Before you decide to get up each day and head to work, to the gym, or out to the grocery store you make a decision to move that day. Getting up out of bed or off the couch and moving is your first step towards fitness. You may not think of that way way because those are things that are just a part of your life. So this is where I challenge you to decide what Fitness means to you? When you decide what fitness means to you and your daily life you will be able to begin the development of your plan towards a lifetime of fitness. Each day when we go about our daily lives we squat, lift, press, lunge, twist, turn, and walk/run. How do you think your life would improve if you spent a few hours a week improving your natural range of motion in these aspects of life? My bet is you would notice that lugging the bag of groceries to house from car is easier, picking up your 3 year old child or better yet, for the grandparents out there your grandchild, would become easier. There are many ways that we can improve these functions throughout the day without even going to the gym. Let’s start with taking the stairs instead of an elevator, taking a short walk during your morning coffee break, or spending 5 minutes every hour through your day standing up from your desk walking around the office and doing a few squats. (It is proven that a brain that has elevated blood flow due to physical exercise has increased cognitive functions) that means you can get more work done in less time!! After reading all of this you are probably thinking yeah this all sounds great if you are and in shape. “But I am 63 years old, over weight, my knees hurt, and I haven’t exercise in 15 years”.
For those of you out there I have the following story. My mother is in fact all of the above. If you ask her she will tell you she remained relatively active her entire life, but truth be told her activity as just daily movement at work, a lot of walking! Then she retired, and changed to an office job, at this point she soon began to realize that he knees were shot, she was gaining weight, and she needed to do something about it. She took the first step towards changing her life and joined the local gym. Going to the gym a couple days a week when she could fit it in to her schedule. Often times skipping the sessions at the gym to care for the grandkids. Then she became a part of something bigger, her employer initiated wellness program. Each employee received a pedometer to track their daily steps. Each day they are given a quota they need to reach and prizes were awarded to those who reached the quota. All of the sudden most of the office was talking about how many steps they got the previous day, or how many of the steps were considered vigorous exercise (bonus points). Rather than spending lunch hours sitting around a gossiping, employees have no learned to spend there break moving, any chance they get to gain a few steps towards their daily goal they take it. So now the entire company is getting of their ass and moving. My 63 year old mother calls me periodically to update me on how excited she is about the number of steps she gotten, or that her knees are hurting as much.
Then comes the next step, Nutrition, my mother started to log her meals and snacks and realized that she has a lack of protein. So, you guessed it we are adding protein to her diet. To start tracking your nutrition all you need to do is write down EVERYTHING you eat or drink during the day and at what time. Get in the habit of recording everything. After you have recorded a couple weeks of meals and snacks you can go back and look at it and see if you notice any patterns. Then take your log of meals and meet with the nutritionist at your local gym. They will be able to help decide what foods and nutrients you may be missing or be getting too much of. So, to sum up this entire post in one sentence, You are never too old, too fat, too young, too out of shape to get up and MOVE a little more and eat a little cleaner each day with minimal effort.