The Best Of…Ten Simple Tips for Staying Fit

          Published September 26, 2008, All Pawtucket All The Times

         In their younger years aging baby boomers never went onto the basket ball court without wearing their Converse, Reebok, Nike, New Balance or Nautilus tennis shoes.  This generation with their strong interest in health and fitness will not spend their retirement years as a couch potato watching television or sitting in an oak rocker on their porch.  With winter approaching, aging baby boomers can work to stay slim, trim and fit by remaining physically active.

            According to the International Council on Active Aging, aging baby boomers can become physically fit by simply following these tips:

1,  See your physician.   A medical checkup will determine whether you need to consider any medical clarifications before starting an exercise program.  Talk with your physician about any of your concerns or limitations.  After a day or two of exercise, if you experience major discomfort from working out including shortness of breath, headaches, chest pains, sore muscles and dizziness, see your physician.

2.   Look at options.  Do you join a local gym, aerobics in your house, enroll in a yoga class, make time for a daily walk in your neighborhood.  The key to your fitness success is doing your activities regularly.

3.  Know your style.  Some may like to take classes, others may prefer to go solo.  Exercising indoors may be more acceptable to some then outdoor physical activities.  Your schedule may also dictate when you can block out time, either in the morning, lunch time or evening, for your daily fitness program. 

4.  Start off slowly.  Learn to listen to your body. Be realistic when you begin to exercise and don’t overdo it at the beginning.   To reduce soreness and injury always ease your way into your fitness program.

5.  Get a buddy.  An exercise partner can be a great motivator in getting you started and to maintain a daily exercise regimen.  Whether it’s making a date with a friend to take a walk, play racket ball or golf or regularly seeing a personal trainer at your local gym, the personal interaction can motivate you to continue to exercise.

6.  Be realistic.  Don’t try to workout like you did in your younger years.  Always be realistic, setting age-related goals you expect to gain from participating in a physical exercise program.  If enormous benefits do not occur, like losing 30 pounds in one month, you might feel disappointed and quit exercising. 

7.  Make choices.  What are you willing to give up to make room for exercise?  What bad habits, (like smoking, drinking, sedentary and nonproductive activities, are you willing to give up?  It is up to you to choose wisely.

8.  Keep in motion.  Keeping moving all day long. Stretch, walk, march in place, stand and sit daily as often as you can when you are talking on the phone or watching television.  Every step counts.  A step counter will give you an idea as to how many steps you take a day.  Less active people may take about 4,000 steps or fewer per day.  Aim to do 250 to 1,000 additional steps of brisk walking, until you reach 8,000 to 10,000 steps in a day. 

9.   Create a support network.  Get your friends, colleagues and family members to support your new physical activity goals and ask them for their support and encouragement.  Consider getting others to help you keep your physical exercise commitments.  Telephone reminders from your vast network can keep you motivated and on track.

10.  Always Reward yourself.  Once you’ve reached your goals, recognize that milestone.  Treat yourself to something that reminds you what has been accomplished and encourages you to continue. 

One Final Note…Gold’s Gym Opens New Pawtucket Facility

            Finding the right gym can be as easy as getting referrals from your family and friends or shopping around for the right price or specific services that you need, says Mike Kasun, a personal trainer at Gold’s Gym, located at 550 Pawtucket Avenue in Pawtucket. “There are many gyms out there that may be cheaper than others but they just don’t offer a wide range of services.  Price, services provided, classes, and the gym’s location (being close to home or work) are key factors that people should consider when shopping around for a gym membership, he says.    

            Last Saturday,Pawtucket’s Gold’s Gym, officially opened its newly refurbished 25,000 square foot building with state-of-the art exercise equipment, notes Kasun. The new gym facility has 60 pieces of cardio equipment each with their own 14-inch plasma television; 105 pieces of resistance-training equipment, a “Cardio Cinema” where you exercise while watching a full length feature movie, a private woman’s workout room, along with a country club-like locker room. Two hundred free parking spaces surround the new gym.

            When joining Gold’s Gym, a new member receives two free personal training sessions, Kasun tells Your Later Years. “At your first session we assess what the person needs and wants to get out of their membership. Some may want to tone or lose weight while others are more interested in building up muscle strength, he notes. 

            “With information and health data gathered during this initial assessment a workout program can be especially designed for the individual.  During the second session the member is taken through a one hour work out specifically designed for them,” adds Kasun.

            Group exercise programs are also included in the Gold’s Gym’s membership price.   Kasun notes, “We have Les Mills Body Pump Class, offering a full body workout for participants using light weights.  Yoga, Step and other toning classes are also available, too,” he says, noting that all of the personal training staff is nationally certified in the classes they teach.

            Pawtucket’s Gold’s Gym, one of 650 locations nationwide offer AARP members the ability to enroll for only $49 and a savings of up to a 20 percent on their monthly membership as well as a seven day free trial membership period.  For more information, call Gold’s Gym at (401)722-6600.

            Herb Weiss is a Pawtucket-based freelance writer who covers aging, medical and health care issues.  This article appeared in the September 26, 2008 issue of My Back Yard.   He can be reached at hweissri@aol.com.

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