Calisthenics & The Total Gym...

The Total Gym plus accessories

Over the last couple of years, I've noticed a loss of muscle tone. I've always been in pretty good shape and had physical jobs that demanded a certain level of fitness.  My workout routine hadn't changed much, I was still cycling, jogging and doing some floor exercises including push ups and crunches. My weight was right on target for my BMI. Yet, I wasn't getting the same results. I decided to research what was going on with my body.  What I found out was,  that after the age of 40 we lose approximately 1 percent of our lean muscle mass each year.  No wonder those Calphalon pots and pans seem so much heavier now!  As a normal part of aging our muscles take longer to respond to brain signals, the water content of our tendons is less, making them more stiff and less resistant to stress and our heart is not capable of pushing large quantities of blood to our muscles as quickly.  As a result, we tire much more quickly and heal more slowly.

It seemed like all bad news...Fortunately, it's not! Yes, as we age, we'll have more challenges but that doesn't mean we have to work harder, just smarter. I had to add more weight bearing exercises to my routine if I wanted to hold onto the muscle I had.  I now do calisthenics...jumping jacks, burpees, mountain climbers, etc.  Calisthenics are a weight bearing exercise and need no equipment.  They build muscle strength and flexibility.  You can do them any where.  Even when I'm cooking, instead of standing still while the microwave is running or a pot is boiling, I throw in some jumping jacks.  They also count as cardio if done fast enough and for a period of time.  The best thing about calisthenics is that they don't tend to cause the ripping and tearing that free weights can cause.  I've also been doing some of the free kick boxing videos on You Tube...these also build muscle tone.  Here's a link to a good one...Jillian Michaels Kickbox Workout.This video is not heavy on the squatting (they give you a modified version) so for people like me, with bad knees, it's great.  

The best thing I've found though, has been The Total Gym XLS.  Yes, the "blast from the past", Chuck Norris, home gym.  I've been using it now for three months.  I did a lot of research on strength training after the age of 40 and kept coming back to this piece of equipment.  It uses your own weight to build strength and flexibility.  It also has the ability to add free weights, as you progress.  The list of exercises you can do is endless and my package came with 6 workout videos.  The best thing about the #Total Gym is that is allows me to push myself without the fear of injury.  It is a little awkward learning how to get on and off, as the board slides, but once you get used to it  you no longer have to think about it.  My arms now look like they did a few years back.  The crunch attachment is the best ab workout I've gotten in years. No more getting down on the floor...Thank goodness for small favors.  I keep mine out at all times but it does fold up into a small area if you desire. It is long when open...about 7-8 feet.  I like that I'll be able to use this piece of equipment until I'm 90.  I recommend waiting for this piece of equipment to go on sale...You can get the gym plus most of the accessories for a very reasonable price. Check the website often.  Here is the link: The Total Gym.  I am not a representative of this company and am not receiving any compensation to recommend this product.

Workout cards are included for both men and women and help you to learn the different exercises

The good news is that we can preserve our muscle mass, control our weight and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.  We just have to add some #strength training to our day!  Start slowly and increase repetitions gradually.  As always, consult your doctor before starting any new fitness routine.

#fitness #strengthtraining #fitnessover40 #totalgym

Thanks for reading!

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