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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter, Issue #154 Fitness Resolutions Two
January 15, 2015

January 15, 2015

In this newsletter . . .

What’s your 2015 fitness program, as a mature adult?

It’s mid-January and conventional custom says it’s still okay to talk about New Year’s resolutions, until month’s end. In my blog, a week ago, I wrote, “Here's a quick, simple New Year's resolution for senior fitness buffs. Learn to do Dive Bombers. They’re difficult at first, but you'll learn to love 'em. (Total beginners should first master standard pushups.)”

Some people liked the suggestion and asked about a good bodyweight only pulling movement to compliment the Dive Bombers, for an upper-body push/pull format. I suggested Horizonantal Pull-ups. Super-set a couple, or a few, sets of these two exercises for a thorough upper-body blast.

Always, there are subscribers curious about following some of the well-known high intensity programs. A while back, people (seniors) wrote about doing high intensity programs once a week, but doing more moderate training on the other days. They asked what I thought about that idea as a way of pushing themselves but also staying age appropriate. I said if they were what I call “young seniors,” those in their early fifties, and enjoying the training, then what they are doing seems reasonable to me.

A few have brought up questions about specific programs I had never heard of. One of them, as an example, referred to Zumba Gold. Zumba, I know, is a popular dance based fitness program. I learned that Zumba Gold is a tamer version of it, for older adults. Other programs I was not very familiar with came up too, and I was asked to comment on them.

It would be unfair to remark about specific programs I don’t know much about. But, generally, high-intensity training gets riskier as we get older. So be prudent. Whatever program you choose, move into it incrementally. If you are a beginner, keep moving forward, but with baby-steps.

Then there are always some questions about what, exactly, constitutes a solid fitness program for seniors? Here are a few guidelines that I recommend:

1. All balanced fitness programs should include elements of (a) strength training, (b) cardiovascular exercise, and (c) flexibility movements. Based on personal preferences and goals, you can put emphasis on either a, b, or c; but totally ignoring any one of them will not provide a balanced fitness program. Some circuit training arrangements can combine all three elements in a single workout, or, of course, they can be split into separate segments.

2. Don’t do marathon workout sessions. Generally, anything over an hour in a gym is too much. Less than an hour is usually even better, provided that it is time spent training, not standing around talking. Yes, I know Jack LaLanne is said to have been doing two-hour-plus workouts into his nineties. But are you Jack LaLanne? I’m not. He was one in a million. Keep it real.

3. Cross training can be fun because changes of routine tend to keep things interesting, and overuse wear-and-tear is less likely than when doing the same movements over-and-over, month-after-month, year-after-year.

4. Select exercise programs that appeal to you. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with experimenting with different options. Group exercise programs, for example, are just the thing for some people. Whether training in groups or training alone, strength, cardiovascular and flexibility training can be done using only your own bodyweight exercises. On the other hand, why not use free weights, resistance bands or kettlebells if they are available to you? There are lots of options.

If you find you dislike what it is you’re doing, move on. There is a training lifestyle for every taste and to meet every goal. Discover yours and make it a happy 2015.

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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.

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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.

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Logan Franklin
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter

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