04-20-2002, 10:12 AM #1
50 year old parents...need to get them in shape, help
I need to get my parents in shape...HELP!! Here's the situation: My dad is 6'4" 270, and has always been strong and in shape. The past 5 years he's let that go. He has somewhat of a back problem, but other than that, there's no excuse. My mom's about 5'6" 160 (and she'd kill me if she knew I was putting this) and has knee problems. I have been on them for the past year about getting in shape, because they are at a point in their lives where they can, and should. Being away at college, I haven't been able to have any hands on with either of them, but, this summer I'm home for 4 months and guess what...It's fat camp for the both of them, with drill sargent broncojosh haha. Dad is becoming my workout partner, and I'm giving my little sister (15) gym duties with my mom. My question comes now...I don't know what kind of workouts "older" people should be doing. Any diet, cardio, weight training advice would be great. Thanks guys/ladies
04-20-2002, 10:50 AM #2New Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2002
I have the same situation.... I'm 2000 miles from my folks, and they are both, well.... Phat. I've always thought if I could get them both on just light weights a couple of times a week it would make a huge difference. Just hardening up their muscles a little would up their matabolism... I know they would stick with cardio if I made it fun ... ie. walking malls or parks or car shows, or something like that... Let me know how it goes with 'em,
04-20-2002, 10:51 AM #3
At ease, drill sergeant!
Okay, Josh, I know that you're anxious to get things going, but all you can do right now is . . . nothing.
What we're talking about is a father who is clinicall obese and has a back problem, and a mother who (depending on her frame size) is overweight at best and possibly clinically obese with a knee problem. The first stop for both of them is a doctor's office to have a basic exam with cardiogram (and stress test if advised by the doctor) and to be medically cleared for an exercise program. This is something I recommend for anyone who is starting an exercise program over the age of 40, let alone 50.
If possible, you should actually sit in with them when the doctor talks to them to find out if they have any restrictions that should be placed on their exercise. For example, should your mom avoid squats because of her knee? Should she stick to a treadmill or exercise bike and avoid a stair climber, which has a higher knee impact level? Are there specific exercises your dad should avoid because of his back, or specific exercises that he should do for his back?
Finally, what happens when they arrive at fat camp and hit the cafeteria? Is your mom willing to change her cooking habits? Are both of them willing to change their eating habits? Because exercise and diet (not a temporary diet, but the proverbial lifestyle change) go hand in hand. (In other words, get a fat guy to lift weights, and you end up with a strong fat guy. Take a clinically obese person and put them on a cardio program without adjusting the diet, and you end yup with a clinically obese person who has a heart attack. A truly good program sees the big picture - exercise and diet.) Most important, if you and your sister are working with them, remember that their limitations will be different than yours - don't pick up the 100 lb. dumbbells and expect your dad to do the same thing. And if all he can do is push 10 lb. dumbbells at first, maybe graduating to a whopping 25 lb. dumbbell within several weeks, just be encouraging - this is the last guy you would want to play cocksmanship games with.
I congratulate you on what you want to do, and don't want you to think that I'm trying to discourage you - just take a systematic, health-centered approach.
And for what it's worth, it does work. Several years ago, I put both of my parents on a healthy eating and exercise program. I went so far as to learn heart-healthy cooking and did a lot of it form them. My mom was able to add 10 quality years to her life that she otherwise wouldn't have had, and my dad (who just turned 87 last week) still rides a stationery bike for and hour every morning and lifts light weights. (Hell, he gets more overall exercise than I do.) And if it weren't for exercise, healthy eating, and checking in with the doctor whenever appropriate, he wouldn't be around either at this point.
So go for it, bro - but if you're gonna do it, do it carefully, and do it right.
04-20-2002, 10:55 AM #4
You're dad's 87! That makes you, what, like 60+!
Maybe we should make a forum for you... the over 60 forum.
04-20-2002, 11:04 AM #5
I figured someone would say that...Originally posted by arthurb999
TNT, You're dad's 87! That makes you, what, like 60+!
As it happens, I'm not even eligible for AARP yet (their minimum age is 50). It's not quite around the corner, but I actually am excited by the thought of gettin' that AARP card so I can ask for the discounts. Of course, the discounts are crappy, but it'll be worth it just to heard people say, "No, you're not that old!"
And in a way, I'd kind of enjoy being 60+ - just to send shock waves through the board.
04-20-2002, 11:08 AM #6
TNT, let me clarify the situation a little. Both my dad and mom's problems (back and knee) are minor. More like ailments, not injuries. Both of them are exercising minamally, as in a couple mile bike ride 3 days a week, and they think they are eating well. They have been doing this up and down rollacoster ride for the past few years. I want them to have an overall lifestyle change, and get motivated. If I can get my mom to drop some weight, and see positive change, then that will be motivation enough to keep her at it. As far as the overall check up goes, I already scheduled one for both of them the second week of may. I know I need to know there medical limitations before I get going...the last thing i want to do is cause injury. I just don't know what kind of excersise routine to put them on, and what kind of eating is best...ie 2 grams of protein per lb of body weight really wouldn't apply to them. Thanks
04-20-2002, 05:36 PM #7New Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2002
50 year old parents
Hey Bro this is lil'man here at age 52. I sounded like your parents
about two months ago and just got fed up of havin a 40 inch gut.
I have been doin the Zone diet of Barry Spears. I also keep my routine simple until I feel that I can increase. They should be able to do any and all exercises using gym machines but not workout to intensely. Our recovery time is longer and they may
only be able to work-out 2-3 times a week.
My biceps, triceps, pecs and shoulders have really taken shape in the last month. People say I have Large arms, they bulge after a workout and boy do I feel like a stud when they do. LOL---its difficult to get motivated some days so I pop some guarana for the caffeine effect and then its on.
But remember you cant make people do something they dont wan to do!!!!!!! Good Luck
04-20-2002, 10:55 PM #8
We all hear parents complain about the problems they have getting their kids to listen. Well, getting parents to listen to their kids is often far more difficult!
The good news is that there is hope. If you can get them on a sensible diet and fitness program, they could see great results.
The bad news is that, in spite it making perfect sense, it can be quite difficult getting them to change their ways. You can't force them; "Fat Boot Camp" will only work if they willingly enlist.
Your biggest hurdle will, most likely, be encouraging them to change a lifestyle they have been living (probably rather successfully) for years: Coming home and eating a big dinner together. Eating lunch at a 'greasy spoon' diner with friends. Drinking with friends. Relaxing at home after work. Their life has become comfortable, predictable and regular—and a lot of people like that. Without some emergency, they are unwilling to change. (Unfortunately, when you get chest pains it’s a little late to start a diet and exercise program…)
Habits are heard to break. Inertia is hard to overcome.
Prepare yourself before you get back home. Build a sound logical argument for why they should start a fitness program. Try to 'spin' it so it appeals to their personalities. Use guilt if you must! (“Dad, you don’t want to die young and leave Mom and me alone, do you?”)
When you get home, don't expect them to change radically and overnight. You will have to be more flexible than they are. Start out easy; don't expect them to change all their old habits overnight. Get them active and as they progress, encourage them, try to get them to do more and show them how some of their old habits might be limiting them or causing harm. Don’t expect to change their lives in 4 months, but if you can overcome the inertia, you will have done a great thing!
Best of luck & I hope your parents are less stubborn than mine. What am I saying, of course they are! Nobody is as stubborn as my parents…
By the way, not all back/knee probelms are 'fixable,' but most can be improved by losing weight and increasing strength.
I have a bad back (Mt. biking accident) and a bad knee (runs in the family). The back probelm goes away when I strengthen my back (sqauts help it rather than hurt it) and the knee improves as I lose weight. Maybe relief of aches and pains might be a motivating factor for your parents as well!
Last edited by Ajax; 04-20-2002 at 11:09 PM.
04-21-2002, 12:06 PM #9Female Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2002
"Fat Camp" won't work unless they are willing participants. I work in my gym with about 20 folks over 50. They came to me for advice and just sort of "adopted" me. I have them walk together at the track for an hour every morning and then they come to the gym for morning Tai Chi class. I start every morning with this wonderful group of folks and I wouldn't have it any other way. They are here because they want to be and they know they feel better than they did before. Some of them have even started coming to my Tuesday Thursday morning cardiokarate class! They are a hoot! But you can't make someone enjoy those things.
My husband used to always try to push me into running with him because that what HE likes to do. As it happend, I hate running. Always have and always will. But I can do the fitness thing that I do ALL DAY LONG. Don't try to get them to do what YOU like. Help them find what THEY will like and stay with. JMO
04-24-2002, 07:00 AM #10
I know how you feel... I am the same way to my parents...
04-24-2002, 12:57 PM #11CutieFace Guest
I would say the best thing for you to start them off is w/ walking.....they can actually start now...it's getting nice out now...little walk after dinner....building up to a 2 mile walk....then when you get home your mom should be able to do some weight exercises w/ very light weights....building up reps....slowly....
remember they need to concentrate on proper form, lower weights higher reps....at their age it's very important to exercise...helps to combate arthritis...
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