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

Tips for Getting Rid of Back Fat

As a personal trainer, I work with people who have a variety of areas they want to target for toning and weight loss. One that I come across with both men and women is that of back fat, otherwise known as “back boobs” to some people. If you suffer from back boobs, or back fat, there are some things you can do to address it and like what you see back there!

It’s important to note that some women who may have fat hanging over their bra, making it look as though they have back boobs, may just need a better bra size. If you are wearing a bra that is not fitted properly, it will give you a look of having back boobs. However, even with a properly fitted bra, many women have back fat that they would like to lose. Men also experience this problem, so all the exercises are good for both men and women baby boomers.

Here are some exercises you can do to get rid of back fat:

  • Aerobic exercise. When you are doing cardio, you are burning calories, and that will assist you in reducing back fat. Engage in aerobic exercise most days of the week, for at least 30 minutes at a time.
  • Rowing. Whether you are using a rowing machine or you go kayaking, it will use muscles that will help to strengthen and tone the back.
  • Back extensions. Use an abdominal ball to do back extensions. Lay your abdomen on the ball with your feet on the floor, put your hands behind your head and slowly raise the chest up, holding it for five seconds at a time.
  • Floor exercises. You can do some floor exercises that will help address back fat, making it easy to do even when you travel. Simply lay face down on the floor and put your arms and legs into a Y position. Raise your arms, palms facing you, and hold it for 10 seconds at a time. Relax, and repeat a dozen times.

If you work out at the gym, there are additional exercises you can do with free weights and weight machines that have been designed to address the back area. Working with a certified personal trainer, you can address these areas that you need to target, and they can put together a routine that will work to help you meet our goals. Alternatively, you can check out my comprehensive video program, which has been designed to help baby boomers meet their fitness goals.

Having back fat may not be something people like, but the good news is that there is something you can do to get rid of it. Taking the time to address it will make you feel a lot happier and more confident. Do these exercises a couple of days per week, and you will be seeing the results you want!

 

Shopping Cart Revisited – Keeping Healthy Foods On Hand

If you are like millions of other baby boomers who are trying to lose weight or get in shape, you know how important it is that you keep what you eat in check. Problem is, while we all seem to know that, we don’t all take the steps to ensure that we will reach for healthy foods when we are ready to eat. In order to have healthy foods when it’s meal time, we need to put them in our cart while at the grocery store!

What you shop for makes a huge difference in your fitness and health goals later on. As a personal trainer, I have worked with many people who sabotage their efforts by getting really hungry and then reaching for anything to eat. That anything often turns out to be food that is less than healthy, thus setting them back, if done on a regular basis.

One of my clients texted me one day to ask if something they had on hand was okay for them to eat. That food just so happened to be pizza rolls! Another one of my clients texted me a picture of a hot dog and asked if that would be acceptable to eat. As you can imagine, I said no on both accounts. But I wouldn’t have had to if they had bought healthy food to begin with. Honestly, folks, it all starts with the selections we make at the grocery store.

There are many reasons that you need to shop the perimeter of the store and make sure that what you put in the basket is going to help you reach your fitness and weight loss goals, not inhibit them. Not long ago I did a whole segment on what you should put in your cart, which you can view here. So why should you shop smart to begin with? It’s simple:

  • Having only healthy food on hand will ensure that when you get hungry you eat healthy.
  • Getting used to eating healthy food will give you more energy, help you reach your fitness and weight loss goals, and keep you feeling great.
  • While you are working on the outside of your body, the food will be helping the inside become healthier.
  • With healthy food in the pantry, you are less tempted to fill up on things that you will regret eating later.

The bottom line, for senior citizens and everyone else who is out to be healthy, is that if we don’t have healthy foods in the cart, we won’t have them at home, and then we won’t eat them. When that happens, we won’t be happy with the results we see at the scale, when we get our blood laboratory work, or when we look in the mirror. So make it a goal this week, and every week, to let your health quest start at the grocery store, with what you put into your cart!

CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW TO EXERCISE WHILE EATING HEALTHY……

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 – Taking on Diabetes!

So you have been told you have Type II diabetes, now what? Well, like other health issues, the more you know, the more you are able to take on that enemy and succeed in beating it! Diabetes is an issue that is plaguing more than just the baby boomers of the country. It’s becoming a widespread problem, one that we need to get a handle on. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly 26 million Americans now have diabetes. And what’s scary is that 7 million of them don’t even know it!

When it comes to the baby boomer generation, nearly 11 million people have diabetes, or nearly 27 percent of the population. The problem with diabetes is that it robs you of your quality of life. It is a major factor in heart disease and stroke, can lead to kidney failure, amputations, and even blindness. It’s the seventh leading cause of death in the country as well.

Type I diabetes used to be called juvenile-onset diabetes and accounts for about 5 percent of all cases. It’s a type of diabetes that typically affects children, leaving them in continuous need of insulin delivery, by injection, in order for their glucose levels to be regulated.

Type II diabetes used to be called adult-onset diabetes. Today these names have been changed some because as our lifestyles have become more unhealthy, even children are getting the type of diabetes that used to be typical of adult onset. With this type, the pancreas loses the ability to produce insulin.

Type II diabetics make up 95 percent of all the diabetes cases in the country. And the problem is that 85 percent of those who have it are over weight or obese, issues that are closely related to the problem to begin with. Doctors may want to prescribe drugs in order to help with Type II diabetes, but the truth of the matter is that this is something you can take on and win all on your own!

The real drug that you need is a combination of diet and exercise, whether or not you are taking a prescription medication. Exercise, which acts as an anti aging drug, helps to control blood glucose, as well as improve insulin sensitivity acutely and chronically by building muscle and decreasing body fat. It also helps to reduce the risk of diabetes other sneaky friends – high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Exercising also gives you a better outlook on life. Your hormones will be doing better, you will feel better, and your demeanor will be more pleasant as well. If you stick with an exercise and diet plan, your doctor may need to re-adjust your insulin dosages in order to prevent hypoglycemia, a condition when your blood sugar level drops too low. Hypoglycemia symptoms include dizziness, light headedness, and confusion. It’s a serous condition that can lead to a coma.

If you have diabetes, be sure to speak with your doctor about implementing lifestyle changes to help combat it. Your body will thank you for it, and you will feel great as a result!

READ PART 2 HERE

WANT THE HEALTH AND VITALITY

AT THE AGE OF 45-65

LEARN HOW..

Acting and Thinking Your Age? Change the Paradigm!

As we age people often believe that you have to act a certain way. But when you think about it, do you really need to act so different at 60 than you did at say 45 or 50? I’m hear to say that you do not need to. This is something that needs to be said. You do not need to match your age with how you act. I propose that it’s time we shift the paradigm and start aging in place.

It’s time to start showing who the baby boomers are and taking more control over what a baby boomer is capable of doing. Change what someone thinks of when they consider how a baby boomer acts. Young boomers may be 45-55, while older baby boomers are 55-65, but age is merely a number.

Think about how long you can expect to live. The average life expectancy today is 77.8-80 years old. So if you are 65-70, why would you walk around acting like you are old? You shouldn’t be. You can help redefine what baby boomers do and how they act.

The scary truth about age is that 85 percent of baby boomers will get a chronic disease by the time they reach the age of 65, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You name it, the risks are there, and they are getting everything from hypertension, coronary artery disease, diabetes, and cancer. Sadly 75 percent will end up dying from these diseases, especially when they involve coronary heart disease and cancer.

Remember when I said it’s time to age in place? Well, doing that gives you hope! You can make changes that will help you prevent these problems. Most of the diseases that we die from are preventable through lifestyle changes. One of the most important things you can do, no matter what age you are, is to start exercising regularly. Exercising can’t fix a disease, but it can sure go a long way toward prevention. It allows you to function on your own as you age and will help give you a better quality of life as a senior citizen.

The key to how baby boomers act is in your hands. You can choose to take a seat and say you are getting “old” and can’t do what you used to, or you can choose to be active. By choosing to be active, you will age in place, which will keep you feeling good, looking good, and enjoying your senior years!

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!

 

First Things First: Getting Your Morning Off to the Right Start

There is no doubt that you have heard the old saying that you got up on the wrong side of the bed. You have likely either uttered those words before yourself, or they may have been said about you. The problem is that the morning can set the tone for how the rest of our entire day will go. Since it is such an important time, it is crucial that you get it off to a good start!

Starting your food with the right foot forward is easier than you may think. But it probably requires breaking a few habits so that you can create so new, better ones. If you are a baby boomer who skips breakfast or just sits around drinking a pot of coffee to get going, I have news for you. It’s time to change, for the better!

Here are some things you can do to get your morning off to the right start:

Make sure you eat breakfast. This is so important! You have to get some healthy, nutritious food in the tank before you can get going for the day. Whether you opt for oatmeal, high fiber cereal, or you make some power smoothies, make sure you eat a healthy breakfast. It can make a world of difference in reaching your health goals!

Get your workout done early. While you will still burn the calories and reap the benefits even if you do it later in the day, it’s better to do it early so that you can get it out of the way. When people plan to do it later in the day, it gives them all day to find excuses not to get it done. When you work out in the morning, you have that high calorie burn that follows, and you also have more energy.

Keep your goals handy and look at them each morning and evening. You can write them up and put them on your refrigerator or even create a vision board, where you have pictures and sayings about what you want to achieve. Put it where you will see it and remind yourself of it each day. Look at it each night before bed so that you will be focused on it when you wake up.

In the morning start your day by drinking water and green tea. Both will give your body exactly what it needs to get going and be healthy. And avoid putting a bunch of sugar in your tea, or you will void out the healthy benefits.

If you don’t think that making your morning great will do much, I challenge you to give it a try for one or two weeks. Once you try it out for that long notice how you feel. If you feel better, have more energy, get your workout in more often, etc., then continue on. My guess is that if you give this a try, it will become a long time healthy lifestyle change!

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!

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.