Fitness

So You’re Over Forty And Ready To Begin Building Muscle?

pineapple clothing 1

Getting older is such a pain, isn’t it?  What used to come so easy requires much more effort.   Even sleeping now requires effort … what is that about and whyyyyy?  Just over three years ago, I found myself at a real crossroad in life.  Everything fell apart in one fell swoop, and I wanted to curl up in a hole and disappear.  But I was still responsible for two kiddos who have special needs and who require constant care, so retreat wasn’t an option.  You’ve heard of flight or fight?  I thankfully chose to fight and have been fighting like hell ever since.

You may not be at a major crossroad in your life, but perhaps your waistline is.  haha.  You can’t really run from your waistline, so maybe it’s time to fight back.  Want to lose some of that fat?  Decrease the risk of Osteoporosis?  Burn more calories?  And improve your heart’s health?  Then, you better hit the weights and get to lifting.  When you’re ready to take that first step toward build muscle, as with anything, it’s best to begin with a simple solid foundation.  Three really good tools for your cache are the foam roller, the medicine ball, and Yoga.  I’d suggest to begin by spending one month, 30 minutes a day, becoming a student of these three fitness weapons that will assist you in initial steps toward slaying your body.

  1.  Foam Rolling:  Do you foam roll before or after a workout?  Yes.  Both.  It only takes a couple minutes of time and is worth every second.  Rolling Massagers reduce muscle tension and tightness, reduce soreness, and reduce levels of stress hormones.   Some studies say it even fires up your central nervous system, helping to regulate heart rate and blood flow.  I don’t know much about the scientific evidence, but I do know how foam rolling has benefited me.  I work out hard six days a week, and still run and do yoga on the seventh day.  As a result, muscle pain has become my norm.  I kept reading about roller massagers, but was a major skeptic until one day I found one on sale and decided to give it a try.  Aaaaaaand it works.  After rolling, my muscles feel energized and aren’t nearly as sore.  As with anything, rolling can be overdone, so I keep it to only a few minutes twice a day.  Most rollers are around $30.00, so it’s not much of an investment to add to your fitness arsenal.  If you’re looking for a first step, then buy one!    foam roller
  2. Medicine Ball:  Medicine Balls were used by ancient Greek Athletes and Gladiators, and they’re still around today, so there must be something special about them, right?  Absolutely.  Not only will you burn calories with the medicine ball, but you’ll build strength, power, balance, and work your core.  Abdominal curls, Russian twists, big circles, standing torso twists, woodchoppers, lunge twists, wall sits, chest pushes, hamstring curls, knee crushers, and squat leg raises are all examples of what you can easily do with one simple medicine ball.  With three sets of 12 reps, building muscle with these exercises will be no problem.  To buy a 6 lb. ball, click here.  For an 8 lb. ball, click here.pineapple clothing 2

    3.  Yoga:  Last, but far from least, is Yoga.  I cannot say enough about Yoga.  It has transformed my life and my body.  To build beautiful lean muscles the right way, you need to be physically flexible, and Yoga will definitely improve your flexibility.  More than that, however, yoga will also increase your muscle tone, improve your energy, help you maintain a balanced metabolism, improve your circulatory health, produce a gorgeous posture, and as an added benefit, will greatly enhance your mood.  Formal Yoga exercise classes can be found at most gyms, but Yoga instruction can also be found on DVDs and at your fingertips on convenient phone apps.  I have the Asana Rebel application loaded on my cell phone and use it every day.  The most magnificent thing about Yoga is you can jump in at anytime, at any age, and at any level … and grow into it.  It’s something you evolve into slowly, but the benefits are almost immediate.

     

     

    As with anything, building muscle takes time, dedication, hard work, and patience.   Consistency pays off.  If you begin with these three simple building blocks, you’re off to a strong start.  Just stick with it, and then slowly incorporate other exercises into your life.  Each new challenge will bring a brand new reward.
    If you ever need any help getting started, and if you live close by, just let me know!
    ~Mel

 

Advertisements
self care, skin care

3 Easy Ways To Tackle Health, Aging, and A New Attitude

Drink Green Tea :  The number one healthiest drink on the planet is green tea.  If you were hoping for Diet Coke, Chardonnay, or a Mojito to be in the running … well, no.  For a toast to good health, green tea is the way to go.  Not only does it prevent osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, and the risk of Alzheimers, but people who drink green tea daily actually live longer.  Toss some mint leaves, orange slices and green tea bags into a boiling teapot for an amazing recipe.  Add a little cane sugar, and put it on ice or serve it hot.  Either way, it’s so yummy.  Cheers!!!

 

 

 

Utilize Microdermabrasion: Microdermabrasion really does erase fine lines and make your skin glow.  It absolutely works.  If you don’t have the money, time, or inclination to treat yourself to a microdermabrasion treatment from a professional Esthetician, I’d recommend the Neutrogena Microdermabrasion system.   At less than $20.00, it’s definitely worth a try.  I use this system two or three times a week, following up with a really good moisturizer, and have virtually no lines on my face at the age of 50!  In addition, it makes your skin super soft.  Microdermabrasion is a must if you’re over 40.  (Oh, and sleep on your back.  Just my extra two cents.)

microdermabrasion

Choose A Life Word & Own It:  Even though I’ve been a big believer in the power of positive words for a long time, I never really thought about having a life word until one of my (gorgeous, amazing, fabulous) sitters gifted me with a mug that had the word “Hustle” written on it.  When she gave it to me, she said:  “When I saw this, I immediately thought about how perfectly this word fits you.”  Fits me?  Hmmmm.

Isn’t it nice when we unexpectedly get a glimpse of how others view us?  Since then, I’ve owned that word.  As a busy mom of two kiddos who have special needs and who constantly keep me on my toes, it’s imperative that I stay at least ten steps ahead of them or I will surely meet an early grave.  (Caregivers know exactly what I’m talking about. haha.)  But I want more than merely anticipating life.  I want to master it … to hustle.  And that means being my best self for my children and for me.

Focusing on that one word, and making sure everything I do fits into that theme, has completely changed my attitude.  Instead of going to the gym so I can check good health off my daily list, for instance, I started going to the gym because I’m a person who hustles.  Instead of cleaning house and staying organized because it’s a daily chore, I now do those things because I’m a person who hustles.  haha.  See what I did there?  Hustle has now become my designation.  The mark I want to leave on life.  Life is just as much about our mental game as it is our physical game, and this simple switch in thinking has worked wonders for me.  Maybe choosing a life word will work for you too.

Think about it for a minute.  What’s your life word?

~Mel