SENIORS AND RESISTANCE TRAINING: A MUST FOR HEALTH AND LONGEVITY

What population does weight lifting and resistance training benefit most? While these activities are important for youth athletes, business professionals, stay at home moms, and middle aged men alike, they are imperative for seniors! Many of the "age related" issues that the senior demographic seems chronically plagued by including but not limited to arthritis, bone breakage, balance issues, heart disease, diabetes, poor circulation and obesity, can be prevented and even alleviated by introducing a resistance training program.

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THE 4 MOST UNDERRATED EXERCISES YOU SHOULD BE DOING

As a fitness professional in a commercial gym I've seen most of the exercises you could ever imagine. With the wide world of exercise selection floating around the air in the gym as well as on the Internet, it can be over whelming choosing which exercises your should into your personal program. In this article, I have compiled a list of exercises that are underrated and underused. Read on to find out which exercises you may have been skipping over that you should start adding into your routine!

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MAKE A VOW TO LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE AND REDUCE SODIUM INTAKE

February is American Heart Month and as a leading community-based network committed to improving the nation’s health, the YMCA of Central Kentucky urges everyone to help prevent heart disease by lowering your blood pressure. Two ways to keep the pressure off your heart are by monitoring your blood pressure and reducing sodium intake.

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5 MOST COMMON MISTAKES MADE IN THE GYM

It goes without saying that when it comes to health and wellness, exercise is a must. Gyms across the nation stay packed with people striving to better themselves inside and out through various fitness avenues. As a fitness professional who has trained hundreds of individuals with goals ranging from fat loss and muscle building to quality of life and posture rehabilitation, I've seen all manner of people and their efforts in the gym; the good, the bad, and the ugly. In this article, I've amassed the top five mistakes I see made in the gym. Read on to discover if you may be making some of these mistakes and to find their respective solutions!


1. Following the wrong training program for your specific goals.


When it comes to a workout program, the first word that comes to mind as a priority is individualization! A program centered around fat loss for a 50 year old female with arthritis in both knees is going to differ vastly from a program for a youth athlete striving to improve sports specific skills like agility and explosiveness. Elements of a proper training program include training frequency, exercise selection, intensity, rep range, rest time, and more. While some movement is superior to no movement at all, ensuring that your effort is moving you closer to your specific goal is key. If you are a gym newbie, the safest most effective move is to speak with a professional. Whether it's hiring a trainer, getting involved in group

instructor led classes, or having a pro write you a program to follow on your own, winging it is not advisable for safety and effectiveness!


2. Choosing a singular training modality.


This is a big one! I can't count how many people I've observed and/or spoken with who limit themselves to one type of exercise. Although yoga, weight lifting, running, cardio on an elliptical or step-mill, and boxing are all great options, only participating in one opens the door to limiting your potential and being less well rounded than a person who cross trains among multiple disciplines. Challenge yourself to explore multiple fitness avenues and, although we all have our favorites, strive to keep a balance!


3. Fueling your workout  incorrectly.


I recently read a headline titled "Half the world is dying from overeating, the other half from starvation". This seems to be a theme not only out in the world but in the gym also. Busy soccer moms bustle into the gym and straight into an hour long

spin class after subsisting all day on a skinny latte, a string cheese and half of what their kids didn't eat for lunch; over-worked business men go out for lunch with their company regularly, indulge in everything, drink two energy drinks as their afternoon snack and come to hit the heavy weights before heading home to hit the heavy drinking before another day. The body is a finely tuned machine much like an automobile. If you want it to perform above average, you have to give it above average fuel! Before and after your workouts strive to find a healthy balance of wholesome carbohydrates and lean proteins. Save healthy fats like nuts, avocados, and health oils for less active times during the day when quick energy is not needed but slow burning fuel is more appropriate. Hydrate well during and after your workout.


4. Having unrealistic goals.


Patience seems to be a virtue many gym goers lack. Expecting the body to adapt to exercise stimulus instantly would be like trying to rebuild the pentagon on your lunch break. Whatever your goals may be, instant results do not exist. Although you can maximize your results potential by choosing an appropriate program, getting professional help, dialing in your nutrition, getting adequate rest, and aligning the rest of your lifestyle with your goal, nothing replaces doing the work and investing your time in a healthy process. For the average person, any regimen that promises more than 12 pounds of fat loss per month or 4 pounds of lean mass gain per month is unhealthy long term at best and illegal at worst!


5. Avoiding Resistance Training.


I saved this point for the last because it is near and dear to my own heart. As a former ballet and then ballroom dancer, cardio and muscular endurance training was my arena. Prior to my involvement in the fitness industry, the heaviest thing I lifted on a regular basis was my purse and I looked at the weight area of the gym as "the guy's side"! Although I was in excellent cardiovascular shape and had exceptional flexibility, I lacked strength and the muscle definition I desired. While this point applies to both genders, as a rule women are more hesitant about weight training than men. Some assume weights will make them big and bulky while others simply don't know where to start in the weight room. Regardless, resistance training for over all health including maintaining lean mass, increasing the metabolism, increased energy levels, and maintaining healthy bone density is a must! I recommend a minimum of 3, 30 minute sessions per week.

RACHEL MCCORD

Rachel McCord is the Personal Training Director at Proof Fitness

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