Middle Age Workout!

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PerseveranceLet’s face it. You are no longer crashing with some other twenty something or early thirty something buddies in a rent house trying to figure out how to spend all that discretionary free time! In those days, you might have even been able to roll out of bed at eight and get to work in the nick of time by nine :) But now, you get up early and go to bed later than you want in order to manage responsibilities of family, work, home, etc. You desperately want to include some quality exercise into your weekly routine, but it just seems so hard to figure out what to do, how to do it efficiently and how to push past the initial pain so that you build perseverance and experience great long-term results. Indeed, many of us have struggled with this. But don’t be discouraged…it is doable! Requirements for a proper middle age workout are that it be short, simple and sustainable. Here is what I suggest. Begin with a six day per week schedule…say Sunday through Friday…devoting one hour Sunday and thirty minutes daily Monday through Friday. Get up at five or six AM if you need to…but schedule the time. Then work with the following splits:

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Run/Lower Body Upper Body Run Lower Body Upper Body Run

Running outside is probably more exciting for most, but running on a treadmill may be more convenient for some. I use a treadmill both for convenience as well as for the health advantage of its padded deck…my knees thank me now and I trust will continue to thank me down the road! I cover between 2.5 and 3 miles during an exact thirty minute interval that includes some warm up and cool down time. I also run with a 1% to 2% incline to equate the treadmill to an outside track or path.

Moving on to weight training, here is a lower body routine to consider and one very similar to what I currently do:

Lunges Glute Bridges Calf Raises Crunches
3 X 8-15 (Each Leg) 3 X 8-15 3 X 8-15 3 X 16-30

And last but not least, here is an upper body routine to consider and one extremely similar to what I currently do:

Shoulder (Military) Presses Bench Presses Lat Pulldowns Seated Rows
3 X 8-15 3 X 8-15 3 X 8-15 3 X 8-15

As I mentioned, each of these exercise routines can be accomplished in thirty minutes with the exception of Sunday. With running, this is quite straight forward. But with weights, this only happens when one focuses on performing each rep correctly, resting optimal amounts between sets (shorter than what you would probably like) and moving from exercise to exercise in a timely manner. Of course, it goes without saying that proper rest and a healthy and balanced eating plan (I refuse to use the word, “diet”) are equally important and should be deliberately managed as well. Much more could be said regarding this workout schedule, and I am happy to go into more specifics in answering any questions. In the meantime, if you are looking for something short, simple and sustainable, give this one a try. Persevere through the initial pain of sore muscles if you have been too sedentary for a while, and look forward to the wondrous health benefits of staying long-term active in these very busy middle age years :)

Health

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The One-Handed Backhand…On Full Display!

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I happened to catch part of the 3rd round Wimbledon match between Grigor Dimitrov and Richard Gasquet yesterday, and I really enjoyed taking in some moments of the grandeur of summer grass-court tennis in SW19. From the lawn courts of lush green to the player outfits of bright white, the traditions of this grand slam are like no other. This match saw Gasquet dismiss Dimitrov in straight sets, surprising given that Dimitrov was a semi-finalist here a year ago and was seeded 11th to Gasquet’s 21st. But what really caught my attention as I tracked their shot making for a while was that both players were beautifully carving balls with their one-handed backhands, and this is something you just don’t see every day anymore. Included by both guys were some perfect redirects down the line (my 2nd favorite shot in tennis after the running forehand down the line…and to curve it around the net-post…even better)! As effective as the two-handed backhand has become for the top players (those still in their 20’s), and as much as the two-hander can be clean and crisp, there is just something about a smooth one-hander that mesmerizes like nothing else. So as I was thinking about things, I surmised that as Federer has the most successful one-handed backhand in history, Wawrinka currently has the most powerful while Gasquet, the most aesthetically pleasing. I have long admired the technical beauty of Gasquet’s motion, but comparing him to Dimitrov yesterday, I must admit the latter has a suave stroke as well. Gasquet has peaked as a pro, but many expect much more from Dimitrov as his robust talent affords him a high ceiling and the potential to climb to or near the top of the sport. Time will tell regarding Grigor, but for now, watching these two poetic purveyors of the old school backhand yesterday was inspiring and pure enjoyment!

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