The Best Tips About Exercise for People Over 50

Portrait of cheerful aged woman in fitness wear exercising with red dumbbells in park.

Sometimes my clients tell me that turning 50 or 60 just crept up on them. They were cruising along and all of sudden they hit that age and were kind of shocked. Some of them had been physically active throughout their adult lives, but others had not been very active. The good news is that it’s never too late to get started with being physically active and getting regular exercise.

If you are over 50 and have been living a sedentary lifestyle, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor before beginning any regular exercise routine. Most people will get the thumbs up and you will be ready to go. Getting plenty of exercise, especially when you are over the age of 50, is important to your long-term health. It can help you to remain more mobile, help fend off some common diseases, and keep you feeling and looking better into your golden years. Plus, it will give you the energy you need to keep up with and be an active part of your grandchildren’s lives.

Here are some of the best tips about exercise for people over 50:

Make the commitment. Having an exercise program requires you to get real with yourself and make the commitment to caring for yourself. You have to hold yourself accountable so that you stick with it.

Find an exercise that you enjoy, or a couple of them so that you can switch it up and keep from getting bored. If you enjoy running and biking, then alternate your cardio program to include both of those. Mix it up a little by getting in a few hikes here and there. Aim for getting at least 30 minutes of cardio exercise per day.

Get properly fitted for shoes for your cardio routine. Visit a running or fitness store, so the staff can evaluate your foot and gait and fit you with a pair of shoes that will keep your feet feeling great as you exercise.

Be sure to do some strength training, which is going to help keep your bones strong and keep you burning more calories for longer periods of time. Weight training exercises should be done on at least two days per week and it should work all of your major muscle groups.

Choose the time of day that works best for you. The best time of the day for you to exercise is going to be the one that you will stick with doing.

Find a way at least once per week to relax and reduce stress, such as doing yoga, tai chi, meditation or spending time out in nature.

While you are putting all of this effort into taking care of yourself, don’t overlook healthy eating. You can’t outrun and out-exercise a poor diet. Opt for plenty of whole foods, including lots of fruits and vegetables and lean sources of protein. Also, don’t feel you need to go it alone, you can always work with a personal trainer to get your routine started. As a personal trainer, I have worked with many people over the age of 50 all over the Pacific Northwest, and I can help you reach your fitness and exercise goals, too!

 

The Best Weight Loss Tips for Women Over 50

Senior female jogger resting after running in a park. Proud mature woman stretching in the park and looking at camera. Senior active woman completing her daily routine workout.

If you are a woman over the age of 50, you may have realized that you can’t manage weight quite as well as you once did. That’s because as we age, it becomes more difficult to do so. There are numerous reasons why this happens, but the most important thing to keep in mind is that you can still lose weight. You just have to know the rules of the game and then put in the work to beat it!

Once women reach middle age, and especially past 50, their metabolism begins to slow down. This means that extra weight may begin to show up, and it will be more challenging to lose weight. If you have slowed down and are not as active as you may have once been, then that is going to add to the problem, making it even more challenging.

The good news is that you can still lose weight when you are over 50. As a personal trainer in the Vancouver, Washington area, I specialize in helping people over the age of 50 to lose weight, get in shape, and live a healthy lifestyle. Here are some of the best weight loss tips to keep in mind for women over the age of 50:

Exercise. Evaluate whether or not your exercise routine is meeting your needs. Ideally, you need at least 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity aerobic exercise, which is brisk walking or something that will get your heart rate up.

Weight training. After 50, you begin to lose muscle mass, making it important that you engage in weight training. Opting for two days per week of weight training will keep your muscles revving, which will keep you stronger and burn more calories.

Protein. Many women over the age of 50 are not meeting their protein needs. Be sure to get plenty of lean sources of protein, such as tofu, eggs, beans, fatty fish, etc.

Diet. This is the time to kick up the amount of fruits and vegetables that you are consuming. Loaded with antioxdants, they will also give you a great energy boost and help keep your metabolism going strong.

Stress. When your body is stressed it releases cortisol, which will lead to weight gain. It’s important that you find a healthy way to reduce stress, such as by engaging in yoga, Tai Chi, meditation, etc.

You probably already know many of the things you need to do in order to lose weight, but you may find it challenging to stick with it. Being consistent is a key component to losing weight over the age of 50. Working with a personal trainer may be the ticket you need, as they can tailor your program to meet your special needs, and help keep you motivated for the long haul!

 

Exercise for Older Men: The Best Tips!

Portrait of senior sports couple looking at camera. Happy mature couple relaxing after jogging in the park. Smiling woman and retired man jogging and listening to music with earphones.

If you are getting older and beginning to think more about your exercise routine, you are not alone! I work with many older men at

Boomer Fitness, located in Vancouver, Washington. Through my personal training, I’m able to guide them from being skeptics to being men who have taken control of their exercise routine and are loving it.

As men age, they begin to see things drop, sag, and get a little lumpy if they are not engaged in regular exercise and eating a healthy diet. This is often how the spare tire around the middle forms. Before you know it, you may not be able to go to the end of the block without feeling winded. The good news is that you can turn it all around, no matter what age you are. It’s never too late!

Here are some of my best tips for exercise for older men:

You have to make exercise a priority in your life. For years, maybe even decades, you probably havent’t been serious about it, but that isn’t going to help you live a healthy life. Put it on your calendar, get real with yourself, and make the commitment to have it be a priority.

Realize that you don’t have to go it alone. When you work with someone like me, a personal trainer, your chances for success are going to skyrocket. A personal trainer will help create a unique program that works for you and will address your personal issues.

You can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet. This means that you need to have a healthy diet to go along with your exercise, so that you have the energy in order to sustain the exercise plan, and you reap the most rewards from it.

Set some long- and short-term goals. This is important to do, because without them it can be difficult to assess whether or not you are making progress with your exercise routine. Reward yourself for achieving them, but not with food.

Be sure that your exercise routine includes both cardio and weight training. You need both in order to maintain a healthy and strong body. It’s important to get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise per week, which is equivalent to brisk walking. Additionally, you should be engaging in strength training at least twice per week.

I know the challenges that many older men face when it comes to exercising, keeping fit, and losing weight. I’ve helped many men in the Vancouver, Washington area with their exercise and personal training goals. When you have the right program that has been designed for you, and you have a commitment to sticking with it, you can rest assured that you will be successful with your fitness goals!

Exercise for Older Women – You CAN Do It!

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Having a routine exercise program is critical to having good health and wellness. Your body was meant to move, so it’s important that you keep it moving. If you live a lifestyle that is sedentary, then you will find the weight will creep on and your health will decline.

If you are someone who has faltered with keeping an exercise routine, or you haven’t ever started one and you know it’s time to, you are in luck. There’s never been a better time to get started than the present moment.

Here are some tips for getting started with an exercise program:

Women over the age of 50 should be getting 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. This includes brisk walking, bike riding, or other aerobic exercise that gets your heart pumping.

You also need to do strength training at least twice per week. This will help you to maintain strong bones and muscle mass, as well as to protect your balance.

You may find that you will be better at sticking to a routine if you have an exercise buddy or do it in a group setting. Many people find that they like the accountability this offers and the community of being a part of a group who all share a common goal.

Just get started with something. You can always change your routine later, but having a routine in place is important, so it’s time to get started. Put your exercise time on your daily calendar, because it’s that important and nothing should come first.

Working with many women in the Vancouver, Washington area, I have helped them get healthy, get fit, and develop a lasting exercise routine. Even the most skeptical ones who come into Boomer Fitness find that they end up loving it, as well as feeling great! They have done it, and you can do it, too!

Cycling: Enjoying your fitness outdoors!

11392894_10153924172762598_3777624427085136122_nOne of the best things about summer is getting a chance to go outdoors. During the weekends, if you don’t have anywhere planned to go, it’s still nice to take a day trip to the mountains, or maybe head to the coast for a few days. It’s nice out, after all- it’s not like it happens every day in the Pacific Northwest.

One of my clients, Jenn, loves to talk about her time on a bike. To her, cycling is the end all of transportation methods. Need to get yourself from point A to B? A bike will do it. Want to burn off some steam or calories? Well it just so happens that a bike does a great job at burning calories. Even if you have cargo to move, you can do it with a cargo bike built for heavy loads. To her, the summer season is bike season, and she embraces it fully.

Now, I don’t necessarily cycle as my main source of transportation like Jenn does, but I do enjoy it from time to time. Especially when I get a chance to do it down at the waterfront in Portland, or on the Banks-Vernonia trail when I get a chance to get out there. And there are definitely some great health benefits to riding a bicycle, other than the cardio you might get on a cycle machine.

Whether you’re a casual cyclist or a hardcore ironman/woman in training, here are a few reasons you might want to jump on a bicycle when you get a chance this summer time:

Cycling conditions your muscles: Unlike a cycle machine, a bicycle is guaranteed to give you varied resistance as you go up and down various hills. You’re going to get a great workout in your legs, thighs, and gluts.

Cycling helps with joint conditions: Believe it or not, cycling is considered a low impact form or exercise, unlike jogging which has an impact with every step you take. This means you’re going to put a lot less pressure on your knees, which will really pay off in the long run.

Cycling increases lifespan: It’s the small things that really help when it comes to your lifespan. The British Medical Association discovered cycling just 20 miles a week can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by up to 50%.That’s a huge benefit, for just going outdoors for a few hours.

Cycling improves the waistline: When you’re on a bike, you can expect to burn around 300 calories per hour, which roughly translates to losing 11 pounds of unhealthy fat per year on a person. Plus, you get to enjoy the sights going by.

Cycling improves mental health: On the other side of the spectrum, cycling can even improve your brain. Bicycling has been proven to reduce stress and increase hand-eye coordination among those who choose to cycle a mere 30 minutes a day (Maybe stay out of the city  that might add to your stress levels). The Journal of Occupational Health published an article showing cycling significantly improved mental health among those who choose to commute daily to work.

So don’t forget to grab your bike this coming weekend. Your body will thank you!

Routine, and Why We Break it Up.

iStock_000004151784XSmallRoutine is something we all have. We all get up in the morning, shower, brush our teeth, grab some breakfast, and proceed to our daily lives. It’s the easy path. It keeps us on track through our busy schedules.

So as you head to the gym, you might have your own routine you go through. You spend 20 minutes doing cardio, work the same three or four exercises at the free weights, maybe 10 minutes on the row machine, and then stretch out and cool down. Day in and day out.

Let me share something that might change your perspective on personal fitness. The more you do something over and over again, such as riding that bike machine during spin class, the more efficient your body becomes in performing the activity. In other words, the more you do it, the easier it gets. Sounds good, right?

Well, not exactly. The more efficient your body gets at doing the same activity over and over again, the less energy you’re going to be expending while doing it. You’re going to be getting faster and faster the more times you hop on the bike machine, but your body is going to be doing less and less work.

To use an analogy, think of your body as a river. When you’re working out, your body, like a river, wants to take the path of least resistance. Your body will try to go around excessive burning of energy like a river flows around a rock. Your body isn’t trying to sabotage your fitness; it’s just trained to do things the easiest way possible.

Think about what that means for your body. When you’re expending less energy, you’re getting less out of your workout. Your body is going to be able to store more energy because you’re expending less. And even more importantly, you’re only going to be working out a few different sets of muscles if you only do the same six exercises. What about the other 650 muscles we neglect?

If you want a routine, there are several corporate gyms in the area that can set you up with their one-size-fits-all classes. You will get your spin class, your row of treadmills and ellipticals, and a generalized fitness plan that can be applied whether you’re 16 or 60. But we both know a one-size-fits-all plan is not the way to get results.

So why don’t I have spin class? Because I’m here to help you reach your fitness goals, not to train you in becoming a master cycle-machine user! Routine isn’t what we do at Boomer Fitness because routine doesn’t work.

This Thursday, check in with my blog, where I’ll tell you about how we escape routine, force the river to change its direction, and how we do fitness the right way.

Heart Health – Loving Yourself this February

February is known as American Heart Month. It’s a good time to raise awareness about heart issues, such as heart disease and heart attacks. Because it is such an important issue that effects so many people, it is crucial to take steps to protect your heart. The statistics surrounding heart disease are astounding to stay the least. For example, in the time it takes you to read this blog post, there will probably be four people who have a coronary event and two people who die from one.

That’s right, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every 25 seconds someone in America has a coronary event, and every minute someone dies from one. In 2011 alone, there were 785,000 people in America who had a coronary heart attack. It is the leading cause of death in the country, for both men and women. The more you know about it, and what you can do to protect your heart, the better!

Heart disease is largely a problem of lifestyle. Sure, there can be a few hereditary and other factors thrown into the mix, but for the majority of people it simply comes down to the way we live our lives and the choices we make. Here are some things you can do to love your heart and protect it, so that it helps to protect you:

Get tested. Get a cholesterol test done to see what’s going on with your arteries. It will give you information about if your arteries are clean and clear or have a build up that can be of concern. Cut back, or avoid, those foods that will raise your cholesterol, such as meat and dairy products.

Eat healthy. While you may be able to get away with having some treats here and there, it is important that the majority of time you are reaching for healthy foods. This includes whole grains, lean sources of protein, and plenty of fruits and veggies. Also be sure to watch your sodium intake and keep alcohol to a minimum.

Get active. Even baby boomers today are joining gyms, working with personal trainers such as myself, and getting fit. Doing exercise and keeping physically active is a great way to help keep your heart healthy. Aim to get a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise each day of the week.

Avoid smoking. If you smoke, find a successful method for quitting. If you don’t, try to limit your exposure to secondhand smoke, which the CDC reports can trigger a heart attack.

When it comes to taking care of your body, you have to have heart. And getting a healthier heart, no matter what age you are now, is within reach. Don’t become a one of the statistics of people who have a heart attack. Instead, focus on what you can do to protect your heart, and start making steps every day toward achieving those goals!

 

 

5K Season is coming

5K season is coming.

I know as soon as it starts to get close to 5K season, I have notice a lot more people running outside.

It is great to see people outside and having fun but I know, well over half of them will have to stop running because of some nagging injury.

If you do not want to be the half that is injured, let me show you 3 ways to do that.

 

 

Step #1 – Start Off Slow

I know, we all know this but most of us do not follow this, but our bodies need to.

When we start running, we feel good and we think of how fast we were able to run before and we want to get back to that level right away but we need to prepare out bodies for it.

If you head out and start running at the level that you were running before, you will get injured.  Start off a notch or two slower then last year and give your body 2 to 4 weeks to build up to last year, then you can pick it up the pace.

Step #2 – It Might Be 5 K season but Your Joints Aren’t warmed up to it the idea yet

It might be 5K season but it takes a few minutes for your joints to warm up.  If you do not wait for them to warm up, you can increase your risk of injury.

At the start of your run, give your ankle, knees, and hips about 5 to 10 minutes to warm up.  You do this by running a little slower than you usually do.

This will loosen up the joints and warm up the muscles leading to a better run and less likely to get injured.

Step #3 – Little Stretch Afterwards

The debate on when to stretch has been decided, stretch after your run.

If you stretch before, it will affect how well run.

If you stretch afterwards, it will help you recover for your run and get your body ready for the next days run.

The Last Word on Running Injury Free

Now get out there and run but remember the three little tips that I gave you.

Running is such a great thing to do but being injured is not.

Remember to start off slow, warm up your joints and stretch after your run.  I know if you do these 3 things, it will keep you running all 5K season.

About the Author

Rick Kaselj is a personal trainer in Vancouver, Canada that specializes in designing exercise programs for clients recovering from injuries.  Rick has trained thousands of clients and completed his Master’s of Science degree focusing on injury recovery and exercise.  Rick shares with other fitness professionals and exercise enthusiasts, the exercises he uses to prevent knee injuries and overcome knee injuries in the Knee Injury Solution program.

For more great injury free info click here 

Zumba Gold? You bet!

Have you heard of Zumba yet? It is the latest fitness craze, where you spend an hour dancing to Latin songs. While they say it’s more of a party rather than an exercise class, people are seeing the benefits of doing it across the nation. And the best part is that there is Zumba Gold for all you baby boomers!

Zumba Gold is a Zumba class that has been modified and designed for the baby boomer generation and senior citizens. What they have done is take the traditional Zumba class and have made the moves easier for the active older adult to perform. This is great news for baby boomers because it adds a fun way for you to get active! Plus, it is supposed to burn around 500 calories per hour, so it can certainly help you reach your fitness and weight loss goals.

Some of the dance styles that are part of the Zumba Gold class include salsa, reggae, and the meringue. It’s fast paced and all set to Latin music. Before you know it, the hour will be gone and you will be dripping in sweat from such a good workout!

Here are a few tips for getting started taking a Zumba Gold class:

Check with your local YMCA and senior citizen center to see if they offer any Zumba Gold classes. If not, suggest that they add them or ask if they know where they are offered. You may also want to check the Zumba official site for a location near you.

 

Wear comfortable clothing that will allow you to move easily because you will be doing some dances. Also, if you find that you like Zumba Gold classes and want to stay doing them, get shoes that will allow you to pivot and turn easily. Wearing running shoes or many other types of sneakers can be hard on the knees because of all the turns. Either invest in some dance sneakers or the slip on cover (a band) that goes over your sneakers, making it easier to move.

Take plenty of water with you and drink it before, during, and after the Zumba Gold class. It is important to stay hydrated since you will sweat a lot in this class, so take a drink whenever you need to.

Try the class more than once and be patient. Because it is probably so different than what you have done before, you may feel lost the first class or two. Stick with it, and like most people, you will probably end up loving it!

So should you give Zumba Gold a try? As a personal trainer for baby boomers, I do believe it’s a great cardio workout to add to your regime. Whether you want the perfect body or to focus on weight loss and physical fitness, it is a step in the right direction. Do that a couple of times a week, along with your resistance training workout, and your body will really thank you!

To learn even more great strategies on how to take your fitness and health to the next level click here.

Know Someone Who Has Had a Stroke? You Must Share This!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a good chance that as a baby boomer you know someone who has had a stroke. It is a common occurrence in America. So much so that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that every 40 seconds someone in the United States has one. What’s more, it is reported as well that when it comes to long-term disability, it is the leading cause. But recent research has suggested that there is hope for stroke survivors!

The University of Florida has conducted stroke research that shows patients can benefit from intense rehabilitation under the direction of a physical therapist. This counters earlier thoughts that people had about those who had a stroke not engaging in intense activity. This study, which is considered the largest stroke rehabilitation study in the country, was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in May 2011.

The research findings suggest that those who have suffered from a stroke:

Intensive therapy is beneficial to stroke patients, even if it is beginning six months after the stroke has taken place.

Patients benefit from the intensive therapy even if it is administered at home. This is good news for those who may have difficulty getting out of the home during rehabilitation. Being able to have the physical therapist come to the home, or being able to continue the plan on one’s own, is essential to make this program more effective.

The intense physical therapy in the study was conducted on patients who could not walk unassisted following their stroke. The therapy was done using a special treadmill, and the focus was placed on them improving range of motion, flexibility, strength, and balance.

After 90 minutes of intense therapy that was conducted three times weekly for a period of 12 to 16 weeks, one year later, all of those who participated in the study had made significant improvements in their ability to walk unassisted.

This research could go on to help patients be able to get better insurance coverage that includes the intense rehabilitation.

This research suggesting that intense rehabilitation for stroke patients provides hope for the millions of people who have had a stroke. If you know someone that has survived a stroke, whether it was recent or months or years ago, send them the information about this research. Much of it is likely the opposite of what they have been told previously, but that’s what new research is all about. And you never know just who it may help along the way!