Here at Trim Up, I would guess that 75% of our members are over age 40, and as young as 16 with the oldest in their 70's. I guess the main reason we don't have more younger women is lack of childcare....although our younger moms say they like having exercise as part of their "alone time".
Some of our members are relatively new to a fitness program but many of the 40+ women have been exercising for decades. Yes, we start to have "issues" with knees, backs or necks and need to be a little more conscious of certain movements that could be problematic. So modifications are the "norm" around here and always offered and encouraged. But otherwise there is not much difference in the abilities of our age groups (except for the menopausal obsession with room temperature!)
One day I was talking to a 20 yr old girl who recently joined our program. She is very thin but had not been exercising regularly for awhile. She made the comment that she liked taking classes here because when she feels like she can't keep going during aerobics, she will look at the 50-something next to her who is going strong and it pushes her to stay with it. I love it!
I bet there are other people in our lives who notice how we take care of ourselves with exercise. Making fitness a priority and part of our daily routine can make a huge impact on our families as actions speak louder than words. Stopping at the gym after work a few times a week may mean that dinner will be delayed (or in the crockpot if planning ahead)but important enough to make adjustments. So instead of feeling guilty for being away from home, think about how you are being a positive role model, good parent and/or a responsible person with high self-esteem!