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Burr Leonard inspires exercising in your 60s

Reviewed by Marta October 17, 2011 7 Comments

I had a huge shock this weekend (a good one). A woman who I admire hugely and whom I thought was in her mid to late 40s is, I discovered, 63. She is Burr Leonard, founder of the Bar Method, which I mentioned in a recent article on how to get toned arms in only five minutes.

In the DVD, Change Your Body, with which I worked out this weekend, Burr Leonard looks incredibly gamine. Change Your Body has been around for a few years so I quickly took a peak at her newly launched Super Sculpting workout and she looks fantastic for a woman of any age, let alone one in her 60s. OK, I suspect she may have had a bit of outside intervention to keep her face so smooth, but you can’t shortcut or fake a body like that (the picture above is a screen shot from the video). If that doesn’t convince you that exercise will keep you looking young, then nothing will.

I personally don’t believe my face looks any younger than my 51 (soon to be 52) years. But I do allow myself the conceit of thinking that I have – after a year of Bar Method and a careful diet – taken a year or two off from the neck down. Muscle tone, strength and good posture will do much more than a truckload of the world’s finest body lotion.

As we get older exercise becomes crucial to our continued good health. But the older we get, it has to be a regular and sustained effort. In an article in the Huffington Post, Burr Leonard talks about, when hitting 60, her “muscles started to feel like sieves” and she had to up her exercise classes to five times a week to maintain strength and stamina.

She cites a sports scientist Dr. Stephen Seiler: "After about age 60, strength levels fall more rapidly" in people who strength train on a long-term basis. "The good news," he writes, are that these declines "are diminished by continued training."

So, although muscle strength is going to decline, we can slow that decline down if we keep up our training. With the incentive of looking as good as Burr Leonard in 10 years time, I'm oh so with the program. I started by ordering her Super Sculpting DVD. The Bar Method is now available to buy in the TIA shop.

  • November 24, 2011

    by Faye

    Today I discovered that a woman in my 3xweekly Zumba class is 91! She attends every class, never sits, keeps moving and puts the rest of us to shame! I'm certainly impressed! Hope I can do the same at 91..

  • November 22, 2011

    by Divadebbi

    Ahhh Burr! I took classes with her 15 years ago when she owned the license to the Lotte Burke Method in Greenwich, Ct. She is nothing if not a wonder and inpiration! Good for you Marta!!!
    I have been doing a variation of this method for nearly 18 years. In addition, I recently joined Equinox Gym. I have upped my cardio and use free weights as well as the machines. II can honestly say, I am in the best shape of my life. One of Burr's former instructors taught a class I took this weekend. We were so pleased to see each other and quite amazed how kind the years have been to us, partly due to this workout. I highly recommend it as well!

  • October 23, 2011

    by Marta

    I looked at vitamin sprays a while ago and, unfortunately, the science backing up that they are more efficient isn't very convincing: http://truthinaging.com/body/sprayology-for-a-vitamin-spritz-and-a-dare-to-try-it

  • October 23, 2011

    by Stephanie

    Marta,
    Thanks for your willingness to share your healthy eating habits. I think this especially resonates with your article from today about vitamins.

    Speaking of which, have you ever tried sub lingual vitamins instead of the regular tablet form? They say the sub lingual variety is absorbed "better" as it goes to the blood stream as opposed to the digestive system.

    Cheers,
    Stephanie

  • October 20, 2011

    by Marta

    Hi Stephanie, I lost 15 to 20lbs and found adjusting to a new diet very difficult at first. Now its just a way of life and I'll be glad to share. I'll have a post on a typical week up soon. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • October 20, 2011

    by Patti

    I just did the Bar Method "Change Your Body" work out for the first time after buying it on Marta's recommendation. Wow. It looks harmless at first, but it's Intense! I work with a personal trainer, but these exercises are low impact, high intensity stuff. I am totally impressed. Will be doing this workout 3 times a week.
    Also a note for Stephanie - Jackie Warner's (Why You are Fat) book has great tips on changing eating habits so you don't have to go on a diet, you change your eating for good.
    Thanks Marta for great fitness tips!

  • October 19, 2011

    by Stephanie

    Marta,
    What's your day to day diet like? I ask because I know I need to eat differently, but I am just stymied as to what kind of menu plan to adopt. Any chance of you sharing a week of eating?
    I know that's a lot to ask but I'd like to lose some wait/be healthier and so my eating habits have to change.

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