong 😛 .. I’m sharing this as there are bound to be blips along the way as we challenge & push ourselves & it’s easy to be positive when things are going well but unexpected setbacks happen & it’s how we respond. I guess we have to respect our bodies & go with it…so mixing it up with a few training changes for the next few weeks focusing on upper body with the cardio added in & if you’ve seen my stories you know I love it😂💁🏼‍♀️ .. So essentially the timing is ok as I needed a kick up the ass to get this Ben Nevis Trek training for #breastcancer on the go…so this is it! Hoping to get some hill walks in too & exercising outdoors will be good in so many ways ☀️ 🧗🏼‍♀️So watch this space & if you can spare anything for #breastcancer(even a fiver makes a difference) pls donate and/or reshare the link is in my bio 👆🏼👆🏼 . . . . . . #strengthtraining #setbacks #listentoyourbody #gymlife #staypositive #ageisjustanumber #over50fitness #gymlife #reflection #trekbennevis #breastcancerawareness

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Julie Diamond Fitness

Julie Diamond Fitness is one of the shiny Americans, but I kinda like her. She’s over 50, super fit, and has the kind of swingy blonde hair that I could only dream of.

She gives me inspiration that in 10 years I can be even more badass than I am now.

 

 

Second Row to Wing

Second Row to Wing is an actual real-life friend of mine, about my age, and an all-round amazing woman. She took up Rugby a few years back, recently ran the London Marathon and I’m always super jealous of her aerial hooping skills. Plus she shares my penchant for Novelty prints. Her Instagram contains lots of fun hoop pictures, plus updates on her running training.

This Granny Can

Recently my trainer suggested that if I ever retire from Roller Derby I could have a go at Power Lifting. I thought, “Pfft, I’ll be too old when that happens”, This Granny Can is proof that will probably not be the case. I could be skating into my 60s, but it’s a long time to be that beaten up, no one hits you in Powerlifting!

Tania Dalton

Tania Dalton is an Australian and at 49 is still one of those swingy ponytail ladies that I never even managed to be at 29.

She’s a Personal Trainer, but doesn’t confine her workouts to the gym, heading out to run and do horse riding.

Love life, embrace every opportunity and care for the body along the journey… * I am quoting (and I hope you don’t mind Jane 😊) one of my very newest Instagram friends @jane_jogs from her reply to one of my comments on a post today. What Jane wrote really resonated with me. This very inspiring woman started running at 44 and had a marathon PB at 50. * As I lay out my running gear (ok throw it in a pile on my very messy bedroom floor – can’t be good at everything 🤣) for a run in the morning, I feel like many of us midlife people really are just getting started. * I think the best may yet be to come and I’m determined to totally love and embrace this ageing journey 😊. * (Photo from my Saturday farm run in between the hail!). * #run #nevertooold #ageisjustanumber #disruptingage #fitover40 #fitat49 #justgettingstarted

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Davina McCall

Lastly, I had to include Davina McCall in my list. I’ve been using her DVDs in an attempt to get fit since I was in my 20s. I remember being completely unable to walk downstairs after trying one, I might try it again now and see if it’s still hard!

At 49 she’s looking amazing and still producing Work Out DVDs.

 

Having discovered how much I love this stuff later on in life, I’m determined not to lose it before I have to and it’s awesome to see other women getting out there, playing sport, and getting strong.

If you have any one you’d recommend on Instagram, I’d love to hear your suggestions!