Scenario 1: You’ve started to convince yourself that working out – at this point – is too hard & will take too much time.
You’ve given up and are getting comfy in your “blousy and elastic” wardrobe…
Scenario 2: You imagine yourself full of energy, struggling to decide WHAT to wear because EVERYTHING fits!
Easily moving through your day: lifting, carrying things, bending, sitting, standing, jumping (if you must?)…..all while carrying yourself with more confidence because you FEEL SO GOOD!
Scenario 2 could easily be your REALITY – sooner than you think – its up to you.
If you’re a mid-lifer like me, then NOW more than ever it’s CRITICAL that you establish a regular workout/exercise program.
It’s never too late – but it will take some work. I promise you will notice and feel a difference in the FIRST week!
EXERCISE is the secret to keeping your ENERGY levels high!
ARE YOU AGING FASTER OR SLOWER THAN AVERAGE?
Ever wonder why some people (specifically those who are 50+) are on tons of medication, constantly complain about their health “issues” and carry themselves like an “old person.”
Yet – there’s another group -same age range – who are full of energy, full of life and are in great shape! They seem ageless.
What’s the difference?
It comes down to CHOICES……primarily lifestyle choices (and activity levels).
These differences are noticeable in people of ALL ages but these CHOICES get more serious as we age.
Take a second to really think about this pix below:
Our bodies are amazing – it always blows my mind how quickly we can feel and literally see a difference after one single workout. Yes – just one.
Equally amazing is how fast we can LOSE our strength & muscle tone once we stop.
GETTING IN SHAPE “AT YOUR AGE”
I finally went to see a specialist about the nagging, chronic pain in my shoulder. It had gotten progressively worse, I had limited range of motion and was only pain-free if I did ZERO shoulder workouts. My biggest concern was how fast I was losing strength…..and muscle tone.
The Doctor did a quick assessment and then – the only thing I remember hearing was “blah, blah, blah…..AT YOUR AGE…
I have no idea idea what he said after that. I was so offended (and mad) – maybe he could have mentioned the benefits of maintaining muscle, building strength, being consistent with daily exercise – nope – all I heard was “well, at YOUR age you can’t really expect to build any muscle…”
I needed somebody to say “why aren’t you working out on a regular basis?…”how can you expect to see any changes if you’re not putting in the effort?” “don’t you know your body (and brain) will just decline if you’re not active?”
Instead, he just dumped all my issues into a big ole’ age-related melting pot.
I’VE NEVER LIKED PANCAKES
As we age – it’s scary to notice a loss of strength, minor aches that quickly become major pains, curves that seem to be falling……areas of your body (shoulders, butt) that can be described as “flat…..”
…is “FLAT” a shape? The only time FLAT is a positive description is when the next word is Abs…. as in “look at my FLAT ABS.” Having a lean, toned midsection is about a LOT more than trying to look good. Belly fat is deadly fat.
Maybe your apple-bottom-jeans are packed safely away with your yearbooks and you no longer desire to have a bubble butt.
That’s fine – but you need to strengthen your glutes (the largest group of muscles in your body) so you’ll have better posture, support your lower back and be less prone to injury.
Having a firm, perky butt is just a BONUS of working your glutes …..which means you’ll look better in clothes. Nobody wants a pancake ass or hatchet-ass (i.e. it looks like somebody took a hatchet and cut off your butt).
LOSING WEIGHT IS NOT ALWAYS THE GOAL
As we get older – our fitness goals change. Keeping our bones strong, being flexible and having endurance (not getting winded walking up the stairs) is much more important than achieving any “ideal weight.”
Weight is NOT the best gauge of your fitness level. In fact – being too thin can make you appear older & more fragile!
Fit bodies come in
& ALL ages!Dynamic Life Guru
REALITY OF WORKING OUT IN MIDLIFE
The truth is you don’t have to be any “certain age” to start experiencing loss of strength, muscle tone and mobility. The old adage “use it or lose it” is 100% TRUE when it comes to our bodies.
If you’re a Beginner: Start by finding ways to be more active throughout the day. Set a Time (20 minutes) – or Distance (around the block or track, 1/2 mile, etc.) goal so you have a benchmark to work & grow from.
Now is the time to get serious about working out so you can protect yourself from the inevitable age-related changes in our bodies.
MIDLIFE WORKOUT GOALS
The focus – especially as we age – should be on developing a strong, flexible, healthy body which will become our best defense against illness and injury.
The best way to achieve this is using a 3-step approach:
CORE STRENGTH & FLEXIBILITY (stay active so you can do normal, daily things easily)
BUILDING & MAINTAINING MUSCLE -you must do weight-bearing exercises to counter the bone loss that happens as we age. Having more muscle also means you’re burning more calories even at rest.
REDUCING BELLY FAT/VISCERAL FAT (extra fat in our mid-section is more dangerous – especially for women – than having fat in any other area). It has been linked to tons of major health issues & there is a direct correlation to high blood pressure & heart disease risk. Plus -you just look frumpy with a big belly.
SOLUTION – COMPOUND EXERCISES
One of the best (and most time efficient) ways to get or stay fit (which means, STRONG, FLEXIBLE and ENERGIZED) is to do Compound Exercises.
Compound exercises work multiple muscle groups at once, help you gain functional strength and burn the most calories per session. (think- walking lunges with bicep curls)
They should be your focus.
Another bonus of working out this way it that the “cardio is included!” Studies have shown that extended cardio sessions can do much more harm than good as we age. Get rid of the marathon treadmill or boring elliptical sessions.
Here are a 3 simple workout options to get you started – or back on track.
FOUNDATIONAL WORKOUT: click here for a detailed list of 6 exercises everyone should do from My FitnessPal . If you do nothing else – this routine will cover the 3 focus areas mentioned above.
TOTAL BODY WORKOUT – this list of 5 total body exercises is the PERFECT routine to work your entire body and get a cardio session in at the same time. Love, love, love this routine.
INTENSE 20 MINUTE STRENGTH TRAINING WORKOUT – we can all find 20 minutes. Give this workout a try.
Reminder: If you lift weights with enough intensity and minimal breaks- the sweat will be pouring off you and you can easily get your heart rate elevated.
It IS absolutely possible to gain or regain muscle as you age. But you need to use heavy enough weights (you’re stronger than you think) that are a challenge – and lift until your muscles are tired or you need a short break.
For the first few weeks – Do full-body workouts vs. specific body part exercises. Then you can focus on specific areas that are lagging – like Legs, Abs or Arms.
Incorporate a few HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) sessions each week for quick fat-burning bursts in short periods of time.
Pick from the list below and start by doing 15 seconds ALL OUT High Intensity with 30 seconds of rest. Do 10 total rounds.
Great Options For HIIT Workouts from Bodybuilding.com:
- Jump rope
- Jumping jacks or other fast bodyweight moves
- Sprinting in place
- Stationary bike
- Jumping in place
- Jump squat
- Bodyweight squat
- Lightweight goblet squats
- Kettlebell swings
You can anything for 15 seconds~
SECRET TO CHANGING YOUR BODY
FOOD – The real change comes when you COMBINE Working Out with good Nutrition. No drastic diets – but you need to know what you’re eating and make adjustments.
Use an App like MyFitnessPal or MyFoodDiary- (input goals and log your food~super simple~each day) to track your macros (carbs/fats/proteins).
You CANNOT out-exercise a bad diet. Period.
TIP: Focus on working your core during every-single-exercise. Engage your abs every time you lift a weight or do a rep. You do NOT need to be doing a separate AB routine.
This video offers tips from multiple trainers on how to engage your core:
- 1:00 minute mark – explains what/where your core is
- 2:00 minute mark – Prepare for a Punch
- 4:00 minute mark – importance of Glutes
There’s no excuse for not finding a workout to suit your specific needs and goals.
There are limitless routines available online (with instructional videos – just like having a personal trainer) or you can download a workout app. on your phone.
Goal = Maximum results in minimum time
Nothing new here EXCEPT a reminder that it’s your responsibility to keep your body healthy and strong – no matter how old you are. It’s a simple choice –
When you Feel good and you know you Look good – you have more confidence.
When you have more confidence you are motivated to live your best life AND you inspire others to do the same.
If you had no idea your biological age – how old would you say you are?…based on how you move, how you feel and how you look?
Do you think it’s possible to get in shape over 50 – or to build muscle over 50?
I’d love to hear your opinion & learn what you do to stay healthy!