What would you suggest to someone who is over 45 who wanted to get fit? Where do they start?
I think there’s something for everyone these days. Some people prefer to work out at home, so buying some weights and an exercise ball can be an easy start. There are fitness videos on YouTube for all fitness levels. This is a wonderful tool for working out at home. You could choose 4 or 5 different exercises, do 2 reps of each, and then change it up after 3 weeks. Increase the weights, walk a little faster, or walk for 45 minutes instead of 30. I love the Silver Sneakers videos.
I think a trial period at a gym is a great way to get started, too. It can be intimidating at first, but starting with a trainer is a great help. The YMCA offers programs for all ages. For some people having a friend come along makes it easier to get started. Having a gym buddy can help you stay on track. Also, watch what you eat. Make more healthy choices, and learn how to read labels. Avoid processed foods and fried foods. Drink more water. You’ll get better results when you focus on good nutrition.
What would you say to someone to encourage them to start working on their fitness?
It’s never too late, so get moving! A 30 minute walk every day, or maybe 3 times a week can make a difference. The older I get the more I hear people say, “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it”. It’s so true. Keeping fit and staying active are key to enjoying life as we age. You have to find what works best for you. It might be yoga, aerobics, or strength training. It might be cycling or power walking. As long as we move, and get some cardio, our energy level goes up and we feel better. Another suggestion is to make time for stretching everyday, especially after a good workout. I think it’s crucial as we age to stretch in the morning and before bed. Stiffness and old age go hand in hand. My neck, lower back, shoulders, and arms feel fantastic after a good stretch, I highly recommend adding this to everyone’s day. Alison taught me the benefits of a foam roller, and it has helped me tremendously. My neck and lower back feel so much better. It has increased my flexibility. She also emphasizes the importance of exercises for balance. I would definitely encourage beginners to include some balance work in their program planning.
You are what you eat. I’d say eat clean and drink lots of water. Ask your doctor what supplements they recommend, especially for bone density.
Treat yourself to a trainer to get started. Having a trainer made such a big difference for me. I feel more confident with a program designed just for me. A trainer can create the perfect fitness plan to get you started, and will be there for you with encouragement every step of the way. As you progress, your program changes and you’ll gradually see and feel the results. Everyone wants good results, so why not have someone looking out for you? A good trainer knows what works best for all ages. Focusing on a safe workout designed just for you is worth every penny.
By Karen Dunn
P.S. If you missed this earlier post, learn about Karen’s diet strategy here.