Step Into My Office – David’s Story, Part II

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If you haven’t yet read part one of David’s story you can find it here . David had to take off for surgery, but I advised him to meet with his physical therapist after his surgery. This way he could find out about the strengthening exercises he could do, that he could still do some cardio, and he could also focus on great nutrition.

David had the surgery and met with his therapist, as well as getting good nutrition advice from Andrea. Now with the surgery behind him, a great diet to follow, and exercises from his therapist, he took action. David went on to drop another 15 pounds after his surgery. Over the next three months he became a gym rat! It was working for him because he was working it. And don’t think that he just worked out all day. David also had a busy career that included travel and high-level executive commitments, as well as family time. He made sure that working out was at the top of his to-do list each day.

He was thrown yet another curveball when he was at the point of making some real progress. A knee doctor told him that at some point his knee would need to be replaced. The pain became too much and he ended up going in for full knee replacement surgery. Following the surgery he again had to meet with doctors and physical therapists, and he made a plan to keep the progress going to strengthen his knee. He continued his mobility exercises and cardio. In fact, he could be seen riding his bike daily with what he called his racing tights (compression pants to keep blood clots form forming and to keep swelling down). He had his headset on listening to the Beatles, eyes were closed, and he was visualizing himself riding in the mountains.

Seven months after surgery and he was down to 230 pounds, which was over a 100-pound weight loss! That was such a great day for David and it hit him with a lot of emotions of happiness, gratitude, and fun. He didn’t think it was possible to do, and at first he was just going to hunt and hike better, but the results were even better than he had imagined.

David had lowered his blood pressure, reduced his cholesterol, and his doctor was blown away by his results. He had to get new workout clothing, and he would flex his biceps. He liked the tight feeling in his muscles. Plus, when he came back from hiking he showed me a video of him moving effortlessly through the mountains. I can see why he wanted to lose the weight, as the views he saw hiking were beautiful!

David often gives me credit for his results, because I was the personal trainer who worked with him. He feels that I have done the most good for him with all of the training he has ever gotten. But I have to remind him that it worked because he worked it, and it was a honor to play a role in helping him with that journey.

Currently, David is 223 pounds and is at 17 percent body fat, and he still isn’t done. His target is 213 pounds and 13 percent body fat. He’s even looking to remove some of the excess skin as a result of his successful efforts. The best part is that he is in the best shape of his life and with his view of life and physical vitality he views 60 as just the start to life.

“Work, play, and life have never been better,” says David.” I look forward to the many years ahead with all of the things I love versus where I started from, dreading to hold a plan. I now own the planks, close grip bench presses, and dead lifts.”

David’s results may not be typical, but they go to show that transformations like this are possible. Ultimately, you are responsible for your workout effort, eating the right foods, and you should always meet with your doctor before starting a new exercise plan and diet plan. Also, consider working with a personal trainer, such as myself. It may be just the extra motivation you need to help get it all to work this time around!

 

Step Into My Office – David’s Story, Part I

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In this two-part series I want to share with you one of my client’s stories. His name is David, and his story is not only inspirational, but one that you may also relate to. As a personal trainer in the Vancouver, Washington area, who specializes in working with baby boomers and seniors, I get to work with a lot of different people. I’m happy that I got the opportunity to work with David!

One day as I was finishing my work day and about to head out of the gym I saw a gentleman who I always say “hi” to on my way out. This day, however, was different as I was leaving. When I greeted him today he stopped me and told me to step into his office, which happened to be two chairs side by side in the gym. I took a seat and we began to chat.

The man, who I came to learn to was David, was covered in sweat and started telling me about how he just finished his “death march” on the treadmill. His voice was deep and as he laughed I knew that he had a great heart, he was just missing something. He began to share with me how he had been doing the treadmill on a daily basis, as well as when he used to train in the past. He trained in the past and had a personal trainer who had given him a great workout, but he couldn’t put it all together. He couldn’t keep the workouts consistent and couldn’t seem to get the weight off.

He told me that he wanted a workout that wouldn’t kill him, or leave him feeling like that’s what was happening. He needed a workout that would help him become consistent. While his desire wasn’t to have 6-pack abs, he would still be happy if he had them. His desire was really to go hunting and hiking with his uncles, cousins, niece, and nephew. I explained to him the time commitment working out would take in order to get to where he wanted to be. He needed to commit to getting at least 5 hours of exercise per week, and that we would work up to that, so the 5 hours wouldn’t kill him, but it would provide a nice mix of mobility work, cardio, and weight training. I also said he would need to keep a food log.

David asked if I’d be available in the morning, because he’d like to give it a test drive for a month. I told him that there were no test drives; he had to be 100 percent committed for a full month. I told him he would be happy with his results, and if he wasn’t then he could quit and just give up on life. As a personal trainer I knew that if he stuck to the commitment that he would be happy. He said he’d meet me at his office (the two chairs in the gym) at 5:50 the next morning.

David showed up and we took his weight and measurements and got to work. David weighed in that morning at 327 pounds. Would he remain at that? Only time would tell!

He loved the mobility work that we did and after finishing the first session he said he felt amazing and could get used to doing it. I gave him a copy of my Boomer Fitness workbook, which features all the stretches and exercises. I told him it was his job to show up 10 minutes before his session to do the stretches. The next day I smiled as I walked in and saw David warming up with his stretches. When I saw that, I knew he was committed!

We then started in on the weight and I noticed hi was doing a lot of clock watching. When I asked him was going on he replied, “Kid, I love you, but I hate you and I’m counting down the minutes.”

Day after day and week after week went by. At the end of the first month David had dropped 10 pounds. Then a curveball hit him. He had a degenerative disk in his neck that was pinching a nerve and giving him horrible pain. He went to the doctor and found out he would need surgery, as well as a two-month break from working out. David was fearful that he would take a step back, but how long would that step back be?

READ PART 2 HERE

Think it’s ever too late to get fit? Think again!

What age is too old to start getting in shape? Would you think that someone who is a grandpa is far beyond his prime years for doing so? What if I told you that you were wrong? Completely wrong! Well that’s exactly what I’m saying. It is never too late to get fit. Baby boomers are doing it, senior citizens are doing it, and so are grandparents!

A great example of it never being too late to get in shape and reach fitness goals is Robert Durbin. He’s a 64 year old grandfather who lives in Louisville, Ky. Just seven years ago this grandfather was overweight, had health problems, and needed a cane or walker to get around. But he decided to take control of the situation and become fit. While it may seem it was a feat against all odds, the results are impressive!

Durbin spends about four hours every day working out. He’s retired, so he can put in that kind of time at the gym. It’s a bonus – it gives him something to do and is good for his health. He works out seven days a week. He also maintains a healthy diet. He follows a clean eating diet, which includes eating 5-6 small meals per day, and avoiding fried foods.

Following this diet and fitness plan he was able to lose 70 pounds! He also become healthy, fit, and rock hard. He has strength and fitness that many people in their 20s never see. So how did he do it? By making the commitment to get fit and take control over his health, first and foremost. To do that, he worked with a workout team, learning what types of exercises would benefit him. He also never gave up. For seven years he has plugged away, making his health and fitness a high priority. And it shows!

You can get fit, too. It doesn’t matter how old you are or what type of health/physical condition you are in. What’s important is believing you can do it and then making it happen. If you want to be the next Durbin here’s what you can do:

  1. Make the commitment to get fit and live a healthier lifestyle. You will be glad you did it and so will your family.
  2. Work with a personal trainer. As a personal trainer in Vancouver, Washington, I specialize in working with baby boomers, senior citizens, and grandparents.
  3. Never give up. Make it a priority to take care of your health, get fit, and put you at the top of your list.

Robert Durbin showed everyone that he could go from being an overweight grandparent with health problems to a ripped grandparent who is fit and healthy. He is a great example for his kids and grandkids of not only a healthy lifestyle but a healthy life attitude. You can do it, too! I’ve helped many people in the Vancouver area with their personal training goals, and I can help you as well. It’s never too late and you are never too old. If you are breathing, and I think you are, then you can achieve new fitness levels!

Staying Successful While Traveling During the Holidays

If you are like millions of others around the nation you will end up doing some type of traveling this holiday seasons. Most people seem to, whether it’s in the same state or around the country. We live in times when families are spread across the nation, prompting holiday travel from sea to shining sea. Whatever you do, don’t let your holiday travel become an excuse for not staying on track with your fitness goals and routine!

Pushing your fitness plans aside while you are traveling will only leave you with regrets when you turn home, if not beforehand. Like many of you, I will do some traveling this month as well. I plan to head back to Wisconsin for a visit, attend a fitness seminar, and I’m always involved in travel away from home for my National Guard duties. Also like some of you, I could make a lot of excuses for not keeping up with my fitness routine during the travel. But I will not do that and for many good reasons.

Staying the course and keeping up with your fitness routine will keep you feeling good, help you avoid weight gain, and help you lose weight if that is your goal. It’s going to help keep you fit, trim, and energetic. Keeping up with it during travel may require being proactive and creative, but it is something you can do and be successful at. Here are some tips for doing just that:

  • Locate a gym. Look ahead at where it is you will be going and locate a gym before you ever arrive. Most will allow you purchase a day or week pass to work out there. If you are staying at a hotel they may also have a gym right there on the premises. Know ahead of time where you will be working out.
  • Go with friends. If you are visiting friends or family find out where they work out and hook up with them. This will give you a chance to try something new and will make locating a place even easier.
  • Plan ahead. Know ahead of time what you will be eating so you can maintain a healthy diet. If you will be going to restaurants take a look at the menu online and plan ahead so you will know what healthy dishes you can order. Locate grocery stores where you can pick up healthy food options. The more you can map out ahead of time, the better off you will be.
  • Block out time. If you really want to maintain your fitness routine while traveling you will need to schedule the workout time. Literally put it on the calendar and block out the time to get it done. Do whatever it takes to keep it a priority and on your schedule.

Always remind yourself while you are traveling of the importance of staying on track. Write your goals and successes down if you need to. Carry them with you, so you can always pull them out each day and be reminded of all are working for, and have put in time for thus far. Whether you are one of my personal training clients here in the Vancouver, Washington area, or you are a reader from around the country, you can maintain a successful fitness routine while traveling. Just keep these tips in mind, make it a priority, and never look back!

 

 

Get a Plan – Or Make One!

Do you have a plan for remaining healthy, fit, and on your path to weight loss? If you don’t you may find the holidays a bit more challenging to get through. It’s so important that you have a plan to get through this month. I know, you may be thinking this is a bit dramatic, but it’s not. The more prepared you are for this month; the more likely you will be successful at making it through without weight gain!

The holiday month is a time when many people, including some of my personal training clients here in Vancouver, Washington, gain weight. Nobody sets out to gain weight during the holidays, but it happens. With all the aromas of cookies, candies, and foods, we may only see this time of year as difficult time for to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  It’s understandable, but there is something you can do to beat it. It’s call having a plan. If you don’t already have one, now is the time to get busy creating one.

Here is how you can make a plan to get you through the holidays safely and healthily:

  • Set goals. You must have a goal of what you want to accomplish through the holidays. Do you want to not gain weight? Lose 5 pounds? Whatever it is you need to write those goals down. Make them specific and get them on paper now.
  • Get a trainer. Work with a personal trainer, such as myself. Our job is to help keep you on track, motivated, and working toward reaching your goals. If you are in the Vancouver, Washington area, contact me. If you are not, find a personal trainer to work with in your area.
  • Write it down. Buy a journal and every morning write down the things that you have succeeded at. Include even the small things, so you have a record of all the successes you have had along the way.
  • Find quotes. Find some motivational quotes online that will keep you inspired and on track. Print a few off and put them on your mirror, refrigerator, and even keep one in your car. This will be a good focal point when you are in need of some encouraging words.
  • Call a friend. If you know someone else who wants to make it through the holiday healthily, become health buddies. Agree to call each other daily this month and discuss challenges, successes, and plans.
  • Follow me. If you are not already doing so, follow me on Facebook. I regularly post things that are motivational and inspiring, which will help keep you on track.

Having a plan is a big key to making it through the holidays successfully. It will help keep you from gaining the holiday weight that so many do, but it will also keep you fit and even on track for losing weight if you are trying to. This holiday season it is all in your hands and you have a choice to make. If you want to make it a healthy holiday, get a plan in action and keep at it all month!

 

Handling the Dreaded Food Pushers

We have them here in the Vancouver, Washington area and there is a good chance that no matter where you are, you have them, too. They are the dreaded food pushers. You know, the people who will insist you eat their fat-filled desserts, despite you telling them you are on a diet or trying to stick to a healthier lifestyle. Well this holiday season you don’t need to take their pushing. This year, push back!

My baby boomer personal clients here in Vancouver often share their stories with me of how they were doing so well only to have someone push a pile of fresh baked cookies on them. Or perhaps it was a new dish that they insisted be tried. You tell them no, but they just don’t listen and keep pushing. Rather than give into them, you need to toughen up and push back a little. It’s a matter of your health and you need to be in total control of it, not the food pushers.

So just how do you go about handling the food pushers? Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Self talk. It is always helpful to have a list of all the reasons you want to lose weight or stay fit. Write them down on index cards if you have to, and then carry the list or reasons with you. As food pushers try to get you to eat things you know you shouldn’t, pull out those reasons as a reminder of why you are saying no.
  • Rehearse comebacks. Before you go into a situation where you there will be food pushers, try rehearsing your comeback. That way you will know what you will say when confronted by a food pusher and won’t be put on the spot thinking of an excuse.
  • Change mindset. You may feel that it’s rude to turn the food down. I disagree. It’s rude to eat something that you know you will regret later. Change the way you think about the situation so you can see the benefits of turning the food down.
  • Have a plan. If you will be attending a holiday event, go with a plan in mind. Decide ahead of time how much you will eat (such as trying three favorite dishes), and then stick to it. That way you will get to try a little bit, but you will be setting limits. Remember to use portion control.
  • Non-food rewards. Make a deal with yourself that you will get yourself a non-food reward by sticking to your healthy living habits this holiday season. Perhaps you can make it a new exercise shirt or something you have been eyeing.
  • Stick to your guns. If you had a food allergy you would never hesitate to tell a food pusher that you don’t want something. Have the same conviction and stick to your guns in turning down the foods that they peddle. When they see you are serious and don’t give in, they will move on to someone else. If you’ve rehearsed your comebacks you are less likely to sound rude. There are plenty of polite ways to say ‘no’.

As a personal trainer I work with a lot of baby boomers and senior citizens in helping them reach and maintain their fitness goals. These lifestyle choices will add years to their life. Many people go overboard when it comes to holiday eating, especially where food pushers come into play. Keep these tips above in mind so you can beat the food pushers and keep on the right path to your healthy lifestyle. You will be so glad you did!

 

Reaching For Your Dreams – Age No Barrier

This past week there was something really inspirational that was on the news. You may have been one of the millions that saw it as I did. I’m talking about Diana Nyad and how she accomplished a goal at the age of 64. For those who feel that you reach a point where it is too late to reach for your dreams, she serves as an example that it is never too late!

Nyad was big news this past week because she did something that nobody else has done before. She swam the 110 miles from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. Did you get that? At the age of 64, she swam 110 miles in order to set a record. She’s the first person to do this and yet she’s a baby boomer. No protection from the elements, bitten numerous times by jellyfish, and hungry, she finished the goal she set out to do.

Her message to people is that they should never give up. She didn’t, and neither should anyone else. She also demonstrated that you are never too old to chase your dreams. You only have one life to live, making it crucial that you go after that which you dream of. She had a dream of making that swim and she did not let her age become a barrier to her achieving her goal. Another one of her messages is that many things in life, such as what she accomplished, is not a solitary act. While she gets the credit for the swim, she actually had a team of people who were providing her the support in order to make it possible.

While Nyad had a team of 35 people, some people need merely to work with a personal trainer or coach in order to reach their goals. Many people don’t realize it, but we are often the biggest obstacles we face when wanting to achieve something. We have a goal in mind, but we talk ourselves out even going for it with piles of excuses. We place limits on ourselves that don’t need to be there.

The negative self talk that floats around in the heads of most people, including my personal training clients, has probably stopped you from achieving many goals. You have to believe in yourself and in your ability to accomplish things in order for it to become a reality.

Perhaps you are reading this and your own dream comes to mind. Maybe it has nothing to do with fitness, but rather with finances or business. Your dream may have been something more related to personal issues, spirituality, or romance.

It’s never too late. Whatever your dream was is still waiting for you. You may think that at your age you have lost the ability to achieve that dream. You may think you are too old now. But let me remind you that a 64 year old woman just swam 110 miles in shark and jellyfish infested waters in order to make her dreams a reality. She did it in 53 hours, after she had failed at attempting it on three other prior occasions.

So what is your dream? What’s stopping you from going after it?

Forget the excuses. Instead, put a plan into action and make it happen. You can do it. I believe in you and you will achieve your goals!

 

Baby Boomer Body Composition – Why it’s Important

If you look in the mirror to try to determine how healthy you are there is a good chance you may be missing the mark. That doesn’t tell the whole story. Nor does getting on a scale to see how much you weigh. While these things may give you some clues about your health and fitness level, there is a lot more to it. When you know more, the body composition, then you will have a much better idea of how fit you really are.

As a personal trainer for baby boomers in the Vancouver, Washington area, I am happy to help work with my clients on their body composition. Your body composition is what your body is made up of. It’s the fat to muscle and bone ratio. By looking at you there is no clue how much of your body is made up of fat versus bone or muscle. But by doing tests, using calipers, we can determine the ratio for each. This gives us a better idea of what your fitness level is and if you need to work on reducing fat percentage so that it is in a healthy range.

You actually function better when you have a healthy body composition. You may also be able to avoid or delay the onset of some diseases by having a healthy body composition. Here are some ways you can work toward helping to improve yours:

  • Lifestyle choices. The lifestyle you live is going to be a huge contributor to your body composition. If you sit on the couch all day watching television there is a good chance you will have a high percentage of body fat, for example. It is important to incorporate exercising regularly into your lifestyle. In doing so, opt for both aerobic activity, as well as strength training exercises.
  • Healthy eating. What you eat matters. It matters a lot! Fill your body up with foods that are filled with unhealthy fats, trans fats, sugars, and other such things and you will not have a good body composition. Your body needs healthy sources of nutrition, which includes lots of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains.
  • Having goals. When you have goals in mind you are more likely to actually make things happens. If you set out to do something and don’t know where you want to ultimately end up, there is a good chance you may never get there. Know where you are going so you can judge your success milestones along the way and you will know when you have arrived. You will also increase the chances of obtaining those goals when you share them with others. It helps to hold you accountable.

In the Vancouver, Washington area I work with many clients in personal training. Body composition is one area that we work on. If you haven’t been tested, then followed a plan, and then re-tested to see the improvement in your results you are missing out. It’s a great feeling and is motivating to see that your hard work is really paying off!

Dig Into Strength: How Baby Boomers Can Improve Strength

Do you have difficulty walking up the steps? What about making dinner? If you find these things a lot more difficult than you used to it is time to take action. Believe it or not, you can get your strength back, even as a baby boomer. You do not have to take a loss of strength sitting down. Now is the time to stand up and fight… now is the time to dig in!

As a personal trainer in Vancouver, Washington who helps numerous baby boomers I address the strength issue on a regular basis. Yes, it’s true that if you do not work at it you will lose strength as you age. In fact, you will lose about 30 percent of your strength in the years that follow turning 50 years old. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can get that strength back, but it takes you being proactive in making it happen.

Many people think that you only hit the gym and lift weights if you want to be a body builder. Not so! The strength training that you will do in the gym will help you be able to climb those stairs better, or make it easier to tackle making dinner. You can use free weights, elastic bands, or exercise machines. The key is to have some resistance, because that resistance is going to help you build and maintain your muscle mass.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to increasing your strength:

  • Make sure you start with mobility. Without first focusing on improving your mobility you will find it difficult to take on the next step of strength training. Once you have addressed the mobility issue you are ready to move on.

 

  • Get a program to help you increase your strength level. The key here is that you have to make sure it is focusing on your weak areas. If you cannot identify them work with a personal trainer so you get the results you are after.
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    Use a progressive overload approach, which will keep your body from bulking up or getting bigger. Instead, you will set goals of getting stronger and focus on meeting them.

 

  • Take action. This is the most important part. You can talk all day long about what needs to be done and why, but it will be worthless if it is not put into action. If you want to see results you must get a program and put it into action.

Getting older does not have to mean getting weaker. You can stop the loss of muscle and gain some strength back again. But you have to be proactive in making it happen. Whether you work with me, through my Vancouver, Washington personal training for baby boomers, or you do it with someone else, your strength training goals can be achieved. They also make a big difference in your quality of life, making them a goal worth fighting for!

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.