New Fitness Book

Alysia Montano the author and athlete of this book is an Olympic champion. She is an activist who endorses clean sport. By using the word clean I take it she is against the use of steroids.

Though she is a runner I zoomed in on the exercises in this book to use in my own fitness practice.

My personal trainer incorporated one of the movements into the new routine he gave me.

In coming weeks I will supply the 2021 Early Summer Upper and Lower Body workout sheets.

This book I was able to find at a public library. It’s sold in bookstores as well. I was able to take this book home for free. You could check it out of the library should you want to save money.

I recommend buying the book.

It does feature strength training exercises which is what pulled me into taking this book home.

Trusting Your Intuition

Trusting your intuition is key when making changes to improve your health.

Over the years I’ve decided to do things long before I read that an expert said to do these things.

A lot of times it comes down to common sense. In the coming blog entry I’ll talk about a book that has cutting-edge health information for those of us over 40.

Some of the changes I figured out to make were these:

  1. Only have yogurt 2 to 3 times a week. Make it full-fat plain Fage yogurt mixed in with organic blueberries.
  2. Eat mostly vegetables and make most of them organic.
  3. Cook my own dinners more often every week.
  4. Change how often and how long I work out. After I turned 53 I started to lift weights at home 2x per week for 30 to 40 minutes. Instead of using machines at the gym 3 days a week for 50 minutes each session.
  5. Rarely drink milk.
  6. Have a pastry or other “treat” every so often. Progress not perfection is the goal.
  7. Scramble organic eggs and veggies for breakfast.

After making these changes I lost 12 pounds in one year. I’m also fitter today than I was 7 years ago dead lifting 205 pounds at the gym.

My trainer gave me new Upper and Lower Body routines to do. I’ll post them here in a couple of weeks.

Coming up soon a few recipes as well.

Getting Fitter After 50

So much of getting fitter after 50 if you ask me is about the mental and emotional and spiritual. Not solely the physical.

The mistake is setting a condition that you have to achieve in life before you’ll become happy.

Like: “I’ll buy that new skirt when I lose 10 pounds.” Buy the skirt now!

Getting fitter after 50 requires having the courage to make these kinds of changes.

It’s the mental game that has an impact now.

In my life I’ve decided that I can’t rely on other people to tell me what’s right or wrong or what I should do and how I should live.

That’s the bottom line after 50:

Having the confidence to go against the grain of what’s popular in the mainstream.

To do what you know is right for you regardless of whether others think it’s right.

So much of success after 50 lies in trusting yourself.

More in the coming blog entry about trusting your gut or trusting your intuition.

Exercising After 50

In the last 4 years it has been challenging.

Things changed after I turned 52. That’s when my personal trainer at the gym had the foresight to create next-level workout routines for me.

With her help I started lifting weights for 30 to 40 minutes 2x per week.

I could no longer workout at the gym for 50 minutes 3x per week.

I’m the proudest of this achievement:

In January 2014 I could dead lift with the trap bar 205 pounds.

That was impressive considering I’m only 5 feet tall and weighed 120 pounds at the time.

After I turned 52 my former female trainer took a different approach to create workout routines I could do in my living room.

See the Home Gym category for information and sample exercise plans.

My current trainer is a guy I’ve worked with for over one year so far. He’s an exceptional trainer just like the old trainer was.

For the holidays I gave my trainer a $50 bill.

The gym I go to attracts hardcore fitness buffs. The trainers I work with create Upper and Lower Body routines for me to do that I can do on my own. Every 6 or 7 weeks I meet with the trainer to get a new routine.

The trainers respect and are impressed that I have the ability to lift weights on my own every week.

No trainer has been upset that I don’t pay them to train me in one-on-one sessions every week.

It’s not only that I couldn’t afford to do that. It’s that the gym gets crowded. You’re crunched together sweating. It can be hard to find room on the mat or a machine that is free.

It was auspicious that I hard started exercising at home in May 2019.

In March 2020 when New York City shut down the gyms closed. My gym didn’t open again until early September.

Since September I have lifted weights every week. Either 1x per week or 2x per week. I haven’t missed a week of exercising.

In the coming blog entry I want to give readers a shot in the arm of confidence about getting fitter as you get older.

My experience could be empowering.

Using My Experience to Empower Readers

It’s January and too often people join a gym exercise madly for 2 months then quit when they don’t see progress.

The fixation on weight loss disturbs me. The fact is that when a person adopts consistent healthy habits permanently they will naturally lose weight.

Without having to go on a restrictive diet or any kind of “diet” written about in the plethora of diet books published every year like clockwork.

I’m compelled to write about my experience to empower readers. I lost 15 pounds and that hadn’t been my goal.

My goal was to eat more healthful food and continue to lift weights 2x per week as often as I could.

Would you like to know how I lost 15 pounds without even trying to?

I’m 55 years old and living in menopause. Yet I haven’t gained weight.

What I propose is a simple plan. It might not be easy to adopt at first if a person is totally out of shape.

Only it will work especially for those of us who are older.

Should you want to dive right into the details you can buy the Frank Lipman, M.D. book The New Rules of Aging Well.

Before I checked out of the library this book I had already been doing the things Dr. Lipman advised us older folk to do.

A preview of what I’ve done over the years:

Have yogurt only 2 or 3 times a week.

Stop eating meat of any kind that comes from a CAFO.

Not eat a lot of food every day.

Engage in intermittent fasting: have dinner between 6:00-7:30 p.m. Wait 16 hours to eat again when I’m at home the next day. Scramble eggs for breakfast after this fast.

Have only 2 meals a day every so often.

Make my “3 square meals” small ones.

Cut out eating granola and grains.

Cook my own dinners more often every week.

Change the frequency and duration of my workout routines. Lift weights in my living room. Use lower weight and higher reps for each exercise.

Have the cannoli on New Year’s Eve because I’m not perfect : )

Well

It’s Autumn again in New York City.

The time when I scout around for produce at the Greenmarket.

This fall I intend to focus on eating well and breaking a sweat.

In a couple of weeks I should be able to post a new workout routine.

I ordinarily do the Upper Body and Lower Body workouts for 12 sessions each.

For over one year I have done something unusual. Not that it is uncommon for me to do something unusual:

I’ve been exercising on the hardwood floor in my living room. Every 12 weeks I meet my personal trainer at the gym to be given a new workout routine to do. This routine I do at home as I’ve talked about before.

As I got older I could no longer exercise at the gym ferociously like I used to.

The year ends in just over 2 months. I think everyone could benefit from revising and reviewing their routine while Mercury is retrograde this month and through early November.

This is my plan: to eat well and break a sweat. To not get hung up over the times when I don’t do what you’re supposed to do.

A reappearance of COVID-19 is expected in November.

This is why now is the time to take care of our mental and physical health.

I expect in 2 or 3 weeks to post another workout routine.

Stay tuned.

The Biggest Exercise Myth

I would say that the biggest exercise myth is that you have to do aerobic exercise 5 times a week for an hour at a time.

I’ve been using my life experiences to tell stories to empower readers to embark on their own self-improvement projects.

This blog entry will talk about my own fitness odyssey.

I used to do Zumba and then I stopped.

In 2011 when I turned 46 I started lifting weights at the gym. Before that I hadn’t lifted one 5 pound dumbbell. In January 2014 three years later I could dead lift 205 pounds with the trap bar.

Since 2011 I’ve been lifting weights. Since June 2019 I’ve been doing the workout routines on the hardwood floor in my living room.

I’ve had 4 personal trainers at the gym so far. The last two have been phenomenal. The trainer I have now is just as great as the one before him who left the gym.

My M.O.: I meet with the trainer. He writes on a sheet of paper two exercise routines: an Upper Body at the top and a Lower Body at the bottom. At the end of each routine is core and cardio work.

For 8 to 10 weeks I do the workouts on my own alternating the UB and LB sessions.

Then I return to the gym so the trainer can write out a new routine. I do this routine. And then he gives me another new routine. And so on.

I’ve been fortunate that the trainers at my gym are impressed with my determination to lift weights on my own consistently with their ongoing help.

Right now for the last 2 years I’ve lifted weights mostly 2x per week for 30 to 45 minutes in each session.

In 2011 through 2017 I lifted weights at the gym 3x per week for close to an hour in each session.

I’m 55 today and act as a caregiver for my mother. Thus the need to change up my workout routines. My old trainer who left understood that it was okay to base the length of a session and the number of sets and reps on how much time I had that day to exercise.

This is why it’s a myth that you need to exercise 5 times a week for an hour at a time. Most people try to do this fail and give up totally.

I say: exercise 1x per week for a half hour when you can’t do anything else. It’s far better to continue to exercise in a modified way than to stop altogether. It’s harder to get back into exercise after you’ve halted doing it.

Folks: I haven’t ever exercised 5 times a week. And I don’t consider myself to be a magically “skinny” person.

It takes hard work for me to maintain my current fighting weight of 115 pounds. I’m only 5 feet tall too.

What I’ve found is that continuing to exercise and changing your M.O. as you go along and get older is the key to maintaining your fitness.

Have no fear of working hard to reap the rewards. Click on my home gym category to find my workout sheets for sample exercises you can do in your apartment or house.

A better day lies ahead. This day isn’t coming soon. Yet when the COVID-19 outbreak ends we will have the perfect opportunity to recommit to our health.

Be patient. This day is coming. I hope you are empowered by what I’m writing to consider creating your own tactics for health and wellness.

Fitness Progress During the Pandemic

The COVID-19 outbreak disrupted everyone’s lives and not for the better.

In early June I spoke with my personal stylist who told me: “You’re not a typical New Yorker.”

She had asked me how I was holding up and I told her that since June of last year I was exercising at home. So that I wasn’t affected when the gym shut down in March.

We need to be kinder and gentler toward ourselves in this time when the pandemic has not yet been eradicated.

I wasn’t so happy with my fitness progress which I felt was scattered and inconsistent since the outbreak started.

Until. I viewed the calendar sheets and tallied up my workout schedule from February through the end of July this year 2020.

Folks: 6 months have gone by. Half the year is over. We’ve spent 6 months in the throes of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Diving into the calendars I computed that since February 1, 2020 through August 2, 2020 I exercised as follows:

2x per week for 14 weeks.

1x per week for 9 weeks.

0x per week for 3 weeks.

On the monthly calendar sheets I write on the day I exercise “UB” for the Upper Body and “LB” for the Lower Body routine.

I recommend using a calendar to track your progress along with keeping a hardbound fitness journal. I inserted my calendar sheets into an orange fitness binder. I stopped writing in a fitness journal.

Luckily I’m able to text my personal trainer to get encouragement for my efforts while the pandemic is in effect.

As you can see from what I learned I have been exercising fairly consistently. Not in an ideal way–I’ve had to recycle workout sheets I used before and do them again.

Yet in light of this challenge I think: you did good kid.

In the next blog entry I’ll talk about the myth of exercising 5 days a week for an hour each session.

Tracking Fitness Progress

At the start of the year I printed up 12 months’ of calendar sheets from an MS Word template. I inserted photos at the top right and an inspiring quote on the top left of each month.

You can despair when you have a setback. I advocate for taking the long view. Think in terms of the cumulative effect instead of getting upset over every slip-up along the way.

This is how I approach fitness and nutrition. Recording my workouts on the sheet for each month I can see whether I’m making progress.

As regards exercise too many people set restrictive or impossible goals like “I should exercise 5x per week.”

In Step 4 – Persevere of the Changeology 90-day action plan change makers are told to condemn the behavior not the person.

Tracking your progress is a catalyst in every one of the 5 Steps.

In the time of the pandemic it’s easy to give up totally when you have a setback like this.

Enter using a calendar to track your progress. You can see in black-and-white what’s really going on.

In the coming blog entry I’ll talk about my own fitness odyssey while living indoors since March 16.

Automating a Weekly Routine

I find that automating a weekly routine goes a long way in helping me feel like I’m in control in the time of the pandemic.

Breaking the day into time zones helps. Julie Morgenstern talked about time zones in her book Time Management from the Inside Out – 2nd edition.

The secret–as hard as it might be to do this–is to limit what you do each day. This is how I see it: an over-scheduled To-Do list will leave you frazzled.

What I’ve begun to do on Sunday is plan each day for the following week. I have bought in Staples a Weekly To-Do List pad with sheets listing the days of the week with space below them for your tasks.

This is a great way to to record what I’ve cooked for dinner each night.

As said I want to talk about what I’ve learned living in the pandemic. It ties into this topic. I’ve found that pacing myself and slowing down is the remedy for rush rush rushing through life.

To this end I’ve reserved Sundays for exercising and food delivery and planning the week ahead.

Limiting what I do every day seems counter-intuitive. Yet I think you could agree that attending endless Zoom and Microsoft Team meetings every day can deplete your energy afterward.

This is all the more reason to plan to take time out. I no longer regret that I have empty spaces of time.

In fact scheduling time to do nothing can benefit our mental and physical health.

Mixing in tasks you need to do with time to do nothing: what’s not to like?