Over 70 and Fit: Getting Started

On the Grouse Grind

I’m Barrie and I warmly welcome you to the first post on my blog Over70andfit, which will be published bi-weekly.

I am deeply passionate about fitness and I have a question for you: Are you over 70, do not exercise and have a passion to live a long and vibrant life? If so, I can help YOU – for I will be combining my own personal experiences with the help of guests who are experts in many different fields of exercise.

Why exercise? The benefits of regular exercise are incalculable: an improved quality of life and physical condition, more energy and zest for life, better sleep, mood improvement and an entirely different outlook on life.

Studies reveal that the overwhelming majority of seniors in North America do not meet the minimum physical activity levels needed to maintain health. Their sedentary lifestyles that predominate in older age result in premature onset of ill health, disease and frailty.

As our longevity continues to increase, there is even more need to exercise. It is important to know that we are never too old to begin exercising. During my running days at our local Marathon clinic, two people in their sixties joined us – they had never run before. By the time they had reached 80, both BJ and Hugh had become world marathon champions. I am certainly not suggesting that you will all become world champions but you can become a champion to your family, to your friends and even to yourself.

Soon after beginning to exercise, you will feel the immense benefits on your body and lifestyle.

We have forged busy – not necessarily active – lifestyles but this does not mean that we cannot make changes and free-up times for fitness.

Fitting exercise into your routine may require immense discipline and commitment but the rewards are immeasurable.

I am 84 and I can testify to the boundless benefits of a life of fitness.

Allow me to share my story. I began team sports at the age of 10 and continued into my mid-40’s. I then turned solo and began running, completing my first marathon within a year. I was hooked. 

At 50, I wanted to enter triathlons but first I had to learn to swim, arguably the most challenging physical exercise of my entire life. My first coach – bless him – claimed that I swam like a brick. That was the incentive which propelled me to my first triathlon, culminating within a year in my first Ironman.

Since 60, I have run, hiked, walked, played tennis, worked out at the gym and climbed our local mountain – the iconic Grouse Grind – over 2000 times. Running some 50,000 km have helped prepare me for several marathons and Ironmen Triathlons.

So here I am in my 9th decade reflecting on the astonishing benefits of fitness. I am passionate about others joining me – will YOU?

The success of these blogs depends on its audience: YOU. Your comments, suggestions and input are warmly welcomed.  

In my next blog, I will discuss exercise options, motivation and goal-setting.

Caution:  I have no illusions about being an authority on fitness. My blogs are about the experiences of a layman who has learned from a combination of expert advice, diligent personal research and personal trial and error – lots of errors!

During the course of my blogs, I will be referring you to various videos. These are purely my own recommendations and may not suit your style. If not, there are literally scores of other videos to choose from Online.

Please feel free to share your comments and questions.

Yours in fitness.



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Amazing, keep up the great work. Congratulations on your first blog. I’ll share w everybody I know.

Grant MacDonald

Great first post Barrie – look forward to future blogs.


Wonderful first post! As a kinesiology grad, my family friends are probably sick of hearing me preach about the wonders of physical activity. It’s truly the free magic pill with no rotten side effects (other than DOMS!).

Let’s not forget that your blog will be an inspiration to readers of all ages. Even people in their 20s, 30s and 40s find a struggle in “getting started” with the world of sports and exercise.

Keep up the amazing work and keep sharing your wisdom!

Cheering you on from Vancouver!



Very inspirational first posting.
Please keep them coming 🙂


Excellent! Love this – very motivational!


What a great first post!
I used to be a senior’s fitness trainer on the North Shore and was always so impressed with how active they were. The right attitude can go so far!
Keep it up Barrie!


Very inspiring. Thank you for sharing. I’m in my thirties but I’m looking forward to reading your posts 😊

Peter N.

Hi Barrie,
I enjoyed your first blog entry. A guy I worked with hadn’t done any significant running until he started running marathons in his 50’s. Now he’s ran marathons all around the world and is completely booked!

Looking forward to your next blog entry.

Peter N.

Darn auto-correct. Meant to say “he’s completely hooked”.

Great first post Barrie! You are a true inspiration!


Wow! I’ve been active all my life until I had a very unusual reason for a fall but am recuping and hope to be back on the go soon. Love your message! Judy

Peter Ewens

Wow Barrie! The Grouse Grind over 2000 times! That is amazing and congratulations! Pete

Harry Smaller

Many thanx, Barrie! As a 78-year-old who has virtually never exercised, I look forward to your next blogs!! Harry


This is wonderful Barrie! Your positive energy and incredible ability to bounce back and follow your dreams are an inspiration! I am sure you will inspire many more to do the same with this blog. Thank you for sharing!

Michael Canic

Congratulations, Barrie! Great to see your blog come to life. I’m sure your insights and inspiration will impact the lives of many people.
Keep making it happen!

Bo Gregson

You’re such an inspiration Barrie! Looking forward to more posts!

Allan English

Hey Barrie, why am i not surprised that your first post is so inspiring…you’ve been inspiring me for years. I cringe every time I think of that vehicle reversing into you as I can well imagine how any impediment to living your active life hurts more than just the broken bones. Can’t wait to hear more. Allan


Hi, I’ve really enjoyed your posts, thanks for sharing. I saw a comment you addressed about what young people should know so we can be fit like you when we’re older. I’d love to see a longer post about this, as I am 23 and I would like to be highly active for as long as possible. As a side note, I saw this article and I thought you might enjoy: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/lola-holmes-guiness-record-1.5802269?utm_campaign=later-linkinbio-cbcvancouver&utm_content=later-12099086&utm_medium=social&utm_source=instagram . Thanks again for your posts, I find them informative and entertaining – you’re an inspiration!

Claire Ewing

I did, thanks for your insights!


In my late 20’s and this inspires me to take my physical well-being more seriously. Looking forward to hearing your tips and tricks to a long, healthy life!


Lara, delighted to hear from you. Please contact me at barriestreet@shaw.ca with this information

-are you a runner
-if so, how many km weekly
-do you live in the lower mainland
-do you hike and belong to Hiking BC

Look forward to hearing from you and helping you.


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