Archive for the ‘Seniors Fitness’ Category

Glen Barnett discusses Coordination

July 12, 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 practice 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 – Fitness & Fun Ambassador

March 22, 2016

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I have a challenge for you this week. I want you to become a Fitness and Fun Ambassador amongst your own circle of friends.      We all have too many family members and friends that are not doing the best things for their health or are making token efforts with plenty of room for improvement.
So if you’re the exception amongst your friends and family,  I want you to talk to 5 friends and family members this week and encourage them to make some healthier changes in their lives.
Before you get started though try to understand what the other person could be feeling in regards to doing this with you.  Let’s take going for a walk.  They may think you’re a super athlete, or you might intimidate them with your sprightliness, so you may have to walk a little slower or take an easier route with no hills.  After all being their Fitness and Fun Ambassador you will want to ensure they can manage it and, it feel good at the end. In time they can work harder but remember initially it’s just about getting moving.
Maybe you could encourage healthy eating. As much as my mum taught me how to look after myself and some basic cooking, I am now showing my mum how a lot of the “healthy” foods she recommended are in fact laden with hidden kilojoules. It’s not her fault; it’s just what she knows and what she had been taught. The same goes for you and your friends.  They may not actually know the amount of movement required to burn off that ‘little slice of cake’ or ‘healthy’ muffin.  A good start is instead of going for coffee and a chat, swap the coffee for a walk and a chat.  By the way forgo the low fat food choices as these often have sugar or salt added to them to improve the flavour that the missing fat supplied.
Take you friends/family members shopping with you to see what healthy food items you put into your trolley, and to see which isles you totally avoid (this helps a lot, if it doesn’t go into the trolley, it won’t go in your mouth).
Being a Fitness and Fun Ambassador is a big responsibility but also a rewarding one.  After all some people just need a little help and guidance and more importantly someone who believes they can do it.  So get out their and go spread the word.
For more information or to meet some of our great Fitness and Fun Ambassadors contact Glen or Jacqui at Coffs Coast Health Club on 6658 6222 and we can organise you a FREE Session with us.

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 – Exercise as a Tonic

November 24, 2015

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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, are you Ready?

November 10, 2015

Do you relish your daily exercise regime or are you in bewilderment when you see those enthusiastic walkers striding past your house at the same time every morning while you add an extra teaspoon of coffee to your mug?

You stir your potent brew while wondering why it seems so easy for other people to stick with an exercise regime while you struggle with it. Scientists are always interested in figuring out what makes some of us make exercise a daily ritual while others only find time a few times a year.

Are you mentally ready for exercise or commitment phobic?   Your body might be ready but your mind is having second thoughts. Starting an exercise program might bring on feelings of dread, confusion, memories of pain, frustration or even disappointment. It does take mental preparation to commit to health. Getting help with an exercise program and participating in things that you enjoy will make it much easier.

‘Lifestyle change’ is a common phrase in the health industry today. You often hear that people need to make ‘lifestyle changes’ to achieve their goals and reduce the possibility of succumbing to life threatening diseases. Did you know though that making lifestyle changes should be a slow and gradual change? Don’t make all of your changes at once. The human mind can only deal with a couple of changes at a time so for instance don’t wake up and decide to stop drinking, give up smoking, cut out all sugar, eat more veges and go to the gym everyday starting now! Choose a couple of those lifestyle changes and allow yourself to get use to them over a 4-5 week period then make a couple more. This will be less shocking, more agreeable and more sustainable to your mind and body.

I bet the health of your loved ones is a priority in your life but what about your own health? Give Glen or Jacqui a call at Coffs Coast Health Club if you are ready to get started on 66586222.

Over 50’s Fitness by Glen Barnett – the Borg Scale of Perceived Exertion

November 3, 2015

How hard do you exercise? One way to gauge how hard you exercise is to use the Borg Scale of Perceived Exertion. The Borg Scale takes into account your fitness level: It matches how hard you feel you are working with numbers from 6 to 20; thus, it is a “relative” scale. The scale starts with “no feeling of exertion,” which rates a 6, and ends with “very, very hard,” which rates a 20. Dr. Gunnar Borg, who created the scale, set it to run from 6 to 20 as a simple way to estimate heart rate—multiplying the Borg score by 10 gives an approximate heart rate for a particular level of activity.

As an example, just say you were walking through the shops or other activities that require some effort but not enough to speed up your breathing.  This would rate on the scale as feeling fairly light and have an effort level of 11-12

So now let’s look at brisk walking or other activities that require moderate effort and that speed up your heart rate and breathing but don’t make you out of breath.  This would rate on the scale as feeling somewhat hard and have an effort level of 13-14.

Cycling, swimming, or other activities that take vigorous effort and get the heart pounding and make breathing very fast, would rate on the scale as feeling hard and have an effort level of 15-16.

If loosing body fat is your goal, in a 30minute workout you would need to have at least 3 spikes at effort level 15-16 which you would try to sustain for a 30-60seconds each.  Most of your workout though, would be at 13-14 with a 3-5 minute warm up and cool down at level 11-12.

Understanding how to achieve your goals often takes some coaching and advice from someone like me. This can save weeks, months and sometimes years of frustration. If you’d like to have a free advice session with me or one of the other Personal Trainers at Coffs Coast Health Club give Glen or Jacqui a call on 66586222.

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 – Weight Loss Tips for the Ageing

October 6, 2015

Senior woman weighing self on scale

Saddle bags, bum bags and love handles – yep weight gain, and weight gain as we age can creep up on us just like those old undies we love to wear.

Reasons can be:  hormonal changes, high kj diet, decreased activity, stressful living, medical conditions and medications. Below (and next week) are some of the lifestyle changes you can look at to help stop the weight gain and improve the weightloss.

First separate being active and exercising.  Being active means you use the stairs, not the escalator, you park further away and walk to your appointments, you choose to move more and sit less.

Exercising is specific activities and times during your day and week that you set aside to do something  that will increase your heart rate, blood flow, breathing and effort level.

Note  the difference.  Write down under the headings of Active and Exercise,  what you do.  On another piece of paper take it further by writing down one side,  the word Active then below that the word Exercise.

Across the top of that page write the days of the week.  Now go through and tick which days you do Exercise and how long your are exercising and across the Active section tick how many times during each day you are active eg tick  for every active activity like scrubbing floors, taking the stairs, washing the car.

This will give you an idea of just how much you are moving in your life.  Think back to other times in your life when you weighed less.  Were you moving more then on a day to day basis?

Using opportunities to be active every day and exercising a minimum of 30minutes on most days will pay off.   Think back to your parents or grandparents day, they  probably didn’t need to have set exercising sessions, because they were far more active than we are.  Technology has made us less physical,  lazier, fatter and sicker.

Use this scale to perceive how vigorously you exercise:

  • 1 to 10 with 10 being the hardest section of your exercise.
  • 1-4  low exercise, you may be warming up; very comfortable
  • 5-6 moderate exercise, you can still talk or sing,
  • 7-8 is vigorous activity your heart rate is high and talking is a difficult.
  • 9-10 probably means you may be exercising too hard especially if you are feeling sick, lightheaded or can’t talk.
  • Exercise between levels 7-8 but increase the intensity atleast 3 times during your 30minute session. Making sure you finish your session slowing steadily down to a 1-4 before stopping.  Always check with your doctor before starting a new fitness program.

Next week,  what else you can do to tap into weight loss for older adults.

These are tried and true tips from us to you.  If you can’t wait until next week’s next tip, or you’d like a free session call Glen or Jacqui at Coffs Coast Health Club on 66586222