Archive for the ‘Over 50’s Fitness & Health’ Category

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.

 

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

December 15, 2015

exercising-woman-in-wheelchair-350
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.

Over 50’s Fitness by Glen Barnett – Flab to Fab Arms

October 27, 2015

Recently my wife was asked If we could write an article on an area that women of all ages find very frustrating – getting those upper arms from flab to fab!

Most women tend think to reduce the flab, they’ve got to lose the fat only and lose fat by doing cardiovascular exercise such as walking, running etc.    Wrong!  Yes Cardiovascular exercise is important but adding muscle (or increasing the density of your muscle) is a sure fire way to increase your metabolic rate which in turn will burn more energy (fat storage) during and after you exercise.

Incorporate a series of arm exercises into a single workout so to challenge the muscles and so that brushing your hair the next day may be a bit of an effort.  Some exercise examples are pushups, tricep extensions, krank cycle, dips etc.   Whatever you can do and use to work those arms 2-3 times a week and while you’re at it, look at your diet.

Getting those arms you want really comes down to making some changes to your exercise program and making some changes to your diet.    Check the carbohydrates (sugars) in your diet. High carbohydrate diets are essentially fat storing diets (unless you’re an athlete). High carbohydrate snacks and meals cause your body to release more insulin than you probably need, resulting in extra carbohydrates stored as body fat.   There are so many hidden sugars in foods  we don’t even realise how addicted we are, so when reducing your carbohydrate intake do so over a 3-6 week period to help with cravings.  Your body will start using energy stores from your body fat more efficiently.

As an added suggestion make sure you also exfoliate your arms and use a good rich oil blend like grapefruit, marjoram, geranium and black pepper to nourish the skin.  Start now and by Christmas when you wave good bye to the relations hopefully your arms won’t wave goodbye with you.

You should always get more guidance when you’re doing unfamiliar exercises so give Glen or Jacqui a call at Coffs Coast Health Club and we can organise you a free session – 66586222.

Over 50’s Fitness by Glen Barnett – Weight Loss Part Two

October 13, 2015

Last Week I wrote about weight loss as we age and this week I’m completing my tips: see below.

Strength training is one of the most important additions to any weight loss program.  . Strength training a minimum of twice a week will help prevent you from losing muscle as you age.  When your muscles shrink then your metabolic rate decreases.  When your metabolic rate decreases then your ability to burn up energy from food decreases as well. When that happens you put on body fat.   Lifting weights, resistance bands, heavy gardening, yoga are some examples of strength training activities.

As you age, your metabolism can slow down if you decrease your level of activity and exercise and don’t adjust your kilojoule intake. This results in weight gain. If this is/has happened to you, fight weight gain by becoming knowledgeable on food and portions suitable for you and adjust them as your lifestyle requirements change.  What suits one person doesn’t always suit another.  . As a general rule, you need to consume daily a couple of pieces of fruit, loads of colourful vegetables and a small amount of whole grain carbohydrate.   Protein is necessary too, so try sources like nuts (only a small handful p/day) and fresh fish, tofu, turkey or kangaroo.  Fats are important but don’t go the low fat options as you may find these foods are topped up with sugar or salt to replace the flavour that was lost when the fat was reduced.   Reduce your alcohol consumption and remove the sugar  from your life. Remember sugar comes under many different names and as such is often hidden in foods.

Check out the colour of your urine.  Your first urine of the day is probably yellow as it has become concentrated overnight but from then on it should be clear unless of course you are on medication or supplements like Vitamin B that can darken the colour.  Staying hydrated will assist with weight loss as it helps to flush out toxins and help your body’s functions perform optimally.  Start your day with a big glass of water and a dose of  lemon juice or a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to kickstart the cleansing process.

Weight gain as you age is not your doomed future.  Society just accepts it because the majority of people have allowed themselves to succumb to middle age spread as their lifestyles change and they haven’t adjusted their habits accordingly.  Adjust your habits as your lifestyle changes and you will be better off physically, mentally and emotionally.

Come and have a free visit at Coffs Coast Health Club and see how our baby boomers do it!  Give Glen or Jacqui a call on 66586222 for a free session.

Over 50’s Fitness by Glen Barnett – 10 Ways to Stay Healthy this Summer

September 29, 2015

Ok I’ve been asked again to write my top 10 ways to stay healthy this summer.  We’re having a great summer season so use my tips to make sure yours is the healthiest ever.

  1. Activity guidelines for Australians recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days.  So as well as doing some structured exercise get outside and go for a swim, surf, bush walk, bike ride or even a kayak.
  2. Remember the Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap Campaign.  Slip on a shirt, slop on the sunscreen, slap on a hat and wrap on some sunnies.
  3. Stay as cool as a cucumber.  Eating cucumber after you workout will help bring your body temperature back to normal.
  4. After your workout try room temperature water rather than drinking a cold drink which will interfere with your body’s natural cooling mechanism (sweat).
  5. Match your workout to the temperature and the time of day you’re going to be active.  For instance don’t go for your power walk in the middle of a hot day get up earlier and hit the pavement then. Try swimming later in the day so you’re left refreshed and relaxed and ready for a good night’s sleep.
  6. Can’t sleep on these warm nights?  Prepare yourself and your boudoir for the night. Use a fan, remove some of your bedding, sprinkle some lavender on your pillow to promote relaxation, enjoy a cool shower just before you hop into bed and enjoy the cool fan on your body as you drift off.
  7. When you wake in the morning enjoy a large glass of room temperature water mixed with some lemon juice and then throughout your day make sure hydration is at the top of your list.  If you feel hungry check you’re not thirsty. A lot of people mistake thirst for hunger and during summer you don’t need those extra calories but you do need that extra hydration.
  8. Remember winter immunity starts in summer so enjoy raw salads or steamed veges to get the best nutrients. Include foods that are H2O rich like cucumber,  carrots, steamed zucchini and melons to fill you up and keep your kjs down.
  9. Don’t like daylight saving?  Try to get atleast 15minutes of direct sunlight each day because before you know it the days will be shorter and our Vitamin D levels will be diminishing.
  10. Last but not least – smile.  If you can’t smile fake it.  Laughing and smiling release feel good healthy hormones which will definitely serve you well every day of summer and into those autumn days to come.

Want a FREE Workout?
Give Glen or Jacqui a call at Coffs Coast Health Club on 6658 6222 or organise.

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

August 11, 2015

menopause
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.

Over 50’s Fitness by Glen Barnett – Exercise for Healthy Bones

May 17, 2015

Do you wonder if you are at risk from calcium depletion in your bones?  Did you know that after our mid 30’s our bones start to lose calcium faster than they absorb it, but with exercise and adequate calcium you can slow bone loss and help maintain the bone you have built.

The old saying ‘move it or lose it’ is really apt when it comes to getting older and increasing your bone density.  Exercise as you know has many benefits but where bones are concerned it can make them stronger and better protected from injury. Unfortunately many people don’t realize that their daily walk, aerobics class, swim or tennis game although have great benefits, don’t give their bones the type of exercise they require in regards to improving their bone density.

The osteoporosis foundation recommend people without osteoporosis do 30minutes of moderate to high intensity exercise, 4-5 times per week such as: running, jumping, high-impact aerobics, volleyball,  tennis, high-weight but low-repetition resistance exercises.

As my area of expertise is in the field of resistance or strength exercises, let me tell you what high-weight but low repetition resistance exercises are. When you are first starting out machine strength exercises are best as they often put less stress on joints and the weight and posture settings can be adjusted to suit the individual and their specific joint needs.  In this case you would want the resistance you are pushing and pulling to be challenging. For instance you might look at doing 2 sets of 10 repetitions of these exercises and find the 2nd set a challenge to get through.

On the other hand, people who already have osteoporosis are recommended to do 40-50 minutes of more low intensity exercises 4-5 times per week such as: tai-chi, walking, stair climbing, line dancing, low-weight, high repetition resistance exercises.  In this case their low-weight, high-repetition resistance or strength exercises could be those done with a theraband, machine weights that start at a low weight setting and of course, lighted weighted dumbbells.  You would be looking at doing maybe 3 sets of 15-20 repetitions where the exercise was a light effort.

In both situations I strongly recommend proper guidance and supervision at least in the initial stages of any resistance or strength program and that again is where my team and I at Coffs Coast Health Club come into it.  Please give me a call at the health club on 66586222 and I can organize you a free initial session with a trainer or you can come along and trial one of our classes specifically for older adults.

Over 50’s Fitness by Glen Barnett – Top 10 Health Tips (Part One)

November 11, 2014

healthyseniorOver the next two weeks I will be presenting you my Top 10 Health Tips. These are tips that I follow in my life and I encourage my clients and class participants to follow as well.  Now as an interesting fact, your mind can only deal with making a couple of changes at a time, that is often why people who decide to give up smoking, go to the gym, stop eating chocolate and junk food, and drink more water all in one week fail because it is too much to deal with at once.

Be as active as you can with what the day brings you.
How are you feeling?
What sort of weather is being offered to you today?
Adjust your activity to how you are feeling and how the weather is.
Lying on the lounge on a rainy day isn’t an activity.

Eat a rainbow of clean foods at most meals and don’t forget the protein!
Lots of colourful foods mean, hopefully, a variety of vitamins and minerals
Clean food means it hasn’t been greatly tampered with, you recognize it as a real food and it doesn’t have a lot of ingredients some of which are unpronounceable.
Protein comes in many forms. It’s your body’s building block for muscle growth and repair.   As we age both the growth (or maintenance) and repair are vital.

Stay strong physically so you don’t fall in a heap.
If you don’t use it you will lose it and once you lose your strength your confidence goes with it.
Think of yourself as a tree and choose the tree that is strong to the core rather than a wimpy sapling that will topple in a stiff breeze.
Lift, push, pull and squeeze heavy things as part of your everyday tasks or in conjunction with a specific strength workout.
The handle on your recliner doesn’t count as a strength exercise but if you can’t use it you need help!

Drink a bucketful of water daily and check the colour of your urine.
Your urine may be yellow first thing in the morning or if you are on some medications but otherwise it should be clear. If it isn’t you need to drink more water.
Try flavouring your water with a little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to not only hydrate you more effectively but also give your liver a cleanse.

I hope you can use these first four tips to make some positive changes in your life. Choose a couple of tips to get you started and next week I’ll give you the rest of my Top 10 Health Tips.    If you require any help or guidance, call Glen at Coffs Coast Health Club on 66586222 or come down and see us.