by Jaime Brenkus
Baby boomers whose exercise routines have gone bust may be thinking about putting the boom – and a little sweat – back into their lives as they ponder New Year’s resolutions for 2018. But thinking and doing are two different things.
“In our society, everyone wants a great body,” says Jaime Brenkus, a nationally recognized fitness expert and brand ambassador for Evergreen Wellness, which provides videos and articles to people 55 and older to enjoy healthier lives. “The problem is no one wants to work for it.”
In some cases, baby boomers – those born from 1946 to 1964 – may consider themselves “too far gone” to embark on a serious fitness regimen at this stage in life. But you don’t need to train for a triathlon, Brenkus says. Even out-of-shape people in their 50s, 60s, and 70s can take manageable strides toward improving their physical wellness.
“Success in life is not about a matter of inches and pounds,” Brenkus says. “It’s when you start taking your first steps toward a realistic and reachable goal.”
For out-of-shape boomers who want to lose weight, feel better, look better, get fit and put that boom back in their lives in 2018, 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 three 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 three 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 push ups. Start with an amount you’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 OK to start your push ups 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 don’t go past your toes and are aligned straight. If just starting out, try quarter to half squats where you’re not bending down as far.
“When it comes to exercise, people think more is better,” Brenkus says. “That’s not true. Better is better.”
About Jaime Brenkus
Jaime Brenkus is a physical wellness ambassador for Evergreen Wellness (www.myev ergreenwellness.com), which provides videos and articles designed to inspire people 55 and older to enjoy happier, healthier lives. Brenkus is a nationally recognized fitness expert best known for revolutionizing the fitness industry with his “8-Minute Abs” video series in the 1990s. Over the last three decades, Brenkus has helped millions of people become healthier and more confident by feeling better and looking younger.