Sticking to Your Goals While Travelling

11084264_813465242035488_1911318864560426423_nSpring is here, and summer is just around the corner! It’s always exciting when it gets nice outside, and  I know a lot of people take the opportunity to start planning their vacation when this time of the year starts to roll around.

This last week, I had the chance to visit Las Vegas. It was a great chance to visit Vesta Hospitality, enjoy some time in the sun, and even meet the Seahawk Great Curt Warner! It was a great time, and I hope I can do it again sometime in the future.

It occurred to me, though, that when people are travelling abroad, it might be a little more difficult to fit in your fitness goals. After all, fitness usually demands a time table, and your vacation time pushes aside your everyday life for something a little more relaxing.

Now, you know me. And you know that even while on vacation, I always stress how important it is to stick to your goals, even if it requires a little extra dedication. You have earned a vacation, but don’t let your fitness suffer!

That’s why I like to suggest a few key points to clients who are planning on taking a trip for an extended period of time:

Talk to Boomer Fitness about sticking to your fitness – One of the best things about Boomer Fitness is we continue to work with you on your fitness outside of the gym. The personal trainers here have a wealth of knowledge, and it’s a resource we want you take advantage of while you’re here.

If you’re planning on travelling abroad, let us know, and we’ll talk you through some basic workout routines that you can do on the go. We’ll talk you through proper technique when doing stretches, some basic exercises you can do in a hotel room, and write up a dietary plan you can refer to.

Plan ahead so you can enjoy yourself – Let’s be completely honest for a minute: Whether its food or drink, you’re going to enjoy yourself on your vacation. You know it and I know it, and there’s nothing wrong with that. So if you’re going to enjoy yourself while on vacation, lets make sure you’re working on your diet ahead of time so you can afford to enjoy yourself.

When you’re planning out your vacation, choose which meals you’re going to allow yourself to splurge on, so you can enjoy yourself when you finally get to that meal. Plus, the anticipation of such good food will just make it taste all the better!

Look for fitness avenues while travelling – One thing I always advocate when people are travelling is finding a hotel that has a decent workout center. But believe me, I know how hard it can be to find a “fitness center” that is more than just a closest sized room with a treadmill.

The trainers here at Boomer Fitness can help you with exercises that require little to no equipment, and can be done in your very own room. These exercises include Lunges, Wall Presses, and even the cult favorite, Burpees!

Dedication to fitness doesn’t stop when you’re on vacation! But it also doesn’t keep you from enjoying yourself while you’re away. Talk to us for more information about how you can include fitness in your time abroad.

How We Get Ready for a 5K

iStock_000009329788XSmallIf you missed my blog last Tuesday, I wrote a bit about why I like getting people ready for a 5k. It’s a great way to set goals, test our fitness, and succeed our prior selves. Best of all, there’s no greater feeling than crossing that finish line, knowing that you were able to accomplish what you thought was impossible mere months ago.

So now you’re amped! You want to start training for a 5k, but if you have never done it before, training might be a little difficult to find a good place to start. Running long distances might be something you did a long time ago, or it might be something you have never attempted in your life.

The best thing about Boomer Fitness is we take your entire history of training into account when we put together a plan for you. It’s all about realizing where you are now, planning a course of action and setting goals, and then achieving those goals through measurable time frames.

Maybe you want to train for a 5k, but what if your running experience consists of a treadmill? We can work around that and start with the very basics of running. Maybe you used to be a cross country running in high school, but it’s more of a recreational activity for you now. Instead of focusing on the basics, we can instead work on getting your endurance up.

So what are we going to do first? Take a look at a few of the basics that we might cover when you come in to Boomer Fitness:

Training Beyond your Legs– Running is a full body exercise, and we need to make sure your body is prepped for endurance running. A lot of people make the mistake of only exercising their legs when they get ready for a run. While you’re legs are certainly going to be doing the bulk of the work, It’s vital to make sure your entire body is ready to go. After all, you’re entire self is going for the run, not just your pair of legs.

Think about it this way: If you want to tune up a car, you don’t just add new tires and expect the car to drive faster. You would have to tune up the engine, the transmission, change the oil, maybe add some high-octane fuel… It’s the same idea for working on your body.

Instead of just focusing on the muscles in your legs, Boomer Fitness Trainers will be focusing on your entire self. We will spend a lot of time on your legs, sure, but we will also work on your core, back, and even your arms.

Goal Planning – So you want to run a 5k at the end of August? Great! Lets get started now.

The sooner you start getting ready for an event, the sooner you can start making improvement. Many participants in 5ks leave training until the last minute, thinking they can cram enough training into a month, or even just a few weeks prior to the event. We have to remember that marked improvement takes a lot of time and dedication, and it isn’t something you can just cram in at the end.

If you start now? You will be in a much better place come summertime than if you start mid July.

Escaping the Treadmill – If you know me, you know how much I dislike constant use of bicycle machines or treadmills. Running on a treadmill is great training for a treadmill edition of a 5K, but these events aren’t done on a treadmill. They’re done outdoors!

The outdoors have hills, slopes, different types of pavement, and other variables you just can’t train for on a treadmill. Our training for a 5k is going to be much more intense than just ramping up the difficulty on a machine and calling it good. We will look at getting your heart rate up, resistance training your legs, endurance building, and switching up your diet as we get closer to the race.

Getting in the Right Mindset – I have said it before, and I’ll say it again: Fitness is only half physical. The other half of fitness is purely a mental state, and it’s vitally important that we get in the right frame of mind when we start.

Boomer Fitness puts a huge amount of emphasis on the mental side of fitness. True, we spend a lot of time on the machines, free weights, and mats, but we also spend a lot of time talking to you. After all, it’s your fitness we are working on, so we want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your program.

The hardest part about getting ready for a 5K is telling yourself that you can finish the event. It’s about starting the run and knowing that it’s not a question of if you manage to get to the finish line, but a matter of when and how you feel when you do it.

I know you can do this event. I know because I’ve seen many clients make the transformation from “I can’t” to “I will.” One of my favorite moments of being a Personal Trainer is seeing you make that transformation, and I want to help you get there. Send me an email when you’re ready to make the transformation!

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!

 

Facebook FAQ Part II – The Specifics of an Outline

In the prior post, I discussed how you can go about getting started down the path of health and wellness. I laid out what it is that you need to start with so your exercise routine will be on the right track right from the beginning. In this one, part two, I’m going to take things a little bit further and go into the specifics of an outline for you all.

Every baby boomer or senior citizen I work with comes to understand the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle and what exercise can do for you. Working out regularly can do for your body what nothing else can. There is no doctor or magic pill that is going to help you get stronger and healthier. Eating healthy and exercising regularly is the only way that you will achieve this. That goes for the clients that I work with here in personal training in the Vancouver, Washington area, as well as the many people I assist online and on Facebook.

Print this outline of a workout and hang it somewhere you will see it each day, so it serves as a reminder of what you need to be doing to be healthy. First you need to start with your weekly workout schedule, which looks like this:

Monday – Mobility/Workout 1

Tuesday – Mobility/Cardio

Wednesday – Mobility/Workout 2

Thursday – Mobility/Cardio of choice

Friday – Mobility/Workout 3/Cardio of choice

Saturday – Cardio of choice

Again, it is important to remember that cardio exercises are those that are going to get your heart beating faster. The government recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of such moderate physical activity each week, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity. Moderate physical activity includes biking, walking, the elliptical or row machine, or step machine. A vigorous activity would be running.

Here’s what your workout 2 will include:

Mobility

1)    hamstring stretch

2)    IT band foam roller

3)    Low back stretch

4)    Split squat

5)    Shoulder press

6)    Pull down

7)    Rope to neck

8)    Kettle bell dead lift

9)    Y, I, T,

10)Anti-rotational

11)Plank

Do all of your mobility work in 2-4 sets, with 8-10 reps per set, or if you are doing a static hold aim for 20-40 seconds. Be sure to add in the day one mobility work as well. For the resistance training, do:

1 round week one 15-20 reps

2 rounds week two and three 15-20 reps

3 rounds week four and five 15-20 reps

During weeks 6-8 do three rounds, bringing the rep range down to 10-15 reps. You will also want to bring up the intensity. You can bring up the intensity by increasing the weight you are using, but always keep your form in mind, as it is important to have the right form. If you find that you can’t maintain the form then don’t increase the weight.

Once you get started with this workout outline, you will be surprised at just how great you being to feel. Stick with it and over time you will become healthier, stronger, and feel great. If you are in the Vancouver, Washington area and need a personal trainer contact me. If you are not in the area, be sure to follow me on Facebook for fitness tips and information that every baby boomer can benefit from!

If you missed part one CLICK HERE

To get your specific workout line GET IT HERE NOW

Facebook FAQ Part I – What does this really mean?

If you are not yet following me on Facebook, you should be. In addition to the personal training that I provide to those in the Vancouver, Washington area, I also answer questions from people on Facebook. Since I specialize in working with seniors and baby boomers, many of those questions come from them. You may be able to relate to the question what it all really means, anyway.

 

 

Recently I posted a question on my Facebook page and I got a question in return. A baby boomer wanted to know what it all means and how to best go about reaching one’s fitness goals. Let’s start with asking the question about how much extra fat you are carrying. Most people want to melt their extra fat away with exercise, so the amount of fat they have is a big issue.  Most of the time when I give an answer about how to get extra fat off of one’s body I get a blank stare in return. It may even be followed with a response such as “I knew I was missing something. Grr.”

Being that I’m a nice guy, I’m going to give you the answer. This way you can become the healthiest boomer that you can be. What you need to do, for starters, is create a workout schedule. No moans and groans here, this is the only way you are going to get that extra fat off that you asked about. Here’s what your workout schedule should look like:

Monday – Mobility/Workout 1

Tuesday – Mobility/Cardio

Wednesday – Mobility/Workout 2

Thursday – Mobility/Cardio of choice

Friday – Mobility/Workout 3/Cardio of choice

Saturday – Cardio of choice

When it comes to cardio, you need to do something that is going to get your heart rate up, such as walking, biking, using the elliptical or stepper, or a row machine. When it comes to mobility exercises, you want to do 10 minutes each day. Yes, do them every single day! You will also want to do strength training 3-4 days per week. Your cardiovascular workouts should be 20-40 minutes per day and you will be doing them 6 days per week.

When I post things like this on Facebook, I do get people who respond to say that they don’t know what I mean by these exercises terms. As a result, I created three exercise videos that all boomers can get started with. Here is an example of what your boomer exercise program will look like:

Day 1

Mobility – 1) Cat Dog 2) Wave Stretch 3) Hip Flexor Stretch

Weight Training – Squats, DB bench press, single arm cable row, single leg RDL, barbell curl, lying tricep extension, super man, V-up.

Aim to do all the mobility work in 2-4 sets, with 8-10 reps per set, or if is a static hold go for 20-40 seconds. For resistance training, do:

1 round week one 15 reps-20 reps

2 rounds week two and three 15-20 reps

3 rounds week four and five 15-20 reps

For week 6-8, you will want to do three rounds to bring the rep range down to 10-15 reps. Also, focus on bringing up the intensity. You can do this by increasing the weights that you use, but always consider your form first and foremost. A good rule of thumb is that you if you can’t control the weight or maintain form, then do not increase the weight.

If you haven’t worked with a personal trainer it is a good idea to team up with one. That way a workout routine would be developed especially for you. If you are in the Vancouver, Washington area I would be happy to help. If you are not, follow me on Facebook and I can answer your questions there! Check out the next blog post, where I will go more into depth about what your plan should include.

Get your complete Boomer Fitness Program Here…BOOMERFITNESS

Facebook Frequently Asked Question: How to Get Motivated

Whether I am taking questions from my followers on Facebook, or meeting up with my personal training clients in the Vancouver, Washington area, many have similar concerns. One recent question that I received from a Lisa H. on Facebook involved getting back into shape after not exercising for so long. Perhaps you can relate!

Lisa explained that she hasn’t worked out in years, and although she used to be in great shape, she has gained a significant amount of weight over the years. Like many people, she plans to start a new routine each Monday, only to not see it through. So she wants to know how to get out of the cycle so that she can make her way back to a healthy lifestyle. Great question!

This is one of the top challenges that I run into with baby boomers who I work with in personal training. They want to exercise and be healthy, but they lack the motivation to get them going in the right direction. The key to this, I believe, is in having a strong reason for why you are going to exercise. You need to feel and believe it, so that the motivation from it not only gets you started, but carries you on. Most people tend to beat themselves up when they have not been active in a while. They may feel guilty, frustrated, overwhelmed, and even feel they are on a path to self-destruction.

The first step in stopping this cycle is to re-invent yourself and remember your dreams. In a past blog post I wrote about reclaiming your identity. What I mean by that is: Who would you be if you were to achieve your goals? Who are you really? Start there! Once you have identified who you really are, it is time to make some goals, both short- and long-term. Examples of short-term goals may be to do weight training three times per week, and go for a 30-minute walk six times per week. A medium-term goal would be to do a 5K, fit into your clothing again, or take a 5-mile hike. Long-term goals are the ones that include losing 50 pounds, wearing a special dress to your daughter’s wedding, completing a marathon, taking an adventurous long hike, or doing a local bike race.

It’s important that you also celebrate your successes on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Just be sure to make them healthy celebrations, rather than junk food rewards. Take a moment each day to write down how your identity is improving and you are moving closer to being your true self. By doing this you will start to reinforce the best characteristics of who you are.

Now, on to the part of overcoming the exercise drought if it has been a while. The first thing to do is get some accountability by hiring a personal trainer. When you do that, you will be more likely to stick with it because you are paying for that service. Here are some additional tips for gaining momentum to get started:

  • Define what success in your exercise plan is going to include.
  • What dreams did you give up on and really want back in your life? What are those things that get you excited and motivate you to be your best each day?
  • How do you feel about your starting point? Do you have health concerns, for example?
  • How do you rate your confidence level in reaching your goals? What can you do to improve that confidence level?
  • What can you do to improve your desire to exercise?
  • What are some of the comments that people have made about your health, and how do you view your health?
  • If you could change one thing about your views, what would it be? How would your life be different if you were to do this?

By taking the time to answer those questions, you will have a good starting place. This should put you in a good position to get motivated and start exercising. You only have your health once and the most important thing you can do for yourself is to take care of.

Here is a plan that will keep you motivated CLICK HERE

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!

 

 

Holiday Weight Gain is Bull Shit – and Totally Unacceptable!

Yes, I said it. And I’m going to challenge you on it. You know what I mean. The very idea that just because it is the holiday season you have to succumb to the idea that you will gain anywhere form 4-10 pounds. That’s what is reported as being average during this time of year, right? Well I say enough is enough. That’s not acceptable. Let me explain why!

Just a few pounds you say, so it’s nothing to worry about? Not so fast! Some people may gain 4-5 pounds, but others may gain more like 8-10 pounds or even more. Just depends on how much you are willing to abandon your healthy lifestyle goals and eat to the point where you just put your health on the backburner. I say right now, on this holiday season, that this weight gain madness comes to a screeching halt. Here are some reasons why:

  • If you are like most people you will never lose whatever amount of weight is that you gain this holiday season. Rather, you will keep compounding it year after year. Right now you are still probably batting some pounds you gained from a holiday binge three years ago!
  • Most people tend to rationalize that they will go on a new diet and fitness plan at the first of the year. They figure they will lose whatever weight they are gaining at that time. Nonsense! The majority of people who start New Year’s fitness routines drop out just weeks later, walking away with that extra weight gain still on them.
  • The extra weight you gain during the holidays will put more stress on any health conditions you already have. This includes things like diabetes, high blood pressure, and other conditions. There is a 5 percent increase in the number of heart attacks experienced by people during the holiday season, and more fatal heart attacks on Christmas and the day after Christmas. Your body doesn’t need the added stress of holiday weight gain.
  • People tend to never lose the additional weight, so they create an “identity” and just use it as an excuse. They may chalk it up to getting older, start cutting back on how active they are, and will lose additional health as the years ago by, due to their inactivity.
  • You are a leader and it is important for you to be aware of the message and example you are setting for others in your life. Maintain your health through the holidays and others will often follow suit.

Deep-fried turkey fire balls, flammable Christmas trees, toy hazards, seasonal car accidents, and decorating disasters (think Chevy Chase movies here), provide enough stress and danger in your life at the holidays. No reason to add to that with additional weight gain!

As a personal trainer I work with people from all around the Vancouver, Washington area. When I explain my thoughts on holiday weight gain they say my initials (BS) stand for more than just Brian Stecker. They say they want to enjoy their holiday and don’t want their spirit ruined. They may even call me Brian “Scrooge” Stecker. I know this may be an intense idea, but I am going to provide you with a series of actionable strategies you can use over the next 6 weeks to safely get you through the holidays, help you avoid the holiday weight gain, and keep you healthy and fit.  My advice comes from 10 years of training and includes solutions that will keep you fit, and enjoying the holidays!

 

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!