Summer 2012 Contributor/Featured Expert:

Kate Smedley is a 45 year old freelance writer living in the UK with her 16 year old son. She trains at her local gym 4-5 times per week.

I started tentatively doing exercise back in the 1980s when exercise to music (or pop mobility as it was called back then) was all the rage. In those days we exercised in bare feet on wooden floors!

In the early 1990s step aerobics became the trend and I joined a gym and started to train more regularly, not with excessive weights, a blend of light weights and classes.

Eight years ago I started working out with a personal trainer who introduced me to the benefits of strength training using weights such as bench press, squat racks, dumbbells, machines and free weights.

I can’t say it wasn’t tough at the beginning – it was! There are many days I’ve struggled and wanted to give up but I’ve noticed a definite change in my overall physique and at the age of 45 (and more than a half) I have no issues with diet or the weight gain that’s normally predicted during ‘middle age’. 

I go to the gym around four to five times each week for around an hour with two to three weights sessions and two cardio sessions per week. 

At the age of 38 I had a hysterectomy as the result of an underlying congenital blood disorder. It’s a totally manageable condition treated with medication. I have to say that it is the commitment to my exercise program which has sustained me through some tough ties both physically and mentally.  

Exercise keeps me motivated, it keeps me fit, it keeps me mentally alert and I’m always setting new goals for myself. 

I eat sensibly but I enjoy cakes and the occasional fry up as much as the next person, it’s just doing it sensible (or as sensibly as I can).

As for weight, I’m a dress size four and I weigh – I guess – around one hundred and fifty four pounds.

My one tip for everyone is – once you’ve achieved your target weight and have finally established a regular exercise routine, don’t weigh yourself. I go on dress size and overall muscle tone.

You’ll find you get to know your body well and you’ll soon know if you’re putting any weight on. With regular exercise and a sensible diet it’s highly unlikely.

I would encourage everyone to make the commitment to exercise.  Start small but think big. With regular encouragement you can do this and soon it will feel like second nature.  

Go for it! 

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