Tracy Acock: ‘How to age proof your body over 50′
-Jan 9, Hannah Hargrave, Living -
Tracy Acock’s social media is packed with fabulous gym selfies and empowering messages proving life gets even better after 50.
This inspiring Cornwall based beauty, and Lumity fan, has recently retired from her work as a breast cancer nurse and taken a leap of faith returning to the south coast. But you won’t find her kicking back and letting inactivity take over.
Here she talks to Lumity about being fit, finding her drive and her all time favourite hashtag.
‘The gym has been a game changer’
“I am 59….the big 60 is now just a few months away!” she says with surprise, and she’s proof, if ever any was needed, that life over 50 is both inspiring and fun.
Tracy modestly tells her Instagram followers when they comment on how great she looks that, “it was good light”.
But there is no denying that Tracy is incredibly fit and healthy. So, how does she do it?
“I have always been really active and have ridden and owned horses for many years,” she says. “However after a fall I decided it was time to find a new interest and joined the gym which has proven to be a game changer.”
‘Manage some exercise every day’
That’s not to say she goes crazy, pumping iron and throwing herself into killer workouts every day. In fact, she insists that when she can’t get to the gym, she just ensures she remains active at home and watches her diet.
“I try to stay in shape by eating well and nutrition is absolutely key for me,” Tracy says. “I manage some exercise every day even if it is a dog walk along the beach, with currently three home workouts per week. I also stretch every day and that has made a massive difference to me to be honest and takes all of five minutes!”
Strength training as you age
“What I love about exercise is the feeling of being stronger.”
Tracy points out the importance of staying physically active as you age. “Strength and resistance training is so beneficial to reduce muscle wastage and increase bone density,” she says.
But, she understands the time constraints of every day life and why many women say they don’t have time to exercise. That’s why she says picking the right time of day to fit in a workout and choosing an activity you enjoy are key.
‘Find something that you love to do’
“I have found it is not so much motivation that keeps you consistent in your exercise routine but the habit that becomes a structure to your day. For me it has to be a morning workout. Any time after 12 midday and I come up with all the excuses. So find out if you are a lark or an owl for exercise too! Those endorphins are real and the buzz after exercise is definitely addictive, so find what you love and do that!”
Fitness has become such an imperative part of Tracy’s life she’s even considered taking it up as a profession despite nearing 60.
You’re never too old to change careers
“I was about to start a Personal Training course,” she said. “Because I feel I still have something to offer, but for now I am really enjoying the engagement on my Instagram account.”
Some might gawk at the thought of starting a new career after retirement and that’s a mentality Tracy is trying to inspire people to get past.
‘I’m stronger than I’ve ever been’
“Getting older need not be downhill at all! I think of it as if you don’t move as you age you won’t move to be honest. Ageing has its challenges of course but there are some amazing people who prove age is just a number (my favourite hashtag!) In fact I was definitely stronger over this last year than I have ever been in my life…at my oldest! Find someone who inspires you and forget your age I say.”
Working as a MacMillian cancer nurse for has also taught Tracy to embrace and appreciate ageing and it’s her patients who have inspired her.
“To be honest my previous patients who keep going, literally on a roller coaster of emotions inspire me. They are living their lives around treatment and hoping each scan and blood test is good news. I guess this is real life and definitely keeps me grounded.”
‘I trekked Ben Nevis’
Before she took early retirement she took on a monster of a challenge and trekked to Ben Nevis to raise funds for a patient group service she set up for women with incurable secondary breast cancer.
“It was definitely one of the most physically challenging things I have EVER done but so worth it,” she said.
And so for now, as she researches a change of career, she hopes she can encourage women of all ages to get active and enjoy life in the best shape possible.
“The thought that I may be empowering someone to improve their health or confidence (or both) is a massive driver for me and my motto is ‘I haven’t come this far to come this far’. I’ve got plenty left to give.”
If you found this article inspiring then you might also like to read about Lou Kenny, the 59-year-old model and multi-millionaire Carol Gardner, 72, who believes it’s never too late to become an entrepreneur.