Here Are 9 Simple Steps to Living the (Healthy) Life You Want in the New Year
About new year resolutions, there’s bad news, and then there’s good news.
First the bad news: Most of them fail.
Now the good news: People over 50 have more life experience and tools to succeed at them. You’re more realistic, focused and balanced – in life and in reaching a goal, which is really all a resolution is, anyway – a goal.
As fitness experts, we know that plenty of people start each year wanting to get in shape. So, they join a gym or studio like ours full of determination to stick with it, to lose the weight, to eat better, etc. And that’s great. We want everyone to gain the benefits of exercise. But not as many of them incorporate fitness habits into their lifestyle for the long term.
Some people don’t like to think about resolutions, and we can see why. We’re here to help. And we look forward to talking and answering any questions you have. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking on track.
- Embrace Your Hard-Earned Wisdom. Nobody knows you better than you, especially at this point in life. You’ve set and reached many goals before, and you’ve learned the difference between wanting to do something and feeling like you should do something. You know which kind of exercise you like, what time of day works for you, etc.
- Forget Anyone Else’s Expectations. Along those lines, shake loose society’s standards about what your body is “supposed” to look like at this age or that. If for no other reason, move your body because it makes you feel good. The rest will follow.
- Slow Your Roll. People in their 20s and 30s tend to overcommit too quickly, take on too much, and then get frustrated when they can’t meet the self-imposed pressure. By now, you’ve probably learned the value of starting with one specific goal. It can be as simple as walking around the neighborhood three times a week. Or joining one of our fitness classes for a certain number of sessions per week.
- Revel in Your Freedom. People over 50 tend to have fewer children at home, so there’s less pressure to rush back to the daily grind after the holiday break. And people who are retired get even more freedom from the onslaught of job stress after the period of holiday bliss.
- Remember What You Want – Specifically. Get specific. (“I want to play ball with Timmy this spring”… “I want to feel stronger on the golf course” … “I want to look good when I walk my granddaughter down the aisle.”). Remember this goal whenever you’re frustrated or need motivation.
- Count Your Blessings. Exercise is a celebration of what we can do – not punishment for other actions. It’s a chance to show how much you want to be here and happy for as long as possible. Try it: Gratitude is a much better motivator than complaining or channel-surfing.
- Put Movement Into Your Routine. Park at the far end of the lot. Take the stairs. Take the dog for a walk. Dance while you clean house.
- Grab a Buddy. Whether it’s with a friend, adult child or spouse, you’re more likely to succeed if you have someone with you. And if you don’t have someone to join you, come in anyway and make new workout friends. The social component is one of the countless blessings of being a member here.
- Avoid the Label. Don’t think of it as a “New Year’s Resolution.” That’s too much pressure! You’re just moving that body, every day, one day at a time.
Remember, we’re here for you!
Don’t Overlook These Small Tools to Boost Resistance Training
Sometimes the smallest things pack the biggest punch.
That’s the case with elastic exercise bands that are common in gyms and fitness studios. They’re also affordable, lightweight and versatile enough to have around the house and carry in purses, backpacks and luggage.
Resistance bands have moved beyond physical therapy and into fitness. They are useful tools for trainers and elite athletes, but also for anyone on the fitness spectrum.
Bands are made of plastic, rubber or fabric, and provide different levels of resistance. You can use bands for arm curls, presses, seated rows, squats and all kinds of stretches, moving at your own pace.
Bands are especially helpful or people over 50 for two reasons. First, they give more resistance the harder you work them, since their resistance grows the tighter you pull. Second, they’re conversely easier when you get to the point of a repetition that has the least tension or resistance. That’s good if you have a joint issue to work around.
Bands help with muscular endurance and joint stabilization, says the National Academy of Sports Medicine. They help you move in multiple planes of motion and achieve greater range of motion. Some prefer better mobility and functionality, which increase our functional fitness for everyday tasks.
Come ask us for a fun demonstration about how to use resistance bands a little or a lot. You can use them here or anywhere, and we’re glad to help start you right on the path of more resistance.
Healthy Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower Tacos
This dish proves meat and cheese aren’t really necessary for delicious, satisfying tacos. Hearty pinto beans provide the base, and the veggies are the real stars: cauliflower, poblano peppers and tomatoes, dusted with chili powder and roasted to sweet, crispy perfection. These are packed with nutrients and fiber, too.
1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
2 poblano peppers, cut crosswise into ½-inch thick strips
3 cloves garlic, smashed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup canned (no salt) pinto beans, drained, rinsed and warmed
8 corn tortillas
4 slices avocado
8 fresh cilantro sprigs
Hot sauce, for serving (optional)
- Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
- On a rimmed sheet pan, combine cauliflower, tomatoes, garlic and poblanos. Drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with chili powder, salt and pepper. Toss together and spread into single layer. Roast until golden brown and tender, 30 to 35 minutes.
- To heat tortillas, using tongs, hold a tortilla over flame of stove. Flip so both sides are slightly charred but still pliable. Repeat with all tortillas. Keep warm in towel.
- Fill tortillas with cauliflower mixture and beans. Top with avocado, cilantro and hot sauce, if desired.
Makes 4 servings
Nutritional facts per serving
Total fat: 17g
Sat fat: 2g
Source: Sara Quessenberry, Cleveland Clinic