Aging With No Filter

I’ve officially been calling myself a “snow bird” for the past several years.  My husband and I travel to Florida during the winter months each year to escape the cold weather and enjoy some quiet time at the beach.

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Although I thought I would be bored to tears and miss home; I’ve learned to embrace this time in my life.
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Now that I’ve accepted the fact that I’m considered a “senior” and a snow bird, I’ve found myself reflecting more on the aging process.  It blows my mind that in two years I will be sixty!?! Where has the time gone??  I still feel like I’m only in my forties and have to remind myself often that I’m now falling into the DREADED categories of: senior, geriatric, old lady, over the hill etc.  Yes, if you live long enough, not only will you have to deal with gray hair and wrinkles,  you will most likely be subjected to ageism.  Merriam Webster defines

Ageism:

Definition of ageism 

prejudice or discrimination against a particular age-group and especially the elderly

 

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Sociology In Focus reports:

Becoming older is a privilege denied to many,” the saying goes. But, are you excited about getting older? When I ask my students this question they often say things like, “No way!” and follow with a list of negative stereotypes describing older adults as sick, unhappy, slow, and sexually inactive. How do so many of us, including myself, come to this conclusion?

The aging population (i.e., individuals 65 and over) around the world is growing. In the U.S. alone, one in seven persons is now an older American, and this number is expected to double by 2060. As we’ve previously discussed here at Sociology In Focus with other concepts (seasonstime, etc.) aging is also socially constructed.

A Youth Obsessed Society

The U.S. has often been described as a youth obsessed society. Some have argued that aging is a fate worse than death. During 2014, nearly 13 billion dollars was spent on plastic surgery with the bulk of procedures performed on women 40 and older. The sale of anti-aging skin care products is also a booming business. U.S. consumers now spend more on anti-aging medications than on drugs for disease. Clearly people are feeling pressure to maintain their youth.

It’s no wonder that once we pass the ripe old age of thirty-nine, many of us turn to desperate measures such as Botox and plastic surgery. Therefore, along with our shrinking self-image comes a multitude of other potential issues such as an increased risk for health problems and immobility.

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  Heidi Godman Executive Editor,  of the Harvard Health Letter  reports:

Loss of mobility, which is common among older adults, has profound social, psychological, and physical consequences. “If you’re unable to get out then you can’t go shopping, you can’t go out with your friends to eat dinner or go to the movies, and you become dependent on other people to get you places. So you become a recluse, you stay home, you get depressed. With immobilization comes incontinence, because you can’t get to the bathroom, you can develop urinary infections, skin infections. The list goes on,” says geriatrician Dr. Suzanne Salamon, an instructor at Harvard Medical School.

The cascade of negative effects that comes with immobility can often be prevented or limited, according to a review in today’s JAMA. Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham looked at dozens of mobility studies published over the years. They discovered common factors that lead to loss of mobility, such as older age, low physical activity, obesity, impaired strength and balance, and chronic diseases such as diabetes and arthritis. Less common red flags included symptoms of depression, problems with memory or thinking skills, being female, a recent hospitalization, drinking alcohol or smoking, and having feelings of helplessness. Individuals with one or more of these factors is at risk for immobility.

 

A greater risk of health issues and immobility reinforces the importance of optimizing your health as you get older.  For this very reason, I’m fortunate to be employed in the health and fitness industry that requires me to stay active and make healthy food choices.

However, along with that comes a increased focus on body image by my peers and clients.  It’s common to see images of young, muscular, fit people in health and fitness magazines, fitness infomercials, and television ads etc.  Furthermore,  most of my co-workers, and clients are in their early thirties and forties. Therefore I’ve begun to question how do I continue to work in the health and fitness industry at this stage of my life. How do I fight to keep up with a society that is consumed with youth, appearance,  and selfies?

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As a fitness instructor I constantly hear women comparing themselves to others, complaining about their age, scrutinizing their bodies, appearance, and fitness level.  Over the years, I’ve seen many resort to plastic surgery for breast implants, liposuction, face lifts, and Botox.  I on the other hand have decided against any nips, tucks, or enhancements.  I know it’s crazy, but I’ve accepted that I’m getting older and I’m determined to age gracefully the “good old-fashioned way!”

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At this stage in my life, I’m surprised that I find myself comfortable with my appearance, my body, and my fitness level.  I actually have more self-confidence than I ever had in my 20’s, 30’s or 40’s. My goal is to simply age with style and grace.  I plan to take care of myself by simply exercising and making healthy food choices.

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Simply put, my goal is to promote healthy aging.  I truly believe “age is just a number.”  Your lifestyle, food choices, and activity level play a huge part in how you age. The picture below is a picture of me and my dad when I was in my thirties.

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This is me age 35

Now fast forward twenty years to my current picture below at the age of 58. Yes I have wrinkles around my eyes and I look older but that is a part of life.  My point is that many people simply stop taking care of themselves as they get older.  It’s typical to slow down once your children are gone and we transition from a busy work career and family life to empty nest and retirement.  It’s this sedentary lifestyle and poor food choices that causes rapid aging, weight gain, and increased risk for disease.

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Although many experts report that losing weight after forty will make you look older, the truth is weight gain makes you look older.  Quite often as we age, weight accumulates in the mid section, which can put strain on the heart, muscles, and joints.  Ultimately these lifestyle choices increase the risk for heart disease and diabetes. The key is to maintain a healthy stable weight as you age.  It’s the yo-yo dieting and the drastic weight loss that causes the face to look drawn and appear more wrinkled.

 

So how do we maintain good health and a more youthful appearance as we age?  How can we live life in our golden years without filters, Photoshop, and going under the knife? As much as we would like to believe in magic weight loss pills and procedures. There are no tricks; these methods don’t work.

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We all age and no amount of liposuction, face-lift, Botox, or weight loss gimmicks are going to make us look twenty again. Learn to love yourself, your wrinkles, your age, and your life experience.  The answer to aging with no filter is simple.  All you have to do is work hard, eat right, and don’t give up.

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For more tips on aging gracefully check out my article, Age Gracefully With These Five Tips

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Two Ingredient Healthy Juicing

Juicing can be a great way to get your daily recommended serving of fruits and vegetables. If you’ve tried juicing before, you’re probably aware it can be time-consuming and costly.

Most organic fruits and vegetables tend to be quite more expensive than non-organic and it takes a lot of produce to make just one glass of juice.

Additionally, you have to factor in the food preparation such as the washing, cutting, and peeling required for just ONE GLASS OF JUICE

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Luckily I stumbled upon V8 Healthy Greens juice a couple of months ago in the grocery store.

I’ll admit I don’t like the taste of most green juices but I was delighted that the Healthy Greens V8 Juice was low in sugar and contained healthy ingredients.

Also, I decided I could easily boost the veggie content of the juice by simply adding a handful of pre-washed organic spinach. And presto; I discovered my new two ingredient green juice and it’s nutritious, quick, easy, and delicious.

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Here’s my Two Ingredient Healthy juice:

One cup of organic spinach

8 oz of V8 Healthy Greens

Add ingredients in blender, add optional ice cubes and blend

So delicious, healthy, and easy. Doesn’t get any better than that…

Now if only my workout was that easy 🙂

Last Killer Workout Of 2018

This will be my last workout I’ll be teaching for 2018.  How can I make it different than all the other workouts this year?  I love to combine body weight, cardio intervals, and weight training into all my classes.  So hear we go:

Make sure to warm up for 7- 8 minutes.  Complete circuit 3-4 times.  Take water breaks as needed and finish with final stretch.  ENJOY!

 

  1.  Bear Crawl Push-up (12 reps)

 

2.  Wall Sit With Bicep Curl (12 reps)

 

3.  Alternating DB Reverse Lunge With Burpee (12 reps)

 

4.  Burpee Wood Chop Tricep Extension (12 reps)

 

5.  DB Clean And Press Row Combo (12 reps)

 

6.  Standing DB Alternating Knee Crunches (12 reps)

 

7.  Plank Jack Push Up (12 reps)

 

8.  Mountain Climber To Side Plank (12 reps)

No Resolutions New Year’s Challenge

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Ditch the resolutions and start the new year off with an easy plan for success. Try my No Resolutions New Year Challenge that will help you improve your health and fitness level in thirty days.

Resolutions often fail because most people don’t fully understand the commitment required to create new habits. Change is often uncomfortable, and when things get hard, it’s easy to give up and revert back to old habits. However, adding small changes to your daily routine can lead to big results. Instead of setting unattainable resolutions for the new year, try this thirty-day challenge that works by adding small steps each week to get you on track to a healthier lifestyle.

Always check with your physician before starting any new diet or exercise program

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Try to begin the challenge January 1st. Week one will start with two goals and you will add two new steps each week to help you create new healthy habits. At the end of the thirty days you should feel lighter, stronger, more energetic, and be on your way to a healthier lifestyle.

Hopefully by the end of the month you will continue some or all of the new habits you developed during the thirty days.

LET THIS NEW YEAR be your turning point to self care and better health! Let me know how you like it. LET’S BEGIN –

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WEEK ONE

  1. DRINK 20 oz of lemon water before breakfast, lunch, and your evening meal.
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2. Add exercise each day by taking a brisk walk/ jog 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening. Or you can try this 15 minute workout video two times per day.

WEEK TWO (Continue week one goals and add these two goals to your daily routine)

  1. Track your sugar grams and keep them under 30 grams per day
  2. Add a green vegetable to your lunch and evening meal each day

WEEK THREE (Continue week one and two goals and add these additional goals to your daily routine)

  1. Add 15 minutes of yoga to your calendar twice a week-

2. Try a green smoothie for breakfast each morning- Use your own recipe or try this Delicious Green Protein Smoothie

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WEEK FOUR (Continue with week one, two, & three goals, and add these two new goals to your final week of the thirty-day challenge)

  1. Add a salad to your meal each day this week ( try these make a head salad in a Jar) recipes: Mason Jar Salad ideas
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2. Make one day of the week a NO MEAT day – Here are some ideas for vegetarian meals: 58 Best Vegetarian Recipes

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Healthier Coffee With These Four Tips

  • Choose OrganicAuthority Nutrition points out that “coffee beans tend to be heavily sprayed with pesticides, herbicides and various toxins that were never intended for human consumption. For this reason, I recommend that you choose organic coffee whenever possible”.

  • Avoid Artificial SweetenersMost everyone has heard of the harmful effects of artificial sweeteners. Dr. Mercola, a well known osteopathic and alternative medicine physician, points out that “research over the last 30 years—including several large scale prospective cohort studies—have shown that artificial sweeteners stimulate appetite, increase cravings for carbs, and produce a variety of metabolic dysfunctions that promote fat storage and weight gain.” Truthfully, once you get in the habit of drinking coffee black or with cream, you will actually be able to enjoy the actual flavor or the brew rather than the additives.

  • Use Milk or REAL Cream– Have you looked at the ingredients in most coffee creamers? Believe it or not, many of them contain partially hydrogenated oils, “ a trans fat”. The FDA reports that “eating trans fat raises the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol in the blood. An elevated LDL blood cholesterol level can increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease”

  • Brew Your Coffee With A Paper Filter healthyeating.sfgate.com reports that a 2007 Science Daily article suggests that “drinking five cups of unfiltered coffee every day for four weeks could increase cholesterol levels by 6 to 8 percent” Furthermore, coffee filters trap substances in coffee called diterpenes. These substances escape into your coffee grounds floating in the coffee or oily droplets floating on the surface. These compounds are known to block a cholesterol-regulating receptor in the intestines. Authority Nutrition reports that Brewing coffee with a paper filter removes diterpenes, but lets the caffeine and beneficial antioxidants pass through.

So start your morning by brewing a healthier cup of coffee. And you may want to consider these add-ins to try something new ( Dessert Coffee Flavor Add-Ins ). Enjoy your day!

Hope For The World, Peace My Brother

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AMAZING PEACE A CHRISTMAS POEM by Maya Angelou

by Maya Angelou

 

“But in this season it is well to reassert that the hope of mankind rests in faith. As man thinketh, so he is. Nothing much happens unless you believe in it, and believing there is hope for the world is a way to move toward it.” (Gladys Taber)

At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
Into the great religions of the world.
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope.
All the earth’s tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.

We, Angels and Mortals, Believers and Non-Believers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.

Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace, My Soul.

Five Tips For Injury Recovery

Injuries tend to reveal our lack of patience in life. Our bodies are brilliantly designed to send us signals such as pain and swelling that force us to rest and heal after an injury. However when the healing begins and the pain lessens, we often jump back full force into our activities before our bodies are ready.

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And, although I’m in the fitness field, sometimes I fail to follow my own advice. After injuring my knee during a run, I found myself struggling with pain, swelling, and limited range of motion around my knee. I had difficulty instructing my fitness classes and immediately modified exercises that aggravated my knee; I also had issues teaching yoga because of my inability to fully flex my knee. Due to continued pain and swelling, I ultimately limited my activities and stopped running for four weeks. I used ice and compression on my knee and elevated it in the evenings to reduce swelling.

Running is like therapy for me and after a month off, I was anxious to get back to some short runs. Although my knee felt much better, I knew there was still quite a bit of swelling lingering from my injury. However, I decided it would be safe to ease back into running by trying a short two-mile run. I felt since I was running 5 to 6 mile runs prior to my injury that it would be a safe trial. However, ten minutes into my run, I started to feel pain and against my better judgement continued to run. The pain was minimal and I was determined to finish my two mile goal.

Big mistake; I paid for it later as I laid on the couch with an ice pack and ibuprofen on board for pain. I later discovered that due to my impatience, I would have to take off another two months from running.

You can avoid my mistake by following these tips for a safe and effective recovery:

  1. Evaluate the injury- If the pain is unbearable and the swelling persists; go to the doctor.
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2. Use RICE immediately after your injury- REST, ICE, COMPRESSION, and ELEVATION- Use ice packs on the affected area and keep it elevated as much as possible throughout the day. Wear a compression sleeve or bandage as needed during activity.

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3. Take more time off than you think before resuming activity and make sure all swelling and pain is resolved.

4. Modify activity as you heal; utilizing body weight exercises and gentle stretching appropriately.

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5. Talk to your physician or a health and fitness professional about ways to strengthen and heal any muscle imbalances which may have contributed to your injury.

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Wednesday WOD

Came up with this workout on my way to the gym this morning and I absolutely loved the fact that I got my weights and cardio done in one workout. Try my Wednesday Total Body WOD and let me know what you think.

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CIRCUIT 1:

  1. Seated Leg Press – 15 reps

2. Incline Chest Press – 15 Reps

3. Pull-up- 5 Reps

  • TREADMILL RUN- 1 mile

REPEAT CIRCUIT 1 (4X)

CIRCUIT 2:

  1. Cable Rope Tricep Overhead Extension- 15 Reps

2. Cable Rope Bicep Curl – 15 Reps

3. DB Alternating Lunge & Bicep Curl- 16 Reps

  • TREADMILL RUN- 1 mile

REPEAT CIRCUIT 2 (4X)

CIRCUIT 3:

  1. DB Rear Delt Fly – 15 Reps

2. Barbell Hip Thrust – 15 Reps

3. Mountain Climbers – 1 minute

  • TREADMILL RUN- 1 mile

REPEAT CIRCUIT 3 (4X)

YOGA- FINAL STRETCH

I’m Offended With The Word “Anti-aging”

Let’s start to see the beauty in fine lines, wrinkles, grey hair and what it represents. What if we were taught to see aging as a celebration of the confidence, wisdom, and life experience we gain with each passing year?

Snowbird In Training

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Why is everyone so afraid of aging? People associate aging with fading  looks,  poor health, and losing their value in society.  It seems anyone over the age of thirty-five feels pressure to get a face lift, botox, implants, tummy tuck, etc..  Simply as a means of competing in today’s world.  Ads on TV and social media promote “anti-aging” creams and facial treatments guaranteed to erase the signs of aging.  Anti- aging is big business!

Is it such  a tragedy to get older?

I hear seniors talk of feeling ‘invisible’ as they get older;  and that their voices are not seen or heard after they hit a certain age.

from in her article The Invisible Years from Psychology Today reports:

And then it happened to me. I realized that when I walk down the street, younger people simply don’t see me. Not a glance, not a…

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Amazing Total Body Workout

 

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Try my Amazing Total Body Workout circuit that hits cardio, strength and flexibility.  Complete each exercise back to back with quick rest and water break at the end of the circuit.  Repeat circuit 3 to 4 times.  Finish with yoga stretch routine.

Warmup-  Bodyweight – 5-7 minutes

 

THE WORKOUT:

  1. Indoor Cycle – 3 mins of fast paced interval work  (WORKS HEART/ LEGS/GLUTES)

 

2.  Incline Barbell Chest Press- 12 Reps  (UPPER BODY CHEST)

3.  Barbell Bicep Curl- 12 Reps (Upper BODY BICEPS)

 

4.  Pull- Up – 5 Reps (UPPER BODY BACK)

 

5.  Battleropes 45 Secs (FULL BODY/ CORE)

 

6.  DB Rear Delt Fly- 12 Reps (UPPER BODY SHOULDERS/back)

 

7.  DB Side Raise- 12 Reps (UPPER BODY SHOULDERS)

 

8.  Weight Plate Tricep Extension 12 Reps (UPPER BODY TRICEPS)

 

Bicycle Abs 45 secs – (CORE ABS)

 

 Water Break-   Complete this circuit 3-4 times

Final stretch – 6 Min Post Workout Yoga