Keeping in good health while pushing past limits

Along with staying in shape, Chrissy Rescigno said she's thought of becoming a personal trainer, possibly helping others maintain a steady diet. Ryan Mancini/The Signal

Chrissy Rescigno walked through CrossFit Coveted with a weight in each hand, about to sit down for her workout.

At 61, the Santa Clarita resident devotes five days of each week to bodybuilding and staying fit.

“Well, I’ve always been interested in being fit,” she said. “I had my daughter when I was young, so you gain a lot of weight when you get pregnant. But back in those days, they didn’t have these organized (gym classes). I started with videos on TV and then progressed to the gym and personal trainers. But it wasn’t until about seven years ago that my cousin got me interested in Hardcore Fitness (Santa Clarita’s) boot camp.”

By the time she reached her mid-50s, Rescigno did not have a consistent regimen. Once she got hooked on weightlifting, she began to participate in bikini and bodybuilding competitions.

For those five days of the week, she’ll work on metabolic conditioning and cardio, as well focusing on certain muscles, like having a “leg day.”

“Today we were on the rower for 60 seconds, and then we were carrying kettlebells around for 60 seconds,” she said. “So we did seven rounds of that.”

Sometimes there’s setbacks, be it carpal tunnel and tendinitis in her wrist or a torn rotator cuff, but she’s modified her workouts around any injuries. It’s not an easy lifestyle, Rescigno said, but she’s stubborn in that she’s obsessed with what she does.

“There’s days that if I don’t watch myself, I could really pull a muscle or hurt myself,” she said. “I’ve pulled calf muscles doing jump ropes or butt-kickers, and then you’re out for six weeks. I work around it though, I find something to do.”

Rescigno said she tells her friends to start small when it comes to getting in shape, such as 30-minute walks. But she also knows other seniors who don’t maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“To me, this is it,” she said. “This is the last stage. After retirement, the next stage is not a good one, so you’ve got to live while you’re here. You’ve got to enjoy it.”

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