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!

READ PART 2 HERE

WANT THE HEALTH AND VITALITY

AT THE AGE OF 45-65

LEARN HOW..

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!

 

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!

 

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)

Tea

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!

 

Eat Your Vegetables In the Form of Pizza?

There’s no doubt that every baby boomer out there knows that eating their vegetables is a good thing. Not only are they loaded with much-needed nutrients, but they have been proven to help you live a longer, healthier life along the way. Did you know that you can now eat your vegetables in the form of pizza, according to our government! It’s true! But before you run to the local pizza hot spot and grab a few slices to get your daily servings of veggies in, let’s take a closer look at this.

In President Obama’s quest to make school lunches healthier, a good thing, he has hit some snags. Guess who didn’t like it? You got it, those who make money off the foods that are slopped onto those school trays! The companies selling the schools frozen pizzas, for example, would stand to lose money if school lunches were made healthier. After all, those pizzas they serve in the schools are loaded with fat, calories, cholesterol, and salt.

So in an effort to keep the pizza on the menu, and companies happy, our government has declared that pizza is now a vegetable. Yup, even you raised an eyebrow reading that, but you did read it correctly. Congress has declared that pizza is a vegetable and that serving it up in school lunch lines is perfectly fine. In all actually, they are labeling the sauce as a vegetable, which allows the school to keep serving it (you know the tiny little bit of sauce hidden under all that cholesterol and fat-laden cheese).

While our focus should be on helping our next generation of citizens get healthier by really increasing the vegetables they consume, lowering their salt intake, and keeping them active, we are now making it seem as though even our government doesn’t know what healthy food is. Make no mistake, pizza, even with the little bit of tomato sauce that it contains, is not a vegetable! It doesn’t count as a vegetable serving and shouldn’t be treated as such. Pizza is not health food. Sure, it tastes good and eaten in moderation can be okay, but we should never confuse it with being healthy, or um, a vegetable.

Sorry Congress, but this is just one more thing you all have gotten wrong. And this decision will not help the country’s children reduce the obesity rates they are experiencing. Pizza as a veggie, really? What next, chocolate gets declared a protein source?

 

Why Lowering Your Fitness Standard Lower Your Ability to Reach All Your Goals

 

As a baby boomer has fitness goals, as well as other goals in life, it is important to focus on keeping a standard. If you are like most people, you have a standard that you want to follow when it comes to fitness. Perhaps your fitness goals each week are to work out 5 days per week for 30 minutes per day. Well what happens if you start to slack on that standard? A whole lot!

Being a personal trainer I get the opportunity to work with a lot of different people. It gives me an opportunity to see how people are impacted by their fitness goals and how they impact them. Take one person I was working with not long ago, for example. He had a fitness standard to workout regularly and was doing that for quite a while. Then he started to take it for granted. And when that happened, he took a few days off, which lead to a week, then to two weeks, and then to three weeks!

The next thing you know, he gained 8 pounds and lost his ability to walk up stairs. Fitness cannot be taken for granted. Rather it is something that must be worked at and maintained. It has to be one of the highest priorities in your life, because without it, your life will change and your health will not be the same. And after all, what are we without our health?

When you have passion in your fitness endeavors, it will translate into success in that area of your life, as well as in others. If you feel yourself starting to take it for granted, or slipping away from your healthy fitness habits, do yourself a favor and help raise your fitness standard. There are a variety of ways you can do that, including:

Working with a personal trainer. A personal trainer can help keep you motivated and working toward your fitness goals.

Trying something new, such as a fitness class, to see if it renews your spirit. Sometimes just changing things up a bit can help people stay, or become, more interested.

Team up with a friend so the both of you can focus on fitness and hold each other accountable.

Treat yourself to something fitness-related that will further your commitment, such as a Zumba cruise, new running shoes, or an iPod to listen to while you are working out.

Make a list of all the reasons why having, and maintaining, a fitness standard is right for you. Whether it is so you feel good enough to play with the grandkids, or so you can enjoy bike rides on the beach.

The important lesson here is to not take your fitness standards for granted. When we take things for granted, we tend to give them less attention and we don’t nurture them. Maintaining fitness standards is essential to overall good health and well being. Keep it a priority in your life and you will reap the benefits!

 

Why am I doing this? Understanding the 5 stages of change

Do you ever get to a point along the way working toward your fitness goals where you stop and wonder just what in the heck you are doing? You get to a point where you question yourself, why you are putting yourself through daily workouts, and passing on the second slice of cheesecake. We all get like that from time to time, but it’s what you do with it that really matters!

Just the other day I encountered this with one my clients. I had spent three months training hard with this person when the person hit a mental wall and asked me the “why” question. The person had reached that point, after three months of training, where they wanted to know why they were doing it and if it was all worth it. They forgot why they had started it all in the first place.

There are five stages within change, regardless of what it is. If you want to make fitness, diet, or weight loss changes, you will end up going through each of these five stages:

Pre-contemplation. This is the stage that people are in before they start doing anything to make change. They are likely not even aware that they need to make changes.

Contemplation. This is the stage where they are aware that they need to make changes, and they are thinking about making them.

Preparation. This is the stage where the person combines their intention to change things with their actions to make it happen. This is where they are deciding how they will go about making changes.

Action. In the action stage the person begins to take action to modify their behavior in order to overcome the problem and make changes. This is where they invest the time and put forth the commitment.

Maintenance. This is the stage where the changes have already been successfully made and now they just need to maintain them in order to prevent going back to the old behaviors.

It’s important that you know these stages when you are trying to make changes in your life. It’s okay and completely normal to be in each of these stages. It’s actually important that you go through each of these steps, so you are mentally prepared for the next one. So if you start having feelings and questioning things, remember the stages of change and give some thought to where you are and what lies ahead.

If you start to question what you are doing, like my client recently did, it means it is time to set some new goals, both small and big ones. It’s time to reflect on why you started it all in the first place. You have to remain confident in yourself and keep moving on to the next stage. When you do that, you will in time reach your goals and succeed!