Despite the fact that there are workouts for every minute of the day available online, gyms on every street corner, and exercise devices sold every minute, as a nation we are moving less and less. The fit are becoming fitter, but the unfit are backsliding and sitting now more than ever. We don't know “exactly” what to do.
We are more confused than ever due to the media hurling information at record speeds, leaving us overwhelmed and stuck right where we sit. Should you stretch, lift weights? Walk? How often? When? How much?
Anyone (seriously, anyone and everyone), no matter how old you are or how much you ache or what body ailments you have can easily be fit. No gym required, you don't need any expensive equipment, and you certainly don't need a complicated workout to reach your goals.
Say goodbye to workouts that make your body ache or hurt more than you already do, and can add even MORE stress to your life, both physically and mentally. Many of the so-called seemingly healthy workouts leave many seniors feeling worse about aging, or their body than they did before they worked out.
The best part about fitness is you get MORE back than what you put into it. It has residual effects or added bonuses that most people don't realize. Unlike most investments, every time you work out (mostly from weight lifting) you get double the benefits back!
Here are the 3 most important benefits you can expect almost immediately when you simply keep your body in motion every day.
- Improved strength, physically and mentally. Movement (any and all and notice I didn’t call it exercise, for good reason), helps sharpen our brains, also helping
to ward off anxiety and depression.
- Reduced weight, blood pressure, stroke and cancer risk, and health care costs -
both immediate and long-term, as it can prevent you from needing long-term care due to not being physically able to get up and off the toilet or push your body off the floor should you happen to fall.
- Powered up simply by moving your body WILL provide a fitter future that includes:
Natural Energy and Mood, Digestion, and Assimilation of ALL nutrients, meaning your body’s digestive system works more efficiently, leading to better absorption of the foods you eat. Assimilation of nutrients, meaning when you move your body and increase blood flow, the nutrients you take will be transported throughout your entire body, especially if you stay hydrated and take supplements that are more bioavailable (that's why we like liquids best).
Healthier Immune Response, which includes your body’s inflammatory response, so you won't ache as much. No matter what ailments you have, you're guaranteed to feel better and ache less. *Aches are your body's way of letting you know you need to MOVE IT!
DO: Warm up your body first. Take 3-5 minutes to get the blood flowing. Even a hot shower can work if you have any kind of “itis” or struggle with arthritis.
DON'T: Overdo it and use up all of your energy before you lift the weights. They are too important to do tired, and you risk injuring yourself.
DO: Start where you are, at whatever fitness level you're at. Do your best and allow your body time to recover, which is THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT of your workout. The recovery, not the workout, counts most. You’ll be stronger, feel better, and avoid getting injured or excessively sore.
DO: Lift weights two times per week and allow two days in-between workouts for recovery.
DON'T: Lift more often until you've been lifting weights for six months or more.
DO: Lift as heavy a weight as you can using good form and correct posture. STAND UP straight, pull your stomach in, squeeze your buttocks to recruit your core muscles, and ALWAYS make sure your spine is in alignment (straight) to avoid lifting with the wrong muscles!
DON'T: Lift heavier until you can do 20 reps using perfect form.
DO: Walk every day (aim for 10K steps, pace in place if you need to).
DON"T: Sit for more than 30-40 minutes at a time. Get up and pace or take a walk around the block or inside your house. Sit less, move more!
DO: Stretch yourself daily. Do recovery stretches that focus on form, function, and enhance your body's healing and recovery process.
DON'T: Do stretches that may injure your body, such as standing on your head or twisting yourself up into a pretzel. While these types may seem like a good idea, they aren't functional, and nine out of ten times injure tight muscles. Focus on strength instead and add new types of activities later.
DO: Lift according to your fitness level and state of health.
- Beginner: If you haven't exercised in more than 6 months or have never exercised in your life, start off slowly with one set of each exercise for the first two weeks, two times per week, and allow at least two days in-between weight workouts to allow your body enough time to recover. Follow this protocol for at least two weeks to allow your body to adapt. If needed, continue for as long as you need to, depending on how your body recovers after your workouts.
How well your body recovers is largely dependent on your sleep, health, nutritional status, and fitness levels.
- Intermediate: Already doing some activity, regardless of what it is, or if you’ve been lifting weights, do two sets of each of these exercises twice weekly.
- Advanced: Adjust sets, reps, and weights according to your fitness level and abilities. *Seek professional guidance for best results at this stage.
DON’T: Overdo it or push yourself! Pushing yourself to do more reps, sets, lifting heavier weights, or working out more often won't get you a better result. It will, however, overtrain your body and put you at risk of hurting yourself due to preventing muscles from recovering, leaving you unable to work out, which is exactly what you don't want.
DO: Exhale on the exertion part of the exercise (the “hard part” per see), the push, or pull.
DON'T: Hold your breath. As long as you're breathing and not holding your breath, that's most important!
DO: Focus on your progress; it will keep you motivated
DON'T: Focus on perfection; it will rob your joy and demotivate you.
DO: Hydrate prior to your workout by having 2-4 oz. of water.
DON'T: Over-consume water (yes, it's a thing). Drinking too much water can make you feel nauseous and throw electrolytes out of balance.
Perfection IS the enemy of progress. Do your best and leave the rest. Consistency and frequency is the best way to become fit and stay fit!
The three things EVERYONE over 40 should be taking every day are:
- Complete Protein Shake: One per day as a meal or snack for healing and recovery.
- Pure Omega 3: Take one in the morning and one before bed for best results. *YES even if you eat fish! Eight percent of us are deficient or our omega 3/Omega 6 ratios are off due to the overconsumption of olive and other omega 6 oils.
- A daily multivitamin/mineral: I use both Daily Power Shot and Recovery Agent, which is a multivitamin with joint health benefits.