Step Into My Office – David’s Story, Part II

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If you haven’t yet read part one of David’s story you can find it here . David had to take off for surgery, but I advised him to meet with his physical therapist after his surgery. This way he could find out about the strengthening exercises he could do, that he could still do some cardio, and he could also focus on great nutrition.

David had the surgery and met with his therapist, as well as getting good nutrition advice from Andrea. Now with the surgery behind him, a great diet to follow, and exercises from his therapist, he took action. David went on to drop another 15 pounds after his surgery. Over the next three months he became a gym rat! It was working for him because he was working it. And don’t think that he just worked out all day. David also had a busy career that included travel and high-level executive commitments, as well as family time. He made sure that working out was at the top of his to-do list each day.

He was thrown yet another curveball when he was at the point of making some real progress. A knee doctor told him that at some point his knee would need to be replaced. The pain became too much and he ended up going in for full knee replacement surgery. Following the surgery he again had to meet with doctors and physical therapists, and he made a plan to keep the progress going to strengthen his knee. He continued his mobility exercises and cardio. In fact, he could be seen riding his bike daily with what he called his racing tights (compression pants to keep blood clots form forming and to keep swelling down). He had his headset on listening to the Beatles, eyes were closed, and he was visualizing himself riding in the mountains.

Seven months after surgery and he was down to 230 pounds, which was over a 100-pound weight loss! That was such a great day for David and it hit him with a lot of emotions of happiness, gratitude, and fun. He didn’t think it was possible to do, and at first he was just going to hunt and hike better, but the results were even better than he had imagined.

David had lowered his blood pressure, reduced his cholesterol, and his doctor was blown away by his results. He had to get new workout clothing, and he would flex his biceps. He liked the tight feeling in his muscles. Plus, when he came back from hiking he showed me a video of him moving effortlessly through the mountains. I can see why he wanted to lose the weight, as the views he saw hiking were beautiful!

David often gives me credit for his results, because I was the personal trainer who worked with him. He feels that I have done the most good for him with all of the training he has ever gotten. But I have to remind him that it worked because he worked it, and it was a honor to play a role in helping him with that journey.

Currently, David is 223 pounds and is at 17 percent body fat, and he still isn’t done. His target is 213 pounds and 13 percent body fat. He’s even looking to remove some of the excess skin as a result of his successful efforts. The best part is that he is in the best shape of his life and with his view of life and physical vitality he views 60 as just the start to life.

“Work, play, and life have never been better,” says David.” I look forward to the many years ahead with all of the things I love versus where I started from, dreading to hold a plan. I now own the planks, close grip bench presses, and dead lifts.”

David’s results may not be typical, but they go to show that transformations like this are possible. Ultimately, you are responsible for your workout effort, eating the right foods, and you should always meet with your doctor before starting a new exercise plan and diet plan. Also, consider working with a personal trainer, such as myself. It may be just the extra motivation you need to help get it all to work this time around!

 

Facebook FAQ Part III – Continuing with Mobility Work

Picking up where we left off from the last two blog posts, we will look more at mobility workouts. Many people are unclear about what mobility work is and why it’s important. Whether you are a personal training client of mine in the Vancouver, Washington area, or you follow me on Facebook, there are benefits to mobility workouts that everyone needs. It is especially important for seniors and baby boomers to make mobility work part of their weekly routine.

Mobility, by definition, is the ability to move. As they age, many people complain to me that it seems more difficult for them to move. They don’t have the mobility they once had. Well, that’s because they are no longer doing the things they once did. As many people age they become more sedentary. When that happens, they will begin to lose their mobility. Doing mobility work each week is not only going to keep you more mobile, but it’s going to make it easier. The best way to have mobility that is free and easy is to do the work to help your body get there and stay there. It doesn’t matter how old you are, either, because mobility is something you can work on and achieve at any age.

When it comes to mobility work, follow this workout plan:

Monday – Mobility/Workout 1

Tuesday – Mobility/Cardio

Wednesday – Mobility/Workout 2

Thursday – Mobility/Cardio of choice

Friday – Mobility/Workout 3/Cardio of choice

Saturday – Cardio of choice

Again, when we are discussing cardio as we have in prior posts, it is important for you to do activities that will get your heart going. This can include walking, jogging, biking, hiking, row machines, or any other activities that will get your heart rate up more. Here are some specific mobility work examples:

1)    Piriformis stretch

2)    Glute stretch

3)    Spiderman stretch

4)    RDL

5)    DB Row

6)    Step-up

7)    Push-ups

8)    Lateral lunge

9)    Leg Raise

10) Bird dog

11)Side plank

You will want to do all of your mobility work in 2-4 sets, with 8-10 reps, or if you are doing  static hold go for 20-40 seconds. Be sure to add in the day one mobility work, as well as the day two mobility work. For the resistance training, you will want to do:

1 round week one 15-20 reps

2 rounds week two and three 15-20 reps

3 rounds week four and five 15-20 reps

During week 6-8 do three rounds, bringing the rep range down to 10-15 reps. Also, focus on bringing up the intensity. You can do that by increasing the weight you are using, but always keep form in mind, as it is priority. If you can’t control the weight or maintain form, then do not increase the weight.

Following this three part series will help keep your mobility in a range that will have you feeling great and doing things with ease. It’s never too late to get started with mobility work, so make it part of your workout plan today!

IF YOU MISSED PART 2 CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

TO GET YOUR COMPLETE BOOMER FITNESS PROGRAM CLICK HERE

Facebook Frequently Asked Question: Strengthening Arms and Legs

 

 

 

 

 

Although I’m a personal trainer in the Vancouver, Washington area, I do also frequently get asked questions. They come to me from all over the country, as well as some from close to home. One of the questions I recently got from Karen M. is one that I often get from people.

Karen, like so many others, contacted me through Facebook in order to ask about how she can go about strengthening her arms and legs. She is retired now and looking for a way to build up strength. While she’s looking for a few good pointers, they can also be helpful to others who are seniors, retired, or who are baby boomers looking for a way to build up strength.

First of all, let’s look at a few of the reasons why it is important to build up the strength in your arms and legs. It doesn’t matter how young or old someone is, it is important to have strong arm and leg muscles. When you build the muscles in your arms and legs you will be able to perform activities more easily, such as biking, walking, taking the stairs, or whatever it may happen to be. Being fit and strong is also going to help you avoid injury, give you more speed, and as a senior it is going to continue to ensure you will have more independence.

Having muscle strength in your arms and legs is going to help you maintain your range of motion as you age. Once you retire, if you end up sitting around not doing anything your muscles are going to atrophy, or weaken. It is crucial that if you want to live good healthy retirement years that you build muscles in your arms and legs and you maintain them as you continue to age.

So what can you do to build that muscle and maintain it? First, I suggest working with a personal trainer, such as myself, so that I can put you on a program that is tailored to you and your lifestyle. Beyond that step, I would suggest you combine total body conditioning with strengthening your core muscles. Add in the arm and leg exercises to your already existing workout. A few things you can do include:

  • Take a barbell and do some walking curls with it. Start with a comfortable weight, but increase it over time. You will want to do 6 sets of this, with 8-10 reps per set.
  • You are familiar with sit-ups, but try the “chopper” sit-ups. To do this you will get in the sit-up form, come up as you normally would, but you will take your right hand and reach it over to touch the floor on your left side. Do the same with the other side. For this, do 6 sets that have 10-15 reps per set.
  • Start a routine of doing push-ups in order to help build your arms. Be sure to check out my post that explains how to start a push-up routine and build your arm strength.

These are a good way to get you started on building the strength in your arms and legs. As you age it is essential to maintain your strength. Working out each week is the only way to help you get there. If you are in the Vancouver, Washington area and would like to work with a personal trainer who can set you up on a plan just for you, be sure to contact me.

For more ways to strengthen your arms and legs CLICK HERE

Think it’s ever too late to get fit? Think again!

What age is too old to start getting in shape? Would you think that someone who is a grandpa is far beyond his prime years for doing so? What if I told you that you were wrong? Completely wrong! Well that’s exactly what I’m saying. It is never too late to get fit. Baby boomers are doing it, senior citizens are doing it, and so are grandparents!

A great example of it never being too late to get in shape and reach fitness goals is Robert Durbin. He’s a 64 year old grandfather who lives in Louisville, Ky. Just seven years ago this grandfather was overweight, had health problems, and needed a cane or walker to get around. But he decided to take control of the situation and become fit. While it may seem it was a feat against all odds, the results are impressive!

Durbin spends about four hours every day working out. He’s retired, so he can put in that kind of time at the gym. It’s a bonus – it gives him something to do and is good for his health. He works out seven days a week. He also maintains a healthy diet. He follows a clean eating diet, which includes eating 5-6 small meals per day, and avoiding fried foods.

Following this diet and fitness plan he was able to lose 70 pounds! He also become healthy, fit, and rock hard. He has strength and fitness that many people in their 20s never see. So how did he do it? By making the commitment to get fit and take control over his health, first and foremost. To do that, he worked with a workout team, learning what types of exercises would benefit him. He also never gave up. For seven years he has plugged away, making his health and fitness a high priority. And it shows!

You can get fit, too. It doesn’t matter how old you are or what type of health/physical condition you are in. What’s important is believing you can do it and then making it happen. If you want to be the next Durbin here’s what you can do:

  1. Make the commitment to get fit and live a healthier lifestyle. You will be glad you did it and so will your family.
  2. Work with a personal trainer. As a personal trainer in Vancouver, Washington, I specialize in working with baby boomers, senior citizens, and grandparents.
  3. Never give up. Make it a priority to take care of your health, get fit, and put you at the top of your list.

Robert Durbin showed everyone that he could go from being an overweight grandparent with health problems to a ripped grandparent who is fit and healthy. He is a great example for his kids and grandkids of not only a healthy lifestyle but a healthy life attitude. You can do it, too! I’ve helped many people in the Vancouver area with their personal training goals, and I can help you as well. It’s never too late and you are never too old. If you are breathing, and I think you are, then you can achieve new fitness levels!

Avoid the Slippery Slope During the Holidays

Have you ever heard of the slippery slope that takes place during the holidays each year? Maybe you haven’t heard of it, but you may have lived it. The slippery slope takes place when people get out of their usual routine this month, do more sitting on the couch, and next thing they know their fitness level has declined and they have gained weight. It’s a slope you don’t want to be on, and for good reason!

I tell my personal training clients here in Vancouver, Washington that the slippery slope is no place to be during the holidays (or any time for that matter). It will leave you with a lot of regrets come January. Forget passing up on those workouts and sitting on the couch. Yes, life may be a bit busier this month, but if you stay the course you are much happier as a result. Here are a few tips for avoiding the slippery slope during the holidays:

Continue on. Determine when will be the best time to get your workout in all month. Mornings are typically best because you get it out of the way. You will avoid excuses that can come up later in the day. Set a goal to get your workouts in all month, regardless of what time you have to get them done.

  • Burn more. Find additional ways to burn more calories. This may include taking a parking space farther from the store, or taking the stairs at work. All of these additional calories burned will add up and help keep you on track.
  • No excuses. You are going to have parties, more stress, and other commitments this month. But decide that they will not become excuses for not getting your workouts in. Take on a “no excuses” mentality and find a way around ever challenge and excuse that comes up along the way.
  • Stay the course. It’s a month, you can do this. Before you know it you will be back into January, when everyone is on board wanting to lose weight and get in shape. If you don’t stay the course and keep your health and fitness first you will have regrets come next month.

Forget going down that slippery slope that will leave you feeling bad. Keeping up with your fitness routines this month will keep you feeling better, avoiding weight gain, looking great at those parties, having more energy, and avoiding feel bad next month. Whether you are in Vancouver, Washington and want to work with me, a personal trainer, to help keep you on track, or you want to go it alone, stay the course. You will be glad you did!

 

Balance for Baby Boomers: Why it’s Important and How to Improve It

If you have ever had a problem with balance you know how serious it can be. In fact, it is estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that a third of all adults over the age of 65 fall each year. These falls can lead to serious problems, including hip fractures. Focusing on one’s balance is a good way to help lower the risks of these falls.

The risk of falls aside, not having good balance can do numerous other things as well. It can make it more difficult to walk upstairs, get up out of a chair, bend over without getting dizzy, and just being able to walk steadily. Balance is what keeps you safer, as well as feeling better as you move around.

In my field, as a personal trainer for baby boomers in the Vancouver, Washington area, I am always happy to help my clients address their balance issues. Having poor balance is a bad thing, but the good news is that there are things you can do to improve your balance. Here are a few points that I always share with my clients:

It is important to exercise regularly. This exercise needs to be on your feet. What this means is that you should get out from those machines that have you sitting down. If you are sitting on an exercise bike you are not doing anything to help your balance. Choose exercises that will get you standing up and moving around, such as using the treadmill. Also, consider taking Tai Chi. It is a mild form of martial art that has worked wonders in helping people to improve their balance.

Doing unilateral movements, those which have you use just one side of the body at a time, can also help improve balance. There are various squats and leg lefts that you can do to make balance improvements.

You may have been shying away from them before, but now is the time to get to know free weights. By using free weights you will strength train and improve your balance.

If you are unsure which ones to do always work with a personal trainer who can develop a plan specifically for meeting your goals. My Vancouver, Washington baby boomer clients benefit from better balance as a result of the personal workout plan that I create for them. Whether you are in my local area or beyond, make it a priority to work on your balance. The benefits are long lasting and important for every baby boomer!

James Gandolfini Dead at 51

 

 

 

 

 

 

This past week many people around the country gasped when they heard that talented actor James Gandolfini had died, at the young age of 51. This came as sad news as he, and the characters he brought to life, will be missed. While the autopsy is yet to be performed, the theory thus far is that he died of a massive heart attack, making this an ideal time to look at the issue – which is one plaguing our society.

Heart disease is a major issue, not just with the personal training clients I work with here in the Vancouver, Washington area, but around the nation. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is the leading cause of death in America for both men and women. In fact, they report that each year there are 600,000 people who die from cardiac arrest, about one out of every four deaths. But it doesn’t stop there. Roughly 715,000 people in the country have a heart attack each year, with 525,000 of those being first time heart attacks.

While we don’t know for sure what James Gandolfini’s diet and exercise habits were, we have an idea that they probably could have been better. His excessive weight and lifestyle habits may have contributed to the heart condition that led to his death. The good news about heart disease is that there are things you can do to lower your risks for it and even avoid it all together, which include:

 

  • Maintaining a healthy weight. Having excessive weight can lead to a variety of diseases and complications, of which heart disease is one.
  • Exercising regularly. One of the best ways to lower risks of heart disease is to keep your heart healthy by exercising most days of the week. A lack of regular exercise activity is so much more harmful than people realize.
  • Eating healthy. We all know this, but we don’t always live by it. Garbage in is going to result in problems. Load up on healthy foods. To lower heart disease risks eat lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein sources that are low or devoid of saturated fats and cholesterol (primarily found in animal based foods).
  • Avoiding smoking. If you don’t smoke, good for you, don’t start. If you do smoke find a route to quitting that will work for you. Don’t give up on quitting this habit. Try, try, and try again until it finally works.
  • Cutting back on the alcohol. Excessive alcohol can increase heart disease risks, so keep alcohol consumption to a minimum.

I guide baby boomers, and others, in the Vancouver, Washington area toward a healthier heart all the time. With commitment to health, which is an investment in yourself, you can help reduce and eliminate the risks associated with heart disease. Whether I help you do it or you do it on your own, make the move now before it’s too late!

Tips for Exercising in the Cold

Q. Brr! It’s that time of year again. I like to add in a couple of days per week where I take power walks outdoors. It is nice to be outside in nature, and we don’t live where we get snow, which makes it easier. However, I wonder if there is anything I need to do differently when exercising in the cold. I appreciate your input on this issue.

A. Welcome to winter! Getting outdoors for some of your workouts is a great way to break things up, as well as to gain the many benefits that come from being out in nature. You mentioned that you don’t live where there is snow, so that makes it even easier to continue getting outdoors as it gets colder.

There are many people that jog, walk, and bike ride outdoors in the winter, among other activities. There are a few things you may want to keep in mind when it comes to exercising in the cold, including:

  • Dress in layers. You may start out the door and it’s cold, but after you get moving you will probably warm up. Try to dress in a couple of layers, so that if you do warm up and need to cool off, you can peel a layer off and carry it with you.
  • Listen to your body. If you feel really cold and it is not comfortable, it may be time to take your workout indoors. Pay attention to how your body feels.
  • Warm up. Just like when you work out indoors, it is important to warm up before you get started. Your muscles need to get warmed up in order to perform optimally and help protect yourself from injury. You may even want to warm up while you are still in the house. That way the colder weather is not a shock to you and possibly make it more challenging to get warmed up.
  • Know when to rest. During the winter months people often have more colds and don’t feel as well. If you have a day where you don’t feel well, take the day rest and move your work out to another day.

 It may be getting colder outside, but if you enjoy getting outdoors for some of your workouts, then don’t let the cold stop you. As long as you don’t have freezing temperatures, you should be able to layer up, put some gloves and a hat on, and head outside.

CLICK HERE FOR TIP ON EXERCISING

Video Ask Brian; Greek or Plain Yogurt?

Being a personal trainer who specializes in baby boomers and the creator of the popular comprehensive home video system that leads them to fitness success, I get a lot of questions sent my way. Whether they come through email, in person, or as comments on my blog, I try to take the time to answer every one of them. In this video blog segment, I am going to answer some of the most recent questions I have gotten, because I figure there are more of you out there that would also like to know the answers.

Lisa – Troy, Michigan

What is the best way to reach my fitness goals without giving up after a week or so?

This is a common complaint for those trying to lose weight or reach fitness goals. They start out on a Monday, and it seems like they are ready to start out again the next Monday, and maybe even the Monday thereafter. Somewhere along the way, they give up and stop trying to reach their goals. The best way to reach your goals is to set them first. Write the goals down and review them regularly. Then, every day do something toward helping you reach your goals. Remind yourself of why you want to reach them. If you do slack or do something that wasn’t good for reaching your goals, quickly get back on track.

Bart – Las Vegas, Nevada

Help! I love to snack. I know it’s not good for me, but I still like it. What can I do so that I don’t blow my diet?

Who doesn’t like to snack? Most of us love to have a snack or two throughout the day. There’s nothing wrong with having a snack. The problem is what your snack consists of. If you are making healthy snacking choices, then you have nothing to worry about. But if you consistently make unhealthy snacking choices, you will end up sabotaging your efforts and maybe even end up gaining weight. Start out by limiting the number of snacks you have per day. It’s important to stock your home with healthy snack options so that you can reach for those every time. Try such things as apple slices with natural peanut butter, a rice cake topped with natural peanut butter, a green smoothie, a handful of nuts, or hummus with a handful of pita chips. These are tasty snacks that won’t end up making you feel guilty later.

Alaina – Hollywood, Florida

Being a senior citizen, I see all my friends want to take a seat and not exercise. I want to keep moving. They tell me I am doing too much at my age. Help, what should I believe?

First of all, congratulations for being active! No matter what age you are, it’s always a good thing to remain active. You should exercise regularly, whether you are a senior citizen or teenager. As a senior citizen, it’s ideal that you get a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio on most days of the week, plus you should add in a couple of days of weight bearing exercise to help keep your muscles in shape.

Delores – Lima, Ohio

I am finding that the older I get, the more off-balance I feel. It makes me shy away from exercise, although I know that’s not a healthy thing for me. Can you tell me how I can improve my balance so that I feel more confident engaging in exercise activities?

You are not alone. Balance issues are a common complaint with many of the baby boomers that I provide personal training services to. It’s believed that 9-10 percent of senior citizens suffer from some sort of balance issue. The good news is that whether there is a problem now or not, you can work on improving your balance. Try taking a weekly Tai Chi class, which is a mild form of martial art. It’s an ancient activity that is great for improving balance. Other good options for improving balance include yoga, one-legged standing positions, and Pilates.

Fred – Madison, Wisconsin

I am about to begin an exercise program. However, I suffer from arthritis, and I’m afraid the joint pain may prevent me from sticking with the routine. Do you have any tips for helping to protect my joints when it comes to working out?

As a personal trainer who works with senior citizens and baby boomers, I can tell you that this is a common concern that people have. The problem is that most people think that they should not exercise because the pain is present, when ideally it is the other way around. Those with joint pain or arthritis will actually benefit from maintaining an exercise program. To help protect your body, avoid over-working your muscles, apply heat for about 20 minutes before exercising, always spend 10 minutes warming up, and use slow, yet steady movements. If you have extreme pain, you should stop immediately.

Larry – Lancaster, California

I hear a lot of talk about the importance of knowing your heart rate when working out and in reaching your target heart rate. But I’m not sure what it is or how to figure it out. Can you help?

Yes! Knowing your target heart rate, and then staying with it, can help you get the most out of your workout. You can use this calculator provided by the American Cancer Society to find out your rate, as well as how to take it during and after you are finished working out.

Carol – Austin, Texas

Is there a way I can get fit without leaving my home?

 Yes! Check out my comprehensive  Boomer Fitness DVD program. It will do just that!

 

No Man or Woman Left Behind – The Importance of Having a Fitness Partner

Did you ever notice that when it comes to food and fitness other people can get you to do things? It’s true! Whether healthy or unhealthy, other people have a way of influencing our own decisions. Maybe it’s opting to have the dessert following that lunch out with the girlfriends, or having a couple of beers with your burger, simply because the guys are doing it and telling you not worry about it. Both of these scenarios will help pack in extra calories that can lead to weight gain, as well as help you fall off your course of healthy habits!

Having support for what we are doing, whether it is watching what we eat, quitting smoking, or trying to get fit, is essential. Supportive people can help you stay the course, while unsupportive ones can help you quickly lose your way. In your quest for health and wellness, it is important to create a supportive team, and also be a supportive team member that helps others.

There are several ways you can create a fitness friendly team that all support each other in striving to be healthy. Here are some things to consider doing in order to help get your team to stay the course:

Encourage each other. Whether you see or talk once a day or once week, focus on the positives in finding ways to support each other’s goals to get healthy.

Be accessible by phone and also call one of your team members whenever you feel like grabbing the chocolate cake. They can help remind you of the many reasons you are seeking healthy, as well as friendly support.

Create a Facebook group of your get healthy team members. In that group you can all post articles (and blog posts, hint, hint), that promote healthy living. This will keep you all up on the news and give you a forum for discussing issues.

Schedule workouts together, even if it is taking a walk. When people are scheduled to work out with others, they are more apt to do it. Being together will help encourage accountability.

Regularly discuss your progress, challenges, and health-related issues. This will keep everyone motivated and help you find ways to get over any hurdles you may encounter.

There is strength in numbers. When you team up with supportive people, and even be a supportive person yourself, you will help to strengthen your resolve to be healthy. You will also be helping someone else to achieve theirs. Plus, there is a good chance you will have a few laughs along the way!