February 2, 2011

“Especially for a Person of Your Age…”

Porter,-RayBy Ray Porter
Owner and Head Fitness Consultant
Workout With Ray LLC

I had just finished with a group fitness class. A young woman came up to me and said: “How do you do it? You always have so much energy, and you are in such great shape…” I must confess I felt pretty good at that moment. And then those fateful words came out of her mouth: “…especially for a person of your age.” All I could muster was a smile and a long sigh….

“….especially for a person of your age…” Up until that moment I was having a pretty good day. It doesn’t matter if those words were said to me, or to anyone else. We all know when we turn 50, the metabolism slows down. It is also the time in life when, even though we may want to slow down and start enjoying the “pre-retirement” phase of life, our schedule picks up- whether due to our “last executive” promotion with longer hours and more travel, or playing with grand kids. As long as we apply sound nutrition and basic exercise principles to the reality of our life style, there is no reason not to be active and enjoy life.

To have a balance in life, whether a person is 20+ or 50+ all comes down to a mathematical equation involving making better choices in the foods we eat, and the amount of activity we do. The simple formula would be: better choices in nutrition + consistent activity= balance. If it were that simple in reality, Workout With Ray would be out of business in a day. Another way of stating this equation is: calories in (nutrition) – calories out (activity) = balance.
Nutrition, or calories in 50+ is a time in life when extra pounds do not just melt off; it may take a little extra effort. A couple of very simple tips:

1) Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Keep fruits out on the table or counter or in the front of the refrigerator, easily accessible. We reach for the handiest foods available when we want a snack. So make sure healthy foods are the most visible.

2) Eat whole grain foods. Whole grains add vitamins and minerals to your diet. They are loaded with antioxidants and yield much needed fiber to your diet.

3) Eat more fish. Fish is the best source of omega 3 fatty acids which helps keep blood flowing smoothly promoting good circulation. When blood can circulate unimpeded throughout your system, all of your vital organs function better.
Activity, or calories out

Let me state this as simply as possible: keep moving. This is no time to sit down and allow your muscle and joints to stiffen up.

1) Get up and get moving. At the very least, go for a daily walk. There is nothing like a brisk walk to get you motivated and to clear your mind so you can handle any stress the day throws at you. During the winter months, walk on a treadmill or simply walk around your home for a total of 30 minutes.

2) As the Moody Blues song goes: “breathe deep.” Deep breathing strengthens your lungs and keeps them working at maximum capacity. The deeper you breathe, the more oxygen you take in. The more oxygen you take in, the more energy you will have. The more energy you have, the better you will feel….”especially for a person of your age.”

Ray Porter is owner and head fitness consultant of Workout With Ray LLC. For more info go to www.workoutwithray.com or call Ray at (563) 676-6930.