Over the last few days, I have seen several friends post on social media what they are thankful for. They have decided to use the entire month of November to list at least one thing they are thankful for every day. It is called the gratitude challenge! I keep telling myself that I need to join the challenge but I have put it off and now I am 6 days behind. So, this got me thinking about the “gratitude challenge” and how it is similar to the “Fit Over 40 Challenge.”How is similar you ask? Well, I continuously talk about how every day you need to try and get just a little better than you were yesterday and if you happen to fall off the wagon get back up and start the next day. with that being said, I have decided to write 6 things I am grateful for and relate it to being fit over 40.
1.) I am thankful for the ability to work out and keep myself fit. I know there are reasons that some people are not able to workout at the levels and intensities I do, which makes it more difficult to lose weight and stay fit, so being able to workout hard is a blessing.
2.) I am thankful I do not need to take medication on a daily basis. One of my goals in life is to not have to take a prescription medication on a daily basis. Due to family history, like my father, who had high blood pressure and heart disease I know I am going to be fighting an uphill battle.
3.) I am thankful for living in a time period where food is plentiful and choices to eat clean are up to us. There are many people across the world who don’t have access to the abundance amount of food we have here in the United States.
4.) I am thankful for technology and the fitness equipment I have all around me. With the advancement of technology as well as the abundance amount of equipment I have access to it makes it much easier for me to be fit. The technology side allows me to monitor the effort I am putting out when working out, and the having equipment at my house as well as access to it at the fitness studio I work out leaves me little excuse to get a workout in.
5.) I am thankful for my wife who values health and fitness. Having your partner or someone who you are close with value health and fitness is extremely important and beneficial. I have seen over the years clients who have spouses or partners who don’t value health and fitness, which makes it tough for them to get the support they need to stay fit and stay motivated.
6.) I am thankful that I am a fitness and nutrition coach. For one, being a coach allows me to help others but before I can do that I have to help myself. I have written and stated before that I have my own struggles with weight and health due to my genetics, but since I believe I have to practice what I preach and live out what I say being a coach puts that extra pressure on me to do the things that will keep me fit!
What are you thankful for when it comes to your health and fitness? If you have never taken the time to be grateful for things in your life take a few minutes every day and write down what you are grateful for. I can tell you that writing this and thinking about what I am grateful for in regards to my health made me feel good and motivated to keep striving to stay fit! Let me know what you are grateful for by joining the conversation in the Facebook Group.
I would also be grateful if you shared this blog with someone who needs to be motivated to get fit and join my newsletter so I can keep giving you great tips and motivation to continue on your journey!
Unfortunately, it is a fore gone conclusion that as we age the likely hood of injury and inflammation is going to be prevalent. I swear it wasn’t until I hit forty did I start to get injured more and feel more joint pain. With that being said, I noticed I was taking way to many ibuprofen pills and I knew I need to find a better way to deal with my pain and inflammation in a more natural way. That led me to search for the best natural anti-inflammatory supplements.
Before I get into the best natural supplements I think it is best to describe what inflammation actually is. In short, it’s the body’s response to outside threats like stress, infection, or toxic chemicals. When the immune system senses one of these dangers, it responds by activating proteins meant to protect cells and tissues.
But, just to be clear not all inflammation is bad for you. Inflammation is most visible (and most beneficial) when it’s helping to repair a wound or fight off an illness. It is the chronic inflammation that occurs when inflammation starts to over react and cause harm to the body.
Here are the 6 best all natural init-inflammatory supplements in my opinion.
Alpha _ Lipoid Acid – ALA in supplement form as been shown to be a proven anti-oxidant and help with inflammation. ALA is a mitochondrial fatty acid that is highly involved in energy metabolism. It is synthesized in the body and can be consumed through eating meat. It is also minimally present in some fruits and vegetables.
Curcumin – Curcumin is the active ingredient of turmeric, and is also found in limited amounts in ginger. It is an anti-inflammatory molecule with anti-cancer properties, and some research shows it to be a metabolic syndrome band-aid. On its on it does have poor bioavailability.
Fish Oil – First of all, fish oil is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids (including EPA and DHA), which block inflammatory cytokines and prostaglandins; they are converted by the body into powerful anti-inflammatory chemicals called resolving. There are many different ways to get this supplement into the body.
Ginger – Ginger isn’t just something you use for cooking and baking during the holidays. It can be a powerful anti-inflammatory supplement. In fact, a study concluded by the University of Miami that one day ginger could one day possibly be a substitute for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).
“Research shows that ginger affects certain inflammatory processes at a cellular level,” says the study’s lead author, Roy Altman, MD, now at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Resveratrol – The plant extract resveratrol, found in the skin of red grapes, appears to suppress inflammation and may fight aging in humans, according to a new study.
Common food sources of resveratrol include grapes, wine, peanuts, blueberries, and cranberries.
The study was conducted by Husam Ghanim, PhD, of the University of Buffalo. have found that resveratrol reduces inflammation in humans that could lead to heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
Acari Berry – Acai is one of natures richest source of antioxidants with the highest known ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) of any known food. The higher the ORAC value, the more effective a food is at extinguishing free radicals, which are known to promote inflammation and also accelerate aging.
Now remember not all supplements are created equal and depending in what form you take the supplement the absorption rate may vary. With that being said, you may not always be getting the benefit from the supplement you are taking. However, I have found one supplement that has all these in it and allows for 80 – 90% absorption into your body. If you would like to learn more here is the product fact information. You can also go directly to my site to get more info.
If there is anything I can do to assist you please don’t hesitate to reach out!
I remember when I was younger my older brothers and sister would always say, “just you wait until you get older, you will see and you won’t be laughing anymore.” That statement was in reference to me making a snide remark about them being older and me being 10 years younger! Yes, I was naive and know that I am finally in the club, the forty and over club that is, I have started to experience symptoms of aging. One in particular is sleep.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, about 40 million people in the United States suffer from chronic long-term sleep disorders each year and an additional 20 million people experience occasional sleep problems.
Wake at the Right Time
First of all, believe it or not getting a great night’s sleep starts in the morning.
Have you ever been wakened up from an alarm while you were in a dead sleep and felt groggy and maybe a little disoriented? If you are awakened while you are in a deep sleep or REM your body does go through the full sleep cycle and causes what some researches call, “sleep drunkennesses.”
Research shows that waking up in this state can be just as detrimental as getting four hours of sleep a night. But, since most of us use alarms to wake up how do we wake at the right time. Well, with technology today there is a device and app that can be used to monitor sleep cycles and wake you when you are in a light sleep cycle and have you awake during the most optimal point.
Get Moving Right Away
Do you hit the snooze button when the alarm goes off? Try getting up right away and start moving. Moving right away starts the process of having blood flow throughout the body helping with the waking process.
Drink a Large Glass of Cold Water
This really doesn’t have anything to do with sleep but it is a good hack for weight loss because drinking cold water increases the number of calories you burn, in turn raising your metabolism, because your body has to work harder to return to normal temperature.
Find the Sun
Seeing natural daylight helps you set your daily melatonin (sleep hormone) rhythm. This will help your body throughout the day with wakefulness and eventually help you be tired in the evening for bed.
Exercise helps to regualte your 24 hour clock as well as normalize your hormone levels. Exercise first thing in the morning or early afternoon. I know some of you can exersice later in the day or evening but be careful to not do too much high intensity exercise later in the evening as that might prevent you from falling asleep.
Eat A Small to Medium Meal at Dinner
Eating too much later in the evening can make it difficult for some people to fall sleep. Try and make your last meal of the day your smallest as opposed to your biggest. Try also to eat some slow digesting carbs. This can help make you feel sleepy.
Ok, this is a big one. Having more than 1-2 drinks before bed can really interfere with REM sleep. Try and go 3 hours from your last drink before you go to sleep.
Turn off Electronics
How many of us turn of the lights and look at our smart phones or electronic devices? Try and turn off electronic devices 30 minutes prior to going to sleep. The light from the screen can interfere with the production of melatonin, a hormone responsible for sleep.
Create a relaxing sleep area
Create and enviroment that is free of distractions, clutter and noise. If you live in an urban area consider getting a noise machine to drown out sounds.
Set room temp to appropariate room temp
Make sure you have a comfortable and cool room. Some liking it cooler, around 67 degree F others might like it at a nuetral setting but make sure it is not too warm.
Make room dark as possible
To maximize melatonin production make room as dark as possible. Pul shades down, turn your phone face down, trun the blue clock lights away from your face.
Take a Sleep Supplement
For some, like myself, you may need to take a supplement that contins melatonin to help get you into the deep REM sleep. I personally take a sumplement called “Sleep” that contains vitamin B2, B6 and melatonin. If you want to learn more about it you can click here.
I can’t stress to you enough how important sleep is, especially if you are looking to lose weight. Start with just a few of the sleep hacks and strive to get 7-9 hours a sleep. If you just make sleep a priority and actually plan for it you will begin to see a difference not only in your weight loss efforts but your abilty to recover, relax and overall energy levels.
Let me know which sleep hacks you are implementing and are working for you either in the comments section below or over on the Free Facebook Group “All About Health and Fitness.”
It is not uncommon for me to get a blank stare when I tell people whom I meet for the first time that I provide online personal training. Usually, the first question I get is, “how does online personal training work? Now, you may be asking that same question so I am going to explain to you how it works and the benefits to working with a trainer online.
In order to understand how online personal training works I think it is best to describe what we mean when we say “online personal training?” For the purpose of this article, I am referring to working virtually with a certified personal trainer ( i.e me) who is using the Internet and other online technology to provide personal training and coaching services.
Virtual fitness training is not new. Let’s take a look at the history of it!
Do you remember the Jane Fonda videos? Jane Fonda, the famous Oscar-winning actress, and controversial anti-war activist released her first home video in 1982. Or, maybe you watched the daily ESPN Body Shaping show with Cory Everson and occasional special guest appearances by Kathy Ireland. One of my favorites 🙂
And if those don’t come to mind then maybe you watched Body by Jake, who called himself the “muscular Oprah” of television.
Those are what we can the good old days but fast forward to today and we have home fitness programs like “P90X“, with Tony Horton or “Hammer and Chisel” with Autumn Calabrese and Sagi Kalev to name a few. Shoot if you go to YouTube and google “home workout videos” you will find a lot more.
So, you see, virtual personal training has been going on for decades, however, with the advancement of technology, the Internet and Smart Phones we can now get live streaming or video directly to us at any time and any place. Also, a big differentiating factor here is virtual training no longer has to be a supermodel or celebrity trainer. It can be your very own current trainer at the gym that can provide it to you. With that being said let’s see how it works.
First, it is important to note that there is not one specific method but many different ways online training can take place. It can be purely online or it can be what I call the hybrid model.
The hybrid model is not your typical in-person training session. It is very similar to a tradition training but differs a few ways. First, it does allow you to meet physically with a trainer at a facility. Now, depending on several factors like budget, time, and distance you may meet with your trainer once a week or maybe once a month. The hybrid model allows you to meet with your trainer and during that time you can reassess, ask questions, get new exercises and check in. Let’s see what this would look like.
For the purpose of this post, we are going to refer to the client as Lisa. Let’s assume Lisa has to drive a fair distance to get to the gym where she has her personal trainer – plus, her schedule is always changing. Trying to meet in-person on a consistent basis just isn’t working for either one of them.
Lisa isn’t new to exercise and has acquired some knowledge on form and technique but wants continued guidance. She also knows she needs accountability and structure of a program as well as feel supported.
Now it is possible for Lisa to do pure online training, but since the two feel it is important to meet every so often they decide to meet two times a month and the rest of the time she is doing “at home workouts” and working out on her treadmill at home.
The second method is purely online. This method is perfect for those that don’t have a lot of time to get to the gym and maybe prefer to be on their own but have a professional support them.
Technology has made it so that there really are no borders or constraints on working remotely with a trainer. For instance, you may have moved from a city that you had a personal trainer and really miss training with him or her and want to continue in some form. Here is where online personal training can come in. By incorporating potentially live streaming video, email, Skype, a tracking app or maybe even a full-blown training membership site you can have everything you need to work with your trainer.
What services are offered can differ from trainer to trainer but here is a list of potential offerings that can be available:
As with “in person” training online personal training follows a similar onboarding process like having the new client fill out waivers, Par-Q, questionnaire, goal setting, and consultation conducted either by phone or with Skype.
Once, all the important information is obtained and the goals have been set the next phase is to develop the program and plan. Again, with the advancement of technology, the program can be delivered using a number of different forms of media, which can include excel, videos, or through an app on your phone. ( See pic below for example)
Now that we looked at the two different models and some of the technology used let’s take a look at the benefits to working with a trainer online.
3 Major Benefits of Online Coaching
1.) You can train at any time that suits you, in any place that suits you. This convenience will save you a lot of time as well as avoid the awkwardness many feel when going to the gym and being surrounded by lots of intimidating, sweaty people who hog all of the equipment!
2.) You get much more access to a trainer than you would as a face to face client. You get coaching, accountability, training programs, and support all week long, not just for one maybe two hours a week that you would be together in a face-to-face environment. This means you can work together on every single aspect of getting you results and seeing you smash your goals. We call this “Client Centered Training.”
3) Typically, you get all of this at a lower price than working face to face for just one hour a week! This saves you money while giving you the best possible guidance, service, and support.
Only you can answer that question. As with anything in life people have different needs and wants. Maybe you are someone who needs to be face to face with a trainer to get your workout done. Or, maybe you like to have the social interaction. However, maybe you are like the example client, Lisa, who has a hard time getting to the gym, knows enough to do things on her own but wants the support or guidance of a professional to hold you accountable and help you reach your fitness goals. The decision is up to you!
If you feel like online personal training might be right for you and want to set up a consultation to see if it may be a fit (sorry for the pun) then fill out the info below and I will get on the phone and see if I can assist you.
Do you know which foods contain good fats and bad fats?
For years I bought into the theory and concept of the low or no fat diet. I wouldn’t say I was obsessed but if it said “no fat” on the label I was more likely to purchase it and consume it!
Now, if you have read my book, “Fit Over 40 Challenge” you know my story about how I weighed the most in my life and what I did to lose 25 lbs. I can’t say this for sure but part of the reason I gained so much weight can be attributed to not getting in enough “good fats” in my diet. Once I final decided to educate myself on proper nutrition I finally understood the difference.
Don’t be that person that says, it has fat in it before you look to see if it is “good fat” or ‘bad fat.”
Use this info graph by Healthy Happy Smart to educate yourself!
I hope this helps you make better choices. If you find this useful and would like to get more great info on fitness and nutrition I provide you can get it from my premium newsletter. It is free to my subscribers. Sign up below.
You may recall a post I wrote just a short while ago talking about what is the best diet to lose weight and in that post I mentioned several different diets. With that being said right now as of this writing one of the diets people are talking about is the “Ketogenic Diet.” I have received numerous questions about this particular diet as well as what is ketosis. So, I thought I would write up a short post and define both.
The ketogenic diet (often termed keto) is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that shares many similarities with the Atkins and low-carb diets.
It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake, and replacing it with fat. The reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.
Essentially, when your body is in ketosis it becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can help supply energy for the brain.
Now, I dont want you to get Ketosis confused with diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a serious complication of uncontrolled diabetes that occurs when your body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones in conjunction with high levels of glucose.
Now that I have briefly describe what ketosis is I know some of you are thinking well how do I get into Ketosis. Before I give you some tips to get your body into Ketosis please make sure that you consult with your doctor to make sure that you are healthy and dont suffer from any metabolic disorders or other conditions that might be harmful to you. With that disclaimer out of the way…
If you were having questions about ketosis and the ketogenic diet I hope this brief post gives you a sense of what it is and how it affects metabolism in the body. Remember it is not for everyone and if you just implement a few of those 7 tips at some level you will see results in regards to your weight loss.
Let me know if you have any questions either by emailing me at Dave@davemcgarry.com with the subject “Ketosis” or sign up to receive my newsletter where I share my best tips and strategies for being fit over 40!
So, what is the “Best Diet” for someone over 40?
Well, let’s see how many diets I can name off the top of my head and we will go from there. You have Paleo, South Beach, Zone, Atkins, Vegan, Vegetarian, Raw Diet, Keto, Weight Watchers, Whole 30, Dash Diet, and my favorite the Twinkie Diet. Yes, there really is a diet centered around just eating Twinkies. I hope I don’t have to explain to you that the Twinkie Diet is not a good idea to try. And, the Twinkie diet may not be the only crazy diet out there as I am sure if you search the web I bet you could find one that somebody came up with that is bizarre.
It is no wonder that people are confused and are always asking what is the “best diet” for them to lose weight. Oh, and in full closure, I have tried several of these diets except for the Twinkie one.
So, with all these diet choices which one is the best diet for someone over 40 to lose weight? That was the question I positioned this post on. Well, unfortunately, there is no best diet for someone over 40. Of course, unless you have a medical issue that your doctor or a registered dietician has prescribed for you.
I am sorry, I know you were probably hoping I would have the answer and you would start it immediately but let me tell you why there is no particular diet that is the best.
We all are different!
Here are just a few ways that we all differ:
Body Type – Each and every one of us has a different body type. Most of us will fall into one of three types, which are an ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph. Each body type can require a different amount of food as well as a type of food that gets utilized more. For instance, a mesomorph might need to take in more protein as an ectomorph may be alright with a mix of carbs and protein for fuel and performance.
Fitness Level and Body Composition – Everyone of us is at a different level of fitness and have a different percent of body fat at any given time. So, this will have a determination on what type of foods should be eaten and maybe even determine when we should eat. For instance, if you are more of an endomorph it might be best to eat more of a low carb diet or eat carbs right after a workout.
Age – Well, as you may have already found out as we age our metabolism changes and can begin to slow down. This will cause you to need to adjust the amount and type of food you take in on a daily basis. Also, with aging digestion abilities begin to change which also can be a factor on food choices that you may eat.
Dietary preferences and exclusions – whether plant based, carnivore, or allergic to certain foods a vast range of food preferences could be a reason for a certain type of diet.
Time – Let’s face it most of us right now are trying to work full-time jobs and raise a family so time is a critical component, so food that is easy to shop for and cook tend to be a factor in what diet is best at this stage of life.
Budget – Although it may not be as expensive as you think to eat organic money does play a role in the ability to buy higher quality and quantities of food so it can be a factor on how you eat if you are on a tight budget.
Nutritional Knowledge and Diet History – Some of us might be devout followers of a certain dietary practice and have a history of trying different things. While others may not know exactly what to look for so we tend to follow what is trending and people are doing, which still might lead to success.
Those are just some of the differences that we all have and bring to the table ( no pun intended) when it comes to what works for us from a dietary standpoint.
The healthiest people in the world don’t have a single nutrition philosophy. If you look at people who live in different parts of the world and see that they have lower rates of cardiovascular disease and obesity their diets differ from region to region. Also, it is important to note that the human body adapts amazingly well to many different ways. You can be healthy and fit whether you mostly eat meat or mostly veggies or mostly carb or fats many times a day or just a few times. You should focus on exploring and trying different things.
Over the years I have tried a variety of different types of “diets” where I tweak my nutrition habits and daily intake to mimic what they are proposing but not completely adhering to the strict regime of their diet. Each time I see results as ultimately it requires me to change my bad habits and gets me to change my energy balance. You should focus on exploring and trying different things without getting totally fixated on one particular diet! If you find something that works, stick with it but if it is making you be restrictive to the point you can’t continue or are not seeing results change it up again.
Remember this is a marathon and not a sprint so keep with it. More than anything consistency and lifestyle change is what really allows us to see results and change for the long haul.
P.S. If you found this article of interest and would like to get more nutrition and fitness tips I encourage you to sign up for my premium fitness newsletter. All you need to do is fill out the form and you will receive it.
In a time and era where all we have to do is click a button and we get instant gratification, it is hard to have the patience to wait for something. How would you feel if it took you 18 years to reach and accomplish your goal? I bet if I was to tell you that you needed to keep working hard and do it for 18 years and then you would reach your goal I wouldn’t get a single person to sign up for that program. Well, if you follow golf this past weekend Sergio Garcia won his first major championship. You see in the professional golf world you are judged on how many major championships you win. It doesn’t matter if you are highly ranked or have won multiple PGA tournaments but rather how many major championships you win. Sergio competed in 73 major championships without a win. So, what does this have to do with fitness and reaching goals? Well, I want to share with you a few things you need to take away from Sergio Garcia’s win at the Masters in 2017 and apply it to your fit over 40 journey.
First, you need to have a goal and it needs to be something big. The reason I say big is because it has to be something that gets you excited. It may be you need to lose 50 lbs and losing that 50 lbs will get you back to what you were like in college. It may be to run a marathon or compete in a triathlon. Something that is going to be a huge accomplish after you achieve it. And here is the real bonus. It is not so much the actual goal that is the reward but it is who you became in the process of reaching that goal. In Sergio’s case, he was a very electrifying and emotional player. He said if he made a mistake in his earlier years he would dwell on it and let it have an effect on his play. Finally, as he got older he learned to channel his emotions and bounce back from a setback. The same is true on your fitness journey. You are not going to win every day. Some days are going to be better than others so you need to learn what you did wrong and try to correct it and not make the mistake again.
Second, is to never give up. The fitness journey should be a marathon. It should be one of you top priorities that you focus on. As the years went by and Sergio would eventually fall short of winning the championship the burden of not winning grew. Every time he would get close to winning a major championship the media would bring up the stat of how many times he fell short, but even with all the scrutiny, Sergio remained focused on the big picture and his overall goal of winning a major championship. He never gave up and you shouldn’t either. There will be people who will say, “Oh, you are trying another diet or didn’t you try to lose weight before and not have success.” Don’t listen to the naysayers and believe that it will come to fruition one day.
And the final lesson is to enjoy the journey. Sometimes get lost along the way and forget to celebrate the small victories. Sergio said that even though he had not one a major he still was happy with his career and the wins he achieved over the 18 years as a pro golfer. That is why I recommend you break down your large goal into 12-week chunks. Once you reach those short term goals celebrate the win and then set a new 12-week goal to use the momentum to get closer to the overall goal.
In all fairness I hope it doesn’t take you 18 years to reach your goal, however, I hope you establish the mindset and belief that no matter what setbacks you go through or obstacles that get put in front of you, you persevere and reach your end destination and achieve your goal.
If you need help getting started or need a coach to get you through something please don’t hesitate to reach out. I have the Ulitmate Fitness Coaching program where I work with individuals on nutrition and fitness programming. If you would like a 10-minute coaching call to see if I can assist you then click the link here to find out more.
Are you tired of counting calories to ensure you lose weight? Listen, it has become easier with all the apps and technology to track your food and log it. I mean all you have to do is scan a bar code and you can get most all the information you need added to your daily log. But, let’s face it nobody really wants to spend time every day, 365 days a year logging their food. I know I will have the best intentions in the world but trying to juggle running an online coaching business, coaching at Orangetheory fitness, and the hustle and bustle of two active kids I fall short and stop after a few good days. Well, if you are like me and need a more simpler approach I have you covered.
Take a look at this infographic by Precision Nutrition and Dr. John Beradi. I think you will agree this is a much easier approach to knowing how much you should be eating without the hassle of pulling out your smart phone and searching for food items to add to your food diary!
Using your hand is really all you need but if you want to see the different portion sizes for men and women as well as body type then download the entire infographic to see how to build your plate!
You can download the full info graph here => precision_nutrition_calorie_control_guide_pdf
I would love to hear what you think. Leave a comment below or in the FREE Facebook Group “All About Health and Fitness.”
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If you are a guy over 40 then you know things have changed. Maybe you have lost your energy? Or maybe you no longer have the lean physique you once had. Don’t worry I am here to help you out! Here are 9 fitness tips for guys over 40.
Do Push Ups – Back when I crossed over the 40 mark and finally made the decision to get into the best shape of my life it actually all started with pushups. You see I was part of this mastermind group and the leader of the group started a pushup challenge. It wasn’t just any old challenge as if you did not complete your daily pushups and reach the goals that were set for the challenge you had to pay up. Yes, it was like reverse psychology where you actually did not win a prize for doing it but actually paid money to a charity that you disliked. I talk about it in my book if you want to learn more about the challenge, but pushups are considered to be the ultimate barometer of fitness. It incorporates so many muscle groups and core strength. There is a reason the military does so many pushups. Plus, you can easily do this first thing in the morning or at night in your home!
Eat More Protein – protein is a “macronutrient” meaning the body needs relatively large amounts of it. One of the very first things I did when I did when I made the commitment to get fit again was I increased my protein. Now I know you probably aren’t going to carry around a big bowl of brown rice and chicken and eat all day. Or, like when I was in college I had a co-worker that I worked with at the community college gym who had 7 or 8 tuna fish cans with him that he would eat during his shift. But, you need to start increasing your protein intake. The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight or 0.36 grams per pound. This amounts to: 56 grams per day for the average sedentary man. If you are working out and lifting weights I recommend a little higher intake. Also, if you are like me and have a difficult time getting your protein from natural food sources like chicken, fish, and meat then you can use supplements like a protein shake to get the amount you need. I use Shakeology.
Recover well – As we age unfortunately it takes us a lot longer to recover than it used to. I learned that the hard way a few weeks ago when I took my friend out to celebrate his birthday but that is another story. No serious as we age we need more time to recover from our workouts. Especially, if you are doing any sort of HIIT training or heavy lifting. Don’t feel guilty about taking extra days to recover, especially if you are really sore from a hard workout as your body needs it.
Do HIIT Exercises – All the rage these days is HIIT training. What does HIIT stand for you ask? Well, it stands for high, intensity, interval training. What makes it so great? Well, with HIIT training your heart rate will typically be above 84% of your max heart rate for a period of 12 more minutes throughout, which leads to EPOC. EPOC is a big fancy word for what we call the “afterburn.” That is where you are burning calories 12-36 hours after the workout. Not to mention the caloric burn you received when doing a more intense workout than just getting on the elliptical.
Get More Sleep –If there was one piece of advice that I would say to you that could make all the difference in your weight loss and general health it would be to get more sleep. I used to give a stress management presentation to corporations and I would ask them to raise their hands if they got five hours of sleep a night. Most everybody raised their hand but as I asked them 6, not as many, then 7, even less, and finally 8, maybe one or two still had their hand up. I have heard it all. But I don’t require as much sleep or I can sleep all I want when I am dead. The truth here is your body needs rest and recovery like I mentioned above and there have been studies that have shown people who get 7-9 hours a sleep a night are in better health and lose more weight. Work on getting more sleep!
Eat More Super Foods – Don’t worry I not telling you to go out and start eating kale chips although it wouldn’t be a bad thing but you should start eating more broccoli. Broccoli contains sulforaphane, which reduces cartilage depletion in the joints according to researchers. Start eating more oily fish like Tuna, Sardines and Salmon. Why are they so good for you? Apart from being a great source of protein, these oily fish pack the goodness of Omega 3 fatty acids. Also, the monounsaturated oils keep you healthy, are great antioxidants and keep your metabolic rate high. My best friend and college roommate would go on what I called the fish diet when he wanted to lose weight and you know what every time he would eat nothing but fish he would drop 10 pounds. So, eat more of these superfoods to help you keep your joints working and your metabolic rate high!
Make Weights Heavier – Lifting heavy and with good form is important to grow lean mass and more muscle. Also, by lifting heavy and strenuous your body will release growth hormone which is critical for growing muscle along with other benefits of being a male! When lifting you should focus on weights that will allow you to perform 10-12 reps. You want to make sure the last few reps are challenging and you struggled to get them.
Hydrate – Earlier I referred to sleep being one of the most critical habits that you should strive to do more of, but hydrating ranks right up there with it. Your body depends on water to survive. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body need water to work properly. For example, your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste, and lubricate your joints. Water is needed for overall good health. And it is especially as important as we age. You see as we get older the body “dries out”, and our tendons and ligaments become less resilient. Poor hydration can lead to constipation, dry and itchy skin, sinus pressure, headaches and fatigue, which can be the result of toxins building up in our bodies. One final point to make here and that is if you want to lose weight being properly hydrated as been proven to help with weight loss. Make it a point to drink those 8-10 glasses and if you need to use an app to track it try My Fitness Pal. I use that one.
Resistance Isn’t Futile – As we get older our ability to gain lean muscle decreases. Peak muscle mass usually occurs around age 25. So, the gains you make at this stage in your life might not be a lot but the flip side is you will not lose the muscle mass you worked hard to get if you start doing resistance training. The goal should be to get 3-4x a week of resistance training in.
I hope these tips will help you either start or keep going on your fitness journey. If you need anything or would like a 10-minute fitness consultation with me please don’t hesitate to reach out.
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