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Fitness that fits you 

 November 9, 2023

By  Jolinda Rockett

Last Updated: March 26, 2024

What are you waiting for?

Are you sitting in the waiting room of life? Expecting something... I don't know… something better? Wonderful? Life changing? 

Well, get ready. It's time to start your movement program.

Expanding your movement is an exploration into joy. You deserve to have the pursuit of happiness. You've heard it before and it’s true. You were born to pursue happiness so why fight it?

The waiting room is a boring place. I don't care what interesting books and puzzles are on the coffee table.

You need to get up now and move it..

Moving with a purpose

You say you are down with moving if it has a purpose. Exercise is routine and doesn't offer you anything of interest.

Tell your muscles that. The want to be useful and move. Your skin wants to feel the air evaporating a little sweat. Your mind wants relief from busy thoughts. All the hormones and juices inside you are waiting for a purpose. Don't let them all down. 

I'm going to take a big leap here, but I think many people over 40 or 50 wish they had started fitness when they were young. And now, the thinking goes, it is too late. 

True, it is getting later every minute, but that is not a valid excuse. Start now.

You will not find a list of standard exercises in this guide. Instead, I'll point out some of the factors that can help and some that hurt us as we enter the fitness for health world.

Notice I didn't say "contemplate" because this is a time for... gulp... ACTION.

Now lets consider where you want to start. Which one of the following fits your thinking?

You have slipped in your physical activities

You wonder, "Am I still fit for my goal?"

You may start out thinking, Yikes, how did this happen? I thought I was still young enough to start working out again and now I'm not so sure. Can I start or restart a physical program at this stage? 

1.Sit down on the floor. Return to standing position. If you can do this without using your hands, great.

Beginning: If you can do it easily. repeat this simple movement 3 or 4 times, advance to more repetitions and/or make it a little more challenging by speeding up the movements. Also do this a couple of times during the day. If you are playing on the floor a lot working with toddlers, for example, you can probably skip this.

2.Using resistant bands or weights that seem too easy, perform bicep curls, triceps extensions, and overhead pull downs (bands only).
3.Using resistant bands on your ankles, perform adduction and abductions to target your thighs.
4.Lie on the floor face down, lift arms in a Y and in a U and hold each position for 10 seconds. Gradually increase the time.
5.Side planks and front planks are next. You’re getting it.

Whatever has been good for you in the past is going to be good now, but you may have to dial back the reps until, as I explained, you body functions catch up.

Three Lazy ways to fitness - no sweat

I Can Think Of A Lot Of “No Sweat” Fitness Moves Because I Am Lazy. Here Are My Top Ones:

1.Sitting At A Desk Or Table For More Than An Hour At A Time?

Stand up, stretch one arm toward the ceiling as high as you can, hold it for 20 seconds, then relax and repeat with the other arm. Relax and see if this doesn’t feel like you needed it. Stand up and stretch this way or bend to touch your toes every ½ hour. Set a timer.

2.Keep Some Bean Bag Style Leg Weights At Your Desk. 

Use the bean bags to protect your hands and just do simple pushups against the edge of a counter top. 

It should be hard but not strenuous. Do 5-10 pushups. Gradually increase as you can over the days or weeks.

3.Once Or Twice A Week, Lift Heavy Things. 

Use suggestions from your books or the internet. This should be a modest amount of training with weights.

I know I said “no sweat” but I may have exaggerated

Muscles - humph - what are they good for?

You've lived all these years and never owned a pair of sneakers. You say, I'm fine. I can still get out of bed under my own power. 

Hellooo.

Oh, I see. You’re a tough guy, right?

Your assignment is to dance. You heard me. Boom-shakalaka-Boom. Pick some music from your past that has a good beat (I like ZZ Top) and play it loud and wiggle. I would say wiggle until you smile, but that may be asking too much..

Set a timer for 30 minutes and wiggle and stretch. You need to slosh your cellular juices around.

Oh, and move every chance you get. You don’t need big muscles, but you do need to stir up the juices. So, shake it, Baby.

The ladies' guide to flab

You really don't need muscle, you say, because you're not a bikini model. But you've lost some weight and all you see are droopy arms and thighs. What gives?

First you must understand that exercise probably doesn’t actually change droopiness in the way we have been told. But here’s what happens as you exercise the muscle groups of arms, legs, and torso. The mitochondria in each cell under the surface of the skin begin to increase in number. As they do, they will produce more energy and that means your metabolism increases. As the metabolism increases, the biological functions speed up, ever so slightly over time.

This, along with taking a good collagen powder daily and eating a hefty amount of animal protein (see the pdf on protein in this series), will increase collagen production.

You may also want to try taking an herbal tea called GotuKola which is recommended by traditional Indian medicine to help many things, but specifically helpful for skin looseness.

Gradually, almost imperceptibly, your skin and underlying looseness will tighten. In the meantime, you will begin to feel more comfortable in your skin.

Jumpstart your fitness without jumping

You have bad knees (or back or shoulder or neck or feet). There can't be exercise for you unless it is special.

#1 Sit in a chair and holding your arms up, above your head, move your arms gently as if you were a piece of sea weed in the ocean, waving gently as if the tide is flowing around you.

#2 Sitting on the floor, stretch your legs out and lean your upright torso from one side to the other. Then go backward and forward.

#3 Lie on you back on the floor with knees slightly bent, gently lift your hips up slightly, pushing down on the ground with your hands and heels. You don’t have to clear the ground with your tush, You just want to engage the torso muscles, and hold that for as long as you can. Repeat often.

Starting with baby steps is essential. Your body will not cooperate unless it has time to adjust. 

You may think the initial days of a new exercise routine are embarrassingly simple. But we are waiting for hormones, thyroid, muscles, and tight connective tissue to wake up. If after 3 or 4 days of starting a new routine, you are still chomping at the bit, by all means, step it up. 

Remember that it may take 3-4 days for the initial shock to hit your body. So do us all a favor and be sensible in the beginning.

Your muscles want to work, your mind wants to relax, your body is craving release. Expanding movement is an exercise in joy.

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We are strongest and healthiest when we can freely express our heartfelt nature. For over 40 years I have focused on health, first as a nurse, then acupuncturist, and now, through coaching, I help folks find their best health. Join me as we uncover how you can be truly glorious!


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