What Baby Boomer’s Should Focus on When it Comes to Fitness

As a personal trainer who works with a group of baby boomers in the Vancouver, Washington area I get asked a lot of questions. One of the most common questions I hear from people is that they are a baby boomer and they want to know what the most important thing is that they should be focusing on when it comes to having a fitness plan. It’s a question that I love to answer, because it let’s me know you are headed in the right direction!

First of all, let me say congratulations! If you are asking that question it means you are interested in improving your level of fitness. It is never too late to take control of your fitness, whether you are a baby boomer or not. There are so many benefits to being active in exercising and trying to be healthy. By being physically active you can help to prevent or delay the onset of disease, help to maintain your independence as you age, improve your strength and balance, and much more. In fact, research shows that those who are active reduce their chances of developing heart disease.

Now you that you know the benefits of a baby boomer getting fit, here are my personal recommendations for getting started:

  • See the doctor. You have probably heard this before, but it’s true and has to be said. Before you begin taking on an exercise or fitness program it is important to make an appointment with your doctor. You want to make sure you are physically well enough to take on getting fit at this time. Your doctor may want to do a few tests, including for bone density, as well as do a fitness assessment. This is an important step and should not be ignored.
  • Focus on mobility. Focusing on mobility is important in so many areas of your life as a baby boomer. You will want to have quality movements, including engaging in daily activities that involve pain free things you love to do. This will help you prevent injury strains, tears, and pulls.
  • Seek strength. Feel like you aren’t quite as strong as you used to be? You are right! It is estimated that people lose around 30 percent of their strength between 50 and 70 years old. This makes it that much more important that you engage in strength training. The loss of strength will impact your life in many ways, including in doing the things you enjoy and in being independent.
  • Build balance. As people age many of them experience balance issues. Many of them are related to problems such as vertigo, disturbances of the inner ear, and falls and injuries. Having balance issues can keep you from enjoying doing a lot of things, but it can also make life more dangerous, as you will be more prone to falls. You can help improve balance by getting off the machines, do more standing movements, and engage in something like Tai Chi.
  • Consider body composition. It is important to know what healthy is and what it looks like. It is equally important to have a healthy lifestyle, rather than just focusing on your diet. It’s about changing your mindset and personal identity to one that focuses on wellness and fitness.

So there are the top things that I think every baby boomer who is getting started with fitness should focus on. Once you do that, you will be well on your way to becoming fit. Whether you are in the Vancouver, Washington area, or beyond!

How long will it take me to get the body I want? I want this yesterday!

By the time people make contact with me, they have already decided that enough is enough.  They’re tired of looking in the mirror and seeing a frumpy person looking back at them.  They’re tired of feeling lethargic.  And they are sick of being in a state of unfit!

So it never surprises me when people ask me, “How long is it going to take me to get the body I want?  I want this yesterday!”

 

We live in a society of instant gratification.  If you want something, you can go and get it.  After all, that’s what the commercials and advertisers tell us daily, right?

Most of the time, that is the case.  The thing is though, when it comes to your goals concerning getting the body you want and getting the fitness you want, it takes time.  Ask yourself this key question, “Did you get to your current state of being a few – or a lot – of pounds overweight overnight?”

“Did you get yourself to your current state of being so unfit overnight?”

The answers will always be NO!

It takes time to put on weight.

It takes time to lose fitness.

It takes time to become unfit.

None of this stuff happens overnight.  And none of it can be fixed overnight.

And that is why you need to really accept this reality.  The reality is that all damage that takes time to create, will take time to reverse.

If you want to reverse a trend of weight gain and lose the weight, it will take time.

If you want to reverse a trend of unfitness and gain fitness, it will take time.

The moment you accept this reality is the moment you can set yourself on a path to reversing it and getting the results you want.

Understand it will take time, and then work with your personal trainer to achieve those goals you want.

If you go down the path of wanting the instant results, the instant gratification – the great results with little effort and in next to no time – you won’t get the results you want.

Accept that it takes time to do damage.  Accept that it takes time to reverse damaging trends.

And you will be well on your way to achieving the body and fitness goals you want!

Talk to your fitness trainer about what your goals are, and ask them for a realistic time frame.  You must be realistic when it comes to what you can achieve and the time it will take.  Don’t set yourself up for crazy expectations that are unrealistic.  You cannot lose 30lbs in one month.  You cannot get the fitness you want in just one week.

It will take you some time.  When you learn this and take it onboard, you will be in the right frame of mind to stick to the plan your fitness trainer sets for you – and achieve your goals in the time needed to achieve them.

So relax and understand this.  Be easy on yourself by being realistic with your goals.  As Pantene said, “It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.”

 To speed up the time in getting the body you want CLICK HERE

How many calories should I be taking in for my body?

As a personal trainer, I’ve lost count of how many times this question has been put to me: how many calories should I be taking in for my body?

Now this is a really valid question if you are keen to lose or maintain weight, because what you eat, in conjunction to what exercise you do determines how many calories you need to consume each day.

In determining exactly how many calories you need to consume each day, you need to determine how many calories each day your body will actually use.  Think of it as income to expenditure.  Your food or calories are income and the spending of calories through exercise is the expenditure.  The first step in calculating the calories you must consume each day, is to determine your Basil Metabolic Rate or BMR.

Now, rather than go into great detail and outline the formulas for calculating your BMR, it’s easier for you to just enter your weight and height details into the BMR calculator .  I’m going to ask you to go and get your BMR now, so please google BMR calculator in another screen and get your BMR number.

Okay, you’ve got your BMR now?  That’s great!  Determining how many calories per day your body needs to consume is easy.

The amount of calories you must consume per day – referred to as Total Daily Energy Expenditure or TDEE – is determined by the amount of exercise you engage in each day.  TDEE tells us how many calories we need to maintain our weight.

Total Daily Energy Expenditure for somebody who does very little is calculated by your BMR x 1.2.  If you do very light activity 1-3 days per week, your Total Daily Energy Expenditure is your BMR x 1.375.  If you engage in moderate activity, exercise or sport 3-5 days per week, your TDEE is BMR x 1.55.  If you do high physical activity, sport or exercise 6-7 days per week, your TDEE is BMR x 1.725 and if you are involved in very heavy activity – a physical job, or you do a lot of sport or exercise twice a day, everyday, your total calorie intake per day is calculated by BMR x 1.9.

Now that you know how to calculate your daily calorie needs for maintaining weight, how do you calculate daily calories needed to lose weight?

You need to subtract from your Total Daily Energy Expenditure figure to lose weight.  To determine how much to subtract, you need to know how calories relate to weight.  And that’s why I need to mention the following:

1 lb (0.45kg) equates to 3500 calories

1.5 lb (0.68kg) equates to 5250 calories

2 lbs (0.91kg) equates to 7000 calories

Say for example, your BMR is 1800 calories and you do moderate exercise.  Your TDEE is:

1800 x 1.55

So your TDEE is 2700 calories per day to maintain your current weight.  Multiply 2700 x 7 and your weekly calorie intake to maintain your weight is 18,900 calories.

So, if you want to lose 2lbs per week, here’s how you calculate the calories you need to consume per day:

18,900 – 7000 = 11,900/week

11,900/7 days = 1700 calories/day

You need to consume 1700 calories per day to lose 2lbs per week.

It’s important to never exceed weight loss of 2lbs per week, because to lose more than this will burn muscle, overtraining, or burnout which is unhealthy.  You need muscle to help you burn fat, so keep your weight loss to a healthy level.

So now you know how to determine the calories you need every day.

 

Going After the Enemy – Obesity

There’s an old English proverb that says, “Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork.” Yet that’s exactly what many people across America are doing. Obesity has become a major issue, with over a third of all adults in the country falling into the category, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What’s more, further studies by Cornell University indicate that those who are obese typically do not see themselves as such. They tend to think that about 30 pounds heavier than they are is obese.

Clearly we have a big problem on our hands, and baby boomers are not immune. When it comes to senior citizens, 45 percent are overweight, while around a third of them are obese. The problem is that it raises the risks for hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease, etc. Just when you thought you could retire and enjoy the rest of your years, you find out that obesity has put a damper on things!

When people are obese, they have a more difficult time traveling, being active, and doing all those fun things that make up their bucket list. So just how do you go about determining if you are obese? It’s a mathematical equation, really, where you determine your body fat, BMI, waist circumference, etc. When women have more than 30 percent body fat, and men over 25 percent, they are considered to be obese. You can also use a BMI calculator, which can be found online, to determine what your BMI is and if it falls into the obesity or overweight category. Also, women with a waist that is more than 35 inches are considered to be obese.

When you think about what has happened over the last several generations, it is easy to see where the obesity issue came from. We used to be a society made up of active people, who walked, biked, worked in the garden, cleaned our houses, and even washed our clothes by hand and hung them to dry. Today we have conveniences for everything you can think of. We have largely become a sedentary people, which is leading us to pack on the pounds.

So, what is it that is preventing you from losing weight? The top reasons that I find, from the baby boomers I work with, include inactivity, alcohol abuse, eating out too often, empty nest syndrome, baby boomer boomerang (moving back home), being a caretaker, stress, menopause (for women), and testosterone decline (for men). The good news is that you can address these issues and get to the root of the problem. Stay tuned for the next blog post, when I look at menopause causing weight gain, and what you can do about it.

The key to losing weight and battling obesity is in your hands. I have watched many people ignore this problem and end up losing in the end. Yet, I have also seen baby boomers take it on and beat it. The choice is completely up to you; it’s just a matter of determining which path you will take!

Retiring From Fitness

Q. My husband is 68 years old and recently retired. He used to have a job that kept him active. Now that he has retired he is not getting much physical activity at all and I have noticed him slowly gaining some weight. What do you suggest he should be doing at this point, considering he has never been one to go work out. He has always gotten his exercise on the job.

A. First, let me say congratulations on the retirement. Now is the time to really focus on enjoying life and having fun, as you probably already know. However, it is also a time to do what you can to make the rest of your life as healthy as you can. Having said that, it is important that all senior citizens know that when you retire from your job you cannot abandon physical activity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), senior citizens, or those over 65 years of age, are advised to get exercise on a regular basis. By exercising regularly you will help keep your body stronger and healthier. This will help you to enjoy your retirement more, as well as maintain independence throughout your retirement.

So what do you need to do to get the physical activity as a senior citizen? Here’s what I recommend, which coincides with what the CDC advises:

  • Option one. Get 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic activity, as well as do muscle strengthening exercises at least two days per week. Moderate exercises include brisk walking.
  • Option two. This option is to do 75 minutes per week of intense aerobic activity, combined with at least 2 days per week of strength training exercise. Intense aerobic activity includes running or jogging.
  • Option three. With the third option you can mix up doing moderate and intense aerobic activity, as well as get 2 days per week of strength training in.

As you can see, getting regular strength training, which includes lifting weights, is recommended with every option. The strength training is important to maintaining healthy muscles and being more toned. Another important thing to note is that you can get your exercise in 10 minute time slots if you need to. Taking a 10 minute walk here and 10 minute bike ride there will add up to give you what you need throughout the week.

Show this article to your husband, make a plan, get started, and focus on living a healthier retirement!

 

Water Exercises for Boomer Fitness

Q. Boomer Fitness – I’m hoping you can help me out with something. I work out at a gym that has an indoor pool. I noticed that the schedule they have offers some senior water aerobic classes. I stopped in and watched for a few minutes and although it looks like a fun time in the water, I wonder if people are actually getting a good workout. What do you think?

A. What a great question, thank you for asking it! This is a question that I have had from many senior citizens over the years. Baby boomers see the water aerobic classes going on and want to suit up and take a dive. Yet there is a little hesitation in doing so. Maybe it’s because they don’t see people that are in the classes sweating.

Even if you can’t see people sweating in the water aerobics classes there is a good chance they are doing some good for their body. One of the main reasons that senior citizens opt for water aerobic classes is that it is easy on the joints. If you ever suffer from joint pain you know that it can make keeping up with your workouts challenging. Yet most people who do water aerobics find that there isn’t any pain.

While I may not rank water aerobics as the best possible way for a senior to get in a workout, I do think that it’s an acceptable option. This is because it gets you working out. I’m much more concerned with people working out regularly, rather than what it is that they are doing to get that work out.

You mentioned that you thought the water aerobics class looked like fun. Well I can tell you from working with many baby boomers that when something is fun you are more likely to continue doing it. Fun workouts make time go by faster and you will forget that you are actually doing some hard work.

My suggestion would be to give it a try. Unless you suffer from the ongoing joint pain I would not suggest that you make it your sole form of exercise, because it’s good to change it up some. But doing it once or twice a week, especially if you find it to be fun, is a great thing. You will burn some calories, have some fun, and go easy on the joints. If you feel you need a little something more, take a few laps in the pool before or after the water aerobics class. So, suit up, jump in, and have fun!

FOR MORE EXERCISES THAT ARE BOOMER FRIENDLY CLICK HERE

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……

The Most Important Exercise You Must Do – Examine Your Identity

There is famous quote by Buddha that says, “The mind is everything. What we think, we become.” As it relates to fitness, how you see yourself, whether weak, fat, tired, or physically fit, is what reality becomes. Therefore, you need to make sure that your self perception is really the one you want to come true!

 

The importance of examining our own identity is something that I learned about from my mentor, Steve Linder. What we say with emotion becomes our reality. This is why it is so important to stop looking at yourself and cutting your body down.

That how we define ourselves determines the choices we take makes it even that much more important that we have a good self identity. If we think of ourselves as weak, we will avoid lifting weights. If we see ourselves as tired, we won’t push ourselves to get more out of a workout. One of the problems here is that we end up limiting ourselves, which keeps us from actually achieving the results that we want.

Let me give you a couple examples of clients I have worked with and how their thoughts on their identity impacted their ability to reach goals. I have a female client that came to me after having back surgery and couldn’t find a way to get fit. She would get hurt or simply wouldn’t know what to do. Soon she became overwhelmed and gave up, which led to a significant weight gain, as well as a loss of confidence in what she would be able to do.

Together we took the time to create a custom plan for her that included setting smart goals. These goals included daily, weekly, and monthly milestones. It also included exercise, nutrition, and supplements. She progressed over the course of a year, and she lost 50 pounds! Over the next year, she began running half marathons and even triathlons. She is now living her true self – the one she wanted to be, which is an athlete.

Another client of mine, a young business women, would get close to her goals, and then when she had to travel, would end up gaining it all back and getting off track. Despite her beset efforts, she defined her identity as being someone that can’t loss weight while traveling, and therefore took a zero action approach.

By realizing who you are currently isn’t who you really are, is a success. Because like the marathon boomer, she ended up becoming her true self. So if a 50-plus back surgery client can change how she defines herself and take daily action and become her best self, why not you?

By achieving your true self, you begin to live the life you were meant. You become a better grandparent, a better traveler, or what ever you see you are. Don’t you deserve to be your best? Now you have to put the work in and commit to the action like the marathon boomer, because there is no quick fix.

So here is your assignment – If you could be your very best you in sustained health and vitality, who would you be? What would you do? Then how would your life be better?
Now that you have defined yourself, take that action and re-enforce yourself with positive feelings.
You can make it in those lines.

CLICK HERE TO START REDEFINING WHO YOU ARE……