Fitness expert and author of Real Life Fitness Carey Long launched his first national advertising campaign in the form of a 30-minute infomercial which began airing in March on ABC and Fox. The spot promotes his fitness program for men and women over 40, encouraging them to take control of their fitness destiny so they may live longer and enjoy a better quality of life.
If you are new to fitness plans, there are lots of them out there – but keep in mind that most of them are geared towards the younger generation, he said. P 90x, Insanity, etc. are great programs, but they are extreme and not for beginners.
Long, a licensed physical therapy assistant (LPTA) and certified personal trainer with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA-CPT), has worked in the fitness industry for more than 20 years. He is currently the PT Director for Spectrums at Southdowns in Baton Rouge.
Early in his career, he focused on a younger demographic – those wanting beach bodies and big muscles. Following the death of his parents, he made a personal and professional shift from focusing on outside appearances to increasing life expectancy.
My mother died at 61, and my father died at 64, from heart complications he said. My main goal was to live past age 64, and that became the focus of my book Real Life Fitness.
Long altered his exercise routine and diet which reshaped his body. He lost 40 lbs., going from a big bodybuilder’s physique to one resembling a lean Olympic swimmer.
It’s not about being ripped. It’s about being fit, healthy and finding the balance between including exercise into your daily routine, eating healthier and accepting some responsibility for your future life.
Once a common thought that after 40 it was too late to get in shape, he said, but science has proven otherwise.
In fact, numerous studies have shown that older people respond very favorably to both strength training and aerobic exercise. Most fitness experts agree that a 15-20 year decrease in biological age can be achieved with simple lifestyle changes. There can be a huge difference between biological age and chronological age.
Long said don’t put limits on yourself just because you’re over 40. He said your fitness program should be based more on your goals and fitness level than how old you are.
For four years I was the Louisiana and Greater Baton Rouge Senior Olympic Fitness Challenge Coordinator and had the privilege of being around active 70 to 90-plus-year-olds, he said. So yes, I do believe whole heartedly that it’s never too late. I have had clients that were in their early to mid 80s that decided they wanted to compete in the senior Olympics and performed brilliantly.
Here are 10 tips for getting in shape, based on his book Real Life Fitness:
1. Get a routine physical to make sure you have no underlying problems that exercise might expose. A routine physical often includes having your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose levels checked. Check with your health care professional to see what other screenings you need to stay healthy.
2. Set goals. You need a road map to get to where you’re going. In the gym, you need a fitness program such Real Life Fitness and/or a trainer to help you get real results, reduce your risk of injury and improve your overall health. If you work with a personal trainer, check for one who is nationally certified from reliable organizations such as the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, American Fitness Professional and Associates, International Sports Sciences Association and other organizations that certify personal trainers. It’s also a good idea to see if you’re trainer is CPR certified, should the need arise. A personal trainer should also fit your emotional needs. This is especially true for first-time exercisers.
3. Join a gym and go consistently. Treat exercise the way you treat other priorities in life. After all, nothing is more important than your health. Drop by several fitness clubs that are convenient to where you spend the most of your time (work, home, etc.) and check out the vibe you get when entering the club. Is reception friendly, is it clean, and do you feel comfortable after your visit? If not, you are less likely to stick with any program or system.
4. Purchase proper attire for working out. What was considered standard exercise attire in the 80s would be a faux pas nowadays.
Long offers a start-up package for new exercisers, embracing a :
Proper fitting for training shoes that will support your feet
Heart-rate monitoring device to use during cardio training
Physical assessment and goal-setting plan to reach fitness goals
Two-week membership to Spectrum at Southdowns
5. Do warm-up exercises before EVERY workout session. Warming-up stimulates blood flow to the muscles increasing flexibility and range of motion. It also gets the mind mentally prepared for working out. If there is pain during the warm-up, it’s a signal to be extra cautious during the workout. Long says: Always pay attention to what the body is telling you. Some days you are going to feel incredible and should try to push harder during the workout while other days you are not going to have the same vigor in the gym. Give what you can that day.
6. Always stretch after exercising. Stretching is the most widely neglected aspect of overall fitness, but one of the most important aspects, especially for older exercisers who have lost flexibility over the years and may be more susceptible to injuries. Pictures and descriptions of both warm-up and stretching exercises are included in Real Life Fitness.
7. Practice good weight-lifting form. The basis for a good lifting technique is having strong posture during the exercise.
Always use controlled movements. If you feel joint pain during an exercise, STOP! Adjust the exercise or seek medical attention if pain persists. Pushing through pain only leads to injuries.
Keep your spine straight, don’t arch the back.
Do not hunch your shoulders or round them.
Never allow your joints to lock out.
8. Give yourself enough recovery time. As you age, you need more recovery time after exercising. Give your body the time it needs and it will get stronger and healthier.
9. Start slowly and build up gradually. Don’t push yourself too hard, too fast. Slowly and gradually progress from your existing fitness level.
10. Incorporate good nutritional habits. Adding more whole grains, vegetables and fruit is another must-do. A way to improve your health immensely is to eat 5 to 7 servings of vegetables and fruit, drink 8 to 10 glasses of water as well as lessen the amount of white flour and sugar consumed each day.
A final word: Regular consistent exercise benefits both mind and body.
A study published by Dr. Ronald Peterson, director of the Alzheimer’s Research Center at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said:
Regular physical exercise is probably the best means we have of preventing Alzheimer’s disease today.
To learn more about Carey his Long and Real Life Fitness program, visit
www.careylongfitness.com and visit his blog at http://www.weeklycitizen.com/community/blogs/fitness_made_simple.
campaign in the form of a 30-minute infomercial which began airing in March on ABC and Fox. The sp
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