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 

How to Shop at the Grocery Store

Assuming you can’t get to a farmer’s market year-round, it is important to know the healthiest way to shop at the grocery store, as well as what should be in your shopping cart by the time you check out. It’s a skill that many of us have either forgotten or don’t pay much attention to. But living a healthy lifestyle depends upon making sure that what you baby boomers have in your shopping cart is foods that will work for your body, not against it!

When you go shopping, you want to come home with whole foods that are not processed. Processed foods usually contain too much salt, fat, and unnatural ingredients. Whole foods are those that nature has provided for us to eat, and they are in their natural state. When you go to the grocery store, try to stick to shopping the perimeter of the store, where you will find the dairy, meat, and produce departments.

Now that’s not say you have no need to go in the middle aisles because there are some good things, such as dry beans, whole wheat pasta, nuts, and high fiber cereal, mixed in with all the processed foods. But try to get most of your groceries from the perimeter of the store, only stopping down specific inside aisles to grab a few things.

Here’s some of the top healthy foods that all baby boomers should be shopping for:

Proteins. Making sure you have good sources of protein is essential. Opt for things like wild salmon, fish, beans, lentils, tofu, low fat yogurt, quinoa, and nuts.

Carbohydrates. Many people think carbs should be out, but that’s not the case. You want to make sure to reach for healthy whole grain sources of carbohydrates, such as oatmeal, quinoa, whole wheat bread, brown rice, and high fiber cereal.

Fats. There are good fats and bad ones. Stick to the good sources of fat, such as olive oil, nuts, and avocadoes.

Others. Other healthy ingredients that you should have in your basket include green tea, turmeric, and lots of fruits and veggies. Green vegetables especially, such as spinach, kale, and broccoli, pack a powerful nutritional punch that your body needs.

Keep in mind that each of these foods above provides your body with something it needs, as well as helping to keep you healthy. Some help people avoid cancer, while others fight inflammation. When you fill your grocery basket with these healthy foods, you will be well on your way to maintaining a healthy body. Now you just need to focus on preparation, and if you are bored of the same old dishes, try doing an online search for some recipes, or check out a cookbook at your local library!


The Benefits of TRX and the Baby Boomer

As a baby boomer you may like the convenience of having an exercise system you can take with you. One that will allow you the opportunity to work your muscles, boost your metabolism, and that is easy to use. Well, that’s where the TRX Suspension Trainer comes in handy!

The TRX Suspension Trainer is a good pick for those baby boomers who want a convenient, easy to use, muscle-building piece of equipment that can be taken anywhere. If you are familiar with resistance bands, you will have an idea of what the system is like. You can do some of the same exercises on it as you can resistance bands.

At around $200, the TRX Suspension Trainer comes with a host of benefits, including:

It is lightweight, making it easy to carry around. You can take it with you when you travel, so you always have an effective way to get your workout in. It can easily be stored as well.

Using it is simple. All you need is a closed door to hook it to. The video it comes with shows you different exercises you can do. Once you get used to them, you can take it anywhere and do them on your own.

This system is also good for helping to improve balance and flexibility. Many baby boomers struggle with balance issues, so doing exercises that help to improve it is recommended.

The TRX Suspension Trainer will give you a good, and effective, workout. It will work all the muscles in your body, helping to build muscle, as well as boost your metabolism. It provides a total body workout, yet it’s a small portable system.

It can be used for any fitness level. So although some avid athletes may use it in a class at the gym, it is also a solid pick for baby boomer’s looking for an effective exercise system at home or for traveling.

If you are like most baby boomers, you could benefit from a convenient exercise system that can easily be stored, as well as used for traveling. Some gyms also offer it as group exercise classes, where you can get the chance to try it before you buy it. The TRX provides this and more, making it worth considering. It will give you the chance to do hundreds of different exercises, working everything from your abs and glutes to your hips and thighs.


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!

Why People Fail at their Fitness Resolutions (and What to Do About it)

Have you ever watched the Allstate advertisement about jogging mayhem? If not, check it out. This commercial always makes me think about why people fail at their fitness resolutions. It happens each year as people set them with the best of intentions. If you check out the Allstate ad, you will see that the driver is distracted and not paying much attention to his mission. The mayhem causes him to fail. But once you know about the things that can help make you fail at your fitness resolutions, the better you will be at addressing them!

Just picture your New Year’s resolution. If it is like millions of others, it is something along the lines of the idea that you are going to lose 20 pounds, be in great shape, take a vacation, and be the envy of all your friends. And yes, even be able to keep up better with the grandchildren. Sounds like a great resolution, right?

But before you know it, things happen. You get sidetracked and forget about taking that walk to burn extra calories. You reach for a second helping of the mashed potatoes and gravy and add on a slice of cake for dessert. Before you know it, you can’t even remember all the details of what our resolution included! And no, you are not forgetting those details because you are a baby boomer. Most people forget them, regardless of age!

Here are some of the biggest reasons why people fail at achieving their fitness resolutions:

Not having a plan. Those who wonder aimlessly around the gym tend to get bored and quit after a while.

Not measuring goals, such as taking a picture for visual evidence. What you can do is find a picture when you were at your best, as well as one the way you look now. This will give you something to work toward. Plus, it shows you have done it before.

Not checking process accurately. The scale is not a good way to gauge your success, believe it or not. Instead, you should get body fat checked every two to three weeks.

Not being held accountable. Most people try to go it alone, and when they have nobody to be accountable for, they tend to cut back. Way back.

Having the “holiday hangover” as I like to call it. This is where people try to do everything in one day. Rather than that, change one thing a day, such as your creamer in the coffee, or working out for 20 minutes, then increasing to 21 minutes the next day, and to 50 minutes by the end of the month.

Working with a personal trainer can help to address a lot of these problems. A personal trainer can help you create a plan, measure goals, check progress, and help hold you accountable. Be sure to work with a personal trainer who you feel comfortable with. And if you can find one that specializes in baby boomers, it’s even better! When you address the issues above, you will be much more successful at being successful with your fitness goals this year!


Gym packed? Don’t give up!






Sure, the first of the year hit, and if you are someone who works out regularly, you will doubt have noticed a difference at the gym. Yes, that’s right. There will be a change in what’s going on at the gym! Each January at the gym you can tell what time of the year it is without ever looking at the calendar. There’s a reason for it, but don’t let it get you down. The more you know about why it happens and what you can do about it, the more successful your fitness schedule will be.

In the first day or two following New Year’s I arrived at the gym to find a crowd. In fact, I couldn’t even find a place to park. I spent some time circling the parking lot to find a spot, asking myself how this can be so? Being a personal trainer I know the answer to this question, and I know how to compensate for it. But others don’t, and that worries me!

Think about what happens each January. You guessed it. People set resolutions for the New Year, and millions of them include goals to become healthier. While they are great goals for sure, they can really pose a problem at the gym. As each New Year starts, the gyms around the country become filled with all the people who have decided to make fitness one of their new goals. Problem is, they arrive at the gym with all those who have already been there all along. This can make for some really cramped conditions and makes it harder to get on the machines you want.

In fact, once I got into the gym, I had to wait for a treadmill to open up. The next day I couldn’t get my circuit training. It’s enough to make people want to throw their hands in the air and turn around and head for the door. But before you do that, know that there are some solutions to this busy gym problem.

Here are a few things you can do to combat the busy gym problem:

Pick an area to workout in that you will be able to do similar exercises. Maybe you won’t be able to find the exact machines, but if you are a little flexible, you can still work the same muscles.

Do some superset exercises, which are great for burning fat and working through plateaus. With superset exercise you do two different things, one right after the other, but you don’t stop to rest in between. For example, do a cardio exercise, then go immediately into a strength training exercise. Superset exercise save time, but are highly effective.

Rather than focus on cardio, where all the people are lined up waiting for machines, do body weight training routines.

Another important part of the equation in beating the first of the year rush is to work with a personal trainer. A personal trainer will keep you baby boomers focused on what you need to do, how you can get it done (even when the gym is busy), and best of all, you won’t quit your routine at Valentine’s Day because you are not seeing the results!

How Losing Helps You Win

Yes, you read that right! Sometimes losing can really help you a lot. While you don’t want to set out to lose, and if it happens, it’s sometimes not a bad thing. Before you really start to think I’ve lost my mind here, let me explain!

I’m a big Green Bay Packers fan and watching them play this past season really helped me to see how losing can help you win. They had an amazing season. In fact, it was considered the best season in the history of the franchise. They were on top of their game all season, having winning streaks that left other teams in awe. But when it came time to the play-offs, they didn’t quite have what it took that got them there.

The Packers were out of the playoffs, losing to the New York Giants 37-20. And sure, I was disappointed, but there is some good that will come out of losing. When we win, we tend to get complacent. This not only happens to NFL teams who win, but it also happens to all of us in various aspects of our lives. If we win, we get complacent. But it’s what we do when we lose that makes up for not winning!

When we lose at something, we actually begin to re-focus. That re-focusing is important in helping us to learn how to win again. This is the same concept that you may be facing in your weight loss or fitness goals. Maybe you feel like it is something you lost at, and if that is the case, then it is time to re-focus. Take it as a designated time to re-think your plan of action and make sure you are doing everything you can to win the next time you give it a try.

Don’t beat yourself up over “losing” or slacking on your fitness routine or healthy eating habits. Instead, think about what you need to do to be more successful at it. Take that time to re-focus, so that you come out seeing clearly what needs to be done and how you will go about doing it.

Keep in mind throughout your quest for healthy living that sometimes when you lose it will help you to go and become a winner. And you will appreciate that win that much more! As for my Packers, they are still winners because they had a great season. Now they can re-focus, create a new plan of action for next year, and hopefully have an equally, if not better, season next year!



The Top Baby Boomer Sex Drive Killers

The other day I was driving in the car and I kept hearing commercials for erectile dysfunction. I come into the house, put the television on, and there again I see commercials showing baby boomers that need a special pill because of erectile dysfunction. Turn on my computer, and you guessed it, more ads for the same thing! What is going on here? Is the truth really found in a pill or is it something else?

Selling the little blue pill, or those for erectile dysfunction, is a business just like any other. And it is one that makes drug companies really rich! In fact, in just the year 2007 the top two companies selling the pill spent a combined $230 million advertising the pill in order to make people aware of it and prompt sales. On the back end, those two drug manufacturers raked in over a billion combined! So telling baby boomers they need an erectile dysfunction pill to solve the problem is worth a lot of money!

But the truth of the matter is that most of those people getting the pills don’t really need them. What they need is to take a look at their lifestyle choices. When you really deal with the heart or truth of the matter, it is clear to see that the problem of not being able to, um, perform like you once used to, comes down to the lifestyle choices you are making. When you make poor lifestyle choices, such as not eating healthy and not taking care of your body, then you will need to rely upon artificial methods (a.k.a. the pill), in order to help you with your sex drive.

Here are the top sex drive killers for baby boomers:

Stress and depression

Issues with your partner (lack of communication)

Alcohol (it numbs many people)

Being too tired (lack of sleep equals lack of performance)

Medications (those for blood pressure and hormone replacement therapy, for example)

Body image (not liking what you see in the mirror leaves you feeling unsexy)

The absolute best way to deal with all the above sex drive killers is not a prescription pill! Not by a long shot. The reality is that the best way for baby boomers to deal with these sex drive killers is to adopt a long term healthy diet and workout routine. When you get fit and make it a priority, it will do wonders for your sex life.

Living a healthy lifestyle, which means working out and eating healthy, will reduce stress and leave you mentally feeling better, resulting in your liking your body image more. You will also end up sleeping better and when you are fit, you will most likely not need all the medications. The only last issue remaining that is sometimes a sex drive killer is the alcohol, and with that, you just need to learn your limits!


Baby Boomers Can Re-Center with a Trip to a Spa

Just think of all the mean, stress-inducing things you do to your body all week. All the television watching, absorbing all that negative news you see, all the caffeine-filled coffee, and more. There are many things you do to your body to raise the stress and increase tension, but what are you doing to help relieve it and re-center?

Recently I took a trip to the Bonneville Hot Springs Resort & Spa. This is a trip that will give a tune-up to any baby boomer, and believe me, all our bodies need a tune-up from time to time. My trip to the Bonneville Hot Springs & Resort left me feeling great, de-stressed, and re-centered. I left ready to take on the world and all its stress once again!

If you live near this resort, which is located around 35 miles from Portland, Ore. and Vancouver, Washington, I highly recommend checking it out to get a body tune-up. If you don’t, there has to be a spa in your area that offers a similar list of ways to pamper yourself. Some of things you want to make sure you take advantage of at the spa include:

The baths. Taking the hot or cold baths that the spa offers can offer some great benefits. Check out their menu of options, as they have some that have been designed to help you relieve stress, do away with muscle tension, and even soften your skin.

The massage. You may be aware of how great massages are for your body. But if you are not, let me be the first to tell you that they are great for your body. They will make you feel great, help your muscles, relieve stress and tension, allowing you to walk away from it feeling on top of the world.

Mineral water. Spas usually offer a variety of ways to get introduced to mineral water, so take advantage of it. Mineral water is great for detoxification of the body and for re-mineralizing your skin and body. It also helps your skin to feel great and look healthy.

A trip to the spa is not only a tune-up for your body and muscles, but it also does wonders for the mind. It will leave you feeling de-stressed and re-centered, as it did me. It is a great way to clear your mind, re-focus, and let your thoughts calm down for a while. We live in a world where we are constantly inundated with news and information.

It is nice to give our minds a break once in a while and just allow it to relax and not have to think about everything that is going on around us. There is no better way to do that then visiting the spa and taking in some of the amazing treatments. A trip to the spa is something you will never regret!