Tips for Winter Workouts

Q. I have a question for you, Brian. I just started working out over this past summer, and now winter is nearly upon us. I worry about not being able to get out to the gym as often as I’d like as the weather gets bad. What should I do?

 

 

A. Thank you for your question! I know it’s one that a lot of senior citizens have, because I specialize in working with baby boomers. I have many clients that bring this issue up to me. Depending on where you live, it may even become a major issue if where you live gets snowy conditions.

So let’s assume that winter may pose a few challenges here and there for senior citizens who need to get out to exercise. Now that we have identified it as a problem, we can consider some ways to address it, so that we can successfully get through the season. The goal is to continue getting exercise and maintain your fitness routine, even if your driveway is snowed in, or ice covers your windshield.

Here are a few things that you can do to address this challenge:

  • Be flexible. If you usually work out every Monday morning, you may need to once in while during the winter change your workout day to Tuesday morning. Since you don’t know what day may be too cold or snow to head outside, you should just agree to be more flexible over the winter, but still make sure you get your work out in.
  • Find alternatives. Let’s say that your area just got hit with a snow storm and you don’t think it’s safe to get out to exercise. This is the perfect time to turn to an alternative exercise option. Luckily there are plenty of good options to choose from, including everything from home aerobic videos to stationary exercise bikes.
  • Remain positive. The last thing you need to do is let the winter challenges bring you down. This may be all it takes to get you off track for months. Instead, remain positive and focused.
  • Go outdoors. If the weather is not too bad and it seems safe, head outdoors for a little exercise. Even on some brisk days, depending on where you are located, you can take a walk or bike ride outside in the winter.

Winter is going to keep on coming each year. But we can’t let it become an excuse for why we don’t continue our fitness and exercise program. It may pose challenges, but senior citizen or not, we need to keep going forward. And that forward, on a cold winter day, may be exercising right in the living room of your home!

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR WINTER WORKOUT TIPS

Got flabby arms? No problem, here’s how to get rid of them!

Many people struggle with flabby arms, otherwise known as bat wings, back wings, and even grandma arms. The names are not flattering, but most people that have them don’t exactly find them flattering either. The good news is that there are ways that you can get rid of flabby arms, whether you are baby boomer or not!

Flabby arms are not just something that those overweight may deal with, although that it one reason that people have them. Those who have lost a lot of weight may also have flabby arms, as do some thinner people who have just never taken any measure to tone their arms. If you do nothing with your arms, there is a good chance that they will be flabby, or at least not very tone. But you can change all that.

Here are a few ways you can fight back against flabby arms:

  • Arm rotations. This is an exercise you can do without any weights. When you are standing around somewhere, simply put your arms at your sides and do rotation exercises. Rotate your arms, clockwise and counter-clockwise, repeating a dozen or so times. This is something you can easily do when you are standing around killing time.
  • Push-ups. Doing push-ups is a great way to strengthen your upper arm muscles, among other areas of your body. Each day, do a couple of reps of push-ups to help get rid of flabby arms.
  • Free weights. Using free weights is a good way to help tone arms and reduce flab. You can use some small dumbbells to do some dumbbell presses. Try holding them, as you sit in a chair, and hold them behind your head, slowly lifting to straighten out your arms. Do this a dozen times at each sitting.
  • Lose weight. If you have the flabby arms as a result of needing to lose weight, try to shed some pounds and then also follow the above steps. You can lose weight by eating healthy and exercising regularly.

As a personal trainer, I often work with people who start out having flabby arms. But with some attention to them and getting active, they are usually quite happy with the results they get. Flabby arms may be embarrassing to you, but they don’t have to be. Start making a point to do something at least 3-4 days per week to address your flabby arms, and in time you will see results.

Be sure to use a tape measure and measure around your arms when you get started doing these exercise. Then be sure to take another measurement each month, so you can monitor your progress. With some dedicated arm attention, you will say goodbye to flabby arms!

 IF YOUR SICK OF FLABBY ARMS CLICK HERE

Going After the Enemy – Osteoporosis, Part II

One of the reasons that as a personal trainer I wanted to work with baby boomers, and senior citizens, is because of what I have personally experienced. No, I’m not yet a baby boomer, but I know plenty of people who are. I have watched too many people I love, including my grandparents, slip away from me, from things that may have very well have been prevented through lifestyle changes. Sure, I hear people say all the time that we have to go sometime, but the truth is that by changing our lifestyle and living a healthier life, we can add many years on. I’m sure your grandchildren would appreciate that those extra years are well worth the effort!

In my last post I discussed osteoporosis and how we can take it on and beat it. In this one, I want to share with you the importance of exercise, including strength training, when it comes to battling osteoporosis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, being physically active on a regular basis can help you have strong bones. Weight bearing exercises can also help your body reach peak bone mass.

Those exercises that are weight bearing are those that get your bones and muscles working against gravity, such as running, walking, jogging, stair climbing, tennis, weight lifting, and dancing. It’s recommended that adults engage in 30 minutes of this type of activity on most days of the week, preferably everyday of the week.

As for working with weights, aim to do it 2 to 3 days per week, with an intensity of over 75 percent, and build a base, starting out with 2-4 sets per muscle group, doing 6-8 reps. If you can, opt for using free weights, rather than the machines. You can do some great free weight exercises, such as shoulder presses, shrugs, dead lifts, etc.

When you are trying to determine what type of cardio to do, your better options include jogging, running, and jumping rope. If you are pressed for time, opt for taking a walk. If you can, avoid doing the elliptical, cycling, and aquatics. You will get more benefit from sticking to the others. While exercise is not a cure-all for osteoporosis, it will stop further bone loss, improve balance, improve posture and strength, and lower risks for it, as well as other unsavory health conditions.

It is amazing what adding regular exercise to your life can and will do. I’ve watched plenty of senior citizens and other baby boomers step up to the plate and take on health issues by adapting a healthy lifestyle. I want you to realize you can do that as well. There is hope, and that hope is found in eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly!

Going After the Enemy – Osteoporosis Part 1

Want the fitness level of your 30’s at the age of 46 and beyond learn how…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Going After the Enemy – The Silent Killer, Part II

In my last post I shared information with you about the silent killer, otherwise known as hypertension. If you are familiar with the term high blood pressure, then you know exactly what hypertension is. It’s known as a silent killer, and one that we can take on and win!

As a personal trainer, I am going to share with you what I tell clients. There are few things that a good exercise routine can not make better. Hypertension, believe it or not, is one of those things. Keeping a regular exercise routine can help you improve your blood pressure numbers, which will help you be healthier and help avoid being another hypertension statistic.

So here’s a few pointers to keep in mind when it comes to exercising and blood pressure:

First off, it’s important to remember that you cannot exercise if you forget to take your medication. It’s essential that you remember your medication, if you are taking a prescribed one for high blood pressure.

Checking your blood pressure to get your reading is essential. Ideally you should be doing it before, during and after exercise.

If you are exercising and see that your systolic number goes above 250 or the diastolic goes above 110, stop exercising immediately.

Keep in mind that if you take blood pressure medication it is going to have an impact on your heart rate, due to the beta blockers. They slow your heart rate, which means you may not be able to reach your target heart rate, despite your best efforts.

You should also avoid exercises like isometric decline positions and putting your arms higher than your head.

As for the amount of exercise you should be doing, stick to doing cardio exercise 3-7 days per week and aim to burn around 2,000 calories. Try to stick to an intensity level of 40-70 percent VO2 maximum. When you are biking, walking, or hiking, you have a variety of cardio options to choose from. Also, be sure to include circuit training, as well as flexibility training three days per week. Try engaging in Tai Chi, which will be quite helpful.

Knowing is half the battle, right? And now you know! I know you are a baby boomer, but it’s never too late to take action, especially when it comes to making yourself healthier. I work with clients on a regular basis who are senior citizens and are ready to get their health under control. It’s never too late! You can win the war on this silent killer. It’s a matter of making lifestyle changes and sticking with them!

 ARE YOU READY TO TAKE YOUR FITNESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL?  CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE.

Why Employers Are Offering Baby Boomers Health Incentive Programs

Think baby boomers are retiring? Think again! Many are continuing to work well past the age that they need to. And before you immediately think it is the economy forcing them into it, let me assure that isn’t the only factor. Sure, some may be working longer due to our shaky economy, but many others are continuing to work because they simply want to. Others are staying on the job because their employer is enticing them to do so!

That’s right, many employers today don’t want to let go of their baby boomer employees. After all, they know the job well, and they hate to lose the good workers that they are. Baby boomers tend to be more loyal, hard workers, and have a lot of experience. Who would want to let go of that in the workforce? In an effort to hold on to an effective, yet aging, workforce many companies are creating incentive programs to help make the job more comfortable and to keep their baby boomers feeling healthy.

Some employers, such as Harley Davidson, offer workout classes, while other employers offer trainers, who help ice down any areas of inflammation following the end of a shift. Employers are taking notice of people’s health in their mission of retaining baby boomers on the job. If you want your employer to think the same way, consider these strategies that you can use to get more fit:

Proper lifting. Many people lift things the wrong way and end up pulling muscles and causing back pain. Always remember that if you are lifting a heavy object off the floor, you need to use the strength of your legs, rather than straining your back.

Stretching. The importance of stretching cannot be overstated. Taking the time to stretch can help keep your muscles feeling great, de-stressed, and flexible. Be sure to stretch daily, especially after being active.

Weight training. It is important to maintain a workout routine that includes weight training so that you can maintain and build muscle, as well as strong bones. This will help keep you active.

Ice and massage. Inflammation can lead to pain that nobody needs. Usually ice or massages will help to address these areas of pain, depending on what it is that is bothering you.

Proper nutrition. Rather than eating out of the vending machine or getting take out each day at work, opt for taking a packed lunch from home. That way you can ensure that it is more nutritious, which will help keep you on your path of wellness.

Even if you are a baby boomer who doesn’t want to keep working, following these tips will help to keep you healthy. But those baby boomers who want to continue working will find that they may be next in line to be woo’d by their employer to stay on the job. And the healthier you are, the more you will enjoy every day of it!

 

Why am I doing this? Understanding the 5 stages of change

Do you ever get to a point along the way working toward your fitness goals where you stop and wonder just what in the heck you are doing? You get to a point where you question yourself, why you are putting yourself through daily workouts, and passing on the second slice of cheesecake. We all get like that from time to time, but it’s what you do with it that really matters!

Just the other day I encountered this with one my clients. I had spent three months training hard with this person when the person hit a mental wall and asked me the “why” question. The person had reached that point, after three months of training, where they wanted to know why they were doing it and if it was all worth it. They forgot why they had started it all in the first place.

There are five stages within change, regardless of what it is. If you want to make fitness, diet, or weight loss changes, you will end up going through each of these five stages:

Pre-contemplation. This is the stage that people are in before they start doing anything to make change. They are likely not even aware that they need to make changes.

Contemplation. This is the stage where they are aware that they need to make changes, and they are thinking about making them.

Preparation. This is the stage where the person combines their intention to change things with their actions to make it happen. This is where they are deciding how they will go about making changes.

Action. In the action stage the person begins to take action to modify their behavior in order to overcome the problem and make changes. This is where they invest the time and put forth the commitment.

Maintenance. This is the stage where the changes have already been successfully made and now they just need to maintain them in order to prevent going back to the old behaviors.

It’s important that you know these stages when you are trying to make changes in your life. It’s okay and completely normal to be in each of these stages. It’s actually important that you go through each of these steps, so you are mentally prepared for the next one. So if you start having feelings and questioning things, remember the stages of change and give some thought to where you are and what lies ahead.

If you start to question what you are doing, like my client recently did, it means it is time to set some new goals, both small and big ones. It’s time to reflect on why you started it all in the first place. You have to remain confident in yourself and keep moving on to the next stage. When you do that, you will in time reach your goals and succeed!

 

Evening Eating Holding You Back? Regain Control!

As a personal trainer who specializes in working with baby boomers, I can tell you that there is a common story that I hear among my clients. Many of them report to me that they do perfectly with their fitness routine and following a healthy diet all day long, and then it all falls apart in the evening. Sometimes they are reaching for quick bites of food to hold them over until dinner is done, while others come home stressed out and ready to reach for whatever they can get their hands on. Whether you are an emotional eater or running short on time, there are ways you can re-gain control over your evenings!

Even if someone does limit their emotional eating or “bad” eating to the evening, it may not seem like a lot of time, but it can still wreak havoc on ones health and wellness goals. Grabbing the wrong snacks, for example, can end up serving up more calories than you expected and help you to pack on the pounds.

Here are the top five reasons that I find people tend to ruin it in the evenings, and what you can do about it:

Stress. Many people are emotional eaters when they feel stressed out. Rather than take the day’s stress and reach for food as a soother, find something else to do to relieve that stress. Try addressing the stress issue with journaling, taking a weekly Tai Chi class, or just taking a 15 minute mental break to sip some green tea and clear your mind.

Tiredness. When you are tired you are more likely to reach for snacks that you feel will give you some pep. But those foods are often loaded with calories. Instead, be sure to get plenty of sleep at night, take a short 20 minute power nap during the day (if possible), and eat a healthy diet. If you are eating a healthy diet, you are likely to feel more energized all day long.

Hungry. If you find yourself ravished in the evening, you are more likely to reach for just about anything you can get your hands on. Eating healthy balanced meals and snacks throughout the day can help keep you from becoming overly hungry.

Being unprepared. When you don’t know what you will be doing for dinner, or lack the ingredients on hand to prepare anything healthy, you will probably forgo the diet and eat anything. You can avoid this by always having your dinner planned out and making sure you have all the ingredients on hand to make the meal.

Lacking time. Feeling rushed and that you don’t have the time to prepare a healthy meal can make people just start grabbing for anything. If you feel you will lack time in the evening, prepare your dinner earlier in the day, or make it on the weekend and put it in the refrigerator or freezer for during the week.

It is also important to make sure you reach for healthy snacks during the day, which will help you avoid a lot of the issues mentioned above. Stick with eating things like carrots and hummus, natural peanut butter and apple, low fat yogurt, almonds, or a healthy nutrition bar. Just be sure to watch your snack portion sizes, keeping it to no more than around 100 calories. By following these tips you can turn your ruined evenings into fabulously fit ones!

Top Fitness Tips Learned in 2011 (and How to Make it a Great 2012)

One of the many benefits of being a personal trainer is that I get a chance to keep up on learning lots of fitness tips, news, and information throughout the year. One of the benefits of keeping a blog is that I get a chance to share that information with all my readers, both baby boomers and beyond. Throughout 2011, there were several key fitness tips that I picked up that I think can help you make 2012 the best year ever!

Here are the top fitness tips I learned throughout 2011:

Taking a break can be a good thing. It can help you to get re-focused, so that you come back fresh and ready to get down to business. Taking a vacation or small trip, for example, will help you reflect and remember that you are not a human “doing,” but rather you are a human “being.”

Getting a tune-up can be a really great thing. By a tune-up I mean a massage, acupuncture, or some other type of activity that helps you feel great. After all, we take our cars in for a tune-up, so why not take in ourselves? It will help with recovery, mind clarity, and overall wellness.

Making health and fitness a lifestyle is crucial to long term success. One effective way you can make your fitness goals a long term lifestyle is to work with a personal trainer. The support, guidance, and accountability is extremely important and effective.

Trying something new can be a great way to clear the mind and help you feel good. For example, this past year I went to the symphony for the first time. I found that I enjoyed it! It’s important to try new things and remember that variety is the spice of life.

It is important to find things you love to do and then do them during the week. This will help you to take care of yourself and your passions, so you can give more of yourself to others.

Just because someone takes a step backward doesn’t mean they have failed. Two steps forward, one step back, means you still took a step forward! Don’t get caught up in what you are not getting. Instead, focus on the fact that you trained four days, for example, rather than focusing on the fact that you are not at your goal yet.

You can’t out-work bad nutrition. If you consistently eat poorly, it will catch up with you. It is essential to eat a healthy, balanced diet to have overall wellness.

Whether you are a baby boomer or not, or you are seeking weight loss, or just want to adopt a healthy fitness lifestyle, you can increase your chances of success in 2012 by keeping these points in mind. This year, success can be all yours!