We live in a fast-paced world with mounting obligations, like family, car repairs, doctor appointments, children, social commitments, gardening, catching up on our favorite shows, jobs, cleaning, school, etc. All of these make it understandably difficult to make time to visit the gym. But while a number of us keep inventing a thousand and one excuses not to exercise, one exceptional 91-year-old is taking the initiative and giving us all the inspiration we need. What’s more? He’s proving the ‘age is just a number‘ saying over and over again. 
When Lloyd Black, 91-Year-old, joined the Anytime Fitness gym in Semmes, Alabama, it wasn’t to draw attention to himself. He was simply looking to strengthen some of his muscles after he found himself struggling to accomplish basic household tasks. He hoped that joining a gym will also help relieve the aches and pains he had been feeling in his body. Little did he know that this choice of his would go viral.
“I had reached the point where simple chores, like yard work, I could no longer do and therefore I started [going to the gym] and it has really helped,” said Black. “I am also motivated by my daddy. He was a man who never gave up and so I hope I’ve inherited some of his traits.”
Photos of Black working out in his overalls have been shared across diverse platforms on social media. Understandably, several people are impressed and have praised Black for being a positive role model.
“He says that, even before his feet hit the floor, he will do his bicycle (exercises) in the bed, and it helps them to get up and do things in the morning,” gym manager, Seaman said. “[He shows] that age is just a number, it doesn’t mean you can’t get into the gym, and it’s never too late.” 
The 91-year-old is giving other members a run for their money, having won the “Member of the Month” award. Gym manager Seaman says Black has been an inspiration to others.
“Mr. Black became a part of our Anytime family 1 year ago, and we have seen nothing but motivation and inspiration from him since he started. He says he is 91 years young and brags about how much his workout routine has helped him in his daily routines. Seeing someone like him inspires others to keep it up and incorporate fitness into their life. Seeing him in the gym three times a week working out in his overalls brightens our day, and we hope to have him many more years to come!” the gym wrote on Facebook.
When Black first joined the gym, he could barely last 10 minutes on the treadmill before becoming tired. Now, the 91-Year-old effortlessly power-walks on the treadmill before moving on to his regular workout routine. What’s more? He takes time to assist new elderly members of the gym finding it challenging to use the weightlifting machines.
“He’s just a friendly soul,” Seaman said. “It’s cute because he will go to the other silver sneakers—the elderly members—and he’ll show them how to use the machines.”
Benefits of working out for seniors
The benefits of physical activity for the elderly are numerous. No matter how old we are, the human body is designed in a way that it responds to exercise. If you have been adding too much body fat, regular exercise is one sure way to burn it off. What’s more? It reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, speeds up metabolism, and increases body mass. The elderly are not left out. Regular exercise among seniors has been proven to prevent diabetes and heart diseases. By improving the overall immune function, seniors are less susceptible to certain diseases. 
Also, older adults who exercise at a lesser risk of falls. Since exercise improves flexibility and coordination, seniors will have the needed balance and strength to prevent falls.
Regular exercise for seniors also has mental benefits. For one, exercise produces endorphins, a hormone that acts as a stress reliever, improving sleep and helping out with insomnia. Additionally, joining a gym club will ensure that strong social ties are built among the elderly, leaving them with a sense of belonging and purpose.
- “THE TOP 10 EXCUSES FOR NOT EXERCISING (AND SOLUTIONS!).” The Heart Foundation. Admin. June 1, 2018
- “91-Year-Old Man Who Works Out in Denim Overalls Praised as an ‘Inspiration’ at His Alabama Gym.” People. Joelle Goldstein. February 13, 2020
- “5 Benefits of Exercise for Seniors and Aging Adults. The Green Fields. Admin. Accessed February 19, 2020.