Do the opposite of what you've read elsewhere
For many years, after my gym sessions and before stretching, performed ab wheel rollouts. I did them with good form and in full control. I added progressions and felt myself getting stronger and even more stable.
But I was puzzled why, no matter how strong I became, the dull ache in my lower back never disappeared.
And it will reignite your joy of movement
If you don't know where to start with exercise, and exercise doesn't excite you, then you're not alone. I have something for your that is so simple that you'll love it. In fact, it is so simple that this one of my shortest articles.
Despite its simplicity, it will make a big difference in helping you live longer better.
What to do when you have lost the motivation
We all have distractions. Some, like the pandemic, are a massive one for all us and can be demotivating. Others can demand our attention, and some simply provide excuses to slip into old habits or to procrastinate.
A friend had recently started on an exercise program I designed for him. But after 3 weeks he surprised me by saying that he had lost the motivation to do his morning exercises. I wasn't immediately sure how to help, but we worked it out together to get him started again.
Four fantastic benefits - especially for women
At the gym I see lots of middle-aged people spending lots of time in the aerobics room, and few of them building strength in the weights area. Those that are in the weights area are more often than not sitting on machines taking a rest.
It's not hard to conclude that most people past 45 don't place a high value on all-round body strength. Yet, all round body strength is one of the most fundamental physical assets that will help them improve their quality of life - and their longevity.
And my observation over 22 years at the gym is that, in particular, most midlife women limit their understanding of "exercise" to cardio like biking or running. The idea that they could actually become strong perhaps seems absurd to the point that it never strikes them as a real possibility.
But more than men, women 50+ need strength training to regain essential components of their degenerating musculoskeletal system.
If you think that weight loss starts in the kitchen, think again
Would you prioritise fitness or fatness - losing weight or getting fit? If you are like me, you'd say better eating habits and more exercise are both equally important. We'd be wrong.
What is missing from our understanding of the priorities is that research has consistently shown that lack of fitness is a better predictor of mortality than being overweight. Knowing this, we can fine-tune our approach to becoming more healthy.
Gym machines were built for gym owners, not to help you balance
It seems that one of my quirks at the gym is that I do quite a few balance exercises. Not many others do. Like stretching, people seem to think that balance exercises are a waste of time.
This disappoints me, as those I see about me don't show signs of having good balance - I'm talking here about those over 50.
If they could put their socks on while standing, I'd be very surprised.
I'm disappointed because falls cut people's life short by 5 years on average.
Have you make the choice to live as long as you can, as independently as you can?
How can I help you make that choice, it is yours to create. After you have made it I can give you the options you need to achieve your lifestyle fitness goals.
Hurting your back is traumatic - physically and mentally
When it happened to me it was like a bolt of lightning striking my lower back. In the midst of some intensive exercise I stopped, ironically, to move a small dumbbell away from my feet to avoid the possibly of tripping on it. I leant over, reached down, and almost at the point of giving it a gentle flick to the right with my fingers a shrieking pain immobilised me.
I was both dumbfounded and in agony. Putting weight on my left leg hurt, and even standing up straight hurt. My mind was racing.
Your're only as strong as your back.
One of my instructors was fond of saying "you're only as strong as your back", and my back felt like it was permanently out of action. Was I ever going to be able to exercise again? Was this going to be what life was like for the rest of my life? Had I pinched a nerve, would it always hurt? I was now sweating more from fear than from pain!
As good - if not better - than cardio
From what I see around me, it seems that the older we get the more we become wary of strength training. We start to believe that it will do us more harm than good, or that we will injure ourselves.
That’s not the case. You don’t have to start with heavy weights to do strength training.
I’ve been strength training for the last twenty years. I will be 72 this year. I’ve learnt a lot about what to do, what not to do, what is sustainable and how to get the best value for your effort.
My four principles below will give you a great head start to building fit-for-purpose strength. A strength which is fit for living longer better — intended for men and women 50 and over.
This is my experience in the broad topic of “strength training” (as compared to weightlifting or powerlifting which as are specific forms of strength training) which has served me well.
Since I was diagnosed at 50 with Type 2 diabetes I've been learning how to do bone-building fitness training which lowers my age. You can too. It's your choice. Walter