Are You Ready to Take A Stand?

Are you letting a label limit your enjoyment in life?  As a Baby Boomer or older adult, does a chronic illness taint your vision of the future?  Are you letting other people’s opinions of your health status cloud your desires?  If you answered “yes,” it’s time to take a stand!

Don't let others' opinions of you limit your enjoyment in life!

Don’t let others’ opinions of you limit your enjoyment in life!

Buy Your Luxury Car

A dear client of mine, we’ll call her Abby, recounted an interesting event to me just last week.  It went something like this:  Abby’s car was totaled a few months ago (her caregiver was driving and nobody was injured).  My client, in her 80s with Parkinson’s disease, had owned the small SUV because everybody felt is was safer for her to drive.  So when Abby and her daughter went looking for a replacement car, they test-drove the same types.  However, my client was not happy with any of the models.  A week or so later, her granddaughter suggested they visit CarMax where Abby could take a spin in all kinds of vehicles.

As it turns out, what Abby really wanted was comfort, a car with nice lines and a large trunk in case she ever needed to use a wheel chair.  “I took a stand,” she told me, “and bought the car I wanted!”

She came home with a beautiful white, gently used Lincoln sedan–a car that fit the bill, while not bowing to others’ limited view of what was “right” for her.

Abby is now driving short distances in her new car, and she is very happy with her decision.

What’s Your Limiting Health Issue?

I’ll bet you have one.  For example, do you have arthritis and believe it’s too painful, difficult or counterproductive to exercise?  Are you trying to lose weight and so you’ve given up on the joy of dining out with friends altogether?  Are you tired of your adult children hovering around you because they’re afraid you’ll fall?  Or, as in my case, do you have an “incurable” disease, so why bothering pushing yourself?

You can’t let these labels and beliefs limit your enjoyment in life.  I didn’t.  Diagnosed with myasthenia gravis 20 years ago, I decided not to let this muscle-weakness autoimmune disease define my life.  After getting discouraged seeing the condition and attitude of other “victims” of the disease at a few support groups, I decided on the course of action I felt best (with my doctor’s advice and family’s support), and went on with my life after a major surgery.  I still take immunosuppressants, but I’m so healthy that my family forgets I have the disease.

Take Your Stand!

Throw off the shackles of your limiting beliefs–whatever they may be.  Go outside your comfort zone (in a cautious way, of course) and enjoy yourself!  Acknowledge the concerns others have for your health and safety–they love you and want the best for you.  But this is your story, so take control and savor life!

To discover other ways to improve your mental and physical fitness, give me a call!

We can discuss some practical tips and discover if any of my programs or classes are a good fit for you.
If you’d like to schedule that call with me, just CLICK THIS LINK, and let me know in the message that you would like a 1-on-1 call with me right away and I will be in touch to schedule that – oh, and leave me your phone number in there too since email is not as reliable as it used to be! Thanks.

What’s Your Exercise Ecstasy?

Why don’t people exercise?  By now we all know it’s good for us–our bodies and our minds.  Yet 80% of Americans, including Baby Boomers and seniors, don’t meet our physical activity recommendations.

How then, do you motivate yourself, or your loved ones, to move?  Believe me, we personal trainers have been wrestling with that question for years!

One answer: concentrate on the feeling!  How do you feel during and after exercise?  What’s the immediate reward, not the longterm health benefits?  Once you identify these positive emotions, you have a better chance of continuing with the activity.

Find your joy in physical activity!

Find your joy in physical activity!

Here are a few tips to get you in touch with your exercise ecstasy:

  1. Let’s start with stretching.  Many of my clients love this activity–they tell me “it just feels good!”  Slowly easing into a stretch while breathing deeply, especially after exercise, creates a feeling of relaxation and eases tension.  Many times I hear my clients say, “I needed that!” when they stretch after a tough day.
  2. I recently asked participants in one of my exercise classes to come up with some words describing how the activities made them feel.  One of the best descriptors I heard was “energized.”  It may sound counterintuitive–to feel more lively after exercising–but it’s common to have more get-up-and-go following physical activity.  I think we can all agree: anything that gives us more energy as we age is definitely a plus!
  3. Other words I hear often include “confident” or “accomplished.”  Again, this is especially important for older adults who can’t visualize themselves lifting weights or riding a bicycle.  Once they see they can do these activities successfully, they’re more likely to try again.
  4. Find an activity that brings you sheer joy!  In the past, for me, this was bicycle riding.  I love the feel of the wind through my air, the sun on my face, the green smells you miss while sitting in a car.  More recently, it’s been silly dancing to fun songs with my grandkids or while doing chores.  Music that moves me just brings a smile to my face.  Which activity lights up your day?
  5. Let’s face it: we’re social animals.  While some people enjoy solitary activities, many love exercising with others to share successes and create a sense of community.  So find a senior exercise class at your local YMCA, learn ballroom dancing or pick up a class schedule at your local junior college.  Opportunities abound to be part of a “team” that warms your heart!

So instead of forcing yourself to head out on that morning walk because it’ll add years to your life, focus on more immediate feelings and identify the emotions related to physical activity that bring you joy.  Then you’ll be more likely to continue exercising, and the healthful benefits (of which there are dozens) will follow!

If you need help finding your joy in movement, give me a call!

We can discuss some practical tips and discover if any of my programs or classes are a good fit for you.
If you’d like to schedule that call with me, just CLICK THIS LINK, and let me know in the message that you would like a 1-on-1 call with me right away and I will be in touch to schedule that – oh, and leave me your phone number in there too since email is not as reliable as it used to be! Thanks.

The Benefits of Ownership

Baby Boomers and seniors, a must read!

Today we end our series about long-term care insurance with part 3 by Brian Allred. This article takes a look at the benefits of owning such a policy and other considerations when purchasing.

Plan for life's unexpected events with long-term care insurance.

Plan for life’s unexpected events with long-term care insurance.

You’re the owner!
In addition to self-insuring or relying on Medicaid, owning a long-term care plan is the other possibility. The benefits of owning a plan include: potential tax savings, benefits are most often received income tax free.

Owning a long-term care insurance policy also adds stability and assurance during one’s retirement years. Traditional long-term care can reach valuations of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Benefits are determined by the monthly payout over a set period. For example, a plan may pay $4,000 a month for 4 years. This policy would have total first year benefit amount of $192,000. Companies that provide these policies allow one to buy extras such as inflation protection. Therefore, a policy that starts at $192,000 will grow at a guaranteed interest rate over time, thus the monthly benefits will also increase. This way the insurance policy will keep or outpace inflation.

Common inflation protection rates are 3% or 5%, although rates can go as low as 1%. Experienced long-term care agents can fine tune the numbers to help maximize a person’s budget.

Keep in mind, this is most often a plan for a problem that will occur many years in the future. So, owning an insurance policy that increases over time is a good thing.

Mitigating Circumstances
Purchasing a long-term care plan is like purchasing life insurance. There are minimum standards of health to qualify for the policy. Also, age and gender are part of the evaluation process. In addition, each state has different regulations. These differences in turn influence the insurance companies to offer different benefits for different states.

Regarding minimum health standards, insurance companies vary. Some companies will accept applicants with type I or II diabetes. Their concern is how the disease is managed. Other conditions such as cholesterol and even cancer are acceptable under certain circumstances. Diagnosis date, treatment and severity are all part of the evaluation process. When speaking with a long-term care agent, be prepared to have medications on hand as well as important dates such as diagnosis date and last visit to your health care provider. Other factors are height and weight.

There are health conditions that are roadblocks to coverage. If an applicant has one of these in their history they may need to look at an alternative to a traditional plan.

Alternatives to traditional plans
The insurance industry has seen an increase of long-term care claims. In response alternatives to traditional long-term care plans have been introduced. For example, a home health care plan can be purchased without regard to health history. If a person is not currently receiving care, they are eligible to purchase this plan.

Another alternative to traditional plans are annuities with long-term care riders. These are helpful because if an owner of the annuity is diagnosed as needing care they may be able to receive double the income during the months they need care.

One additional alternative plan would be single-premium life insurance. This is a type of life insurance one can purchase with single payment to the insurance company. The benefit is that in the event of one needing care, they will be eligible to receive money to pay for care that exceeds their original deposit.

Long-term care planning can be a challenge. It doesn’t have to be impossible. Having the determination to get started is all that is required. Finding a long-term care insurance specialist is the first place I recommend starting. He or she can guide you to find the best plan for your budget.

Brian Allred, Long-term Care Insurance Specialist
CA Lic: 0E15853
(951) 901-0866
brian@theallredagency.com
www.briankallred.com

If you want help with your long-term fitness planning, give me a call!

We can discuss some practical tips and discover if any of my programs or classes are a good fit for you.
If you’d like to schedule that call with me, just CLICK THIS LINK, and let me know in the message that you would like a 1-on-1 call with me right away and I will be in touch to schedule that – oh, and leave me your phone number in there too since email is not as reliable as it used to be! Thanks.

5 Tips for Baby Boomer Weight Loss

If there’s one topic my Baby Boomer clients love to discuss, it’s losing weight.

From high-protein diets to juicing, everybody has an opinion–and several pounds to lose!  In some areas of the country, 70% of Boomers are overweight or obese, with an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

weight loss for baby boomersThere are several reasons why losing weight is more difficult as we age:

  • Due to changes in body size, body composition, and activity levels, we simply require less calories each day (200 – 400).
  • Lean body mass/muscle decreases with age.  Compared to fatty tissue, muscles burn more calories.  Therefore, having proportionately more fat means we’re more likely to gain weight.
  • Many women gain weight during menopause.  Hormonal changes may play a role, and most likely favor weight gain around the abdomen, a known health risk.
  • As you lose weight, your body needs less energy.  For example, a 180 lb., 60-year old lightly active woman burns about 1,929 calories per day to maintain her weight.  After losing 30 lb., she’d need only 1,742 to maintain the lower weight—almost 200 calories less per day!

Weight gain for Baby Boomers is common, but not inevitable. 

Here are 5 ways to control extra pounds in mid-life:

1)  Have realistic goals.

  • If you’ve been gaining several pounds each year, a reasonable goal might be just to maintain your current weight.
  • If you need to lose weight for health reasons, set a realistic target of 1 – 2 lb. per week until you lose 10% of your current weight.  Then re-evaluate your goals with your healthcare provider.

2)  Be honest with yourself.

  • Most people underestimate their caloric intake.  For a week, record everything you eat, and enter the data into a free calorie-tracking program you can find online.  The results may surprise you, and point to easy ways you can cut back.
  • Many people overestimate their caloric loss during physical activity.  Depending on your current weight, most moderate exercise burns 150 calories per hour.  Again, record all activity for a week.

3)  Watch portion sizes.

  • Portion sizes have grown exponentially over the years!
  • Encourage portion control with smaller serving utensils and plates.
  • Half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables, one quarter whole grains, one quarter protein.
  • When dining out, order off the appetizer menu, split entrees, or ask for a doggie bag with your meal and use it to stash half your food before you start eating!

4)  Drink as few calories as possible.

  • Sports drinks have 130 calories per serving, a cup of apple juice has 117, and a 20-ounce soda has 375.  For a real eye-opener, check out the calorie count in your favorite coffee drink!
  • When it comes to your fluid intake, concentrate on 1% or nonfat milk, and good ol’ water.

5)  Get (more) active!

  • Most health organizations recommend moderate exercise for at least 150 minutes a week, and strength training at least twice a week.
  • These guidelines are a good starting place, but you need to ramp it up for weight loss.
  • If walking, increase the number of minutes and days you go out, then start using quicker steps to increase the intensity.
  • Use a pedometer; increase your steps daily until you reach 10,000.
  • With strength training, progressively increase the amount of weight you’re lifting and add a variety of exercises to your routine.
  • Consult your physician before beginning any new exercise regimen.

 

For more information to promote fitness after 50, feel free to send for my free ebook, 7 Top Fitness Myths Debunked