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What to Do When Working Out Isn’t Working Out!!

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exercise, workout, working out, physical fitness, personal trainer, midlife, midlife women

Prior to my sixtieth birthday, I toyed at working out.  For a couple of years, I did the circuit at Curves, a place where I wanted to interact with the ladies around me and was often met with grunts and closed doors as they concentrated deeply on the machines.

Then I walked the neighborhood for about a year, but was easily talked back into my comfy chair when any type of weather change occurred to make the walk “uncomfortable.”  So, a week prior to my big birthday, along comes a group of friends and BZ, my trainer, ready to include a body which has seen little activity over a lot of years.  Not only that, this body was beginning to suffer the consequences of no real exercise or care.

It’s been nine long months of weight training two days a week, with cardio sprinkled in 2-5 days a week.  I am still there, gaining strength day by day. I’m able to do things now I could not do in the beginning, but it has not been easy.  There have been three big muscle strains–Oh My Aching Back–ushered in with a huge dose of pain.  I persevere.  I know me all too well.  If I allow any excuse to cause me to quit, even for a little while, it is likely I will not go back.

Here is what I have learned which has kept me keeping on:

  1. Trust the Trainer.  I submit to you, if you are not working with a trainer you trust, then find someone new.  BZ is so quick to look and consider the strains.  He will adjust the workout and make certain we do not overdo.  He checks in on the pain progress often, once he knows we have a hurt.
  2. Purchase a Foam Roller.  “Are you rolling it out?”  BZ sometimes forgets what a novice I am. What do you mean rolling it out?  Well, these little rollers are a double edged sword.  You roll the area of greatest pain in order to increase blood flow to the tensed up body parts.  No joke, it hurts like crazy while you are rolling, but feels amazing afterwards.  The key for me, is to roll before and after workout.  If I have to rush to my job, then I need to roll before bedtime.  My husband, who is a runner, must roll out his thighs just above his knees every time he runs in order to keep knee pain in check.   Here’s a foam roller I recommend.
  3. Allow Rest.  I have one particularly bad strain located high in an inner thigh.  It annoys my husband, but I call it my groin injury!  In order to get relief, I had to stop my cardio for a couple of weeks and rest the injury.  I continued a light workout with BZ two days a week and I am going to attempt to return to the treadmill this week.
  4. Stretching does help.  I was surprised to see an interview with a popular television trainer who said stretching does not really help.  I would have to disagree for me.  A light stretch routine before workout has helped me immensely and if I stretch before bedtime, I sleep better, which is always a plus when working out.
  5. Find what works for your body.  I don’t like to take medicine.  I already take supplements every day, my daily aspirin as prescribed by my doctor, and my allergy medicine (a must-have in my life).  So, to add anything else is not easy for me.  But, I have finally agreed that ibuprofen before my workout helps me carry on.  Also, an occasional deep tissue massage has been very helpful, and I believe kept me from other injuries.  Finally, for many reasons, I have increased my Omega 3s intake and really try to make sure I avoid foods which increase inflammation.  This can also help in the injury area.

Is all of this worth it??  I believe so.  I do feel stronger, healthier, and my mind is so much clearer.  It is easier to eat healthy when working out and I sleep better.  The rewards are great. If I had not procrastinated so long, I might not be suffering the injuries. It is never too late and please do not let my injuries keep you from exercising. The consequences of not doing a regular routine are far greater.  I regret not starting earlier in my life, but at least I started, and now must know what to work out in order to work out!

Thanks for stopping by the Joy Boutique this week!  Does anyone else want to add what has worked for them in these endeavors?

Have a Springy week, everyone!

midlife boulevard, columnist, midlife women, middle-age, midlife crisis

Pamela Lutrell

Pamela Lutrell began her blog, over50feeling40, July 2010 with a desire to encourage women over 50 to walk in strength, confidence and joy. Of course, head turning style makes each day fun!

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Saturday 15th of March 2014

Great advice. I started strength training with a trainer after a lifetime of just doing cardio. I love it. And roll out. You are so right. When I do run these days stretching isn't enough. I need to roll out over those joints, tendons and muscles afterwards. It really helps.

Cathy Chester

Thursday 13th of March 2014

I used to go to a trainer. After the first day I remember being unable to walk down the steps so I had to go down each step on my tush! Not a good thing.

Today a trainer isn't in our budget, but I just got a FitBit and I'm hoping that, along with a healthy diet, will help me lose unwanted pounds while making me feel healthier.

You are truly an inspiration to us all, Pam!


Thursday 13th of March 2014

Wonderful words of wisdom! Working out and taking care of yourself definitely keep you looking younger and feeling healthier. I have always done physical activity but sometimes find it difficult to stay motivated. My latest endeavor is doing work outs with online fitness pros....there are many workouts on YouTube (such as Melissa Bender or Jillian Michaels) and I really enjoy and range from beginner to pro. I am nearing 60 and plan to keep on living it up as long as possible!


Tuesday 11th of March 2014

Great post Pam. I agree that working out is important and has so many benefits. I think having a trainer is important and has to be someone who is knowledgeable, motivating and a person you can connect with when you train.

I agree about having a foam roller. I always say it hurts so good as I foam roll. I would have never come this far with my hip injury without the foam roller.


Tuesday 11th of March 2014

Wow, I'm impressed Pam. You are a determined woman. After my surgery in December and eight weeks confined to bed I am totally out of the loop. I am thinking of buying an adult tricycle. I know that sounds crazy but at 65 I don't want to fall off of a bike. When the weather clears I'm going to get moving. Wish me luck! Suzanne

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