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5 Personal Training Tips for Getting Fit After 40

Let’s be honest, working out and going to the gym isn’t the most fun thing in the world for most of us. The gym can be an intimidating place to be, especially if you’re new to working out or if you haven’t been active in quiet sometime. There’s also a bunch of half-naked 20-year old’s running around doing a bunch of weird shit and no one likes that. Lastly, where the hell do you even begin when starting to get back to fitness?!

That’s where Restored Strength comes in, we’re the gym for the rest of us! We help adults get strong, fit, and healthy for life. We’ve made it our goal to specifically work with regular adults who have office jobs that want to move and feel better. Here are few tips to help you get started with your health and wellness goals!

1. Hire a professional

Hiring a real fitness professional is the best place to start. Just because someone looks fit and they played football in college doesn’t qualify them to be personal trainers. That’s like me saying I can give you tattoos because I love tattoos and have so many. Could you imagine that? How crazy would it be to go to a tattoo artist who has no professional training or education on how to tattoo, but they have a tattoo gun and ink and are calling themselves an artist.

Instead you should talk to someone who is educated and certified to prescribe exercise professionally. Hiring a real fitness professional means that they can show you their certifications or education that is qualifying them to do the job you’re hiring them for. At Restored Strength one of our core values is that we prioritize education and continuing to expand our skill sets as professional personal trainers. We do this by attending courses and hiring other fitness professionals to help us expand our knowledge to better serve our members.

2. Do Functional Fitness Workouts

Functional fitness is a philosophy used by real fitness professionals to help their clients get the best results. How do you know if your workouts are functional? Well a great example of what isn’t functional is doing “leg day”, “chest day”, “arms”, “abs”, for over an hour. That type of workout is appropriate only if you’re wanting to compete in a bodybuilding competition. If you’re not then you shouldn’t be paying someone to train you for a sport you don’t plan on competing in. Not only that, but also this style of working out is completely outdated and not as beneficial as functional fitness.

Functional fitness workouts are better for you because they target larger muscle groups which recruit more joints and core muscles to help you become stronger. A functional fitness workout will have different movement patterns in the workout that are filled with exercises that improve those patterns related to your fitness goals. (that’s a bunch of fitness jargon) What I mean by that statement is that if your goal is to be strong enough to carry your groceries with ease, then doing burpees won’t help you. Instead you should be doing exercises like farmer carries that relate to what your goal is. Another example would be learning how to proper squat, so that getting up and off the couch gets easier!

3. Drink water

If you’re goal is to work on nutrition, I cannot stress this enough, but you need to begin with the basics like drinking water. Getting enough water in your day is a foundational habit that you need to have established before jumping into the food aspect of nutrition. Drinking water is the bare minimum you need to do to start feeling better and living a healthier life.

How much water should you be drinking? Well that’s a depends answer, but I’ll make this suggestion, go by how many bottles/cups you drink in a day. For example, if you’re only drinking 2 glasses of water every day try adding one or two more to your daily habit, and after 4 consistent weeks add another 1 or 2 more. Gradually build up to a point that you’re drinking anywhere from 2.5-4 liters of water a day.

4. Don’t eat until you’re uncomfortable

I’m guilty of eating until I’m painfully full, which has led to a lot of problems and discomfort. I do my best to avoid doing this because it sucks and I don’t like it. What has helped me is stopping when I’m about 80% full. This way I will have some energy to keep moving and not feel shitty. This idea has fluctuation, meaning that if I’m still hungry and know that I won’t feel like shit afterwards then I’ll eat all of the things on my plate. The idea was inspired by Max Shank who talks about the 80/20 rule when he talks about effort you put in your workouts. I like to eat foods higher in fiber and protein which helps me feel fuller for longer and reduces the extra amount of calories I’m eating.

I recently listened to a podcast that goes into some new research about nutrition and how weight-loss ACTUALLY works.

“I mean, I know that, for example, when I get home from work, I get the kids in bed and I finally have a little bit of time to breathe, I’ll tell you what I do, I sit down on the couch, catch up on work emails or watch TV or something like that, read a book and I have a beer. Now, I don’t need that beer and if I was trying to lose weight, that’d be one of the first places I’d go, is I would cut that beer out, ’cause I’m not hungry, I’m not even thirsty, if I was thirsty I could have some water, right, you know what I mean? But that’s just calories that I’m just doing out of habit, that don’t have any nutritional impact on me at all, other than the calories. So that’s the focus you gotta take if you wanna lose weight.” – Herman Pontzer Link

5. Move everyday

Our bodies were designed to move, it’s imbedded in our DNA and something we all need to do to stay alive. What I mean by move every day is to do super easy stuff that feels good for you. In order to keep joints healthy and mobile you need to move them daily and in different ways. You can do head nods, head circles, walks around the house, yoga poses, bodyweight squats, getting up and off the ground, etc. Literally anything you want to do, there’s no right or wrong way of doing this.

Start with 1 min a day and add 30 seconds each week until you get to 5 minutes, then just do 5 minutes of movement daily for the rest of your life. I say the rest of your life because I don’t see a day where you don’t use your body.

In summary hire a professional to give you a proper exercise prescription for your goals based around functional movement. Drink a good amount of water first before moving into more complicated nutritional habits. Do your best to reduce the amount of extra calories your having in your day by stopping before you’re too full. Lastly, get up and move your body every day to keep your joints and muscles strong and healthy.

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