5 Reasons to Double-Down on Exercise (Especially If You're Over 40)

A gorgeous start to Summer 2022 - Sunset on the Caloosahatchee River in Fort Myers, Florida - June 21, 2022. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

I reviewed some discouraging statistics in an article from The American College of Sports Medicine.

Did you know that only 1 out of every 10 Americans over 50 exercises enough to gain any cardiovascular benefit?

For the past decade, research has estimated that about half of the physical decline associated with aging may be because of inactivity.

Furthermore, people over 65 in particular require adequate fitness levels to help maintain an independent lifestyle, recover from illness and reduce their risks of injury and disease.

It's also been well documented that it is never too late to get fit.

The human body responds to exercise, no matter what its age, and there are many health benefits.

Conversely, without regular exercise, people over 50 can experience a range of health problems including:

  • Decreased muscle mass, strength and physical...
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Swimming Successfully This Summer

Cooling down after a summer 2022 run in beautiful Lakes Park. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

Summer… Beaches… Picnic’s… There are many things that make a quintessential summer but swimming in the beautiful gulf waters is top of my list.

Not only does swimming cool you down, but it also exercises nearly every muscle in your body. 

Of course, while swimming is a fantastic exercise, as with any activity, if you do too much too soon, it is possible that injuries can occur.

Swim injuries vary depending on how the injury occurred, what stroke you were using, and where on your body you feel the pain.

Swimmers shoulder - the classic — 

Every style of swimming uses the arms, and therefore uses the rotator cuff muscle group. This is one of the reasons swimming can be such great exercise.

However, if you ask your rotator cuff to do more than it is ready for at a given time, injury is almost guaranteed.

Injury to the rotator cuff can feel...

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Proper Hydration is Critical to Your Fitness

A Beautiful Early June 'Walking, Running or Biking' Day in Lakes Park.  Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

The amount of water you need to drink on a daily basis is often the subject of widespread confusion and debate.

We all know that proper hydration is important but how essential is it to your fitness?

More specifically, how does hydration status affect athletic performance, recovery between workouts and is it sport specific?

First, it is widely accepted and understood that water is a medium for numerous physiological process in the body.

Therefore, it makes sense that exercising in even a mildly dehydrated state puts extra strain on the body and in turn affects exercise performance, outcomes and recovery.

Also, being poorly or inadequately hydrated impairs the body’s cooling system. If we cannot effectively cool our bodies, our core temperature, heart rate and perceived exertion all rise as well.

This means that exercising at any given intensity will feel more...

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5 Simple Self-Care Tips to Try Today!

Take or make time to exercise, then rest & reset - two couple of today's tips can happen on the beautiful beach!  Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

When life gets busy, it can be easy forget to take care of yourself.

This is especially true during the holidays. End of year deadlines can make work stressful, plus there are more family commitments and personal goals you are working to achieve.

You can be so focused on the end result that you don’t notice you’re burning your candle at both ends until the wick runs out.

Self-care refers to supporting your physical, mental, and emotional health through activities and practices.

These activities don’t have to be over-the-top or costly.

Some are simply nothing more than a few moments of your time.

However, these simple practices can help to keep you happy and healthy, through the holidays and beyond.

1. Take a moment to stop and reset.

The first step toward prioritizing self-care can be as easy as taking a...

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Ramp Up Your Run By Hitting the Beach

Enjoy miles of brisk walking (even running) on our beautiful beaches in Southwest Florida! Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

Southwest Florida is packed with runners and beaches!

And sometimes, the beaches are packed with runners! But while navigating the streets and sidewalks has its own kind of challenges, running on sand is definitely a step up when it comes to intensity.

With all the beauty and natural resources of the beach surrounding us when we run, we might forget we're working out if it wasn't for the increased effort required.

There are three important aspects of running on the sand:

  • aerobic fitness,
  • muscular endurance, and
  • specific technique.

Obviously, you need to have a good aerobic capacity to run in the sand --

On a basic level, running requires your body to burn a lot of energy or calories, and the body functions best and can go longer when it gets plenty of oxygen into the lungs, blood stream and muscles.

So you need an aerobic fitness base to tackle the...

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Don't Let Leg Cramps Cramp Your Style!

Plumeria (above) and Gardenia's are in bloom in Lakes Park (Fort Myers), right now, for you to enjoy! They're smelling SOOO good!  Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

Most people have suffered the excruciatingly painful experience of a leg cramp at least once in their life, often in bed at night.

A cramp is a painful spasm or contraction (shortening) of the muscle, usually in the calf, but sometimes in the foot or thigh muscles.

Cramps are involuntary – you have no control over the muscle spasm.

Fortunately, cramps usually only last a few seconds or minutes and usually get better when you stretch the affected muscles.

Walking around often helps relieve foot cramps.

After a cramp, the affected muscles may be sore and tender for a few hours.

Sometimes there is even mild swelling afterwards. Although they are extremely painful, ordinary leg cramps are more of a nuisance than anything else and are not usually a sign of anything seriously wrong.

Leg cramps (especially night...

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Balance Training (It's Not Just for Seniors)

Last Friday's Southwest Florida sunset on Naples Beach was gorgeous!  Enjoy exercise wherever and whenever you can, even walking the beach!  Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

How often do you incorporate balance work into your training sessions?

I’m going to hedge a guess at not much. Most people don’t even think about our body’s ability to balance.

After all, that’s just a concern for the elderly, right?

Well, no. 

Balance training is important for everyone.

It is as important a factor in fitness as cardiovascular, resistance and flexibility training.

In fact, without good balance, your ability to perform the other components smoothly and with efficiency is compromised.  

Good balance not only plays a significant role in strengthening and stabilizing joints but it also increases proprioception, or the body’s ability to recognize where it is in space and to help control movements.

With increased proprioception, the body is able...

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Sensible Precautions Required As The Temperatures Start Heating Up

A gorgeous April evening stroll in Lakes Park (in Fort Myers, Florida). Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

Participation in sports have long been recognized as an effective way to stay in shape, and a great start on the road to a healthy lifestyle.

However, organized sports and individual activities can also sometimes result in injury.

The American College of Sports Medicine has identified the most common sporting activities leading to injury, more specifically, heat-injuries.

These included:

  • football
  • basketball
  • soccer, and
  • cycling.

Individual activities, such as running may also lead to a range of injuries while rollerblading and skateboarding spearhead the way in injury-causing culprits among children.

Of additional concern is the research warning that people who experience sports injuries (especially children) are at a higher risk of suffering from re-injury later.

Therefore, it’s important to take some sensible precautions to avoid injury in the first place.

Here are...

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Office Based Exercise - Increase Productivity & Reduce Health Care Costs

If you can't get to the beach to walk or run, here's some ideas for exercising from the office!  Naples Beach - March 18, 2022. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

It’s never ending...

Clients are referred to exercise physiologists because they either have several risk factors predisposing them to chronic disease and/or conditions (i.e. high blood pressure, high cholesterol), or they have developed a chronic disease and/or condition and their health care provider wants exercise to be a component of their treatment.

Simple, or at least you’d think so right?

Many of these referred patients have very busy lives: work and family (kids and often grandchildren too), so a big part of successful planning is to find ‘potential exercise/physical activity’ time in their day, which is often no easy task.

If the average person sleeps 7.5 hours per night, that leaves potentially 16.5 hours, to complete 30 minutes of exercise (minimum recommended daily amount by the...

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Wants vs. Needs - Aligning Fitness Outcomes

Early March 2022, Queens Wreath (Petrea volubilis) in full bloom in the Botanical Gardens of Lakes Park (Fort Myers).  Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

As a coach and professional for over 30 years now, I have had a wide range of clients with a variety of goals.

Some want fat loss, muscle growth, improvements in performance, more energy, the list goes on.  

While it is important that we recognize and be clear about what we want, it is vital to also establish and align with what we need. 

Even though we may not think we may not need a particular exercise, from an optimal health position, it might be as important to correct posture and improve functional movement patterns as it is to develop specific muscular strength.

How do we integrate what we need seamlessly into our training session so that we still get what we want? 

Educate yourself and seek professional help.

Have an evaluation to find out where your fitness is currently and what you need to improve it....

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