Thursday, January 5, 2017

QUESTION: “Where should we “seniors” start if we want to get fit?”

QUESTION: “Where should we “seniors” start if we want to get fit?”

An article from 2015 Body Building and Fat Loss for Seniors  has recently overtaken all other articles as the most popular article over the last 2 years. And a more recent one, I'm Too Old to Get in Shape, is also doing well. Those articles are what prompted the pile of recent questions similar to the one serving as the title to this article.

(By the way, I hate the term “seniors”. And I’ve called out a number of other coaches and trainers for using terms like “seniors’, “elderly”, etc. I'm 67 in so I can make my point.  I think the word “Masters” or “Wise Ones” is more appropriate!)

I’ll get off my stump now and try to answer the question on where to start getting fit for us “Wise Ones”

I haven’t addressed this question publicly before because it’s complicated. There are a lot of variables that have to be addressed first:

1.     Age-a 50 year old will likely be easier to answer than a 70 year old.
2.     What are your goals? Strength? Fat loss? Mobility? Endurance? Aesthetics? All of the above?
3.     What medical conditions do you have?
4.     What old injuries might limit your ability?
5.     What medications are you taking?
6.     How long has it been since you worked out? (if ever)
7.     How much time can you devote to getting fit?
8.     Do you engage in any type of physical activity now? If so, what?

That said, work-arounds and alternatives can usually be found. And, bear in mind, there are many ailments and injuries that can actually be improved by getting fit.

And don’t misunderstand. I’d ask the same questions of a 20 year old. 

Despite needing answers to the above questions (and several more) I can give some general guidelines.

·        Talk to your doctor first. Let’s face it, we “wise ones” have more ailments and old injuries and medications.
·        Decide on your “real” goals. Read What is Your Real Motivation?l
·        Learn proper form- Proper form is paramount. Especially if you are new to exercise or if you’ve not been in a gym for a while.
·        Start slow. Your muscles may be ready but your connective tissues (ligaments and tendons) probably are not.
·        Don’t assume you can use techniques and guidelines you learned back in high school. The fitness industry has, scientifically speaking, made huge strides in (just) the last few years.

·        Make a Plan. Including a good nutrition plan. You can’t out train a bad diet.
·        Get professional help with your plan. Most gyms have professionals on staff whose job is to help. 

      Don't worry about being a beginner or starting over after many years. I know many people who didin't start until their 60's or even 70's. You can do this!

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