About the Author – Harry H. Gaines

Photo: Clem Murray

After many decades dedicated to health and fitness, I knew that exercise was good for me, but I never imagined I would write about it. A lunch meeting, however, resulted in an opportunity to create articles about fitness for adults for a company’s blog. That experience led to my writing stories for my local fitness center about individuals in my community who’d transformed their lives via exercise and healthy eating. Several friends suggested I write a book on fitness and healthy eating and, before I knew it, Fitness Beyond 50: Turn Back the Clock was born.

My professional experience in educational publishing and training provided me with a keen understanding of how adults learn. While there are thousands of how-to exercise and diet books on the market, I wanted to offer my peers something else — an entertaining and educational book about why to exercise and eat right.

I believe that reading the latest research about the benefits of fitness and healthy eating will prove more motivational than simply telling adults how to exercise. Understanding why exercise and diet are central to leading an active, healthy and longer life provides inspiration to stick to a health program — even when we inevitably stumble.

Because over 70 percent of our health problems — high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, hypertension, etc. — can be prevented, I want to help people develop motivation. Given the positive impact exercise also has on the functioning of our brains, I felt compelled to share inspiring research. I believe knowledge is a strong incentive to take action.

Fitness Beyond 50: Turn Back the Clock is also loaded with over 125 real-life stories of what adults have done to improve their lives. Many are people I know, and I’ve witnessed the positive changes myself. Some of them have overcome significant limitations in order to lead an active, healthy life. Their stories offer extra encouragement to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Perhaps you’ll soon have a success story of your own to share with me.

I want you to know that I practice what I preach. My wife, Debra Carrier, and I divide our time between Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and southwest Florida; I cycle year round, normally logging 5,000 miles annually. I’m also an active participant at my local fitness centers and golf clubs. I had an assessment recently that compared my fitness level with the previous year. The results showed that I’ve lost eight pounds, reduced my body fat percentage from 19.3 to 16.1 percent, significantly increased my recovery time on the Harvard Step Test and reduced my resting heart rate from 66 to 60 (it’s actually 55 early in the morning). I now weigh the same as I did 40 years ago, and my weight training is rigorous.

Do I think Fitness Beyond 50 will change the world? No, but it has changed my world, and it’s made a positive impact on many readers. I hope you, too, will find inspiration in its pages.