Personal Trainer Nick Finney shares his top tips to get you fighting fit and healthy over fifty!
1. One of the most effective ways to burn fat or keep weight off is to carry out 'fasted cardio'. This practice involves cardio of any sort, at any speed whatever your level; first thing in the morning before you have eaten. It requires the body to provide all the energy supply as no food is available at all!
2. Weight training is very important to strengthen bones, and is proven to stave off and even cure osteoporosis problems that arise as we get older. Don't be afraid to hit those weights even if you start slow and light its progress!
3. Ladies tend to be worried about approaching weight training. They imagine rooms of pumped up sweaty men grunting, and of course sadly this is sometimes true! (Or not sadly dependant on preference) However the old rhetoric we had drummed into us that weights make you bulky is pure myth...women simply do not have the testosterone in their system to create large muscles, even if they did it would require very heavy repetitive poundages, and vast quantities of bodybuilding dose protein ingestion as well!
Think simply that when a car has four people inside it will use more fuel than if it had one. Lifting heavier weight burns more calories than light weight. So it usually actually makes you smaller.
4. The old way of thinking that we cannot eat after 8pm or don't have carbohydrates after 4pm has been proven incorrect in recent times. We know now that actually we are very sensitive to carbohydrates in the morning that is to say they have a higher propensity to be stored as fat then as opposed to the evening.
For example instead one may choose to have a protein and fats breakfast and enjoy carbohydrates with dinner. Carbohydrates at dinner also encourage serotonin production in the brain and help a better night’s sleep. They also keep us more satisfied during the evening period where many of us dangerously begin looking in cupboards!
5. Fat does not make you fat! Instead we need to be far more concerned with sugar. Sugar causes an insulin spike, and this immediately promotes fat storage. Check the back of what you're eating and remember 5g of sugar is a teaspoon. If you're eating a salad with 15g of sugar in it something is going wrong!
6. Make ALL your meals protein based. It is extremely difficult to put on weight if this is the crux of your plan. Don't fret about which source you use too much; if you love lamb have it, if you prefer chicken that's fine...scrambled eggs no problem.
7. Overall weight the scales should not be your ultimate arbiter. Sure you can keep an eye on things, but what if you put on 2kg of muscle and lose 2kg of fat? Scales show no difference, but your changes have been fantastic. Remember 2kg of muscle over the whole body is hardly anything; however that muscle requires calories to exist even when you're doing nothing. You're on your way to changing your metabolism and becoming a fat burning furnace!
Forget the scales and use your clothes as your guide. Those favourite jeans don't lie!
8. Just a few tweaks to your exercise choices can make all the difference. Exercises that utilise more muscles burn more calories, and tend to also hit the larger muscles like legs and back. Hiring a trainer to run you through these more complex choices for just a couple of sessions can put you on a road to much greater progress and be worth the money in the long run....(maybe have one less bottle of wine a week to make up for it!!)
9. Try to rope a friend into going with you, often you can both get bitten by the bug and motivate each other when you see results. You'll both have good days and bad days but you're more likely to be consistent, and have fun with a friend there. Look at class timetables and mix in some free classes with your weights for variety like spinning, boxing, Zumba anything you like; just do it!
10. My last tip is try to enjoy it! If you really don't feel like going one night then don't! If you're unwell don't go! Don't listen if people say you have to go in the morning or evening is best... Go whenever suits you, and the gym should fit into your life not the other way around. Nothing worth doing is easy but consistency breeds results and you'll be amazed how great you feel after a month, and the compliments on your figure never hurt either!