Tips for Exercising in the Cold

Q. Brr! It’s that time of year again. I like to add in a couple of days per week where I take power walks outdoors. It is nice to be outside in nature, and we don’t live where we get snow, which makes it easier. However, I wonder if there is anything I need to do differently when exercising in the cold. I appreciate your input on this issue.

A. Welcome to winter! Getting outdoors for some of your workouts is a great way to break things up, as well as to gain the many benefits that come from being out in nature. You mentioned that you don’t live where there is snow, so that makes it even easier to continue getting outdoors as it gets colder.

There are many people that jog, walk, and bike ride outdoors in the winter, among other activities. There are a few things you may want to keep in mind when it comes to exercising in the cold, including:

  • Dress in layers. You may start out the door and it’s cold, but after you get moving you will probably warm up. Try to dress in a couple of layers, so that if you do warm up and need to cool off, you can peel a layer off and carry it with you.
  • Listen to your body. If you feel really cold and it is not comfortable, it may be time to take your workout indoors. Pay attention to how your body feels.
  • Warm up. Just like when you work out indoors, it is important to warm up before you get started. Your muscles need to get warmed up in order to perform optimally and help protect yourself from injury. You may even want to warm up while you are still in the house. That way the colder weather is not a shock to you and possibly make it more challenging to get warmed up.
  • Know when to rest. During the winter months people often have more colds and don’t feel as well. If you have a day where you don’t feel well, take the day rest and move your work out to another day.

 It may be getting colder outside, but if you enjoy getting outdoors for some of your workouts, then don’t let the cold stop you. As long as you don’t have freezing temperatures, you should be able to layer up, put some gloves and a hat on, and head outside.

CLICK HERE FOR TIP ON EXERCISING

Tips for Winter Workouts

Q. I have a question for you, Brian. I just started working out over this past summer, and now winter is nearly upon us. I worry about not being able to get out to the gym as often as I’d like as the weather gets bad. What should I do?

 

 

A. Thank you for your question! I know it’s one that a lot of senior citizens have, because I specialize in working with baby boomers. I have many clients that bring this issue up to me. Depending on where you live, it may even become a major issue if where you live gets snowy conditions.

So let’s assume that winter may pose a few challenges here and there for senior citizens who need to get out to exercise. Now that we have identified it as a problem, we can consider some ways to address it, so that we can successfully get through the season. The goal is to continue getting exercise and maintain your fitness routine, even if your driveway is snowed in, or ice covers your windshield.

Here are a few things that you can do to address this challenge:

  • Be flexible. If you usually work out every Monday morning, you may need to once in while during the winter change your workout day to Tuesday morning. Since you don’t know what day may be too cold or snow to head outside, you should just agree to be more flexible over the winter, but still make sure you get your work out in.
  • Find alternatives. Let’s say that your area just got hit with a snow storm and you don’t think it’s safe to get out to exercise. This is the perfect time to turn to an alternative exercise option. Luckily there are plenty of good options to choose from, including everything from home aerobic videos to stationary exercise bikes.
  • Remain positive. The last thing you need to do is let the winter challenges bring you down. This may be all it takes to get you off track for months. Instead, remain positive and focused.
  • Go outdoors. If the weather is not too bad and it seems safe, head outdoors for a little exercise. Even on some brisk days, depending on where you are located, you can take a walk or bike ride outside in the winter.

Winter is going to keep on coming each year. But we can’t let it become an excuse for why we don’t continue our fitness and exercise program. It may pose challenges, but senior citizen or not, we need to keep going forward. And that forward, on a cold winter day, may be exercising right in the living room of your home!

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR WINTER WORKOUT TIPS

Got flabby arms? No problem, here’s how to get rid of them!

Many people struggle with flabby arms, otherwise known as bat wings, back wings, and even grandma arms. The names are not flattering, but most people that have them don’t exactly find them flattering either. The good news is that there are ways that you can get rid of flabby arms, whether you are baby boomer or not!

Flabby arms are not just something that those overweight may deal with, although that it one reason that people have them. Those who have lost a lot of weight may also have flabby arms, as do some thinner people who have just never taken any measure to tone their arms. If you do nothing with your arms, there is a good chance that they will be flabby, or at least not very tone. But you can change all that.

Here are a few ways you can fight back against flabby arms:

  • Arm rotations. This is an exercise you can do without any weights. When you are standing around somewhere, simply put your arms at your sides and do rotation exercises. Rotate your arms, clockwise and counter-clockwise, repeating a dozen or so times. This is something you can easily do when you are standing around killing time.
  • Push-ups. Doing push-ups is a great way to strengthen your upper arm muscles, among other areas of your body. Each day, do a couple of reps of push-ups to help get rid of flabby arms.
  • Free weights. Using free weights is a good way to help tone arms and reduce flab. You can use some small dumbbells to do some dumbbell presses. Try holding them, as you sit in a chair, and hold them behind your head, slowly lifting to straighten out your arms. Do this a dozen times at each sitting.
  • Lose weight. If you have the flabby arms as a result of needing to lose weight, try to shed some pounds and then also follow the above steps. You can lose weight by eating healthy and exercising regularly.

As a personal trainer, I often work with people who start out having flabby arms. But with some attention to them and getting active, they are usually quite happy with the results they get. Flabby arms may be embarrassing to you, but they don’t have to be. Start making a point to do something at least 3-4 days per week to address your flabby arms, and in time you will see results.

Be sure to use a tape measure and measure around your arms when you get started doing these exercise. Then be sure to take another measurement each month, so you can monitor your progress. With some dedicated arm attention, you will say goodbye to flabby arms!

 IF YOUR SICK OF FLABBY ARMS CLICK HERE

The Most Important Exercise You Must Do – Examine Your Identity

There is famous quote by Buddha that says, “The mind is everything. What we think, we become.” As it relates to fitness, how you see yourself, whether weak, fat, tired, or physically fit, is what reality becomes. Therefore, you need to make sure that your self perception is really the one you want to come true!

 

The importance of examining our own identity is something that I learned about from my mentor, Steve Linder. What we say with emotion becomes our reality. This is why it is so important to stop looking at yourself and cutting your body down.

That how we define ourselves determines the choices we take makes it even that much more important that we have a good self identity. If we think of ourselves as weak, we will avoid lifting weights. If we see ourselves as tired, we won’t push ourselves to get more out of a workout. One of the problems here is that we end up limiting ourselves, which keeps us from actually achieving the results that we want.

Let me give you a couple examples of clients I have worked with and how their thoughts on their identity impacted their ability to reach goals. I have a female client that came to me after having back surgery and couldn’t find a way to get fit. She would get hurt or simply wouldn’t know what to do. Soon she became overwhelmed and gave up, which led to a significant weight gain, as well as a loss of confidence in what she would be able to do.

Together we took the time to create a custom plan for her that included setting smart goals. These goals included daily, weekly, and monthly milestones. It also included exercise, nutrition, and supplements. She progressed over the course of a year, and she lost 50 pounds! Over the next year, she began running half marathons and even triathlons. She is now living her true self – the one she wanted to be, which is an athlete.

Another client of mine, a young business women, would get close to her goals, and then when she had to travel, would end up gaining it all back and getting off track. Despite her beset efforts, she defined her identity as being someone that can’t loss weight while traveling, and therefore took a zero action approach.

By realizing who you are currently isn’t who you really are, is a success. Because like the marathon boomer, she ended up becoming her true self. So if a 50-plus back surgery client can change how she defines herself and take daily action and become her best self, why not you?

By achieving your true self, you begin to live the life you were meant. You become a better grandparent, a better traveler, or what ever you see you are. Don’t you deserve to be your best? Now you have to put the work in and commit to the action like the marathon boomer, because there is no quick fix.

So here is your assignment – If you could be your very best you in sustained health and vitality, who would you be? What would you do? Then how would your life be better?
Now that you have defined yourself, take that action and re-enforce yourself with positive feelings.
You can make it in those lines.

CLICK HERE TO START REDEFINING WHO YOU ARE……

Going After the Enemy – The Silent Killer, Part II

In my last post I shared information with you about the silent killer, otherwise known as hypertension. If you are familiar with the term high blood pressure, then you know exactly what hypertension is. It’s known as a silent killer, and one that we can take on and win!

As a personal trainer, I am going to share with you what I tell clients. There are few things that a good exercise routine can not make better. Hypertension, believe it or not, is one of those things. Keeping a regular exercise routine can help you improve your blood pressure numbers, which will help you be healthier and help avoid being another hypertension statistic.

So here’s a few pointers to keep in mind when it comes to exercising and blood pressure:

First off, it’s important to remember that you cannot exercise if you forget to take your medication. It’s essential that you remember your medication, if you are taking a prescribed one for high blood pressure.

Checking your blood pressure to get your reading is essential. Ideally you should be doing it before, during and after exercise.

If you are exercising and see that your systolic number goes above 250 or the diastolic goes above 110, stop exercising immediately.

Keep in mind that if you take blood pressure medication it is going to have an impact on your heart rate, due to the beta blockers. They slow your heart rate, which means you may not be able to reach your target heart rate, despite your best efforts.

You should also avoid exercises like isometric decline positions and putting your arms higher than your head.

As for the amount of exercise you should be doing, stick to doing cardio exercise 3-7 days per week and aim to burn around 2,000 calories. Try to stick to an intensity level of 40-70 percent VO2 maximum. When you are biking, walking, or hiking, you have a variety of cardio options to choose from. Also, be sure to include circuit training, as well as flexibility training three days per week. Try engaging in Tai Chi, which will be quite helpful.

Knowing is half the battle, right? And now you know! I know you are a baby boomer, but it’s never too late to take action, especially when it comes to making yourself healthier. I work with clients on a regular basis who are senior citizens and are ready to get their health under control. It’s never too late! You can win the war on this silent killer. It’s a matter of making lifestyle changes and sticking with them!

 ARE YOU READY TO TAKE YOUR FITNESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL?  CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE.

Going After the Enemy – Taking on Diabetes!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

READ PART 2 HERE

WANT THE HEALTH AND VITALITY

AT THE AGE OF 45-65

LEARN HOW..

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!

 

Evening Eating Holding You Back? Regain Control!

As a personal trainer who specializes in working with baby boomers, I can tell you that there is a common story that I hear among my clients. Many of them report to me that they do perfectly with their fitness routine and following a healthy diet all day long, and then it all falls apart in the evening. Sometimes they are reaching for quick bites of food to hold them over until dinner is done, while others come home stressed out and ready to reach for whatever they can get their hands on. Whether you are an emotional eater or running short on time, there are ways you can re-gain control over your evenings!

Even if someone does limit their emotional eating or “bad” eating to the evening, it may not seem like a lot of time, but it can still wreak havoc on ones health and wellness goals. Grabbing the wrong snacks, for example, can end up serving up more calories than you expected and help you to pack on the pounds.

Here are the top five reasons that I find people tend to ruin it in the evenings, and what you can do about it:

Stress. Many people are emotional eaters when they feel stressed out. Rather than take the day’s stress and reach for food as a soother, find something else to do to relieve that stress. Try addressing the stress issue with journaling, taking a weekly Tai Chi class, or just taking a 15 minute mental break to sip some green tea and clear your mind.

Tiredness. When you are tired you are more likely to reach for snacks that you feel will give you some pep. But those foods are often loaded with calories. Instead, be sure to get plenty of sleep at night, take a short 20 minute power nap during the day (if possible), and eat a healthy diet. If you are eating a healthy diet, you are likely to feel more energized all day long.

Hungry. If you find yourself ravished in the evening, you are more likely to reach for just about anything you can get your hands on. Eating healthy balanced meals and snacks throughout the day can help keep you from becoming overly hungry.

Being unprepared. When you don’t know what you will be doing for dinner, or lack the ingredients on hand to prepare anything healthy, you will probably forgo the diet and eat anything. You can avoid this by always having your dinner planned out and making sure you have all the ingredients on hand to make the meal.

Lacking time. Feeling rushed and that you don’t have the time to prepare a healthy meal can make people just start grabbing for anything. If you feel you will lack time in the evening, prepare your dinner earlier in the day, or make it on the weekend and put it in the refrigerator or freezer for during the week.

It is also important to make sure you reach for healthy snacks during the day, which will help you avoid a lot of the issues mentioned above. Stick with eating things like carrots and hummus, natural peanut butter and apple, low fat yogurt, almonds, or a healthy nutrition bar. Just be sure to watch your snack portion sizes, keeping it to no more than around 100 calories. By following these tips you can turn your ruined evenings into fabulously fit ones!

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!