In today's July 15, 2010 newsletter . . .

  • Vibrant Retirement Living

  • Workouts: Mix Them Up

Vibrant Retirement Living

I write mostly about health and fitness after 50. I’ve touched on other subjects for mature adults, such as financial fitness, having meaningful interests, and even the importance of wills and trusts. Mainly, though, my focus has been on staying as strong and healthy as possible for as long as possible. Because nothing else matters very much if you lose your health.

So fitness is high priority. Yet there is, of course, more to life than just working out. The smartest people I know look at their entire lifestyle picture, not just selected parts of it. At midlife, people who don’t think much about their retirement suddenly realize the day isn’t all that far off. Depressing? For some, yes. And that is too bad. Because when you do finally retire, you really can, if you choose to, rediscover your passion in life. I found this to be true, personally, and wrote about it in Retirement Bliss.

Today, I want to recommend a book by an internet friend, Al Spector. Just out, his book, Your Retirement Quest provides a true blueprint for all the factors that go into making your retirement years the best time of life. Al is quite a guy. A retired senior himself, he has a passion for fitness and often writes about — and still plays — the wonderful game of baseball. In Your Retirement Quest he and co-author Keith Lawrence lay out successful retirement planning in a way that few others have. If you are nearing retirement, or are now living the retirement lifestyle, I hope you’ll take a look. It really could amount to a big plus in your life.
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Workouts: Mix Them Up

From the book Living the Fitness Lifestyle.

I like cross training for two big reasons.

First, doing varied exercises and workout routines keeps your interest high. Even the most dedicated exerciser can get tired of doing the same thing month after month.

Second, over-use injuries are much less likely when you mix things up. Think of the dedicated jogger with worn out knees from years of the same old pounding on the joints. Or the year-after-year maximum-poundage-maximum-reps bench presser with blown out rotator cuffs.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with running or bench-pressing — when done properly and within reason.

Cross training goes a long way toward taking care of the “within reason” part. With varied training, you are not pounding the same body parts in the same way, workout after workout, year after year. Instead, your body is challenged in a much more balanced way.

Suppose, for example, your workout cycle involves three 30- to 45-minute resistance-training sessions weekly, and three 20- to 30-minute cardio days. Typically, that might mean three days of the same bodybuilding exercises, and three days on the same treadmill or running path at pretty much the same pace.

Instead, imagine how much more interesting a cycle such as the following would be:
  • Day 1. Upper-body weight training. Five sets of 5 to 8 reps for each exercise. Lower reps allowing you to use heavier weights.
  • Day 2. Thirty-minute Fartlek, a nice outdoor run, alternating your pace: jog/run/walk/sprint, etc.
  • Day 3. Lower-body weight training. Five sets of 5 to 8 reps. Lower reps allowing heavier weights.
  • Day 4. Group aerobics class.
  • Day 5. Upper-body weight training. Two to three sets of 10 to 15 reps per set. Same exercises as day one, but with lighter weights and higher reps.
  • Day 6. Twenty minutes of sprint intervals on a stationary bike.
  • Day 7. Rest.
This is just a sample. The possibilities are vast. Mix in cardio exercise classes, swimming, bodyweight calisthenics, hill sprinting, weight training, hiking, and exercise band workouts. All are good if you are following a program for general, all around fitness. Just be sure to get in at least two weight-training sessions and three cardio workouts per week. And don't overdo it. Long, arduous workouts day after day is not the way to go. At the health club or at home, get in, stay focused, and get out.

You've probably heard about the tremendous benefits of weight training and how you can retain -- or even reclaim -- the attributes of youth . . . Discover the way with . . .

Gray Iron: A Fitness Guide for Senior Men and Women

Newsletter Policy

The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter is a free publication sent twice monthly to subscribers. The purpose is to provide honest and realistic fitness information for people age 50 and above.

I have never been paid or received compensation of any kind to write a positive review or endorse a product. If I say that I personally use a product or service, it is because I find value in it and have paid for it with my own money.

Like newspapers, magazines and television, the newsletter and web site contain advertising and some affiliate marketing links. I receive a commission when people buy the advertised products or services.

The newsletter and web site provide information to help users establish and maintain a fitness lifestyle. But fitness information is not the same as fitness advice, which is the application of exercise and dietary practices to an individual's specific circumstances. Therefore, always consult with your physician for assurance that fitness information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate for you. Your comments or questions are always appreciated.


Logan Franklin
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter