As discussed last week in Part 1 of this two part series, with the increase in Boomeritis, it’s important to consider how do we get the exercise we need while minimizing the risks of injury. Part two presents alternatives to old workout paradigms, how changing the rules (something we Boomers have always been good at) can make it easier, and finishes with reminding us of the many rewards of maintaining a regular workout regime to enhance longevity, fight age related diseases and ailments, and feel and look our best as we age.

Baby Boomers: Exercising Just Got Easier for You!-Part 2 – By Rita Beck

Gain a No-Pain Philosophy

Staying with the old “no pain, no gain” philosophy could easily end up being the bane of your existence, so it would behoove you to remove that ideology entirely from your workout plan. Pain is a warning sign so try to control your impulse to power through it. If it feels like you’re straining, you probably are, so it’s best you lighten up before you end up laid up.

One new exercise strategy that has been working well for Baby Boomers is pretty simple – I’ll paraphrase here… Use an exercise campaign that isn’t insane or too much of a strain, but easy to maintain without becoming mundane! Studies confirm that people are more likely to stick with a less grueling routine over the long haul. For a balanced exercise program, choose a low-impact, moderate workout plan that includes cardio (without forcing a coronary), plus strength or resistance training, and stretching. Get your heart pumping at least 30 minutes a day or for three mini bouts of activity like a quick walk, a few squats or some lunges or crunches. Doing three 10-minute bursts of exercise each day is just as beneficial for weight loss, heart health and maintaining lean muscle as a single 30-minute workout. Vary your program to avoid muscle overuse, and don’t forget to include some core and balance training which will help strengthen your abs, reduce backaches, increase flexibility and reduce sprains and falls.

Change the Rules and Make it Cool to Exercise

Previous generations followed the rules of nature which dictated that once you reached a certain age, you were supposed to stop being active, stop being cool, and start shopping for rocking chairs. Baby Boomers have changed the rules – we may be aging, but we refuse to get old until we’re good and ready to do it on our terms.

Sticking to a regular exercise regime, however, can be extremely difficult when you’re constantly plagued by pain from soreness and injuries. Even sticking to an easier regime that’s injury free and has lightweight goals can still be a struggle, especially when there are so very many excuses waiting in the wings of our minds, ready to pounce on any given day – I can’t possibly exercise today because I have a headache, toothache, hang nail, bruised ear lobe. Not to worry, my Boomer brothers and sisters, here are some tips from the experts and other Boomers to help you persevere in the face of frustration and discouragement. Try some of these ideas to help lighten up or liven up your routine, whichever you’re in need of. Use some of these to make it cool to get your exercise groove on – they’ll help to motivate and inspire you and hopefully make exercising something you… dare I say… look forward to doing. And remember: Use an exercise campaign that isn’t insane or too much of a strain, but easy to maintain without becoming mundane!

• Make variety the spice of your workouts and mix things up by taking a low-impact exercise class like Pilates or Yoga 2 days a week.

• Play your way through a workout in a basketball game with your buddies or tennis with your teenager.

• Get up, get down and get funky on a knee-friendly Elliptical – a cross between a stair climber and a cross-country ski machine. Elliptical Trainers have become very popular and are also perfect for an in-home workout area now that so many Boomers are empty-nesters and looking for ideas on what to do with all that extra space.

• Shake your groove thang with Aqua Zumba which is lower impact than regular Zumba and has a cool “pool party” atmosphere.

• Experience the invigorating, therapeutic and healing benefits of water walking and water running.

• Hang loose, sit back and relax the stress on your back, all while getting a great workout on a Recumbent Bike. These bikes have become popular with Boomers for in-home exercising because they’re comfortable (even when you push hard), have almost no risk of injury, and are great in the comfort of your home to use while watching your favorite TV programs or catching up on your reading.

• Bust a move and burn a bunch of calories with Video Exercise Games by Wii or PlayStation.

• Pump up the volume and liven up your workout by listening to music – it helps to boost your endurance and makes any routine more enjoyable.

• Boogie-oogie-oogie with an Exercise DVD where workouts range from low-impact to high energy. Forget your mom’s copy of Richard Simmon’s Dancing to the Oldies and get with something cool like salsa, belly dancing, hip hop or pole dancing (yes, as in stripper pole)!

• Beat boredom by listening to Audio Books that can get you so involved in a good plot that you lose all track of time and find you’ve been at it for 2 hours when your goal was 20 minutes.

Always finish up by cooling down after a workout – this is just as important for avoiding soreness and injuries as warming up is. Stretching, gentle movements and deep breathing done together will help return your heart rate, blood circulation and respiration to normal and help muscles to recover from the workout.

We all know that exercise should be only a part of your overall fitness plan. “Eat less and move more” are also wise words to live by. Dieting works well for many Baby Boomers, but some new research actually shows it can cause more harm than good for a few others. Ergo, your best bet should be to keep it simple – eat less of the bad stuff (salt, added sugar, fats and fast foods) and more of the good stuff (fruits, veggies, wholegrains and seafoods).

The Cool Rewards You Get to Reap

One of the best things about accomplishing goals is the rewards that follow. Reward yourself every now and then for sticking to your routine by getting a massage or a pedicure. Show up at Dairy Queen with little or no guilt and treat yourself to a nice, sweet prize, just not so much where it’ll show up on your thighs. Sticking to your program yields other rewards that can’t be ignored… you’ll look better, feel better and feel healthier… you’ll have more energy and stamina… you’ll be preventing and/or delaying all sorts of diseases, conditions and afflictions… you’ll feel happier and more relaxed… and let’s not forget how much you’ll be ameliorating (aka “improving”) your vocabulary.

Baby Boomers are not only known for being the “coolest” generation, we’re also known for always bringing a distinctively youthful flavor to practically everything we do, and you can bet we will continue to nurture and cherish that attribute through midlife and into old age. The rewards that Baby Boomers receive from staying physically fit will go a long way in allowing us to set and reach goals to live very long and very active lifestyles well into our 80s and 90s. And if evolution ever catches up with technology, we will continue to age even beyond that, but we will never truly get old… we’d rather stay cool.

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Rita Beck just recently launched her encore career as a writer specializing in Baby Boomer trends — cool, unusual and inspiring trends in particular. Her website, The Boomer Bunch ( ), takes a light-hearted look at how many Baby Boomers are making it cool to grow old! Rita’s articles are always flavored with humor and wit, and her primary goal is not just to inform, but to uplift her readers and entertain them as well. Article Source: