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

Tips for Getting Rid of Back Fat

As a personal trainer, I work with people who have a variety of areas they want to target for toning and weight loss. One that I come across with both men and women is that of back fat, otherwise known as “back boobs” to some people. If you suffer from back boobs, or back fat, there are some things you can do to address it and like what you see back there!

It’s important to note that some women who may have fat hanging over their bra, making it look as though they have back boobs, may just need a better bra size. If you are wearing a bra that is not fitted properly, it will give you a look of having back boobs. However, even with a properly fitted bra, many women have back fat that they would like to lose. Men also experience this problem, so all the exercises are good for both men and women baby boomers.

Here are some exercises you can do to get rid of back fat:

  • Aerobic exercise. When you are doing cardio, you are burning calories, and that will assist you in reducing back fat. Engage in aerobic exercise most days of the week, for at least 30 minutes at a time.
  • Rowing. Whether you are using a rowing machine or you go kayaking, it will use muscles that will help to strengthen and tone the back.
  • Back extensions. Use an abdominal ball to do back extensions. Lay your abdomen on the ball with your feet on the floor, put your hands behind your head and slowly raise the chest up, holding it for five seconds at a time.
  • Floor exercises. You can do some floor exercises that will help address back fat, making it easy to do even when you travel. Simply lay face down on the floor and put your arms and legs into a Y position. Raise your arms, palms facing you, and hold it for 10 seconds at a time. Relax, and repeat a dozen times.

If you work out at the gym, there are additional exercises you can do with free weights and weight machines that have been designed to address the back area. Working with a certified personal trainer, you can address these areas that you need to target, and they can put together a routine that will work to help you meet our goals. Alternatively, you can check out my comprehensive video program, which has been designed to help baby boomers meet their fitness goals.

Having back fat may not be something people like, but the good news is that there is something you can do to get rid of it. Taking the time to address it will make you feel a lot happier and more confident. Do these exercises a couple of days per week, and you will be seeing the results you want!

 

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

Going After the Enemy – Osteoporosis, Part II

One of the reasons that as a personal trainer I wanted to work with baby boomers, and senior citizens, is because of what I have personally experienced. No, I’m not yet a baby boomer, but I know plenty of people who are. I have watched too many people I love, including my grandparents, slip away from me, from things that may have very well have been prevented through lifestyle changes. Sure, I hear people say all the time that we have to go sometime, but the truth is that by changing our lifestyle and living a healthier life, we can add many years on. I’m sure your grandchildren would appreciate that those extra years are well worth the effort!

In my last post I discussed osteoporosis and how we can take it on and beat it. In this one, I want to share with you the importance of exercise, including strength training, when it comes to battling osteoporosis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, being physically active on a regular basis can help you have strong bones. Weight bearing exercises can also help your body reach peak bone mass.

Those exercises that are weight bearing are those that get your bones and muscles working against gravity, such as running, walking, jogging, stair climbing, tennis, weight lifting, and dancing. It’s recommended that adults engage in 30 minutes of this type of activity on most days of the week, preferably everyday of the week.

As for working with weights, aim to do it 2 to 3 days per week, with an intensity of over 75 percent, and build a base, starting out with 2-4 sets per muscle group, doing 6-8 reps. If you can, opt for using free weights, rather than the machines. You can do some great free weight exercises, such as shoulder presses, shrugs, dead lifts, etc.

When you are trying to determine what type of cardio to do, your better options include jogging, running, and jumping rope. If you are pressed for time, opt for taking a walk. If you can, avoid doing the elliptical, cycling, and aquatics. You will get more benefit from sticking to the others. While exercise is not a cure-all for osteoporosis, it will stop further bone loss, improve balance, improve posture and strength, and lower risks for it, as well as other unsavory health conditions.

It is amazing what adding regular exercise to your life can and will do. I’ve watched plenty of senior citizens and other baby boomers step up to the plate and take on health issues by adapting a healthy lifestyle. I want you to realize you can do that as well. There is hope, and that hope is found in eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly!

Going After the Enemy – Osteoporosis Part 1

Want the fitness level of your 30’s at the age of 46 and beyond learn how…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

LEARN HOW HERE…

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.

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!

 

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!

 

First Things First: Getting Your Morning Off to the Right Start

There is no doubt that you have heard the old saying that you got up on the wrong side of the bed. You have likely either uttered those words before yourself, or they may have been said about you. The problem is that the morning can set the tone for how the rest of our entire day will go. Since it is such an important time, it is crucial that you get it off to a good start!

Starting your food with the right foot forward is easier than you may think. But it probably requires breaking a few habits so that you can create so new, better ones. If you are a baby boomer who skips breakfast or just sits around drinking a pot of coffee to get going, I have news for you. It’s time to change, for the better!

Here are some things you can do to get your morning off to the right start:

Make sure you eat breakfast. This is so important! You have to get some healthy, nutritious food in the tank before you can get going for the day. Whether you opt for oatmeal, high fiber cereal, or you make some power smoothies, make sure you eat a healthy breakfast. It can make a world of difference in reaching your health goals!

Get your workout done early. While you will still burn the calories and reap the benefits even if you do it later in the day, it’s better to do it early so that you can get it out of the way. When people plan to do it later in the day, it gives them all day to find excuses not to get it done. When you work out in the morning, you have that high calorie burn that follows, and you also have more energy.

Keep your goals handy and look at them each morning and evening. You can write them up and put them on your refrigerator or even create a vision board, where you have pictures and sayings about what you want to achieve. Put it where you will see it and remind yourself of it each day. Look at it each night before bed so that you will be focused on it when you wake up.

In the morning start your day by drinking water and green tea. Both will give your body exactly what it needs to get going and be healthy. And avoid putting a bunch of sugar in your tea, or you will void out the healthy benefits.

If you don’t think that making your morning great will do much, I challenge you to give it a try for one or two weeks. Once you try it out for that long notice how you feel. If you feel better, have more energy, get your workout in more often, etc., then continue on. My guess is that if you give this a try, it will become a long time healthy lifestyle change!

How to Keep Rocking Your New Year’s Resolution

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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