The Transformation of Dinah, Part III






Dinah Before (on the left)






Dinah (After)

If you have been following along in my story about the transformation of my client, Dinah, you have already learned about her experiences that lead to her coming to me, as well as the regime I put her on. And each time we met, Dinah was undergoing a transformation right before my eyes!

The weight loss continued for Dinah, as she lost 2 pounds, 1 pound, 5 pounds, and continued. I kept her focused on the basics. I would take the time to look over things like her food journal, her exercises, and the effectiveness of her mindset tools. If there was something that needed to be addressed, we would discuss it. All along the way, Dinah learned how to live a whole new lifestyle – one that is healthy and conducive to helping her reach her weight loss and health goals and dreams.

There were additional things that she learned along this fitness journey as well, like how to cook for her family. With that, everyone in her family started to get healthier, so the rewards of her efforts were spreading. She also learned how to grocery shop for good health and how to grow her own vegetables.

Then, something happened that Dinah thought would never happen. She reached her goal! She had changed so much that when she went to see a friend she hadn’t seen in a while, the friend didn’t even recognize her! Four years later she is now about 20 pounds heavier than she was at the initial goal, but she gained some weight back after her MS flared up and the medications she had to take lead to a weight gain.

However, today she is in a much happier place and much healthier! She does things she couldn’t do before, like camping with her husband, who even calls her “skinny Minnie” now – something he hadn’t done in many years since they had first started dating. She also gained back a lot of independence because she has more control over her body. Today, her advice to others who battle weight issues is to “…go for it and take on the challenge. It isn’t easy, but the feeling of facing your fears and winning is great!”

It was a great experience for me to work with Dinah and to watch her transform her body, as well as her life. As a personal trainer, it is a special day to see a client reap the rewards of all their hard work. Be sure to read Part IV of this series, where I focus on providing the tips that helped Dinah reach her goals, and can also help you reach yours!

To learn how to make your transformation click here

The Transformation of Dinah, Part II






Dinah Before (on the left)






Dinah After

As I have mentioned before, being a personal trainer is especially satisfying when you see that what you are working with someone on shows results. When a client walks in and their attitude has changed and their body is starting to change, you just feel great because you are helping that person to make a real difference in their life.

That’s just how it has been with my client Dinah. In Part I of her transformation story, I shared with you how she first came to me and what type of goals and regime I set her up on. Now I want to take you a little further into the story and share what happened next!

Because in addition to the weight problem Dinah has MS, I needed to take this into account and tailor her program some around it. She was concerned about such issues as her balance and heating up if she exercised too long or too intensely. So taking that into account, we continued on with her exercise schedule of working out three times per week.

I set Dinah up on the weight machines, doing two sets of 12-20 reps, in order to build her endurance and keep her from getting over worked. Every week we would make small goals toward getting better, and I would focus on getting her to celebrate and acknowledge small wins or victories. This is something everyone needs to do! You can’t always focus on the big picture; you also have to celebrate the little milestones and victories along the way.

As for her cardio workout, because of the concerns she had, I had her focus on using the stationary bike. This would help with being able to keep her balance. Plus, I had her do it for only 10 minutes at a time in the beginning, so it would prevent any over heating concerns that she had in regard to her MS.

Getting started with a new workout routine if you are not used to exercising or being physically active can be a big hurdle. The hardest part is getting started. But once you get going and do it for a couple of weeks, it becomes more like a habit, and you start to not mind it, then you may actually start to love it.

Did all of this weekly exercise and lifestyle changes pay off for my client Dinah? Tune into the next blog to see Part III and how she progressed. You just may be surprised at what some dedication to change can do!

To learn how to make your own transformation click here

Want to Drink FRS? Here is what you need to know!

Think baby boomers aren’t considering drinking energy drinks? Think again! Energy drinks have become a fad that has touched just about every segment of the population. One of the more popular energy drinks to hit the market is called FRS. With all the celebrities being used to promote the product, it has a lot of people sitting up and taking notice. But should you jump on the bandwagon and start drinking FRS as well?

FRS comes in a variety of flavors such as orange cream, peach mango, and plenty of others in between. They offer drinks in bottles, cans, and even a powdered form that you can simply add to your water. It’s been touted by everyone from Lance Armstrong to Tim Tebow and even trainers. There is a lot of buzz about FRS!

If you are one of the many baby boomers who are considering drinking FRS, there are some things that you should be aware of first. Take the following tips into consideration when deciding if it is an ideal beverage for you:

Energy drinks are designed to do exactly that, give you energy. They usually do this through such things as caffeine. The problem is that caffeine can lead to a rapid heart beat, nervousness, and can increase blood pressure. Just make sure that you won’t have any complications with this.

Try to stick with the varieties that have the least amount of added sugar, that way it won’t contribute to weight gain.
The FRS energy drinks rely upon an antioxidant called Quercetin. There have been reports that Quercetin can cause complications for people who are taking statins to lower their cholesterol. If you take statins, you should speak with your doctor to see if this could be a problem for you. If you don’t take statins, then this won’t be an issue.

As a personal trainer that specializes in providing service to baby boomers, I have my own thoughts on my clients using FRS. With energy drinks being so popular and being effective at giving people a pick-up when they need it I believe FRS makes an ideal choice.

If you are going to try an energy drink, give FRS a try. I think you will find that it tastes great, gives you the energy boost you need, and help keep you feeling great! Energy drinks can be a part of a healthy lifestyle, and FRS makes the cut for me.

The Truth of How to Turn 50 or 60 into the New 30 – Part III

If you have read the first two articles in this series on how baby boomers can make turning 50 or 60 the new 30, you have already learned a lot about what ages our body. Such things as inflammation in the body, insulin resistance, oxidation, and glycation all contribute to speeding up the aging process of the body’s cells. You have also learned some things you can do to help address these processes. In this final segment of the series on aging, we are going to look at the role that lifestyle choices make in helping to slow the aging process.

Being a personal trainer who specializes in working with baby boomers such as yourself, I come across people on a daily basis who are in search of the fountain of youth. If there is one thing that is the most important issue when it comes to slowing the aging process, it is that of the lifestyle choices that you make. Forget spending money on anti-aging products and expensive procedures to make you look younger. The answer really likes in taking care of yourself.

Here are the main things you should focus on to help slow the aging process and turn back the hands of time:

Exercise. You probably know that you need to exercise in order to be healthy. But you may not realize how important it is for you to do resistance training. By doing resistance training, you will build muscle mass, which will boost your metabolism, and avoid the common shrinking of the muscle mass as people age. Exercising also lowers your insulin levels and raises your good cholesterol rates, which helps to protect your heart. Resistance training also helps to avoid the oxidation process that ages the body’s cells. Aging people often lose over 30 percent of their muscle mass, making strength training essential to improving longevity.

Diet. Eating a healthy diet cannot be understated when it comes to fighting the aging process. Some foods, like processed foods and added sugars, help to age the body faster because they cause inflammation. It is important to avoid added sugars and things that are high on the Glycemic Index (GI). High GI foods such as pasta and sugary foods make insulin levels spike, while low GI foods such as vegetables do not.

Sleep. Your body has to get proper quality sleep on a regular basis in order to maintain proper function. Be sure to make it a priority and even fit in short power naps if you feel you want a quick pick-up. Getting proper rest also helps to keep your brain sharp, so it doesn’t age as fast.

There is no doubt that the lifestyle choices that you make will extend your baby boomer aging years and keep you looking younger. When you choose to live a healthy lifestyle, you won’t need to find secrets and tricks because your body will automatically respond in a positive manner. Making age 50 or 60 the new 30 is as simple as eating healthy, being physically active, and getting proper sleep!

Top Ways to Stay Alive and Get Out of That Chair

As a senior citizen or baby boomer, you may think that you will be perfectly healthy exercising for 30 minutes and then sitting on the couch the rest of the day. After all, you got your exercise in, right? You may be thinking that, but according to researchers, you would be wrong!

We all know that not doing physical activity is going to harm your health and probably take years off your life. But most people don’t realize that even if you engage in an exercise program everyday and then follow it up by sitting around for hours on end, you are still putting your health at risk!

Although you may have over 300 channels on your television and movies you can rent for just a buck, keeping active will keep you alive! So forget sitting around watching the tube. Instead, get moving!

Here are five ways that you can get out of that chair and add years to your life:

Look for chances to stand up. Whether it is when the phone rings or every time you change the channel on the television, it will be good for you to do.

Instead of looking for the closest bathroom or parking space, opt for one that is farther away or up or down a flight of stairs (providing it is safe and weather is permitting). You will use more and different muscles, burn some calories, and keep moving.

Focus on doing some type of chores everyday that keep you moving. This could be washing windows, gardening, or cleaning the floors. What it is doesn’t matter, so long as you keep moving. And just think of how clean your house will be!

Make stretching a normal part of your day, regardless of what you are doing. If you are sitting at a computer, on a couch, or in the car, try to get up and do some stretching exercises every 30 minutes to an hour.

Get some of your neighbors together to take a walk around the block each morning or evening. Most likely you have neighbors that need to be active as well, so team up, motivate each other, and keep moving!

Even if you are not striving for weight loss, it is important to keep active. It will help you live longer and lead a healthier life. Health and fitness goals always include getting off that couch and moving around. Keeping active is one of the most important fitness tips you will ever get!

Grocery Shopping for Fitness

As a personal trainer, I see people quite often put a lot of time and effort into their workout routine. Whether they are doing cardio exercises or strength training, they put a lot of focus on just that. Then, once they finish their workout, they go home and grab anything to eat for their lunch. That’s not such a good idea. If you are going to take the time to focus on fitness, take the time to eat right to go along with it!

Whether you are a baby boomer that is just getting started in your quest for fitness, or you have been at it for years, you need to keep what you put in your shopping cart in the forefront of your mind. What you buy and stock your kitchen with can make a big difference in obtaining and maintaining your fitness goals.

When it comes to the best way to lose weight or what the best weight loss foods are, it all comes down to what you put in the shopping cart. If you don’t bring unhealthy food into the house, it won’t be there when you are reaching for a snack. And you don’t have to meet with a nutritionist in order to determine which foods are going to be the best weight loss foods.

Here are some tips when it comes to grocery shopping for fitness:
Shop the perimeter of the store. This way you get more natural foods, rather than a lot of pre-packaged items. Be sure to load up in the produce department. Or better yet, find out when and where your local farmer’s market is and hit that up.
For breakfast, aim for high fiber cereals or steel cut oats.
Be sure to get plenty of lean protein, fiber, fruits, and vegetables. When you shop for things like your pasta or bread, make sure it is whole wheat. You really need to have that fiber in your diet.
Make sure that the fats you are using are friendly ones, which means to eliminate or limit the amount of saturated fat in your diet.
Pay attention to what you are drinking. You don’t want to load up on alcohol or sugary beverages. Opt for water, green tea, or in limited amounts, pure fruit juice.
For your snacks each day, go for things like hummus and veggies, low fat yogurt, peanut butter on celery, or fresh fruits.

Eating healthy is a huge part of losing weight, as well as maintaining your fitness goals. This is true with older adults, but it is also true at any age. So pay attention to what you put in your grocery cart, so each week you help your fitness goals, rather than hinder them!

Weight training increases natural testosterone

Without the use of any pills, male Baby Boomers can increase their natural testosterone levels, those very unique male hormones key to a satisfying love life. As a Baby Boomer, you can accomplish this by weight training on a regular basis. Here is a list of five powerful weight training exercises that can increase natural testosterone:

Squats: These are exercises performed using the large muscle groups in the legs. To successfully complete a squat, stand up straight and pretend you are going to take a seat in a chair. Instead of sitting, come right back up. Complete several quick sets, making sure your knee is in line with your heel each time.

Deadlifts: These are powerful moves that include a weighted bar. Stand in front of the weighted bar, bend at the knees and lift the bar with straight arms. Keep your back straight and pull yourself and the bar up using the strength of your legs, not your back.

Bench Presses: These are typical stations at gyms and work well in home gyms as well. Lay face up on the bench and push the weighted bar above your chest. It is best to perform these exercises with someone else who “spots” you to make sure the weight does not accidently slip out of your hands and onto your chest or face.

Military Presses: These are weighted exercises in which you sit down and press weights above you. Several quick reps will definitely get your heart pumping!

Pull-Ups: Yes, these are those old-fashioned and time-honored exercises in which you hold your body underneath a bar and dangle your legs so they are not touching the floor or anything else. You then pull yourself up to raise your chin above the bar, using your arm muscles to pull you up.

Baby Boomers who perform these and other similar intense weight training exercises that use large groups of muscles all at once will naturally build their testosterone levels.

Furthermore, to help build boost your weight training session and increase your male hormones, consume the right nutrients. Here is a list of five good-for-you foods and nutrients that help to improve men’s overall health, with an emphasis on reproductive and hormonal needs:

Protein-rich foods like eggs, red meat, chicken, fish and nuts

Zinc, as found in shellfish, lean beef, pork, nuts and legumes

Lycopene, as found in tomatoes, which can help to decrease the chance of developing prostate cancer

Soybeans, which are rich in isoflavones, which also help to protect prostate health and can lower the risk of develop prostate cancer
Whole grain pasta, which is also beneficial for prostate health

Jillian Michaels: Fitness Ultimatum Product Review

If you have ever watched NBC’s The Biggest Loser, you will know what a tough, no-nonsense trainer Jillian Michaels really is. She means business! She has a knack to break walls that contestants have built around themselves for years. In many episodes, fellow Baby Boomers have been part of the ranch and have exercised right alongside their much younger counterparts. Whether you have a similar story to these contestants or not, imagine having Michaels as your personal trainer. It may have seemed like an impossible dream up until a few years ago when Nintendo released the Wii gaming console.

A unique exercise “game,” the Jillian Michaels “Fitness Ultimatum” targets your entire body with heart-pumping cardiovascular activities that integrate your Wii controllers and balance board. Because the video features Michaels, you know that it’s going to be thorough with some challenging moves; however, it can definitely work in a senior health fitness plan. It works because you can choose to sit out on certain segments if you need to until you build up to a more advanced level. She won’t jump through your television screen to yell at you though, so you don’t have to be quite as intimidated as you may be if you were actually on the ranch.

This video combines cardio and strength training exercises that can condition Baby Boomers through moves like lunges, push-ups, kicks, jumping jacks and bicycling. To help you reach various fitness goals, you can customize workouts for up to six months. Also, Michaels’ voiceover occasionally exclaims words of encouragement to keep you motivated throughout your exercise session.

If you are new to Wii, talk with family, friends or even the gaming store associates for some basic lessons in using the hand-held remote controllers. It may take a few practice sessions until you fully master swinging and chopping with your controller. As you become more familiar with it, you will begin to get more out of each workout session that you complete. Ask some family members to play the game with you, so long as there is ample space in the room to avoid accidentally hitting each other with the remotes.

In the promotional video for this game, Michaels says, “Nothing in life worth having comes for free. You’ve got to work for it.” By working out to “Fitness Ultimatum” in your house, you can confidently say that you are certainly working for your Baby Boomer fitness.

After playing the game….errrr having Jillian working me out. I felt that I was comfortably pushed outside my comfort zone and enjoyed this product. I give Fitness Ultimatum an A for a nice change of pace and variety.

Make sure to consult with your physician prior to starting any new fitness program to make sure that it is right for you.

A Healthy You Starts With Food

As I was walking in the park today I happened to notice an overweight man puffing through the park, obviously in a hurry. He was sweating and red in the face and he was shoving what looked like the remains of a street vendor hotdog down his throat.
I stopped to sit on a bench for a bit and started paying attention to the other pedestrians enjoying the sunny fall day. As I watched I saw another man, older then the first one, walking his terrier and eating a pretzel. You know what I’m talking about? Those huge ones that you dip in cheese sauce? As I watched him I noticed two things. One he was overweight. Two, so was his dog. I guess walking and eating junk doesn’t work. For man or beast!

I scanned the park looking for one person who was eating something healthy, and there she was. The woman every man dreams about. She was dressed as a business woman, but that didn’t hide the fact that she had a greatly toned and fit body. I tried to see what she was eating, but her bench was a ways down from mine. As nonchalantly as I could, I walked to her way. I just knew she was going to be eating something healthy and sure enough, there she was with a bag of carrots, almonds and celery. I tried not to stare, but I had to. She was eating those vegetables as if they were pieces of chocolate! She was enjoying them!

Before she could yell stalker, I continued my walk through the park, but my mind wasn’t interested in the surroundings anymore. I was thinking about what people eat and how it shapes who they are.
It seemed that anybody I saw who looked to be in good shape was eating or drinking something healthy. Those who were overweight or just had a flabby and unhealthy look to them, were eating some type of junk food.

A walk for exercise is a great thing; any type of exercise is a great thing. But if you’re not eating healthy then none of that matters.
A good balance of grains, wheat, vegetables, fruit, dairy and meats is the healthiest way to eat. Need to eat on the run? Keep granola, yogurt and fresh cut veggies handy. You don’t need to go hungry to be healthy — in fact, that is very unhealthy! You just need to find the right balance.

A perfect plated meal should look like this:
Half of your plate should be full of fruit, vegetables or a salad
A quarter of your plate should be a lean protein, such as fish or chicken
The remaining quarter should contain a healthy carb, such as whole wheat rice
Top your meal off with fat free milk and your full AND healthy!

Recharge Tip #1: Sleep

For the next three articles I’m going to concentrate on three really great tips to help you to recharge. Now as you know, your body needs time to rest, rejuvenate and recharge. It’s absolutely essential – even when you are eating a healthy balanced diet and getting a good dose of physical exercise.

That’s because when you rest and recharge, your body gets to work to keep healthy. Cells are replaced, viruses and infections are flushed out and your body almost becomes new again.

The first important recharge tip that I will discuss here in this article is sleep.

Why is sleep so important?
Sleep is of critical importance to our physical health and wellbeing and it’s for the following reasons:

When we sleep, our brain recharges: During this time neurons are repaired.
Parts of the brain reset: A fine tuning of synaptic connections happens and the brain will sort information and discard information not needed. It stops us from overloading ourselves.
Our heart and lungs relax: There is a reduction in blood pressure and our heart rate drops.
It gives the body a chance to repair: The body will replace chemicals and repair other parts of the body that need it – muscles, tissues, aging or dead cells.
It can strengthen the immune system
Growth hormone is released during sleep: For children and young adults still growing, the growth hormone is released during sleep.

On the whole, a good quality sleep for the right amount of time refreshes us. We wake up energetic in the morning and ready for action. We also function on all cylinders after a good night sleep.

If we don’t get enough sleep:

We can experience memory loss, slower reaction time, greater stress and irritability.
By losing only one hour of sleep, our chances of having a car accident increase 7-8%.
If we lose 15 minutes of quality sleep, we can lose 15% of efficiency.
Our wellbeing plummets because of greater stress and depression associated with that.

At least 40 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders, with around 60 per cent of adults in America having sleep problems several nights each week.

That’s compared to 69 per cent of children suffering from sleep problems several nights each week.

How to sleep well
Because sleep is so important to our health and wellbeing, I recommend:

Getting into a sleep routine: Do this every day. The same bed time and get up time every day. Even on weekends.
Have a dark room: Light can interrupt your sleep.
Don’t go to bed too hungry or too full: This will stop you from getting the sleep you need. Wait at least three hours after dinner, before sleep.
Make sure you’re comfortable: Make sure your neck and back are comfortable for sleep.
Make sure you maintain your mattress: Turn it over every few months and aim to replace after 5-7 years of using it regularly. Make sure your mattress is comfortable – no sore necks or backs or it might be time to replace it.
Exercise: If you are too sedentary and don’t exercise enough, chances are it’s interfering with your sleep. Regular exercise – at least 3 days per week – will help you have a better quality sleep. Don’t exercise just before bed though!

So there you have it! Tips to help you sleep better and feel much better for it!

In my next article I’ll share my second recharge tip for you.