Age is no barrier! Ernestine Shepherd, a bodybuilder in her late 70's, says so: 'Age is nothing but A number.' She became interested in bodybuilding when she was 56 years old, so you see, there's hope for just about anyone wanting to make physical improvements!
I've come up with my own set of suggestions for getting in better shape and trying to stay as healthy as possible. Walk through these steps with me!
Videos are one way you can stay active and healthy in the privacy of your own home. But there's more to being fit than going through a few routines, or running outdoors, or becoming a gym rat! After the jump, I have listed 7 easy ways to get fit without sacrifice!
Step 1: Forget "Fad" and Low-Fat Diets
Eat as much fresh fruits and vegetables as possible. If you can, make yourself a garden. There are many ways apartment dwellers can grow veggies in containers indoors or out. Look for "Farmer's Markets" in your local community - some even deliver to your door! Take a multi-vitamin for a placebo effect, if nothing else!
Step 2: Hydrate!
Water burns fat. Water suppresses hunger. Water renews your skin. Just drinking 12 ounces of pure water every day can take a few years off your face in a matter of weeks. You'll also drop fat, have more energy, and save your kidneys and liver from chronic overwork.
Step 3: Stop Running
You know if you go for walks - they help a lot - if there's a destination near home that you can comfortably get to by foot instead of taking the car, walk! You can also bicycle - build up your biking strength in the winter months by sitting on one of the cardio-bikes at your local gym (more on gyms in a minute).
If you're a runner already, or run every now and then, you don't have to stop altogether - if you feel like dancing, dance, if you feel like going out for a run thru the 'hood on a nice day, go for it. But don't get into the mindset that you HAVE TO run everyday.
Step 4: Stop Running in Circles
Whenever I see folks on treadmills at the gym, I wish they instead were running outdoors along a bikepath or a city sidewalk in a quiet neighborhood. Treadmills, and any form of endurance training (especially running) does very little to help the age reversal process. Many times, these long-duration exercise bouts accelerate the aging process by increasing free radicals, which accelerate the aging process. There's so much other stuff one can do at the gym. Gym classes can be fun, but I've noticed how little people change their bodies by signing up for gym classes. Sure, it's good "cardio", but cardiovascular conditioning can be gained with far less time and effort.
Step 5: Get a Gym Membership on the Cheap
$10 a month or less (ask about a Senior discount if you're over 65) and don't sign up at a fitness center if it is not within short driving (preferably walking) distance.
Step 6: Tapes/DVDs for bad and/or "under the" weather days (or if you live way too far from a gym)
If winter streets are slippery or you're feeling a little out of sorts and don't want to venture out (or you have to hang around waiting for a package delivery or some other reason) , you can unfurl your exercise mat in front of the TV and work out along with a favorite video. I have a couple of VHS tapes I picked up at garage sales for 25 cents apiece. My favorite is a Denise Austin Pilates video.
If you are too far away from a gym, think more about working out in your home and biking and running. Make the most of whatever resources you have available. There is always a solution. Remember that!
Step 7: Work Out LESS (Yes, Less)
People who look the best (youngest, most toned, least amount of unwanted fat) are the ones who leave the gym when everyone else is still warming up! Road Warrior Hawk (of the 1980s wrestling team LOD) would get in the gym, work out quickly, and get out. Unfortunately, he had a few bad habits that led to his eventual demise.
Truth is, if you don't work out at all, you're going to lose muscle tissue every year. That's why it is so important to MAXIMIZE every and any opportunity to use your body! Trot up the stairs, play a game of badminton with the kids, bike to the store, just DO SOMETHING!