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Exercise

Get Your Spring Fitness Game On

By Delaina Dixon

Hi, thirdAGE readers. I’m so excited to be joining you on a monthly basis to bring you some of my best discoveries in fitness and healthy lifestyle. As a woman who is approaching her third age, it’s important for me to discover new ways to be in optimal health – and look and feel great while achieving it. I welcome the chance to share my fitness adventures with you – and please, I’d love to hear about yours. Tweet me @TVDivaGal!

SPRING CLEAN YOUR WORKOUT

It happens every January 1st. You make a New Year’s resolution to get in the best shape of your life. Maybe you joined a gym, or cleaned our your refrigerator to make space for healthier choices. But something over the past few weeks has derailed your progress.

For me, it was the weather. Here in New York City, where I live, the temperature went from two below zero to 60 degrees in a matter of days, and that kept me in a constant cycle of sniffles, coughs and aching bones. Needless to say, between swigs of Mucinex and hoarding boxes of tissues, my fitness regimen fell to the side.

But the flowers are starting to bloom and daylight savings time is back in effect. So it’s time to spring-clean my workout! Here are my top tips to get us both back on track.

Define Fitness Goals. It’s easy to hit the gym on a regular basis, but without fitness goals, your workouts may be for naught. It’s important to define what your fitness goals are so you are training your body in the most accurate manner. This season, I’m all about maintaining and increasing my lean muscle tissue. Sarcopenia, the age-related decline in muscle mass, can decrease muscle by 3 to 5 percent every decade after the age 35. Maybe your goal is to get your heart pumping more efficiently. According to the National Institute As we age, the cardiovascular system becomes more susceptible to diseases, which includes high blood pressure and atherosclerosis (where plaque builds up inside your arteries), so a healthier heart can help ward off disease. Once your fitness goals are defined, you can seek out the best program to achieve them.

Take Workouts Outside. With the weather getting better every minute, there’s no better place to train than outside. There’s more space for me to jog farther, bike longer and jump over things more often.  Being outside also increases the intensity of my workouts. Hiking adds hills that go up AND down, a direction you can’t get on a treadmill. The wind adds extra resistance when I hop on a Schwinn.  When I travel near water, I always seek out a beachfront, as sprinting on sand is much harder than a flat level surface.  Times seem to fly when I train outdoors. Whatever terrain I choose, I make sure I have the proper footwear. Try Topo Athletics, which specializes in footwear for outdoor activities.

Train For Gold. There’s no better motivation to achieve to a fitness goal than to set an actual finish line. That’s why I’m training for my first race. I’m keeping it simple – a 5K, which is 3.1 miles. According to the Mayo Clinic, it should take me about two months to go from casual runner to a 5K – the clinic even offers a training schedule. So by June, I’ll be in the best shape to take on the road — and get a medal for my efforts! (As always, check with your doctor before you start or change any exercise program.)

Hire a Professional. Sometimes to get back on track, you have to bring in an expert. A certified personal trainer can help you. Not sure where to find one? How about at your computer? Fitness trainer Taylor Bosco has launched My Body Taylor, which offers virtual personal training online. Taylor creates a completely personalized plan that account for her client’s age and life goals. She’s reachable via email, text or phone to answer any questions and keep clients motivated, and clients engage in SKYPE sessions as well.  “We want you to reach your goals in a simple, yet effective manner,” Taylor tells ThirdAge, adding that she does “weekly check-ins if I don’t hear from you personally.” Taylor’s “Tailor My Body” package includes a personalized fitness schedule/calendar for one month, four personalized workout routines and a personalized eating guide, for just $125. Learn more here.