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

Shopping Cart Revisited – Keeping Healthy Foods On Hand

If you are like millions of other baby boomers who are trying to lose weight or get in shape, you know how important it is that you keep what you eat in check. Problem is, while we all seem to know that, we don’t all take the steps to ensure that we will reach for healthy foods when we are ready to eat. In order to have healthy foods when it’s meal time, we need to put them in our cart while at the grocery store!

What you shop for makes a huge difference in your fitness and health goals later on. As a personal trainer, I have worked with many people who sabotage their efforts by getting really hungry and then reaching for anything to eat. That anything often turns out to be food that is less than healthy, thus setting them back, if done on a regular basis.

One of my clients texted me one day to ask if something they had on hand was okay for them to eat. That food just so happened to be pizza rolls! Another one of my clients texted me a picture of a hot dog and asked if that would be acceptable to eat. As you can imagine, I said no on both accounts. But I wouldn’t have had to if they had bought healthy food to begin with. Honestly, folks, it all starts with the selections we make at the grocery store.

There are many reasons that you need to shop the perimeter of the store and make sure that what you put in the basket is going to help you reach your fitness and weight loss goals, not inhibit them. Not long ago I did a whole segment on what you should put in your cart, which you can view here. So why should you shop smart to begin with? It’s simple:

  • Having only healthy food on hand will ensure that when you get hungry you eat healthy.
  • Getting used to eating healthy food will give you more energy, help you reach your fitness and weight loss goals, and keep you feeling great.
  • While you are working on the outside of your body, the food will be helping the inside become healthier.
  • With healthy food in the pantry, you are less tempted to fill up on things that you will regret eating later.

The bottom line, for senior citizens and everyone else who is out to be healthy, is that if we don’t have healthy foods in the cart, we won’t have them at home, and then we won’t eat them. When that happens, we won’t be happy with the results we see at the scale, when we get our blood laboratory work, or when we look in the mirror. So make it a goal this week, and every week, to let your health quest start at the grocery store, with what you put into your cart!

CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW TO EXERCISE WHILE EATING HEALTHY……

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!

 

Together, We Can Help Fight Lymphoma

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

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

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

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

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

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