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Ultimate Baby Boomer Workouts: 7 Key Training Principles

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Radio episode for women over 50 7 training principlesKymberly: Want the Ultimate Baby Boomer Body? Personally I am ok with the “Ixnay on the Bikini, but I’ll Still Wear a One-Piece” Body. To get either version, you’ll need to incorporate 7 important, midlife-specific training principles into your exercise routines. Award-winning master instructor and worldwide fitness expert, Mo Hagan was a recent guest on our Active Aging for Boom Chicka Boomers radio show. Mo’s specific focus on midlife women meant she was able to share the Best Exercises, Workout Programs and Fitness Trends for Women Over 50 .

Maureen Hagan

Mo Hagan feeling and looking Mo’ Bettah in her 50s

During the interview she listed key workout components baby boomer women need to achieve optimal fitness. First, though, we all agreed that midlife exercisers (and future exercisers) are special.

Women Over 50 Are Unusual Exercisers in 6 Ways

  1. Ours is the first generation to grow up with exercise continued into our adult years;
  2. Our generation’s attitudes and priorities make it easier for us to train and be trained and to understand the need for intentional exercise;
  3. We have the funds and resources to invest in our well being (that’s the statistical theory, at any rate);
  4. Our age group is one that is proactive and doesn’t take our health for granted;
  5. We desire socialization and camaraderie, with a particular fondness for group exercise. Therefore, we tend to prioritize exercise differently when we are a part of a group or when under a trainer’s leadership;
  6. The downside is that we also tend to fall off or quit being active when life gets chaotic, and caregiving or other family needs pull us away.

So what do we unusual, interesting, unique, and different women need to do to achieve functionally strong and healthy bodies, minds and attitudes?

outdoor training for Alexandra

Alexandra being unique and interesting

Alexandra: I am seriously hoping the answer involves Clive Owen or Colin Firth, but I’ll settle for just assuming you are speaking of ME when you use the adjectives “unusual, interesting, unique, and different.” Hmmm, second guess. Does it involve bacon? Even though I am a vegetarian, I feel certain that the answer to many things is “bacon.”

Now,  you said midlife women are special in 6 ways. And if you’d given 6 training principles, I’d know Bacon was the answer — Kevin Bacon. If you don’t know about the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, you can read the link while doing your seven training principles. To defy gravity (and age), plus engage in gym movements, do this Footloose workout.

Kymberly: We know my sister is really Baking, not Bacon Woman. Anyway, stay Footloose and Bacon Free when you incorporate the following into your regimen:

7 Training Principles for Women Over 50

1. Increase Intentional Stepping

Continue to build bone strength by selecting impact activities. Especially at our age, we need to strike the ground by walking, jogging, skipping, and stepping to stimulate our bones. Step classes are particularly effective at offering impact without adverse joint stress. This is a case of wanting gravity’s effects!

2. Use Body Weight in a Functional Manner

Choose movements and exercises that mimic daily life activities such as climbing stairs, loading groceries into the car, carrying luggage on fun, exotic, vacation trips. (A boomer can envision, nicht wahr?) Such exercises might include step ups and squats, for instance.

3. Train to Preserve Back Health

Brace through the core and hinge from the hips. Add dead lifts to your repertoire — but let’s call them “live lifts,” shall we? Look for opportunities to activate the back (dorsal side) of your body in addition to performing ab and core work.

4 .Focus on Posture

Be sure to sit and stand “strong.” Address muscle imbalances. Take action now to improve posture now and later. No Dowager’s Hump for you, just Dowager title and property rights. Speak to me Downtown Abbey fans!

5. Engage in “Brain Gym” Movements

Move in ways that connect the left and right sides of the brain such as crossing the midline, performing diagonal movements, (cross chops anyone?) memorizing movement patterns (choreography is a good thing), and following cues or directions. You can see where fitness classes really are ideal for those of us wanting more than physical payoff from our workouts.

Kymberly on log in Yosemite

Defy Gravity AND Train for Good Posture standing, sitting. lying, hovering in midair!

6. Defy Gravity

Reap on land some of the gravity defying benefits of water exercise. Who doesn’t look forward to reduced joint stress, buoyancy, and a certain lightness of being? Translate that “up” feeling to land movement by emphasizing the up phase. For example, with squats, engage your muscles more when standing than lowering. Change the pace, speed, or emPHAsis of moves to prioritize the press away from the floor. In short, concentrate on the parts of exercises that work against gravity.

7. Input Impact to Improve Internal Integrity

I, I, I , yi yi! Use both cardio and resistance training to target age-related risks and preventable declines. Do the exercises you choose challenge your mobility? Balance? Bones? Coordination? Just as you might choose nutritionally dense foods, select movements that offer a compound or multiple return for your invested effort.

Kymberly: We recommend you listen to our entire interview with Mo if you want more detail, and to hear Alexandra’s mental skips and jaunts. As Mo recommends in the radio episode, we need to begin with the end in mind — to increase our overall strength, stamina, core strength, mental agility, resistance to disease, and ability to continue pursuing life with vigor and enthusiasm. Heck, we also want to look good, right?

pic of TRX plank tuck

When Will This End?

Alexandra: I’ve only got my end in mind.

To really be ahead of the game, try Training Principle Number 8 and 9:

1) Follow us on Google +Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter:  AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

2) Pick up the phone or email us to book us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

About Fun and Fit

Get practical exercise advice, your fitness questions answered, and cutting edge health edu-tainment that is accessible and doable from long time fitness experts, Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA. We have taught on land, sea, and airwaves for 3 decades on 4 continents. From writing to speaking, emceeing to hosting a radio show, reviewing products to teaching classes, we believe that little steps turn into big paths. Move a little more than the day before. FitFluential Ambassadors and award-winners both online and off.

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12 Responses to Ultimate Baby Boomer Workouts: 7 Key Training Principles

  1. GiGi Eats Celebrities June 3, 2014 at 6:31 am #

    I am all about the pedometers!! They’re such great motivators in order to just keep you STEPPING!!!! My mother wears one religiously and she gets about 25k steps a day! I used to wear one but I am a crazy TYPE A kind of person so…. I had to stop cause it was sort of controlling my life…. But who knows, maybe I will start wearing one again in the near future – CRAZY GIGI commence. Oh wait………
    GiGi Eats Celebrities recently posted..Tote-ally Fashionable For The SummerMy Profile

  2. Tamara June 3, 2014 at 11:09 am #

    You know that I’m in 100% total agreement with every word of this post (except the one-piece bathing suit; I’m planning on rocking my bikini for at least another 10 years!).

    Go Mo!
    Tamara recently posted..Five steps to a successful ‘pantry raid’ |tips for healthy eatingMy Profile

  3. Jody - Fit at 56 June 3, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

    YES YES YES!!!! No bikini here… I did to about 52ish BUT I do like the 2 piece with the longer top part… tankinin I think it is called. I only do suits in Hawaii & not going there any time soon so…

    OK – I beg to differ with #3 but that is me.. plus many seniors who lost a lot in the crash a few years back…

    Other than that – YES!!!!! :)
    Jody – Fit at 56 recently posted..Gratitude Monday & Life & EmailsMy Profile

  4. Carol Cassara June 3, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

    I just won’t step . .. Have not had knee problems and don’t want them, so I find other ways to build strength.
    Carol Cassara recently posted..Inspired by a porn starMy Profile

    • KymberlyFunFit June 4, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

      Step classes seem to have two polarized camps of participants who have knee issues: those for whom the step moves exacerbate knee issues, and those for whom they actually improve them (as is the case with my knee that has had surgeries). So glad you have found other ways to stay strong as pain free as possible.
      KymberlyFunFit recently posted..5 Worrisome Challenges Facing Older AdultsMy Profile

  5. nancy@skinnykitchen.com June 3, 2014 at 7:08 pm #

    What a great post! I walk everyday and workout with weights 3 times a week. Not planning on ever stopping.
    nancy@skinnykitchen.com recently posted..14 Foods Affecting Your Weight: InfographicMy Profile

  6. Wendy Byde June 4, 2014 at 5:56 am #

    I love keeping active and these tips are great! Thank you for sharing!

  7. Yum Yucky June 4, 2014 at 8:59 am #

    A focus on strength training has really done so much to help my previously poor posture, especially while sitting in this chair at work. I’m finding that I don’t hunch over like I used to.
    Yum Yucky recently posted..Full Body, Fat Burning ChallengeMy Profile

  8. Lana June 8, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

    So many helpful tips here! Thank you!!!
    Lana recently posted..Hands, and Meeting a Blogging FriendMy Profile

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