At 51, most of us would be happy if the occasional stranger said ‘morning’ to us while we’re out walking the dogs.
But US mum Laura Heikkila is getting more attention than ever and says young blokes come sliding into her DMs all the time.
Laura, from California, said she never really took her health very seriously until she was pregnant with her daughter, Jayden (now 16), in 2002. After that, she noticed it was harder to lose the pounds and began working out, focusing on weights training.
She has kept up a rigorous regime ever since and has accrued 26,000 followers on her Instagram profile, where she shares fitness videos. However, she says she gets more than just fitness-based questions from strangers on the social media channel… luckily, her husband of 20 years is cool with it.
Laura said: “I get comments like, ‘are you really fifty?’ ‘You look like you’re in your twenties’ or ‘do you date younger guys?’ To which I respond that my husband frowns upon that.
“My husband is proud to have a fit wife and he has been really cool about all the male attention I get especially since I started my IG account which sometimes seems more like a dating site because guys are always sliding into your DMs.
“But I don’t think much of it because my pictures are there to inspire women to not give up on themselves.”
As a result of her discipline and hard work, Laura said she has more body confidence now than she has ever had before.
She said: “When I was in my twenties I never really thought much about my health; I just wanted to be thin.
“I probably had a lot less confidence at the time and could never imagine posting the pictures I do now, although I guess that wasn’t an option since there was no internet.
“Being consistent has been the key to my success; I eat a diet of whole foods which is largely plant based along with some organic chicken, turkey and wild caught fish. I weight train several days a week and also incorporate high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts and yoga.
“Maintaining my body has allowed me to live an active life with a lot of travel and it has also given me a platform in social media to help other women regain their confidence.
“I feel more confident in my skin and I’m proud to be fifty-two and tell people my age, because I feel my body reflects someone that has taken care of their health.”
Laura also runs a fitness community called Ageless Women and said the whole reason she started sharing pictures of her progress on social media was to inspire other women.
She said: “I started my IG page the year of my fiftieth birthday to document my journey to turning fifty; I wanted to share the changes I was making to improve my health and body, also I wanted to hopefully inspire other women to not give up on themselves.
“My husband is also very fit so it’s a passion that we share, and I think we both appreciate that about each other because we still find each other hot.
“When people see my now, they always comment on my being fit and then when they find out how old I am I usually get the comment, ‘you look better than girls in their twenties’.
“My advice to someone getting started would be start off slowing with creating healthier habits. Eat a diet of real food and avoid processed food.
“Concentrate on weight training as you get older, because we naturally lose muscle as we age and need to constantly be working on building more.”