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Senior Fitness 2013: Hometown Hero, AARP Rep Carole Carson

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HHLOGOsmallCarole Carson has been called “An Apostle for Fitness” by the Wall Street Journal.  She is the author of From Fat to Fit: Turn Yourself into a Weapon of Mass Reduction. (National Best Book Award, 2007) Just before turning 60, Carole changed her life. After chronicling her transformation from fat to fit in weekly newspaper articles, she invited others in her Northern California community to participate in the fat loss with her. Inspired by her example, more than 1,000 ordinary people teamed up to lose more than 7,500 pounds of fat within eight weeks during the Nevada County Meltdown.

Carole Carson--Before Weight Loss

Carole Carson–Before Weight Loss

Carole Carson has been invited on NBC’s Today show, CBS’s Early Show, MSNBC’s Countdown, CNN News and national radio programs. Besides teaching and consulting, Carole has produced a weekly community television show, The Tipping Point, and a reality show, Go Fat to Fit.

As a further inspiration, Carole became the Fat to Fit spokesperson for AARP, and went on to become the Health Coach for the Fat to Fit Community run by AARP. Carole Carson is a Hometown Hero because she has impacted thousands of people, not just in her small town in California, but across the country through AARP.

Carole, just how did you become an AARP spokesperson for fitness?

I attended an AARP Foundation event in Arizona where I met (accidentally) the person who was going to redesign AARP’s website. She and I chatted about how to innovate, and I suggested creating an online community for AARP members. The community would focus on becoming more fit—and having fun engaging in the process. From that simple idea, we launched the AARP Fat2Fit online community, which later grew to 23,000 members. I coached the members for three years and continue to write weekly articles on fitness for AARP.

How do you keep in shape?

fromfat2fitI play tennis at least four times a week; walk with a girl friend another four times a week; do floor exercises (for weights, flexibility, and stretching) about four times a week; and in the summer, walk daily in the swimming pool for an hour. Generally speaking, I usually average two hours a day of exercise—all of it fun!

As the tail-end of the baby boomer generation enters the 50+ decade, what advice do you have for these younger boomers?

Get FIT. “F” stands for Fun. If exercise and eating healthfully isn’t fun and enjoyable, you won’t sustain your lifestyle. “I” stands for Individualize—doing what is right for you given your body and preferences. And “T” stands for Teamwork—it is too hard to get and stay fit on your own. Surround yourself with like-minded folks.

What has life after 60 taught you?

Carole Carson Today

That one can re-invent oneself at any age.I worked in higher education at the University of California; I’ve worked as a business owner when I operated Supercuts franchises; I worked as a mother and parent while raising my children; and now I work in promoting community fitness through writing, teaching and consulting. I plan on re-inventing myself once again when I reach 80.

You’ve recently founded the Hound Press. Where are you going with this? 

So far, Hound Press has published four books. When we discover another book we want to publish, we will; however, we have no agenda or quota. My father’s family consisted of printers and publishers going back two centuries, so I come by the instinct to publish naturally.

Carole Carson has also published Remembering When I Was Young (Hound Press, 2006), a gift set for children.

HAVE A HERO TIP? Hometown Heroes are in every town and city. They are regular people who have made a positive difference in their community, impacting others for the better. Send your Hometown Hero tip to Kelly Jadon  kfjadon@gmail.com or find her online at kellyjadon.com.

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About Kelly Jadon

Kelly Jadon is an avid freelance writer; she has been mentioned in books, online and at MD Anderson regarding her work. She writes the syndicated column Hometown Heroes, which is read both online and in print across the United States. *Writer: Personal content syndicated to online news outlets (Fox News, Reuters, etc.) and print newspapers. *Online Publisher: Created a website (Basil & Spice) which delivered news content to online and print newspapers and university libraries (McClatchey-Tribune, Gale Cengage, Proquest, Google, etc..); carried more than 400 noteworthy authoritative professional contributors. *Interviewer: Khaliah Ali, Mandisa, Andy Andrews, Tosca Reno, Hector Roca & Bruce Silverglade of Gleason’s Gym, Jeanette Jenkins, Ricki Lake, Donny Poole, etc.. *Teacher/Instructor: More than 25 years in the field of education *Find Kelly Jadon online at http://kellyjadon.com/blog/