At 63, Wendy Ida looks two decades younger.
Known as “America’s number 1 Expert on Looking Fit, Fierce & Fabulous after 40,” Ida is an 8-time award winning National Fitness Champion, TV host, life transformation coach, and author of her book, “Take Back Your Life: My No Nonsense Approach to Health, Fitness and Looking Good Naked!”
Ida is also a two-time Guinness World Record holder as well as a “Strive to Thrive” fitness expert touring with Actors Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Park.
If you take a look at one of Ida’s pictures, you probably wouldn’t believe her age. What’s even more impressive is that she didn’t begin her own exercise regimen until after she turned 43. Ida, a former corporate accountant, wore sizes 12 or 14 her entire life. After escaping her 13-year long abusive marriage, she began training with a fitness professional. It was then she dropped down to a size four.
“I literally didn’t think I was going to live past the age of 43. I had no hope of much of anything,” Ida says. “I started working out for the first time at the age of 43. I didn’t know anything about working out before that, and that was the start of my turnaround.”
Now a trainer and the owner of Wendy Ida Fitness in Los Angeles, CA, Ida says she managed to improve her health and lose 80 pounds. “I took a risk and it paid off. I made a wise decision to stop living in the past and pushed through my fears to keep living on. For me, that took a leap of faith and push of courage.”
Ida’s passion for fitness transformed her body and launched a career in fitness training to help other women regain control over their lives and bodies.
“I adopt them as my very own with the intention to teach them how to take back their lives forever,” Ida says. “One of the most important things I include in my guide is self-help skills and healthy lifestyle maintenance. That’s really important for longevity. Motivating them to do what they need to do is huge. You want them to have fun.”
We caught up with Ida to help us separate fitness fact from fiction.
Myth No. 1: Men and women should train differently
False: For the most part men and women can train the same. 85-90 percent of the time they can train the same. But, there’s some really important difference–these differences can take a woman from mediocre to great. So the 10-15% can really improve their training results and workout experience and quality of life. Women need to train more on their core exercises than a man to be their best body. The other difference is that we have to keep our female organs strong. Even after you’ve had a baby the female system weakens, so you need to strengthen it and that’s as important as strengthening your core. Each year you get older your system is going to weaken. I put a huge focus on strengthening.
Myth No. 2: Older women shouldn’t strength train
False: On the contrary it’s extremely important that they do strength train to stay alive and well. Strength train safely and responsibly. Find a coach or a trainer who will show you the proper technique and how to use the machines. Strength training has a positive affect on bone density, which will decrease Osteoporosis. It helps your immune system, increases your strength, and you need more and more of it. It all contributes to a better quality of life. Strength training can save and change your life.
Myth No. 3: Diet pills, waist trainers, and body wraps are the best methods for losing weight
False: The absolute worst thing you can do for yourself is trick your mind in to thinking you can get results overnight. The second worse thing is to settle for the fact that you don’t have to do anything to lose weight. That’s why all those things exist. They cause the body to lose the fluid and muscle. That is the very thing that you want more of; you want more water and more muscles. It’s exactly what you want more of to maintain a healthy weight loss. The best possible thing you can do is prepare yourself for change in your life; know that the change will be uncomfortable during this transition and dare to muster the face to push through your challenges.
Myth No. 4: If you stop weight training your muscles turn into fat
False: No way. It’s not humanly possible. Muscles don’t turn in to fat. Those are two different animals. When you stop weight training your muscles get atrophy, which means they get smaller. We want more muscles because muscles burn fat. When you reduce your muscles you reduce your capacity to burn fat.
Myth No. 5: As long as you exercise you can eat anything that you want
False: You cannot out train bad diet. Don’t try it, don’t even think about it, don’t even get in habit of doing it or it will catch up with you. It’s not one of the most efficient ways to get healthy and fit. Most people don’t realize how easy it is to overeat your workout. One muffin can squash your workout. It creates a bad relationship with food, which is a long-term bad relationship with your body and mind. Don’t tempt yourself by going to all these all-you-can-eat buffets. It’s important to workout, eat right, and be successful as well.