Fri04182014

Your Health

50+ celebrates health at April fitness weekend

At 65, Bob Pearl said he is the same weight he was in college. Pearl rides his bicycle daily and works out with weights at the gym. Last summer he rode his bike 1600 miles just to raise money for the library.

"As the body gets older, it doesn't have to disintegrate," he said. "It can get stronger."

Jack Graf, who claims to be 62 going on 14, has lived in Los Altos and been a member of Fifty-Plus Fitness Association for the last 10 years.

Next month Pearl, Graf and other Los Altos residents will participate in the Fifty-Plus 14th Annual Fitness Weekend April 5-6. The motivational conference Saturday afternoon, followed by a dinner, will be held in Redwood City.

Sunday's events, a day of athletic activities beginning with a 7 a.m. swim workout and continuing through an in-line skating tour of the campus, all take part at Stanford.

Pearl, a Los Altos resident since 1966, is one of many in the over-50 crowd taking an interest in physical fitness. For two years he has been one of more than 2,000 members of the Fifty-Plus Fitness Association.

"It's just fun to get out and be with these people," he said. "Like me, they're all trying to lead a healthy lifestyle."

The Fifty-Plus Fitness Association, that sponsors the fitness weekend, is a non-profit organization created in 1980.

Pearl calls Fifty-Plus a "great supportive group" for people like himself. They sponsor monthly seminars and bring older people with similar athletic interests together.

When Allan Wilson joined Fifty-Plus eight years ago, he was one of the youngest members.

"A group that celebrated exercise at an older age was something I wanted to be part of," he said. "They were vigorous, enthusiastic and in good shape."

Wilson later volunteered to use his computer skills in helping to set up the Fifty-Plus Web site.

"It's (exercise) something you're glad you've done," Wilson said.

"When my parents were 40, I thought they were very old," Graf said. "Now my kids are almost 40, and they still don't think I'm old."

The Fitness Weekend will culminate with a health fair inside Stanford Stadium including free snacks, prizes, music and information booths.

For more information or to register for the Fifty-Plus Fitness Association's Fitness Weekend events, call 323-6160, fax 323-6119 or visit the Web site at http://www.50plus.org.

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