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

1381512_10201671228855595_437638211_n

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Tips for Increasing Upper Body Strength to Do More Push-ups

As a personal trainer in the Vancouver, Washington area, I get a lot of questions. Sometimes they come in person, while other times they come to my Facebook page. One of the questions I frequently get is how someone can increase their upper body strength so that they can do more push-ups. So let’s take a look at that now!

Doing push-ups is essentially a great way to test your upper body strength. Many people, like Patty S., who recently asked the question on Facebook, found that as she was getting older she wasn’t able to do as many push-ups. Today she can only do 2-5 push-ups. In order to increase that, the upper body strength will also need to increase.

Whether you have limited upper body strength as a result of recovering from an accident, like one of my baby boomer clients, or another reason, you can work on this. One client of mine went from being able to do 5-10 on a good day to being able to do 50 within 12 weeks of training. Another one of my clients, who was in the military, needed to improve so she could pass her physical tests. With a five-week period of training she went from doing 5 push-ups to doing 25, which helped her get her passing score and rank.

It is never too late to increase your upper body strength so you can get better at doing more push-ups. Here are a few tips to help you do just that:

  • Always focus on form. Your form has to be right so you are building strength and avoiding injury. Good form includes hands being under shoulders, neck being tucked, and hips being in line with your head. Your back should never be arched or sagging, and your head should never be looking upward.
  • Start out by doing countertop push-ups. You can do this with any countertop. In a standing position, place your arms on the countertop, consider your form, and do as many push-ups as you can do in this position.
  • Once you can do 20 countertop push-ups it is time to move up to knee push-ups on the ground. On your knees, maintain your form, and do as many as you can.
  • When you are able to do 20 knee push-ups it is time to do full push-ups. Start out doing as many as you can, and when you can’t continue switch to knee push-ups to get your full reps in.
  • While building up your strength you will want to do these three times per week, working yourself up to 100 push-ups during each workout.
  • It is also important to do reverse push-ups in order to maintain a balance in your shoulders. As part of your work out add in pulling exercises, or reverse push-ups, where you are pulling your body weight and using the proper form and alignment.

Whether you are a baby boomer or not, it is never too late to increase your upper body strength and get better at doing push-ups. Stick with a program and over time you will be surprised at how many push-ups you will be able to do. I help many clients in the Vancouver area to get fit and believe you can do it, too!

To get your program to improve your push-ups and overall fitness CLICK HERE 

Baby Boomer Body Composition – Why it’s Important

If you look in the mirror to try to determine how healthy you are there is a good chance you may be missing the mark. That doesn’t tell the whole story. Nor does getting on a scale to see how much you weigh. While these things may give you some clues about your health and fitness level, there is a lot more to it. When you know more, the body composition, then you will have a much better idea of how fit you really are.

As a personal trainer for baby boomers in the Vancouver, Washington area, I am happy to help work with my clients on their body composition. Your body composition is what your body is made up of. It’s the fat to muscle and bone ratio. By looking at you there is no clue how much of your body is made up of fat versus bone or muscle. But by doing tests, using calipers, we can determine the ratio for each. This gives us a better idea of what your fitness level is and if you need to work on reducing fat percentage so that it is in a healthy range.

You actually function better when you have a healthy body composition. You may also be able to avoid or delay the onset of some diseases by having a healthy body composition. Here are some ways you can work toward helping to improve yours:

  • Lifestyle choices. The lifestyle you live is going to be a huge contributor to your body composition. If you sit on the couch all day watching television there is a good chance you will have a high percentage of body fat, for example. It is important to incorporate exercising regularly into your lifestyle. In doing so, opt for both aerobic activity, as well as strength training exercises.
  • Healthy eating. What you eat matters. It matters a lot! Fill your body up with foods that are filled with unhealthy fats, trans fats, sugars, and other such things and you will not have a good body composition. Your body needs healthy sources of nutrition, which includes lots of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains.
  • Having goals. When you have goals in mind you are more likely to actually make things happens. If you set out to do something and don’t know where you want to ultimately end up, there is a good chance you may never get there. Know where you are going so you can judge your success milestones along the way and you will know when you have arrived. You will also increase the chances of obtaining those goals when you share them with others. It helps to hold you accountable.

In the Vancouver, Washington area I work with many clients in personal training. Body composition is one area that we work on. If you haven’t been tested, then followed a plan, and then re-tested to see the improvement in your results you are missing out. It’s a great feeling and is motivating to see that your hard work is really paying off!

Dig Into Strength: How Baby Boomers Can Improve Strength

Do you have difficulty walking up the steps? What about making dinner? If you find these things a lot more difficult than you used to it is time to take action. Believe it or not, you can get your strength back, even as a baby boomer. You do not have to take a loss of strength sitting down. Now is the time to stand up and fight… now is the time to dig in!

As a personal trainer in Vancouver, Washington who helps numerous baby boomers I address the strength issue on a regular basis. Yes, it’s true that if you do not work at it you will lose strength as you age. In fact, you will lose about 30 percent of your strength in the years that follow turning 50 years old. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can get that strength back, but it takes you being proactive in making it happen.

Many people think that you only hit the gym and lift weights if you want to be a body builder. Not so! The strength training that you will do in the gym will help you be able to climb those stairs better, or make it easier to tackle making dinner. You can use free weights, elastic bands, or exercise machines. The key is to have some resistance, because that resistance is going to help you build and maintain your muscle mass.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to increasing your strength:

  • Make sure you start with mobility. Without first focusing on improving your mobility you will find it difficult to take on the next step of strength training. Once you have addressed the mobility issue you are ready to move on.

 

  • Get a program to help you increase your strength level. The key here is that you have to make sure it is focusing on your weak areas. If you cannot identify them work with a personal trainer so you get the results you are after.
  •  

    Use a progressive overload approach, which will keep your body from bulking up or getting bigger. Instead, you will set goals of getting stronger and focus on meeting them.

 

  • Take action. This is the most important part. You can talk all day long about what needs to be done and why, but it will be worthless if it is not put into action. If you want to see results you must get a program and put it into action.

Getting older does not have to mean getting weaker. You can stop the loss of muscle and gain some strength back again. But you have to be proactive in making it happen. Whether you work with me, through my Vancouver, Washington personal training for baby boomers, or you do it with someone else, your strength training goals can be achieved. They also make a big difference in your quality of life, making them a goal worth fighting for!

Dig Into Mobility: How Baby Boomers Can Improve Mobility

Mobility is not something one thinks about all that often. At least, that is, until it begins to decrease over the years. Once you can no longer do the things you used to do as easily, you may begin to think about mobility issues. The good news is that there are things you can do to improve your mobility, regardless of your age. As a personal trainer that specializes in working with baby boomers and senior citizens, I have witnessed the way being proactive can help people improve mobility.

There are numerous things that can impact your mobility, including arthritis, slowing reflexes, a decrease in the ability to stretch or bend, loss of bone tissue, and more. The loss of mobility is especially problematic for baby boomers because it can not only hinder your ability to do the things you love, but it can also lead to you losing some independence. If you are a baby boomer who wants to stay independent and continue doing things for yourself it’s time to get serious about improving your mobility.

Here are a few of the principles that you should follow when it comes to mobility. These are principals that I share with many of my personal training clients:

  • Make it daily. Working on improving your mobility is not something you can do once in a while and then expect to see results. Rather, you have to make a commitment to improving it and then being proactive to get there. You have to work on mobility exercises on a daily basis. This includes getting daily exercise, stretching, and living a healthy lifestyle.
  • Try different methods. Stretching is a good way to help improve mobility. But you also need to know the right kind of stretches you should be doing (which is why you should be working with a personal trainer). However, if you feel stretching is not doing enough for you, try something else. Other methods to try are to include using a foam roller, getting massages, art, structural integration, tennis ball rolling, and partner stretching. There are many different methods to try, so there is a good chance you will find one that is going to help you improve your mobility.
  • Test and test again. It is important to know if your efforts are working. To do this, take a pre-test before you get started with the mobility exercise plan. Then, test as you go in order to see if you are gaining motion. If you are, great, then it is working as planned. If you are not, then you may need to try another method in order to get better results.
  • Take action. The best way to take action is to meet with a personal trainer, such as myself on a weekly basis. When you do that you will get a plan that will work for you, the results will be tested, and you will see and feel the difference it makes. A personal trainer will help identify weak areas and exercises to strengthen them.

If you are feeling down about a loss of mobility it is important to understand that it doesn’t have to stay like that. You can take measures to help make improvements. But if you ignore it, the problem will get worse and it will keep you from being as happy. Take the steps now to make improvements. Before you know it you will have improved your mobility and will be feeling great. If you are in the Vancouver, Washington area I will look forward to hearing from you. If you are not, seek out a personal trainer that specializes in working with baby boomers or senior citizens, so that you get the best possible results.

How many calories should I be taking in for my body?

As a personal trainer, I’ve lost count of how many times this question has been put to me: how many calories should I be taking in for my body?

Now this is a really valid question if you are keen to lose or maintain weight, because what you eat, in conjunction to what exercise you do determines how many calories you need to consume each day.

In determining exactly how many calories you need to consume each day, you need to determine how many calories each day your body will actually use.  Think of it as income to expenditure.  Your food or calories are income and the spending of calories through exercise is the expenditure.  The first step in calculating the calories you must consume each day, is to determine your Basil Metabolic Rate or BMR.

Now, rather than go into great detail and outline the formulas for calculating your BMR, it’s easier for you to just enter your weight and height details into the BMR calculator .  I’m going to ask you to go and get your BMR now, so please google BMR calculator in another screen and get your BMR number.

Okay, you’ve got your BMR now?  That’s great!  Determining how many calories per day your body needs to consume is easy.

The amount of calories you must consume per day – referred to as Total Daily Energy Expenditure or TDEE – is determined by the amount of exercise you engage in each day.  TDEE tells us how many calories we need to maintain our weight.

Total Daily Energy Expenditure for somebody who does very little is calculated by your BMR x 1.2.  If you do very light activity 1-3 days per week, your Total Daily Energy Expenditure is your BMR x 1.375.  If you engage in moderate activity, exercise or sport 3-5 days per week, your TDEE is BMR x 1.55.  If you do high physical activity, sport or exercise 6-7 days per week, your TDEE is BMR x 1.725 and if you are involved in very heavy activity – a physical job, or you do a lot of sport or exercise twice a day, everyday, your total calorie intake per day is calculated by BMR x 1.9.

Now that you know how to calculate your daily calorie needs for maintaining weight, how do you calculate daily calories needed to lose weight?

You need to subtract from your Total Daily Energy Expenditure figure to lose weight.  To determine how much to subtract, you need to know how calories relate to weight.  And that’s why I need to mention the following:

1 lb (0.45kg) equates to 3500 calories

1.5 lb (0.68kg) equates to 5250 calories

2 lbs (0.91kg) equates to 7000 calories

Say for example, your BMR is 1800 calories and you do moderate exercise.  Your TDEE is:

1800 x 1.55

So your TDEE is 2700 calories per day to maintain your current weight.  Multiply 2700 x 7 and your weekly calorie intake to maintain your weight is 18,900 calories.

So, if you want to lose 2lbs per week, here’s how you calculate the calories you need to consume per day:

18,900 – 7000 = 11,900/week

11,900/7 days = 1700 calories/day

You need to consume 1700 calories per day to lose 2lbs per week.

It’s important to never exceed weight loss of 2lbs per week, because to lose more than this will burn muscle, overtraining, or burnout which is unhealthy.  You need muscle to help you burn fat, so keep your weight loss to a healthy level.

So now you know how to determine the calories you need every day.

 

Going After the Enemy – Obesity

There’s an old English proverb that says, “Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork.” Yet that’s exactly what many people across America are doing. Obesity has become a major issue, with over a third of all adults in the country falling into the category, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What’s more, further studies by Cornell University indicate that those who are obese typically do not see themselves as such. They tend to think that about 30 pounds heavier than they are is obese.

Clearly we have a big problem on our hands, and baby boomers are not immune. When it comes to senior citizens, 45 percent are overweight, while around a third of them are obese. The problem is that it raises the risks for hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease, etc. Just when you thought you could retire and enjoy the rest of your years, you find out that obesity has put a damper on things!

When people are obese, they have a more difficult time traveling, being active, and doing all those fun things that make up their bucket list. So just how do you go about determining if you are obese? It’s a mathematical equation, really, where you determine your body fat, BMI, waist circumference, etc. When women have more than 30 percent body fat, and men over 25 percent, they are considered to be obese. You can also use a BMI calculator, which can be found online, to determine what your BMI is and if it falls into the obesity or overweight category. Also, women with a waist that is more than 35 inches are considered to be obese.

When you think about what has happened over the last several generations, it is easy to see where the obesity issue came from. We used to be a society made up of active people, who walked, biked, worked in the garden, cleaned our houses, and even washed our clothes by hand and hung them to dry. Today we have conveniences for everything you can think of. We have largely become a sedentary people, which is leading us to pack on the pounds.

So, what is it that is preventing you from losing weight? The top reasons that I find, from the baby boomers I work with, include inactivity, alcohol abuse, eating out too often, empty nest syndrome, baby boomer boomerang (moving back home), being a caretaker, stress, menopause (for women), and testosterone decline (for men). The good news is that you can address these issues and get to the root of the problem. Stay tuned for the next blog post, when I look at menopause causing weight gain, and what you can do about it.

The key to losing weight and battling obesity is in your hands. I have watched many people ignore this problem and end up losing in the end. Yet, I have also seen baby boomers take it on and beat it. The choice is completely up to you; it’s just a matter of determining which path you will take!

Retiring From Fitness

Q. My husband is 68 years old and recently retired. He used to have a job that kept him active. Now that he has retired he is not getting much physical activity at all and I have noticed him slowly gaining some weight. What do you suggest he should be doing at this point, considering he has never been one to go work out. He has always gotten his exercise on the job.

A. First, let me say congratulations on the retirement. Now is the time to really focus on enjoying life and having fun, as you probably already know. However, it is also a time to do what you can to make the rest of your life as healthy as you can. Having said that, it is important that all senior citizens know that when you retire from your job you cannot abandon physical activity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), senior citizens, or those over 65 years of age, are advised to get exercise on a regular basis. By exercising regularly you will help keep your body stronger and healthier. This will help you to enjoy your retirement more, as well as maintain independence throughout your retirement.

So what do you need to do to get the physical activity as a senior citizen? Here’s what I recommend, which coincides with what the CDC advises:

  • Option one. Get 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic activity, as well as do muscle strengthening exercises at least two days per week. Moderate exercises include brisk walking.
  • Option two. This option is to do 75 minutes per week of intense aerobic activity, combined with at least 2 days per week of strength training exercise. Intense aerobic activity includes running or jogging.
  • Option three. With the third option you can mix up doing moderate and intense aerobic activity, as well as get 2 days per week of strength training in.

As you can see, getting regular strength training, which includes lifting weights, is recommended with every option. The strength training is important to maintaining healthy muscles and being more toned. Another important thing to note is that you can get your exercise in 10 minute time slots if you need to. Taking a 10 minute walk here and 10 minute bike ride there will add up to give you what you need throughout the week.

Show this article to your husband, make a plan, get started, and focus on living a healthier retirement!

 

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

Tips for Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

Q. Help me, Brian! Every year during the holidays I end up gaining a few pounds. I’ve done so well this year with my eating and working out. I’m so scared that I’m going to put on the pounds and all my hard work will be out the window.

 

 

A. I know exactly how you feel! But don’t despair, there is hope. Many of my baby boomer clients come to me every time the calendar hits November. It does not mean that you have to be one of the ones that gain weight. Instead, put the breaks on that idea right now while it’s on your mind.

The average person tends to gain up to five pounds throughout the holidays of Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve. And it makes sense why this happens. Everywhere you turn there are foods that you typically don’t eat throughout the year. Just thinking about all the goodies that are set out during the holidays is enough to add a few pounds to the scale!

So here are some things you can do during these holidays in order to avoid gaining those extra pounds:

  • Be picky. If you are determined to nosh when you head to parties try to do it with a healthy outlook. Choose those foods that have less calories, such as baked foods, rather than fried ones. Skip the breads that are set out, as well as piling on the gravies. All these foods can be loaded with calories that you may not be aware of.
  • Go full. When you know you will be attending a party or gathering, eat something healthy before you arrive. That’s right, I am suggesting you show up with food already in the tank. If you do this, you will have eaten healthy at home, and will only be able to do some light snacking at the party. This can save you a lot of calories over the course of the night.
  • Go small. Choose a small plate to fill up with. This way you can try a little of all the things you want to try, but you will avoid being tempted to overload the plate. If there isn’t one available, then fill half of your plate with healthy, low fat veggies, and then the other half with a mixture of items you really want.
  • Change the focus. Food doesn’t have to be the focus of the gathering or celebration. Turn your focus to socializing with others and having fun, rather than focusing on the food.

Whatever you do, don’t go to a party or holiday gathering with an empty stomach. If you do, you will probably end up regretting it, because you will fill your plate up with eye-appealing items that may contributing to packing on the pounds. The more you plan ahead when it comes to healthy eating throughout the holidays, the better off you will be with avoiding holiday weight gain!

CLICK HERE TO AVOID HOLIDAY WEIGHT GAIN……