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If You Take Care Of Your Need, Age Wouldn’t Be A Problem To Your Fitness Routine

If You Take Care Of Your Need, Age Wouldn’t Be A Problem To Your Fitness Routine

You have heard it time and again, you benefit from exercise. Perhaps when you were younger you played a sport if not on an organized school team – but with your friends. As you were in your late 20’s or 30’s your way of exercising may have changed. It could have been for more aesthetic reasons. Also over time you have seen different types of gyms pop up in your area or read about them.

Do not hesitate to ask more and allow yourself to feel comfortable in the gym

Priorities change or evolve over time and also you start seeing some nagging injury creep up or know of others that have had some difficulty getting around. Walking into a huge gym with people dropping weights, grunting and using some things you may have not seen before could be an intimidating experience. But you know that you still need to get that blood flowing in some way.

Just like buying a car, do your homework and don’t feel bad about walking away. There may be some smaller (called boutique) studios that seem more inviting. Perhaps the larger gym does have some individuals on staff that are dedicated to working with the ever growing babyboomers and other groups. Or in both instances there may be a group class that is angled for people just like you!

For the business that you feel comfortable in, don’t be afraid to ask questions. All gyms that truly want to keep their clientele will be happy to show them the ropes of the equipment. Of course, personal training sessions could be an additional fee. However – think about that investment. If you really wanted to avoid hurting yourself (i.e. the right form or appropriate weight) and start moving better, why not work with someone to create a plan of attack? Ask questions and seek out those that are happy to help you.

Exercise doesn’t need to happen indoors, go outside and get moving

Another alternative is using the great outdoors. Especially if you live in a place where you are able to take advantage of nature, a hike can be a great way to exercise. Walking poles can be a useful accessory to take pressure off the knees and also give the arms a bit of a workout too.

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One of my clients’ trains with me twice a week. I always give my clients an option of me assigning them “homework.” He took me up on that offer. My homework for him is to go for a hike as time and the weather provides. He purchased some good hiking shoes and often joins his friends on the trails. The transformation he and his friends saw was that his stamina increased. This is attributed to his effort in my sessions during the week and also being proactive to ask for homework.

Some mental notes to keep in mind before you get going

With all the above in mind, here are 10 fitness tips for individuals 40 and up. These are to give you some direction on your path to moving better. You know which ones apply to you more than others. Above all the most important thing to understand is that spending your days sitting around will not help you move better. Empower yourself!

1. Understand your body and health condition 
Before starting to exercise it is important to kick the tires. Talk to your doctor to get cleared for exercise. Also, ask him or her to review your medications. Talk to your doctor about how to address your chronic conditions (i.e. diabetes) and how exercise and what type of exercise is best for you.

2. Start of with activities you enjoy

Start with what you like doing.  At the end of the day, the most valuable exercise that anybody does is the exercise that they do on a regular basis.  Build that habit.  If you enjoy going for walks, hiking, swimming etc. – start with that.

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3. Take things slow

Build upon what you are already doing after you establish a foundation.  It has been a couple of months and you are in a good rhythm walking once a week.  Now it is time to build upon this.  Add another day or two.  Don’t immediately increase the mileage each day or whatever you are doing.  Wait until this is getting easier to add another layer – add more mileage, time or increase the pace.

4. You can always exercise to your needs

Ask qualified professionals for advice. You want to move better on your own. That is understandable. However, you may need some advice to steer you in the right direction. Things like proper form when in the gym or even when jogging can help you avoid the risk of injury and improve your progress. Make sure that whomever you speak with has experience with your age group and is giving you personalized attention. Even if you don’t live in an area where you have access to such people reach out the AARP or Council on Aging branch that can help connect you with someone.

5. Don’t forget your meals are important too 

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Be mindful of what you are eating.  Between chronic conditions and long bouts of inactivity a poor diet does not do you any favors either.  Be attentive to what you should not eat that can affect any conditions that you have.  Consult a qualified professional about things like how much protein you should be eating or what is best to avoid with your chronic condition.  Also – stay hydrated!!

6. Make exercising your life work

Train for life.  Work on things like balance, rotational exercises or leg strength.  You want to be able to move better in your everyday life at the least.  Being able to be independent, get up, pick things up off the ground or climb stairs is important.  On that note using some form of weight or resistance is helpful.  This weight could be in the form of a dumbbell or a resistance band.

7. Make new friends while exercising

Join a group class. This is a way not only to have an instructor lead you on how to correctly do an exercise but also at a cheaper rate than a personal training session.  Also, being a part of an exercise community can be a fun and supportive environment.  Knowing your fellow class members and keeping each other honest can be a great way to hold each other and yourself accountable.

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8. You can “always” exercise

Remember that what you do when you are not exercising is also important.  If you can take the stairs then skip the elevator.  Park further away from the store so you have to walk.  Pick up gardening or have some sort of outdoor project that you can volunteer at.

9. Your muscles need time to rest and recover

Don’t forget to stretch.  As we age it is important to lengthen the warmup and cool down periods.  Read up on great modified stretching techniques that anyone can do sitting or standing.  A plus to a group class is that the warm up and cool down is already part of the class!

10. Make exercising a pleasant hobby

Exercise has many forms – pick your own!  If a large gym is not your thing, don’t let that stop you from moving.  Look to see what is available in your community that you can join.  Start with something that you enjoy or people that you like to work with!

More by this author

Damien Joyner

Fitness Professional for the diverse 40+ Population!

How to Set a Fitness Goal That Will Last? If You Take Care Of Your Need, Age Wouldn’t Be A Problem To Your Fitness Routine Age Shouldn’t be Your Restriction When It Comes To Exercising

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Last Updated on October 13, 2020

How to Spot a Burnout And Overcome It Fast

How to Spot a Burnout And Overcome It Fast

Burnout at work is an issue that most people who suffer from it, suffer unknowingly.

Have you ever felt that you can’t start an assignment, have an immense urge to Netflix binge, or couldn’t get yourself to wake up on time even though you have a lot on your plate? The cause for these might be burnout.

According to Deloitte’s report, “many companies may not be doing enough to minimize burnout.” This is to say that the responsibility is not only on the employee. According to that report, nearly 70 percent of professionals feel their employers are not doing enough to prevent or alleviate burnout within their organization, and they definitely should.[1]

Too many companies don’t invest enough in creating a positive environment. One out of five (21%) said that their company does not offer any programs or initiatives to prevent or alleviate burnout. It is the culture, not the fancy well-being programs that would probably do the best work.

This is a significant problem for individuals and companies, and it’s also an issue on a macro level. A Stanford University research found that more than 120,000 deaths per year, and approximately 5%–8% of annual healthcare costs, are associated with the way U.S. companies manage their workforces.[2]

It is both the employee and the employer’s responsibility—and the latter can certainly take more responsibility.

In this article, I’ll guide you on how to know if you suffer from burnout and, more importantly, what you can do about it.

Who Are Prone to Burning Out?

For starters, it is a good thing to know that you’re in good company. According to a Gallup poll, 23% (of 7,500 surveyed) expressed burnout more often than not. Additionally, 44% felt it sometimes. Nearly 50% of social entrepreneurs who attended the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in 2018 reported having struggled with burnout and depression at some point.[3]

According to Statista (2017), 13% of adults reported having problems unwinding in the evenings and weekends. According to a Deloitte survey (consisting of 1,000 full-time U.S. employees), 77% of respondents said that they have experienced employee burnout at their current job.[4]

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Burnout is not only an issue of the spoiled first-world. Rather, it is a serious matter that must be taken care of appropriately. It affects so many people, and its impacts are just too significant to be ignored.

Some occupations are more prone to burnout, such as people who deeply care about their jobs more than others. According to the Harvard Business Review, “Passion-driven and caregiving roles such as doctors and nurses are some of the most susceptible to burnout.”

The consequences can have life or death ramifications as “suicide rates among caregivers are dramatically higher than that of the general public—40% higher for men and 130% higher for women”. It is also the case for teachers, non-profit workers, and leaders of all kinds.[5]

Deloitte’s survey also found that 91% say that they have an unmanageable amount of stress or frustration. Heck, 83% even say that it can negatively impact their relationships. Millennials are slightly more impacted by burnout (84% of Gen Y vs. 77% in other generations).

What Is Burnout Syndrome?

So, what is it, exactly? Burnout was officially included in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) and is an occupational phenomenon.

According to the World Health Organization, burnout includes three dimensions:[6]

  1. Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
  2. Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job;
  3. Reduced professional efficacy.

The 5 Stages of Burnout

At this point, you must have a clue if you’re at risk of burnout. There are different methods for understanding where you are on the burnout syndrome scale, and one of the most common ones is the “five stages method.”

1. Honeymoon Phase

As you may remember If you’ve gotten married, there’s always the honeymoon phase. You’re so happy and feel almost invincible. You love your spouse and at this stage, you’re very excited about everything. It’s the same when it comes to taking on a new job or role or starting a new business.

At first, most of the time, you’re hyper-motivated. Although you might be able to notice signs of potential future burnout, in most cases, you might ignore them. You’re highly productive, super motivated, creative, and accept (and take) responsibility.

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The honeymoon phase is critical because if you plant the seeds of good mental health and coping strategies, you can stay at this phase for extended periods.

2. Onset of Stress

Let’s continue with the wedding metaphor. Now that you’re happily married for some time, you might start noticing certain issues with your spouse that you don’t like. You might have seen them before, but now they take up more space in your life.

You might be less optimistic and feel signs of stress or minor symptoms of physical or emotional fatigue at work. Your productivity reduces, and you think that your motivation is lower.

3. Chronic Stress

Let’s hope you don’t get there in your marriage, but unfortunately, some people get there. At this stage, your stress level is consistently high, and the other symptoms of stage 2 persist.

At this point, you start missing deadlines, your sleep quality is low, and you’re resentful and cynical. Your caffeine consumption might be higher, and you’re increasingly unsatisfied.

4. Burnout

This is the point where you can’t go on unless there is a significant change in your workspace environment. You have a strong desire to move to another place, and clinical intervention is sometimes required.

You feel neglected, your physical symptoms are increasing, and you get to a place where your stomach hurts daily. You might obsess over problems in your life or work and, generally speaking, you should treat yourself.

5. Habitual Burnout

This is the phase in which burnout is embedded in your life. You might experience chest pains or difficulty breathing, outbursts of anger or apathy, and physical symptoms of chronic fatigue.

The Causes of Burnout

So, now that we know how to identify our stage of burnout, we can move on to tackling its leading causes. According to the Gallup survey, the top burnout reasons are:[7]

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  1. Getting unfair treatment at work – This is not always something that you can fully control. At the same time, you should remember that even if you’re not calling the shots, it doesn’t mean that you have to accept unfair treatment. The consequences mentioned above are just not worth it in most cases.
  2. Workload – Another leading cause of stress according to dozens of interviews conducted before writing the article. According to Statista, in 2017, 39% of workers said a heavy workload was their leading cause of stress. We live in a busy work environment, and we will share some tips on how to manage that.
  3. Not knowing your role – While not something you can fully control, you can, and probably should, take action to better define it with your boss.
  4. Inadequate communication and support from your manager – Like the others above, you can’t fully control that, but as we’ll soon share, you can take action to be in better control.
  5. Time pressure – As mentioned, motivated, passionate workers are more in danger of experiencing burnout. One of the reasons is that they’re pressuring themselves to do more, sometimes at the expense of their mental health. We’ll address how to work on that as well.

How to Overcome a Burnout

After going over the stages of burnout and the leading causes of becoming burned out, it might be a good time to let you know that there is a lot you can do to fight it head-on.

However, let’s start with what you should not do. Burnout cannot be fixed by going on a vacation. It should be a long-term solution, implemented daily.

According to Clockify (2019), these are the popular ways to avoid burnout:

  1. Focus on your family life – 60% of adults said that stable family life is key to avoiding burnout. Maintaining meaningful relationships in your life is proven to reduce stress (instead of having many unmeaningful relationships).
  2. Exercising comes in second, with 58% reporting that jogging, running, or doing any exercise significantly relieves stress. Even a relatively short walk might improve your body’s resilience to stress.
  3. Seek professional advice – 55% say they would turn to a professional. There are online websites where you can speak with professionals at reduced costs.

Aside from the three most popular ways of avoiding burnout, you can also try the following:

1. Improve Time Management

Try understanding how you can use your time better and leave more time for relaxation. That’s easy to say (or write) but more challenging to implement. It would help if you started by prioritizing yourself. Understanding the connection between your values and your everyday tasks is a tremendous help. You can use proven methods to improve the relationship between your vision and goals to your daily life tasks’ lists. Check out the Horizons of Focus or V2MOM methods to get started.

2. Use the P.L.E.A.S.E. Method

The P.L.E.A.S.E. is a combination of things you should do to be at your best physically. It means Physical Illness (P.L.) prevention, Eat healthy (E), Avoid mood-altering drugs (A), Sleep well (S), and Exercise (E).

3. Prioritize

You don’t have to say yes to everything that comes across your way at work (or in other aspects of life). You’d be surprised how easy it can become once you start saying no. Some might even describe it as exhilarating.

4. Let Your Brain rest

Culturally, most of us are already wired to think that hard work is essential, and while that’s true in most cases, we sometimes forget that our brain needs to rest for it to recharge. Seven hours of sleep are essential (depending on your age). Meditation might be helpful, too.

5. Pay Attention to Positive Events

According to Therapistaid.com, we tend to focus on the bad things in our lives. However, by focusing on positive things, we can change our mindset. One way to practice this daily is by writing three good things about your life every morning or evening. It’s been scientifically proven that doing so for a few months can help rewire your brain.

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6. Take Some “You” Time

A Netflix binge is not always good for you, but it might be in some cases. The better the leisure time is, the better you’ll feel in the long term. It’s usually better to read a book or start a new hobby that requires more cognitive skills than just lying on the couch. But as long as you feel good watching a movie, that might be a good start.

7. New Technologies Might Be Helpful

There are tons of self-help apps such as Fabulous, Headspace (meditation), Noom (diet and exercise), and others. They’re good to use, but you should also be careful not to run away from your problems only to watch social media for hours. It’s not real, and no one’s life is perfect (even if their Facebook or Instagram feeds might seem so). You should also be aware not to be in an “always-on” mindset.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re at the first or the fifth stage of the burnout phases, the goal of this article is to show you that there are always ways to fight it. The first thing is self-awareness—knowing that there’s a problem. The second step is to decide what to do about it.

You can also consider using Lifehack’s community. You’re more than welcome to share your burnout story on our Facebook page.

Bonus: Rebound from Burnout in 8 Hours

Watch what you can do to rebound from burnout quickly in this episode of The Lifehack Show:

https://youtu.be/MNnyqQWK_zg

Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

Reference

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