A big percentage of my clientele consists of women at midlife who are looking for a fitness program that will help them age gracefully, vibrantly and independently. Often they've been burned by the one-size-fits-all approach at their local fitness center. I think it's vitally important to design a fitness program that fits your unique needs, goals and limitations, but there are a few key factors that are common for almost everyone.
Fitness Over 40
One of the questions I get asked all the time in my Denver personal training sessions is "how can I climb stairs with my bad knees?" Stair climbing is a challenging move, even with perfectly functioning knees, because it involves balancing on a single leg, lifting the whole body weight against gravity (with a single leg), shifting the weight to the other leg, and coordinating the movements of three joints and lots of muscles in each leg.
The 76 million Baby Boomers in the U.S. are well-known for their active, busy lifestyles. They are the generation that is redefining aging in our society by continuing to work and stay active well into their golden years.
I know, I know. You don't want to bulk up, you just want to "tone." If you think another hour on the treadmill or elliptical is going to do that for you, think again. There's only one way to tone muscle and that's to use it. You build muscle by contracting it to overcome the resistance of some force: gravity, your body weight or a dumbbell, for example. The work of overcoming that resistance causes microtrauma in the fibers, and it's the repairing of that microtrauma that builds muscle.
The 206 bones in your body make up the structural infrastructure that supports your soft tissue. Bones are also storehouses for calcium and phosphorus, and bone tissue is continously being broken down and repaired within your body. Approximately every ten years, your entire skeleton will be replaced with new cells. Stressful forces on the bone, such as you experience when you exercise, cause the bones to create more new bone tissue, while a sedentary lifestyle results in greater loss of bone tissue than generation of new tissue. Your challenge, as you age, is to keep the pace of cell regeneration ahead of the pace of degeneration.
Getting older is not for sissies. If you neglected to take fanatical care of your body and your health in your 20s, 30s and 40s, all heck starts to break loose once you hit your 50s and 60s. Joints ache, muscles stiffen and stamina wanes. If you’re like 68% of adults in America, you’re also overweight or obese. It seems unfair that just when your kids go off to school or you start looking forward to retirement your body stops cooperating.
Everybody wants to know, what's the best exercise for me? If you're a Baby Boomer, you're at that age where your body doesn't work quite the same way it did 15 or 20 years ago. So what's the best exercise to keep Baby Boomers fit and healthy?
If you’re a “person of a certain age,” you’ve probably heard that you should be doing regular weight-bearing exercises to help improve your bone density. But do you know which exercises are weight-bearing and which aren’t?