Still fit at forty!

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By

Toni Ni­cholas

She called us on Mon­day morn­ing from her home in Louisiana to ex­press her ea­ger­ness to be fea­tured in the STAR as a fit­ness buff who was do­ing quite well for her age. At first there was a brief back and forth as to why she hadn’t con­tacted us while on va­ca­tion here dur­ing the Christ­mas hol­i­days, per­chance to also grace our stu­dios for a photo shoot. Then the con­ver­sa­tion light­ened up to how much she missed home, in spite of her suc­cesses in the United States. Ground pro­vi­sions and Looshan ba­nanas were what she missed most.

And so this week the STAR fea­tures a woman of style, colour, beauty, brains and fit­ness who just hap­pens to be over the forty age mark. But you couldn’t tell, judg­ing by her joie de vivre and her play­ful youth­ful­ness that oozed even over my smart phone. Theodora Henry, who was born in Saint Lu­cia, tells us that she has al­ways had a zeal for phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity and fit­ness.

“Later in life when I be­came a teacher at the La Croix Main­got School I made a move to­wards phys­i­cal education and health,” she told the STAR.

Henry, af­ter be­com­ing a qual­i­fied teacher here, mi­grated to the United States for Univer­sity stud­ies. From 2010 she ma­jored in phys­i­cal education for her first de­gree and a year later grad­u­ated with a Masters. And af­ter teach­ing for a year at univer­sity as a fit­ness di­rec­tor, she grad­u­ated with a se­cond Masters, this time in ad­min­is­tra­tion. Henry now holds a Masters de­gree in Ki­ne­si­ol­ogy, which is the sci­en­tific study of hu­man move­ment, an­other in Sport Ad­min­is­tra­tion and is cur­rently purs­ing a doc­toral de­gree in Psy­chol­ogy in the area of Health and Fit­ness. At the mo­ment she lec­tures at her univer­sity.

For Henry her fit­ness rai­son d’etre is to “live long and healthy”. “I run a lot, I use my own body weight for ex­er­cise and fit­ness rou­tines and I some­times use dumb­bells”, she said.

When asked about her eat­ing habits she re­vealed that she had no se­cret di­etary regime: “I do my best to eat healthily and I don’t do fast foods or car­bon­ated drinks. But other than that I eat just about ev­ery­thing in­clud­ing meats. The trick is to burn as many calo­ries as you put in and to be con­stantly ac­tive,” she stated. “I am not a nu­tri­tion­ist so I tell peo­ple I can­not ad­vise on that and what works for me may not work for you. I can ad­vise on work­outs and fit­ness rou­tines, how­ever,” Henry ex­plained.

Asked about her mes­sage to women, in par­tic­u­lar, in main­tain­ing a healthy life­style she replied: “Be aware that your body is like a ma­chine. If you keep oil­ing its parts with plenty of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties and ex­er­cise, and on top of that a proper di­et­ing pro­gramme, it will take you places.”

Henry wants peo­ple to be aware that age is just num­ber, and that if they do not start tak­ing care of them­selves at an early age, with time will come a nat­u­ral wear and tear and added health prob­lems. “The body is adapt­able. If you train it and give it the things it needs, it will re­spond ac­cord­ingly. At forty-plus, with my phys­i­cal prow­ess, I can still pro­vide some form of se­ri­ous ath­letic com­pe­ti­tion to peo­ple who are half my age. My pur­pose is to re­main fit and healthy and I am not back­ing down for any­thing.”

Theodora Henry takes time out at the beach while

va­ca­tion­ing here.

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