By Lesslee Belmore
From aerobicizing in leopard-skin leotards to lounging on the couch in elastic-waist pants, what happened to our generation? We’re the ones that turned fitness into a lifestyle revolution and having-it-all into a mass social movement: bringing home the bacon, frying it in a pan, feeding the kids, cleaning up the mess and working off the (bacon) fat.
Unfortunately, all that activity zapped our energy, and sometime around the end of the 90s, we plopped down on the couch exhausted — binging on The Goodwife, bad carbs and overly processed food. Now, many are paying a hefty price for their unhealthy lifestyle.
Women on the verge of a health crisis
There’s been an alarming surge in diabetes and pre-diabetes (marked by higher-than-normal blood sugar) among Boomers, but women, 5o and up are most vulnerable, losing more years to the disease than men.
Almost two thirds of adult women are overweight or obese; only 2 out of 10, exercise regularly; and 40 percent eat fast food at last once a week — markers that can increase the risk of diabetes 2, some forms of cancer, kidney disease, heart disease and stroke (43 percent% of adult women suffer strokes every year; 60 percent succumb to it).
Now’s the time to join the second fitness revolution and get fabulously fit for YOU
Regardless of age, or preference for a gym, the fab-fit exercises (in combination with fab-five foods covered in part 2) can help mitigate the effects of aging, lower the risk of being medically benched on sidelines of life, leaving you feeling and looking fabulous. So let’s get off the couch, get your gym shoes on and start getting fit.
Anti-aging, quick-start beginners guide
Step 1. Get medical clearance from you doctor first, especially if there’s a family history of heart disease or other health problems. And ask if there are any exercises you shouldn’t do.
Step 2. Get started without feeling overwhelmed because you can ease into it and establish the habit, by starting small and building slowly. Begin with a 30 minute walk a few days the first week. Then do it again the next week. Feeling great? Then start walking faster, pump your arms to get you heart rate up..
Step 3. Get the fab-fit game plan Go to www.nutritionalpath.com and download the beginner’s infographic, with how-to instructions for stretching discussed below.
Streeeetch it out: stay game-ready
Stretching’s the best exercise for increasing your joint flexibility and range of motion, plus it can improve your posture; reduce joint and lower back pain and benefit arthritis. Incorporate stretching into each day, especially after a workout.
Get in balance so you don’t get floored
Exercises that improve balance, stability and build a strong core are essential elements in preventing falls and keeping you in the game. Yoga or Pilates are great for balance and stretching. I also challenge my clients with different stances while lifting weights for balance and stability.
Weights up the ante: combat muscle and bone loss, lack of energy
Just start with lightweights, like I did, then up the pounds when you’re ready. Use a trainer if you are just starting out or take a weight class so that you learn proper form. One of the most important things you can do is to build lean muscle tissue, so don’t even think of skipping this step!
Up your tempo: plump up your skin; boost your weight loss and energy
Look and feel years younger and turn your body into a lean, mean, fat burning machine. That’s the anti-aging effect of cardio exercise and weight lifting. Tip: Don’t just stay at the same pace while doing cardio, change it up so that your body doesn’t get used to the same movement.
Lesslee Belmore, 58, is a certified fitness trainer and specialist in healthy weight loss. She is not a nutritionist or dietician, but holds several certifications and has combined her personal experience and education to help others achieve their personal fitness and weight “sweet” spot. Learn more at www.nutritionalpath.com or call 302-245-2582