FINE TUNING FITNESS AFTER 40 - PART 2
I'm assuming if you read the first installment and you're here, you're still over age 40. You'd probably also like some more information to help you feel good and move better. My mastery of the obvious is pretty on point if that hasn't hit you yet.
So, we know that over the age of 40 your body can betray you if you don't take care of it. This means eating things that don't add additional inflammation to your system. For me it's limiting my GMO enhanced, non-free range, inorganic, raw cookie, cake, ice cream intake, bread and pasta.
This stuff, while like a nice cup of coffee with an old friend that you've known your entire life, makes my joints cranky, and takes me longer to get loose for a workout. If I stick to the program, eat the exact opposite of what I mentioned above (especially if I have fermented vegetables as often as possible), and keep my water intake where it needs to be, I wake up feeling pretty good. If not, "teachable moments" ensue.
The Best Way to Fuel Your 40's, 50's and Beyond
When it comes to dialing in this HABIT (yes, it has to become a habit to stick), I can't think of anyone better to help than my nutrtion know-how go to resource, Daniella Dayoub from DFitLife. Her methodology of muscle fueling has helped me a ton and my 44-year-old joints very much appreciate her information.
What Foods Cause Inflammation?
"A lot of things cause inflammation in people, and it’s not all food-related: stress, lack of quality sleep, environmental toxins, toxic relationships, and gum-disease," says Dayoub. "Not all of those things are in your realm of control, but your response to them is."
She lists the major inflammation food offenders as:
Hydrogentated/Vegetable Oils (trans fats)
"I would also add to this things like artificial sweeteners, conventionally raised homogenized/pasteurized dairy, over-consumption of any food, and under consumption of nutrient and mineral dense natural whole foods. What all the above have in common is that they do not support healthy gut function."
The Best Ways to Reduce Inflammation From Food
Daniella also recommends cutting out "processed foods, ingredients you can’t pronounce, anything GMO, sugar-bombs (read: anything from Starbucks). That will get you a long way to being less blowfish-like.
"Then start with getting a little more meticulous: trading your vegetable cooking oils for safer saturated fats like butter, lard, tallow, palm oil, etc," she advises. "Pay attention to your alcohol consumption. While there are benefits to the occasional glass of wine, the magic is in the dose."
Given that we just had National Coffee Day, her advice on this amazing beverage is particularly near and dear to me because, well, coffee is a luxurious liquid I'd have a hell of time cutting out.
"Take a look at your daily caffeine consumption. If you’re already stressed all day, adding fuel to the fire is only going to crank up the inflammation," She says. "Try to mitigate this by bringing down the daily dose of joe. (BLASPHEMY! I mean, very sound advice from someone who knows a lot more than I do.)"
Dayoub also advices people:
To stear clear of gluten and the foods that contain it to help you control inflammation. You may not have any sensitivites, but playing the numbers game could be a risky venture if it does affect you and you're not aware of it.
Move: walking, stretching, and even just playing with your kids will increase circulation and decrease inflammation
Add antioxidant-rich spices to cooking: turmeric, garlic, chili peppers, rosemary, fennel, cumin, etc..
Get some natural probiotics into your day: sauerkraut, kimchi, full-fat pastured yogurt/kefir, kombucha, kvass, etc..
Eat a lot of veggies in various colors, shapes, and sizes (and preferably in-season). Make sure to coat them in healthy fats for best absorption
So Now What?
Now that we know you need to get a trainer, train with a heart rate monitor, see chiropractors and physical therapist before you have to, reduce inflammatory foods and move, move and move some more, now what?
How are you supposed to move? What are the best exercises for joint friendly fitnes?
Once again, I'm glad you asked, and away...we...go... (name the movie where a central character says that. If you're a regular reader, its an easy one!)
Joint Friendly Fitness
I've recently gotten into using my suspension traininers quite a bit more. I find that they are very friendly on my joints and allow me to train multiple days in a row if I dial in the right intensity.
They are pretty easy on my body as a whole (core and hips, well not so much, but that's the point, right?) and I've spiked my heart rate to 178bpm using them. You can't beat that for interval training with very little impact.
For more on the benefits of this type of training, I asked my good friend, TRX Training Instructor and all around awesome person, Alison Corcoran from Goldilocks Training in San Francisco to give me her thoughts. It was her doing btw that spiked my HR to warp factor 978 in her Saturday morning group class. I think I saw my Mio Fuse HRM cry trying to keep up!
Here are Corcoran's top 5 reasons for using a TRX over the age of 40:
1.) You perform the movements standing. With sedentary behaviors being practically unavoidable in life, it gets you off your butt to train - which serves your body far better than any seated machine.
2.) It is low-impact on your joints. Intensity is determined by you and your proximity to the anchor point. If the load becomes too much you can simply step further away and continue to execute your reps with quality.
3.) It is portable and easy to set-up. Whether your life involves travel, juggling family time, or long hours at the office, you can bring your TRX anywhere. It can even be set up in a door hinge in under 2 minutes. When every minute matters, nothing can compare to its convenience.
4.) Core, core, core! When using the TRX you are constantly in a version of a plank. Hence, your core is being worked with every single exercise. As we age, a weak core can begin to contribute to chronic pain and injuries. It is no surprise that building a strong core leads to less back pain, diminished neck pain, improved posture, and decreased risk of movement-based injuries. Plus, it's nice to build a strong abdominal wall... I've never heard any complaints from clients with that side-effect!
5.) No matter what your goals are, or what background you may have in fitness, it suits your needs. Weight loss, strength building, injury rehab, sports-specific training, and even basic mobility can all be delivered from this simple set of straps.
Get your vitamin R
Tell me if this sounds familiar? You train 5-7 days a week, aren't getting any faster/stronger, but you sure as hell feel that you're getting slower.
You're also getting aches and pains that "weren't there yesterday," and you feel like you've fighting a bug you just can't shake. You might even have trouble getting your heart rate up, finding motivation to train, or feel like it takes a triple espresso with a sixer of Red Bull to chase it with. Even then, this might just get you to even keel. MIGHT.
Just like you can't out train a bad diet, you can't out run the piper when they come a'calling for you to rest. What do you do if you come down with a case of "DidWaaaayTooMuchForWaaaayTooLong-itis?"
Possible side effects from over training are:
Lack of motivation
Loss of appetite
Aches and pains that don't subside
Weight gain because you've driven your cortisol levels through the roof
The best way to cure this is to put your ego in check and take heaping dose of "Don'tDoAnythingForAWhile-acilin" for at least a week or longer. If your symptoms persist, you better check in with your physician as well to make sure nothing else is physically afoot.
Bodies in motion tend to stay in motion, up to a point. Move for too long doing too much, and you might not move for a while as your body "volunteers" you to do very little. Remember, abide by the way you're supposed train in your 40's not your 20's.
"Keeping all our tissues supple and functional is imperative to optimize performance. An ounce of prevention can help you perform better as you age," says Dr Lucy Osgood from the Chiropractic Performance Center. "Getting a chiropractic postural assessment to identify problem areas and imbalances is crucial . Then corrective adjustments, deep tissue massage, functional exercises and foam rolling will help to keep you in top form for years to come."
Hopefully, I've given you some helpful tips tol help you fine tune your fitness after 40. Have a favorite way to train? Leave a comment below.
After you do that, if you live in the Mountain View, Los Altos, Palo Alto, Menlo Park or Sunnyvale areas of the Silicon Valley, shoot me a line and we can set up a time to dial in a fitness program to keep your fitness gains on track.