January 11, 2021

How to live a longer, healthier life: Cathy Richards

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In her new book, Boom, Cathy Richards shows us how to live a longer, healthier life.


Let's Say Hello

[00:01:40.880] – Allan
Raz, how are you doing?

[00:01:43.100] – Rachel
Great, Allan. How are you today?

[00:01:46.070] – Allan
I'm doing all right. You know, we're recording this a little bit before Christmas, but this episode we're talking about won't go live until January 11th. And that's by design. So you and I can take some time off during the holidays and not have to worry about getting podcasts put together and out the door. So that's where we're at today. I have a very busy week because in that effort to try to get ahead, I requested and accepted a lot of different interview requests and different people, and they all said, yes.

[00:02:19.040] – Rachel
Wow, that's great news!

[00:02:20.840] – Allan
It's great news, except I have four interviews to do this week. So it's four books I got to read and prepare for. Well, actually, one's not a book, one's an app, but there's a topic behind it that I need to do a little bit of research and understanding so I can speak appropriately and at the right level because it's to researchers out of Alabama that discuss fat loss and performance. And so, yeah, I've got to prepare for that in next three books I have to have read. So soon as I get off this call, I'm back to reading again.

[00:02:52.430] – Rachel
That sounds nice. It sounds very relaxing, too.

[00:02:55.070] – Allan
Yeah. And they're health and fitness books, which like I said, I'd probably pay to read myself. So I get paid to do something I do enjoy. But when the clocks on and I've got to get to books read in the next twenty-four hours.

[00:03:08.990] – Rachel
Oh, I hope you read fast.

[00:03:12.620] – Allan
I do. I can typically get through a standard sized book. So most health and fitness books are about 240 pages on average. I can get through one of those in about six hours.

[00:03:23.900] – Rachel

[00:03:24.680] – Allan
The one, one of them I'm reading today I think is 180, so I should get through that a little bit faster. And then the other one, I'm not sure, I haven't checked the link on that one, but so I'm looking at it probably having a good 14 hours of reading to do before tomorrow, so.

[00:03:38.180] – Rachel
Oh my God.

[00:03:41.030] – Allan
It's like a job!

[00:03:42.550] – Rachel
It is. My goodness. I was going to say it'd be a relaxing way to spend this time, but will not all at once.

[00:03:50.960] – Allan
Yeah, but it'll be good. They're going to be good talks. I'm really excited to to meet these authors because they're topics that are really, really important to me. So it'll be good. You're going to like these guys.

[00:04:01.670] – Rachel

[00:04:02.660] – Allan
All right. Today we're going to talk to Cathy Richards. Yeah, really interesting woman. Really got her stuff together. And her book is called Boom. And it's actually a really cool book because she spells out a lot of the kind of just the basics of what we want to be doing to improve our overall fitness. So I guess I'll go ahead and introduce Cathy.


[00:05:36.890] – Allan
Cathy, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:05:39.470] – Cathy
Yeah, hey there, Allan. Great to be here.

[00:05:41.750] – Allan
Now, you picked up on a word that I find myself using all the time when I'm talking my clients. They'll tell me something that's gone on really, really well, and I can't help but say, boom, there you go.

That's right, boom.

[00:05:56.120] – Allan
So the name of the book is Boom: 6 Steps to a Longer, Healthier Life. And, you know, I really like that title because, again, it just kind of explains breaking away, doing something different. What you hear when a plane goes through the speed of sound, there's the boom, you know, of that breaking the sound barrier. And so I just like that word and I like the way you approach this book.

[00:06:21.350] – Cathy
Thank you. Well, boom can have so many meetings. And so when I think of boom, it's like a wake up call, something that rocks your world, something that you can't ignore that we have this urgency to attend to. And then I also love it when you have people say sometimes “Boom, done!” like it's just a foregone conclusion. It's just going to happen. And so there's so many meanings of boom and they're all about taking action.

[00:06:46.010] – Allan
Yeah. And I think that's the point. You know, I talked about I was talking about celebrating when it's done, but when you know, what you're going to do is going to happen, you can start that celebration as soon as you take on the challenge provided that you have the right mindset.

[00:07:02.960] – Cathy
Mm hmm.

[00:07:03.590] – Allan
And I think, unfortunately, many of us and if something I still struggle with from time to time is just find myself falling back on unhealthy mindsets. Could you talk about that a little bit? What they are some of the major ones that we deal with and some of the things we can do to fix it.

[00:07:19.610] – Cathy
It's so important. So, if my book is about six steps to a longer, healthier life, step one is mindset. Everything begins with our mindset and we have a lot working against us, with the media and with pop culture. And so we a lot of times fall into these things about all or none. We think that if we're not going to change and exercise clothes and go to a gym for a whole hour, we might as well not bother when the truth is that there are significant benefits from even modest investments of time.

[00:07:53.180] – Cathy
It doesn't have to be all or none. And if you never considered yourself someone who loved big workouts, it's not an option. You can definitely do something smaller and less overwhelming to you, and we have the mindset.

[00:08:07.680] – Cathy
You mentioned a quick fix. It's so tempting to believe that something can happen overnight. But what works? Is it quick? It's not glamorous. It's not even new. It's just the consistency. So being able to stay positive and being able to focus on what you can do and keeping up with it, the consistency, that's where it's all that.

[00:08:31.550] – Allan
I think so many people will go into this. Like you said, there's the all or none. So if I can't put in an hour, I may as well not even go, or the “Well, I've been doing this for three days. Why isn't the scale moving?”

[00:08:47.300] – Allan
But then there's also people that, you know, of course you've you've tried and you tried and you tried. But now now you're felt with you filled with this kind of pessimism. Maybe I'm just meant to be this way and it doesn't matter what I do.

[00:09:02.510] – Cathy
That's right. We think, well, it's just genes or a lot of times we feel like, oh, it's just because I turned 40 or just because I turned 50, that we think that it's age related. And most of the changes, a lot of the changes that we like to blame on age are really due to not the physiological aging process itself, but the gradual inactivity. They typically comes with aging. So when we tell ourselves we can't do something, when we tell ourselves, oh, it's too late for me, I'm too old, it's too late, or when we are, we get so down on ourselves from all these failed attempts, you know, what are you going to drown your sorrows in when you when you fall off the wagon the eleventh time? It's certainly not going to be a salad.

[00:09:39.710] – Allan
Yeah, That's one of the core things. I think a lot of people will approach this and say, this is the way it is. This is who I'm supposed to be or this is how I'm supposed to age. One of my favorite quotes is we don't we don't stop playing because we got older. We got older because we stopped playing. And a lot of that is because to change is hard.

[00:10:02.690] – Allan
You know, we like these comfortable little bubbles. We build ourselves. And as we get a little older, that bubble actually gets a little smaller as we're not pushing the boundaries of that bubble. We're trying to push our comfort zone. We're not trying to do a little bit of that. It tightens up on us.

[00:10:20.210] – Cathy
Absolutely. And one of the things that I observed and actually when I decided to write my book, it was after I spent eight years as a director of wellness for a senior living community where the average age of 85. So I was around over fourteen hundred 85 year olds day in and day out for eight years and working in corporate wellness first and then going to senior wellness. I wanted to bring messages back to those of us in just our 40s and 50s that if you ask yourself what type of 85 year old do I want to be?

[00:10:50.660] – Cathy
Because you're working on it right now, it's these habits right now that are going to determine it's all these decades because whatever age you are now, chances are you are saying to yourself, how did I get this old, you know, and then you're going to say the same thing five years from now and five more years or so years just go on by. Might as well start thinking about that direction now.

[00:11:12.200] – Allan
Yeah, I joke a lot and I'll tell people, when I was younger I wanted to be able to do a Tough Mudder and now my program and the things I think about is I want to be able to wipe my own, but when I'm 105.

[00:11:24.740] – Cathy
Absolutely. And you don't know that's a potential problem until you start getting into that working with older adults or until your own parents have started to get to that need where you're realizing, oh, my gosh, that is the kind of independence and dignity I want to have.

[00:11:39.620] – Allan
Yeah. And so someone will come in and they'll say, hey, you know, I want to lose some weight. I want to lose twenty pounds, thirty pounds, seventy pounds, whatever it is. Typically when they're talking to a personal trainer like myself or like you, they're saying, hey, I want to lose some weight. And I'm like, that's cool.

[00:11:54.380] – Allan
But I say, who do you want to be? Who you want to be five, 10, 15 years now? And they look at me like, OK, I said, no, really, how do you want to feel? You know, how what kind of energy do you want to have when you wake up in the morning? When you walk around, you know, do you want to be on a walk or do you want to be the person that's, you know, bounced around the silver sneakers?

[00:12:13.610] – Allan
So in your book, you get into some of the key areas of fitness that I think are really around that story of who do you want to be? Could you talk about those key areas of fitness and then just some general things that we need to consider as we look at each of those and why those would be important to us as we get a little older every day?

[00:12:31.220] – Cathy
Yeah, well, the core areas of fitness that you want to address, one of the primary ones is strength training. And I talk about that first because most people always assume cardiovascular exercise is going to go first and we need cardiovascular exercise for heart health and for overall energy level and endurance. And so that's really important. But strength training tends to be something that I love to highlight because less people are familiar with it. And it has so many benefits as.

[00:13:00.500] – Cathy
Because the average person loses 50 percent of their strength between the ages of 20 and 80, and you know that this is starting to affect you when you notice in yourself or in older adults that you know who has a difficult time getting out of a chair without using their hands to push off. So, if we really want to maintain that independence, if we really want to age as healthily as possible? It's leg strength and overall physical strength that is one of the most important things that that we want to impact.

[00:13:29.180] – Allan
Yeah, you know that one of the things that kind of drives me nuts about gyms, but I understand it now from a from a traffic flow perspective is as you walk into almost every gym, the first thing you see are the cardiovascular machines. Yeah. And then 75 percent of the people fall off right there, you know, because that's as far as they're going to go in. And then the next is a set of machines. So then you're going to have about another 20 percent fall off right there.

[00:13:57.800] – Allan
And then you get back to the free weights where, you know, you got that last five percent. So you actually owning a gym. Now, I understand that that flow and why it works that way, because it just makes it easier for cleaning, for management, for all of it. But just, you know, it just works better for everybody. But we've got to get people deeper in the gym.

[00:14:17.060] – Cathy
We do. Or, you know, even just home routines. And one of the sweet spots that I like to focus on is when people want to do a strength training routine that they can do in their homes with something like dumbbells, exercise bands and a ball. And for a very little investment, you don't have the commute time. And it's it's a modest investment of time. And once again, you can get great benefits because if you don't see yourself as someone who's ever going to go to a gym, if you don't want to go to a gym, that you can do strength training at home and get great benefits from it.

[00:14:51.270] – Allan
Another thing that's really easy to do at home is the cardiovascular. And I always approach cardiovascular saying, yeah, it's good to do most people, when they get into it, enjoy it because it can start at their level, whether it's walking, running, biking or skiing or whatever you turn it into.

[00:15:09.860] – Allan
But I really approach cardiovascular training from the perspective of you need the stamina to keep up with your granddaughter when you take them to the zoo. You know, they're both monkeys to the lions. And you you want to be able to keep up with them. You don't want to be sitting on a bench waiting for the family to finish their zoo trip. So what are some things that we can do at home for cardiovascular strength?

[00:15:29.960] – Cathy
Yeah, and the good news is, is that it can start and end at your own front door with walking. As you mentioned, you don't have to have any pieces of cardiovascular equipment. You can just you can just do walking. But you can also if you do want to invest in a piece of cardiovascular equipment, then again, you have that convenience. It's right there. You can elliptical machine or a stationary bike or you can take an outdoor bike. Well, first of all, you can ride outside or you can get one of those little trainers where you prop it up on something inside and ride it inside. And then, of course, you know, it's really popular now. And I have a lot of clients that I work out with Zoom, who I take them through circuit workouts where you might take four to six exercises that are cardiovascular in nature.

[00:16:13.580] – Cathy
You know, whether it's, you know, whatever level the person is at, it could be something high intensity, like a jump squat or it could be something lower intensity, which is just kind of like a march. But if you string a bunch of them together and you go through each move 30 seconds at a time, you can get your own little cardio circuit going indoors.

[00:16:31.790] – Allan
Now now one of the one of the areas I think gets skipped a lot and it really depends on the individual, because what I found is individuals who are already flexible, love flexibility training, people who are already strong like strength training. But flexibility and balance training, I think are the most ignored fitness areas that I see. And it's really hard because you get a client in and they're like, you know, they they can't move through a full range of motion or you're asking them to do a movement and their balance isn't there. And I have to admit myself at it, almost 55 years old, my balance needs to be a lot better. I don't want to fall, so that needs to be an area of training. But it's just an area where I think it's very easy for people to say, I'm not going to do that, whereas it's also really, really easy to do in the comfort of your own home.

[00:17:24.200] – Cathy
It is. And you're right that the balance and flexibility tend to get short changed. And I sometimes think it's because they don't impact our appearance.

[00:17:34.950] – Allan
This is this is true.

[00:17:38.030] – Cathy
So when we're at weight loss or Tonegawa, then people are all about that. But as we age, I have seen my clients more and more appreciating the benefits of flexibility and the benefits of balance training as we age. Because you're right, we want to be able to go through a range of motion comfortably. We want to be able to reach the high shelf. We want to be able to squat down and reach the low shelf we want to be able to not get injured and so flexibility training. One of the ways that I've had a lot of my clients get more into flexible training, in fact, I have one client who used see mostly strength training, and now she wants to do a full 30 minutes of yoga based stretching before we even get into her strength training. And then she loves it so much, because when you think about yoga, which a lot of us like, I was never into yoga when I was a younger fitness person, that was like what I thought, you know, people who were different than me did, you know?

[00:18:29.770] – Cathy
But they call when you say a yoga pose that puts in your mindset, hey, I'm going to hold this position for a while. And so when we just talk about stretching, a lot of times we rush through it and we get out of position after just a few seconds. So taking that mindset of getting into a position that causes a mild stretch, not pain, and just holding it there. And so going through a short circuit of stretches doesn't have to take a lot of time. And it's going to make us feel so much better. And again, I'm 54 years old. I definitely didn't appreciate the stretching 10 years ago, as I do now. And I didn't incorporate it as much as I do now. So definitely as we age, you're just going to feel better and better if you incorporate more stretching.

[00:19:12.770] – Allan
I think where it comes into play for me was when I started looking at my strength training and somewhat plateauing, because I'm I'm a big proponent of form. If I'm not going to do the right, I'm not going to do it at all. I'm never going to put load if we can't go through the full range of motion. And I started noticing in my own squats that I wasn't able to get to depth. And as I started putting it on, I wasn't there and I was like, OK, so what's going on? And so I started paying more attention to my movement and realized, oh, I'm not dorsiflexing my foot well enough. And that's throwing off my whole kinetic chain. And so I know I'm using a lot of big words here, but the basic gist is I can't bring my toes up towards my shins well. So when I try to do the squat, my butt ends up not where it's supposed to be and my knees end up where they're not supposed to be. And as a result of my body trying to balance, I lean way forward.

[00:20:07.300] – Allan
That's not comfortable when you have a lot of weight on your back. So and you know, and sometimes it's not even about the amount of weight that you're lifting. It's just the fact that now you've done something, you have something going on. And if you don't deal with that inflexibility, then you risk injury. And so I think, one of the things with flexibility you mentioned that is, is this is this is injury prevention and it feels good.

[00:20:30.700] – Cathy
Yeah. And and you mentioned when you mentioned dorsiflexion, I don't think that we're going to pop up in conversation very often. But but what happens as we age if you look at older adults or maybe in their up in their up to their 70s or 80s who are having difficulty walking and might shuffle when they walk, it's sometimes it's because they are unable to have that dorsiflexion to do a heel strike and then roll through the ball of their foot.

[00:20:54.820] – Cathy
So they're just flat footing, moving their feet, shuffling because they don't have that ankle flexibility. So it comes little by little. So the more we can do that now, do those ankle circles include more mobility and range of motion exercises and all your major joints is going to help you. It's going to really bode well for your mobility as we age.

[00:21:18.820] – Allan
Then the final bit of it is balance, because while you said, you know, we care about how we look. Well, falling down in the grocery store, we lost our balance. We don't not glamorous.

[00:21:29.620] – Cathy
Not a good look.

[00:21:33.640] – Allan
I want to jump forward a little bit in our plan because we were going to talk about fall prevention. But, you know, there's a there's a one in three chance if you're over the age of 65, there's a one in three chance that you're going to be laying on the ground sometime this year because you fell.

[00:21:48.220] – Allan
Now, strength training is is great because it helps with that. And it also makes sure that you you've got the capacity to hit the ground and not collapse, break because you've got some strength there that's going to support you, some muscle mass that's going to help you. And then, of course, some flexibility. So, you know, if you can move through the full range of motion, you're not stretching or hurting anything. But we can actually do specific training for balance. And I think a lot of people just overlook that.

[00:22:15.430] – Cathy
We absolutely can. And the starting point for improving your balance, I'm glad you mentioned about strength training, because the number one factor in balance and preventing falls is leg strength. So if you don't have the quad strength to stabilize your walking, that's increases your risk of falling. So even if someone's not going to do balance specific exercises, if they just just double down on strength training for the quads, you're going to do yourself a great service for preventing falls and then for specific balance training, even just picking up a couple of the exercises, like a tandem stand and then building up to changing your position to more and more like you're standing on a tightrope, even just a little test you can do for yourself is can you stand on one foot without holding on to something? And if so, how long? You know, and that's something you can practice while you're cooking. You can you can do that any time.

[00:23:12.000] – Allan
It's one of the things I tell people standing on one foot is one good one. Another one I like is when you're in the kitchen working instead of pivoting to to walk to a different direction, walk sideways, do a shuffle from side to side. You know, you want to go down to the counter, you know, you can put your hand out to make sure you're not going to hurt yourself if you were to slip a little bit. But just going up and down the counter side to side, because we just in a normal course of our day to day, aren't prepared for that side to side movement.

[00:23:41.130] – Allan
And that's actually where a lot of the falls that become really dangerous are because we fall sideways and we land on the hip. And so anything you can do to just improve your performance and I don't mean that an athletic perspective, but just performance of your your day to day is going to go a long way.

[00:23:59.340] – Cathy
Yeah. And just kind of knowing what the other risk factors are most false happen at night when you're getting up to go to the bathroom, etc.. A lot of falls happen because, you know, someone might not have their glasses on. They might you know, it's dark, there's stuff in the way. So whatever we can do to make sure that our home is set up in a way that reduces our risk and thinking about footwear, thinking about if we have medications that could be contributing to dizziness.

[00:24:26.640] – Cathy
There's a lot of things to look at. But it's so important because the statistics, as you mentioned, Allan, are that falls are a biggie after the age of 60.

[00:24:37.590] – Allan
And even before then to be honest with you. Like I said, I know I need to be working on my balancers. There's this one step outside of our apartment and it's wooden and it's set at like a 30 degree angle. So it's supposed to be a handicap ramp, but no. It's too slippery. My wife has falling there and I've fallen there. You just kind of walk across it because it's part of the sidewalk. And if you just step on it, it's just a little bit wet. Your feet are going. So having that strength, having that capacity to be able to hit the ground because, if you've been doing the strength training, you've also been improving your your bone density.

[00:25:14.130] – Allan
And so you you don't break those are really, really important strength training, resistance training or weightlifting. People hate some of those words and are okay with others. But they're all generally the same thing. Require someone to have a little bit more knowledge than just walk in there. There's a machine. Just go at it to your done. Can you talk a little bit about strength training, how we would how we would set it up if someone was going to come in and say, OK, I want to do a strength training program, what are the things that they would want to know to just know what they're doing when they're doing their program?

[00:25:49.740] – Cathy
The first thing you want to know about strength training is when you talk about how much weight you're going to lift people walking and they're and also which which exercise you see a sea of machines like. Which exercises, which machines do I do. Which combination of machines. And so the first step is to know you've got a list of major muscle groups. Right. And you want to hit each major muscle groups.

[00:26:12.240] – Cathy
So you want to have a balanced routine. So that's that's step number one is knowing that. OK, let's start off with one exercise for the chest, one for the back, one for the shoulders, so that you're not heavy duty hitting one muscle group a ton with all these machines and something else is getting completely ignored. So you want a well-balanced routine as far as hitting each major muscle group. And then the next thing that most people make the mistake with is selecting a weight that is either too heavy or too light for when you learn in proper form is so important.

[00:26:44.910] – Cathy
But then you should if you try to do an exercise and you can't do it correctly. And it's just that you automatically know that's a red flag. It's too heavy. If you can't keep your form and then knowing the the the term or the kind of range of twelve repetitions is kind of the hallmark for general conditioning for when you should reach your fatigue point. So let's picture you're picking up a set of dumbbells and you're going to do a set of bicep curls because that's an exercise most people are familiar with. Now, I'm going to speak from a woman's point of view that women and we women are marketed with pastel pink one and two and three pound dumbbells.

[00:27:24.370] – Allan
I have to admit that that's what I've got in my gym. I've got a chrome set, too.

[00:27:30.600] – Cathy
Well, most women I know even better when we're getting older don't need to be using one pound dumbbells to do bicep curls unless you are really have significant strength issues or are recovering from an injury. So you could do a million of them at one pound. So you need to find the weight that causes fatigue right around twelve. So if you can't get to twelve, the dumbbells too heavy. If you get past twelve, you blow right past your weight past and you forgot how long. 12 was the way it's too late, so you need to kind of experiment and find that so so again, most women, not even threes, are too late for most women for bicep curls. So you need to experiment find with that right weight is for you to get to fatigue right around 12 when you need to do that for every exercise.

[00:28:16.210] – Allan
That's what they'll they will they'll sell you the when you buy the dumbbells, sets those smaller dumbbells, sets up pretty much anything under 15 pounds is likely going to be rubber coated and probably have a pastel color to it. After you get there, then they're thinking, OK, these are the weights. And unfortunately I don't mean this is a bad way, but these are the weights the guys are going to use so they can be a little bit more metal or, you know, they might be rubber coated, but they'll be black. So, yeah, just realize that strength comes not from doing the same thing over and over again. It comes from pushing yourself to that fatigue level.

[00:28:53.650] – Cathy
Yeah. And a lot of people as we age were worried about getting injured. So you don't want to use a way that's too heavy and then and thereby risking injuring yourself. But if you're doing a weight that's way too light, you're not going to get results because the muscles are responding to overload. And that's how they grow, is by responding to a weight that is is challenging. So finding that happy medium where it's heavy enough to cause the muscles to grow, but not so heavy that your form goes all crazy and you risk hurting yourself.

[00:29:28.930] – Cathy
That's why getting advice, having support, you know, with my personal training clients, I have a lot of Zoom personal training clients who just schedule a handful of sessions up front to learn the proper form to to make sure they doing things correctly and make sure they have somebody observing them, observing the form to find the right weights and then just check in with them periodically versus having someone who's going to be with them for their workouts every single time.

[00:29:53.140] – Allan
and sometimes, you know, maybe you're limited a little bit with the amount of weights you can afford to have at home. Some dumbbells and things about once you start getting up to 20 and 30 and 40 pounds of dumbbells, those dumbbells are going for about a dollar a pounds. It can start you can start adding up. So, you know, sometimes the way you get to your limit is not necessarily through more weight. It's by adding additional sets.

[00:30:18.400] – Cathy
Yes. Yeah. And so a starter program would be perhaps usually like one set per muscle group. Right. But then if you add sets two sets per muscle group or three sets per muscle group is a way to add intensity and build strength more quickly. And you might or you might have two sets for the same muscle group, but there are different exercises. So maybe for your chest you have one set of chest press and one set of dumbbells flies. And so that's two sets for your chest, slightly hitting the chest muscles a slightly different way.

[00:30:49.120] – Cathy
So variety is good, but it's not essential. And I guess sometimes I don't hear very many fitness professionals saying that because variety is better. But a lot of the clients who I work with, were not going to do anything at all. And so I always tell them if you do a strength training routine that you never change ever, that's still better than not doing what at all?

[00:31:14.500] – Allan
Particularly a lot of folks, as I mentioned, the distance they'll go inside of a gym when they first get there's a lot of people will make it to the circuit training area, which is a series of machines. And the the goal basically is to go through all of these machines are there's usually seven to ten of them depending on how the circuit set up. And that will give you a full body workout. It's actually really well designed for someone who doesn't know a whole lot. And the machines make it easy to do the work without the concern that you're really going to hurt yourself as long as you just don't drop the weight on yourself and you are still not changing your body position while you're in the chair.

[00:31:51.730] – Allan
But it's the same thing they get on the machine. They do the same weight, the same number sets, the same number of circuits that it's the same workout every day and I mean every day. Let's talk a little bit about rest. Rest between exercises are sets and in rest between sets.

[00:32:10.150] – Cathy
Yeah, well, first, actually, I thought you're going to talk about rest between days because since strength training, the whole purpose of strength training is to microscopically shred your muscles, that you're not going to get stronger if you are strength training the same muscle groups two days in a row. So that's why you hear about taking a day off in between. And a lot of strength training routines are like Monday, Wednesday, Friday. You know that you're skipping a day in between.

[00:32:33.010] – Cathy
If someone is doing strength training two days in a row, it's because they're doing different muscle groups on those days. So that's the recovery time in between your actual sessions. And then when you are in your actual workout, you want to have that rest interval between your sets so that the muscles can get your energy back to really have that second set strong. So usually you want to have between one and three minutes between those exercises, depending on how heavy it is, I mean, if you're doing a lighter weight for 12 to 15 reps, you're going to need less rest time, maybe just a minute. But if someone is really trying to build strength and so they're actually doing less than 12 reps or maybe just an eight rep person, they're doing a heavy weight for only eight repetitions. They're going to find themselves needing a little longer rest interval before they hit that next set.

[00:33:23.530] – Allan
In the book, you get into what you call the Boom Fitness Framework. And I think this is a really good framework for for anybody because it's it's four levels. And even within the four levels, you scale down and you scale up. So really, there's eight levels. When you when you break this all down, there's eight ways that we can approach this that's going to work for anybody.

[00:33:44.950] – Cathy

[00:33:45.670] – Allan
Do you mind going through the four the four levels and then kind of the scaling up and down and how that looks?

[00:33:51.850] – Cathy
Yeah, the reason why I created this framework is because I wanted to offer options that when you read the book and you look at where you stand and what your motivation level is, how much time you have, that you can pick one as your starter level and then you can decide when you have more time and more interest, you can go up a little bit. And when you have less time and less interest, you can go down a little bit.

[00:34:14.350] – Cathy
But the goal is to never be completely off the scale. Like that's how we keep fitness going forever is by having our options to do a little more or a little less. So the first way that I have it separated out is with two tracks. And this is actually based on the subtitle of my book, which is never too early, never too late. So we have the Never Too Early Track, which has a little more challenging exercises for people who are maybe already a little bit fit, don't have any health or mobility challenges necessarily or past injuries and there want something a little more challenging and they're able to get on and off the floor.

[00:34:52.030] – Cathy
And then I have the track called Never Too Late, which has more gentle exercises that are more seated, chair-based exercises, not some of his not necessarily comfortable with getting on and off the floor, somebody who who has mobility issues, who want something a little more gentle so you can automatically pick one of those two tracks. And then once you're on the track level, one is called Just Move. And this is like someone who really doesn't want something official and just knows they need to doing a little something.

[00:35:21.340] – Cathy
And then you go up to level one is just a small time commitment level to a little more and level three a little more. So whether you're doing and each of them has a little bit of cardio, a little bit of stretching and a little bit of strength or a medium amount of cardio and stretching and strength. And so I really want readers to have an honest little discussion with themselves. You know what's realistic for me? How much time I really willing to commit?

[00:35:49.180] – Cathy
And when you get more excited and want to have a bigger commitment, you can go up a level on that for that week or that month or that phase of your life. And then when you want to do a little less, you can go down a level. And so, you know, how to adjust that to me is the key to lifelong fitness is knowing that you don't have to always stay with the same amount of exercise you can go up or you can go down based on your needs and your interest level as it changes.

[00:36:13.240] – Allan
And as your fitness level changes. You may have thought about starting over here in my never too late category, but then I start feeling good. My energy levels higher, I'm stronger, I've got more mobility and I've got this pep in my step. So I'm going to start walking a little bit further. And now, lo and behold, your your exercise level is now putting you at the never too early stage.

[00:36:36.460] – Cathy
Absolutely. I have clients who are in their 70s and 80s who are doing the never too early exercises, OK? And then I do have clients who are in their forties who are doing the never too late because maybe they did have mobility issues or a significant amount of weight to lose where they're not comfortable with some of the higher intensity exercises. So it's not necessarily age related. And you can you can go from one track to the other either way, based on your changing how your fitness level changes over time.

[00:37:06.250] – Allan
Cathy, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be one of the three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:37:14.020] – Cathy
What we talked about, the first one right up front, which is mindset is king it truly, truly is. So when I like to say what you focus on grows. So if you're focusing on the negative, that's what's going to grow in your life. If you're focusing on the positive, focusing on what you can do versus what you can't do, you're going to be able to find a way. You're going to get creative and you're going to get that consistency because the habit, the consistency is where the magic happens.

So if you're down on yourself and you're telling yourself I just can't do this. I'm too old, it's too late. I've never been athletic. Exercise is just for those those jock type people, then you're really doing yourself a disservice because exercise, I call it in Boom. That exercise is the magic pill, like it has more benefits in more areas of our life than any other single thing we can do, and we really can't afford not to We can't afford not to find what is going to fit in for us. Perfect.

[00:38:12.360] – Allan
Thank you. If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book, Boom: Six Steps to a Longer and Healthier Life. Where would you like for me to send them?

[00:38:22.050] – Cathy
They can come visit me at cathyrichards.net and Cathy is with a C. And then cathyrichards.net/boom is were you can find out about the book. But I have got some great new programs coming in 2021. I have some free master classes to really focus on, How am I going to make 2021 my year? How am I going to fit this in and what am I going to do with the top strategies for getting fitness in my life forever.

[00:38:48.900] – Cathy
And so I've got those master classes coming up starting tomorrow. I have got one on January 12th, 7:00 p.m. Eastern. There's one on the 13th and there's one the following week on the 19th. I would love your listeners to hop on over to cathyrichards.net/ to find out about those. And then there's cathyrichards/free for lots of other free stuff. So I've got a lot to offer. I'd love to connect with your with your listeners. See how we can help them out.

[00:39:19.530] – Allan
Great. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/468 and I'll be sure to have all those links there. Cathy, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:39:30.720] – Cathy
You're welcome. It's great to be here.

Post Show/Recap

[00:39:37.150] – Allan
Welcome back, Ras.

[00:39:38.770] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. Well, boom! That was quite an interview for sure.

[00:39:44.140] – Allan
Yeah, if you're a client of mine and you had a good news thing to tell me. Yeah. You're probably going to hear that word come out of my mouth. So I like that word. And the book was really good too one of the key takeaways I got from it is and I think a lot of us forget this is as we're going into this new year, there's an expectation of change, expectation of improvement. And it doesn't happen fast for most of us. You'll see someone who's spectacularly successful doing what they want to do, dropping weight, getting stronger, doing their thing. But for most of us, it's really a practice of patience, persistence and consistency to get things done and just having a general understanding of where we are today. If you are not a runner and you buy some running shoes and decide you're going to go out and start running, don't be surprised if after about four or five minutes your legs are screaming at you, you've got a stitch in your side and you're breathing hard and you're tired and you want to quit, you know, you are where you are.

[00:40:58.870] – Allan
The best way to measure that as a as a point is just that waypoint, that starting point of understanding that this is who I am, this is where I am. And then the next time you go to run, which shouldn't be three months from now to give yourself a day or two, but then get back out there and just you'll feel, it'll get a little bit better and a little bit better. And it's as I put it in my book, the gentle nudging that's going to get you there safely. And just recognize where you are and who you want to be.

[00:41:31.210] – Rachel
Mm hmm. For sure. And Kathy mentioned that we tend to have this all or nothing attitude that, like you mentioned, if you're going to start running, you should be qualifying for the Boston Marathon. Or if you're going to start cycling, you should be ready to join the Tour de France. But it's not necessary. And it's certainly not at all a good way to get started on any sort of regimen at all.

[00:41:56.620] – Allan
And so if you're starting something, you know, whether it's cardiovascular strength, flexibility or balance, just recognize what is is. Okay? We can't we can't reverse the past. We can't. And we shouldn't punish ourselves over the past. It's over. Forgive yourself. It's over you changing. And the only way you can change is to implement new habits and just start doing it. But don't feel discouraged if you don't have the strength to do a body weight squat without assistance. Don't get discouraged. If when you go out there and you walk to your car, you get winded. And that's why you're always trying to find that closest spot to the to the front door of the grocery store park a few steps back, take a few more steps. That slow progression is going to get you there if you stick with it.

[00:42:48.880] – Rachel
Oh, for sure. She had mentioned that she mentioned a term gradual inactivity, and I love that word gradual because we should be doing or working our way towards gradual activity, just like you said, just do a little bit extra every day and you'll get to where you want to be eventually.

[00:43:07.540] – Allan
I had a I had a client and she told me, you know, I get winded walking to my car in the morning. So it's right outside our house from walking from the front door to the car. She would get winded and I said, okay, here's here's your homework for this week. Each day when you walk to your car, I want you to do one lap around the car before you get in. And so she did that. And we got on the phone about three days later and I said, how did that go? And she said, it was tough. But she said by the third day, I actually did the lap and I was feeling a little bit better about I said, okay, for the next three days you do two laps around the car. And, you know, we went through that and then she emailed me and said how to go. And she said it went pretty well. I can do the two laps. I said, okay, and make it three. And about it, I said, every three days, just add another lap.

[00:43:57.130] – Allan
And within a few weeks it wasn't about the walking to the car, walking laps. She was walking the neighborhood, and it's just is this one of those things of saying to yourself, OK, I'm going to do a little just a little bit more, just a little bit more. I know where I am and it's okay. True fitness for any individual is going to come from that slight push outside your comfort zone. You do the same thing every day, you can't expect better results. It just doesn't work like that. You can't hop on an elliptical or a stationary bicycle. And peddle the same peddling or do walking on a treadmill, the same walk every day and expect to see improvements in your health, all you're really doing is slowing the decline because all wellness really is, is just trying to be the best person you can be.

[00:44:52.120] – Allan
Cathy talked about, you know, what an 85 year old her would be like. And, you know, I've always said, you know, as a 105 five year old, I want to be able to wipe my own butt. To wipe my own butt I need the leg strength to be able to stand up off the toilet, wipe my own butt I need the the ability to twist my body and reach back where I need to reach back to. I need the flexibility to do that. I need the balance so that I don't have to have a rail in there to keep from falling over when I stand up anddo the things I have to do. So to do all that work. I need to train and, you know, my training right now to be the best butt wiper, no, obviously not. But what I do know is that the training I'm doing are going to make me proficient at being the human being. I want to be five, 10, 20, even here 50 years later.

[00:45:46.980] – Rachel
I love that. And the name of one of the tracks she had for her fitness is never too early, but never too late. I love that because it is never too late to try something new or to be better at something that you can do. Just moving that needle can make a big difference.

[00:46:04.350] – Allan
Yeah, and she had the four levels. So again, it's it's where you are if you're just getting started, just move, just move a little bit more. It's an extra lap around the car. It's using the stairs, it's parking a little bit further away from the door to the grocery store. It's walking during your your break, you get a 15 minute break at at work instead use five to seven of it to go to the bathroom and then you just walk around for the next seven minutes, you know, you're back at your desk. Fifteen minutes, you feel fresher, you feel more awake and you're probably more productive at work. And that's going to translate into your relationships or performance at work is going to translate into a lot of things. So just taking that time to figure out where you are and start.

[00:46:56.480] – Rachel
That's perfect, just perfect.

[00:46:58.850] – Allan
All right. Rachel I'll see you next week.

[00:47:01.220] – Rachel
All right, take care.


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