Maria Cristina, 73, from Reno, Nevada, who became hooked on fitness after working out with a personal trainer for the first time when she was 69, has become a bikini body champion. She was a college president in both Nevada and California for two decades, and started working out only after her retirement.
Cristina admits that she grew "heavier, slower and more stressed" after turning 50, as her career took precedence over her health and well-being. She was determined to get into shape after retiring and booked her first session with a personal trainer at age 69, reported Daily Mail.
She began working out with her trainer three times a week, in addition to doing 45 minutes to one hour of cardio each morning. By 2017, she became toned enough to enter fitness modelling contests, competing alongside women half her age.
Cristina now runs a wellness company alongside being a personal trainer and coach. She said, "A lot of us see slowing down as a natural part of getting older, but it doesn't have to be. I'm very open about my age, because who made up the rules about who should be doing what? We don't have to hit 50 and feel dowdy, like it's all over. I still have so many things I want to do and plan to train into my 80s and 90s."
Her first foray into fitness contests was in 2017, when she entered six major International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA) competitions, taking home six titles. The following year, she scored four first place prizes in both INBA and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) contests.
Then, earlier this month, she headed to Las Vegas, Nevada, where she won first place in the classic figure category of ICN Las Vegas Open Fitness and Model Championships.
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