Water Exercises for Boomer Fitness

Q. Boomer Fitness – I’m hoping you can help me out with something. I work out at a gym that has an indoor pool. I noticed that the schedule they have offers some senior water aerobic classes. I stopped in and watched for a few minutes and although it looks like a fun time in the water, I wonder if people are actually getting a good workout. What do you think?

A. What a great question, thank you for asking it! This is a question that I have had from many senior citizens over the years. Baby boomers see the water aerobic classes going on and want to suit up and take a dive. Yet there is a little hesitation in doing so. Maybe it’s because they don’t see people that are in the classes sweating.

Even if you can’t see people sweating in the water aerobics classes there is a good chance they are doing some good for their body. One of the main reasons that senior citizens opt for water aerobic classes is that it is easy on the joints. If you ever suffer from joint pain you know that it can make keeping up with your workouts challenging. Yet most people who do water aerobics find that there isn’t any pain.

While I may not rank water aerobics as the best possible way for a senior to get in a workout, I do think that it’s an acceptable option. This is because it gets you working out. I’m much more concerned with people working out regularly, rather than what it is that they are doing to get that work out.

You mentioned that you thought the water aerobics class looked like fun. Well I can tell you from working with many baby boomers that when something is fun you are more likely to continue doing it. Fun workouts make time go by faster and you will forget that you are actually doing some hard work.

My suggestion would be to give it a try. Unless you suffer from the ongoing joint pain I would not suggest that you make it your sole form of exercise, because it’s good to change it up some. But doing it once or twice a week, especially if you find it to be fun, is a great thing. You will burn some calories, have some fun, and go easy on the joints. If you feel you need a little something more, take a few laps in the pool before or after the water aerobics class. So, suit up, jump in, and have fun!

FOR MORE EXERCISES THAT ARE BOOMER FRIENDLY CLICK HERE

So you have high cholesterol, now what?

If you are a baby boomer with high cholesterol, you are not alone. Your doctor may even want to put you on a statin, which is a cholesterol-lowering medication. Maybe you feel like you have no hope, but that’s just wrong. It’s all about going after the enemy, and in this case, cholesterol is the enemy!

Some of the top factors that impact cholesterol rates include drinking alcohol, the food you eat, living a sedentary lifestyle, abdominal obesity, smoking, steroid use, insulin resistance, and even genetics. About 25 percent of the people who have high cholesterol do because of genetic factors. So that means for the other 75 percent of you, there are lifestyle changes you can make in order to get it under control.

It’s important to understand your cholesterol numbers so you know where you are at. Here’s a breakdown of what the number ranges mean:

< 150 is normal

150-199 is borderline high

200-499 is high

> 500 is very high (you may die if you don’t get control of it immediately)

Your numbers may even be broken down more, into HDL and LDL figures. For HDL, think of “healthy” cholesterol, while the LDL is “lousy” cholesterol, or the one that is bad for your health. Here’s the breakdown on what your numbers mean for each of these:

HDL – the healthy cholesterol

Your goal is to have it be greater than 60, while less than 40 is considered undesirable.

LDL – the lousy cholesterol (ideally, keep it 100 and under)

100 is optimal

100-129 above optimal

130-159 borderline high

160-189 very high

VLDL is the very low density lipid protein, which being 30 and under is desirable.

Keep in mind that cholesterol itself is produced by your body. But there are foods that you eat that can raise your cholesterol level, along with the other factors. Animal based foods contain cholesterol, while plant based foods generally do not.

So if your cholesterol numbers are falling into the less than desirable area, there are options. You can do drug therapy, increase your activity, lose weight, change your eating habits (including reducing meat intake and increasing fiber intake to 25-30 grams per day), reduce alcohol consumption, and stop smoking. Stay tuned for the next blog post, where I will give you a sample exercise plan that will help with improving your cholesterol numbers.

PART TWO READ HERE….

 Three Cholesterol Lowering Meal Options

WANT TO TURN 50 AND 60 INTO THE NEW 30 LEARN MORE HERE

Why Writing a Letter to Yourself is Good

Not long ago I went to a personal development training seminar called a “Date with Destiny.” It turned out to provide a quite useful experience that I want to share with you all here. During this seminar we had an exercise where you write yourself a letter. While it may seem a little odd at first, let me explain why it’s actually a really good thing to do!

Our mission was to write a letter to our future self. The one that had accomplished the goals that we had wanted to do. We had to write about the progress we had made as a person, how hard we had worked, and more. So we did all this writing, then the letter gets taken away and is sent out to you six months later. Wow, when you get that letter in the mail six months later, it is great to read what you had written!

Writing a letter to future self is a great way to think through and really verbalize what it is that you want. It also uses the laws of attraction to help bring it to you. Then, once you get the letter, you get the opportunity to build your confidence as you read the wonderful things you said about yourself. We spend a lot of time beating ourselves up, so it’s nice to finally get something in the mail where we said nice things.

Here’s what you should do to write a letter to your future self:

Be sure to include the basics, like your name and today’s date. Then determine a time in the future that the letter will be sent to you. Six months would be ideal.

Think about where you want to be with your goals in six months and use that as a reference point. Congratulate yourself on achieving those goals and discuss the hard work it took to get there.

Find a way to get it to you in six months. There are several things you can do here, such as have someone else mail it to you in six months, or put it in a sealed envelope and mark your calendar to open it. There are even time capsule services online that will send you something later.

Once you get the letter six months later, read it over carefully. Consider how much you have grown as a person in that time and the goals that you achieved. This can be quite an eye-opening and confidence building experience. Give it a try. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. It takes just minutes, but six months from now you will enjoy reading what you wrote to yourself today!

 

 

How to Keep Rocking Your New Year’s Resolution

So you are a few weeks into your New Year’s Resolution. If you are like millions of other people, especially baby boomers, your resolutions include some important goals about fitness, weight loss, and healthy living. Nothing wrong with that, but how are you doing with them? Don’t tell me that you have given up already, like so many people do!

You know why so many people give up on those goals so quickly? Because they approach them in all the wrong ways. Rather than approaching fitness in a way that will create long term success, many people, right after the start of the New Year, will throw themselves into a routine. They work out hard, likely on a daily basis, and before you know it, they are burned out, tired, and maybe even a little bored. But one thing is for certain, many will have dropped out of the gym and moved beyond their fitness goals.

No matter where you are with your resolutions, whether you are still going along steadily or you have already forgotten about them, it’s not too late to take some steps to strengthen that resolve. Here are some things you can do to keep rocking those New Year’s resolutions you made:

Re-evaluate your goals. If you started out with them being too harsh, back it off and take it nice and slow. This will get you into a habit and create long term successful habits.

Write your goals down. That way you have to really think about them. Also, write down what you will do to make them happen.

Seek out a support system. Whether it is family members, friends, or an online fitness buddy, find someone you can discuss your goals with and can hold each other accountable.

Take the time to reward yourself for whatever little goals you may have achieved. If your goal is to lose 20 pounds, reward yourself each time you lose five of it. Choose non-food rewards, such as fitness equipment, new shoes, or songs for your iPod.

Start small, but get started. Rather than thinking about what you want to do, just get started, even if it is small changes that you incorporate.

Be sure to include resistance training along with your cardio workouts. If you just focus on cardio workouts, you are not going to get the total results that you are actually seeking.

Remember that it takes around 30 days in order to create a new habit. Give yourself 30 days of following a fitness routine and healthy eating pattern. Once you do that, your resolutions should be on autopilot. You will be feeling good and working out will be a regular part of your routine!

January Fitness Fail – The Truth About the Gung Ho Approach to Fitness

By far January has to be the busiest time of year at the health clubs across the nation. Everyone wants to start out the New Year with resolutions to get fit, lose weight, and live a healthy lifestyle. That’s great, it really is! But what happens is that people usually take what I like to call a “gung ho” approach to fitness, and that isn’t exactly the best route to take!

The gung ho approach is when you have someone who has not had exercise be a part of their life and then overnight they dedicate an hour each day to it. Sounds like it might be a great thing, but in actuality, it tends to backfire. As a personal trainer I’m the gym a lot and see this happen. People start out all gung ho, working out like crazy.

Heck, you can’t even get a treadmill at the gym half the time in January because it’s so busy! Usually there’s not a free weight in site during this month either. Everyone is working out frantically, pushing their limits and hitting the gym. Fast forward to about the third week of January, and it seems like everything in the gym is available! What happened to everyone?

What happens, year after year, is that most people start out with the best of intentions and then tend to falter as time goes on. They give up, they decide it was too hard, too time consuming, or too something else. There are as many reasons for why they quit within the first few weeks as there are people who sign up to begin the gym membership each January.

The gung ho approach is all about being overly excited in getting started in fitness. While I want you to be excited about working toward fitness, I don’t want you to go gung ho on your approach. It fails, and with it, so will your goals for fitness. Instead, you need to have a plan that will be long lasting. Change little things at a time, such as the way you eat, and start working out by easing your way into it. Not everyone is at the same fitness level, or has the same goals, so not everyone can start out doing the same thing.

The best way to assess this, and get off to the right start, is to work with a personal trainer. A personal trainer will evaluate your current level of fitness, determine reasonable goals, and develop a plan to help you get there.

When you take a more reasonable approach to fitness, you are more likely to still be in the gym come February. And once you reach those goals, you need to find new ways to challenge yourself in order to remain interested and motivated. That’s another area that a personal trainer can work with you. So forget going gung ho and throwing yourself into the gym full force. Instead, have a plan that will be effective and you will be successful at!

 

 

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.

 

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!