Living and working in Los Angeles, one is hard-pressed in whipping one's head around in surprise with regularity. On display daily, are hard bodies, (both iron forged and cosmetically carved), waif-like models, A-list celebrities; even the local Rabbi looks like he hits the stair-master at least a few times per week. Yes, beauty and youth are as common here as guilty paternity test results on Maury Povich.
But, other often forgotten people exist here too. Yesteryear's model relegated to the sidelines and too often, the Island of Misfit Toys. They, with their thickening waists and thighs, slower metabolisms and once smooth and tanned bodies, now fraught with thickening course stray hairs and the beginnings of a mustache, liver-spotted crowns and silly-putty skin: they are the 50+.
Make no mistake, they are here, and standing up, (before a walker is needed), and reversing or slowing down the aging clock, that inevitably awaits us all. And proving nearly every day, their gym efforts are far more effective than surgery in the long-term. The 50+ populace now knows that just as one must regularly service a car for optimal performance, the human body requires no less than the same.
One of the most satisfying experiences, that I, as a trainer, can receive, is in seeing medication replaced with good nutrition, a cardio workout instead of a procedure, and an older client taking to weight-training instead of weight-gaining. Many of my clients are well into their 50’s and beyond. Some have never picked up with regularity weights until now, and rave daily about walking with more ease, feeling less wear and tear in their joints, and having an overall better feeling of well-being.
As many can agree, as one ages, the importance placed on aesthetics, (the way in which you look), severely lessens in regards to functionality, (the way in which you feel and perform.) Of course, we all want to look fit well into our latter years, but if one struggles to tie one’s shoes, or perform other every-day tasks, you may want to check your priorities.
On a personal note, my bodybuilding past relied on a physique and training that made a strong visual impact, but required little in regards to the actual performance of my physique. Currently, I am balancing the aesthetics of my body with endurance and athletic capability. And you may be surprised to know that this was not out of desire, but rather, need. The need to carry grocery bags and hold my dogs is far more important than my desire for big arms. And although my clients know this well, we can all benefit from training both ends of the spectrum for the ultimate in living well via Anti-Aging. But just what exactly is Anti-Aging?
The wildly popular term, “Anti-Aging”, is used to move tons of products annually in an effort to keep the person the same, which is an impossibility, as everyday of our lives we are all slowly aging. But one can keep their body and mind in the best working order for as long as possible. Many equate being healthy with being able to move around and function. And while on the outside, for many years to come, this may be the case, one’s insides require regular maintenance in order to truly function well. For many who are unenthused or seemingly unable to workout, medication, and cosmetic surgery, offers at best, a band-aid over a giant wound in the hopes of controlling an uncontrollable situation.
For those of you who may be rolling your eyes, thinking yourself too young to lend cause for concern over aging, maintenance and so forth, take heed. Imagine being less than two decades into life on this earth, returning from a gloriously productive, record-setting day at the gym, and unable to stand up from your bedside due to intense lower back pain and direct negligence of the core muscles. Oh how silly we all once were.
Now, where was I? Oh yes, keeping one’s body fat relatively low, practicing good nutrition and exercising regularly, are the true keys to “Anti-Aging” and as such, are cost effective, manageable and far less painful in the long-run.
What follows are my top 10 suggestions for the over 50 citizen who chooses fight over, "I've fallen and I can't get up."
1. Positive Mind Set - empathy goes a long way. If you can see yourself in a person close to your age but in better shape, then you can become that person.
2. Time Management - whether it's completed before or after work, get it done. I don't care how busy I am, I always make time for my workout. To not do so is akin to not brushing my teeth - unacceptable.
3. Energy management - some of my older clients are at their best in the early hours of the day and fade as the day progresses. Know when you're at your best and train then.
4. Weights - yoga, Pilates, and the like, are fabulous, but nothing will change your body for the better, (and help to prevent osteoporosis), than resistance training. That is, unless you don't desire improved posture, metabolism and an enhanced and shapely contoured body.
5. Cardio - should always be completed after your weight training, (unless performing a brief warm-up), and is not about calories burned, but rather enhanced nutrient absorption, strengthening your heart AND raising your metabolism.
6. Food - clean, largely unprocessed, small, frequent meals consumed throughout the day to fuel you for optimal movement, energy and metabolic efficacy.
7. Stretching - to help lengthen muscle tissue, improve performance, and save wear and tear on your body.
8. Supplements – your Doctor will know for sure where you fall short. Supplements are supplemental to food but do wonders to fill in the gaps. The mental ease, knowing that I've covered all the bases is worth the price alone.
9. Books - never stop in your quest to learn more about your fascinating machine that is your unique body.
10. People - that are positive, that believe in you, should be your hangers-on. Leave the doubters to their doubts - you and I have too much that is positive, to accomplish.
I would like to thank everyone who has pre-ordered my new book and DVD, Anatomy of Fitness Core, NOW available at holliswashere.com via the secure PayPal website. May it help you achieve the toned and functional midsection that it has me.
Remember, I am always available to help you via a pre-scheduled on-line training session. I want YOU to be proud of YOU, to feel better, look better and perform better!