Going After the Enemy – Osteoporosis

My goal as a personal trainer is to help you, and all the baby boomers that I work with regularly, to get healthier. In order to do that, we have to go after a lot of the “enemies,” such as osteoporosis. The more you know about this common bone disease, the more you can do to help prevent becoming a victim to it!

 

Osteoporosis is the term given to the condition where one’s bones density and tissue have thinned over time. It can happen when the body does not form new bone, or if too much bone has been reabsorbed by the body. The loss is something that typically happens over years. For women, the leading cause of osteoporosis is a reduction in estrogen during menopause, while for men it’s a reduction in testosterone.

The scary truth about osteoporosis is that 44 million people have low bone mass, while 10 million people have the disease itself. Of this, 80 percent of the people are women. There are around 12 million baby boomers who have osteoporosis. While we lose bone mass over time, by the time we reach 60 we have become susceptible to fractures.

Some of the common factors for osteoporosis include being white, being female, being small, being a senior citizen, not being physically active, and not eating a diet high in calcium. The good news when dealing with this issue is that even if you are baby boomer there are things you can do to take on this enemy and win. Here are some of the things you can do to address osteoporosis:

Put the cigarette out for good. Quitting smoking is a priority in combating osteoporosis.

Reduce the amount of alcohol you consume to no more than two glasses per day. Excessive drinking of alcohol increases your osteoporosis risks.

Cut back on caffeine, as it can lead to bone depletion. It is not just the coffee that you need to watch, but also things like soda, tea, and even fluoric acid.

Watch the amount of protein that you eat. Consuming too much protein can help put you at risk for osteoporosis. When it comes to eating meat, for example, watch portion sizes, keeping to the size of a deck of cards as a serving.

Get more sunlight. Your body needs sunlight in order to produce Vitamin D, which helps produce strong bones. If you don’t live in a sunny climate, take a supplement.

Another important way to take on osteoporosis and win is by engaging in exercise, especially strength training. It’s an effective and healthy way to build bone mass and keep yourself healthy. In my next post I will share with you a winning exercise plan for battling osteoporosis!

DO YOU WANT TO TURN SLOW DOWN OSTEOPOROSIS

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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 ……

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

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AT THE AGE OF 45-65

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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!

Healthy Drinks That Aren’t So Healthy After All

In our quest to get fit and be healthy, we have plenty of products to choose from today. Walk into any store, or even gas station, and the coolers are stocked with healthy drink options. But are they really so healthy? Not quite! Some products that are either being marketed as healthy, or gaining a reputation as it, are not so healthy at all, and may even be doing more damage than you realize!

Many so-called health drinks end up containing too much sugar, artificial sweeteners, and even artificial colors. These are all things that you don’t want, or need, and they may end up doing damage to your body if you reach for them long term. In fact, some may help increase the aging process. Energy drinks, for example, one can of the popular Rockstar energy drink will pump about 23 grams of sugar into you! That’s not something you want when you are trying to get healthy.

Some of the drinks you have to watch out for, that seem healthy enough, but actually are not, include:

Energy drinks

Vitamin water

Diet soft drinks

Any type of “diet” drink

Fruit juice (many appear as juice, but are only 10 percent juice and have high fructose corn syrup)

Some smoothies (depends on what they put in them)

Tea

Sports drinks

At first glance these drinks seem like they would be healthy enough. What’s wrong with tea, after all? Tea is very healthy for you and loaded with antioxidants. But when you buy it pre-made in a bottle or can, or you get it in some restaurants, it may be loaded up with sugar. Same with fruit juice and the other drinks, although they may contain some antioxidants or vitamins, such as the vitamin waters, they usually tend to have more sugar than you should sit around consuming.

So what should you drink? Your first best option is water! Water is the best way to hydrate your body, it is naturally calorie-free and doesn’t contain sugar. If you need a little something in it, try a lemon, lime, or other fruit slice. You could also occasionally have a mixed drink of seltzer with just a small splash of 100 percent fruit juice. Also, making home brewed tea, especially green tea, is a healthy drink, provided you don’t put a bunch of sugar in it. It has a lot of antioxidants that help to keep your body healthy!

 

Eat Your Vegetables In the Form of Pizza?

There’s no doubt that every baby boomer out there knows that eating their vegetables is a good thing. Not only are they loaded with much-needed nutrients, but they have been proven to help you live a longer, healthier life along the way. Did you know that you can now eat your vegetables in the form of pizza, according to our government! It’s true! But before you run to the local pizza hot spot and grab a few slices to get your daily servings of veggies in, let’s take a closer look at this.

In President Obama’s quest to make school lunches healthier, a good thing, he has hit some snags. Guess who didn’t like it? You got it, those who make money off the foods that are slopped onto those school trays! The companies selling the schools frozen pizzas, for example, would stand to lose money if school lunches were made healthier. After all, those pizzas they serve in the schools are loaded with fat, calories, cholesterol, and salt.

So in an effort to keep the pizza on the menu, and companies happy, our government has declared that pizza is now a vegetable. Yup, even you raised an eyebrow reading that, but you did read it correctly. Congress has declared that pizza is a vegetable and that serving it up in school lunch lines is perfectly fine. In all actually, they are labeling the sauce as a vegetable, which allows the school to keep serving it (you know the tiny little bit of sauce hidden under all that cholesterol and fat-laden cheese).

While our focus should be on helping our next generation of citizens get healthier by really increasing the vegetables they consume, lowering their salt intake, and keeping them active, we are now making it seem as though even our government doesn’t know what healthy food is. Make no mistake, pizza, even with the little bit of tomato sauce that it contains, is not a vegetable! It doesn’t count as a vegetable serving and shouldn’t be treated as such. Pizza is not health food. Sure, it tastes good and eaten in moderation can be okay, but we should never confuse it with being healthy, or um, a vegetable.

Sorry Congress, but this is just one more thing you all have gotten wrong. And this decision will not help the country’s children reduce the obesity rates they are experiencing. Pizza as a veggie, really? What next, chocolate gets declared a protein source?

 

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!

 

Together, We Can Help Fight Lymphoma

I have some good news and some bad news. First, the bad news – one of my clients has told me that she has been diagnosed with lymphoma. The good news is that it has made me want to find ways to support those with the condition and help spread the news, so that others will also help provide support.

Lymphoma, if you are not familiar with it, is a name used for a group of blood cancers. These blood cancers develop in the lymphatic system, and there are two classifications of the condition: Hodgkins lymphoma and non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The Hodgkins type of lymphoma is considered to be one of the most curable forms of cancer. Even so, the numbers regarding this disease are eye-opening, especially considering that most people are not familiar with it.

According to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, someone is diagnosed with lymphoma every four minutes. In 2011 alone, it was estimated that over 140,000 people would be diagnosed with the condition. The majority of the people who have it are diagnosed with the more deadly non-Hodgkins type of blood cancer. It’s estimated that, every 10 minutes, someone dies in the U.S. from blood cancer.

So what exactly causes this disease? Well, like most cancers, no one thing can be pinpointed as the culprit. A variety of things can cause it, including genetic factors, medical conditions, and even environmental carcinogens. Treatment for those who have lymphoma includes prescription drugs and chemotherapy.

To show support to my client who has been diagnosed with lymphoma, I am considering shaving my head. I will also be wearing this Nike Fight Like Hell shirt, because I believe we should all try to do something to show our support. I am challenging each of my readers to do something in order to help. Not only will you be helping a fellow baby boomer, but you will also be helping all those people who are diagnosed with the disease each year.

Whether you choose to make a donation to the  Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, put in some volunteer time, or remain uplifting around those who need it, it all counts. I urge you to live your life each day to the fullest. Make it count because, like my client, you just never know when something like this is going to blindside you. Also, try to do something to help make it count for those who are in need!

 

Need some motivation? Check out Nike+ FuelBand!

As a certified personal trainer who works with a range of baby boomers seeking to improve their fitness level, I am always on the lookout for those tools and tips that will help give them an added edge. With the Nike+ FuelBand, I think I may have found a great option!

The Nike+ FuelBand is a concept that many people, baby boomers as well as others, who want to reach fitness goals have needed for a long time. It is a new fitness tracking device created by a leader in the fitness industry, Nike. While there may be other fitness tracking devices on the market, the Nike+ FuelBand is well worth considering.

The Nike+ FuelBand looks like a bracelet or watch, but what it does is actually help you get fit, because it tracks your physical activity each day. But that’s not all. Here are the main things that the band does to ultimately help you get fit:

The band tracks your activity throughout the day. It’s going to let you know how many steps you have taken, how many calories you have burned, and what amount of time you were active. For many people, this is crucial feedback in their quest to get fit.

The Nike+ FuelBand allows you to challenge yourself. Let’s say you walk 5,000 steps in one day, but you want to get up to 7,000. The band is a great tool for challenging yourself to do better than you did the day before, to meet new goals.

All of the information collected by the band can be synced wirelessly. They offer a mobile app to do this. The entire process is simple, making it that much more probable that people will actually stick with evaluating the gathered information.

The Nike+ FuelBand has been designed exactly for those who want to become more physically active, making it ideal for the baby boomer. You don’t need to be a top-notch athlete to use or benefit from this fitness-tracking device.

Overall, the Nike+ FuelBand is a quality product with a lot of promise in terms of what it can do to keep people motivated about getting physically fit. The band costs around $150, but for those that will use it, it’s worth the investment. The band gives you the daily feedback you need in order to stay on track, challenge yourself, and meet your goals!

 

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!