Home Gyms: Boomers Getting Fit Not Fat
For many members of the Baby Boomer Generation, the time has come to get fit not fat. That's because a majority of Boomers are either overweight or obese, and the trend shows no signs of stopping.
In fact, if anything, the trend towards Boomer obesity is accelerating, and it's leading to an unprecedented growth in health risks linked to chronic disease, including both high blood pressure and heart disease. Those health risks come with steep medical costs as well, so working out and becoming fit has acquired a new significance -- it's not just a way to add muscle or lose inches around the waist, it's also a way to become healthier and increase longevity.
The good news is that a steady workout program – defined as at least three workouts a week covering the major muscle groups of the body as well as some cardio – can help to stave off the effects of chronic disease. The goal for most Boomers, according to many medical practitioners, should be low-intensity exercise that achieves a certain target heart rate while also toning muscle and improving overall core stability.
In order to achieve those fitness benefits, Boomers typically have two main alternatives – either join a gym and sign up for expensive monthly or annual membership, or invest in one of the sleek, new all-in-one home gym machines that help to build strength, while toning the overall body.
When it comes to making this choice, the home gym is starting to win out as the clear favorite. For one, it is more convenient to use and fits into just about anyone's schedule. Instead of racing off to a gym to squeeze in a workout before it closes, or worrying about working out at a crowded gym during peak hours, you're free to workout any time of the day or night.
For some Boomers, this is a great way to combine a workout while keeping an eye on their grandchildren – the small kids can play with toys on a mat while you're getting in a set or two of lat pull downs or arm curls!
From a cost perspective, too, the benefits of a home gym outweigh those of a gym membership. Since many high-quality home gyms are available at a price under $1,000, ultimately that's more cost-effective over a 12-month period than paying $80 a month or more for a pricey gym membership.
The real advantage, though, is that a good quality all-in-one gym machine makes possible a variety of safe exercises for any age group. That's because machines – unlike free weights found at the gym – enable you to move your muscle through a full range of motion and are safer to use. You can customize these exercises for a variety of weights and resistance levels.
Plus, since most home gym machines offer 20-25 unique exercises, you can hit all three parts of your body – upper body, lower body and back – that are vital to maintaining peak fitness. These back exercises are especially important for older Boomers, who may already be seeing changes in their posture as a result of aging.
With a three-times-a-week workout program, you can tone and strengthen your body. By mixing in some light cardio – such as a brisk walk at night or in the morning – you can improve overall wellness. And, best of all, you'll be able to do it all in the comfort of your own home at your own pace, rather than in a crowded gym with people who may be 30 or 40 years younger than you are!
About the Author
Graham Forbes is a 70 year old educator and health and fitness blogger who regularly writes on the issues of fitness and wellness for Boomers. His website http://getfitnessathome.com/ provides advice on how and why older people should set up their own health and fitness program. Graham is an example and advocate of fitness that is achieved gently and with enjoyment.
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