When Is it Too Late To Find Fitness?
Never! The human body is amazing! I was thinking about this now that I am over the sickness that had me bedridden and completely down. I regained my strength quickly in the gym, along with muscle tonus, and have been hitting the bike trail hard, finding that it's as if I was never sick at all! Other than a few extra pounds that caught up to me, I feel pretty darn fortunate to have rebounded so fast and completely appreciate my good health. In particular, the brain benefits from exercise really blow me away. There is nothing quite so good at turning a depressed attitude into Oh Happy Day! as does a bit of exertion-induced endorphins.
Particularly at my age (58), when this could easily be a different story, I have to remind myself to be appreciative. I've been pursuing fitness for 42 years with very few interruptions. Sometimes I forget that if this had not been the case, coming back from a serious illness, or injury, could take far more than a few good pump-it-up sessions and bike rides. I know, I know...this is Fiftyfierce and while I embrace that, it's important to give voice to those in the process of becoming fierce, especially if also dealing with other health issues. Guest writer, Kevin Wells, from Seniordiabetic.com, provides some helpful advice!
How Seniors Can Lose Weight the Safe and Healthy Way
Kevin Wells of seniordiabetic.com
Many seniors find that after retirement, it’s a little harder to lose weight and stay fit than it was before. The lack of daily activity, diet changes, hormonal changes, and illness or physical injuries can all play a part in your ability to trim down, and it’s important to know how to get active in a safe way so that you can provide your body with everything it needs to keep you vital.
"Medical problems, such as heart disease and metabolic disease, become more common after age 60, so it becomes much more important to have a medical checkup before attempting a fat loss plan," says Robert Huizenga, MD.
One of the keys to staying healthy after age 55 is to find a workout you can stick with that won’t leave you feeling sore and in pain the next day; when you’re hurting, it’s a lot harder to get up and stay motivated. Look for low-impact exercises that will help your muscles and joints stay elastic, such as yoga, which is great for seniors because it’s also wonderful for your mental health and can help prevent isolation and depression. Read on for some great tips on how to stay fit and lose weight safely.
It’s imperative to do your stretches before commencing any workout in order to keep your muscles and joints protected. Even if you’re just walking or doing a low-impact exercise, stretching for a few minutes ahead of time will keep you limber and help prevent injury. Make it a habit so you’ll get into a good routine; taking a couple of minutes to loosen up your muscles will likely save you lots of aches and pains later.
Talk to Your Doctor
Before starting any new exercise regimen, it’s important that you talk to your doctor to make sure there won’t be any issues relating to your health or any current medications you’re taking. Go over a plan together that will be specific to your needs; this way, you’ll be sure to find a routine that works for you and won’t be harmful.
Choose the Right Diet
In general, as we get older, our caloric needs decrease a little, so you don’t need to eat as much at each meal. Aim for more protein, as this will help in the battle against osteoporosis and immune functions and fill your plate with dark, leafy greens to take advantage of the iron content. If you’re vegetarian, beans, nuts, and chickpeas will be great substitutes for protein-rich meat.
“For diets in general, it’s best to try and make it easy and fit comfortably into a person’s life,” dietician Amy Campbell says. “Ones that promote good health but are as easy to follow as possible."
Create a Home Gym
Many people don’t feel comfortable joining a gym and working out with a bunch of strangers, and some can’t afford the monthly expense. Consider creating a home gym with some basic pieces of equipment that will help you stay fit in the comfort of your own space. Dumbbells, a resistance band, and a yoga mat will go a long way toward helping you get active every day. Click here for more info on how to build the perfect home gym.
Creating a routine that works for you is important, so talk to your doctor before making any changes to ensure your body and mind will stay healthy. Look for ways to incorporate fun into your workouts, such as gardening or asking a friend or loved one to join you, so you’ll stay motivated. (End of article)
Please click on the links - everything you need to know to start your fitness journey can be found in further detail. I particularly like the information on creating a home gym and concur that a fabulous home gym - sure to deliver a kick-butt workout - can be built around the pieces described. I took it a step further and have included a ball-park figure for total cost: for women, about $345; for men, about $495. The difference is due to the kettle bell and dumbbell weights, as men will probably want more weight to play with. This was also done by looking at various products on Amazon.com - in new condition. I'm sure you can save by doing more detailed research and opting for used items, checking craigslist.org, your local garage sale page on Facebook.com or used sporting goods areas in thrift stores or the like. I would also add an Ab Roller to the list; for around $15, this is a great tool for core training. Check out the video below for some tips on how to use the roller:
Speaking to the topic of diet, particularly protein for those of the vegan/vegetarian persuasion, I think this deserves much more discussion than a sentence or two. My next post will go into detail and believe me, the choices are far beyond beans, nuts, and chickpeas! In the meantime, you can visit the Fierce Resources section of this website and check the Diet/Recipe gallery for additional ideas. I've recently added a few new items and will be doing this regularly.
As far as talking to your doctor about planning an exercise routine together, good luck with that one! While physical activity has the greatest overall impact on every system in our bodies (as well as being highly effective for preventing and treating many of the most prevalent chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease, hypertension, heart failure, obesity, depression and diabetes), statistics state that more than 50% of physicians trained prior to 2013 received no formal physical activity education. No surprise, as if there isn't already enough contained in med school curriculum! Hire a personal trainer, even just for a few sessions, to show you how to get the most out of your new home gym.