Physical Fitness For Boomers Becoming Seniors
by Tony Rovere
(West Islip, NY)
As more and more of the baby boomers start to hit 50 and 60 years it is inevitable that certain health problems will start to crop up. This is because many boomers…consumed with raising a family, dealing a job, or two and the inevitable stresses that come with life didn’t take care of themselves as they should have.
And this means that certain health problems start popping up…such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and certain forms of heart disease just to name a few. And these ailments could potentially become worse and inevitably lead to serious health issues that would have the capacity to destroy your health and cut your life short.
However, there is no reason that this needs to be the case. The most exciting news for anyone in this position is that there are some simple and effective strategies that you can begin to employ to start to take control of your health and feel as though you have stopped the aging process.
First and foremost, if you are about to start out on a program to regain your health you must get a complete physical exam. You have to know from the get-go if you have any ailments now that could adversely affect you as you start out with an exercise program. This will also give you the opportunity to speak with your doctor and receive any recommendations…or restrictions…about what you can or can’t do.
Next, determine your goals and what you wish to accomplish. Are you looking to lose weight, lower your cholesterol, lower your blood sugar? Have an honest heart-to-heart with yourself and determine what your goals are. After all, you can’t hit a target you are not shooting for.
Now come up with a plan. You need to do two things:
• Figure out a time to work out
• Figure out how to work out
Let’s talk about finding the time to work out…after all, this is probably the most difficult aspect of regaining your health when you consider all of your other personal responsibilities. How are you going to come up with 30 uninterrupted minutes daily to do this? Here are a few ideas:
• Turn off the TV. Skip one 30-minute show and you have the time right there.
• Get up 30-minutes earlier in the morning.
• Take a power walk when you get home before dinner.
• Get a partner. When someone else is relying on you it is tougher
to skip the commitment.
• Turn your home into a gym. One of the biggest problems is actually getting to the gym. Owning some simple fitness equipment at home, such as resistance bands, could make it far easier to work at home.
And now…as far as the how to work out goes, here are a few ideas as well:
Walking-probably the best overall exercise anyone can do so long as you walk fast enough and long enough to make it effective. You should strive to walk thirty minutes daily, eventually reaching the point where you can walk 2 miles in that time.
This isn’t to say that you start out walking that quickly. But this is a reasonable goal.
Biking-another great aerobic exercise that is also low impact, bicycling will build your endurance and your leg muscles.
Swimming-If you have access to a pool, swimming is a low impact, total-body workout that will also incorporate some aspects of yoga…with all of the stretching you will do.
Strength training-The best way to lose weight is to start burning more calories between your workouts…and strength training is the only exercise that will accomplish that. I am not talking about heavy weights either…just 20 minutes of bodyweight or resistance band exercises are enough to accomplish this task.
And finally, there is one last point that I would like to address, proper hydration. Everyone knows they should be eating right, but very few people truly understand the benefits of proper hydration, especially when it comes to weight loss. For example, studies have shown that by drinking 16 ounces of water before a meal you will consume 15% fewer calories at that meal.
What this amounts to…for most of us at least…is about 300 calories a day! That might not sound like much, until you think it is 9,000 calories a month. And that is almost 3 pounds of fat gone from every month.
So, if you are looking to regain control of your health so you can enjoy the best years of your life, start to follow this approach with your doctor’s approval. You will be glad you did.
About the author:
Tony Rovere became an advocate for seniors and senior-health issues after having to deal with the complexities of the Medicaid process following his mother’s heart attack. He now shared his insights on caregiving and senior issues at his blog, StuffSeniorsNeed.com
, which was created to help not only senior citizens but the baby boomers who are now their caregivers.