Even When It’s Cold

Winter Wonderland~

You might think I’m about to tell you I was out exercising in the fresh fallen snow early last Sunday morning with a group of enthusiastic gals, but I’m not going to tell you that. The truth is….

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….I was thoroughly enjoying a typical Sunday morning, lounging in mushy jammies with a steaming mug of strong, black java, updating client profiles, planning posts and skimming Facebook. My heaven~

This particular Sunday I gazed out the windows and was mesmerized by a wild wind that was whipping up frosty snow swirls over the ominously ice-grey lake. My thoughts? “There’s no place like home.”

As I scrolled through Facebook, a friend’s post caught my eye. This idyllic scene; a beautiful photo of a motivated bunch of girls strolling through a refreshing winter morning. Wow.

I pointedly looked to see when it was posted and was surprised to find it had been added only minutes prior. In that swirling snow. This group of gals were taking a Winter Walk!

How incredibly awesome was that? (It was practically a blizzard outdoors.) Kudo’s girls!

While I’m not likely to give up my Sacred Sunday ritual, I was curious to review the benefits of exercising outside, even in the cold.

Icy Inspiration

We all know it’s tough to find motivation to exercise (ANY day) let alone outside on a frigid day. During the work week most of us begin and end our days in utter darkness tinged with a frosty chill. The winter sunshine is appreciated but it’s not all that enticing when it barely warms up the day. We’re compelled to stay indoors, find warmth and forget about fitness until the spring thaw.

But for some, like the girls who were out walking on that frosty morning, outdoor activity is preferable to a crowded, stuffy gym and I was pretty impressed and inspired by their tenacity and spirit! Ballsy babes!

A Doctor of Natural Medicine and a Personal Fitness Strategist agree.

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Winter Warrior Rosemarie

My sister-in-law, Rosemarie, was one of those Winter Warriors. Later that same evening we had the opportunity to talk about exercising outdoors, even when it’s cold.  Rosemarie is Doctor of Natural Medicine, owner of Infinite Healing and an incredibly intuitive healer.

We agreed that cold weather training can be a perfect opportunity to increase the benefits of exercise, health and longevity. Here are the reasons we felt were most important:

You can burn more calories.

The body works hard to regulate core temperature in the cold, you’ll burn more calories during a wintry outdoor workout compared to one indoors.

Overall calorie burn will vary with each person’s body mass and the extremity of the temperature, but it’s a great perk to burn a few more without the extra sweat and effort.

You can strengthen your heart.

Cold weather makes your heart work harder to distribute blood throughout the body. A regular exerciser with good cardiovascular endurance can strengthen their heart with cold-weather sessions. You’ll be ready for more strenuous workouts in the future. (Non-exercise stresses too!).

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Skater? Not sure but I’m in the game!

You can build a tolerance for the frigid season.

It’s damn hard to force yourself outside for the first walk/workout of the winter season but over time it gets easier. Adjust your expectations as you acclimate rather than push for your typical “good-weather” training levels. Pay attention to your effort as opposed to hitting certain time, distance or other performance goal. Learn to enjoy the process.

You can get a good dose of vitamin D.

Even when it’s cold, the extra sun exposure will supply you with the same important nutrients as it does during warmer seasons. The benefit feels like “more” in the winter because natural light is already so restricted.

You can feel energized and happier.

Cold-weather exercise will boost your mood. There’s no humidity to drag you down and the chill is stimulating. As the body works hard to stay warm, more endorphins are produced which leaves you feeling a strong sense of happiness – you’ll feel younger!

You should embrace the winter months.

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Me on a Tube!

  • Find a group of friends to kick your butt into gear.
  • Take the kids tubing and strive to keep up.
  • Get out your ancient ice skates and give them a twirl.
  • Rent some snowshoes, go for a walk with them on.
  • Organize a Pond hockey league!
  • Learn to Curl
  • Just get out and walk!
  • Ski!

Make fitness a bigger part of your life by extending your workouts to outside the gym while doing something fun. Exercising in the cold weather is going to make you hot!  (yep I just said that, cheesy I know!)

 

Get inspired. Get geared up. Get prepared. Plan your next adventure.

Winter activities can be as simple as organizing a walk with the girls or gathering the family for a skate. With bit of travel you could find Winter Snow Tubing in the country. It may take some research but you could perhaps find Snowshoeing at local golf course, winery  or through a pretty wooded estate. Ski weekends, sledding afternoons, snow angels moments…..even shoveling can be a fun and beneficial. Really!

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My Mack

Here, (in the Niagara Region of Ontario and Western New York) there are tons of opportunities to get out and you just need to do that – get outside!

Do something you’ve never done before and you’ll get a life you’ve never had before.

My personal favorite-Winter runs with Mack: This guy is the best workout partner I’ve ever had! Can you imagine keeping up with that!

<————– Happy, happy happy Bulldog~

Anyway….you get the idea.

 

Get out of that lazy-boy recliner before you begin to look like one! Fresh air and exercise will take care of many health concerns and you’re just going to be happier. That, and you’ll be away from the fridge!

Have a fantastic winter and promise me you’ll get out and play! ~karen

About the Author

nourish1Hi! I’m Karen Pilote – My job title (I suppose) is “Personal Trainer” but lately I’m liking the term “Personal Fitness Strategist.” I help people find unique and individual strategies for implementing fitness into their lives. I’m skilled at making plans for achieving a goal, and I’m good at forming strategies (which is OH SO (so!) important when we’re talking about fitness.

One size programs do not fit all and one (rigid) plan will not suffice for the long term. Your weight-loss journey’s going to follow a winding road; face it. It will be a mountainous climb at times; prepare for it.  It will bumpy ride for most of the trip; buckle up. But you can do it; believe it!

 

Honestly, it’s going to be confusing and you’ll need the support of an intuitive guide to help trouble shoot the challenges along the way. That’s me!

Sure, I can send you a program, tell you what to eat, explain and teach you the exercises but lot’s of people can do that for you – actually, you can find it all on the internet.

But I excel at tuning into what you’re feeling. My strength lies in understanding your confusion and fetching you back when you’re lost. I’m supportive when you’re disillusioned and I’m sure of your success even when you’re not.

Failure is not an option and I’ll never let you quit on yourself! I believe in you and I see what you can be- I will teach you to find that person and bear the challenges with some cursing and chuckling along way.

My program is called The Action Plan– it’s an general guide and plan to follow as you learn what works for you and what doesn’t. Read more about it here: The Action Plan

My workouts are found on Get Fit Over 40 – Pinterest. Free. I’m sure you’ll find them challenging and unique. For the most valuable use of the boards and cardio routines it’s best to set goals and follow the general plan outlined in The Action Plan.

I’m on Facebook Page Karen Pilote – Get Fit Over 40 for daily motivation and light-hearted humor and inspiration. (At least I like to think so, lol) See you there!

 

The Fit Life – Gerda is Fit Over 40

“I started my fitness journey and one of the glaring reasons I did was the feeling of ‘un-sureness’ I had doing ordinary things. Feeling unsteady, vulnerable and timid about stairs, long walks, hikes. At age 50 I wasn’t ready to stop doing the things I liked. I made a change, took charge and never looked back.” Meet Gerda!

I’m Gerda Collins

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“At 53 years of age, I’ve come to the place in my life that intend to do things that really move and inspire me. Confidence has come to reside in my being.  I’ve been married 34 years and have 2 children, and 2 grandchildren. I feel very privileged to be called wife, mother, and grandmother.”

My Fitness Journey

“Proper health and fitness have ‘eluded’ me most of my life. Recently several family crises and my own declining health left me in a sorry state of stress and fatigue. On October 22, 2014, unwilling to resign to this as my life now, I embarked on a new lifestyle; not a fad program or diet, but I made a real and sustainable change by overhauling my brain and body.

I began by enlisting professional help. I hired a personal trainer who understand clients Over 40, and began a weight lifting program, cardio and “clean eating”.

The accountability of meeting with someone regularly has helped me greatly. I started out with a simple 15 minute walk twice daily and 2 sessions per week in the gym. Over time, I learned to work all the muscle groups, learned to ‘listen’ to my body and become aware of what my muscles were doing (and not doing)!

Each week my walk increased by 10 minutes and soon I was doing 1 hour a day and 3 gym sessions a week.  Now I work out on my own, 4 times a week in the gym: 1 hour lifting weights and 30 minutes of cardio (usually elliptical). I also do 45 minutes of cardio on my home treadmill twice a week. Currently I meet with my trainer 3 times a month because I need a push to stay motivated, make sure I’m on track and my form is correct to avoid injury.”

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Clean Eating

“Early on in my journey I began eating clean (very limited processed foods); protein, veggies and slow carbs (mainly sweet potato or brown rice).  By following a strict food plan I started to realize that even though I wasn’t a ‘binge’ eater, I had formed some very emotional attachments to food. When I didn’t have to think about what to eat  (I do meal preparations for one week at a time) I became free of those emotions… wow.. that was an eye opener!

“Food is fuel.. and I’m fueling a Maserati not a moped!”

I now plan my ‘cheat meals’ or ‘re-feeds’ very carefully. I don’t eat junk because I truly don’t want to.  I choose real and well-prepared foods. If I have a special event coming up I plan for it and allow myself that occasion to enjoy (within reason) what I want. 

One thing that was VERY hard to get through my head initially was not eating enough calories! I slowly began to understand that depriving myself was not helping my cause in any way.  “Fuel for the gains” is what I hear from fellow lifters. Now I know that when you exercise 6 days a week, you need plenty of fuel to feed growing muscles and muscles burn a lot of fat!”

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Fitness Friends

“I found great encouragement and ‘kinship’ online, the lifting-community is FULL of people eager to help. Both online and in person, #grandmaswholift are not as rare as one might think.

It’s been 11 months and I’m 45 pounds lighter and a lot stronger! I still have to lose 40 pounds, but I know I can do that. I just know it now! I’ve increased my energy and have confidence in my ability to accomplish any goal I set!

I really feel that if I can do this anyone can. (I mean 99.9%) In the past I’ve been the worst disciplined person and it’s true what they say, ‘You have to come to that place where you say enough! I REALLY want this.’ And then you find your inner strength…..

Just typing this makes me cry; I think ‘Why did it take me so long!?’ And yes, I’m doing this now and you can too. Stay the course!”

Get Fit Over 40

Thank you for sharing your story Gerda! (Instagram @gerdasgarden)

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I’m inspired every single day by women around the world, friends of GFO40. I have “down-days” when I think “I’m not making a difference” and then I recall the women I’ve witnessed experience this emotion… this elation… this aha moment….and it’s then I wish every single woman on earth knew how good they could feel if they just let themselves. Thank you so much again Gerda and my many supportive friends. We are Fit Over 40. Please join us, there are so many wonderful life experiences yet to be enjoyed- get strong for your future.

~karen

You Can’t Get There from Here

Bad knees? Bum shoulder? Weak back?

It’s nearly impossible to help someone if they won’t help themselves. If you want to lose weight but you’re in pain, you’re inflexible, you can’t squat, or you can’t lift your arm, you need a physiotherapist before an exercise program. Harsh? Maybe…but in the long run you’ll thank me.

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You see, if you try to jump over a vast expanse chances are you won’t make it. So too, you can’t go from overweight and wracked with pain to lean, strong, and pain-free –you have to take steps in between.

Build A Bridge

Begin by shifting your focus (for the time being) into a mindset of health, ease of movement and vitality. (I know that sucks when you’re thinking lean and sexy but….) by correcting the acute condition, you’ll begin to feel better, more hopeful and confident. AND THEN YOU WILL LOSE THE WEIGHT. You’ll have the solid foundation necessary to undertake a realistic weight loss plan.  Really, it’s the only way to progress.

Start Where You Are

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“Pain management, physiotherapy, and a good flexibility program are a must in order to rehabilitate and move beyond painful physical conditions and achieve sustainable weight loss and good health.”

You want to lose weight yet an old and painful injury is stopping you in your tracks. You believe that if only you could dump the weight that injury would be tolerable, right? You think, “If I lost 20 (30, 50, 100) pounds; then I’ll feel good about myself, and then I’ll take better care of myself, and then my condition (painful shoulder, stiff hips, bad back) will heal. I’ll be happy and healthy if I lose the weight…..”

#1 It’s possible (sustainable weight loss) but not probable. In most cases the pain associated with a chronic condition saps your resolve to stick to a plan and limits your ability to perform proper exercise.

#2 Often it’s not even the original problem you’re dealing with now. (that’s why you need to see a professional) When you’re hurt and recovering from injury or surgery, your brain sends messages to protect the area (you use it less, and baby it more) and it grows weak with disuse. Ligaments and tendons shorten as movement is limited. The healing process itself causes scar tissue and that adds to the whole mess. You live in pain and pain holds you back.

It’s a vicious circle; you can’t move because you’re in pain and your pain continues because you can’t move. And it goes without saying; you’ll probably not reach your weight loss goals with so much physical chaos….ugh!

You Can’t Get There From Here

Action Eight participant Julie V. has been dealing with this nightmare existence for years. She’s not overweight but wants a healthy, active retirement and a strong body. She wants to ease her painful joints. She wants to minimize the symptoms of menopause, and she wants to keep her metabolism stoked to avoid inevitable age-related weight gain.

She wants to manage her aging but she has to begin where she is now, and that’s in constant pain.

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“Julie knew that she had to keep moving but tightness in her joints, chronic pain and resulting muscle imbalances kept her from full range exercise form. After physio she’s limber enough to squat deeper and do more in the gym than ever before.”

Julie began experiencing excruciating pain in her hips more than 6 years ago. She couldn’t do her job and went on modified duties. She was diagnosed with torn tissues and bone spurs (most likely caused from years of wear and tear from sports combined with heredity). After surgery to scrape the spurs and repair the tears, she was left with limited range of motion, still in chronic pain, experiencing sleepless nights and had little hope of breaking the cycle.

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“Today. Finishing a workout with a stretch in a lengthened supine pose. This position used to cause so much discomfort that she couldn’t sleep well at all. With therapeutic manipulation, daily stretching and a good weight-bearing exercise program things are beginning to change for the better!”

As the joints heal, new issues arise. Scar tissue that forms to protect the healing body parts cause painful inflexibility. Unfortunately her decision to stop physiotherapy limited her ability to maintain a reasonable level of flexibility. She continued to exercise with the intention of living the best quality of life possible, but felt her efforts produced less advancement than she hoped.

When we began working together several months ago I explained that she’d have to address inflexibility before she could even hope to further strengthen her body. Her mindset and determination was perfectly poised for very healthy aging yet the her body’s tightness made it impossible to perform exercise optimally.

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“Very subtle differences make the world of difference in someone healing from trauma and is experiencing painful movement. A taller posture and a hopeful outlook is just as thrilling as dramatic weight loss. Julie feels the difference and very encouraged by what can be seen in her comparisons and more by what can’t be seen. Her pain is not getting the best of her!”

Now on The Action Plan and back to therapy, Julie is seeing and feeling a big difference. It’s still uncomfortable for sure, but now she has the confidence and guidance that will help her achieve her goals, maintain a good level of physical strength and has hope for a pain-free future.

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“By working on flexibility first, her workouts serve to strengthen lengthened muscles, tendons and ligaments instead of reinforcing tight, restricted areas. She stands taller and her postural improvements are the first sign that muscles are responding and working as they should. Exercise form and function continues to improve and Julie’s growing confidence keeps her active and engaged in her training.” 

Begin with Where You Are

If you want to lose weight but you’re in pain, get therapy! Even if you’re not overweight, treat the pain for a better quality of life and health. Commit to it for a lifetime if you must!

Exercise will not “cure” genetic conditions nor heal injury but weight-bearing exercises are important for pain sufferers. Resistance training can strengthen muscles around the joint that hurts. The stronger the muscle is, the less pain you are likely to feel in that joint, but you have to get help to get to the point where weight lifting is possible. You have to get beyond the pain.

Get Fit Over 40

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When I was starting out as a trainer I thought I could help everyone. I thought that if only people would start exercising they could achieve their goals through sheer willpower. I know better now. The Action Plan is not for everyone. If you’re experiencing pain or dealing with acute or chronic conditions please start by seeing a medical professional. Work with a reputable personal trainer as you begin your exercise journey back to good health.

The plan will work optimally when your body works optimally. Do it for yourself and do it today. A world of possibilities will open to you when you take the first steps!

Wishing you the best health!

~Karen

The Fit Life – Barbara is Fit Over 40

“You have one body. Care for it and feed it well, it’s the only place you have to live.” I truly believe the fountain of youth is found in the gym, in the classroom (yoga, spin, boxing…. whatever!), in the pool…….. and a nice glass of red wine doesn’t hurt.” Meet Barb!

I’m Barbara Joan Warwick

barb10599248_10204157238028409_7532160826461057141_n“I’m about to turn 48, married and my two kids are in college, age 20 and 21. I am the Chief Compliance Officer for an elder healthcare agency. My career in illness and death has influenced my outlook: I’m really grateful to live every single day of this life.”

A Fit Life

“I work out at the gym 5 days a week doing interval weight training with relatively heavy weight and run. On the weekends I’ll pop into a yoga class, ride my bike, run with my dogs, hike or paddle board; it just depends where I am and what’s around.

I love to cook and I love to eat! And most importantly for me is that fitness has become a family thing. My husband and kids also work out.”

 I Have No Choice

“I got serious about fitness at 40 because I had to…..

It was Mothers Day and I was feeling dizzy, sweating profusely and hearing a ring in my ears. I was diagnosed with hypertension. My blood pressure read 240/130 and that put me in the stroke zone. My cholesterol was nearing 500, and my LDL was 180. A whole series of tests came back negative and doctors concluded that my medical condition was genetic.

I couldn’t believe it! I was kind of angry at the situation, to put it nicely. At the time I was 40 years old and maintained a healthy body-weight. I was fairly active (coached girls soccer for 8 years), never smoked, and followed a decent diet.  The cardiologist put me on a gigantic list of meds.”

I Knew I Could Do Better

11903290_10205980460047820_1690861364_n“I overhauled my habits. I started running everyday and lifting weights with a trainer a few times a week. I cut out most red meats and fat. (I’m not a sweets eater so I didn’t have to overcome that) My body started to change and the muscle tone was pretty noticeable.

Surprisingly, I lost about 20 lbs over a year and my size shrank: I was a solid size 10 then, and now I’m a 6-8 depending. More than that though, I was determined to get off all the meds. I signed up for every 5k or obstacle run I could find, you know, to always have a goal to reach. That commitment kept me honest, no skipping the gym. It also made a HUGE difference in my level of stress.”

A Fit Future

“Fast forward to now and I take only a single small dose of blood pressure medication, a small dose of cholesterol medication and an aspirin a day. My resting heart rate lies around 70. My BP is 120/75, and my total cholesterol is down to 180 and the LDL is 60!

I truly believe my commitment has battled my genetics and I’m winning! I tore my left meniscus early last year. I kept working out, kept walking with a brace and postponed surgery until this spring.

barb10896909_10204352551151115_4168079449351867643_nThe recovery was surprisingly not too bad. I can’t run uphill, nor do I try walking lunges but for the most part I can do what I want. It’s taking time and does still hurt. The repair, which is common, has a 50/50 chance of improvement. It has improved, despite some pain, but the clicking and popping has stopped. It’s been five months and I am really back to normal.”

“I’d like women Over 40 to know: A fit lifestyle isn’t about vanity.  We’ve likely had a couple of kids and earned a few wrinkles and dimples. It’s about QUALITY. It’s about DOING! Exercise is not a punishment. It’s a privilege and it’s an investment in yourself mentally, physically and spiritually.”

Thank-you for sharing your story Barb!

Get Fit Over 40

karenuntitled-74HEADERI’ve been fortunate to meet and become friends with many woman over the years at Get Fit Over 40. I’ve come to realize that pictures tell nothing of the challenges and triumphs they each face in becoming and maintaining a Fit Lifestyle Over 40. These woman inspire me to stay in the game of social media as they share their wisdom, inspiration and motivation. Real Woman who are Fit Over 40: I invite you to share your story too! Message me here or on the Facebook page Get Fit Over 40. When we lift one another we are all lifted! Thank you for being part of the GFO40 family. xo ~karen

Build a Brick House

Are you considering a strict diet and bootcamp exercise to make up for summer weight gain? Think again because you’re running out of time, and those quick weight loss schemes never work out in the long run!

As we age it becomes more and more difficult for our bodies to rebound from trauma; crash dieting and “blitz” exercising is traumatic to the human body. It’s an assault that weakens your body, and a weak, sickly body cannot magically morph into a strong and lean physique…it just can’t.

That’s why it’s important to start with “reasonable” and gradually progress to “moderate” so that you can naturally adjust to “vigorous”….

You need to build yourself up!

What most people think of as “conventional dieting,” (slashing calories and eliminating whole food groups) actually tears down the body structure, weakens the foundation of health and creates an unstable environment that will actually diminish your ability to lose weight and remain healthy and strong in the years to come.

BUILD A STRONG, SOLID HOUSE

You need good quality building materials to build a strong and solid house and you need a specific amount of building material to complete the house of your dreams.

BUILD A STRONG, SOLID BODY

So too with your body. If you’re to achieve a strong and healthy physique you need good quality food and you need a specific amount of food to build and maintain that physique.

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Lasting Quality

A well-built home is easier to maintain and requires less maintenance than a poorly built home. A fit and healthy physique is easier to maintain than one that is starved, weak and sickly.

A well-built home takes longer to build but is worth the investment; same too for a body that will perform and thrive for many years to come.

Do it right the first time!

The Planning Stage

There are standard calculations required to build a house.

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When you’re investing time and hard-earned money, you do the groundwork, right? You calculate costs, research materials, establish a time line and figure out the game plan…….

Plan for a strong body too; formulate and follow a game plan for your health and weight loss.

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Calculate your calorie needs, choose wholesome foods, plan your grocery list and prepare your food. It takes time to succeed; preparation, contemplation and organization are part of “the life”.

 How?

Start with the very basics: nutrition and exercise.

Energy balance is the relationship between “energy in” (food calories taken into the body through food and drink) and “energy out” (calories being used in the body for our daily energy requirements).

HOW MANY CALORIES SHOULD I EAT?

Figure out your Basal Metabolic Rate (Basal Metabolic Rate is the amount of energy expressed in calories that a person needs to keep the body functioning at rest. Some of those processes are breathing, blood circulation, controlling body temperature, cell growth, brain and nerve function, and contraction of muscles.) The body’s energy needs include the amount of energy required for maintenance at rest, physical activity and movement, and for food digestion, absorption, and transport.

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You can determine your probable optimal calorie need using a simple formula that calculates BMR. You can find BMR calculators all over the internet, here’s a good one: BMR Calculator. Once you’ve nailed down the number you can retrain the body to consume and utilize the nutrients, overcome poor eating habits and gain the energy you need to train intelligently. You’ll adapt!

The Action Plan

The Action Plan energy balance section sets general guidelines for the calories you should be taking in. You need these (quality) calories to build that brick house, so don’t scrimp! Start your program with maintenance level calories to restore nutrients and provide the fuel you need to exercise. Once you are recharged with good food it’s easy to manipulate the calories in order to prompt fat loss.

Kerri’s Calculations

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Kerri S. is an  Action Eight participant; one of 8 women I worked with personally and started The Action Plan earlier this summer (2015).

Kerri was shocked to learn her body requires 1800 calories to function optimally. She’s getting her head around it but it’s difficult to fathom successful weight loss when eating that much.

I point out to her that 1800 calories of wholesome food may seem like “too much” to lose weight, BUT the “sneaky snacking” and nibbling has been the too much!“. 

When Kerri divides those 1800 calories by 5  (3 “meals” and 2 “snacks”), consuming the appropriate amount of food becomes easier to manage. 360 calories per meal is an average clean eating meal and 1800 calories of clean food IS GOING TO BUILD LEAN MUSCLE, which will burn fat.

And that’s the whole point: scale weight is secondary to how you feel, how you look and how you function.

Fat Loss Success

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Kerri is a ways from “getting it all right”.  She’s learning and she’s striving to make better choices. With only the few strategies that she has grasped and applied so far, her efforts are already paying off. Initial comparison photos show changes in her physique and she reports feeling energetic, confident and excited to continue. She has a plan and she’s following the blueprint to building a healthy fit body!

HIT Cardio + Weights + Better Food Choices

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Kerri has a quirky instability in her back that requires modifications during exercise. She is realizing the importance of good nutrition in building strong muscles to support her weak links. Adding a basic weight training routine focuses appropriate loads on her weak areas. With a balanced program of HIT cardio (modified), resistance training and supportive nutritional strategies, she is reaching her goals!

Relevant exercise (that is, exercise that is appropriate for your goals) and proper nutrition will work for you too – even if you’re Over 40. Never doubt it, just get doing it! Build a strong and solid “brick house”.

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Okay? It’s time to get rolling!

Get The Action Plan

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Have a Fit Day!

~karen

Health Issues? Get Fit Anyway!

I will decide how I age.

I have control. 

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But, There Will Be Snags

Exercising while dealing with chronic or acute health conditions is tough. Often, the issue keeps you from doing the very thing that will have a positive effect on the condition. At the outset of a therapeutic training program you’ll feel an exaggeration of symptoms or new ones…..exercise is unpleasant (for beginners) under the best circumstances. When you feel lousy, it’s worse. Sometimes bad enough to pull the covers up over your head and ignore the problem, right?

Wrong.

Remember, you want better.

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Exercise and Health Conditions

If you’re experiencing fatigue, lethargy or pain due to a health issue, the last thing you want to do is bounce, lift, jiggle or add to the discomfort in any way. The last thing you want to do is, quite frankly, the thing that you must do! You have to move arthritic joints. You have to circulate oxygen through the veins. You have to build stronger circulatory, respiratory and cardiovascular systems that will cause healthy adaptations in all areas of the body.

Good nutrition and relevant exercise will promote healthy body weight and ease the burden on body systems so that you can heal, and there are very few medical conditions that are not positively affected by a healthy, active lifestyle.

But you already know that…..

Now, if you’re looking for an excuse NOT to exercise, NOT to improve or NOT to succeed, you can stop right here. No one will blame you for that. It’s hard! But if you accept that it’s you alone who decides your future (and you DO want a future of optimum health), then you’ll want to continue reading and meet Debbie.

Debbie’s conditions are not imminently life-threatening yet they could spiral into a serious situation. Her unique health challenges (circulatory), together with the universal “womanly” related (menopausal) challenges AND genetics have fueled her current quest for better health, improved body composition and yes, weight loss. She’s ready to fight and I’m all on board to help steer!

Meet Debbie:
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“Hi, my name is Debbie,

I’m a married mother of two, grandmother of five and I work full-time.

I’ve battled my weight for most of my adult life and tried many fad diets with little success.

In my early 40’s I hit a record high of 172 lbs. I thought to myself,  it’s time to do something before major health issues develop. I started walking and trying to cut back and then I tried a popular weight loss program (WW) and made some progress.

Over next few years I added a variety of activities such as circuit training, Zumba, yoga, Pilates, and exercise videos. I lost 30 lbs. and I’m proud to say I have kept it off for over 10 years (still a struggle at times). In the last 3 years I started cardio classes and began to do some light weight workouts (3-5 lbs).

As a menopausal woman, I was concerned with bone loss, toning, and wanted to rid myself of those last 10 lbs. that I couldn’t shake off no matter how much I mixed things up. So, in February, I joined a local gym and had the pleasure of trying a variety of classes (Piyo, yoga, and, Bodybomb). All of the classes were great, each targeting specific needs.

I’m now under the guidance of Karen, with her expertise and Action Plan. In only 4 weeks I’m already seeing results in weight loss and body transformation!  I am lifting heavier weights (10,15, and 20 lbs. depending on the exercise) and using machines with weights up to 45 lbs.

I do have a few health concerns; pernicious anemia, varicose veins, restless leg, CVI, and Spina Bifida occult. It hasn’t been easy!  Karen and I have made modifications such as reduced reps & weight, and longer rest periods…(to catch my breath and check for a pulse ha ha!).

I’m eager to see where my transformation journey will take me. I know I wouldn’t have had such success without the encouragement and support of Karen and my workout girls. I feel stronger, healthier, and more energized than ever.

Thanks a million for helping me make it happen!

Debbie L.”

Debbie’s Action Plan

This is a workout routine from the Action Plan.

Four months ago Deb would have taken one look at it (in total confusion) and walked away. While she didn’t walk away, she didn’t get through it either!

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You see, it takes time, effort, tenacity and determination to do a board; you have to learn the routine, the terms, the exercises, and the sets and reps. You have to suffer the uncertainty. You have to show up and give it what you’ve got that day.

You’ve got to fail.

Debbie did all those things and she did them consistently. Even now, four months later, the boards are tough to get through most days. Debbie has learned and now understands: it’s the tough days when she plugs through (at whatever intensity she can muster), that she’s making gains. She’s growing stronger in mind and body, and that’s what it’s all about!

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My Two Cents

Deb was successful at losing 30 pounds ten years ago because she altered her habits. She maintained her loss because she stayed active and ate (relatively) well; the changes became a lifestyle that continue to support her new life and physique.

Fast Forward to Now 

Debbie wants more improvement and to move forward. To make further physical and health progress from this new position she has to implement further lifestyle adjustments. I want her to lift weights and tighten up her diet;  she’s agreed that these are reasonable and understandable “next steps”.

Although Debbie lives and enjoys a good lifestyle, I intuit that it’s still a struggle. From our conversations, I gather that nutrition isn’t always easy and there’s an underlying fear of losing control and gaining weight back if she’s not diligent and “on top of her game” at all times. I explain that, although her bodyweight is down, body composition is still an issue. By increasing lean body tissue, (muscle) with weight training, she can change the shape of her body and easily maintain a strong healthy physique for many years to come. She’d then be able to better manage her health conditions as well.

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I gave Debbie (and the Action Eight) a very general resistance training routine to follow for one month. She struggled with exercise form, but even at that she’s experienced dramatic change. We’ll work closely together as she implements a more specific weight training plan to target her unique needs. We’ll monitor her progress, make adjustments and continue to refine her nutritional habits. I want to keep it as flexible as possible for her busy life as a wife, mom, grandma and full-time employee.

One Month Progress – Un-retouched Photos

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It’s possible to Get Fit Over 40 and it needn’t take years. With health conditions, it possible to Get Fit Over 40 anyway!

It does takes appropriate action, knowing when to switch it up and focus on new goals (having achieved previous ones). Ask Debbie!

The Action Plan and Get Fit Over 40 will get you there!

Get Fit Over 40 With Us!

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Follow this blog for updates on all of the ACTION EIGHT girls.

Subscribe to the GFO40 Newsletter to get the workouts!

Tune in to my YouTube channel – Karen Pilote, for video support too!

Comment here to share your own stories. We love to hear about other “Over 40’s” who are doing it!

Have the absolute best day you can!

~karen

Search for Clues

“It’s like that picture you’ve got to stare at in order to see the hidden image within….you’ve got to focus intently to see the person you’re becoming!” ~karen

If you can see the changes in Melody’s physique in the comparison below (and get excited knowing that a shift CAN happen within weeks), you can succeed at your own transformation! The key is you have to know what you’re looking for!

Your weight loss will depend upon your ability to see and feel subtle changes so look closely!

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Splitting Hairs

You’d be right to say that I’m splitting hairs with this comparison; the changes are that subtle. But let me tell you: if you don’t make the effort to search for positive change in the first weeks of your training program, you will give up in frustration. Look for success clues, acknowledge them and applaud yourself!

UN-Realistic Expectations

We want quick weight loss. We want to see change fast. We want to do it the easy way. I get it, who doesn’t want to be slim yesterday?

Most of us are inspired and excited by the “radical change in minimal time” schtick; those cover stories on rag magazines that feed on our desire to fix everything NOW – but deep down we know that it just doesn’t work that way. *Sad sigh.

I’ve got to tell you though, if you’re expecting to see a radical difference after 3 weeks, or you expect to see a huge loss on the scale…..you’re definitely going to be disappointed.

I’ll gladly be the “Bearer of Bad News” if I can help you in the long run, so here it is: there is no quick weight loss. If it’s fast it won’t last.

Oprah right?

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Kirstie too…..

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I think you get my point. Radical weight-loss rarely lasts. Maybe you’ve been down that road yourself? I certainly have and know better now…

Real Change

I wanted to share with you what real-time change looks like so that you know what to expect from a legitimate and effective training program.

I was really excited for Action Eight participant Melody and couldn’t wait to send early comparison pictures to her. I wanted to share with you too, and give you a “heads-up” as to what to expect in your early weeks of training.

Melody started her focused training 3 weeks ago. She had a strong fitness base and solid adherence prior to dialing into this new “push towards better” phase. Mel used The Action Plan for 12 weeks prior to this cycle. Over that time period she got pretty strong and leaned out quite a bit. Now, after starting a general resistance training program, we did this comparison just before her vacation.

Once again, the difference is slight but it’s very important to recognize your progress and build on it.

It’s hard for women to look into a mirror and see something different from what they’ve seen and believed for 40+ years. Melody “got stuck” right there, not refusing to see but simply unable to see the athletic, fit, and strong woman she’s becoming.

But I see it. When I point out the success clues to Mel, she sees it too. By analyzing photos (I recommend every 12 weeks) you can track positive trends and switch gears (NOT QUIT) if results are not forthcoming.

Subtle Success Clues

Some comparison is good!

Melody’s pictures show the subtle changes that she might have missed:
Pose #1 hips and legs are slimming
Pose #2 belly area is beginning to tighten
Pose #3 v-taper is stronger, shoulders broader

“Pictures really show the difference. At first, I didn’t see the changes, but the more I looked, I saw some changes. It’s really is exciting! It made me work harder today!
Thanks!” -Melody S.

Anyway, I hope you get the idea. Dig deep and search for the positive. Keep at it for the long-term and make a habit of acknowledging every little thing that’s going right. Your success depends on it!

~Karen

You Look Just Fine…

….but you want more. You want strong. You want to be fit. You want awesome aging.

Many, many, many women want to lose weight – some, lots of weight. “Bigger” women can’t figure out for the life of them what those “skinny” women are complaining about….they look just fine!

I get it. When you have 50, 80, 100 pounds to lose it can be pretty frustrating hearing about women who want to get healthier and fitter but don’t actually have a lot of weight to lose….bear with me ok, because it’s important to validate all women in their personal quest for health.

The women I’m featuring here, the Action Eight, all look just fine. Actually, in my opinion, they look great. They are all relatively healthy, reasonably fit, and (surprise) they all want to lose weight. Well, they think they do….what I find is that “losing weight” is a catch-all phrase that women use when they actually just need to firm up, reshape, get stronger and manage health conditions.

You Look Just Fine: Karen W.

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Karen’s health data calculates out as “excellent” for body weight/height, body composition, and all her health markers. She has very few physical aches; an uncomfortable hip condition is one that she accepts as normal for her. She is able to maintain her physique and health with very little effort yet she notices an “uncomfortable for her” belly bulge and she would like to age gracefully and healthily with a little less softness in her mid-section and thighs.

Karen “looks just fine” but she wants better for herself, and that’s just great! By cleaning up her eating a bit and consuming a nutritionally balanced meal plan, Karen can expect significant changes to her physique and health. She’ll begin training with weights 3 times per week.

Karen’s Focus Forward:

Number 1 – Begin to incorporate regular exercise.

Seemingly lucky, (and I have to agree), Karen has never been one to engage in a regular fitness program and yet is fairly fit and she looks just fine. We’ve talked about her goals and she agrees that, although she is managing well now, she wants to get ahead of the inevitable age related health declines.

The difficulty that naturally lean women experience as they age is that it’s necessary to participate in a regular and focused training plan but they’ve never formed that habit. That’s kinda tough and one of the reasons it’s a little “unlucky” to be naturally lean. Forming new habits over 40 takes resolve and learning to lift weights is confusing at first.

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Number 2 – Lift Weights!

Building lean muscle mass will strengthen the body, support the joints and build fat burning tissue. Karen will begin with Get Fit Over 40’s weight training program, Strong Over 40.

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You’ve got to start with a good, basic weight training program. Lifting weights will elicit immediate feelings of strength, fitness and well-being.

Karen will feel good immediately and she’ll be motivated and inspired by those feelings to continue. By addressing strength first, and building lean muscle, she can expect to maintain her current weight or even gain a few pounds.

The increased weight gain will come from lean muscle tissue, not fat! And: that lean muscle will serve as an incinerator to keep extra belly bulge and soft thighs in check. Bones, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, cardiovascular system….every body system will be positively affected! And she will maintain a good weight while enjoying a fabulous, strong and healthy fit physique.

Nutrition

Number 3 – Clean up your eating!

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Karen eats well and her choices are often exactly what fits into a good healthy lifestyle, but because she wants to be more than “just fine” I suggest a few things.

I’d like her to track her habits and maximize the good ones, alter the not so good ones. It’s not important at this time to “be perfect” and “eat good”. What’s important right now is for Karen to realize that all (real) foods are good and can be included in a healthy lifestyle, but you’ve got to eat! Yes, potatoes are good!

“A healthy lifestyle includes all food in moderation, but if you want a dramatic difference you’ll have to make some changes for the time being.” Nourish Nutrition Plan

Also, I’d like for her to make sure she’s eating regularly. When you’re aiming to build up a good strong body you need to provide the materials. Whether you want to lose weight or add strength and tone, you have to eat.

11028131_1610358779185730_1264080325_oAre you lean but soft? Do you suffer from health conditions that could be managed with exercise and better eating?

Do you believe that you have to eat less, lose more and suffer through a rigorous exercise routine to have “that” physique? Do you look just fine but want more?

Follow the training of the Action Eight and discover an easier way to attain your goals!

~karen

Follow me on YouTube! Channel Karen Pilote

Grow Some Goals

We now know, after 40+ years of trial and failure, that it’s tough to make one humongous lifestyle change. The hard work and discipline necessary to switch years of nasty habits to angelic ones is near impossible to sustain.

I’ve found that the easiest way to stay on track and measure progress is to set clear, non-negotiable goals.  In fact, I set goals on a regular basis because it’s the only way to stay on top of my health and motivated to grow as a person.

You’ve got to state your goals in order to get what want and by having focus on positive outcomes you’ll barely have time to ruminate over challenges. Having a goal keeps the big picture in sight but allows you track your progress on a regular basis. If you need to deviate, modify or adjust course you’re going to know how and when to do just that.

Grow Some Goals

#1 Dream Big but Play it Small:

It’s important to have big goals and believe that you can achieve them. If you can see yourself 50 pounds lighter, or running a marathon or even just walking a mile for some, you will do it!

YOU WILL DO IT! But its hard to sustain the excitement for a long-term – heck, sometimes its hard for me to sustain that feeling for 5 minutes! In order to sustain motivation easier I always break my ultimate goal into smaller ones.

If you want to lose 50 pounds, set a goal for 2 pounds per week. You can do that! Some months you might lose more and others weeks you might lose less, but you’ll be losing!

Bottom Line: When your goals are broken down to smaller ones then you can celebrate your successes along the way which will keep you motivated towards the bigger goal.

#2 Find Support:

It’s important to have a positive group of people who are supportive and caring. It might be hard at first but if you are open about your hopes to gain better health and to get stronger and fitter, the people who matter will help!  Tell those closest to you what your goals are and why you want to achieve them, then ask for their support. But you have to ask!  No one has ever achieved greatness by doing it alone, and you shouldn’t try to either.  You’ll be amazed at what you can do with a team of great people behind you.

Bottom Line: Those closest to you may not understand your journey or be willing to change along with you, and that’s ok. You’re strong enough and sure enough to do what it takes, but ask for the support anyway. You might be surprised at who wants to help.

#3 Recognize Your Potential

It’s just too easy to sit with who you are right now and be unhappy. It takes courage and wisdom to realize that your potential to achieve great things is undeniable.

It’s so important to recognize your potential and what you are capable of.  Way too many women yearn for something in life but stop there thinking, “I can never achieve that.” I want you to know this: you have the potential to achieve great things! Find an activity that you enjoy and do it! Find success in small things and let that success fuel bigger things. Start with healing pain and injury, then walk. Walk until you can run and then sprint – do what needs to be done to achieve your ultimate dream.

Bottom Line: Once you’ve decided on what you really want, you need to be willing to do whatever it takes to get it. It’s most important to believe in yourself and then take action.

Have Courage:

You need to have the courage to take it slow.
You need to be disciplined and not over do it.
You need to be motivated to build a foundation.
You need to be smart and do the minimum.
(Doing any more will really set you back.)
You need to be really focused on mastering the basics steps.

Karen Pilote

Don’t expect your world to turn around overnight, you’re too wise for that!  Set great goals and small goals. Master the very basics and never give up on yourself.

I admire you for having the tenacity to take the road less travelled….you’re a winner already!

~karen

Eat a Sandwich

The Sandwich Evolution = Your Fitness Revolution

Working at making a lifestyle change is hard work if you make it hard, so why not stop working at it? Don’t make it into work, don’t call it work and don’t think of it as work. All that work is just too hard!

Eat a sandwich……

Yes, I mean it! Make a sandwich and relax. Sandwiches are easy and relaxing is easy. So make your diet transformation easy too.

Watch how simple it can be for a sandwich to transform in just a month. (You can try this with any food that you’re eating right now.) The process is Guaranteed!
WEEK ONE: Two slices of bread, 1 oz. turkey, leaf of lettuce, slice of tomato, tbsp of mayo.

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WEEK TWO: Two slices of bread, 2 oz. of turkey, 2 leaves of lettuce, 2 slices of tomato, 1/2 tbsp of mayo.

 

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WEEK THREE: One slice of bread, 3 oz. turkey, a pile of lettuce, 1 small tomato, 1 tbsp. “spiced up” greek yogurt.

 

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WEEK FOUR: 4 oz. of turkey, a pile of lettuce, 1 small tomato, 1/4 avocado, a whole lot of additional crunchy vegetables, 1/2 a palm-full slivered almonds, cashews, or walnuts 1 tbsp. “spiced up” greek yogurt.

 

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The biggest deal is going to be week 3. Piling all that turkey and lettuce on a single slice of bread is going to be tricky! Go ahead and eliminate the slice if you want to in week 3, add some croutons if you’re having separation anxiety.

 

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You can see how, over time, a sandwich can transform with only a few small changes each week. So can your body. Day by day, week by week make the small extra efforts, focus on simple habits to change and give yourself time to adjust to the new way of doing things.

Bon Appetit!