How Exercise is Different Once you Hit 50 Years Old

If you do not have time to read the following article, here is a short summary:
At least 45 minutes of moderate to intense aerobic and resistance training for those over 50 is shown to improve brain capacity, memory and the ability to quickly process information. The more often you exercise the more it helps prevent cancer, heart disease, muscle and back issues, depression, dementia and related neurodegenerative diseases.  Once again, a study has shown the benefits of an active life-style and the positive impact it has on your quality of life. Exercise for Health!


Why a Heart Monitor is Important

Dr. H. James Harrington said, ” Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement.  If you can’t understand it, you can’t improve it.  if you can’t control it, you can’t improve it”.
Most people know what a heart rate monitor does, but, does not know why it is important. A heart rate monitor is a great tool that does exactly what its’ name implies, it measures your heart rate, or how many times a minute your heart beats.  It is important for your safety and success as it lets you know how hard you are working, which ensures the safety of your fitness workout.  Whether you are a beginner who’s just starting to work out, or a professional athlete looking to hit specific fitness goals, a heart monitor allows you to see how hard you are working at the gym.
Think of your heart as a muscle and the harder you work it, the stronger it gets and aerobic exercise is the best way to work it.  The more you exercise your heart, the more you lower your resting heart rate (RHR).  A stronger heart pumps more blood per beat, so the same work is performed with less beats. A healthy heart will help prevent cardio disease/heart attacks. 
For the maximum benefit from your cardio workout it is recommended you work out at 50% – 85% of your maximum heart rate (MHR).  To calculate your MHR, deduct your age from 220.  Keep in mind, that  your MHR can be off up to 10% using this method, as heart rate levels vary depending on your fitness level, nutrition, medications, genetics, and environment.  After you have calculated your MHR with the above method, check your heart rate monitor to determine if you need to lower or increase your intensity level.
We recommend a heart rate monitor for everybody that works out and encourage you to inquire at the front desk about our MyZone heart monitors (we have made them very affordable for our members). In addition to measuring your heart rate, MyZone measures calories burned and your effort level, which allows you to set goals and evaluate your progress while enjoying a safe workout.
Learn more about our MyZone program:


Why Warm Up?

Ten reasons to warm up before your workout:

It helps you mentally prepare for the workout ahead;

The increased blood flow to your muscles and connective tissues will increase their elasticity, leading to better performance and helping reduce the chances of injury;

Raises your body temperature, reducing the chances of injury to your muscles and connective tissues;

Your muscles are supplied with more oxygen through the process of oxyhemoglobin which is the form in which oxygen is transported to the blood supply;

Nutrients are delivered to your muscles through increased blood flow allowing for energy production and warming  your muscles preparing  them for the coming workout;

Your risk of cardiac injury related to exercise is reduced;

Your muscle control improves through the transmission of nerve impulses;

The amount of heat stored in your body is reduced through perspiration, which is helpful because your body expends more energy cooling itself than through any other activity.

Prepares your cardio system for the increased demand of blood and oxygen that is coming;

You will experience less pain during your workout if your body is prepared for it.

A proper warmup should take five to ten minutes and the more intense the workout, the more important the warmup!

The Best Overall Workout

Boxing/Kickboxing is one of the most effective forms of exercise for getting and staying in shape.  With a boxing/kickboxing workout you are honing your athletic skills and having fun.  You will experience increased physical strength, speed and quickness, agility, hand-eye coordination, endurance and power while your self-esteem grows as you become more disciplined and confident.

Cardio boxing/kickboxing is a form of interval training as you engage in a series of intense three minute rounds followed by thirty seconds of less intense exercise.  Interval training is extremely effective when it comes to cardiovascular fitness and will reduce your risk of cardio disease, high blood pressure, and lower your risk of stroke.  Hitting the heavy bag and performing mitt work are also great ways to release some of the stress in your life.  The intense workouts will leave you feeling good about yourself as the exercise releases endorphins into your body.  Endorphins are the feel-good hormones which leave you feeling more confident and feeling less stress.

As you train with boxing/kickboxing as your mode of exercise, you will burn up to 1,000 calories in a one hour workout.  These workouts combined with a sensible nutrition plan will change your body composition, increasing your muscle mass and lowering your fat content.  Watching your calorie intake while maintaining your workouts will  enable you to reach and then maintain your ideal body weight.

With a boxing/kickboxing workout you will be performing weight bearing exercises such as push-ups, lunges and planks, which help you preserve and even increase your bone mass.  As we age, beginning around the age of 30, our bone mass shrinks and our bones become more brittle.  A boxing/kickboxing workout loads all of your major bones and fights the onset of osteoporosis and aging.

Boxing/kickboxing has long been recognized as one of the most effective full-body workouts combining aerobic and anaerobic elements. The workout allows you to go at your own pace and increase the intensity as you see fit, providing you with cardio and resistance training.  So, if you want to look better and feel better, a boxing/kickboxing workout is just about the best form of exercise there is.


What to Eat Before a Workout

Just as you’d fill up your car’s gas tank before a road trip, it’s vitally important to make sure your body has the right fuel to sustain you during a workout.

Proper nutrition, both before and after, will also “speed up recovery, protect you from fatigue and get you ready for the next workout,” says Jenna A. Bell-Wilson, PhD, RD, LD, a board-certified specialist in sports dietetics.

So, what should you eat before going for a bike ride or heading to the gym? Use these guidelines and snack ideas to keep your engine running optimally.

Balance carbs with protein
“A relatively high-carbohydrate, moderate protein, low-fat meal is best to consume before exercise,” says Suzette Kroll, a registered dietitian and senior staff member of the Canyon Ranch Spa in Tucson, AZ. People often underestimate the importance of the carb part of the equation when fueling up for exercise, especially strength training, says Bell-Wilson. “They assume it’s all about protein. Protein is important for muscle building and repair, but in order to lift those weights you need carbohydrates for energy,” she says. Choose carbs that are easily digestible and avoid high-fat foods – or large quantities of any food – just before working out because they don’t digest well during exercise.

Time it right 
“Whether you’re strength training or going on a run, you want to make sure you have something within four hours before the workout and then a smaller snack in the hour before,” says Bell-Wilson. If you know your workout is only going to last 45 minutes, keep the snack small, she says. “If it’s going to last 2 hours, then you’re going to want to beef up that pre-exercise meal.”

Carefully assess protein bars 
When squeezing a workout into a busy schedule, you may like the convenience of protein or “sports” bars. Make sure you choose carefully; according to Kroll, most bars are “glorified candy bars, often providing even more calories.” To find the better ones, Bell-Wilson suggests choosing a bar that has about 200 calories, up to 5 grams of protein and 25 grams of carbohydrates. “If you find a bar that you really like, but it’s high in calories, just eat half of it,” says Bell-Wilson. “Save the other half for after your workout.”

Don’t eat more than you burn
You just finish a heart-pumping, hour-long workout. You take a quick shower and then pass the gym’s café on the way out. Watch out for those healthy-looking snacks. One smoothie or even a sports drink can replace all the calories you just burned, and then some. “It’s important to realize that just because you worked out doesn’t give you free rein in the kitchen,” says Bell-Wilson. “The reward is that you went and you did it.” If you exercise for an hour or less, your best bet is to grab a bottle of water and eat at your next scheduled meal. “If it lasts longer, plan to have a snack in your locker or on your way home,” says Bell-Wilson.

5 pre-workout snack ideas
1. Half a chicken, turkey or lean roast beef sandwich on whole-wheat bread
2. Low-fat yogurt with a sliced banana
3. Low-fat string cheese and 6 whole-grain crackers
4. Hard-boiled eggs, yolks removed and replaced with hummus
5. Skim milk blended with frozen fruit to make a smoothie

5 post-workout replenishing meal ideas
1. One or two poached eggs on whole-wheat toast
2. Bean burrito: a whole-wheat tortilla filled with black beans, salsa and reduced-fat cheese
3. Stir-fried chicken and vegetables (try pepper, zucchini and carrot) over brown rice
4. Whole-wheat pasta tossed with chicken, broccoli and eggplant
5. Whole-grain cereal or oatmeal, with milk and fruit (such as a sliced banana)

Article By: Meredith Bergman and Amy Leibrock as appeared on


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