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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter, Issue #163 My current exercise and fitness lifestyle
June 01, 2015

June 1, 2015

In this newsletter . . .

2015: My current workout and fitness lifestyle

It has been 10 years since I wrote the beginners’ training manual, Gray Iron: A Fitness Guide for Senior Men and Women. I’m 78 years old now and people have asked about my present exercise and dietary habits. A few have been very direct: "Are you still doing that stuff at your age?" they ask.

Yes, I am. But as you would expect, my workouts have evolved as I have made age appropriate adjustments. I also experienced a couple of health setbacks from which I recovered. In my 60s, I was still lifting heavy weights (heavy for me anyway) and also led cardio kickboxing classes for several years at a commercial health club.

A few years ago, I left the health club and set up a simple home gym arrangement that I still have and use periodically. I like working out at home and thought I would not join another gym at this stage of my life. But never say never, as the saying goes.

My wife doesn’t like training at home and talked me into getting a new health club membership. The gym we belong to now is quite modern and well managed. Will I go back to home workouts again? Maybe. But for now I'm pleased going to a commercial gym.

I exercise six days a week, alternating one day of resistance training with one day of cardio. That may sound like a lot, especially for someone my age, but the workouts are concise and brief. For variety, I use a mixture of dumbbells, cables, resistance bands, bodyweight movements, and kettlebells.

On resistance training days, I warm-up with a few light calisthenics before beginning a workout; I also do a few minutes of relaxed stretching after completing it. The entire session takes roughly 35- to 40-minutes.

When I was younger, I’d often do several low-rep sets of each exercise with heavy weights. Today I vary my exercise repetitions but tend to stay in a higher range, using moderate weights. I should add that even when I was younger, I didn’t believe in regular training to absolute failure and certainly would not do it at my age today.

On most cardio days I use a treadmill, a stationary bike or Concept 2 rower for 30- to 35-minutes. Within that time, there’s a warm-up, then a moderate pace and a couple of hard intervals, and a 5-minute cool-down. One day a week, instead of going to the gym my wife and I hike in the hills, usually for about an hour.

I also take a daily short, relaxed-pace leisure walk with my dog (she's 15 now and that is all she can handle). It has its own rewards but doesn’t count as cardio.

My diet

I find eating small portions but more frequently results in a more constant high energy level. I’ve been eating this way for years. I am almost exclusively lacto-ovo vegetarian. I say “almost” because I do enjoy fish occasionally. And once a year, on Christmas Day, I eat meat at dinner with my wife’s family.

I don’t try to convince others to be vegetarian, or almost-vegetarian like I am, but I prefer it. I enjoy my food choices, and it is certainly healthful, though I make no claim that a healthful diet cannot include some lean meat.

I eat the least processed foods available and, when possible, foods untreated with chemicals or pesticides. But if they are not organic, I don't lose sleep over it. I do avoid fast-foods like the plague.

I take a 1000-mg capsule of fish oil daily; 1000-IU of Vitamin D; 500-mcg of B-12 (a common practice of vegetarians); and 1000-mg of Lysine. I have had shingles and my doctor recommends Lysine as a prophylactic measure. You can find further thoughts on dietary supplements here.

I use some Whey protein powder, not because I think I can’t get enough protein without it, but for convenience it mixes well with berries in smoothies.

I often enjoy a glass of wine or a beer with dinner. These days, one is about my limit.

I make it a point to drink at least one cup of water every time I eat. I also drink a small cup before workouts and drink a small cup immediately afterward.

I have decaf coffee or mint tea in the morning. I like iced tea on hot days.


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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.

Like newspapers, magazines and television, this newsletter and my web site contain advertising and marketing links. Naturally, I am compensated for these.

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 and questions are always appreciated. Simply click on the "Reply" bottom.


Logan Franklin
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter

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