Fit Over 50

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When exactly are you too old to participate in resistance training? Is it dangerous? Is it worth it and what are the benefits? There are so many people out there being fed misinformation about incorporating resistance training into your weekly routine. I want to clear up a few things and provide some reference and guidance on this topic. My main target for this post is women 50 and older and I have a very specific reason for that. While there are resources out there to provide guidance, they can be difficult to find and even harder to understand for the novice weight trainer. So, let’s get this journey started and hopefully, we’ll both learn some things on the way.

So, when are you too old to begin resistance training? In my opinion, you are never too old to get started. However, there are a few guidelines that need to be established and adhered to, in order to be successful and to avoid very serious injuries. First is, TAKE IT SLOW!!!! If you have never lifted weights before or have been out of the game a few years you need to ease into it. I would go so far as to recommend a personal trainer for this, to at least get you started. With a personal trainer, you are paying someone trained in resistance training and health to ensure that you are doing things properly to limit the chance of injury. There are several sanctioning bodies that offer personal training certifications in areas such as 50+ training. Be sure to look up info on any trainer that you consider using and ask who they are certified with, and what additional certs do they have. If you want to go it alone we will talk about that too later in the article and I will provide a sample routine.

Next, is resistance training dangerous? Yes and no. Yes, you are using your muscles to move heavy items and that comes with inherent risks. To minimize these risks, when you begin, use machines and weights that you can lift with good form for 12-15 repetitions. Another risk that has been brought to my attention is the elevation of Cortisol levels in the body. A quick education on cortisol. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone and is produced in the adrenal gland. Prolonged periods of elevated cortisol levels have been shown to cause muscle breakdown and the addition of abdominal fat. However, when you weight train, while raising Cortisol level, as you recover this spike in levels is good for burning fat and quickly returns to normal There is so much more to be said about Cortisol but we are going to keep it short for this article, but here is a link to a very good article/interview about Cortisol (Edit: I was trying to include a link to an article, but  a certain company is more concerned with selling products than educating people.) If you google “Cortisol and weight training” there is a very good article by Pauline Nordin doing an interview with muscle-science researcher, Jerry Brainum. Sorry I can’t provide a direct link.

Now the final question. Is it worth it and what are the benefits? My answer to the first question is a resounding YES! It is absolutely worth it to incorporate resistance training into your weekly routine and here is why. Resistance training makes your muscles grow. As we age our muscles begin to break down. There is no way to stop this from happening, it is just part of the natural process. However, with the addition of weight training, you can slow and even, mildly reverse the process. Your body is an amazing machine and adapts to the environment that you put it in. When you lift weights your muscles must grow and strengthen themselves to adapt. This has an additional benefit. As stated, resistance training adds muscle mass and that is key in slowing one of the biggest health concerns for women over 50 and that is osteoporosis. When you strengthen your muscle fibers they add protection around your bones and this increases bone density. Exercise also releases endorphins, aka the happy hormone. This added release of endorphins has been shown to help those suffering from mild to moderate depression. It has also been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and helps in the fight against some types of cancer. Lastly, weight training and fitness will give you a sense of accomplishment and pride. When you feel good about your body you feel good about yourself. You walk with your head a little higher and are more confident. Here is another article on the benefits of weight training benefits http://www.humankinetics.com/news-and-excerpts/news-and-excerpts/13-benefits-of-strength-training-for-people-older-than-50

Here are my suggestions for beginning a resistance program for a complete novice. We are going to start with two days a week, using Tuesday and Thursday. For both days, we are going to incorporate a full body circuit:

Tuesday & Thursday

Push Ups: 3 sets 15 (can be done on knees if necessary)

Dumbbell/Resistance Bands Bicep Curls: 3 sets 12-15

Seated Shoulder Press: 3 sets 12-15

Single Arm Dumbbell Row: 3 sets 12-15

Tricep Kickbacks: 3 sets 12-15

Body Weight Lunges: 3 sets 8-10 each leg

Planks: 3 sets 30 seconds

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday do 30 minutes of light cardio. Start with walking and then you can move up to jogging. The goal is just to keep your heart rate elevated for at least 20 minutes to get in extra calorie burn and work that heart muscle.

My last bit of advice is to ensure that you are taking a quality multi-vitamin. You are going to be damaging muscle fibers and they need nutrients to rebuild. Find one that is in a capsule, for easy absorption and something that is designed for women. My recommendation is 1st Phorm’s M-Factor Goddess, which I have included a link to https://1stphorm.com/a/AdamDelgado/41fdf1bf/Wp

And as always, don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. Keep making 2017 your best year yet!!

To Supplement Or Not To Supplement? That Is The Question.

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When it comes to starting your fitness journey the first question is, “What supplements should I be taking?” Well, I am here to give you the answer, and the answer is “none”. Let’s start by looking at the definition of supplements. Webster defines supplements as, “something that completes or makes an addition.” The best example I can think of is the term supplemental income. You have your main job and you supplement it by doing something extra on the side. Dietary supplements are no different. Your main focus should be your diet to give yourself a solid foundation, and then you add supplements to give you that little extra.

A quick background story. I played High School football and was obsessed with getting stronger and faster than everyone. This mentality caused me to be on a constant search for the next pill or powder that would give me that edge. Unfortunately for me, this led to irresponsible and dangerous supplementing. I never took anything illegal, but the FDA does not regulate supplements and most of the ones I was taking are now banned. I didn’t read the labels and only went by the claims that these supplements made. This was a dangerous way to learn that a proper diet would have been much more beneficial.

The above picture is my kitchen counter and those are my supplements. Now I know what you are thinking, “This guy just told me to not take supplements and he has bottles and bottles of them on his counter.” There is a reason for this. My fitness journey has been going on for two years now. I have a very solid diet foundation and I do not take all of these on a daily basis. I use them for what they are designed for, and that is to fill in the gaps where my diet falls short. I have learned that there is no magic pill or powder that will get me to my weight loss/muscle gain goals. To reach those goals I focus on the whole foods that I eat on a daily basis and try to get all my nutrients from them.

So let’s get to the fun part. Maybe you have been working out for a while now and want to dive into using supplements, to take yourself to the next level. Like with your diet you need a solid foundation and that begins with a quality multi-vitamin. Most of us do not get the recommended 3-5 servings of vegetables a day to cover our micro-nutrient requirements. This is where a multi-vitamin fills those gaps. When looking for a multi-vitamin try to find something in a capsulated form. These are much easier for your body to digest and absorb the nutrients because the capsule breaks down very quickly so your body is not trying to process a hard pressed tablet. Next is a fish/Omega-3 oil. As with not getting enough fibrous vegetables, most of us are not willing to eat 8 ounces of fatty fish a week. Once again this is where a supplement is beneficial to fill the gap. Omega-3s have been shown, when combined with diet and exercise, to increase fat loss by up to 25%. They are also essential in brain function and heart health.

This is by no means all-encompassing and there is so much more that can be said about supplements. But I feel it is a good start if someone asks you about dietary supplementation. Be sure that you check with you doctor before taking anything that may have adverse effects with any other medication you take regularly. And as always if you have questions about nutrition, fitness or supplements, don’t hesitate to get in contact with me. Let’s keep making 2017 our best year ever!!

A Word On Meal Prep

So many people struggle with maintaining a healthy diet because they think they can balance it on the fly. While I’m not saying that it is impossible, It definitely makes it more challenging. I personally do all my grocery shopping on Saturday so I can prep on Sundays. Here are some things that I do to make sure I follow my diet during the work week.

  1. Build a menu – This can be done throughout the week or on Friday night. The important thing here is that you know what you want to eat for the coming week so you will know what to add to your grocery list.
  2. Make a grocery list – This is pretty self-explanatory, but make a list and stick to it. This helps you avoid impulse buys (even though Oreos will still call your name.
  3. Shop early on Saturday – This serves two purposes. The first is that the store is typically less crowded and the produce better stocked, but it also allows you to get it out of the way so you can enjoy the rest of your day doing what you want.
  4. Prep only the proteins – The biggest complaint I get from people is that prepped food doesn’t taste as good after it’s been reheated. I personally tend to agree on some levels and that is why I only do proteins. I cook my steaks, chicken or pork and then put them in gallon storage bags in the fridge. Yams and veggies I do no sooner than the night before I am going to eat them.
  5. Now to contradict myself – I will make a decent sized pot of brown rice on some weeks and put it in Tupperware in the fridge to add to some of my meals.
  6. Experiment and have fun – There are so many websites and blogs out there that have amazing healthy recipes. Look around, one of my favorites is http://www.fitmencook.com

Well there you have it, some down and dirty tips to meal prepping. Feel free to email me if you have any questions about nutrition, diet, exercise or supplementation. I’m here to help you reach your goals. Also, if you have any tips please add them in the comments.

Start Living Your Dreams

This is the post excerpt.

We all have dreams. Whether it is a dream home, car, job or body. All of these are dreams that we have for ourselves. The one thing that you have to remember when it comes to dreams is, that in order for them to become reality, they take work. Very few of us have the luxury of waiting for an inheritance to make them a reality. So why do we wait? Is it because we don’t think that they are attainable? Is it because we are scared that we might not succeed? No matter what the reason is, it is time to stop worrying and start doing.

I am here to tell you that no dream is not attainable. I’m not saying that you will always reach it the first time. You may not reach it at all, but you may reach something that you are even happier with it. I was once told, “If you shoot for perfection, you will hit excellence every time. This is true for every aspect of life.

I personally am guilty of not chasing dreams because of my fear of failure. I don’t like the feeling of failing, so I have let many an opportunity slip by to stay comfortable. It has become a personal goal of mine in 2017 that I will try new things and not be afraid to not succeed. If I fail I will pick myself up, dust myself off and go at it again. Thomas Edison failed over 1,000 attempts at creating the light bulb. Those 1,000 failures did not stop him from keeping at it until he got it right. Failure is important for us as humans. We learn from and grow when we fail.

So, no matter what your dream is. Start living it today. Don’t waste another minute wondering whether or not you can do. Go earn you dream home or car. If you have a dream job get the required things done to be hired. If you want your dream body, get up and go to the gym. Work hard, take no prisoners and live your dreams.