Recognize and Deal with Fitness Saboteurs

You’ve been working diligently on your fitness program–whether it’s exercising or food changes. You’re coasting along until you hit a bump in the road–it may be self-sabotage or somebody who consciously or unconsciously derails your wellness plans, leading to inevitable setbacks.

weight loss for baby boomers

Don’t let you or anybody else sabotage your fitness efforts!

We Baby Boomers and seniors need to learn to how to recognize these situations and quickly turn them around. Here is a list of common fitness saboteurs; learn how to combat them with practical strategies that really work from the American Council on Exercise (Fit Facts, 5 Common Fitness Saboteurs and How to Defeat Them):

1. Unrealistic Expectations—Novice exercisers get frustrated when they expect big results too soon after starting a fitness program. Because they haven’t lost a huge amount of weight or met other goals, they throw in the towel. To avoid this mistake, set realistic goals and practice extreme patience. If you stick with a regimen, your body will respond to exercise. It takes at least six weeks of regular exercise and sometimes more for physiological changes to kick in. It’s called the training effect. You’ll know it’s happening when your workouts start feeling easier; when you can tolerate longer, harder exercise sessions; and when you can do housework, yard work, or climb stairs with less effort.

2. Stress—When you’re up against a work deadline or the kids are sick, you may feel you can’t handle one more thing, including exercise. But taking time out to go for a brisk walk or workout is one of the best things you can do during times of intense stress. Exercise helps alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression and helps boost your mood, enabling you to cope with whatever you’re facing. Even a short workout is better than nothing.

3. The Unexpected—You were going to walk after work, but now you’ve been asked to work late. Or perhaps you planned to swim, but then you find out that the pool is closed for maintenance. Life happens, and you can either throw up your hands and say, “forget it,” or accept it and roll with it. Resilience is your ability to bounce back quickly from life’s surprises and setbacks. This can be improved with practice. As you become more resilient, you’re less likely to ditch your workout when something comes up. Instead, you’ll be able to quickly modify your plans and move forward.

4. Negative Self-Talk—“I’m so lazy, I’ll never be fit;” “I didn’t even exercise once this week;” “I’m such a loser.” Would you talk to a friend or loved one this way? Listening to negative self-talk isn’t motivating, so what’s the point? Negative self-talk only destroys your confidence and motivation to the point where you can’t visualize success. But you don’t have to put up with it. The next time you recognize a critical thought, stop it and replace it with a positive thought, like this: “I’m so proud of myself for walking at lunch time today. It took a lot of effort, but I did it.” Behavior change is hard. Give yourself some credit for every step you take toward your fitness goals. Practice intentionally giving yourself positive feedback and watch your motivation soar.

To discover other ways to shore up your fitness program, 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.

This Is Your Brain on Exercise!

For both Baby Boomers and seniors, keeping your brain “in shape” ranks high on the list of wellness concerns! Fortunately, lifestyle choices–including food and exercise–can help support the aging brain!

You can support brain health with exercise.

You can support brain health with exercise.

Do these problems sound familiar?
• Are you concerned about your ability to continue living on your own?
• Do you have relatives with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease?
• Are you looking for ways to help support your brain as you age?

Aging is inevitable; it happens to all of us. For many, this means growing weak, becoming forgetful and getting sick. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

Imagine:
• Living independently for as long as possible!
• Having the confidence to play with your grandchildren!
• Learning activities you can do to help support a healthy brain!

Please join me for a live webinar on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, 4:00 p.m. PST, “Rebuild Your Brain with Exercise.”

In this dynamic 45-minute presentation, you’ll learn:
• normal changes that occur in the brain over the years
• how lifestyle choices can turn away–or invite– destruction of brain cells
• the surprising rebuilding effects of exercise
• 3 tips to boost brain activity

Register here for this talk, $20.00 (if you can’t attend the live webinar, a recording will be available after the event.)

 

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.

Your Four-Legged Personal Trainer

Looking for a surefire way to find the motivation for exercise? Something that reminds you daily to get moving so you can stay happy and healthy–without the perceived effort? An activity that works for most Baby Boomers and older adults?

Me and my grand-dogs. Who's walking who?

My grand-dogs and I. Who’s walking whom?

The surprising answer–get yourself a dog! Don’t believe me? Read on!!!

A National Celebration!
February 22 is National Walk Your Dog Day. While most dog owners don’t need an excuse to get out with their four-legged companions, this is a good time to reflect on the many benefits of dog ownership–for both you and your puppy!

Approximately 37% – 46% of U.S. households own a dog. Baby Boomers (comprising 37% of pet owners) are still quite active with their animals. And while pet ownership traditionally goes down with increasing age, I do see a good number of folks walking their dogs in 50+ neighborhoods, as well as independent and assisted-living communities.

Fido Benefits
Walking your dog produces many perks for him or her. Daily exercise helps create a bond and trust between the two of you. It lets animals blow off energy, helping calm them and decreasing destructive behavior such as digging and chewing.

Physical benefits include reducing obesity (about half of our dogs are too heavy), strengthening hearts, aiding in digestion and helping relieve constipation. Diabetes is a problem with many dogs, and walking helps control blood sugar.

People Benefits
Walking a dog also conveys many health benefits to the owner, both physical and mental. And talk about a motivating force for success, a study by Michigan State University found that dog walkers are 34% more likely to meet the recommended exercise minutes each week!

Here are a few of the proven benefits of walking dogs:
• Reduced blood pressure
• Improved immune system
• Less obesity
• It’s a great ice breaker, as dog walkers are viewed as approachable and friendly

Simply stroking an animal can reduce the physiological indicators of stress (think: blood pressure). And the unconditional love from pets conveys a sense of increased self-esteem.

For seniors, dogs provide constant companionship, and are sometimes viewed as an older person’s only friend. Senior dog owners spend an average of 1.4 hours daily outside with their pet, reaping the cardiovascular benefits of walking. Older dog owners have lower levels of depression and anxiety, lower blood pressure and decreased heart rate (a sign of cardiac health).

Put a Plan In Place
As with other positive behaviors, plan for a successful dog walking program by establishing a routine and scheduling the activity into your day. Again, you can walk for 30 minutes at a time or three 10-minute bouts. Track your progress and reward yourself and your furry buddy after a job well done. Your dog will love you!

If you’re looking for other ways to exercise successfully, 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.

Best. Resolution. Ever!

It’s the New Year, and if you’re like most Baby Boomers or seniors, you’ll simply recycle the same ol’ resolutions. Exercise more, lose weight or eat better, right? That’s it–goals that eluded you last year become this year’s intentions. But isn’t that the very definition of insanity–doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results?

Show daily gratitude--live better!

Show daily gratitude– live better!

So this year, change it up! Resolve to do something over which you have complete control, is easy to track and can produce benefits almost instantly: show daily gratitude! Pausing to give thanks is documented to help us in both mental and physical ways.

Benefits of gratitude
Showing gratitude is as easy as acknowledging that you are thankful for who you are and what you have. The problem is, we often get busy and don’t stop to recognize the positive aspects of our lives. And we all have them! Sometimes they don’t fly out at us immediately, but we all have something for which we’re grateful (food on the table, the sun coming up, your dog or cat…).

Here are five ways taking time to show gratitude can help in our busy lives:
1. Improved sleep (and who doesn’t need that?)–Stopping to record items for which you’re grateful before you retire each night can help you sleep better.

2. Increased resilience–Being grateful may mitigate the harmful effects of negative events in our lives.

3. Improved health–Grateful people feel healthier and take better care of themselves.

4. Increased helpfulness–People who write daily gratitudes are kinder and more empathetic towards others.

5. Increased self-esteem–Expressing gratitude results in a greater sense of well-being, increased happiness and decreased depression.

How to harness the power of gratefulness
There are several ways to cultivate gratitude. For example, simply writing a thank-you note can make you feel happier.

But I’ve found the following method to be most helpful:

  • Upon rising each day, write down one item for which you’re grateful. It could be a good night’s sleep, that first cup of coffee you’ll enjoy, or the view from your bedroom window. Taking the time to acknowledge something favorable early in the day can set your mental attitude in a positive direction.
  • Before you go to bed, record three items you appreciate that occurred during the day. Again, these can be anything special to you–a walk you took with your spouse, a tasty dinner you prepared, or a day at the park with your grandchildren.

The key is to actively take the time to acknowledge things for which you’re grateful. Make this your new daily habit!

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.