Seniors: Find An Activity You Can Enjoy The Rest of Your Life! That’s How Long You’ll Need It.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could exercise for a limited amount of time and have it last the rest of our lives? Because it’s a source of fun and achievement for me, you’d still be able to find me in the gym on a predictable basis.

One of the great facts that we’ve discovered in the last few years is that simply being active doing things that you already enjoy contributes significantly to your physical well being.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/03/20/291894075/exercise-cuts-breast-cancer-risk-for-all-women-everywhere?ft=3&f=1001

Wonderful news to those who think it’s only about sweat, strain, and soreness.

Don’t over-analyze trying to figure out the best program.

The most important and best program is the one you do!

Once you experience the vitality that accompanies a fitness lifestyle, there are countless choices for continuing.

Guiding you through your fitness journey,

Steven

Simply Senior Fitness by Steven Siemons is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Yoga With DJ’s? Say It Ain’t So, Yogini!

Just when I thought Yoga– my vision of the ultimate in meditative movement–was being compromised by competitive events–now I read that they’re rolling with DJ’s?

Don’t get me wrong, I can get cranked up to move more iron in the gym with the right tune; but Yoga?

With tunes:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/15/deep-house-yoga_n_6661264.html?utm_hp_ref=new-york&ir=New+York

I don’t know who the main spokesperson would be for the Yoga folk, but somebody needs to step up and tell us where you’re going to be down the road, for all those who are considering which Yoga style works best: Competition Yoga, or Rhythm Yoga?

Competitively:
http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/yoga-competitors-pose-extreme/story?id=25574164

Just when I thought I had it all figured out….

Just Some Fitness Fun,

Steven

The Senior Health and Fitness Blog by Steven Siemons is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Weight Training: After 50 Years, It’s Still Number One!

Everyone has their own reasons why they derive joy from one form of exercise and not another. Fifty years is a long time to be doing anything, so let’s look at a few of my reasons, shall we?
Fitness Goals

It’s important to address these components of fitness in one’s training routine:

1. Strength movements
2. Aerobic Conditioning
3. Movements challenging balance and coordination
4. Range of motion and flexibility movements

Achieving these goals, for me, involves a combination of weight training, treadmill/stairclimber time (always with fast/slow intervals), and dedicated stretching time (after main workout).

The Utility of Weights

While I incorporate bodyweight movements in my workouts–and certainly they can be, by themselves, an incredible routine–here are my reasons for preferring iron plates and dumbbells:

1. Total control of weight/movement

2. Ability to train specific areas effectively with varying degrees of resistance and range of motion.

Here are the real world benefits of the points above…

Being able to begin a fitness program using very minimal resistance and very basic moves is important. I love the functionality of the chin up, and use them instead of curls for my biceps routine–but most people aren’t capable of lifting their own body weight. This point is critically important to the population of Senior citizens who desperately need resistance training to have hope for battling osteoporosis. There is no better way to strengthen bones than consistent progressive resistance training!

Beyond the beginning stages, strength training with equipment becomes what one wants to make of it. With compound movements such as squats, and minimal rest time between sets, a challenging aerobic workout can be accomplished.

This ability to train safely and with such incredible variability of movement, resistance, and range makes weightlifting my favorite for strength training!

To Your Health and Fitness,

Steven

The Senior Health and Fitness Blog by Steven Siemons is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Defining Fitness For The Unfit: It’s Not What You Think!

Let’s have a very serious discussion together. It concerns the reason for every word I write, and it concerns your perception of what fitness should be.

I don’t mean anything at all derogatory by the word ‘unfit’. It indicates, simply, the description of being in a state of less than optimal fitness. So let me explain.

I’m really interested in having this discussion with all of you who have the desire to move in a healthier direction, but for whatever reason, feel shut out. My blog site shows many pictures of people in the gym; that’s me–it doesn’t need to be you. So let’s take a look, first, at exactly what fitness can easily be in YOUR life, no matter what your age, and no matter your current condition. From the heart, I want to help you be healthier!

A Simple and Functional Approach

Fitness, for our purposes, is the level of necessary health and fitness to do the things we enjoy most. “Health and appetite impart the sweetness to the sugar,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson. Forget the sugar controversy here and focus on the main truth: It’s difficult to enjoy even the basic things of life in a state of ill health. Knowing that 80% of the major causes of ill health–cardiovascular disease and diabetes among them, can be directly affected by exercise, you must make the decision to take the first step using the irreplaceable tool of exercise. If the effects of exercise were obtainable from a drug, it would be considered a miracle drug. This, along with proper nutrition and quality sleep, are the core components of a healthy lifestyle.

Fundamental Building Blocks of The Senior Health and Fitness Blog Philosophy

1. The fitness journey of a lifetime begins with the first rep. Yes, I’m borrowing from the Chinese proverb regarding the importance of the first step. No matter how old you are, no matter how out of shape you are, there is a movement (rep) that you can do as a first step!

2. If you can move it, you can improve it! Your body responds to the positive stress of exercise by getting stronger; even if you’re in your eighties. We must use this capability because not doing so results in atrophy, or wasting. You do not have a choice to relax and remain the same.

3. Get going with what you’ve got! There’s no sense regretting your current condition. Whatever you have to work with is how it’s going to get done. It makes no sense to wish otherwise, but it makes a lot of sense to get moving now with whatever we can move–even if it hurts a little. Many of you may think that you can’t exercise because of arthritis. Wrong. You must exercise in spite of arthritis, to whatever degree you can, or you surrender to regression. Bursitis is part of my daily existence. Sometimes movement causes pain. I make a choice to tolerate it and keep moving because I don’t like the alternative.

The Weight Of The Evidence

Research has revealed in recent years that longevity and health depends, among other things, on simply being active; it’s not necessary to be superfit. And the Blue Zone studies, which focused on the common characteristics of the longest living people on the planet, observed a strong social/family lifestyle and living with a purpose as major important traits, along with sensible nutrition and activity. Moderation in fitness is a substantially powerful goal, and readily doable. 

There’s nothing for sale and nothing to buy. If the principles above make sense to you, let’s work together to change the look of Senior fitness!

For Your Health and Fitness,

Steven

The Senior Health and Fitness Blog by Steven Siemons is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Aging: You’re Standing On The Down Escalator. Which Way Do You Want To Go?

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You’re standing on the down escalator moving towards the bottom. If you don’t want to be at the bottom, you’ve got to make a decision quickly and begin the efforts to outpace the descent. Doing nothing is the same as leaving your fate to the direction of movement of the automatic stairs: downward.

Aging is much more subtle. You have no idea that your bones may have lost their strength until your life is drastically changed by a fall. Last time you hurried about, it may have caught your attention that you’re breathing heavier than you used to, and you can feel your heart laboring harder to keep up.

Many of the negative changes that you’re feeling now are not from the aging process, but rather the cumulative effects of inactivity and poor lifestyle choices all those years!

Now is a great time to contemplate where you’re headed with your lifestyle.

The only option you have to improve that doesn’t have negative side effects is a fitness lifestyle: exercise, proper nutrition, and adequate sleep. From the Wellness perspective, a purposeful and positive outlook on life goes a long way, also.

Let’s get real and figure out your next move. You can keep doing the same thing with the same results, or you can make a decision, take action, and work toward being a little better each day.

You decide.

There are no excuses, only results. Your body will respond to positive stress like exercise by getting stronger, no matter how old you are. Different results demand different actions. Stop feeding on excuses, get up and begin your new beginning.

If you stand still, you lose.

Get It Started,

Steven

The Senior Health and Fitness Blog by Steven Siemons is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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The Joy of Fitness Training With My Mother-In-Law

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The Gold’s Gym in central Florida where I was training at the time was one of my favorites. It became special to me, as well, because it was my first time training with a lady of seventy six years… my Mother-In-Law.

She is a spirited and adventurous soul. She speaks a little English, I speak a little Spanish. Of course, before we decided to embark on this exercise/linguistic experiment, I confirmed her state of overall good health. She, in fact, amazed me with her ability to begin a journey to the United States from Sweden, travel for twenty four hours on trains, planes and automobiles, and look beautiful and be positive until retiring for the night in her bed in our home.

I was not worried about her being intimidated by what might be encountered at the gym, and neither was she. What happened in the days and weeks that followed amazed me… and her.

The main focus she shared with me (through the interpreted discussion before we started) was concerning the use of her shoulders and arms. Her diminishing strength and ability to reach overhead saddened her. She was somewhat depressed, as well, because she had been diagnosed with osteoporosis and, of course, felt intimidated by it.

The first day was simply getting a feel for what was there. She watched, I demonstrated. She learned quickly and joyfully. After seeing me do seated close-grip pull-downs, she was anxious to try.

Cuidate (be careful)… Suavemente (smoothly)… Ay dolor? (is there any pain?)

These are the words I spoke most frequently. But always upon hearing “muy bien” (very good), Mom got the biggest smile on her face! At that point, I knew she was hooked.

My normal routine was three days a week, one day resting between workouts. After three weeks of gradual but noticeable increases in strength and range of motion, Mom insisted on going every day that she didn’t have something special happening!

Mom is in her eighties now and no longer has the stamina and confidence to do battle at the airports. We no longer are able to train together. During my years of working out, I’ve had the opportunity to train together with some accomplished athletes.

It all pales in comparison to the joy of saying, “Muy Muy Bien, Mamita.”

To Your Health and Fitness,

Steven Siemons

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