Going After the Enemy – Taking on Diabetes, Part II





In the last post I shared information with you about diabetes and how we need to be on a mission to take on that enemy. I have seen too many people, especially baby boomers, succumb to this disease and all that it can lead to. I have seen first hand how diabetes can lower your quality of life, so I’m hear to tell you that as a personal trainer I know you can take this enemy on and win!

As a personal trainer who specializes in working with baby boomers, I see my share of people with diabetes. After all, 11 million baby boomers have the disease. But I also see many who don’t want to just let it take over. Instead, they decide to put up a fight, one that I give them the tools to win.

Exercise, as you learned from the last post, is one of the best ways to take on Type II diabetes and come out ahead. What I suggest to my clients, as well as my blog readers, is that you set a 90-day goal and work out with a trainer or consult with your doctor. This is an area where you need a professional on your side that can guide you through the steps to success.

Set a goal to do a cardio workout 3-6 days per week, with your intensity level being between 40-70 percent of your VO2. Your VO2 is the oxygen consumption, or your cardio-respiratory fitness level. There are online calculators that will help you determine this rate. Your cardio workout should last from 20-60 minutes and include something like walking, running, biking, hiking, or even walking on your hands (just kidding). The point here is that you need to do something that is going to get your blood pumping through your body.

You also need to add in some strength training 2-3 days per week, doing 10-15 repetitions with 1-3 sets. Your best mode is to use free weights, machines, or tubing. Also, do something to help increase flexibility to the point of feeling tension. You should do this from 10-30 seconds and keep the mode static.

This is the workout that I suggest to my clients, who are baby boomers looking to get and stay healthy. It works for them, and it will work for you. Seek out a qualified personal trainer to work with, and you will get your health on the fast track to success. Plus, when you keep the new lifestyle and mindset up long term, you will be taking on that enemy and coming out ahead!




Going After the Enemy – Taking on Diabetes!

So you have been told you have Type II diabetes, now what? Well, like other health issues, the more you know, the more you are able to take on that enemy and succeed in beating it! Diabetes is an issue that is plaguing more than just the baby boomers of the country. It’s becoming a widespread problem, one that we need to get a handle on. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly 26 million Americans now have diabetes. And what’s scary is that 7 million of them don’t even know it!

When it comes to the baby boomer generation, nearly 11 million people have diabetes, or nearly 27 percent of the population. The problem with diabetes is that it robs you of your quality of life. It is a major factor in heart disease and stroke, can lead to kidney failure, amputations, and even blindness. It’s the seventh leading cause of death in the country as well.

Type I diabetes used to be called juvenile-onset diabetes and accounts for about 5 percent of all cases. It’s a type of diabetes that typically affects children, leaving them in continuous need of insulin delivery, by injection, in order for their glucose levels to be regulated.

Type II diabetes used to be called adult-onset diabetes. Today these names have been changed some because as our lifestyles have become more unhealthy, even children are getting the type of diabetes that used to be typical of adult onset. With this type, the pancreas loses the ability to produce insulin.

Type II diabetics make up 95 percent of all the diabetes cases in the country. And the problem is that 85 percent of those who have it are over weight or obese, issues that are closely related to the problem to begin with. Doctors may want to prescribe drugs in order to help with Type II diabetes, but the truth of the matter is that this is something you can take on and win all on your own!

The real drug that you need is a combination of diet and exercise, whether or not you are taking a prescription medication. Exercise, which acts as an anti aging drug, helps to control blood glucose, as well as improve insulin sensitivity acutely and chronically by building muscle and decreasing body fat. It also helps to reduce the risk of diabetes other sneaky friends – high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Exercising also gives you a better outlook on life. Your hormones will be doing better, you will feel better, and your demeanor will be more pleasant as well. If you stick with an exercise and diet plan, your doctor may need to re-adjust your insulin dosages in order to prevent hypoglycemia, a condition when your blood sugar level drops too low. Hypoglycemia symptoms include dizziness, light headedness, and confusion. It’s a serous condition that can lead to a coma.

If you have diabetes, be sure to speak with your doctor about implementing lifestyle changes to help combat it. Your body will thank you for it, and you will feel great as a result!





Hitting the Road: Part III – Staying Healthy On the Road

In the first part of this series I offered baby boomers advice on preparing for travel. In the second part of this travel series I offered advice on how to be healthy while on the road. In this third part of the series I want to offer advice to help you stay healthy during your vacation. Yes, you really can stay healthy while on vacation!

So let’s assume that you have reached your travel destination. Whether are staying at a hotel, a friend’s house, or you are on a cruise ship, there are easy ways to get in a workout and stay fit. Before arriving to your destination you should have done some research in order to find out where the local workout facilities and trails were. Now it’s time to put it into action.

What you want to do is make sure you maintain as much of your routine as possible. If you are used to working out once per day, make sure you continue that. Even if it means getting in 30 minutes or so of good cardio in the hotel swimming pool or on their treadmill, you need to stay working out. If you are staying at a place that does not have such facilities, find a local gym. Most will allow you to pay for a temporary guest pass so that you can get workouts in.

You are traveling, so you will want to also visit new places, and hopefully you can burn some calories through this route as well. Try to walk as much as possible, such as to go see local attractions. If you are staying with friends, or near friends, team up and get them to take an early morning, or after dinner, walk to burn some extra calories. Be sure to always do a proper warm-up, regardless of what type of workout you plan to do.

Eating is an important issue while on vacation, and not just for baby boomers. Here are some tips to keep in mind when it comes to baby boomer nutrition while on vacation:

Breakfast – Most hotels offer a continental breakfast. But most of the time they are not stocked with nutritious food. Avoid things like pancakes, waffles, sugary cereals, and donuts. Walk past all the white flour items sitting on that table! If you feel you must eat from the continental restaurant, opt for the yogurt, eggs, fresh fruit, juice, and some whole wheat toast.

Meals – For lunch and dinner, stick with soups and salads (dressing on the side), split a meal with someone, and keep alcohol to a minimum. Ask for baked over fried, and avoid dishes that contain cream. Skip the dessert, or if you feel you really want it, split it with others.

Snacks – Stop at the store and stock up on things like water, string cheese, crackers, veggies, and almonds. Have healthy snacks on hand all the time, so there are no excuses.

There are also plenty of neat apps that will help you keep track of calories and your physical activity. Check out My Food Diary, Calorie King, or others that will help you keep things in perspective and not go overboard.

I work with baby boomers who tell me they gain weight on their vacations. It really doesn’t need to be like that! Put in some effort in planning and making a commitment to stick to your goals, and you will come back feeling great, rather than guilty!

 Do You Want The Body You Deserve While On the Road??  Learn More……










Are Prescription Drugs Really the Answer?

Right now there are over 311 million people in America. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 48 percent of them take at least one prescription drug. In 2010 alone there were 2.3 billion prescription drugs ordered at physician office visits, with around 74 percent of all office visits resulting in a drug prescription. But are all these drugs really the answer?

As a baby boomer, you likely go to the doctor regularly, if only for check-ups. What often happens is they run a blood test, look at your cholesterol numbers, for example, and fire off a prescription for Lipitor, or some other statin. Yes, the drugs will help lower the risk of the disease, but in some cases it is merely a slow death.

So let’s say that you get your prescription for Lipitor and then you head home and carry on, business as usual. You eat the same diet and avoid regular exercise in the same manner. You haven’t taken care of the problem since you haven’t changed your lifestyle. You have merely put a bandage over the problem!

What’s more, is that those prescription drugs have side effects. In some cases the side effects are so severe that you probably should have just stayed home and did nothing. There is a better way to handle many of the issues that you may be getting prescription drugs for… it’s lifestyle changes!

Even if you have pain, weakness, or joint issues, you can begin exercising. Start out slowly and gradually increase what you are doing. Work with a personal trainer, who can assess your current level and then help you get to where you want to be. The exercise, along with adopting a healthier diet, is going to help you make progress toward a healthy lifestyle – one that will help you avoid those prescription drugs. Also, find a support group, where you can be around other baby boomers who are on a mission to be healthy.

You do have an option – either you can succumb to the slow death, or you can start making progress and living your life to the fullest. Start by finding out what you have risk factors for. Then, set a 90 day plan to make small lifestyle changes, such as exercising for 30 minutes each day, eating at least 5 fruits and vegetables daily, and opting for whole grains and lean sources of proteins.

The next time your doctor wants to write you a prescription, ask if there is something you can do to change your lifestyle in order to address the situation. Chances are, you can address many of your health issues by living a healthier life. And you will feel better along the way!

Acting and Thinking Your Age? Change the Paradigm!

As we age people often believe that you have to act a certain way. But when you think about it, do you really need to act so different at 60 than you did at say 45 or 50? I’m hear to say that you do not need to. This is something that needs to be said. You do not need to match your age with how you act. I propose that it’s time we shift the paradigm and start aging in place.

It’s time to start showing who the baby boomers are and taking more control over what a baby boomer is capable of doing. Change what someone thinks of when they consider how a baby boomer acts. Young boomers may be 45-55, while older baby boomers are 55-65, but age is merely a number.

Think about how long you can expect to live. The average life expectancy today is 77.8-80 years old. So if you are 65-70, why would you walk around acting like you are old? You shouldn’t be. You can help redefine what baby boomers do and how they act.

The scary truth about age is that 85 percent of baby boomers will get a chronic disease by the time they reach the age of 65, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You name it, the risks are there, and they are getting everything from hypertension, coronary artery disease, diabetes, and cancer. Sadly 75 percent will end up dying from these diseases, especially when they involve coronary heart disease and cancer.

Remember when I said it’s time to age in place? Well, doing that gives you hope! You can make changes that will help you prevent these problems. Most of the diseases that we die from are preventable through lifestyle changes. One of the most important things you can do, no matter what age you are, is to start exercising regularly. Exercising can’t fix a disease, but it can sure go a long way toward prevention. It allows you to function on your own as you age and will help give you a better quality of life as a senior citizen.

The key to how baby boomers act is in your hands. You can choose to take a seat and say you are getting “old” and can’t do what you used to, or you can choose to be active. By choosing to be active, you will age in place, which will keep you feeling good, looking good, and enjoying your senior years!

Why Employers Are Offering Baby Boomers Health Incentive Programs

Think baby boomers are retiring? Think again! Many are continuing to work well past the age that they need to. And before you immediately think it is the economy forcing them into it, let me assure that isn’t the only factor. Sure, some may be working longer due to our shaky economy, but many others are continuing to work because they simply want to. Others are staying on the job because their employer is enticing them to do so!

That’s right, many employers today don’t want to let go of their baby boomer employees. After all, they know the job well, and they hate to lose the good workers that they are. Baby boomers tend to be more loyal, hard workers, and have a lot of experience. Who would want to let go of that in the workforce? In an effort to hold on to an effective, yet aging, workforce many companies are creating incentive programs to help make the job more comfortable and to keep their baby boomers feeling healthy.

Some employers, such as Harley Davidson, offer workout classes, while other employers offer trainers, who help ice down any areas of inflammation following the end of a shift. Employers are taking notice of people’s health in their mission of retaining baby boomers on the job. If you want your employer to think the same way, consider these strategies that you can use to get more fit:

Proper lifting. Many people lift things the wrong way and end up pulling muscles and causing back pain. Always remember that if you are lifting a heavy object off the floor, you need to use the strength of your legs, rather than straining your back.

Stretching. The importance of stretching cannot be overstated. Taking the time to stretch can help keep your muscles feeling great, de-stressed, and flexible. Be sure to stretch daily, especially after being active.

Weight training. It is important to maintain a workout routine that includes weight training so that you can maintain and build muscle, as well as strong bones. This will help keep you active.

Ice and massage. Inflammation can lead to pain that nobody needs. Usually ice or massages will help to address these areas of pain, depending on what it is that is bothering you.

Proper nutrition. Rather than eating out of the vending machine or getting take out each day at work, opt for taking a packed lunch from home. That way you can ensure that it is more nutritious, which will help keep you on your path of wellness.

Even if you are a baby boomer who doesn’t want to keep working, following these tips will help to keep you healthy. But those baby boomers who want to continue working will find that they may be next in line to be woo’d by their employer to stay on the job. And the healthier you are, the more you will enjoy every day of it!


Need Some Energy? Give up the CAS and You’ll Have More GAS!

If there is one thing that I hear from a lot of baby boomers that I work with in my personal training is that they have no energy. People are tired and lack energy all day long. Sometimes they are complaining about this even after getting a full night’s sleep, and they have only been up for an hour or so! So what’s the problem here: why are so many people are lacking the gas, or energy, they need in their tank, or body, in order to keep going throughout the day? It could be that you need to give up your CAS addiction!

CAS, otherwise known as caffeine, alcohol, and sugar, are a common and major culprit in draining people of energy. You would think that it wouldn’t because people tend to get perked up when they have their morning cup of coffee or have a few drinks on a Friday night. Even sugar will give you an energy rush that gets you going. Problem is, each of these things gets you going but doesn’t keep you going. You have short term bouts of energy with them, then they leave you crashing and feeling energy deficient.

What you need to do is supercharge your system, so that you feel energized and can get through the day feeling great. Here’s what you need to do:

Break the addiction to caffeine, alcohol, and sugar (CAS). You can do this cold turkey, or you can kind of wean yourself off of it. Going cold turkey is a good route to take, but just realize you may have a slight headache and cravings for a few days. You will get through it, as well as over it.

Give your body what it needs to have lots of energy, such as eating healthy foods and getting plenty of exercise. While many people fear exercise will make them more tired, it’s really the opposite. Exercising makes you feel energized and alive!

Having CAS in your system can at times appear to be real adrenal fatigue. Once those things are gone, be sure to get such nutrients as Vitamin B12, B5, Vitamin C, fiber, and plenty of water. Also, it is a good idea to get some green drinks in, such as those with wheat grass, to give you a natural energy boost.

When you take your car to the gas station you try to put good gas in. If you get some low quality gas somewhere, that makes your car sluggish or sputter, you try to avoid it the next go around. Or you add in some conditioners to the tank. It’s similar with our own body. You may be putting in things that will make your body feel energy deficient and tired. If that’s the case, avoid those things, and seek out a better source of nutrients. You’ll be feeling better, and your tank will be filled with the gas you need to enjoy your day and get through all your activities!


Why Every Baby Boomer Should Set Some Sporting Goals

As a personal trainer who specializes in working with baby boomers, I can tell you that I’ve had the pleasure of seeing a lot of people succeed in their quest for fitness. I’ve also learned a lot along the way – the kinds of things that can’t be taught in textbooks when learning everything about fitness and nutrition. Take for example sporting goals.

Looking back on my most successful baby boomer clients, I have noticed that they have something in common other than their age or that they are striving to be healthier. They don’t all have weight loss goals, nor do they all have a mission to just eat healthier. What it is that they all have is a sporting goal. Each one of them is striving to achieve or do something, which seems to be a major source of their continued motivation.

This is where having a bucket list comes in handy and the reason it is so vital. When you have a bucket list of things you want to do, you will strive to be healthy so that you can actually do them. By training for something, you can get excited for your daily activity. So start by making your own sports-related bucket list. Determine what you want to accomplish and add it to the list. The sky is the limit on this. What would you do if you knew you could not fail? Add that to the list!

Here are some possible sporting goals for baby boomers to consider:

Tuff Mudders Not only will you have fun with this event, but you will challenge yourself, and get a little dirty in the process.

Adventure hiking. There are some amazing adventure hikes to be had. Challenge your body, while taking in nature’s beauty!

Figure or bodybuilding contest. There are such contests around the country that will give you a reason to work on building those muscles and giving you a reason to show them off.

Vacations. Many people find taking a vacation a source of motivation for working out. Perhaps you want to look good tanning in the Caribbean, or you want to be able to hike the Grand Canyon. Either way, plan a vacation that gets you excited about getting fit.

Running a 5k or 10k. Train for a marathon and run it for the pure joy of proving that even as a baby boomer you still have what it takes.

Contests with others in your office, neighborhood, or social circle. Most people like healthy competition, and when you can get a group of people to work together, or compete against each other, it can be a good source of motivation.

Whether you decide you want to do a triathlon or you will run the 5k honor of a charity you support, a sporting goal can help keep you motivated. Give some thought to what it is that you’d like to do. Then work with a personal trainer to help make it happen!


No Man or Woman Left Behind – The Importance of Having a Fitness Partner

Did you ever notice that when it comes to food and fitness other people can get you to do things? It’s true! Whether healthy or unhealthy, other people have a way of influencing our own decisions. Maybe it’s opting to have the dessert following that lunch out with the girlfriends, or having a couple of beers with your burger, simply because the guys are doing it and telling you not worry about it. Both of these scenarios will help pack in extra calories that can lead to weight gain, as well as help you fall off your course of healthy habits!

Having support for what we are doing, whether it is watching what we eat, quitting smoking, or trying to get fit, is essential. Supportive people can help you stay the course, while unsupportive ones can help you quickly lose your way. In your quest for health and wellness, it is important to create a supportive team, and also be a supportive team member that helps others.

There are several ways you can create a fitness friendly team that all support each other in striving to be healthy. Here are some things to consider doing in order to help get your team to stay the course:

Encourage each other. Whether you see or talk once a day or once week, focus on the positives in finding ways to support each other’s goals to get healthy.

Be accessible by phone and also call one of your team members whenever you feel like grabbing the chocolate cake. They can help remind you of the many reasons you are seeking healthy, as well as friendly support.

Create a Facebook group of your get healthy team members. In that group you can all post articles (and blog posts, hint, hint), that promote healthy living. This will keep you all up on the news and give you a forum for discussing issues.

Schedule workouts together, even if it is taking a walk. When people are scheduled to work out with others, they are more apt to do it. Being together will help encourage accountability.

Regularly discuss your progress, challenges, and health-related issues. This will keep everyone motivated and help you find ways to get over any hurdles you may encounter.

There is strength in numbers. When you team up with supportive people, and even be a supportive person yourself, you will help to strengthen your resolve to be healthy. You will also be helping someone else to achieve theirs. Plus, there is a good chance you will have a few laughs along the way!


Healthy Drinks That Aren’t So Healthy After All

In our quest to get fit and be healthy, we have plenty of products to choose from today. Walk into any store, or even gas station, and the coolers are stocked with healthy drink options. But are they really so healthy? Not quite! Some products that are either being marketed as healthy, or gaining a reputation as it, are not so healthy at all, and may even be doing more damage than you realize!

Many so-called health drinks end up containing too much sugar, artificial sweeteners, and even artificial colors. These are all things that you don’t want, or need, and they may end up doing damage to your body if you reach for them long term. In fact, some may help increase the aging process. Energy drinks, for example, one can of the popular Rockstar energy drink will pump about 23 grams of sugar into you! That’s not something you want when you are trying to get healthy.

Some of the drinks you have to watch out for, that seem healthy enough, but actually are not, include:

Energy drinks

Vitamin water

Diet soft drinks

Any type of “diet” drink

Fruit juice (many appear as juice, but are only 10 percent juice and have high fructose corn syrup)

Some smoothies (depends on what they put in them)


Sports drinks

At first glance these drinks seem like they would be healthy enough. What’s wrong with tea, after all? Tea is very healthy for you and loaded with antioxidants. But when you buy it pre-made in a bottle or can, or you get it in some restaurants, it may be loaded up with sugar. Same with fruit juice and the other drinks, although they may contain some antioxidants or vitamins, such as the vitamin waters, they usually tend to have more sugar than you should sit around consuming.

So what should you drink? Your first best option is water! Water is the best way to hydrate your body, it is naturally calorie-free and doesn’t contain sugar. If you need a little something in it, try a lemon, lime, or other fruit slice. You could also occasionally have a mixed drink of seltzer with just a small splash of 100 percent fruit juice. Also, making home brewed tea, especially green tea, is a healthy drink, provided you don’t put a bunch of sugar in it. It has a lot of antioxidants that help to keep your body healthy!