Sedentary, 65 and older? It’s never too late to start a physical activity program!

Over the age of 65, and sedentary, but want to start a structured physical activity program? Here are a few steps to safely begin a program and incorporate fitness into your life.

  1. Educate yourself on the weekly amount of structured activity needed. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention individuals 65 and older that are in good health and have no limiting health conditions should strive for 150 minutes of aerobic (also known as cardio) activity per week as well as two total-body strength workouts. Aerobic activity needs to be performed at a moderate intensity. For example, on a scale from 1 to 5 – one being the feeling of lounging around the house and five being out of breath – you need to be working at a level 3, possibly a 4. A total body (legs, back, chest, abs, arms) workout should be performed at least two times a week. These basics requirements are for those active older adults that want to maintain their health, weight and fitness level. If you are want to achieve greater goals (improved health, weight loss, train for an event) then up to 300 minutes a week of aerobic activity and possibly an additional day of strength training is required. Fortunately, your aerobic activity doesn’t have to be in 60 minutes increments. Ten minutes here and fifteen minutes there can make your aerobic activity cumulative. Strive to meet the basic recommendations for structured activity as described above. This is your first step in starting a physical activity program.
  2. Find an activity, or two, that you enjoy. Does your gym, health club, fitness or community center offer group fitness classes? What about local churches or social clubs? SilverSneakers® programming is offered nationwide and can be found at most of these establishments. Look into class schedules to determine what works best for you. What about participating in a sport such as swimming or golfing? This may be the time to start a private lesson or join a league. Perhaps meeting a friend for a walk, jog or hike is more appealing. Ask your children or grandchildren about gaming systems such as the Wii, XBox or Playstation. These devices, as well as good old fashioned exercise DVDs, will allow you to workout in the comfort of your own home and for much less than a gym membership .  If all else fails, seek out a reputable and certified personal trainer for guidance. By opening your mind to what is available and identifying an activity (or two) that you enjoy, you’re more likely to exercise regularly.
  3. On a weekly basis, schedule and complete your activities. Just as you would schedule an appointment with your doctor or dentist, schedule your activities. Write it on your calendar or in your daily planner. Use an app if you are tech saavy. Be specific. For example, “2PM on Sunday. I will walk 3 miles outside.” or “Monday at 11:30AM I will attend the group strength training class at the community center with my friend, Bob.” Scheduling and completing your activities will ensure your long term success.
  4. Make adaptions based on your limitations. With any new activity, the body will need time to adapt. Learn to make adaptations for orthopedic or medical conditions (this is where a personal trainer can be helpful). Take things slowly to prevent injuries. Modify the exercise to fit your abilities. If you have been sedentary, 150 minutes of weekly aerobic training might be unrealistic. Instead, start with 15-20 minutes, three times a week. After one or two weeks, progress the duration or frequency of the activity. Continue in this manner until your body can handle the increased activity level. Making adaptations will ensure that your body responds properly to the increased activity level and help prevent injuries.

Even if you are sedentary and 65 years or older, it is never too late to start a physical activity program. The body has a unique ability to respond to exercise regardless of its age. Delaying or preventing disease, improving mood, managing stress, and pain management are all benefits of regular exercise. Use these steps to incorporate fitness into your life and you will soon be able to achieve the physical results and health benefits you’ve always wanted.

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Live Now Nutrition! A Local Resource

As most of you know, my scope of practice as a personal trainer limits my nutritional and eating guidance. Though I’m able to provide exercise guidance and instruction, you may ultimately need more to reach your health and wellness goals. With that in mind, I’d like to share a resource for nutrition and eating therapy: Heather Henniger and Live Now Nutrition.

Heather and I have been friends for many years since first meeting at the YMCA.  As an eating and nutrition coach and practitioner, her approach is different from that of a dietician or nutritionist because it focuses on one’s relationship with food and the emotions involved. I asked Heather a few questions about her services to which she elaborated:

If one tends to eat out and/or buy prepared foods frequently, which service would benefit them the most and why?

One-on-one sessions would be most beneficial for those who are wanting to get healthier, lose weight, struggling with digestive issues, or binge eating/overeating and are eating out frequently or consuming mostly prepackaged food.  One-on-one sessions would allow us to explore your life and discover areas where we can begin to tweak your diet as well as your lifestyle. Just a few small changes can make a positive shift in one’s health and wellness and can help to transform one’s metabolism.

I see you offer kitchen cooking sessions, pantry makeovers and grocery shopping tours. What can one expect to learn from each of these?

Cooking Session: I love to cook nutritious food, but only if it tastes good, otherwise, what’s the point?  In my cooking sessions, you can expect to learn healthy cooking techniques that can help you transform your unhealthy or boring meals into nutritious and delicious delights. Depending on your needs, we can work on knife skills, explore kitchen equipment, and ways to prepare healthy meals and snacks easier and tastier than you may think possible.

Pantry Makeover: Good health starts in the kitchen. A Pantry Makeover is a great way to set yourself up for success. We will be cleansing your kitchen from ingredients that keep you stuck in addictive patterns and don’t serve to properly fuel your body. You will also receive a list of foods and spices that you need to have in your kitchen to support your health. Please note that if you have family members who are not on board with your desire to make healthy lifestyle changes that I will not throw out the foods they want to keep. Instead, we will find a way for them to not feel deprived of what they want while leaving you with a kitchen that supports the changes you’re ready to make in your health and life.

Grocery Shopping Tour: There is a common misperception that shopping at health food stores will significantly increase your grocery bill. In fact, depending on what you purchase, you might even save money. Regardless on where you choose to do your food shopping, there is a way to shop at the grocery store that will be easier on your wallet, and help you get healthier. I can help you discover foods you haven’t tried, how to purchase the freshest produce, as well as how to store and ideas to prepare them.

How is your style or approach different from that of a nutritionist or dietician?

Most dieticians and nutritionists focus solely on the foods you consume, calorie content, and macronutrient balance. While these are important components of health, they are only part of a healthy life. As a Certified Nutrition Therapy Practitioner, I look at foods and their nourishing properties. However, I also use my training as a Mind Body Eating Coach to work with the whole person: body, mind, spirit, emotion. Together we will examine your past as well as your current lifestyle to gain a better understanding of where you are in your health journey and why. From there we will work together to help you build the skills and confidence to overcome eating challenges, health challenges, and life challenges so that you can become your best self.

Do you create meal plans? Why or why not?

I don’t create meal plans for my clients. I have found that many people follow a meal plan for a time and then stop following it completely when life makes it difficult to follow that meal plan perfectly. I work with my clients to see that an “all or nothing approach” is not the way to lasting health. My clients learn to trust the wisdom of their bodies in deciding what to eat and make their food choices from a place of love and respect to their bodies.

What would your clients say has been their greatest discovery through working with you?

Most people put a lot of stress and energy into negative thoughts and worrying about food. I think the greatest discovery people have had, after working with me, has been the peace and confidence in their lives.

 

Need or want guidance in this area? I encourage you to reach out to Heather!

LNN_heather_01

Live Now Nutrition – Heather Henniger
Certified Mind Body Eating Coach and Certified Nutrition Therapy Practitioner

Phone: 719-308-1160
Email: info@livenownutrition.com
Location: 422 E. Vermijo, Ste. 216 Colorado Springs CO 80903

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Too fat to get fit? – A client’s perspective

“I can’t breathe, I topple when I try to balance, and I am not strong enough. If only I was lighter, thinner and stronger I could get fit like the other people at the gym. I am just too fat to get fit

My fitness classmate was expressing what I had felt just a few years ago. These destructive thoughts would justify the delay of starting a fitness journey. “Why start, it’s beyond me”.

We have all had similar thoughts at times. Even the fittest and healthiest of us have binged over the holidays and thought “I have already broken my diet, and had a few days of inactivity, I’ll start the healthy eating and exercise next week”.

An occasional splurge should never be a problem, we all need one, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of being able live the active life and have fun adventures without feeling drained.

Nothing prevents us from taking action than ourselves. Who wouldn’t want to be enjoying fun activities and adventures? Feeling healthier is a choice, nature doesn’t have to take its course.

It’s never too soon to begin the process.  The two things that hold most of us back most are the fear of change, and a tendency to focus on the pain instead of the gain.

In the past I felt caught in the “too fat to get fit” mentality, I justified a delay of action, and became inactive. Eventually I realized that change doesn’t just happen. It’s something you have to focus on.

How can we filter through the noise of commercial solutions?  We have all seen the miracle shakes, the latest fitness exercise equipment, apps, gadgetry and intimidating gyms full of people that look nothing like you. The fitness industry can be confusing, there are no shortage of gimmicks and exaggerated promises.

I was very overweight and unhealthy before I was lucky enough to find a great health professional that was able to clear through the fog of fitness technology, focus on the benefits of outdoor adventures and motivate a change that built from my starting point rather than the average, fitter, gym member.

Nicole was able to build a custom path to fun activities through fitness for me. She took a creative approach, focused on individual interests rather than the typical score sheet of reps from the gym. In the early days of the transformation Nicole would focus on finding the activity that would spark the interest to take the action to make change. For me, the activity that I found most pleasure in was hiking. The training activities focused around balance, strength and stamina that would support better hiking which would build confidence and drive continued fitness through increasingly challenging adventures.

With Nicole’s help I was able to gradually lose 100lb, and eventually conquer the Manitou Incline, then Pikes Peak, then a 100k bike rides and the Ascent. Next year I am signed up for my first ½ ironman.

I now know that you are never too fat to get fit, and it’s never too soon to start the transformation, at 53 I can attest to it never being too late. My advice is to find a health professional that has done it before, that makes fun adventures the goal and fitness the side benefit, and that can spark the motivation to conquer the fitness challenges.

-David Sweetman; Colorado Springs

 

© David Sweetman

David (before)

 

© David Sweetman

David (after)

 

Online Wellness Program: Last chance to register!

Anyone that struggles with their weight, emotional wellness or to understand proper nutrition will benefit from this online wellness program. The 12-week Program to Lifestyle Wellness is an interactive, online wellness program which accompanies the book Living 365fitt by Kathy Kent. If you are looking for accountability, motivation, and long term success this may be your missing link. Join me online starting September 8, 2014!

$279. For more information and to register click here

Registration ends September 5, 2014.

Introducing a live, coached 12-week program to lifestyle wellness!

Online coaching is now a reality! Starting September 8, I will be leading my first online experience with the Living 365fitt–12-week Program to Lifestyle Wellness, with weekly webinars on Mondays at 7:00pm (MST).

Having partnered with 365fitt and Kathy Kent, author of Living 365fitt–12-week Program to Lifestyle Wellness, this program addresses the physical, nutritional and emotional aspects of changing one’s lifestyle for better health and wellness.  Most webinars are 45-60 minutes, allowing for ample questions and answers. The cost of the 12-week program is $279 and includes your copy of the book Living 365fitt–12-week Program to Lifestyle Wellness and more.

Because the 365fitt philosophy of moving one’s body on a daily basis, enjoying healthy nutritious foods, and avoiding or limiting unhealthy foods aligns with my own training philosophy, I am excited to add this online element to my training and coaching services.

All webinars are recorded for unlimited rebroadcasts allowing for flexibility in one’s schedule.

Sign up today!