Taking on the Enemy – The Silent Killer

When you read about the silent killer, you may not even be aware of what I’m referring to. Many people are not, which is why it is considered a silent killer. It is one that can easily creep up on people, and when it does, well, it completely ruins their life. In order to take on this silent killer, it is important to know what your blood pressure numbers are, because the name of it is hypertension.

Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure, which is how hard or forceful your blood is pumping through your body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are nearly 26,000 people who die each year from hypertension. In order to take on this enemy, it is important to first know what your blood pressure numbers are. You can get these from your doctor, or you can even take your blood pressure at one of those free self-use machines set up in stores and pharmacies.

When you get your blood pressure reading, it will be in two numbers, such as 120/80. You can have one or both of these numbers be too high, contributing to the hypertension. Here’s what the numbers mean:

120/80 or lower – this is normal

Above 120/80, but below 140/90 – this is pre-hypertension

140/90 or above – this is hypertension, or high blood pressure

The factors that contribute to your blood pressure include obesity, being African American, stress, drinking too much alcohol, consuming too much salt, diabetes, smoking, and a genetic predisposition. If you have high blood pressure there is hope. You have the ability, most of the time, to combat it through lifestyle changes.

Here’s what you need to do in order to address the hypertension and see improvement in your numbers:

Improve your diet by reducing fat, eating more fruits and veggies, eating more fiber, and opting for lean sources of protein. You will want to reduce the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet. Also, watch the amount of salt that you consume, keeping it under 1,500 mg per day. Be especially careful when eating out or consuming pre-packaged foods, as they are both typically high in sodium.

Engage in at least 30 minutes of cardio exercise per day, such as walking, dancing, or biking.

Find ways to manage stress, such as doing yoga, Tai Chi, or journaling.

Lose weight, as even a couple of pounds can make a difference in blood pressure.

Watch the amount of alcohol that you consume. Not only is it bad for hypertension, but it also contributes a lot of unnecessary calories.

Coming up next, I will go over how you can use exercise to take on this silent killer. When it comes to blood pressure, baby boomer or not, you can fight back, and win!

WANT TO LOOK AND FEEL LIKE YOUR 30’S??!! 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 Employers Are Offering Baby Boomers Health Incentive Programs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

How to Stay Cold and Flu Free So You Can Keep Training

It’s that time of the year when millions of people will come down with colds and the flu. So that means it is also the time of year for you to take extra precaution in order to help protect yourself. The viruses that cause cold and flu are all around, but there are things we can do in order to help avoid them and stay healthy. And when we stay healthy it means we can keep up with our workouts!

 

Here are some things you can do to avoid getting colds and the flue this year:

Wash your hands frequently. Germs are everywhere, and those germs contain the viruses that will make you sick. Become a frequent hand washer, making sure to wash for 20 seconds each time. Also, be sure to keep your hands away from your nose and mouth as much as possible.

Exercise regularly. This is one that I really like because it is just one more good reason for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Working out regularly builds your immunity and strengthens your immune system. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of cardio each day.

Some things can help to cut down on the amount of time symptoms will last, should you get them, such as zinc lozenges, Vitamin and Vitamin B complex.

Eat yogurt, as well as foods that contain phytochemicals, such as fruits and vegetables.

Drink plenty of fluids, particularly water, so that it flushes your system out.

Avoid smoking and cut down on alcohol consumption.

Take the time to relax and de-stress. Maybe add a yoga or Tai Chi class to your schedule, just to focus on relaxation, which will support your immune system. Other options to help manage stress include journaling, breathing exercises, and joining social groups, which provides a chance to laugh and have fun.

Some people opt for acupuncture as a method to help avoid getting sick. You could look into that and see what it does for you.

While there are some people who get several colds per year, there are others who haven’t had one in years. It’s usually not a coincidence that those people don’t ever get sick. Usually it is something they are doing that helps to boost their immune system and keep them healthy. The more you can do to help keep your body healthy, the more you can stay focused on your fitness goals!

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!

 

 

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!

 

 

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!

 

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!