We’re All Getting Older

Some of my favorite clients from ages  20-73

A couple of weeks ago I decided to publish a blog. I wanted it to be about exercise, health, and fitness. I wanted this blog to be a reflection of who I am. Well, I’m a perfectionist. I always get A’s. When I went to college, I graduated with a PhD. When I became a personal trainer, I obtained eight certifications. That’s who I am—an over-achiever.

My initial vision was to write a blog that would contain photographs, links to pertinent web sites, videos, recipes and anything else I could find to have a perfect blog. Maybe I would sell products, develop my own vitamin line, and get sponsors. I wrote, I researched, I found exercises, found photographs and videos and began the process of compiling and designing my blog. It was not easy and it definitely wasn’t fun.

Then I had an epiphany. The reason I want to write a blog is talk to you—my friends, my clients, members of Snap, women over 60, women under 60, men who aren’t body builders, men and women who are competitors. What I have to say is probably not earth shatteringly new or even earth shattering, but it will be about what it’s like to be healthy when it’s easy to do that and when it isn’t so easy.

For the last few years I’ve used the excuse that my age is why it’s harder to stay fit and healthy. I’m over 65-years-old and what I did last year or the year before isn’t working any more. I thought that made me unique. I thought it was all about getting older. What I didn’t think of the time is that we are all getting older. The 21-year-old woman I train who just had a baby is appalled because she is doing exactly what she did before she got pregnant and she can’t get her muscles back in shape and she has belly fat.

The 30-year-old woman I train is on top of the world because she realizes for the first time that has the physical potential to run a marathon! Two years ago she couldn’t do a decent sit-up.

The 16-year-old boy I train is amazed because even though he has always been a skinny, nerdy kid, he can do 40 push-ups and deadlift more than his body weight.

The 40-year-old woman I train is depressed because menopause is changing her body in ways she never expected, and not all of them good.

The 78-year-old man is encouraged because that after surgery to fuse 4 cervical vertebrae, he can turn his head side-to-side and do push-ups.

I was right. It is about getting older. We’re all getting older. And at some point we reach an age—and it isn’t the same for all of us—when our bodies fail us. If it’s not our age, it may be our job, our children, our aging parents, or something else—it doesn’t matter. It is a rationalization anyway.  Whether we are in our twenties or seventies or anywhere in between, whether we’re housewives, students or professionals, whether we’re parents or caring for parents, we use it as a sign from God that we shouldn’t be eating vegetables or working out anyway. So we stop. If we thought it was bad before, it is abominable now. And now we can add the guilt of not doing what we know we should be doing.

Then something happens—we realize we have to change—and we actually begin an exercise and nutritional program to improve our health. Yes! Some of us keep going day after day, year after year and stick to our plan. Our discipline is unwavering. But there are others of us who hang with the plan for a while and then fall of the wagon, so to speak.

That’s why I want to write this blog. I’ve been all those people. I started as a physical klutz, I’ve worked out and achieved some athletic prowess, I’ve gained weight, I’ve lost weight, I’ve re-invented my life numerous times, I’ve stuck with exercise and nutritional plans for decades and I’ve also had years when I did not exercise or eat healthy.

The one thing I know for sure is that if I want a healthy mind and a healthy body, I have to work for it. It sucks. It’s just a fact that I like lemon meringue pie better than tossed green salad. I prefer watching “House” re-runs more than going to the gym. But I also know that everything in my life is better if I eat salad and go to the gym.

So that’s what this blog is about—how to be healthy when you feel like it and when you don’t. Share your thoughts and ideas. It’s a work in progress. I want all of us “to live our life not our age.”

 

Change Up Your Workout Routine

You’re on a roll! You’ve been working out for a couple of months and are actually seeing some results. But, well let’s admit it, the workouts can be boring, especially if you do the same routines over and over. It happens to all of us.

Yesterday I did some of the same exercises I’ve done many times before, I just used a stability ball as a way to make the exercise more interesting.  This is a leg raise–really attacks the lower abs–and when you pass a stability ball from your hands to feet without allowing your feet to touch the floor, there’s definitely an added level of difficulty.

 

 

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Making small changes can keep your workouts fun and keep you working out!

  1. It will keep you from hitting a plateau. Adding variety to your workouts will keep your exercises from becoming ineffective.
  2. It will give your body a chance to repair itself. If you do the same workout each day, you won’t be giving certain muscle groups enough time to heal between each workout, and you increase your chances of being injured.
  3. It will prevent boredom and burnout. If you keep doing the same workout routine each day and your results start dropping, you’re more likely to get bored and give up on your fitness goals.

Continue reading “Change Up Your Workout Routine”