Bodybuilder and fitness influencer Rahki Giovanni’s biggest inspiration is her mom, Myrna. The mother and daughter are very close, and the pandemic has hit them hard. Whilst Myrna was in LA with Rahki’s sister, and Rahki was in Miami, Myrna’s cousin sadly passed away from COVID-19.
The two have finally reunited and open up about the tragedy. Rahki claims that her passion for fitness has been passed down to her from her mom, and they both use exercise to keep themselves positive. In the video below, both women open up about their fitness journeys, and show a training session highlighting how the 61-year-old Myrna stays fit to combat the virus.
Rahki challenges her mother to do a set of dumbbell shadow-boxing, 25 squats and jump-rope exercises. See how she got on below:
Staying fit and active is very important for seniors, and a big focus for both Rahki and Myrna is strength. Myrna uses a set of the best adjustable dumbbells to shadow-box with lighter weights, in addition to swings with the best kettlebell and taught by her daughter how to do a squat.
Strength is very important for seniors. Grip strength has been proven to be a great indicator for overall health: if you're still strong and fit even in later life, you are fighting against the natural aging process, in which your muscles shrink and waste due to a process called atrophy.
Even in very old age, a background of strength training will help you push yourself out of a chair or bed, pull yourself up, and a strong back and core will keep your posture upright. Squats also work your hips and glutes, helping you to stand upright from a seated position, and the stretching keeps you mobile, guarding against injury.
Myrna's jump-rope exercises are also great for cardio fitness. Researchers in India (opens in new tab) tested college-age men before and after a 12-week programme of skipping exercises, seeing a huge increase in the participants' mobility, stability and cardio fitness. It can also be done outside relatively inexpensively, making it a pandemic-friendly workout.
Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and News Editor at Fit&Well, covering all things exercise and nutrition on the Fit&Well website. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.