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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Staying Successful While Traveling During the Holidays

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

A Special Thank You from Me, To You

We have come to the end of the year and what a great year it has been. I wanted to take a moment to share my thanks and gratitude for having you all in my life. I love being a personal trainer and it wouldn’t be possible for me to do what I do, without all of you!

You all make it possible for me to do what I love. My passion is in helping people in the with their fitness and healthy lifestyle goals. I set out on a mission to help people, especially baby boomers and seniors, with their fitness goals and I have achieved that. I have had the pleasure of working with many clients from diverse backgrounds in the Vancouver, Washington area. But it goes even beyond that.

Over the last year I have had the ability to set up my own space in order to meet with and assist more people looking to get healthy. My own personal training goals have been kicked up a notch this year and they have been successful. Not only have I taken on more clients this year, but I have had a great following online as well. I have readers that have purchased my Boomer Fitness DVD set, read my reports, blog posts, and more. If you aren’t someone who reads my blogs you can start now by visiting WEBSITE.

Each week I hear from people first hand, or get email from some, who want to take a moment to thank me for how I have inspired them. People tell me that I help them reach their goals, understand the importance of being fit, and help them overcome challenges. I’m so flattered that people take the time to write me. I care deeply about helping people and so just as much as I help people I must also give thanks right back to all of you! Without every client, reader and supporter I wouldn’t have been able to achieve my personal goals this year.

Being a personal trainer is rewarding, but that is so because of all of you. When I see you work toward your goals and achieve them I get a sense of pride. It’s wonderful to see you all work so hard and I find that inspiring! This year I also had an outpouring of support from you all as I acquired my own personal fitness space in Vancouver, and as I went on to train for my challenge in Las Vegas. All of your messages, support, and kind words meant a lot to me.

From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank you all for an amazing year. I am happy to have each and every one of you in my life and supporting what I do. You all make it possible and I am so grateful. Here’s to another great year in 2014. May we together have a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year!

Handling the Dreaded Food Pushers

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

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

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

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

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

 

Foods & Feelings: Emotional Eating Overshadows Environment

 Does the holiday season get you feeling emotional? If you are like most people, it does. And in a big way! There are a lot of emotional aspects to the holidays. Whether it is the stress of the shopping or getting together for family functions, there is additional stress in our lives this time of year, especially because our schedules are busier.  But that emotional toll can have a major impact on your diet!

Being a personal trainer in the Vancouver, Washington area I work with people who regularly tend to be emotional eaters. Yet they may not even be aware of it. More so than the environment you are in, research has shown that our emotions will get us to overeat more than anything else. Consider how you may grab for a snack when you are feeling down, want to celebrate, or feel additional stress. Think about the times when you reach for high-fat comfort foods (e.g., macaroni and cheese) when you have had a tough day and are feeling a bit overwhelmed.

The good news is that although our emotions can lead us to overeat, we can do something about it. We know that emotions will lead us over the edge and when that happens it will pack on weight gain that we may never lose. Rather than throw our hands in the air and abandon the idea of being healthy, we have to be proactive in putting a stop to emotional eating. Not only is it possible, but it is something we have to do in order to overcome the emotional eating that takes place during the holiday season.

Here are some tips for coping with the emotional eating that may help you avoid  this behavior during the holidays:

Avoid. If you know there are situations that will make you want to engage in emotional eating this holiday, just avoid them. It’s just that simple. And don’t feel guilty about skipping them. Don’t feel pressured to go to every holiday party.

Cope. Learn coping skills, so that you can recognize that you want to eat because of emotions, not out of hunger. Choose something else you will do every time that feeling strikes, and then do it. Maybe you can find another emotional eating buddy and you can text or call each other for support when those feelings arise.

Remember. Make a list of all the reasons you want to be fit and healthy. Then each time you want to engage in emotional eating remember those reasons. They will help keep your eye on the overall goal.

Change. It is important to try to change the way you feel about food. Try to determine why you engage in emotional eating at certain times, and then try to work through those feelings without food, in order to change the way you think.

Of course you want to enjoy the holidays and emotions play a big role in that. And sure you want grandma’s family favorites or the cool colored Starbucks cup that’s out. But if you give into these emotional eating temptations you will most likely gain weight and be sorry come January 1st. Keep it under control this month and you will be much happier through the New Year. This goes for my Vancouver, Washington personal training clients, and all my other readers!

 

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!

 

Reaching For Your Dreams – Age No Barrier

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Baby Boomer Body Composition – Why it’s Important

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

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

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

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

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

Dig Into Strength: How Baby Boomers Can Improve Strength

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

Dig Into Mobility: How Baby Boomers Can Improve Mobility

Mobility is not something one thinks about all that often. At least, that is, until it begins to decrease over the years. Once you can no longer do the things you used to do as easily, you may begin to think about mobility issues. The good news is that there are things you can do to improve your mobility, regardless of your age. As a personal trainer that specializes in working with baby boomers and senior citizens, I have witnessed the way being proactive can help people improve mobility.

There are numerous things that can impact your mobility, including arthritis, slowing reflexes, a decrease in the ability to stretch or bend, loss of bone tissue, and more. The loss of mobility is especially problematic for baby boomers because it can not only hinder your ability to do the things you love, but it can also lead to you losing some independence. If you are a baby boomer who wants to stay independent and continue doing things for yourself it’s time to get serious about improving your mobility.

Here are a few of the principles that you should follow when it comes to mobility. These are principals that I share with many of my personal training clients:

  • Make it daily. Working on improving your mobility is not something you can do once in a while and then expect to see results. Rather, you have to make a commitment to improving it and then being proactive to get there. You have to work on mobility exercises on a daily basis. This includes getting daily exercise, stretching, and living a healthy lifestyle.
  • Try different methods. Stretching is a good way to help improve mobility. But you also need to know the right kind of stretches you should be doing (which is why you should be working with a personal trainer). However, if you feel stretching is not doing enough for you, try something else. Other methods to try are to include using a foam roller, getting massages, art, structural integration, tennis ball rolling, and partner stretching. There are many different methods to try, so there is a good chance you will find one that is going to help you improve your mobility.
  • Test and test again. It is important to know if your efforts are working. To do this, take a pre-test before you get started with the mobility exercise plan. Then, test as you go in order to see if you are gaining motion. If you are, great, then it is working as planned. If you are not, then you may need to try another method in order to get better results.
  • Take action. The best way to take action is to meet with a personal trainer, such as myself on a weekly basis. When you do that you will get a plan that will work for you, the results will be tested, and you will see and feel the difference it makes. A personal trainer will help identify weak areas and exercises to strengthen them.

If you are feeling down about a loss of mobility it is important to understand that it doesn’t have to stay like that. You can take measures to help make improvements. But if you ignore it, the problem will get worse and it will keep you from being as happy. Take the steps now to make improvements. Before you know it you will have improved your mobility and will be feeling great. If you are in the Vancouver, Washington area I will look forward to hearing from you. If you are not, seek out a personal trainer that specializes in working with baby boomers or senior citizens, so that you get the best possible results.