Archive for the ‘Over 50’s Fitness by Glen Barnett’ Category

Stop and Smell the Roses by Glen Barnett

October 18, 2016

Ageing Sucks, So Stop And Smell The Roses roses.jpg

 Someone said to me the other day that ageing is unimportant unless you are a cheese. This person was 70 had a lovely weathered face and a life behind them that was filled with achievements, experiences, adventures and many different pathways.  Just like most people their age.  So why do I think ageing sucks – because I don’t want this life to ever end.

Yes, I know I could drop dead tomorrow but as you age there is that awareness that you are heading closer to the exit sign than you were a few years ago.

How fantastic is life. That is not a question it is a statement. There are so many wonderful things to explore, enjoy and experience.  Now that exploration and those experiences may not always be enjoyable but they do allow us to gather the knowledge and insight to so much more than we started out with.

Next time you go out and about take a moment or more to look, feel and listen.  Look at life around you. Close your eyes and feel life around you. Open your ears and hear life around you. Even draw your breath in and smell life around you.  Get saturated in life. Sometimes this experience will be overwhelming to all your senses. Other times you may feel one sense is more enlightened than another.  This is a simple process that we don’t often pursue because we are too busy, to rushed or to blinked in our pursuits.

We all have favourite things to do that bring contentment to us or put a smile on our faces.   Watching children play, listening to favourite music, singing loudly in the shower or car, smelling the flowers at the florist, browsing through your favourite magazine at the newsagent even doing something crazy like when your money comes out of the ATM shout “I Won, I Won”.

Everyday indulge in one of these but don’t see this indulgent time as a treat, because it is your right. Your right to stop and smell the roses and fully enjoy, experience and explore every minute of your fantastic life.

For any other crazy ideas on how to live life to the fullest, call Glen Barnett at Coffs Coast Health Club on 66586222.

 

 

 

 

 

Glen Barnett discusses Exercise as Medicine

August 2, 2016

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Here is a concept that I really want you to consider, I want you to view exercise and being active as medicine, a dose of goodness to manage your health, weight and wellness.  It has been proven over and over that as a preventative measure to ill health and as a ‘cure’ for a lot of ailments, exercise is the best medicine around.

So if we know that this ‘medicine’ called exercise can have such a positive effect on our well being then why isn’t everyone taking their daily dose?   Who knows maybe fear, laziness or indecision?  Here’s some help.

Start with a goal and see your goal as being your dessert – something you’re really looking forward to but you need to earn it.   Get to your goal in small bite size pieces. If your goal is to drop 20kg then plot some smaller increments in your calendar rather than the big figure down the track.

Make sure you get your exercise dosage correct so get some guidance.  It is important to know how much exercise should be ‘absorbed’ to give you the maximum benefit for your goal.  Exercise should be prescribed in a specific dose you know that works for you including type, intensity, frequency and duration.  Definitely sample different types of exercise medicine, until you’ve found what ‘medicinal remedy’ fits best with you or is easiest to swallow.   Basically make sure the exercise you ‘take’ is something you enjoy and something that is going to help you get to your goal.

Make a commitment to your health, yourself and your future. Taking a daily dose of exercise medicine in some way nearly every day will lead to a positive lifestyle change and a very healthy habit

So if you decide you want to get a dose of one of the best medicines for your health, call me, “Dr” Glen, at Coffs Coast Health Club on 66586222 and we can organise a FREE prescription to get you started.

 

Glen Barnett discusses Stomach Exercises

July 19, 2016

flat stomach
One of the most common questions Personal Trainers are asked is how to get a flat stomach.  One of the most common exercise mistakes people make in trying to get a flat stomach, is to do situps.  To flatten your stomach you need to really pay attention to what types of food you eat and how much, do some cardio exercise that gets you huffy and puffy and do a variety of core exercise.  Here are just a few examples:

Ride an imaginary bike while lying on your back. It can be a challenging exercise but will activate your deep core muscles.  Remember to start with lifting up your pelvic floor first, then drawing your lower stomach muscles in firmly. Bend your knees and lift your feet one at a time off the floor.  Now start ‘cycling’ your legs  at a moderate pace. Key point is to keep you back on the ground.

Then  to strengthen the muscles in your lower back start by lying on your stomach, lift your pelvic floor and draw your lower stomach muscles in. Then stretch your arms out in front of you, raise your head, then one arm and opposite leg, about 2cms off the floor. Lower and repeat on the opposite side. If you need to make it easier,  then just lift either the arm or just the leg.

 Side bends will help strengthen the muscles that run along the side of your torso and those muscles that help you with rotating.  Standing firmly on both feet, again lift your pelvic floor and draw your lower stomach muscles in firmly. Let your arms hang down each side then lean over to the side as if reaching sideways toward the floor. Add some extra resistance by holding onto something that weighs a few kgs.  Try not to lean forward and definitely keep both feet flat on the floor.

 

With the above exercises, keep breathing, a steady pace and continue for 30 seconds.  Rest then repeat.

 

If you’d like a free session at Coffs Coast Health Club give Glen or Jacqui a call on 66586222.

Glen Barnett discusses the Hamstring Muscles

May 24, 2016

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Forget the Brazilian Butt Lift to keep the back of your legs and your butt toned – try this effective hamstring exercise to keep gravity at bay.   Your hamstring muscles are the ones at the back of the upper leg.  They play a really important role in your core stability and knee stability.  So how do you get them stronger and more toned?   Firstly, if you have any knee or lower back problems check in with your physio or personal trainer before doing this exercise.

Level 1

Lay on the ground, with your feet about hip width apart. Now step your feet further away from your body so your legs are almost straight.  Pull your toes back so your heels are digging into the ground.  Lift your pelvic floor, draw your belly in and tighten your butt as you lift your hips off the ground then return them part way down.  That’s one repetition.

Increase your pace as you do 8 more then control your movement as you slowly lift one leg and foot upward at a time as if you were slowly walking.  Do about 6 then go back to the quick butt lifts.  Try doing the quick butt lifts alternating with the slow walking for about 1 minute. Have a break for 30 seconds and try another 1 minute set. Repeat.

Level 2

Now to make it harder, place your feet on a stable chair (one that doesn’t slide away from you) and do the same format or even harder…

Level 3

Place your legs on a fit ball.  The fit ball of course is very unstable so the idea is to keep it a still as possible as you do the exercise.  Feel your hamstrings sing!

Call Glen or Jacqui on 66586222 for more information.

 

 

 

Over 50’s Fitness by Glen Barnett – Coordination Exercises

May 10, 2016

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Left, right, left, right, left right!  We don’t really have to think about this much (hopefully) when we walk but believe it or not the simple art of walking is a coordination exercise.  Hopefully when your feet go left, right, left, right your arms are doing the opposite, right, left, right, left.

Remember, you have fine and gross motor skills and bilateral coordination (using same limbs or sides together) and unilateral coordination (using one limb to do a movement at a time) This can then be challenged by using one limb to do one movement while another limb is doing a different movement at the same time, for instance the old tapping your head while rubbing your stomach!

Basic:

Fine Motor Skills

  • Put a tennis ball in a stocking then hang it from a tree branch or even over your door (close door). Push it so it moves forward and backward.  Catch the ball with two hands (bilateral) then practicing catching the ball with one hand at a time (unilateral). Then see if you can catch it with two hands then one with your eyes closed!

Gross Motor Skills

  • Try alternating taping one foot behind you and at the same time, reach the opposite arm forward.

Moderate:

  • Remember the ‘Pattie Cake’ game. Face a friend.  Both of you then place both hands on your own knees, clap your own hands together, then clap their opposite hand.  Pick up speed as you keep going!

Harder:

  • This one can be tricky. Tap your right foot out to the right side and reach your left arm across your body.  Try the other side, left foot to left side and reach right arm across your body!  Speed it up!

Sometimes using a steady music beat can help you with coordination which is often why we find people’s coordination improves when they participate in group exercise classes.

Call Glen or Jacqui on 66586222 for more information.

 

Over 50’s Fitness by Glen Barnett – Incidental Activities

March 29, 2016

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Do you know if we all just moved more , then we would be slimmer, fitter, less stressed and more confident.  Did you know that if you just did 30 minutes of activity a day, even if you break that activity down into 3 ten minute blocks you would be slimmer, fitter, less stressed and more confident.

So to do that all you need to do is to get smart and add some movement incidentally into your life. For instance use the stairs not the elevator or escalator. Park further from work or the shops so you can get a few minutes walk to and from your destination.  Take your grocery bags in to your house,  one bag at a time to make more trips.  Hand wash your car instead of using the drive through so you burn up more energy.  Walk your dog twice a day and watch him benefit as well.  If you arrive early for an appointment, go for a walk around the block rather than sitting and reading magazines in the waiting room.

All this extra movement will add up and after a couple of weeks you will notice the benefits.  Let’s see how you rate with your incidental activities.

Give yourself a point for each time during last week you did the following:

  • Used the stairs rather than the elevator or escalator (1 point)
  • Took your grocery bags into your house one at a time (1 point per bag)
  • Parked the car further from the shops and walked (2 points)
  • Walked around the block because you were early for an  appointment (2 points)
  • Hand washed the car (2 points)
  • Walked your dog twice a day (2 points)
  • Went for a walk with a friend rather than sat and had coffee. (3 points)

So let’s say each point equalled 5 minutes and you did each of the above suggested incidental activities last week.  You added 65 minutes of extra activity into your week.  Minutes you didn’t really even have to think about. Minutes that have boosted your metabolism and decreased your stress.  Minutes that will make a big difference to you long term, if you do them regularly.

Now all you have to do is work out how you can get 30 of those minutes, or 3 lots of 10 minute blocks, into your day to be making the biggest difference to your  health and long term longevity.

On the flip side you can see how when we become more sedentary and take these movement opportunities out of our days, weeks and lives, we become fatter, lazier and stressed.  Thank goodness those of you who read this article think smart and are always on the lookout to live healthier and more fulfilling lives.

So get smart and give Glen or Jacqui a call at Coffs Coast Health Club on 66586222 for a free activity session or chat.

Over 50’s Fitness by Glen Barnett – Falls Prevention

March 15, 2016

senior-woman-breaking-hip
To fall or not to fall?    It’s not really a hard question to answer. I know I want to stay upright for as many years as I can. As you age you may have heard “ I’ve finally got my head together and now my body is falling apart”.    It doesn’t have to be that way but it is important to be aware that statistics show the risk of falling escalates around 65 years of age.   Falls prevention should start as young as 40+.

Causes
Deteriorated/deteriorating health – weight gain, blood pressure issues etc
Flexibility, mobility and strength loss associated with inactive ageing.
Lack of exercise leading to impaired balance – weakened core and stabilising muscles.
Gait changes eg shuffling walk and not lifting your feet.
Impaired visual acuity – bifocals, dim lighting, bright sunshine.
Environmental
Inappropriate footwear – thongs, slippers and loosely laced shoes
People traffic – busy shopping centres
Unfamiliar environment – creates caution and confusion
Uneven, loose or slippery floors – at home, foot paths, wet areas
How to prevent falls
Increasing muscle strength, flexibility and bone density and
Improving balance and gait.

The first step, starting today,  is to increase the strength and endurance in your legs because if they give way the only way you will be going is down.  Try the following movement opportunities:
Walking – anywhere
In the house, in the street
Parks the Jetty and Harbour area
With a friend or go solo

Then increase the intensity by:
Finding a gentle hill to walk up
Walking faster
Increase the distance
Picking up a dancing class or two
Attending classes specifically older adults

Next Increase your leg strength.  As I have said in previous articles, you lose 10% of muscle up to 55 then 40% more after that. Try some:
Step ups
Wall push ups
Rows with some cans, hand weights or resistance bands
Seated squats.
Don’t ignore your balance:
Try  hanging on to a table/ wall, standing on one leg, and as your balance improves you will find you can release your death grip.  Prepare your body for falling and you will find you don’t fall as easily as you think you will.

Stay active.  Keep moving.  Get out of the lounge chair.

Oh and by the way make sure you keep getting down on to the ground so you can practise getting up . You don’t want to be in a situation that if you do fall you can’t get up.  To summarize:
if you don’t use it you will lose it; and
falls prevention requires your attention!

Call Glen or Jacqui on 66586222 to organise a free session at Coffs Coast Health Club.

Over 50’s Fitness by Glen Barnett – Getting Up

February 23, 2016

04_d_woman getting off floorPicture this, you are enjoying a late afternoon walk in the park as you go around the next corner you slip and fall to the ground.  Good news is you haven’t hurt anything. Bad news is as you have avoided getting onto the ground for years because your flexibility has become limited, your knees hurt and you feel foolish with the amount of effort it takes you, you can’t get up.  So you find yourself toppled over, no one about and nothing to hoist yourself up.  What do you do?
Lets take you back to that time when your Doctor/physiotherapist/class instructor said that “today we are going to do some floor exercises for strength and mobility”.  That was the time you left the room and opted for the upright exercise bike for your workout.

Let’s change that picture and say you decided to give it a go.  For the first couple of weeks you used a chair to help you down and up.  As you gained your confidence and were taught how to get up you switched the chair for a helping hand until you found that a few weeks along you had the strength in your legs and improved mobility everywhere else to get up with limited assistance.
Playing with the grandkids became more interactive.  Gardening was easier and even picking up dropped items around the house was now not a problem.
There are many reasons why people don’t/can’t get down onto the floor. Is your reason one that can be worked on to improve your quality of life so you don’t get stuck?  With the right strengthening exercises, mobility exercises and a step by step process to get you up again,  this common scenario won’t be a problem for you.

What stops you from getting down?  Is it sore knees, a restrictive back, stiffness, vision problems or have you lost your confidence?  In some cases people who have had a hip or knee replacement have a genuine reason why getting down and up is difficult but at the end of the day if you fall you need to have some solutions as to how to get up again.

How to get up. Start by:
Rolling onto your side.
Push yourself into a seated position and then onto your knees.
Then curl your toes back under;  and
Either put your hand on your strong leg, brace your tummy and push up through your feet or pull yourself up by using a piece of furniture or a sturdy tree.
If all else fails ask someone for help.
Practice regularly getting down and up and it will become easier, restoring your confidence. The alternative is of course that you stay on that ground in the park until someone comes along.  Hopefully a dog won’t mistake you for a garden ornament!
Give Glen or Jacqui a call on 66586222 if you need some help.

Over 50’s Fitness by Glen Barnett – Exercise Categories & Modifications

December 15, 2015

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This week we’re talking categories of activities, being creative and modifying what you need to to ensure you are actively ageing.

There are three main categories of physical activity:

  • fitness activities (endurance and/or interval activities) (undertaken to increase heart rate therefore strengthening your heart and improving your lung capacity) eg brisk walking / jogging, bicycle riding, swimming, aerobic classes etc.
  •  strength training activities (undertaken to build/maintain muscle density and build/maintain strength – also beneficial for increasing/maintaining metabolic rate which is the rate you burn up energy) resistance exercise, therabands, body weight exercises, lifting weights, pilates, etc
  •  balance, mobility and flexibility (stretching) activities (undertaken to improve/maintain flexibility, balance and mobility) tai chi, yoga, stretching classes,  joint and muscle flexibility and range of movement stretching

More benefits will be achieved if you do a mixture of the three categories during your week.  Even though some people may benefit more from one area than another have a variety of activities to cover all basis and keep your interest up with the variety these categories offer.

There are so many ways to be physically active these days that really there is no excuse to get up and about, and move.  Even those people who are wheelchair bound have many options to choose from.  Its  never too late to start moving it… anyone at any age can reap the physical, social and mental benefits of regular, moderate physical activity.

Get creative and have fun because exercise benefits much more than just the body — you can also improve your mental and emotional health by maintaining an active life. And if you have fun while you’re being active, chances are you’ll want to continue participating in that activity.

While you’re getting creative you can always modify more traditional exercises so you are getting great benefits eg:    Traditional push-ups are a great way to work muscles in the arms, shoulders, and chest, however, they can be difficult to complete correctly. You can modify this exercise and still get benefits by doing wall push-ups. Face a blank wall while standing about arm’s length away, lean forward, and press your palms flat against the wall. Bend your arms and slowly bring your upper body toward the wall, hold for a moment, and push yourself back until your arms are straight again. Do a set of 10 reps, rest, and repeat another set.

It is always advised that you check with your local GP prior to commencing any new physical activity or if you have stopped physical activity because of a new health issue and wish to resume it.

I also suggest that you get guidance from a qualified and registered Exercise Professional.  Come and have a FREE session with us at Coffs Coast Health Club.  Call Glen or Jacqui on 66586222 to organise.

Over 50’s Fitness by Glen Barnett – Exercise as a Tonic

November 24, 2015

exercise tonic

Like a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down, a dose of exercise is the best tonic for mental (and physical) wellness.

Lets put aside the obvious medical conditions that we already know are benefitted by exercise and look at another condition –  menopause.

Menopause  is a very challenging time for women with a lot of hormonal, physical and mental changes occurring at once without warning and often leaving the woman with no idea when they will end.  Trying to ‘stay sane’ during this period of a woman’s life is how some women describe their battle with a body that is not doing what it has done all their lives. Menopause brings with it a body that is laying down fat in different areas; a body that the woman doesn’t often recognise as the one she’s ‘grown up’ with.   The benefits of exercise on our mental state during this time, can have an overriding effect on the physical symptoms that may present.

Exercise, relaxation and breathing exercises assist in helping the menopausal woman feel that she is taking back some control of the unpredictability of her menopausal symptoms.  The relaxation and the breathing give her strategies to deal with the mood swings and hot flushes. The exercise (and also dietary guidance) assists with the changes in her body weight and body fat placement and the stretching helps relieve discomfort in joints and muscles that often feel stiffer through this stage of life.

Never underestimate the benefit of a walk in the park or on the beach or just around the block, a good stretching session,  and/or an upside down yoga class.  Be proactive and make exercise your tonic to wellness.

At Coffs Coast Health Club we can really help you achieve the benefits I’ve described in this article. Give Glen or Jacqui a call on 66586222 for a free chat and let’s see how we can help you.