We all know that exercise is important at every age. But finding the motivation to get out and get moving can be tough. Sometimes we all need a cheerleader, and that’s where Chen Yi-chen 陳亦珍 comes in. Chen is the sports ambassador for the Strong Generation older people’s campaign. Her story is an unusual one. She had never enjoyed sports, and found exercise difficult as a young woman, due to her flat feet. It was only at the age of 50 that she fell in love with working out. And it was all because she found not only the right sport but folks who encouraged her.

Chen Yi-chen
Strong Generation sports ambassador
I only started to get really into sports when I was 50. Cycling makes you feel like nowhere is off limits, like you have wings.

This 64-year-old cyclist is Chen Yi-chen. She’s glowing with happiness as she pedals her way all over the world.

Chen Yi-chen
Strong Generation sports ambassador
I went cycling in Spain, on the pilgrimage route, for two weeks. I went to Norway, too, and the Shimanami Kaido in Japan. All the famous spots in Taiwan, really: Wuling, Taipingshan, Hsuehshan.

Chen shares her cycling resume proudly. She spent many years working in the magazine industry. She had never liked sports, ever since she was a child, and found it difficult to walk because of her flat feet. After an operation in her 40s, to her complete surprise, she started to fall in love with exercise.

Chen Yi-chen
Strong Generation sports ambassador
My fitness had gotten really bad. I felt tired after just a short walk. I wasn’t sleeping well. The doctor said to me, “Get some exercise.” I thought, “Is there an activity I actually like, a sport I actually enjoy?” I landed on cycling, and then I realized, “This is fun!” Because you don’t have to put your feet on the ground!

Chen likes to go cycling in the afternoon and then hit the gym in the evening. She exercises every single day of the week, swimming, weightlifting, mountain climbing, and cycling. Now she’s a sports ambassador for the “Strong Generation” campaign, tasked with waving the flag for the importance of exercise in middle age and beyond. She’s already got more than 5,000 followers on Facebook, and wants to encourage everyone to get active.

Chen Yi-chen
Strong Generation sports ambassador
It’s not that easy to get everyone outdoors and exercising. You need people to constantly encourage you, and give you a goal.

For Chen, setting goals in her sports regimen is very important. That inspires her to rise to the challenge, and she relishes upending stereotypes about old age. Her next target? Learning to ride a horse.

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