She wants to 'change the stereotype of old people being boring or not being active.'
When it comes to fitness, 82-year-old Erika Rischko proves that age is no bar. If one glances through the workout videos she creates, one will know that she looks as fit as a 25-year-old and does her exercises with full enthusiasm and strength. However, according to Rischko, who is from Langenfeld in Germany, she is a “late bloomer” when it comes to fitness but now, she is an inspiration for many others on Tiktok who are younger than her.
Rischko told Good Morning America, "I am really honored and humbled that younger people are being inspired by me." "I love comments such as, 'You are so inspiring, life goals, couple goals, can you be my grandparents?'" One of her goals through these videos is to “change the stereotype of old people being boring or not being active just a bit, that makes me very happy.” Rischko, a homemaker, started exercising in the mid-50s when her daughter signed her up at a local gym. She said that she was beginning to feel lonely as both her children were “out of the house.” The 82-year-old was not so passionate about fitness in the first five years. She said, “Then, I slowly started to do more and even joined some three to four-hour spin class challenges and rowing competitions."
And from then on, there has not been a turning back for her. She has been working out twice a day several times a week for more than 20 years now. She is not alone in her fitness journey. "My husband, who is also 81 years old, goes to the gym with me during the week in the morning, but we do not train together," she said. She added that she bikes to the gym so that he doesn’t have to wait for her.
Moreover, "During the week, I also work out three to four times in the evening for an hour," said Rischko. Despite working out for so many years, she joined Instagram only in February 2020 after her daughter insisted on sharing her workout videos with family and friends. During the pandemic, the grandmother began to participate in different fitness challenges on Instagram. She said, "The response was just overwhelmingly positive, which I have found very uplifting as I have been very insecure all my life." "And then my daughter discovered TikTok as some of the dance challenges were being featured on German TV and the app became very popular during the pandemic."
82-year-old Erika Rischko went viral for crushing TikTok's toughest workout challenges https://t.co/i0Ho5a3HuW— Women's Health (@UKWomensHealth) July 3, 2022
Soon, she also started to participate in fitness challenges on Tiktok and her following started growing. Now, her videos have more than 2 million likes on the platform. She said, “I would have never expected to get this many uplifting comments and followers.” "Both apps [Instagram and TikTok] have helped me to stay up to date with technology and what the younger generations are up to these days." She added that her daughter helps to film the videos and post them online. Talking about her videos, she said that she likes to “mix it up all the time.” "It is important to change your workout routine to get stronger and not waste your time."
Her only advice for people is: “Do not do anything extreme - there is no need to - and start slowly," said Rischko. "Just eat healthy, but do not chastise yourself."