Baby boomers whose exercise routines have gone bust may be thinking about putting the boom â€“ and a little sweat â€“ back into their lives as they ponder New Year resolutions for 2018. But thinking and doing are two different things.
â€œIn our society, everyone wants a great body,â€ said Jaime Brenkus, a fitness expert for Evergreen Wellness (myevergreenwellness.com), which provides videos and articles to people 55 and older to enjoy healthier lives. â€œThe problem is no one wants to work for it.â€
Boomers â€“ those born from 1946 to 1964 â€“ may consider themselves â€œtoo far goneâ€ to embark on a serious fitness regimen, Brenkus says. But you donâ€™t need to train for a triathlon, he noted. Even out-of-shape people in their 50s, 60s, and 70s can take manageable strides toward improving their physical wellness.
â€œSuccess in life is not about a matter of inches and pounds,â€ Brenkus says. â€œItâ€™s when you start taking your first steps toward a realistic and reachable goal.â€
Brenkus offers a few simple exercises to get started:
- Sit and get fit. Four easy moves you can do on a chair will give you a slimmer, trimmer and tighter waistline. Do at least 20 repetitions of each exercise. For the first, place your hands behind your head, crunch forward and then lean back as far as you can while keeping your feet on the ground. For the second, you can do side bends. Place your hands behind your head again, but this time alternate bending from one side to the other. For the third, rotate your body side to side with more twists. Finally, scoot to the edge of the chair. Bring both knees into your chest and then lower your legs to the starting position.
- Round-the-world lunges. You will do a forward, a side and a reverse lunge. Perform each in one movement. (1) Forward lunge. Stand with your feet together and back straight. Place your left hand on a chair for balance and support. Slowly take a big step forward with the right foot. Lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the floor and your right shin is vertical. Then move back to the starting position. (2) Side lunge. Slowly step to the side with your right foot about 3 feet and squat so your thighs are parallel to the ground. Move back to the starting position. (3) Reverse lunge. Slowly step back with your right foot about 3 feet. Bend both knees and lower yourself until your left thigh is parallel with the ground. Return to starting position.
- Morning rituals. Brenkus says he starts each morning with fitness moves that work the entire body. The first is pushups. Start with an amount youâ€™re comfortable with. For example, if you do 10 every day, that adds up to 300 for the month. If you’re a beginner, it’s okay to start by doing them on a wall. Next are squats. Your feet should be shoulder width apart. With your abs held tight and your back straight, slowly lower yourself into a seating position until your bottom touches a seat. Make sure your knees donâ€™t go past your toes and are aligned straight. If just starting out, try quarter to half squats where youâ€™re not bending down as far.