Exercising – at your age? What’s the Point?
This either riles you up, hits home, or just sums up how you feel.
You either agree, or disagree. Now to what extent probably sums up how you feel about exercising, what you know about exercising, and what you do about it… or not do. But one thing I KNOW, is that there IS, a point.
I’m Ronnie Loaiza – Certified Personal Trainer and Senior Fitness Specialist. Every day I am witness to people over 50, 60, 70—even 90 feeling better, feeling good, feeling less pain-free with the right type of workout plan.
While I try not to categorize people, you probably fall into one of these three types.
- The 1- DO!
- The 2- “I TRY, ”
- Or the 3- “I CAN’T.”
This group includes your hard-core competitors. They run 10ks, marathons, and triathlons. They play in a league, they swim, they body build, and they ski. They do Pilates and yoga and hike and play tennis, and surf and hit the gym… all in one week! These are the Jack LaLannes (rip) of the world who are getting older, but not growing old.
This group also includes the typical baby boomer and senior who goes to the gym, hits a few machines, gets on a treadmill, and loyally takes some type of fitness class a couple of times a week. Or, those go for a power walk, a group walk, a weekend hike, a tennis game, golf and of course, touches a ball once in a while-basket/soccer/base/or foot –BALL -depending on the season.
Sigh, the “I Try”… you gotta love them. You really do because, they do indeed try. The problem is that trying and doing, are just not the same. But most of the ‘I try people’ just don’t know it! Or, they just don’t know how to fit exercise into their busy schedules, or how to properly exercise, which is the most common problem at any age.
First, it is GREAT to be active. That’s what life is about. Being in the moment and being engaged and alive! However, being active, differs from exercise. Exercise helps longevity which allows you to be active a lot longer!
“I walk the dog”: That’s nice. It’s necessary. It’s good to be moving, but, it is not exercise and it is not enough. How about walking the dog then working out? Twenty to thirty minutes of intense (not painful-just intense which means by speed or weight) two to three times a week is plenty!
The “I Try’s” common denominator is not making fixed appointments with themselves. They show up for everyone else but, themselves. They need to ‘date, themselves. Yes ask yourself on workout dates, and do not stand yourself up! Show up, dressed and feeling giddy like you do on a date. Focus on your date (you). Have fun on your date, and kiss yourself at the end of the date. That kiss can be in the form of a compliment –tell yourself “good for you!”, a few minutes in the hot-tub, a shower massage, a good stretch, even a “like” on your own status on your Facebook page.
The cooking, cleaning, social functions and errands will still be there. I’m not saying ignore them. I’m saying, date yourself, pamper and take care of yourself with a planned and scheduled workout. Or engage a friend so that you two to hold each other accountable.
"I CAN’T” .
The number one reason the “I Can’t’ People give me, is “What’s the point?”. They feel they are not going to actually look and feel better, so why put in the effort? The other reason is a health problem. So, let’s address on “What’s the point?”
Two of many reasons: It helps you mentally, and physically.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota highlighted the strong link between exercise, heart health, and brain health at all points of your life. They examined data collected over a 25-year period from 2,700 US adults.
The study found that those who exercise the most tend to have the least amount of brain shrinkage over time. Not only that, but exercise actually causes your brain to grow in size. In one study, adults aged 60 to 80 who exercised for 30 to 45 minutes, three days per week for one year, showed a 2-percent increase in the volume of their hippocampus—a brain region associated with memory.
The thing is that after digging a little deeper, I usually hear - - - fear.
Large busy gyms with mostly younger members can be intimidating for many seniors - waiting for a bench, adjusting the equipment, not knowing how to vary your routine, and all you want to do is get a good safe workout and feel good! And the fact is that resistance training can help seniors stay independent longer.
1-Short term Personal Training!! Even on a fixed income, you can enjoy the advantages of working with a trainer. Be in control without the long term commitment.
2- Senior-Specific Fitness Classes. You get safe, structured guidance and instruction. The group adds comradery to the class.
I have (insert problem ____ a bad back, tennis elbow, arthritis, sciatica, torn meniscus, torn rotator cuff, replaced hip, herniated disc… )
If you have a disability or a health problem you can still workout. I know. Believe me. I know. I have 4 herniated discs and I don’t hurt. Why? Because I sought help. And this is where a GOOD personal trainer, a good doctor, and a reputable gym, clinic or studio come in. More on credentials and what to look for in a Personal Trainer or Fitness Instructor in future 50+ Plus Reports!
I’m Ronnie Loaiza. Personal Trainer & Senior Fitness Specialist. www.heyronnie.com