Beginners Guide to Middle-aged Fitness
This is an introductory workout, diet, and weight loss program; meaning this is what we need to do to get you started! The routine should suffice for about a month, at which point you should re-evaluate your current level of health, goals, and amount of time that you can spend exercising. This workout is easy on the joints; I made it this way so even if you are more than just a few pounds overweight, it shouldn’t be overbearing to the point that it could damage joints by bearing too much weight on your knees during cardio, or anything like that.
Nutrition: The Kick Start
- Every morning, start with either 8 oz of pomegranate juice, or 12 oz of orange juice. Low protein breakfast, and a complex carb (complex carbs are whole grain foods, like oatmeal, whole grain toast, etc.). The citric acid in the juice gives your metabolism a kickstart for the day, and the carbs give you sustainable energy that you can depend on for a few hours.
- 75% of your liquid intake needs to be water; coffee is hard to get rid of, so instead try to drink the same amount in water right after. So, if you drink 8 oz cup of coffee, drink 8 oz of water shortly after! And ‘water’ includes tea, or those powder mixes you can pour into your water.
- Try to ingest some sort of protein supplement, about 15-20 grams of protein- so for example, a Special K protein drink, or something of the sort. You don’t need to get the powder, but can have the Bolthouse or Naked protein smoothies sold at supermarkets. Or you can try the Perfect Zone or Special K protein bars!
- Between breakfast, lunch, and dinner, have a light snack; like the protein smoothies or bars, or a small salad (salads cannot be iceberg lettuce, try spinach or arugula or something with nutritional value).
Workouts: Getting your Feet Wet
- Walk on the treadmill at 4 mph with an incline of 1.5-2.0 for 20 minutes; this will keep the heart rate high enough to burn an efficient amount of calories, yet low enough to target fat tissue instead of muscle tissue. The length is important because your body will use the carbs in your system at first, and then use old fat tissue as energy to keep going after the carbohydrates are depleted.
- Exercises: use extremely lightweights, like a 10-12lb dumbbell.
- 18-20 Shoulder Presses
- 18-20 Bicep Curls
- 18-20 Tricep Overhead Extensions
- 30 Alternating Lunges
- 20 shoulder flys
- 18-20 Rope Extensions
****Repeat this 2 more times (for a total of 3 sets)
- Cooldown: an additional 10 minutes of walking at 4 mph and 1.5-2.0 incline
- Stretching: Hold each stretch for 10-15 seconds; make sure you stretch as hard as you can. Stretching, physiologically, has the same effect on muscles as does weightlifting- creating microscopic tears in your muscle fibers, making them repair themselves; but rather than repairing stronger and bigger, the muscles repair longer. In doing so, it tones the muscles rather than bulking them. This happens best when you truly push yourself while stretching
- Forward bend, Legs Apart.
- Stretch to the middle, the right side, and left side
- Forward bend with legs crossed
- Middle, left, right
- Hurdlers Stretch
- Downward Dog
- Chest Twist
- Shoulder Cross
- Lace Fingers and Forward Bend, pushing the hands toward the ground (should feel stretch in the biceps)
- Hang arms loose, and twist to each side, kind of let your arms sway and carry you from side to side.
What to Expect
You should see some weight loss in the very first week, about 3-5 lbs. After that, they will slowly come off. The better you eat, the faster you will see results (changing regular carbs to whole grain carbs, eating more protein, and avoiding sugars).
On average, you should see about an average of 8-10 lbs come off the first month. Thereafter, it would probably be around 5-8 lbs, depending on how frequently we change your routine, and the increase in difficulty.
The important thing to gain from this experience, aside from the health benefits, is to get into the habit of working out. The best way to guarantee a future healthy lifestyle is to form good habits, and exercise is vital. Over the next month, if you stick to this routine, you will become accustomed to a set time in your day where you go to the gym, and so when it becomes more difficult, you will be more likely to stick to the routine because it has become a part of your daily routine.
I expect you to cheat; everyone does. However, I want you to cheat well. Instead of having a cheat ‘day’, have a cheat ‘meal’. Instead of getting a cheeseburger meal from Wendy’s, get a grilled chicken sandwich with French fries and water. It is inevitable that you will cheat, I just ask that you be conscious of the consequences, and you cheat sparingly; remembering that it is not just a diet you are cheating on, it’s your health.
This routine is a preparatory step for a future workout plan, that will continue to push you until you accomplish your goals, and then maintain that level of fitness. It may be difficult to begin with, but over a span of two weeks, you should move through it very smoothly and with little trouble.
Most importantly, try to enjoy this! It’s a break from the day, so read a book on the treadmill, listen to some music, and zone out!
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