How to Stay Cold and Flu Free So You Can Keep Training

It’s that time of the year when millions of people will come down with colds and the flu. So that means it is also the time of year for you to take extra precaution in order to help protect yourself. The viruses that cause cold and flu are all around, but there are things we can do in order to help avoid them and stay healthy. And when we stay healthy it means we can keep up with our workouts!

 

Here are some things you can do to avoid getting colds and the flue this year:

Wash your hands frequently. Germs are everywhere, and those germs contain the viruses that will make you sick. Become a frequent hand washer, making sure to wash for 20 seconds each time. Also, be sure to keep your hands away from your nose and mouth as much as possible.

Exercise regularly. This is one that I really like because it is just one more good reason for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Working out regularly builds your immunity and strengthens your immune system. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of cardio each day.

Some things can help to cut down on the amount of time symptoms will last, should you get them, such as zinc lozenges, Vitamin and Vitamin B complex.

Eat yogurt, as well as foods that contain phytochemicals, such as fruits and vegetables.

Drink plenty of fluids, particularly water, so that it flushes your system out.

Avoid smoking and cut down on alcohol consumption.

Take the time to relax and de-stress. Maybe add a yoga or Tai Chi class to your schedule, just to focus on relaxation, which will support your immune system. Other options to help manage stress include journaling, breathing exercises, and joining social groups, which provides a chance to laugh and have fun.

Some people opt for acupuncture as a method to help avoid getting sick. You could look into that and see what it does for you.

While there are some people who get several colds per year, there are others who haven’t had one in years. It’s usually not a coincidence that those people don’t ever get sick. Usually it is something they are doing that helps to boost their immune system and keep them healthy. The more you can do to help keep your body healthy, the more you can stay focused on your fitness goals!

Why Writing a Letter to Yourself is Good

Not long ago I went to a personal development training seminar called a “Date with Destiny.” It turned out to provide a quite useful experience that I want to share with you all here. During this seminar we had an exercise where you write yourself a letter. While it may seem a little odd at first, let me explain why it’s actually a really good thing to do!

Our mission was to write a letter to our future self. The one that had accomplished the goals that we had wanted to do. We had to write about the progress we had made as a person, how hard we had worked, and more. So we did all this writing, then the letter gets taken away and is sent out to you six months later. Wow, when you get that letter in the mail six months later, it is great to read what you had written!

Writing a letter to future self is a great way to think through and really verbalize what it is that you want. It also uses the laws of attraction to help bring it to you. Then, once you get the letter, you get the opportunity to build your confidence as you read the wonderful things you said about yourself. We spend a lot of time beating ourselves up, so it’s nice to finally get something in the mail where we said nice things.

Here’s what you should do to write a letter to your future self:

Be sure to include the basics, like your name and today’s date. Then determine a time in the future that the letter will be sent to you. Six months would be ideal.

Think about where you want to be with your goals in six months and use that as a reference point. Congratulate yourself on achieving those goals and discuss the hard work it took to get there.

Find a way to get it to you in six months. There are several things you can do here, such as have someone else mail it to you in six months, or put it in a sealed envelope and mark your calendar to open it. There are even time capsule services online that will send you something later.

Once you get the letter six months later, read it over carefully. Consider how much you have grown as a person in that time and the goals that you achieved. This can be quite an eye-opening and confidence building experience. Give it a try. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. It takes just minutes, but six months from now you will enjoy reading what you wrote to yourself today!

 

 

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!

 

Evening Eating Holding You Back? Regain Control!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Shop at the Grocery Store

Assuming you can’t get to a farmer’s market year-round, it is important to know the healthiest way to shop at the grocery store, as well as what should be in your shopping cart by the time you check out. It’s a skill that many of us have either forgotten or don’t pay much attention to. But living a healthy lifestyle depends upon making sure that what you baby boomers have in your shopping cart is foods that will work for your body, not against it!

When you go shopping, you want to come home with whole foods that are not processed. Processed foods usually contain too much salt, fat, and unnatural ingredients. Whole foods are those that nature has provided for us to eat, and they are in their natural state. When you go to the grocery store, try to stick to shopping the perimeter of the store, where you will find the dairy, meat, and produce departments.

Now that’s not say you have no need to go in the middle aisles because there are some good things, such as dry beans, whole wheat pasta, nuts, and high fiber cereal, mixed in with all the processed foods. But try to get most of your groceries from the perimeter of the store, only stopping down specific inside aisles to grab a few things.

Here’s some of the top healthy foods that all baby boomers should be shopping for:

Proteins. Making sure you have good sources of protein is essential. Opt for things like wild salmon, fish, beans, lentils, tofu, low fat yogurt, quinoa, and nuts.

Carbohydrates. Many people think carbs should be out, but that’s not the case. You want to make sure to reach for healthy whole grain sources of carbohydrates, such as oatmeal, quinoa, whole wheat bread, brown rice, and high fiber cereal.

Fats. There are good fats and bad ones. Stick to the good sources of fat, such as olive oil, nuts, and avocadoes.

Others. Other healthy ingredients that you should have in your basket include green tea, turmeric, and lots of fruits and veggies. Green vegetables especially, such as spinach, kale, and broccoli, pack a powerful nutritional punch that your body needs.

Keep in mind that each of these foods above provides your body with something it needs, as well as helping to keep you healthy. Some help people avoid cancer, while others fight inflammation. When you fill your grocery basket with these healthy foods, you will be well on your way to maintaining a healthy body. Now you just need to focus on preparation, and if you are bored of the same old dishes, try doing an online search for some recipes, or check out a cookbook at your local library!

 

The Benefits of TRX and the Baby Boomer

As a baby boomer you may like the convenience of having an exercise system you can take with you. One that will allow you the opportunity to work your muscles, boost your metabolism, and that is easy to use. Well, that’s where the TRX Suspension Trainer comes in handy!

The TRX Suspension Trainer is a good pick for those baby boomers who want a convenient, easy to use, muscle-building piece of equipment that can be taken anywhere. If you are familiar with resistance bands, you will have an idea of what the system is like. You can do some of the same exercises on it as you can resistance bands.

At around $200, the TRX Suspension Trainer comes with a host of benefits, including:

It is lightweight, making it easy to carry around. You can take it with you when you travel, so you always have an effective way to get your workout in. It can easily be stored as well.

Using it is simple. All you need is a closed door to hook it to. The video it comes with shows you different exercises you can do. Once you get used to them, you can take it anywhere and do them on your own.

This system is also good for helping to improve balance and flexibility. Many baby boomers struggle with balance issues, so doing exercises that help to improve it is recommended.

The TRX Suspension Trainer will give you a good, and effective, workout. It will work all the muscles in your body, helping to build muscle, as well as boost your metabolism. It provides a total body workout, yet it’s a small portable system.

It can be used for any fitness level. So although some avid athletes may use it in a class at the gym, it is also a solid pick for baby boomer’s looking for an effective exercise system at home or for traveling.

If you are like most baby boomers, you could benefit from a convenient exercise system that can easily be stored, as well as used for traveling. Some gyms also offer it as group exercise classes, where you can get the chance to try it before you buy it. The TRX provides this and more, making it worth considering. It will give you the chance to do hundreds of different exercises, working everything from your abs and glutes to your hips and thighs.

 

Top Fitness Tips Learned in 2011 (and How to Make it a Great 2012)

One of the many benefits of being a personal trainer is that I get a chance to keep up on learning lots of fitness tips, news, and information throughout the year. One of the benefits of keeping a blog is that I get a chance to share that information with all my readers, both baby boomers and beyond. Throughout 2011, there were several key fitness tips that I picked up that I think can help you make 2012 the best year ever!

Here are the top fitness tips I learned throughout 2011:

Taking a break can be a good thing. It can help you to get re-focused, so that you come back fresh and ready to get down to business. Taking a vacation or small trip, for example, will help you reflect and remember that you are not a human “doing,” but rather you are a human “being.”

Getting a tune-up can be a really great thing. By a tune-up I mean a massage, acupuncture, or some other type of activity that helps you feel great. After all, we take our cars in for a tune-up, so why not take in ourselves? It will help with recovery, mind clarity, and overall wellness.

Making health and fitness a lifestyle is crucial to long term success. One effective way you can make your fitness goals a long term lifestyle is to work with a personal trainer. The support, guidance, and accountability is extremely important and effective.

Trying something new can be a great way to clear the mind and help you feel good. For example, this past year I went to the symphony for the first time. I found that I enjoyed it! It’s important to try new things and remember that variety is the spice of life.

It is important to find things you love to do and then do them during the week. This will help you to take care of yourself and your passions, so you can give more of yourself to others.

Just because someone takes a step backward doesn’t mean they have failed. Two steps forward, one step back, means you still took a step forward! Don’t get caught up in what you are not getting. Instead, focus on the fact that you trained four days, for example, rather than focusing on the fact that you are not at your goal yet.

You can’t out-work bad nutrition. If you consistently eat poorly, it will catch up with you. It is essential to eat a healthy, balanced diet to have overall wellness.

Whether you are a baby boomer or not, or you are seeking weight loss, or just want to adopt a healthy fitness lifestyle, you can increase your chances of success in 2012 by keeping these points in mind. This year, success can be all yours!

Gym packed? Don’t give up!

 

 

 

 

 

Sure, the first of the year hit, and if you are someone who works out regularly, you will doubt have noticed a difference at the gym. Yes, that’s right. There will be a change in what’s going on at the gym! Each January at the gym you can tell what time of the year it is without ever looking at the calendar. There’s a reason for it, but don’t let it get you down. The more you know about why it happens and what you can do about it, the more successful your fitness schedule will be.

In the first day or two following New Year’s I arrived at the gym to find a crowd. In fact, I couldn’t even find a place to park. I spent some time circling the parking lot to find a spot, asking myself how this can be so? Being a personal trainer I know the answer to this question, and I know how to compensate for it. But others don’t, and that worries me!

Think about what happens each January. You guessed it. People set resolutions for the New Year, and millions of them include goals to become healthier. While they are great goals for sure, they can really pose a problem at the gym. As each New Year starts, the gyms around the country become filled with all the people who have decided to make fitness one of their new goals. Problem is, they arrive at the gym with all those who have already been there all along. This can make for some really cramped conditions and makes it harder to get on the machines you want.

In fact, once I got into the gym, I had to wait for a treadmill to open up. The next day I couldn’t get my circuit training. It’s enough to make people want to throw their hands in the air and turn around and head for the door. But before you do that, know that there are some solutions to this busy gym problem.

Here are a few things you can do to combat the busy gym problem:

Pick an area to workout in that you will be able to do similar exercises. Maybe you won’t be able to find the exact machines, but if you are a little flexible, you can still work the same muscles.

Do some superset exercises, which are great for burning fat and working through plateaus. With superset exercise you do two different things, one right after the other, but you don’t stop to rest in between. For example, do a cardio exercise, then go immediately into a strength training exercise. Superset exercise save time, but are highly effective.

Rather than focus on cardio, where all the people are lined up waiting for machines, do body weight training routines.

Another important part of the equation in beating the first of the year rush is to work with a personal trainer. A personal trainer will keep you baby boomers focused on what you need to do, how you can get it done (even when the gym is busy), and best of all, you won’t quit your routine at Valentine’s Day because you are not seeing the results!

Chris Elias: I am an Active Boomer

Famous author Mark Twain once said, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” When it comes to being a baby boomer and being physically active and fit, Twain couldn’t have put it a better way! Age really is just what you make of it. Reaching a particular number in years does not mean it is time to slow down, unless that’s what you have made up your mind to do!

Take Chris Elias, a baby boomer client of mine. Chris is one baby boomer who has not let age slow her down, even following knee surgery, or get in her way at all. She embraces where she is in her life and makes being physically fit a priority.

Here are some of the tools that have helped Chris to stay fit:

Start slow. Chris, like many other baby boomers who want to get active and start working out, was afraid she would get hurt, especially because she had undergone back surgery. This is why starting slowly is always a good idea. It will help you reduce the risks of injury and will help you progress in a healthy way.

Get a trainer. Chris sought out a trainer so that I could help her evaluate where she was at with his fitness level, where she wanted to go, and develop a plan that would help her safely get there. A good trainer will make sure you progress safely, yet still challenge yourself.

Track food. There is a lot of research that proves that there are benefits to keeping a food log. Get an inexpensive notepad, or create a file on your computer, and keep track of what you eat, when you eat it, and any emotional state you may be in at the time. For example, realizing you reach for chocolate when you feel stress will help you identify your trigger foods, and then you can seek out healthier alternatives.

Read stories. Seek out stories about other healthy baby boomers. Chris made a point of wanting to read about the stories filled with a positive, healthy outlook. It will inspire and motivate you.

Surprise yourself. Chris never thought she could do push-ups. Now she does push-ups routinely and even outdoes some family members. Today she can even run. When you challenge yourself, you never know what you may find you are capable of doing.

Stay focused. Keep in mind all the benefits of how being fit makes life better. You will feel better, have more energy, and be able to enjoy activities more.

Treat yourself. Don’t give up everything you love. Keep it in check. Chris loves a glass of wine and chocolate, and she makes having it a treat.

Get a tune-up. Getting a massage is a great way to reduce stress and increase mobility.

Find support. Find an environment of other baby boomers who are also seeking fitness. Surround yourself with such a positive environment, such as BoomerFitness, positive people, support, gym etc.

Not only did Chris surprise herself as a boomer on the road to fitness, but she exceeded