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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!

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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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