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I felt older at 20 than I do at 60!

3 min read

Meet the man who transformed his life when he turned 50 and became a poster boy (or should that be man?) for over fifties fitness.

Meet Chris

After a lifetime of burgers, takeaways and fish and chips, at the age of 50, Chris decided enough was enough… It was time for a change.

‘I was in very different shape back in those days. I was pre-diabetic, obese in fact, at 17 and three quarters stone. The doctor told me “if you’re not going to get fit, you may not have many years left on this planet".'

And get fit he did. At 60 years old, Chris now spends his days as a personal trainer, helping other over 50s get into shape and lose those extra pounds.

‘I want to help as many people as I can and to make a difference to as many people in my age group as I can… Most personal trainers are in their 20s or 30s and they can’t really relate to those younger guys and they don’t really have the same life experiences as a fifty year old or a fifty plus would have.’

As we wander round his home, it becomes clear how much of a transformation he’s made, as past photos of his younger, rounder self sits next to fitness magazines with Chris on the front cover. The physical contrast is astonishing, but how has this changed his mentality?

‘It’s how I look at myself and how I look at others around me. I’m much more positive now. It’s improved my self-esteem and improved my confidence. I don’t mind going into any kind of occasion or gathering and being myself.’

chris over-50s personal trainer

So much so, Chris has a cabinet full of trophies and photos from the fitness modelling competitions he’s been taking part in – ‘it’s like body building but nicer… Smaller muscles, bigger trunks! (grins) Going onstage for the first time in fitness modelling was something I never thought I’d do.’

So how does someone begin the journey he’s been on? Well, it’s down to a combination of things.

‘Most important is nutrition – start thinking about what you’re eating and when you’re eating. The other important factor is to be more active. There are lots of ways people can bring exercise into their life – walk to the shops instead of driving, take the stairs or walk up the escalators. There’s no need to do anything fancy or technical or complicated – just get started!’

chris helping someone to train at the gym

As a result, Chris is looking forward to living a much longer and healthier life, but that hasn’t stopped him thinking about how he’d like to leave this world.

‘I’ve given some thought to what happens when my days are over and made some funeral plans for both my wife and I. We both want to be cremated and, with any luck, that cremation will be in a furnace or device that will generate power so there’ll be some use from the burning activity as well.’

But before all that, Chris plans to spend his time discovering country pubs and nice restaurants, and travelling the world with his wife, Jenny.

‘One of the great lessons I’ve learnt is you’re never too old to start something new! Even though I waited till I was 50, it’s really made my life wonderful from that point onwards and it’s going to help me live a longer and happier older life. I felt older at 20 than I do at 60! I feel a whole lot younger and a whole lot happier for it.’

Posted on 10 March 2017

SunLife offers a range of straightforward and affordable products including over 50s life insurance, funeral plans, equity release, home insurance.