Top 5 Myths People Over 45 Believe About Their Capabilities (What They Can Actually Do)

 

If you are over the age of 45 and wondering whether or not you can benefit from exercising, you have come to the right place. As a fitness expert and personal trainer in the Pacific Northwest, I have helped countless people over the age of 45 to get fit and reach their goals. What I have also noticed along the way is how many people doubt their capabilities, and just exactly what they can do.

Many people age 45 and up realize that they have reached an age where they need to get moving. They need to do something to start getting healthy, but they are filled with doubts about what they can do. Here are the top 5 myths they believe about their capabilities:

  1. They believe they are too old to get started. That is absolutely false. You are never too old to get started with an exercise plan or fitness routine. Whether you are 15 or 50, it’s a good idea to have a routine that keeps you physically fit. Never let age hold you back from getting started being healthy.
  2. They believe they won’t benefit from their efforts at their age. Many people feel that the damage of their slack lifestyle has already been done and that it’s too late to reverse that. Not true! If you start exercising, you will turn things around and be able to achieve your fitness goals.
  3. Many people over 45 feel they don’t need to exercise. While some think that heart disease and other problems associated with sedentary lifestyles are something that happens to other people, they don’t see themselves as at risk. They may feel they are just fine the way they are. The truth is that whether you are skinny or overweight, you still need to be physically active in order to maintain good health. Everyone needs to exercise.
  4. Some believe that exercise is dangerous. Fearing they may get injured, they hold back and take a seat on the couch. Well, there are more risks in sitting around and being sedentary than there are in getting up and exercising. Sure you want to take measures to be safe and reduce risks of falls and injury, and you absolutely can!
  5. They believe they are in too poor of health to start exercising. That’s simply not true for most people. You always want to check with your doctor to get the clearance for starting a new fitness routine, but most people can exercise. You may need to start small, start slow, and start with where you are and work your way up.

If you are over 45 and want to start exercising and getting fit, it’s time to look past the myths and excuses. You can achieve your goals! Just make the commitment to get started, have a sensible plan, and stay the course. I’ve helped many people just like you, and I can help you, too!

START YOUR EXERCISE PLAN BY CLICKING HERE

The Best Ways to Achieve Weight Loss for Men Over 50

African American Man Using Digital Tablet At Home Smiling At Camera

If you are a man over 50 and want to lose weight, you are not alone. Many men wake up over the age of 50 and decide it’s time to finally do something about the love handles, flabby belly, and lack of muscle. Well, if that’s you, then you have come to the right place. I have helped many people over the age of 50 throughout the Pacific Northwest, and I can help you, too.

As a personal trainer who specializes in helping those over the age of 50 to get and stay fit, I have assisted many people in reaching their weight loss and fitness goals. It’s important to realize that once you pass the age of 30, you began losing about a pound of muscle per year. That muscle was replaced with fat if you were not active, and you also may have slowly started gaining more weight as the years went by and your metabolism slowed down.

Well, you can change all that! Even being over 50, you can still achieve weight loss and get healthy and fit. Here are some tips to do just that:

  • Follow a sensible meal plan. As much as you may want to have beer after beer, you can’t do that if you want to achieve weight loss. It’s time to cut the extra calories that your body is not burning (and is storing as fat). Eat a whole foods diet that is filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein. Keep an eye on your sugar and sodium intake, too. If you dine out a lot, you will take in more sugar and salt than you realize, so try to eat more home cooked meals, and limit things like fried foods, sweets, sugary beverages, and alcohol.

 

  • Create an exercise routine you will stick with. Everyone likes to say they are “too busy” to exercise. You can’t be too busy to take care of your body. It has to be a priority. Schedule the exercise time on your calendar if you have to, but make sure you stick to a routine and hold yourself accountable. You want to get in at least 2.5 hours per week of moderate intensity exercise (brisk walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise (running).

 

  • Along with the cardio, you have to include a weight training program. This is going to help you get back the muscle mass you have lost over the last couple of decades and help you maintain the muscle you still have. Aim to do this at least two days per week, and be sure that the routine focuses on every major muscle group.

 

  • Many men like to forget about stress reduction and act like it’s not something that they need to worry about. Stress can increase your chances of having a heart attack, so you do need to find ways to reduce stress. Whether you like to do tai chi, yoga, take a hike in nature, or sit in the hot tub, it’s important to find ways to relax and reduce stress.

Now is the time to get started losing weight, even being over 50. If you don’t do it now, then when will you? There is no better time than the present to start caring for your health, so get started today!

Aches and Pains – What do they mean?

10394567_822127597835919_2048834069246516979_nIf you managed to come to our Charity Boot Camp this last weekend, you might notice that you’re a little more sore than usual. Getting out of bed might seem like more of a chore, the stairs seem a little steeper than usual, or it might seem a little more difficult to raise your arm to brush your teeth. When you’re sore, you suddenly realize how many muscles you use in your daily life.

So why do we get sore? It’s happened our whole lives, but it might seem like the older we get, the less it takes for our muscles to ache after a workout. Especially after we do a completely new set of exercises at the gym. Our arms ache, our legs ache, our shoulders ache… What is our body trying to tell us?

Even though it might not seem like it, sore muscles are telling us that we are making progress in our personal fitness. Take a look at some of the science behind your Aches and Pains:

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

Those aches and pains you feel after a workout is referred to by physiologists as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, and is completely normal for anyone who does strenuous activity. From those just starting their workout regimen to body builders who spend hours lifting weights, everybody feels sore at some point after a workout.

When you’re exercising, your putting your muscles through strenuous activity they haven’t had to endure before. Your muscles are going through some minor stress, which causes some microscopic tears to occur. Exercise physiologists believe these tears, paired with the minor inflammation that accompanies it, cause the minor aches you feel.

But despite how you feel when you wake up and struggle to get out of bed the next morning, these pains are actually a good thing! As your muscles endure your exercise regimen, they adjust to better accommodate your strenuous fitness activity. The next time you do deadlifts, squats, lunges, or bicep curls, you may notice you ache a little bit less… at least until you increase the resistance you’re using.

How do I ease these aches?

One thing I always recommend to my clients is stretch, stretch, stretch! Stretching your muscles better prepares them for strenuous activity, lessening the sudden shock of jumping off the couch and into your gym shoes. It also allows your muscles to limber up, providing less of a chance for injury.

Once you’re done working out, be sure to spend some extra time doing some easier, aerobic activity. This allows your muscles to cool down, again lessening the sudden shock of strenuous movement to less strenuous activity.

Another way to ease your sore muscles is to pace yourself while you work out. Spend one day doing a solid workout, pushing yourself to the limit. Maybe take part in on of our charity Boot Camps! But after pushing your limits, spend the next day or two working on something less strenuous, such as cardio. Your muscles need time to recover from the activity you just put them through.

Believe it or not, one of the best ways of easing muscle aches is to keep on exercising. In order to get the proper nutrients into your muscles, such as Vitamin C or those antioxidants in those blueberries you had for breakfast, your muscles have to move. Exercising allows your muscles to get the nutrients they need to prepare for the next bout of strenuous activity you throw at them.

So instead of waiting out sore muscles on the couch, give your muscles the attention they need! And remember that despite how they might feel at the time, the good kind of aches you feel after a good workout is the feeling of progress.

The Traits of a Good Personal Trainer, Part I

DSC_1198Most fitness blogs talk about the right nutrition you need to look for in a diet plan. Most will write about the kinds of exercises you need to be focusing on to properly work your biceps, triceps, glutes, core… Any muscle you might want to focus an exercise on.

My own blog features a long list of these subjects. I’ve got write-ups and videos detailing the most important nutritional aspects of any good diet. I’ve got a long list of write-ups and videos detailing various workout routines you can do at home.

But how do you know that what I’m saying is true? Or for that matter, how do you know if any personal trainer is worthwhile? If you’re going to be spending a lot of time making progress with your own personal trainer, you want to make sure he or she knows what they’re talking about, not just blowing hot air.

Not all personal trainers are created equal. True, we all go through rigorous training. We get certifications and credentials. We’re required to endure years of reviews, self appraisals, and tests before we begin training. But even after all this, some bad trainers still manage to slip through the cracks at larger corporate gyms. It only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch.

So what do you look for in a good trainer? At Boomer Fitness, I put a lot of pride in my team of personal trainers. I know they are some of the best trainers in the area, and I wouldn’t invite them to the gym if I was not 100% sure of that fact. Take a look at some of the things you should look for in a personal trainer, and some of the things we do here at Boomer Fitness:

Assessments – I love recording data. To me, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing quantifiable results when coming to the gym. But more importantly, it is a sign of a good trainer to make assessments of your improvement. This includes the initial measurement, and standard measurements every few weeks to record change.

At Boomer Fitness, we take this measurement process very seriously. The very first thing you do when starting work with a personal trainer is an assessment of your body. This gives us a baseline to judge your improvement every four weeks. During one of our assessments, we measure your range of movement, weight, diet, and even your willingness to make changes to your daily life. If it’s quantifiable, we will record it.

Want a quick telltale whether a personal trainer is measuring you? See if they’re carrying a clipboard with them through the gym. If they’re not, they aren’t measuring nearly as much as a trainer should be.

Planning and Setting Goals – One of the most important aspects of heading to the gym is having a goal for the future. Without a goal, we don’t have a direction to align ourselves toward, or a rudder to steer us. With a goal, we know where we will be in 3 months time. A good trainer knows how important planning is, and will sit down with you in the beginning of your fitness regimen to help you plan your future.

At Boomer Fitness, we always discuss goals as a part of our initial assessment. When we know where you want to be down the road, we begin planning out 4 week milestones to gauge your success factors. No matter how well trained we are or how sophisticated the gym equipment is, we cannot make progress without a game plan.

Integration of Training and Nutrition – Exercise alone does not get you results. You can spend hours each week at the gym, but if you don’t make the change to your diet as well, your time is going to make little to no change on your lifestyle. A good diet will ensure you’re getting the nutrition you need, without excessive sugars or carbs that usually are found in unhealthy diets. Good trainers know the relation between nutrition and fitness, and create dietary plans as well as fitness plans.

Trainers at Boomer Fitness don’t stop their work when you leave the gym. We make sure we outline a dietary plan to accompany your total fitness plan. This way, your fitness plan will be the most effective at helping you reach your goals.

This isn’t even half of the traits found in good trainers. Be sure to check my blog next week for more traits you want to look for when choosing a Personal Trainer, and all the traits you will find at Boomer Fitness. And when you’re ready to make a healthy change with some of the best personal trainers around, contact us for more information!

Reaching the End Goal with Small Steps

Man on top of mountain

Last week I talked about the issues around setting extreme goals. I love to talk about long term goals, about where we visualize ourselves in a year, two years, or five years down the road. It gives us a destination, something to see ourselves at in the long term.

There’s nothing wrong with setting high standards for yourself, but it’s important to take into consideration the path we have to take to get to the destination. The end goal is only a small part of the journey you will take to get there.

Sometimes, even just setting big goals can seem impossible. Surmounting your obstacles and achieving your goal can seem as difficult as reaching the peak of Everest. It’s a long way to the top, and there’s going to be a lot of difficulty on the process. For some, this is the hardest part of starting at the gym; just making the plan to start on the journey.

So how do you reach these big goals? To answer that, I want you to think way back to your time in school, or perhaps during a particular job you had to be trained for. I like to think about a math class in grade school, where we were introduced to basic multiplication tables.

Now I don’t know about you, but I remember multiplication tables were extremely confusing to me. We had to write out and memorize hundreds of tables, and just when I was starting to get the hang of the 7s (7 times 3, 7 times 4, 7 times 5…) the teacher would throw 8s at us. It was a huge challenge, and sometimes it felt insurmountable.

But a year later, I had it. And my class and I were moving on to division. And then basic algebra, and then geometry, and so on. Today, it might take a few seconds to recall the numbers, but doing basic math is second nature anymore.

Boomer Fitness does the exact same thing with fitness. We think about your end goal, and we plan a roadmap of how we’re going to get you to your exercise destination. We break up the time you’re coming into the gym into 4 week segments, and discuss what the short-term goals are for each particular segment.

When you come into the gym, we don’t automatically start exercising with the 45 lb. dumbbells. We start you at 10 lbs. And then if you make progress with those, we move up to 15 lbs. And then when you make progress, to 20 lbs. After a few months, you’ll notice those 10 lb weights don’t feel like anything anymore, especially when compared to the weights you’re lifting now.

Achieving something doesn’t happen in a 2 minute montage, like most 80s action movies lead us to believe. It takes a lot of time and a lot of work, and sometimes it seems like progress is insubstantial. But when we look at where we’re going, and where we’ve come from, we start to see how much progress we’ve made.

So make those long term goals. Plan on climbing a mountain, but make sure you reach base camp first.

Ready to start climbing your mountain? Email Me, and we’ll get you set up with a tour of the gym!

Setting Goals, and Knowing What it Takes.

DSC_1194I love setting goals. Giving us a target to aim for is the very first step of visualizing ourselves at the end of the journey. It allows us to see how much progress we’ve made, and how much farther we need to go to complete our journey.

Whether it’s running a marathon, summiting Dog Mountain, or walking up the 3 flights of stairs unwinded, each long-term goal is equally worthy of your time.

But what about setting goals that push us even farther? What if you have bigger dreams, like running in the next Iron Man. Maybe you see yourself competing in a bodybuilding competition, or just getting down to 10% body fat. How hard could it be?

Far be it from me to tell you what you cannot achieve. If you can set your mind to it, you can and will become the next Iron Man or Woman. But what about the other side of getting lean? We see movie stars and bodybuilders who have the 6-pack abs, the enormous muscles, and the extremely low levels of body fat percentages. What does it really take to get to that level of fitness?

What I want to do is make sure you’re aware of what you’re getting yourself into before going down that long road, and determine if you even want to go down that road to begin with. Let me tell you a little bit about my experience getting to a low body fat percentage.

During my time as a Personal Trainer, I’ve seen a lot of colleagues go through the difficult process of getting ready for a bodybuilding championship. Keep in mind that this is with personal trainers who live and dream personal fitness. As they get closer to the big day, the competitor must make their fitness the most important part of their daily lives. Diets become extremely restricted, with a big focus on high protein and no excess carbohydrates.

Instead of just visiting the gym when it’s convenient, bodybuilders must be prepared to dedicate a lot of time to exercise. Resistance training and cardio become daily activities, making sure the body is working to its highest potential.

Time dedicated to working on their body starts to cut into their social life. Hobbies and personal time will start to get pushed aside for more time that could be spent at the gym. Socializing at events where food is involved becomes more difficult, as dietary needs take a higher priority.

Let me tell you that this is from personal experience. During my time getting ready for a show, the time I normally spend socializing with friends and family was profoundly affected. The time I wasn’t working was almost entirely dedicated to prepping for the show. Eating wasn’t something I could enjoy anymore; it was entirely dedicated to making sure I had enough proteins and nutrients, and absolutely nothing in excess.

Take a look at this diagram from Precise Nutrition, which outlines what you can expect when you start to reach the upper limit of personal fitness. The more fit you become, the more time it requires to maintain your physical standard. The lower body fat percentage you are aiming for, the less margin for error.

Why am I telling you this? As a personal trainer, aren’t I supposed to be keeping it positive? Why tell you about the negative parts of body building?

As a personal trainer, I want you to know what it’s going to take to attain your goals, good and bad. I don’t want to scare you away from attaining any of your goals. You might be willing to go on a severely restricted diet. You might be willing to put in the extra time and extra repetitions required. And I can tell you right now that when you’re walking on stage at the next Bodybuilding competition, or when you’re crossing the finish line at the next Iron Man Triathalon, I will be cheering the loudest at the sidelines.  What I want to do is make sure you know exactly what’s required.

Keep you eyes open for my next blog, where I’ll write about setting healthy goals, and how even small steps can pave the way for big changes.

Mixing it up at Boomer Fitness

DSC_0943Last Tuesday, I had a bit to say about breaking up routine. Doing the same exercises every time you head to the gym will get easier, but that doesn’t mean it will be better for your fitness growth.

Like a lot of fitness advice, sometimes it can appear to be easier said than done. Routine is hard to break – it’s natural for your body to want to take the easy way out. How to we shift our focus from doing the easy program to doing the correct program?

At Boomer Fitness, we know that taking the easy way doesn’t help us reach our goals. Progress becomes an illusion as our bodies exert less energy each time we repeat. You have to exercise new muscles and make your body find new challenges.

So enough about why. How do we break up routine? How to we get out of the rut of doing the same work-out over and over again?

The first thing you have to do is stop watching the calorie counter on the treadmill. To this day, I don’t understand how these fitness machines can claim they know the exact number of calories you have burned. Every single person walking on that machine has a different background, different fitness goals, different body types. No digital calorie tracker on a workout machine is going to accurately measure how much energy you have burned.

Instead of letting a machine record it’s version of the truth for you, it’s important to keep track of your past history in the gym yourself. If you spent some cardio time on the cycle machine the last time you were in, try the elliptical. If you were on the elliptical last time, challenge yourself with the stair master.

At Boomer Fitness, we can help you break out of your routine even more. All of our trainers track our members weekly progress including the exercise schedule, the repetitions, and the amount of weight used. Each program is unique, which means we will base the days workout on what needs to be focused on to reach your pre-determined goals.

When we’re starting you on your fitness plan, we will usually break up your schedule so we work on a different part of your body each time you come in. Each program is broken up into four week intervals, which allows us to mix it up a little and get all of your muscles involved.

The next day you come in, we might focus primarily on legs. We can do squats, burpees, lunges, and other workouts best suited for your legs .The next day might be arms with some weight machines. Next time, we might focus on your core. And then the next day we might work with your back, your chest, your shoulders… every day is a new variable.

It’s difficult, and your body will certainly resist changing up your schedule every time you come in. You’re going to want to work on the things you know, because doing something different means learning how to use new muscles. No one ever said making the change is easy. But you know it works because you are working for it. You will feel better knowing that you put in a solid day of work at Boomer Fitness.

Email me when you’re ready to make a positive change in your life. The hardest part about making a difference is taking this first step.

Breaking the Age Barrier

getty_rf_photo_of_mans_hand_holding_caneIt can be difficult getting yourself to a gym weeks at a time for results that sometimes seem small. Other times the barriers of starting just seem too high, and not worth overcoming.

One concern I keep hearing from potential gym goers is the age barrier. Many men and women thinking about a personal fitness plan sometimes worry that “I’m too old to start exercising,” or “going to the gym is something for younger people, not me.”

This brings up a big question for potential gym-goers: How old is too old? Is there an age requirement at the front door that keeps everyone over the age of 39 out?

The obvious answer is no, but sometimes that’s easier said than understood.

A client of mine was talking about her father who endured a major lifestyle change late in life, and it reminds me of just how little age really matters when we want to start an active lifestyle. We’ll call her father Rob.

Rob lived an active lifestyle in his earlier years, which allowed him to age relatively gracefully as he got older. Even in his mid 70s, Rob was still walking the golf course three to five times a week, actively playing tennis, and traveling abroad whenever he had the chance.

During his travels, Rob had an accident, falling down a set of stone stairs in Istanbul and tearing up both of his knees. He had emergency surgery and endured months of physical therapy, but was told that as a man headed into his 80s, he would never be able to walk unassisted again.

Now for some people at Robs age, two torn-up knees and a prognosis like that might mean spending the rest of his life glued to a walker. And for a while, Rob was glued to a walker. After living a life of constant movement, suddenly being confined to the house was not an enjoyable concept. But from his point of view, he had little to no choice. This was just a part of getting old.

But after months of relying on others for transportation, some good natured ribbing from friends, and some guidance from family members, Rob decided to do something about his sedentary condition, old age or not.

Rob started going to the gym, worked with a personal trainer, and set a tangible goal for his future: to walk around the block without a cane. For someone who could walk 18 holes in an afternoon, a block might seem inconsequential, but Rob knew he had to start somewhere. He began leg exercises, started a healthy diet, and kept at his scheduled work-outs.

And it payed off. Today, Rob is walking around the neighborhood unassisted, playing golf, and traveling up and down the coast. He still carries the walker in the trunk, but mostly for peace of mind than for actual use. Rob still has a lot of progress in his future, but he is already miles ahead of where he started.

There’s a lesson we can learn from Rob, and it’s something I hope you spend some time thinking about this coming week. Rob decided that spending the rest of his life on an easy chair was not an acceptable future, and decided to do something about it. He set goals for himself, made a commitment, and stuck to his regiment.

Age isn’t the barrier we face. It’s the belief that age somehow defines what we can or cannot do. Rob, an 82 year old man who had to relearn how to walk, has no excuses. So what’s yours?

Superbowl Snack Aftermath, Part 1

iStock_000015504165XSmallWell, the game is over. The Patriots won a solid victory, and more importantly, the Packers are now undefeated for the 2015 season!

If you know me, you probably know I wasn’t such a fan of the Superbowl this year. But I know many of you were watching yesterday, and I’m sure there was plenty of buffalo wings, barbecue sauce, and beer to be had.

There’s nothing wrong with celebrating once in a while, especially at such a big occasion as the Superbowl. But after an event like this where we tend to go overboard on junk food, it’s a good idea to reflect on what we put in our body.

So what exactly did we eat this last Sunday? I want to take a brief look at some common Superbowl Foods that may have graced your coffee table this weekend, and give you an idea of what you were really eating this weekend.

Buffalo Wings – You don’t have to convince me! Buffalo wings are a delicious part of any Superbowl party, especially when you get just the right kind of sauce. But before you start preheating the oven, be sure to check the nutrition facts! Many store bought buffalo wings are extremely high in sodium and cholesterol, both of which aren’t too great for the heart Another thing to remember is in many cases, a serving size is as little as 3 wings (100 grams). How many wings did you have this weekend?

Potato Chips – No party, especially a Superbowl party, is complete without a big bowl of potato chips, right? While potato chips have become a staple of party food, they are also very high in fat and calories, leading to a higher risk of weight gain and obesity. Even one ounce (around 15 – 20 chips) of plain, unsalted chips have about 10 grams of fat and more than 150 calories.

Fried Foods – More generalized than the first two, but many parties serve deep fried foods to guests, and it’s likely many of you had something that made its way into a deep fryer. This can be anything from fried chicken, onion rings, jalapeno poppers… you get the picture. When frying foods, a lot of oil can get absorbed, which can contribute to weight gain, higher cholesterol, higher blood pressure… all leading to a higher chance of type 2 diabetes.

Beer – We all have our personal taste when it comes to flavors, but it’s a fair argument that a lot of beer is consumed during the Superbowl. It doesn’t help that the Superbowl has plenty of ads catering to beer consumers across the nation. While it’s true that occasional beer and wine consumption can be considered beneficial, excessive drinking can lead to heart disease, liver disease, and even pancreatitis. Don’t worry though, the occasional beer won’t lead you down the road to ruin. Just don’t go overboard.

High angle view of snacks and beer on a table for a football gameSo that’s enough doom and gloom. Hindsight is always 20/20. It’s easy to say “I should have” or “I shouldn’t have” when it comes to dietary choices, and many don’t look beyond mistakes they have made in the past.

That’s not what I’m about.  Instead of dwelling on prior mistakes, I know that it’s important to acknowledge how we’ve lived in the past, made the decision to change, and then move forward from here. It’s about making the conscious choice to do something differently.

This Thursday, I plan on taking a look at some flavorful alternatives, helping us ween ourselves off unhealthy foods and making wholesome choices. Most importantly, however, I want to explore how to make healthy choices without sacrificing taste and flavor. Make sure you check in to see how to escape the Postgame Superbowl Blues, and start eating right!