[podcast] How to maintain a strong metabolism as you age.

john c ashworth grief journal 2020

produced by john c ashworth

Book referenced for this podcast:

Get Stronger, Feel Younger by Wayne Westcott, PhD & Gary Reinl

Studies referenced in the podcast include:

Basal metabolism and age of adult man. (Keys, et al, 1973)

Prescribing physical activity: applying the ACSM protocols for exercise type, intensity, and duration across 3 training frequencies.

Resistance Training for Older Adults: Position Statement from the National Strength & Conditioning Association

A great article I found along the way. Also by Westcott

Resistance Training is Medicine: Effects of Strength Training on Health

[podcast] 5 Juicy strategies for maximum fitness at any age

John ashworth standing on rock

produced by john c ashworth


podcast produced by john c ashworth

Click here for the text article on this topic too.

-John

I guarantee YOU, you’re NOT Stretching enough

written by john c ashworth

People still come to me for fitness advice and conversation. I’m a full-time salesman and marketing maniac now, but for the first twenty-plus years of my career, I was a clinical exercise physiologist, personal trainer, health coach and fitness expert. Before that, I was an all-american soccer player and high-level athlete. I have a little experience with this stuff. Today, I call myself a bohemian athlete.

Many of us experience back pain in a variety of formats. Especially right now as I’m writing this, and we are sequestered in our homes in the fight to stop the spread of covid-19, we are spending a lot of time sitting and being sedentary. More than usual. When we do this, our bodies not only get tight, but our chakras get locked-up and energy stops flowing freely.

You can probably feel it right now. Some area of your body that is bothering you in some way. Your back. Your neck. Your Shoulder girdle. Your hips. Your knees. You pick the spot and it’s OK to choose more than one 🙂

For me this morning, it’s some of the usual stuff I feel when I haven’t been able to get to the pool often enough. Along with a new thing I’ve been nursing along in my neck and right shoulder. All of which is manageable if I choose to stretch enough throughout the day, instead of ignoring it and spending a lot of excess mental energy trying to work through it and hope it goes away. Hope is NOT a strategy.

I’ve got news for you…it’s probably not going to go away unless you choose to do something about it. And one of the most transformative actions you can take on a daily basis is to stretch your hamstrings. In years of training people and working with them on their fitness, this axiom held true over and over again. Almost everyone experiences back pain and for many of us there is a simple solution. Stretch your hamstrings. YES! I’m also saying that you should stretch more often in general, but I also know from years of working with people in this way, that this blanket recommendation will do almost nothing to change your behavior and get you to take action. But if I say instead, “Just spend 5 minutes three times a day stretching your hamstrings.” Well, now that seems more doable, doesn’t it? And the reason I almost always start with this is twofold…

First, you will almost certainly be amazed at how this transforms not just your back pain but your body’t energy flow and your mental state every day. It really can have a meaningful impact in a very short amount of time and very often, almost immediately.

Second, if you can’t even implement this one simple strategy that takes just 15 minutes a day, then you’re not ready or willing to adopt the mindset of the bohemian athlete and I’m not willing to waste any more of my time with you.

OK, go! And if you want, feel free to report back to me here or on facebook with the results.

-John

PS When I turned 30, my body was beginning to seize-up as a result of years of abuse on the soccer field. That was when I discovered yoga and the cathartic and transformative effects of regular stretching. Call it yoga or stretching or whatever you want. Call it old school calisthenics if you have to. Just start doing it. Your 5-minute sessions alone might be enough. And once you begin to experience the benefits of this ritual, you’ll likely find just like I did that you will desire more and more.

The most important part of your fitness program

written by john c ashworth

The most important part of your fitness program

As a former fitness coach and personal trainer and currently a fit, healthy fitness over 50 cadre member, people ask me from time to time what it is that I do to keep myself in shape.  

My answer always begins with a little context. Because my fitness program is not overly impressive. I’ve just had it going regularly without fail for thirty plus years now.

“I keep going…”  I say.

“I never stop.  I’ve NEVER stopped.”

How long have YOU been working at it?

Keep going…

Don’t stop.

Look for modes of progression and seek expert advice to aid your quest. A little goes a long way. Especially when you can find a real expert.

I admit it. There’s a lot more to it than just your consistency.  Expert personal fitness program design is an art that finds its roots in science. You and your path are unique and need to be treated as such in order for you to achieve your potential.

Consistency, though…

That’s really the key, because without your regular commitment, no fitness program can produce the results you crave.

Ready?

We start here.

Go!

-John

PS My current fitness program includes all of the following: swimming 5-6 days per week (350-500m). Strength training twice per week. Walking 4-6 days per week (1-3 miles). Walking is sometimes curtailed a bit in the winter and in those times, I swim more. When it snows, my snow removal duties also add to the totals. Just as yard work does in the warmer months. And, of course, right at this very moment, my ability to get to the pool has been thwarted by covid-19, so I’m doing my best to adjust and missing that experience terribly 🙁

Here’s a screenshot from January of 2020. I cleared about 6 inches of snow that day in addition to my swim. I love the apple fitness tracking system. In combination with the Apple watch this tracking system actually provides a lot of useful data and constant feedback if you want it about how well you’re doing with your exercise and activity each day. Will get into that more later.

When you click on the swim workout that was recorded wearing the apple watch in the pool, you get even more specific data and information about your swim, including your average heart rate, which is extremely valuable data and information. Again, I plan to get into more about all of this in future posts about the Apple activity tracking system. I really like it.

swim workout on 011720
There are a number of things I really like about having access to this information for each workout, including average heart rate. An extremely valuable metric to track. -john c ashworth

PPS If I had to choose the second most important part of your fitness program it would be the tracking. In order to build a proper plan for safe and effective progression of your fitness program, you need to keep track of where you’ve been.

Fitness over 50 – How to unlock the wisdom of your body at any age

written by john c ashworth

Fitness Over 50 – how to unlock the wisdom of your body at any age

My wife Laura and I have been talking a lot lately about the adjustments necessary in your fitness program as you get older. Neither of us like the idea of having to decrease our intensity and volume of training, but there are certain realities we all face as we get older.

But here’s the point I want you to pay close attention to today. I don’t have a lot of time to elaborate on it so I’m going to get straight to it…

Laura’s body and her life history is unique. As is my own. As is yours.

Each of us have extremely unique and varied needs when it comes to maintaining our health and fitness as we age. Your fitness program is a complex combination of variables that change from one day, one week, one month to the next depending on a wide variety of factors. Some of which you can control and many of which you cannot.

It is vital that you find a personal trainer and coach who can help you navigate this potentially dangerous territory. Otherwise, you are much like Lewis and Clark – venturing into new territory each and every day with no real clear idea of what might come at you next. Unprepared for the realities you face.

There will be a lot more on this topic over time. You can be sure of that. Just promise me you’ll be careful out there. I see a lot of potential pitfalls for you and I. One in particular stands out in my mind and the image keeps replaying in my mind…

A group of woman over forty and fifty, taking part in an exercise class that seemed totally and completely all wrong for them at their current level of fitness and overall conditioning levels. When you jump in too soon, and go too fast, and don’t take the time to individualize your efforts in a way that properly addresses today’s needs for your body, you are setting yourself up for injury, failure, and set-backs that can last for years to come.

Proper progression and expert guidance will provide a talisman you can hold close for support. A talisman that has nothing to do with fetish and everything to do with the wisdom you will unlock in your body along the way when you do this fitness over 50 thing the right way.

Peace.

-John

fetish: any object, activity, etc, to which one is excessively or irrationally devoted. Syn: fixation, obsession, mania.

[video] How to Double YOUR Energy level this afternoon!

I put this video up on my YouTube channel over the winter, and as I was going through potential drafts for a good blog post today, I thought this might be a good one. My time is limited and I gotta get moving so that I can get to work on time.

There are a few really good insights here if you have the time.

One of the primary bits is the idea of taking time during your lunch hour to go swim.

I started swimming regularly almost 10 years ago now and I’ve been amazed at what this discipline has done for my body, my back, my mind, and my overall strength from head to toe.

I hope you enjoy it!

Have a great day.

-John