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Fitness Advice From Women Over 50: Karen Hartman

Introducing our fifth fabulously fit woman over the age of 50 who has some incredible insight and advice when it comes to starting and continuing a fitness program! Karen is a widow, mother, grandmother, and the daughter of her 89 year old mother. She loves to read, dance, build puzzles, and volunteer her time to teach the Bible. Karen started taking dance at the age of 8 and continued for 8 years. Over the years she has tried lots of different programs such as Jane Fonda and Tae Bo and has also given running and walking a try as she has gotten older. Karen states, "I have also tried all the fad diets. I was a "foodie" which made it hard. I struggled with my weight since age 12".

Karen shares that before starting classes with Haley she had recently become a widow. She states, "I had just lost my beloved husband of 44 years to cancer the year before I got started with Haley's classes. For three and a half years prior I really put my own health on the back burner, so to speak. I hadn't been eating right and after he passed away it only got worse. Plus my emotions were all over the place and I was constantly running around to keep busy." Karen was encouraged by her daughter-in-law to join her in doing the T25 workout DVD's. Karen was surprised at how well she did. When her daughter-in-law then invited her to join her in taking Haley's classes and many of her other friends were attending she thought, "why not?". Karen states, "It was out of my comfort zone but my daughter-in-law was right, I loved the classes and wanted to continue! Haley's gentle urging and motivation plus the other ladies working so hard and seeing others close to my age not giving up was real incentive to keep going".

Initially, Karen didn't think she was seeing much weight loss. But she did notice that her clothes were starting to fit better. She states, "The classes were so fun so I kept plugging away. Then at my 6 month check up with the doctor he told me that my blood pressure was great, my cholesterol had improved and that I had lost 8 pounds! He told me whatever I was doing to keep it up! I was shocked!"

Everyone knows that classes aren't always at the most convenient of times and it takes scheduling and a little bit of effort to make them fit into your schedule. Karen states, "I decided that I had to do something just for me. This would be MY time. I schedule many things around my classes because I realized that this physicality was also helping me to cope emotionally."

When Karen was asked to describe what she loved the most about Haley's classes this is what she had to share: "I absolutely LOVE Haley's classes. Everything is there that I need (weights, mats, towels, etc) and everyone there is working hard to do their best no matter what age. The music is fresh and motivating and Haley is such a truly caring person that wants each and every one to succeed. You can actually feel the warmth in her classes." Unlike all of the other programs Karen has tried in the past, she states "Haley's classes have kept me more focused than ever before. I also have the support of all my friends. No wonder everyone wants to keep coming to class! Throughout my life I was always pretty active but nothing like I am now. My energy level is great!"

Karen's advice to other women who might feel intimidated to get started is this: "What I would tell other women is something my husband used to say, "Those who say they can and those who say they can't are BOTH right! Don't automatically think that you can't do an active class like this. One class at a time and you will see and feel yourself get stronger both physically and emotionally. So GO FOR IT! I never thought I would be able to keep up and do all that the younger ones do...but I can hold my own. If I can do it at 66 years you can too!"

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