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It’s never too late for fitness

Tom Pope, 80, came to fitness training late, but it changed his life

Posted: April 20, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 20, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Tom Pope, 80, started a fitness regime two years ago, he has since lost 60 pounds. He works out six days a week.

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Having an excuse never crosses Tom Pope’s mind when it comes to working out.

At 78 years old, the Santa Clarita Valley resident decided to join a gym and start exercising and has not missed a workout since.

His doctor had told Pope he should start to use a cane, but Pope refused.

“I wanted to use my own muscles,” he said.

After joining a gym, Pope set a few specific goals.

“I wanted to move better and to be as strong as possible,” he said.

Pope said he wanted to improve his balance and his walking, which was affected by neuropathy he had since he was a child.

After two years, Pope has lost 60 pounds. He reports his doctor is very impressed that he has lost his unwanted weight.

Pope said he was able to go off all of his high blood pressure medication and now eats a nutritionally balanced died daily.

Having just celebrated his 80th birthday, Pope said he’s in better shape than he’s been in many years.

Pope worked 16 years in Brazil as a missionary to the Karaja Indians who lived on a tributary to the Amazon River.

He returned to the United States to raise his family and built a profitable swimming pool company.

Pope then became a Senior Building Inspector for the Los Angeles City Department of Building and Safety.

At his gym, Results Fitness in Newhall, Pope attends group classes and meets with his fitness instructor weekly for personal guidance, which keeps him on track and focused.

He works out in the gym six days a week. Pope also works with the physical therapist at Results Fitness to improve his balance.

He had never been able to do lunges before, even on fitness programs he had joined in the past, but now Pope reports he does lunges as a part of his regular workout routine.

Not only does Pope do lunges but he also uses kettlebells, ropes, dumbbells and he works hard at improving his power by performing medicine ball throws. Strength and power are among the first signs of fitness people lose as they age.

Pope said he enjoys his workouts.

“I always feel a lot better walking out than when I walked in,” he said. “The trainers at Results Fitness are very careful with me. They must all meet regularly and talk about me, because everyone on the team knows what to be careful of with me. I feel very safe.”

He never lets excuses creep into his head to avoid working out, Pope said.

“No, having an excuse never crosses my mind,” he said.

Rachel Cosgrove is the author of “The Female Body Breakthrough” and co-owner of Results Fitness.

lifestyles@the-signal.com

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