The fear of failing health, poor quality of life, and physical changes make aging seem terrifying. But if you look at it from another perspective, aging can be a healthy and fulfilling experience. Syra Garcia, the 70-year-old fit and fabulous grandmother of Coleen Garcia, believes the latter to be true, highlighting the importance of one's physical and mental health. In an exclusive interview with PhilSTAR L!fe, this fit “glamma” shared her secrets to looking young.
Being an athlete in her teenage years—playing softball, badminton, and volleyball—working out has been an essential part of her daily routine. Syra became fond of it so much that she made sure to hit the gym even after she started her family.
“When I got married, mahilig ako sa gym talaga,” she told L!fe. “Parang that’s my happy place.”
When she’s not working out, Syra says she uses her time on travels, wall-climbing, trekking, or dancing. Even if she’s on her “lazy days,” she still makes it a point to move by doing leisure walks.
“Yes, I do have lazy days. Pero because I wake up very early, nasasayangan ako sa [oras],” she said. In her previous interview, the fabulous grandma mentioned that she does not feel well whenever she’s not working out.
“If I don’t go to the gym, I don’t walk or I don’t dance, parang magkakasakit ako. Because I’m so used that my body has to work. It’s part of my life already,” she shared.
Syra not only enjoys working out herself, but she has also passed on her love of fitness to her family, revealing that she used to take Coleen and her other grandkids with her to the gym.
“I used to bring her [Coleen] with me when I work out. Parang nilalagay ko sa isip nila na, you know, it's good to work out. So nakuha niya talaga 'yun,” she said.
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In return, Syra's celebrity granddaughter may have influenced her to be more comfortable about herself, as she requested a sexy boudoir photo shoot for her birthday.
“I am already 70, so at my age, sabi ko, ‘At my age, siguro pwede akong magpa-sexy pa,’ Feeling sexy kasi eh. Yun lang. Iniisip ko, sabi ko ‘Ano kaya kung magpa-picture ako ng sexy?’ Pero hindi ko in-expect na ganun pala ang gagawin,” she recalled, but Syra said that it wasn’t supposed to go out until Coleen surprised her by posting it on social media.
“It was supposed to be sa akin lang. Yung parang collection ko lang, kasi hindi ako marunong magpa-picture, hindi ako marunong mag-pose. I don’t even know how to take a selfie,” she shared.
Syra said she “got the shock of my life,” when she found out it went viral, but just decided to go along with it.
With her slender physique and youthful energy, Syra earned praise from social media users, including others who said, “Sana all!” Her advice? “It’s never too late.”
“You know, at my age, I don’t have any medication, wala din akong maintenance. I only drink vitamin C, that’s all I have been drinking all my life,” she said.
“And then it’s not because you are a senior na papabayaan mo na yung sarili mo. Hyper ako, kasi I really need to bring out all this energy that I have inside,” she said. “Magiging hyper din kayo kapag nag-umpisa kayong maglakad. But you know, it’s never too late, you can be 60, 70, 80.
“At the end of the day, kapag tumanda ka na diyan lalabas na lahat ang mga problema. So, you should always start young. The younger, the better,” she added. “Just move, maybe play tennis, play badminton, do something. Don’t be sedentary.”
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Syra says she feels “flattered” with the compliments, but stressed that you don’t need a lot of money to look young.
“The thing there is, you don’t need to be rich to be like me,” she stressed. “Money is not it. Mura lang ang gym, mura lang ang maglakad.”
“And I didn’t have a facelift, just take care of your skin. Put a sunblock, mag-moisturize ka sa gabi, that’s it. Yun na, you don’t really need money for that. I mean, you need money to buy it. But you don’t need to buy the most expensive one,” she added.
Aging gracefully at 70, Syra also noted the importance of not being carried away by stress and anything negative.
“Don’t pressure yourself for anything. Don’t internalize anything negative. Be happy,” she told L!fe. “Kasi the world doesn’t end today. Parang if you have a problem today, eh kung hindi mo masolusyunan, may bukas pa naman di ba? Edi bukas ulit. Eh kung andyan pa rin yung problema, pabayaan mo na. Hindi na yon problema,” she said, chuckling.
Looking back, Syra couldn’t be more grateful for her journey, saying that she has no regrets.
“I'll do the same thing. I will still have my three boys, I will still have my grandchildren, I will still have my great-grandson. I married very young, but I'm happy I did it because now I can enjoy my great-grandson,” she said.
“There's no regret. I enjoyed my life—although I carried the world at my back, lahat naman tayo ganyan,” she said, adding that having a great sense of humor significantly helped her in staying stress-free.
“Lahat pinagtatawanan mo na lang, pati problema mo pinagtatawanan mo na lang. 'Yun ang maganda, kaya ganun siguro itsura ko kasi pinagtawanan ko lang lahat,” she added.