Foods & Feelings: Emotional Eating Overshadows Environment

 Does the holiday season get you feeling emotional? If you are like most people, it does. And in a big way! There are a lot of emotional aspects to the holidays. Whether it is the stress of the shopping or getting together for family functions, there is additional stress in our lives this time of year, especially because our schedules are busier.  But that emotional toll can have a major impact on your diet!

Being a personal trainer in the Vancouver, Washington area I work with people who regularly tend to be emotional eaters. Yet they may not even be aware of it. More so than the environment you are in, research has shown that our emotions will get us to overeat more than anything else. Consider how you may grab for a snack when you are feeling down, want to celebrate, or feel additional stress. Think about the times when you reach for high-fat comfort foods (e.g., macaroni and cheese) when you have had a tough day and are feeling a bit overwhelmed.

The good news is that although our emotions can lead us to overeat, we can do something about it. We know that emotions will lead us over the edge and when that happens it will pack on weight gain that we may never lose. Rather than throw our hands in the air and abandon the idea of being healthy, we have to be proactive in putting a stop to emotional eating. Not only is it possible, but it is something we have to do in order to overcome the emotional eating that takes place during the holiday season.

Here are some tips for coping with the emotional eating that may help you avoid  this behavior during the holidays:

Avoid. If you know there are situations that will make you want to engage in emotional eating this holiday, just avoid them. It’s just that simple. And don’t feel guilty about skipping them. Don’t feel pressured to go to every holiday party.

Cope. Learn coping skills, so that you can recognize that you want to eat because of emotions, not out of hunger. Choose something else you will do every time that feeling strikes, and then do it. Maybe you can find another emotional eating buddy and you can text or call each other for support when those feelings arise.

Remember. Make a list of all the reasons you want to be fit and healthy. Then each time you want to engage in emotional eating remember those reasons. They will help keep your eye on the overall goal.

Change. It is important to try to change the way you feel about food. Try to determine why you engage in emotional eating at certain times, and then try to work through those feelings without food, in order to change the way you think.

Of course you want to enjoy the holidays and emotions play a big role in that. And sure you want grandma’s family favorites or the cool colored Starbucks cup that’s out. But if you give into these emotional eating temptations you will most likely gain weight and be sorry come January 1st. Keep it under control this month and you will be much happier through the New Year. This goes for my Vancouver, Washington personal training clients, and all my other readers!

 

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

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

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, 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 – 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..

Are Prescription Drugs Really the Answer?

Right now there are over 311 million people in America. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 48 percent of them take at least one prescription drug. In 2010 alone there were 2.3 billion prescription drugs ordered at physician office visits, with around 74 percent of all office visits resulting in a drug prescription. But are all these drugs really the answer?

As a baby boomer, you likely go to the doctor regularly, if only for check-ups. What often happens is they run a blood test, look at your cholesterol numbers, for example, and fire off a prescription for Lipitor, or some other statin. Yes, the drugs will help lower the risk of the disease, but in some cases it is merely a slow death.

So let’s say that you get your prescription for Lipitor and then you head home and carry on, business as usual. You eat the same diet and avoid regular exercise in the same manner. You haven’t taken care of the problem since you haven’t changed your lifestyle. You have merely put a bandage over the problem!

What’s more, is that those prescription drugs have side effects. In some cases the side effects are so severe that you probably should have just stayed home and did nothing. There is a better way to handle many of the issues that you may be getting prescription drugs for… it’s lifestyle changes!

Even if you have pain, weakness, or joint issues, you can begin exercising. Start out slowly and gradually increase what you are doing. Work with a personal trainer, who can assess your current level and then help you get to where you want to be. The exercise, along with adopting a healthier diet, is going to help you make progress toward a healthy lifestyle – one that will help you avoid those prescription drugs. Also, find a support group, where you can be around other baby boomers who are on a mission to be healthy.

You do have an option – either you can succumb to the slow death, or you can start making progress and living your life to the fullest. Start by finding out what you have risk factors for. Then, set a 90 day plan to make small lifestyle changes, such as exercising for 30 minutes each day, eating at least 5 fruits and vegetables daily, and opting for whole grains and lean sources of proteins.

The next time your doctor wants to write you a prescription, ask if there is something you can do to change your lifestyle in order to address the situation. Chances are, you can address many of your health issues by living a healthier life. And you will feel better along the way!

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!