Meet the 75-year-young fitness fanatic who swears by staying active as you age

Oct 06, 2023
As Ageism Awareness Day (October 7) approaches, Michael is urging everyone to recognise the significance of maintaining fitness as we grow older. Source: Supplied.

Age is just a number and 75-year-young fitness fanatic Michael Maher is living proof that staying active can keep you feeling vibrant and full of life well into your golden years.

While many may picture retirement as a time for relaxation and taking it easy, this inspirational retiree is breaking stereotypes and inspiring us all with his dedication to health and fitness.

The Stafford Lakes resident’s impressive fitness regime makes him the talk of his TriCare retirement community on Brisbane’s northside, especially after he teed off at Royal Queensland with an impressive handicap of three.

As Ageism Awareness Day (October 7) approaches, Michael is urging everyone to recognise the significance of maintaining fitness as we grow older.

“The fitter I am the more I can do,” Michael said.

“I want to be healthy and age slower I guess. I’ve always been fit and active, but in order to continue to play golf, I need to keep up my strength and general fitness.”

Michael follows a fitness regimen that could put even younger gym enthusiasts to shame, working out in the gym and swimming laps three times a week on-site at the Stafford Lakes Retirement Community, while also playing two rounds of golf a week and opting to walk instead of buggy around the course, which is the equivalent of 18 kilometres combined.

According to Michael, his “better half” provides plenty of motivation, and although they don’t exercise together both of them make a concerted effort to hold each other accountable.

Brisbane-based personal trainer and qualified exercise physiotherapist Kat Peatey understands the crucial role physical activity plays in the lives of Australians across all age groups.

“Physical activities of any kind can improve not only our sleep, but also our mood and energy levels,” Peatey explained.

As we age, regular physical activity has the potential to alleviate discomfort associated with conditions like arthritis and diminish stiffness.

“Since I’ve been working at TriCare Stafford Lakes I’ve been astounded by the gains the residents have had, the increase in their strength and confidence has blown me away,” Peaty, who runs Beyond Outdoor Fitness, said.

It’s widely known that with age, individuals tend to experience muscle loss, reduced bone density, and diminished flexibility. To counteract these effects, Peaty recommends dedicating a minimum of 20 minutes daily to cardiovascular exercises and focusing on strength training two to three times a week.

“It’s never too late to start, the idea is just to keep moving,” Peaty added.

Ageism Awareness Day, coinciding with Queensland Seniors Month aims to shift the narrative around ageing, fostering a more inclusive dialogue that discourages misjudgment and discrimination within the broader community.

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.