Meet Dr. Wayne Westcott, health expert, author and fitness consultant for MindFirst.
It wasn’t so long ago that people over 50 were conditioned to accept aches, ailments, and weight gain as an inevitable part of aging. Of course, people also believed cigarettes were not harmful but that rock & roll was. Fortunately, we live in more enlightened times when “youthfulness” and feeling young are no longer just a young person’s game. Unfortunately, the Fountain of Youth remains a myth which means staying healthy over 50 does take some effort.
The cultural shift in attitudes about aging is in part due to an increase in the life expectancy of the average American; people live longer and as such, many of society’s assumptions about “old age” have changed. But credit is also due to health experts like Dr. Wayne Westcott, fitness consultant for MindFirst and author of more than 20 books, 400 articles, and 600 newspaper columns about the importance of muscle-building exercise in aging well.
Dr. Westcott, age 69 and recently described as “uncannily youthful” in an article about his work in the field of exercise science, supports the many benefits of strength training for keeping the body fit for life. According to Dr. Westcott, as many as 80 percent of men and women in their 50s and older have too little muscle and too much fat, leading to obesity, osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, low back pain, and numerous types of cancer.
“People say, ‘Well, you’re in fitness, you train all the time,’ ” Westcott said. “No. I do research all the time, and teach… But I [also] do strength training twice a week, and endurance exercise in some form probably about five times a week, whether it’s cycling or jogging or walking.”
It’s not just the physical body that benefits from exercise, either. Dr. Westcott has conducted several studies on the psychological changes associated with regular resistance exercise, noting significant improvements in depression, physical self-concept, fatigue, revitalization, tranquility, tension, positive engagement, and overall mood disturbance among adults and older adults.
It is because of his expertise, combined with his natural talents and professional skills as a teacher, that MindFirst asked Dr. Westcott to join its efforts in helping participants reach their fitness goals. His straightforward, holistic approach mirrors many of the same principles of the MindFirst program: establish healthy habits, eat nutritiously, drink lots of water, and never underestimate the restorative power of a good night’s sleep.
We are honored to have Dr. Westcott as part of the MindFirst community and excited for you, our members, to experience the long term benefits that come with his fitness routines.
Dr. Wayne Westcott is an internationally recognized fitness professional who develops innovative exercise programs, conducts exercise research studies, writes for several fitness publications (Prevention, Shape, Fitness, Self, Perspective, Fitness Management, etc.), gives fitness presentations to numerous organizations (U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, Ford Motor Company, Penn State University, Boston University, World Bank, etc.), speaks at most major fitness conferences, and authors books on physical fitness and strength training (20 books to date).
During his 35 years in the fitness field, Dr. Westcott has been a consultant for a variety of organizations (Nautilus, General Motors, President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, YMCA of the USA, Beverly Healthcare, etc.). Dr. Westcott has received Lifetime Achievement Awards and similar honors from a dozen professional associations and colleges. He is a graduate of Penn State University (BS, MS) and Ohio State University (PhD).
Since earning his Ph.D. in Physical Education from the Ohio State University in 1977, Dr. Westcott has written more than 20 books, 400 articles, and 600 newspaper columns on the topic of muscle-building exercise. He has spent thousands of hours in the research lab, presented his findings to tens-of-thousands of seminar attendees, personally educated, tested, and certified many thousands of fitness trainers from around the globe and consulted to some of the most prestigious organizations interested in this business … including, but not limited to; The United States Navy, The United States Air Force, several national League Football Teams, General Motors Corporation, The Nautilus Corporation, and the President’s Council on Sports and Physical Fitness.