As the saying goes, age is just a number.


OLD AGE PENSIONER (Retiree)…the name itself is scary. What? It almost makes you want to take all those free bus rides, sit outside a café and play dominoes with your OLD AGE PENSIONER mates, and just let yourself go.

But don’t let it do so. The day that you qualify is just the day after the day before. And the day before you weren’t one!

It’s not a chapter in life to take it easy with yourself, and sit down and wait to die.

There are individuals who plan out this chapter, they do things in a bucket list that they never had the chance to do before…like climb a mountain, row the Atlantic, or simply promise themselves that they will remain or even get fit to prolong their shelf life, even if they’re a wee bit dusty now, while heading towards their sell by date.

Of course there are no guarantees in life, we come into it naked, and we go out of it naked…however, in between is up to us as individuals to fulfill life to the max, no matter what’s thrown at us.

Keeping fit and training physically is like choosing a pair of pants, a car or even a house, we all have our own fashion ideas. So just so long as it works for you, it doesn’t matter what you do.

Walking a 6 mile route every day, stopping off enroute to have a brew of tea/coffee and catchup with mates is just fine. After all you have 6 miles each day under your belt…well done to that.

To enhance the walk even further, throw on a 15-20lb Bergen or day sack…your choice of course.

Jog the 6 miles in running kit instead of walking…or even run/walk.

To save the knees, ankles and other joints, do the equivalent time of a 6 mile walk by rowing on the Concept 2 rowing machine, a nice low impact workout that uses and works every muscle in the body.

In between the days of training, throw in some weights, pull ups, press ups, burpees etc, as it’s really important to maintain muscle mass as we all get older.

Eat well, sleep as best as you can, get off the fags, keep the booze to a sensible minimum…and SHARE a problem, do not go into yourself. We all have cracks and those cracks MUST let the light in…share it with a close friend or family member…please.

A nice wee hobby like gardening is great to keep fit. Here in America, sadly “yard work” as they call it is mainly done by contractors, and here in New York it’s mostly immigrant contractors, they may be making low wages, but boy are they fit!

For the Americans, if they swapped the wording of “yard work” to “gardening” it may just become a bit more appealing and even start a trend…for young and old, male and female alike. I certainly know that in my block alone I’m in the minority by doing my own gardening. Turning the soil over once a week and cutting the grass every 5 days or so is a workout in itself…it’s also mentally therapeutic. Feeling the soil, pulling out the odd weed, and the smells of the soil, grass and plants, there’s nothing like it. Then sitting down in your own achievements and looking around is certainly good for the mind, especially when the plants are coming towards full bloom, and the wild life comes in to be part of your garden nature.

So with that wee description of gardening, you can see the workout has both physical and mental benefits. Well when I’m running with or without a Bergen (pack), doing my weights or rowing…those benefits are there too as I’m enjoying what I’m doing.

Whatever you choose, do it because you enjoy it, then add to it…either by 5 minute increments, 5lb increments or 500 yard increments depending on the type of training for that period.

However, because of your age, don’t be afraid to take a day off or even a week off if you’re feeling weak. If you’re injured, you’ll have to be realistic and take even more time off…it’s part and parcel of ageing. But it’s always great to get going again once you’re ready. Overtraining can lead to lowering your immune system, so it’s all about a comfortable happy medium for the individual.

Before you know it, as an OAP, you’re no longer just sitting waiting to die…there’s a whole new and positive chapter to your later life to be enjoyed the fitter you are.

Published by: bobshepherdauthor

Bestselling author Bob Shepherd has spent nearly forty years operating in conflict areas around the world. A twenty year veteran of Britain’s elite 22 SAS Regiment with nearly two decades of private security work to his credit, Bob has successfully negotiated some of the most dangerous places on earth as a special forces soldier and a private citizen. Bob comments regularly on security issues and has appeared on CNN International, BBC, SKY News, and BBC Radio. He has also authored numerous articles and books including the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller The Circuit. In addition to writing and lecturing, Bob continues to advise individuals operating in hostile environments. For more of his insights on security and geopolitics visit

Categories Uncategorized2 Comments


  1. Good words Bob, as an Ambulance ( Person ) i see too many folk who just “took the easier option.” Currently, I’m 66 & once a week knock out circa 30Km with 10Kg or so on me back. Walking it is, but, physical exertion & mental health benefits abound! Gardens? Well, that’s my GF’s expertise – I merely drink wine & Barbecue in it. 🤣🤣. Stay Strong Bob – Per Ardua

  2. Awesome and true Bob, but not just for an OAP, many a young un’ could take a leaf out of your book – pun intended, get up each day and make your bed, start the day right, achieve something

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