Old is gold, or should we say SILVER

IF THEY could, these muscle-bound seniors would probably beat men half their age at the Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT). Meet Singapore’s health and fitness interest group formed by seniors, for seniors, Team Strong Silvers. With the mighty motto “Never too OLD”, the team, which was formed in October 2013, aims to promote an active lifestyle among senior citizens in Singapore. How do they achieve this? Read on to find out...

1. They are fitting (and might we also say, fit) role models

At 77, 68, 71 and 64 respectively, Mr Peng Lin Hua, Mr Ngai Hin Kwok, Mr Ng Bee Kia and Mr Victor Chan boast sculpted shoulders, defined muscles and rock hard abs – all thanks to their discipline and determination to stay trim and active.

Mr Peng said proudly: “I don’t have the three highs – high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol.”

He credits his good health to his exercise regime: twice a day for an hour.

In fact, Mr Ngai feels healthier now than when he was younger: “I am 68 years old and a retiree, so I have more time for exercise. And with more exercise now, I feel that my health is better compared to before.”

It’s no wonder that youths look up to Team Strong Silvers.

Mr Chan said: “I have had National Servicemen (NSmen) call me up to say that they want to join me in training. I am happy to be able to motivate and inspire others.”

“People have tried to tell me that I am getting on in age, and discouraged me from training too hard. They tell me to stay at home and look after my grandchildren instead. However, my top priority is to exercise and to stay healthy for my family. Health is wealth! Besides, doing nothing will also likely cause me to have dementia.”

2. They are relatable

Most seniors are not comfortable exercising in an air-conditioned gym with strangers and complicated equipment. To counter this, Team Strong Silvers specialises in calisthenics – gymnastic exercises that use one’s own body strength, such as push-ups, burpees, dips and squats. Calisthenics can be trained anywhere, such as in an open area or the HDB fitness corners. 

old man pullup

oldman headstand

oldman headstand 2

No dumb bells or fancy gyms – Team Strong Silvers shows us how calisthenics workouts can be done even at the fitness corner of a park. The only equipment you really need is your body.

Each member knows and experiences the difficulties that seniors face with certain exercises. One example is the pull-up, where the seniors have to train and strengthen their arm muscles, more than young people.

“Youths can use their body strength to propel themselves. On the other hand, we have to put in a lot of practice and training of our arm muscles till they are strong enough to pull our body up. I do twenty to thirty pull-ups, twice a day, as part of my training,” said Mr Ngai.

When it comes to their diet, there seems to be no restrictions. Mr Ng reveals that he has none, contrary to what we might expect of someone who’s so fit and buff. Shaking his head in amusement, he said: “I eat anything. No restrictions at all.”

Mr Chan chimed in: “Other than exercising, my other ‘hobby’ is sleeping. It is important to get enough sleep!”

Now that’s something many of us can relate to!

3. They are social

Other than being fit and relatable, Team Strong Silvers volunteers at community events, providing workouts for both the young and old. They have also partnered SuperFit.global – a fitness events and services provider whose team members are mostly reservist commandos in their mid-20s – to provide workouts for the beneficiaries of TOUCH Community Services in Ang Mo Kio. Through their volunteer work, Team Strong Silvers is able to inspire fellow seniors to exercise with them.

And if you are wondering if they feel any pressure when working out with reservist commandos half their age, Mr Ng confidently said: “No, we learn from each other. What they can do, we also can do!” 

We let Team Strong Silvers walk the talk by putting them to the test. Watch how Team Strong Silvers fares against the Spartans from SuperFit.global in a battle of the brawns.

To find out more about Team Strong Silvers and show them your support, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TeamStrongSilvers/.

Article published on: 27/4/2017