Dame Kelly Holmes ‘not happy’ about turning 50 because life is going ‘too fast’


Olympic hero Kelly Holmes used to be delighted to tick off the miles as she powered around the track.

But one milestone she was less than pleased to pass was her recent 50th birthday.

The double gold medallist said: “I was born in 1970. Work it out.

“I am not happy about the thought life is going by so fast but I try to make the most of it.

“As we get bit older, fitness can either decline or improve and during lockdown I have upped the ante with mine.”

And now the mid­­dle-distance great, who won her golds at Athens in 2004, is reaching out to help other over-50s beat virus restrictions and get in shape.

Dame Kelly, an Army PT instructor before turning to athletics, devised the routines after her big birthday in April.

She said military training taught her to keep striving to become fitter, especially as she grows older.

Dame Kelly recalled how as a 22-year-old instructor she led male soldiers on long runs and assault courses in full combat gear.

She said: “I really enjoyed it because it pushed me to be a better version of myself.

“It pushed me as a young female to be strong both in body and mind.

“To compete against men and then to actually take on men.

“I had to prove I was as good if not better, and that’s where I get my fighting spirit from. And it’s also why I still love fitness to this day.”

Kent-born Dame Kelly said she has been training once or twice a day since April.

Her five-week programme offers free workouts for all levels of ability and focuses on a different part of the body each week to help build strength.

Home workouts have surged since gyms and yoga studios were forced to close.

Three-quarters of the population say they have taken up at least one new form of ­exercise.

Dame Kelly teamed up with Saga, the over-50s insurance and travel firm, to launch her fitness plan, which requires only household items as equipment.

She said: “Keeping fit and active is vital to a healthy ­lifestyle and as we get older it becomes even more important.

“Since March it has been trickier than usual to keep up with a fitness regime.

“The workouts are designed with all abilities in mind – whether you are a regular gym-goer or someone that is looking for a bit of fun to keep active while spending more time at home.

“I’m really passionate about the role of fitness in keeping healthy so I’m really excited to be partnering Saga to help over-50s keep active.”

Saga’s Louise Robinson said: “Recently, people haven’t been able to be as active as they usually would.

“As restrictions begin to lift, we are still likely to be faced with not being able to access leisure facilities or take part in hobbies to keep fit.

“Fitness has a huge role to play in keeping healthy, not just physically but also mentally.

“We’re thrilled Dame Kelly is providing our members and the wider community access to workouts which have been designed with their age group in mind.

“It’s time to dust off the trainers!”

The workout videos can be watched via Saga’s website or Facebook page.


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