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.

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!

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 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……

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……

10 Tips for Baby Boomers When Training for a Hike

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPpZ8YbeZgo

Hiking can be a great pastime. Not only is it fun, but it gets you out in nature. It can be a great experience for your mind, as well as for your muscles. But if you are not used to hiking and decide you want to take one of any substance, you will need to train for it, baby boomer or not. You wouldn’t start out running a 5K without training, and the same goes for any lengthy or strenuous hikes.

Here are 10 tips to keep in mind when it comes to baby boomers training to take a hike. Whether you are hiking up the Appalachian Trail or the Grand Canyon, you will enjoy it a lot more if you train for it ahead of time.

  1. Make a plan. Just like anything else you want to successfully achieve, start by setting goals.
  2. Start small. Take small walks around your community, just to get started.
  3. Increase length. Once you are comfortable taking those walks, gradually increase the distance of each of them.
  4. Add weights. Usually when you hike you have a backpack or something with you, so add a little weight to your walk.
  5. Increase weights. Once you are comfortable, increase the weight a little bit, so you will be used to carrying a backpack.
  6. Get vertical. Most hikes are not done on a straight, flat surface. You will want to get vertical, or at least go somewhere where you will get a varied terrain.
  7. Strengthen legs. The legs are what will take you through the hike. Focus on strengthening them by doing lunges.
  8. Increase cardio. Building up your lungs to withstand the cardio of a lengthy hike is crucial. Work on getting cardio exercise, so you are prepared once you are outdoors.
  9. Improve balance. Because the terrain can vary on a hike, it is important to have good balance. Do some exercises that will improve balance, such as Tai Chi or practicing one-legged stances.
  10. Focus on stretching. With any exercise, it is important to be sure to stretch properly, before and after the activity.

Along with preparing your body for the hike, you will also want to make sure you have the right gear. Comfortable hiking shoes, a wide brimmed hat, and a belt pack that holds water is ideal. The more preparation you do now to train for your hike, the more likely you will enjoy it, and come home feeling refreshed, rather than wishing you hadn’t gone. Hiking is one of nature’s greatest treats. Start training, and then get outdoors and take a hike!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gyq2_Pg7O9A

TO LEARN HOW TO HIKE BETTER CLICK HERE…..

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.

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 ……