Fitness, workout routines, FitBits and such, for older folks

Many of us are into, perhaps well into, our 2nd half-century of life on this blue planet. What has worked for you for fitness and weight loss? Doctor or rehab specialist prescribed? Or do you make it up as you go?

I’ve been working off and on with the same personal trainer for almost 15 yrs now. I’m 62 and he’s in his early 50’s and has gravitated to working with clients of our generation although not exclusively. We now do 2 sessions a week via FaceTime with me in my home gym; once a week in his big home studio. On my own I do walk/runs and ride a Peloton. I hope to do some hiking with my wife this year; she’s having back issues and not sure where that’s going :frowning:

Weightloss / fat loss. There are “diets” and “techniques.” I tried IF (intermittent fasting) without calorie counting, and have tried “lower carbs” without calorie counting. Neither resulted in any weight loss. So I’ve committed now to CICO (calories in / calories out) and it’s definitely working.

If you really want to do CICO and have it work, you need GOOD DATA on both ends. Calories in: faithfully log your food intake. All of it. No cheating or it’s useless. Calories out - wear a decent device that monitors movement and heartrate to give you calories burned throughout the day.

For calories out I’m wearing a FitBit Charge 4 on my right wrist, as I like to wear a nice mechanical watch on my left. This is def one of the better devices available. An Apple Watch is very good too but I’m not going to wear “two watches.”

For calories in I use myfitnesspal.com and their app for food logging, and those data automatically get pushed into FitBit. I pay for premium, and you can use their extensive (some good some not) library of data or add in your own foods. Best is its barcode scan feature. Most of us eat the same foods often throughout the week, so once you get started it gets easier. JUST DON’T CHEAT YOURSELF! Consider getting a kitchen scale; we cannot ‘eyeball’ portion sizes without training.

I set my daily calorie “limit” at 1900 irrespective of exercise. I watch throughout the day. If I was super hungry and ate a lot for breakfast and lunch, I might even skip dinner. I try super hard not to exceed 1900.

If I’m lazy and do not exercise at all and sit around the house, FitBit says I burn about 2-2100 kcal/day. So doing the math, I MUST exercise. I can burn 3-400 with a moderate walk and 4-500 with a Peloton ride. My personal trainer sessions are also 3-400 kcal. If I do at least one of those a day I can hit my 3500 kcal/week deficit goal and lose a pound a week.

Data in - data out :slight_smile:

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Whatever motivates you is good, personally Unless you can see a trainer more than once a week I think it’s not worth it unless of course it it for the provision of specialised rehab.
It does also depend on setting realistic goals,e.g weight blood pressure resting pulse endurance are key measure for me alsonyour current fitness/weight body type etc.
15 years with same trainer he must be more like mate😀
I think also is good to disrupt routines I.e. concept that you body cheats when doing same thing I.e 5 mile run all the time all imho ymmv😀

Eat less - move more :grin:

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Amen! It does all boil down to that doesn’t it??

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Undoubtedly! I get so bored with strict calorie counting. It’s not rocket science to work out what reduction is needed, and amazing how naughty you can be food/booze wise if you exercise vigorously and frequently. That said, giving up booze other than for special occasions/holidays has worked best for me and weight loss.

Alcohol IS empty calories and quite a few of them. My wife and I gave up all alcohol almost 3 years ago now, but did add in more desserts. So it was pretty much a wash calorie-wise (well somewhat favorable I’m sure; we drank a fair bit), but much better financially and health-wise overall!

I’ll second the calories in - calories out method. As you said, you must be be fastidious about recording everything, a be honest with yourself.

This is something I need to do again as I’ve put on a stone and a half this last year. That’s despite moving more using my smart trainer and Zwift on a nice setup in the garage which is heated coz I’ve gone soft in my old age.
I found the act of faithfully and honestly recording every calorie that went in was the only way I could reliably lose weight.

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Understandable. Logging my food into the app - I dont find that very onerous. I make the decisions in real time and just log the food maybe twice a day in total.

I lost about 4 stone over 5 years ago through cycling primarily and still get out pedalling regularly. I’ve put a stone back on since then. I would say though that it’s very difficult to lose a lot of weight just through exercise, you have to combine it with diet. For me the CICO worked really well when I was actively trying to lose weight rather than improving my fitness through cycling. If I cycled a lot on a particular day then I would increase my calorie intake otherwise I would reduce it…worked for me.

This lockdown hasn’t helped with CICO though!! Every time I’m bored I tend to visit the fridge, not great but with summer approaching should be able to increase exercise.

My own weight started to go to the pits after the heart attack. A change in diet and exercise regime and I ended up putting half a stone on in 6 months. Then this covid lockup situation started and, in the last 12 months, I’ve put on another stone. My ideal weight is 12 stone… when I got to 13 stone I stopped weighing myself but I now that’s it’s continued to go up; I can tell because certain clothes no longer fit me :frowning:

I really need to do something about it. About 5 years ago, in the space of 6-8 months, I lost over 4 stone and that was by calorie cutting and it stayed off until the afore mentioned heart attack August two years ago.

I’m a big fan of cutting the calories as a way of loosing weight. It does work. What I found was, after a month, I was mentally tuned to simply eating fewer calories. One day I realised that I was constantly feeling hungry but it didn’t worry me… Was it Mr T Blair that passed the comment that the natural human state is to feel hungry? I can’t say I like the bloke but I think that was one of the few things he said I agree with.

Re exercise helping weight loss a few things I used to discuss with my punters

1: You need to do a lot of exercise to make up for a bad diet in terms of calorie excess. So change your diet too, and don’t eat more because you have exercised and ‘deserve it’. You may be fitter but significant weight loss almost always demands both input and output changes.

  1. Weight loss exercise does not need to be that strenuous but it needs to be both sustained and repeated. Using the stairs not the lift doesn’t do it. You need to raise your heart rate enough to feel a bit warm and slightly out of breath for at least 40 mins without a break. Do it at least 3x a week. Five frantic mins on a treadmill followed by 10 mins recovery won’t work

  2. Do something you like as exercise if you are going to stand any chance of keeping it going!

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I think that this fitness stuff might be bad for one’s health! Nothing a little ice cannot fix.