How Losing Helps You Win

Yes, you read that right! Sometimes losing can really help you a lot. While you don’t want to set out to lose, and if it happens, it’s sometimes not a bad thing. Before you really start to think I’ve lost my mind here, let me explain!

I’m a big Green Bay Packers fan and watching them play this past season really helped me to see how losing can help you win. They had an amazing season. In fact, it was considered the best season in the history of the franchise. They were on top of their game all season, having winning streaks that left other teams in awe. But when it came time to the play-offs, they didn’t quite have what it took that got them there.

The Packers were out of the playoffs, losing to the New York Giants 37-20. And sure, I was disappointed, but there is some good that will come out of losing. When we win, we tend to get complacent. This not only happens to NFL teams who win, but it also happens to all of us in various aspects of our lives. If we win, we get complacent. But it’s what we do when we lose that makes up for not winning!

When we lose at something, we actually begin to re-focus. That re-focusing is important in helping us to learn how to win again. This is the same concept that you may be facing in your weight loss or fitness goals. Maybe you feel like it is something you lost at, and if that is the case, then it is time to re-focus. Take it as a designated time to re-think your plan of action and make sure you are doing everything you can to win the next time you give it a try.

Don’t beat yourself up over “losing” or slacking on your fitness routine or healthy eating habits. Instead, think about what you need to do to be more successful at it. Take that time to re-focus, so that you come out seeing clearly what needs to be done and how you will go about doing it.

Keep in mind throughout your quest for healthy living that sometimes when you lose it will help you to go and become a winner. And you will appreciate that win that much more! As for my Packers, they are still winners because they had a great season. Now they can re-focus, create a new plan of action for next year, and hopefully have an equally, if not better, season next year!

 

 

Chris Elias: I am an Active Boomer

Famous author Mark Twain once said, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” When it comes to being a baby boomer and being physically active and fit, Twain couldn’t have put it a better way! Age really is just what you make of it. Reaching a particular number in years does not mean it is time to slow down, unless that’s what you have made up your mind to do!

Take Chris Elias, a baby boomer client of mine. Chris is one baby boomer who has not let age slow her down, even following knee surgery, or get in her way at all. She embraces where she is in her life and makes being physically fit a priority.

Here are some of the tools that have helped Chris to stay fit:

Start slow. Chris, like many other baby boomers who want to get active and start working out, was afraid she would get hurt, especially because she had undergone back surgery. This is why starting slowly is always a good idea. It will help you reduce the risks of injury and will help you progress in a healthy way.

Get a trainer. Chris sought out a trainer so that I could help her evaluate where she was at with his fitness level, where she wanted to go, and develop a plan that would help her safely get there. A good trainer will make sure you progress safely, yet still challenge yourself.

Track food. There is a lot of research that proves that there are benefits to keeping a food log. Get an inexpensive notepad, or create a file on your computer, and keep track of what you eat, when you eat it, and any emotional state you may be in at the time. For example, realizing you reach for chocolate when you feel stress will help you identify your trigger foods, and then you can seek out healthier alternatives.

Read stories. Seek out stories about other healthy baby boomers. Chris made a point of wanting to read about the stories filled with a positive, healthy outlook. It will inspire and motivate you.

Surprise yourself. Chris never thought she could do push-ups. Now she does push-ups routinely and even outdoes some family members. Today she can even run. When you challenge yourself, you never know what you may find you are capable of doing.

Stay focused. Keep in mind all the benefits of how being fit makes life better. You will feel better, have more energy, and be able to enjoy activities more.

Treat yourself. Don’t give up everything you love. Keep it in check. Chris loves a glass of wine and chocolate, and she makes having it a treat.

Get a tune-up. Getting a massage is a great way to reduce stress and increase mobility.

Find support. Find an environment of other baby boomers who are also seeking fitness. Surround yourself with such a positive environment, such as BoomerFitness, positive people, support, gym etc.

Not only did Chris surprise herself as a boomer on the road to fitness, but she exceeded

Falling Off the Diet Wagon and Why It’s Good

 One of my clients came into the gym recently and he didn’t have the normal vigor that he usually had. I noticed it right away and asked him what was going on. “I fell off the band wagon,” he replied, assuming that he had done something terrible and possibly created a major setback in his quest for fitness. I explained to him that it is just not the case and falling off the diet wagon once in a while can actually be a good thing!

My client, in falling off the wagon, screwed up on the diet end of things. Keep in mind that he stilled showed up at the gym for his workout, so he didn’t fall off there as well. It was just with the food. He got busy, didn’t have the right foods on hand in the house, and when he went to the pantry, he noshed on what he found handy. He ate chocolate, chips, and candy. The type of things that he would normally try to avoid, but since he had no variety on hand, he got desperate and bored and he ate. He even took in some empty calories with some soft drinks.

The thing is, it was only for one day. Falling off the wagon for one day is not a bad thing. Now if you let one day go into two, into a week, and so on, then that is a whole other story. But one day of eating the unhealthy foods isn’t going to do you in. And, it may just turn out to be a good thing for you to do once in a while. Let me explain…

Many people feel restricted when they try to eat a healthy diet or watch their caloric intake. They may feel like they are turning down and passing up on many of the foods they used to enjoy, like cookies or chips, so their want for those foods continues to grow and so too does their feelings of being restricted. But if one day a week or every couple of weeks you let yourself fall off the wagon and eat those things you would normally turn down, you will be satisfying that craving, both mentally and physically.

If you know that you can still have those foods, only you get to have them once a week or once a month then you will most likely feel better about sticking to a more nutritious diet the rest of the time. You know you will still get to taste that cookie or cake again in the near future. Often times, once you do fall off the wagon and have that day of indulgence, you find that it doesn’t taste nearly as good as you thought it would or that you remember it tasting.

There is also a good chance that by falling off the wagon once in a while, you may end up no longer feeling the need to fall of the wagon. Once you have done it a few times, you will realize that you aren’t really missing that much at all, and you may, in time, skip doing it by choice. So the next time you fall off the wagon, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, get yourself right back to the gym the next day and get back on the wagon!

 

 

The Top Baby Boomer Sex Drive Killers

The other day I was driving in the car and I kept hearing commercials for erectile dysfunction. I come into the house, put the television on, and there again I see commercials showing baby boomers that need a special pill because of erectile dysfunction. Turn on my computer, and you guessed it, more ads for the same thing! What is going on here? Is the truth really found in a pill or is it something else?

Selling the little blue pill, or those for erectile dysfunction, is a business just like any other. And it is one that makes drug companies really rich! In fact, in just the year 2007 the top two companies selling the pill spent a combined $230 million advertising the pill in order to make people aware of it and prompt sales. On the back end, those two drug manufacturers raked in over a billion combined! So telling baby boomers they need an erectile dysfunction pill to solve the problem is worth a lot of money!

But the truth of the matter is that most of those people getting the pills don’t really need them. What they need is to take a look at their lifestyle choices. When you really deal with the heart or truth of the matter, it is clear to see that the problem of not being able to, um, perform like you once used to, comes down to the lifestyle choices you are making. When you make poor lifestyle choices, such as not eating healthy and not taking care of your body, then you will need to rely upon artificial methods (a.k.a. the pill), in order to help you with your sex drive.

Here are the top sex drive killers for baby boomers:

Stress and depression

Issues with your partner (lack of communication)

Alcohol (it numbs many people)

Being too tired (lack of sleep equals lack of performance)

Medications (those for blood pressure and hormone replacement therapy, for example)

Body image (not liking what you see in the mirror leaves you feeling unsexy)

The absolute best way to deal with all the above sex drive killers is not a prescription pill! Not by a long shot. The reality is that the best way for baby boomers to deal with these sex drive killers is to adopt a long term healthy diet and workout routine. When you get fit and make it a priority, it will do wonders for your sex life.

Living a healthy lifestyle, which means working out and eating healthy, will reduce stress and leave you mentally feeling better, resulting in your liking your body image more. You will also end up sleeping better and when you are fit, you will most likely not need all the medications. The only last issue remaining that is sometimes a sex drive killer is the alcohol, and with that, you just need to learn your limits!

 

Baby Boomers Can Re-Center with a Trip to a Spa

Just think of all the mean, stress-inducing things you do to your body all week. All the television watching, absorbing all that negative news you see, all the caffeine-filled coffee, and more. There are many things you do to your body to raise the stress and increase tension, but what are you doing to help relieve it and re-center?

Recently I took a trip to the Bonneville Hot Springs Resort & Spa. This is a trip that will give a tune-up to any baby boomer, and believe me, all our bodies need a tune-up from time to time. My trip to the Bonneville Hot Springs & Resort left me feeling great, de-stressed, and re-centered. I left ready to take on the world and all its stress once again!

If you live near this resort, which is located around 35 miles from Portland, Ore. and Vancouver, Washington, I highly recommend checking it out to get a body tune-up. If you don’t, there has to be a spa in your area that offers a similar list of ways to pamper yourself. Some of things you want to make sure you take advantage of at the spa include:

The baths. Taking the hot or cold baths that the spa offers can offer some great benefits. Check out their menu of options, as they have some that have been designed to help you relieve stress, do away with muscle tension, and even soften your skin.

The massage. You may be aware of how great massages are for your body. But if you are not, let me be the first to tell you that they are great for your body. They will make you feel great, help your muscles, relieve stress and tension, allowing you to walk away from it feeling on top of the world.

Mineral water. Spas usually offer a variety of ways to get introduced to mineral water, so take advantage of it. Mineral water is great for detoxification of the body and for re-mineralizing your skin and body. It also helps your skin to feel great and look healthy.

A trip to the spa is not only a tune-up for your body and muscles, but it also does wonders for the mind. It will leave you feeling de-stressed and re-centered, as it did me. It is a great way to clear your mind, re-focus, and let your thoughts calm down for a while. We live in a world where we are constantly inundated with news and information.

It is nice to give our minds a break once in a while and just allow it to relax and not have to think about everything that is going on around us. There is no better way to do that then visiting the spa and taking in some of the amazing treatments. A trip to the spa is something you will never regret!

 

The HCG Diet and the Baby Boomer

As a personal trainer, there are many questions that I routinely get from the people with whom I work.. One that I get over and over is about which diet program people should follow. You have probably heard all the buzz words as well. Everyone wants to know what I think about Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, low carb, high carb, and even the grapefruit diet. You name it, and someone is looking for my opinion on it!

The latest diet that people are discussing is the HCG diet. It can often be purchased online, as well as in chiropractic offices and some spas. So just where does it stack up for baby boomers? Let’s take a look!

HCG, which stands for human chorionic gonadotropin, is a hormone that was discovered over 50 years ago by a Dr. Simeons. What he found was that it is effective in removing fat storage. Today people are using HCG in order to eliminate their fat storage rapidly.

How HCG works is that when you begin taking it, the hormone communicates with your brain to let it know it is time to release your fat storage. It leads to a rapid weight loss of about a pound or two per day! Over the course of one month, people can lose 30 pounds by following the HCG diet.

The HCG diet is comprised of three main phases:

For the first couple of days you eat what you want and begin taking the HCG drops. This will begin sending the signals to your brain to release the fat storage.

Then for the next few weeks, you follow a very low calorie diet of around 500 calories per day (consisting of fruits, veggies and protein) and continue with the HCG drops.

The third phase is the maintenance period. At this point, you go back to eating a higher calorie diet, while still avoiding sugar and starches, and stop taking the HCG drops after a couple of days.

Does the HCG diet work for baby boomers? The research is out there that shows it does indeed work. It is effective in helping people be able to rapidly lose weight. However, it is a very low calorie diet (that your doctor may even advise against), that many people may have difficulty sticking with for any length of time. And the bottom line is that if you haven’t changed your lifestyle, making sure that working out is a part of your daily life, then how long your efforts pay off remains to be seen.

My professional advice to baby boomers, as well as everyone else, is to not go on a diet, but rather to make lifestyle choices and changes. It is those changes that will be long lasting. You need to focus on eating healthy, which means a balanced diet and sticking with an exercise routine. Following a healthy lifestyle will always pay off, even if it takes a little longer to achieve the desired results!

How to Be a More Valuable Employee

Baby boomers may be nearing retirement age, but most plan to continue working, at least on a part time basis. Today, people are working well into what was once considered the retirement years. Whether it is being brought on by economic need or the desire to continue being active on the job, baby boomers are hanging onto and even seeking out jobs!

Problem is, most businesses are struggling, and there is one major reason for it – the health insurance crisis this country is facing. Businesses are spending more on employee health insurance than they ever have before, driving up their costs, and leading them to have to cut workers or even pay lower wages.

Just what can you do in order to try to combat this? Strive to become a more valuable employee! There are several ways that you can do this, beyond the obvious of doing your work to the best of your ability, including:

Get fit. The more fit employees are, the less in insurance costs the company will likely have to pay. When you are healthier and fit, there is also less loss of productivity they will incur because you won’t be calling in sick or working while not feeling well (which diminishes productivity).

Join programs. Find out what wellness incentive programs your employer offers. Usually if you join a wellness program, it will give them, and you, a break on insurance costs. This will also demonstrate to them that you are not only serious about being healthy, but that you are interested in helping to save them money.

Remain positive. A positive attitude goes a long way in any field. It is important to remain positive so that you have a healthy mind, as well as a healthy body, and people enjoy working around you.

It is not just the rising costs of health care coverage that is hurting employers, but it is the fact that so many Americans are in such poor health. With so many people having issues such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, it is driving up costs and leading to an increase in absenteeism from work.

Employers usually don’t want to cut their work force, nor do they want to have to pass on high health care expenses, to their employees. But sometimes, especially in our current economy, they have no other choice if they want to stay afloat. The more you take your health and fitness seriously and make it a priority, the more you will be helping your employer. And that, in turn, will help to make you a more valuable employee!

 

All About Squats and Why Baby Boomers Should be Doing Them

Have you done some squats today? Bending down to pick up that chip off the floor doesn’t quite count! Seriously though, you may not realize just how beneficial doing squats can be and why you should be doing them. The more you know about what squats can do for you, the sooner you will want to get them worked in to your exercise routine!

The squat is so beneficial to the body because it ends up using most of the muscles in the body all at once. You get a complete body workout when you engage in a set of squats. You can’t beat the return on time investment with squats. In addition, doing squats can help the baby boomer, and others, avoid having weak glutes and a weak torso, and it can help build strength and increase mobility. What’s not to love?

Squats can be done a number of different ways, with all of them providing great benefits. All squats have one thing in common though; they involve using those muscles that are around the knees and hips, as well as all the joints that are below the belt.

Some things that are important to remember in order to do squats the right way and avoid injury include:

Your knees should always be in line with your feet and hips while you are squatting. Keep in mind that your knees are going to follow in the direction that your feet are going. Because of this, it is important to keep feet straight so that your knees go straight, helping to avoid possible tendon and ligament injuries.

It is best to wear running shoes when you are doing squats. They will give you the support that your ankle needs to properly engage in the squats.

Try to always maintain a neutral spine position during each squat. This means you will want to avoid flexing or extending your back out as you squat.

Always keep good posture while squatting and keep your chest in what is considered a “proud” state. Keep your heels to the ground and do the squat using your hamstrings.

When you first start doing squats, you will want to keep it to a minimum and slowly progress to doing more. If you are not sure how many you should be doing for your current fitness level, ask a personal trainer. When I work with my clients, I assess where they are at and where they want to go and create a safe goal for progression.

Squats can be a great way to improve your fitness level and increase mobility. Working them into you routine, you won’t be disappointed with the results!

Busy, Busy, Busy: How to Fit Fitness Into the Busiest Schedule

Let’s face it – we live in busy times. People are busier today it seems than ever before. And all these things that are keeping us busy, busy, busy are leading many of us to feel that we don’t have time for fitness. Well, I’m hear to tell you that you do have the time, and you must make the time because being healthy and fit needs to be your top priority!

 

Let me tell you a story to which I think many of you can relate. Several years ago I was working 12 hours a day in the military, week after week. Yet, I was also a personal trainer and had clients that I needed, and wanted, to help. In addition to all that, I still had friends, family, and a girlfriend I needed to keep up with everything. And as you know, building and keeping strong relationships requires putting in time.

Thing was, I was busy as busy can be, but I didn’t let it keep me from having fitness be a part of my life. And there are several reasons why, which may also work for you, too. These reasons include:

Mindset. Having the right mindset makes a world of difference. You have to think positively and focus on what it is that you want, rather than what it is that you don’t want or all the excuses that you can conjure up. Remain positive and remind yourself of what it is you want.

Forget perfection. If you wait around until the time is perfect in order to start working out and getting fit, it will likely never come. You can’t wait for things to get perfect to start taking care of your health. You need to do it now!

Auto-pilot. Just like you brush your teeth and always seem to have time for it, working out will become the same way. Once you get used to doing it, you will want to do it just like you do all the other daily auto-pilot things each day.

Focus. Don’t make fitness a bigger issue than it really is. Focus on the smaller things that you can do and that are still just as important. Focus on where you are and where you want to be, not any barriers you may come across along the way.

Nutrition. This is a big part of being healthy. It doesn’t have to be a time-consuming task. Just plan ahead, even make meals ahead of time, and make sure that the food you purchase and fix are complimentary to a healthy lifestyle, rather than detrimental.

Work out. Being fit requires working out regularly. Make it a part of your weekly routine, just as you will make meeting friends for lunch, getting your hair done, or any number of other things you schedule routinely. Make it happen!

Life is busy, that is true. But being healthy and fit will do more for adding years to your life than will most of the other things for which you are finding time. Even fitting in short 20 minute workouts will help you stay focused and will give you the benefits you need. Remember, it’s about a lifestyle and making progress, not perfection. By making progress you will be stronger and healthier, rather than the other way around!

Thinking About Lap-Band Surgery? Think again!

Each year there are millions of people who consider getting lap-band surgery. Many of them decide in favor of it and go through with the risky procedure. Problem is, some of them don’t make it because they end up dying from the procedure or some form of complication following it. There are so many reasons why lap-band surgery is not the way to go!

Lap-band surgery, also referred to as laparoscopic surgery or gastric bypass surgery, is a surgical procedure that takes about four hours. Through it, a surgeon essentially alters the size of your stomach so that it can’t hold as much food. In theory, this is supposed to make you eat less, so t you take in fewer calories and end up losing weight. However, it doesn’t always work out as smoothly as planned.

Some people never make it off the operating table when they go in for lap-band surgery. Imagine, families losing someone they love simply because they were dying to be thinner. It’s a needless death that never needs to happen. In addition, there are many risks that come along with the lap-band surgery, including vomiting if you eat too much, repeat maintenances surgeries, anemia, osteoporosis, gastritis, kidney stones, and dumping syndrome, where your food moves too rapidly through your body.

The real problem with weight issues lies in things that can’t be fixed with a lap-band surgery. No surgery will address the causes of what made someone gain the weight in the first place. Emotional eating, improper nutrition, and not exercising are all things that the lap-band surgery does nothing to correct.

If you or someone you know is considering lap-band surgery, I urge you to choose not to do this. That temporary fix will cost you thousands of dollars, will put your health and life at risk, and will not get to the root of the problem or teach you how to adopt a healthy lifestyle that leads to maintaining fitness.

What does work to get, and stay, fit is to work with a personal trainer. A personal trainer will guide you on the path of health by assessing where you currently are and creating a plan to safely help you progress and get to where you need to be. Forget the risks, going into debt, and problems that come with lap-band surgery. Doing it the natural way will leave you feeling better and your pocketbook with money with which you can take a relaxing vacation. Commit to working out and becoming fit and it will happen!