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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 September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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