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Benefits of Weight Training for Female Baby Boomers

With peri- and post- menopause, women will experience changes in their body shape, size and overall energy level. We can’t avoid menopause, but with the right exercise program, they can avoid some of the physical changes that go along with it.

Fitness, exercise, osteoporosis, weight los

With the onset or conclusion of menopause, women will experience changes in their body shape, size and overall energy level. Women may not be able to avoid menopause, but with the right exercise program, they can avoid some of the physical changes that go along with it.

Exercise for Weight Loss
Regular weight training can help take off some excess body fat, increase muscle mass and increase the metabolic rate. This means their body will burn calories at a faster rate. In order to lose weight by exercise alone, you need to burn an excess of 500 calories per day or 3,500 calories per week to lose 1 pound. I have had the best response with clients that practice a combination of watching their caloric intake and exercising.

The actual amount of time it would take you to burn all those calories depends on how much you weigh, your chosen activity and the intensity of exercise. It is important to exercise daily. Aim for 30 – 60 minutes of exercise per day. Consistency is necessary if you are really serious about losing weight. Gradually increases your intensity as you get more physically fit.

Exercise for Your Bones
Fighting bone loss is another great reason to start lifting weights. Early in the bone loss process, you may not see any signs, but eventually it can lead to broken bones, the disfiguring dowager’s hump, loss of height and certain types of back pain.

Throughout life, your body loses bone. New bone grows to replace lost bone. The rate of new bone growth changes as you age. Young adults reach their peak bone mass between the ages of 25 and 35. That is when your bone is the strongest. From about 35 years and older, bone mass slowly declines. A rate at which your bone declines can be minimized and osteoporosis can be preventable. An active lifestyle, weight-bearing exercise and proper eating can significantly slow down the rate of bone loss.

Weight-bearing exercise will help your entire body and help you maintain bone mass. Resistance exercises help maintain bones by strengthening the muscles around them. Building muscle strength will make you less prone to injury.

It is important to have the right strength training program that includes all of the major muscle groups. For the upper body this includes the back, chest, biceps, triceps and shoulders. For the lower body, the quads, hamstrings, calves and gluteus maximus should all be targeted. And don’t forget the abdominal and lower back muscles which can improve posture, help relieve lower back pain and assist in everyday movements.

Remember to start slow and gradually increase your weights. I recommend two to three times per week, performing each exercise for at least two sets for 10 to 12 repetitions and a 30 – 45 second rest in between each set. Make sure stretching is included in the workout with each muscle group.

Be patient with yourself. You won’t achieve significant gains in the short-term. Exercise needs to be a part of your lifestyle, not just a short-term activity for a limited period of time. You are never too old to start exercising. You decide how active you want to be. The payoff of an active lifestyle is certainly worth the benefits. Ask anyone who is active. For more information and tips on exercise, go to http://www.easyexercisetips.com

 

Bowflex For Baby Boomers

There are hundreds and maybe thousands of physical fitness guru’s all claiming to have the perfect answer, the “magic bullet” for physical fitness and a solution to a healthier body and lifestyle. Well, I’m not going to claim to have the perfect answer! However, I do have a few tips on an easy to use piece of exercise equipment that may be one of the best for all ages and is particularly suitable for those of us who are either baby boomers or a bit more seasoned. It’s the Bow...

bowflex, exercise, fitness, retired, health, retirement, baby boomer

There are hundreds and maybe thousands of physical fitness guru’s all claiming to have the perfect answer, the “magic bullet” for physical fitness and a solution to a healthier body and lifestyle. Well, I’m not going to claim to have the perfect answer! However, I do have a few tips on an easy to use piece of exercise equipment that may be one of the best for all ages and is particularly suitable for those of us who are either baby boomers or a bit more seasoned. It’s the Bowflex...any version but a basic machine such as the Bowflex Sport is a perfect place to start.

So what’s the catch here? Absolutely no catch whatsoever..... just an enthusiasm to share some ideas on perhaps one of the most efficient, versatile and affordable exercise machines available for home use. The Bowflex combines aerobic and strength training with a smooth pulley and power rod resistance system that’s easy set up. You can easily switch resistance with the power rods through a wide range of motions for a complete strength and aerobic workout. Now don’t get me wrong on the expected results. The Bowflex ads show smiling, well muscled young people whom we all would like to look like, no matter what age. Well, now you may just want to get back some muscle tone and some of that past strength and endurance you once had. At any rate, here we are at 55, 60, 65 or older and card carrying members of AARP. Most of us simply want to maintain or improve our strength, muscle tone and respiratory efficiency. Today many doctors and physical fitness experts are espousing weight training and especially the use of free weights as we age. Everyone now acknowledges that maintaining and / or building our strength is critical in later years. We will certainly function with greater confidence and renewed strength but we will also be less likely to fall and if we do, less likely to suffer fractures since strength training adds to our bone mass. What we don’t hear talked about too frequently is the potential of injury with free weights if not properly supervised. Added to the injury possibility, there is also the need for other pieces of equipment such as various benches and supports in order to get a full range of activity with free weights.

So, let’s talk about the Bowflex. Perhaps you’ve seen the infomercials and watched as the group of well muscled young men and women gathered around a Bowflex machine and marveled at how easy it works and the quality of the workout it provides. So, how does this apply to you...at 55, 60, 65 years or older?

First, you can safely use the Bowflex without needing a partner. However before staring a program check with your physician to insure that you have no physical ailments that would preclude vigorous exercise. The Bowflex is a home device and since it’s in your home, it’s available at anytime. I must caution you on the hype of “now you can use it anytime of your choosing”. That may be correct, but to be successful you must establish a set time every day for your workout. Once you start slipping or changing times, you run the very real danger of skipping days and then a week or more and then suddenly you have no set program and you’re back to being a couch potato.

The Bowflex machine comes with a very nice manual of exercises and instructions and most will also have an instructional DVD. Let’s walk through some Bowflex 101 in the real world and set some realistic goals and simple to follow instructions:

1.Maintain a set time schedule either daily or every other day. Many prefer early morning exercise routines so that it doesn’t get cancelled out later in the day by unexpected events.....or lost will power. Early workouts also tend to set a positive, go get ‘em attitude when those endorphins kick in from good prolonged vigorous exercise. Many experts say that the most effective time for the body to exercise is mid-afternoon and the least effective is at night. Working out late in the evening may also cause some sleep disruption.

2.Review the exercise manual that Bowflex provides but don’t become a slave to the described routines. While the programs were developed by experts, let your own sense of what’s working be your guide.

3.After reviewing the manual, establish your beginning program routine and stick to it for at least two full weeks or longer without deviation. Maintaining a consistent pattern will allow you to assess whether the program you’ve selected is comfortable for you and not too boring. It’s important to make the workout interesting as well as challenging. Boredom can lead to you dropping out so don’t let that happen!

4.Design your program to include aerobic as well as strength activities. While the Bowflex will greatly assist in developing strength, the aerobic exercises are terrific and important.

5.Start off with easy resistance power rods. Remember, this is going to be a lifestyle addition and not a quick fix so there is no reason to use too much weight resistance at the beginning. It is best to get comfortable with how the Bowflex operates using lower resistance and then gradually increase the weight / resistance.

6.Don’t feel compelled to “do the manual”. Select the exercises that work well with your strength and flexibility and rotate through them. Make sure, though, that you balance upper body, arms, legs and abdominals in your program.

7.Make sure you take advantage of the aerobic rowing motion. The seat glides easily and the resistance power rods and pulleys are exceptionally smooth in operation.

8.Be Creative! In a short time, you’ll be totally at ease and be able to handle any of the Bowflex routines. When that happens, you’re now ready to mix and match and create new routines on your own.

So, while this is an exercise machine for all ages, the Bowflex from my experience is exceptionally well suited for the great generation of Baby Boomers and beyond. It’s simplicity of set up, easy switching process from one exercise routine to another, wide range of weight resistance and easy fluid motion give this machine an A++ rating in my book!. While this is not an advertisement, you may want to check out the Bowflex website or other websites that offer exercise equipment. At any rate, get started on a healthier life style.

Be active, be healthy and be happy!

 

Caring For Mom And Dad As They Grow Older: What Baby Boomers Need To Know About Geriatric Health Care

Like children, older adults have unique health care needs. As people age, their bodies change in many ways that affect their health.

Caring For Mom And Dad As They Grow Older: What Baby Boomers Need To Know About Geriatric Health Care

I often get letters, like the two below, from Baby Boomers who are caring for aging parents and trying to find health care that meets the unique needs of older people. Finding the right kind of care can seem daunting, but a little information and some key resources can help tremendously.

Q: My 81-year-old mother recently fell and was rushed to the emergency room. The doctor who saw her suggested that she start seeing a geriatrician. What is a geriatrician and why should she see one?

A: A geriatrician is a physician with special training and expertise in caring for older adults, especially those with complex health problems. Like children, older adults have unique health care needs. As we age, our bodies change in many ways that affect our health. Among other things, we're more likely to develop chronic health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and arthritis, and to need multiple medications (all with potential side effects). About 80 percent of adults 65 or older have at least one chronic health condition and 50 percent have at least two. As we grow older it's also harder for us to recover from illnesses.

Q: I've tried to find a geriatrician for my parents but haven't had any luck. Why aren't there more geriatricians? What should I do?

A: Today, there are fewer than 7,000 practicing geriatricians in the U.S. That's about one geriatrician for every 5,000 adults over age 65. Finding a geriatrician is likely to become even more difficult over the next 20 years, as the nation's 77 million Baby Boomers reach retirement age. To prepare for this "Aging Boom," we need to support programs that both train geriatricians and better prepare all health care providers to care for older adults. Until recently, the federal government's "Title VII" geriatric health professions program did just that, by supporting geriatric education centers and young medical school faculty who trained medical students, primary care physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other providers to better meet the health care needs of older adults. Unfortunately, Congress eliminated all funding for this program in late 2005. We need to restore this funding--for the sake of all older Americans.




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