Beginners Fitness Plan

30 Day Plank Challenge For Beginners

If you’re still looking for that little extra something to do along with walking, try taking the 30 DAY PLANK CHALLENGE. This exercise will help develop your core strength over 30 days as you hold the plank position for longer periods each day.  It starts off slow, 20 seconds on day 1, but will get a more difficult towards the end. That’s not saying you have to hold a plank for xxx amount of time, just do it for as long as you can. If it takes 60 days or even 90 days, then so be it.

So what is a PLANK and what are the benefits? Planks are one of the best exercises for core conditioning as it engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously. including your glutes and hamstrings. It helps you get a toned belly, helps reduce back pain, gives you more flexibility, improves balance, and supports proper posture.

There are a couple different ways to do a plank, but the one I would recommend for beginners is the STANDARD PLANK: also known as the FOREARM PLANK.  And to be straight up – getting into the plank position is pretty easy, but it’s holding the position that takes strength and endurance, which you will eventually build the more you do them.

Proper Form – Lay face down with legs extended and elbows bent directly under your shoulders. You can either make a fist with your hands and rest them on the ground or lay your hands flat on the ground. Feet should be hip width apart, and your elbows should be shoulder width apart. Contract your abdominals and tuck your toes to lift your body while keeping your firearms on the ground. You should be in a straight line from head to toe. Hold this position for whatever length of time your workout instructs.

So if you’re interested in adding a little something more to your daily walks, the 30 DAY PLANK CHALLENGE is one you might want to give a try. If you’re not walking and would rather just get into a workout routine, come back in a few days and start the 4 WEEK BEGINNERS WORKOUT PLAN with me.

Until then – Ciao 🙂

Beginners Fitness Plan

6 Benefits Of Exercising As You Age

As you age, muscle mass is slowly lost, and after the age of 50 that loss is accelerated. Scary to know, but this is undoubtably why your body doesn’t respond to exercise as it did earlier in your life. But if you knew the healthy benefits to exercising, would that make you want to start moving again? I’m hoping it does – please keep reading as …

Here are the 6 Benefits Of Exercising As You Age and how it pertains to everyone:

1.  Helps you maintain or lose weight. People who exercise have an increase in their metabolism, which helps burn more calories and build muscle mass.

2.  Reduces the impact of illness and chronic disease. People who exercise tend to have improved immune and digestive functioning, better blood pressure and bone density, and a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, and certain cancers.

 

3.  Enhances mobility, flexibility, and balance. People who exercise see improvement in strength, flexibility and posture, which helps with balance, coordination, and the reduction for the risk of falls.  Exercise also helps alleviate symptoms of arthritis.  

4.  Improves sleep. People who exercise find they fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply, which makes them feel more energetic and refreshed when they’re awake. Good sleep is vital for your overall health. 

 

5.  Boosts mood and self-confidence. People who exercise find it relieves stress and helps reduce depression, anxiety, or the feelings of sadness, all due to the endorphins produced during this activity. It also helps you feel more self-confident.

6.  Does amazing things for the brain. People who exercise have more brain activity, which increases more brain functions with multitasking and creativity, which can help prevent cognitive decline, dementia and memory loss.

So there you have it people – begin moving, get active, start exercising. Even if you’re a beginner, haven’t exercised in ages, are overweight, or even in your 50’s or older … there is no more time for excuses because your health depends on you taking action.  So stay with me here as I introduce a “4 Week Beginners Workout” which is perfect for those just getting started.  You’ll love it – it won’t kill ya, you won’t be sore for days, which means YOU WON’T QUIT.

Come on … let’s do this together.

Ciao 🙂

Beginners Fitness Plan

Why Is It Important For Older Adults To Exercise?

Why is this important? Because as you age, muscle mass is slowly lost, and after the age of 50 that loss is accelerated. This is undoubtably why your body doesn’t respond to exercise as it did earlier in your life.

So let’s assume you’ve somehow lost that desire to maintain good physical health over the years. You’ve let yourself go, things are starting to sag, getting a bit wider – you know how it goes.  And why do we let this happen?  Well speaking for myself and a few others, I think it’s because we’ve given up on ever believing we’re going to look the way we did back in the days, or better yet – look like her, that other women with the perfect body.

But hear me out.  Being out of shape due to lack of exercise, doesn’t affect anyone else but you. It affects your mind, your soul, your health, and your well being. These are things we can do something about, things we can change for ourselves. So quit dwelling on the past and forget about that other person with the gorgeous perfect bod.

So where do we start? How do we begin?  Well check it …

Go for a walk.  Feel how 15-30 minutes of walking helps clear your mind of stress and distraction, and gives you the much deserved “me time” that is needed for mind clarification.  Walking also gives you time for reflection especially if you’re a spiritual person.  It does wonders for your soul as you connect with our higher being.

Good health begins with a healthy heart.  Exercise helps your heart muscle become more efficient and better able to pump blood throughout your body.  Meaning, the heart pushes out more blood with each beat, allowing it to beat slower and keep your blood pressure under control, which is always a good thing

Start with an exercise program. See how your body reacts and changes as you target certain areas with just a few movements. You’ll begin to see results (some quicker than others), which will do wonders for your psyche and your overall well being.

So now lets get into specifics !!

How do you lose the “relaxed muscle” that seems to have accumulated around your midsection, the back fat, the love handles, the thunder thighs? By keeping active !!

Keeping active is the number 1 way to aging successfully – because a regular workout routine, whether it be daily or every other day, not only supports the function of your brain and your body, but also burns fat to help tone up your relaxed muscles.

 

Here’s an incentive – women over the age of 50 can look and feel years younger by adhering to an exercise routine that:

  1. burns calories
  2. tones muscles
  3. strengthens bones

The question then becomes – which program should I try if I’m just a beginner? Or haven’t exercised in years? Or I’m overweight? Or I’m over age 50?

Well for starters … DO NOT attempt any exercise programs that are geared for people in their 20’s or 30’s – ones that are having you do 20+ reps of hard core moves. They are simply too hard on your bones and your muscles especially when you’ve been inactive, and YOU WILL GET DISCOURAGED AND QUIT (this comes from a person – ME – whose been there/done that).

So the obvious answer is … START OUT SLOW with just 10 – 15 minutes of exercise a day, nothing too strenuous yet still effective. Try to get in some walking time, as mentioned in the previous post. I do my walking after dinner around 7:00pm, to help burn off some of the meal that I just ate.  Slow and steady will get you the best results. Remember … Rome wasn’t built in a day and your body won’t get back into shape after 30 days.

As I mentioned yesterday, the two workout plans that I will be introducing are for beginners, and they are:

1) the 4 WEEK BEGINNERS WORKOUT PLAN – which I’ll post in the next couple days, and

2) the 30 DAY PLANK CHALLENGE – which I’ll also post in the next couple days.

So bottom line – walk first, especially if your age 50 plus or overweight. Do this for starters, then check back here and we’ll start the 4 Week Beginners Workout Plan together.  I’m stoked, how about you?

Until then … Ciao 🙂

Beginners Fitness Plan

Can Walking Help You Lose Weight?

Yes !! Walking will get you on your way to losing weight and belly fat.  If you’re overweight … or over age 50 … or are a beginner to exercise … or need to lose some poundage for that wedding dress … or just want to get in shape – then walking is your starting point.

Need some motivation? Stick with me kids – this is just what you need.

So this is me … age 50 plus.  A little overweight – 15 pounds to be exact, and definitely out of shape. Good God I hate putting myself out here like this as I am very self conscious. But I figure if you could see me in “all my glory” and saw that I don’t look like a skinny beotch sporting the perfect body, you’d be more inclined to follow along as I document my progress. What’s my plan? It’s to go from a frumpy “middle aged woman” to a lighter and tighter but still “middle aged woman” 🙂 sorry, but there’s nothing that can be done to that part

 

Every spring, since 2010, my husband and I measure ourselves to see if we’ve either progressed or digressed in our body shapes. To say the least it’s been eye opening and comical, especially since neither of us have ever been critical of each other’s bodies. Sure we may tease each other, give each each other a little pinch of their inch, make a face when they’re on a second helping of ice cream, or comment while they’re scarfing down a second bowl of chips. But never have we been cruel.

But listening to each other’s reactions as we’re measuring each other has been extremely entertaining and gives us both plenty of laughs for the day. For example:

  • are you sure you’re holding that tape right? Check again
  • hey no fair, you’re sucking in your gut
  • um hello, that’s not your stomach area
  • aren’t you suppose to have an hourglass figure? These numbers say you’re straight as a board
  • those aren’t pecs, they’re man boobs
  • AND MY FAVORITE … where should I measure your chest? Your hang ’em lows aren’t where they’re suppose to be

Can you relate to any of these? Perhaps share some of  yours too?

And what’s even funnier is what happens later on in the day, as we catch each other doing some sort of workout – he’ll be doing pull-ups in his shop, and I’ll be doing lunges down my driveway. And then we both chuckle at each because we know it’ll only be a matter of days until we’re back to our same old same old.

But that was the old – ahead with the new.  It’s now the middle of August and definitely time to get serious. So I’ve decided to start simple. Nothing too strenuous. Just something to get these relaxed muscles and old bones conditioned for my soon to come, weekly workout program.

So first things first – you have to start moving. Whether you’re 15 lbs overweight, 50 lbs overweight, or 100 lbs overweight, the best way to introduce yourself to exercise is by WALKING. Even if this is the ONLY form of exercise you can start with … JUST WALK.

Why walk? Because walking can help with:

  1. weight loss
  2. preventing or managing high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions
  3. strengthening muscles and bones
  4. improving moods
  5. improving balance and coordination

I’m fortunate to have a long driveway on my property and if I circle it 4 times, I’ve actually walked 1 mile. I take my dogs with me just so the walk never gets boring. I also do my walking in the evening after dinner. If I could, I’d actually fit in a morning walk. However seeing I leave my house at 5:00am for work … that’s just not happening right now.

But you don’t need a long driveway to clock steps – any place will do.

  • if you have a street out in front of your home – walk a couple blocks.  Better yet – walk up 4 blocks and back.  Eight city blocks equate to 1 mile
  • if you live in a high rise apartment complex – walk the hallways
  • if you have a park or a beachfront that you feel comfortable enough to stroll, walk the pavement there
  • if you live near a mall – walk the corridors.  They specifically open their doors early (hours before the stores do) to accommodate mall walkers

Shoot for a mile for starters. If you feel this is too easy – go for two. Too much – go for less.  Start with any number you feel comfortable with, but definitely try and aim for ONE.  And do this EVERY DAY. Make sure you stretch before walking – do a couple leg lifts, add a couple leg stretches. You don’t want to give up after a few days all because of a pulled muscle.

And check it – you can even record your steps with MyPacer.

A simple and FREE app for your phone – it’s awesome. I circled my driveway once and it came out to 454 steps.

So once you’re good with walking and possibly feel you need a little extra, you can add one of the 2 easy workouts that I will be featuring later.

But until then, if you’re just beginning …

JUST START MOVING … START WALKING !!

 

Personal Postings

About Me and My Quest To Get It Back

Is this you?

… up there in age, taking care of everyone from your family to your dog to your neighbors, but not yourself…
… you feel like it’s too late — that you won’t be able to get your body, your health, or your self esteem back again…

If so, I’m right there with you — you are not alone.  My name is Denise and I am a 50+ woman on a quest to get it all back.

I’ve tried those workouts that promise to make you look like J-Lo or Jane Fonda (remember her infamous “feel the burn”?).  Workouts like Body Bootcamp (yes, bootcamp – like in military bootcamp)… TaeBo with Billy Blanks (still have my old VHS tapes)… Beachbody P90X (which just about killed me)… and unfortunately each workout plan only lasted about six weeks.  My body transformed into a walking mass of pain, and I honestly couldn’t stand working out for 60-90 minutes in my home or in a gym. If I’m going to spend that time moving around, I really want to be doing something fun while reaping the benefits that come with it.

Which leads me to my blog — 50Friendly — where I’ve discovered an amazing way to get back in shape without risking damage to my joints, bones, and especially my knees.

Are you still with me? Because I want to tell you how you too can join along with me and get the results you’ve been wanting for years. I am so excited and looking forward to eliminating the back fat, the love handles, and the belly pouch. And am equally excited to share what I know about healthy living.

Can you get excited too? Come on – let’s transform together.

I’ve got so much to offer here on 50friendly.com … workouts that start out easy (especially if you haven’t exercised in years), workouts for the seasons (like not riding your bike dead nuts in the summer when it’s 100 degrees out), workouts with and without exercise equipment, and more — all while having fun and not killing yourself in the process.

So let’s do this – let’s start this journey together.  It’s not too late, why wait !!

Make sure to tune back in and check out my next post. I promise it won’t disappoint 😊

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