There are hundreds and maybe 1000s of fitness guru's all claiming to have the perfect answer, the "magic bullet" for physical fitness and an answer to a much healthier body and standard of living. Well, I'm not willing to state to have the perfect answer! I do have a few tips on an easy to use piece of exercise equipment that may be one of the best for all ages and is particularly suitable for those of us who are either baby boomers or a bit more seasoned. It's the Bowflex... any version but a standard machine such as the Bowflex Sport is a perfect machine to start working out with.
So what's the catch here? Absolutely no catch by any means... just an enthusiasm to share some ideas on perhaps one of the most proficient, flexible and inexpensive fitness machines available for home use. The Bowflex combines aerobic and strength training with a steady pulley and power rod resistance system that's easy to set up. You can easily switch resistance with the power rods through a vast array of motions for a complete strength and aerobic workout. Now don't get me wrong on the anticipated results. The Bowflex ads show smiling, well muscled youths whom we all want to look like, no matter what age. Well, now you may just want to get back some muscle tone and a portion of that past strength and endurance that you once had. Notwithstanding, here we are at 55, 60, 65 or older and card carrying members of AARP. Most of us simply intend to maintain or improve our strength, muscle tone and respiratory efficiency.
Today many doctors and cardiovascular fitness experts are espousing weight training and especially the use of dumbbells as we age. Everyone now acknowledges that maintaining and/ or building our strength is critical in later years. We will certainly operate with greater confidence and renewed strength but we will also be less likely to fall and if we do, less likely to suffer fractures since strength training adds to our bone mass. What we don't hear talked about too frequently is the potential of injury with dumbbells if not properly monitored. Added to the injury possibility, there is also the need for other pieces of equipment such as various benches and supports in order to get a full range of motion with dumbbells.
So, let's talk about the Bowflex. Perhaps you've seen the infomercials and watched as the group of well muscled men and women gathered around a Bowflex machine and marveled at how easy it works and the quality of the workout it provides. So, how does this apply to you ... at 55, 60, 65 years or older?
You can safely use the Bowflex without needing a workout buddy. However before staring a program consult your physician to insure that you have no physical ailments that would prohibit brisk exercise. The Bowflex is a home device and since it's in your house, it's available at anytime. I must caution you on the hype of "now you can use it anytime of your choosing". That may be correct, but to be efficient you must establish a set time every day for your exercise routine. Once you start slipping or changing times, you run the very real danger of missing days and then a week or more and after that suddenly you have no set program and you're back to being a couch potato.
The Bowflex machine comes with a very nice manual of exercises and instructions and most will also have an instructional DVD. Let's walk through some Bowflex 101 in the real world and set some realistic goals with simple to follow instructions:
1. Maintain a set time schedule either daily or every other day. Many prefer early morning exercise routines so that it doesn't get cancelled out later in the day by unexpected events ... or lost will power. Early workouts also tend to set a desirable, go get 'em attitude when those endorphins kick in from good prolonged strenuous exercise. Many experts say that the best and most effective time for the body to exercise is mid-afternoon and the least effective is at nighttime. Training late at night may also cause insomnia.
2. Review the exercise manual that Bowflex provides but don't become a slave to the described workout regimens. While the programs were created by experts, let your personal sense of what's working be your guide.
3. After reviewing the guide, establish your first workout routine and stick to it for a minimum of two full weeks or longer without deviation. Maintaining a regular pattern will allow you to assess whether the program you've selected fits for you and is not too boring. It's important to make the workout session interesting as well as challenging. Getting bored can lead to you quiting so don't let that happen!
4. Design your workout to include aerobic as well as strength activities. While the Bowflex will greatly assist in producing strength, the aerobic exercises are excellent and important.
5. Commence with easy resistance power rods. Remember, this is going to be a lifestyle addition and not a quick fix so there is no reason to use too much weight resistance at the beginning. It is best to get comfortable with how the Bowflex operates using lower resistance and then gradually increase the weight/ resistance.
6. Don't feel compelled to "do the manual". Select the routines that work well with your strength and flexibility and rotate through them. Make certain though, that you balance upper body, arms, legs and abdominals in your regimen.
7. Ensure that you make the most of the aerobic rowing motion. The seat glides easily and the resistance power rods/pulleys are exceptionally smooth in operation.
8. Be Creative! Very soon, you'll be totally comfortable and be able to handle any of the Bowflex regimens. When that happens, you'll be ready to mix and match as well as create new routines by yourself.
While this is an exercise machine for all ages, the Bowflex from my experience is exceptionally well suited for the great generation of Baby Boomers and beyond. Between the simplicity of set up, the easy switching process from one exercise routine to another, the wide range of weight resistance, and the easy fluid motion I'd have to give this piece of equipment an A+ rating!.
While this is not an ad, you may want to check out the Bowflex website or other websites that offer Bowflex coupons. Anyway, I hope you will be able to get started on a healthier life style.
Remember to be active, be healthy and be happy!