Fitness After 50: The ‘Guts’ to Get Fit
By Vicki Morgan, CPT
NO GUTS, NO GLORY
No, this isn’t a pep talk about the courage to get in shape. This is a “pepsin” talk for people who, quite literally, don’t have the guts to get healthy. They have the courage, but not the guts. By guts, I mean intestinal fortitude, a clean colon, healthy liver and a strong core.
You may be successful in the gym, but your health is still in jeopardy without gut health and core strength. You may have nice muscle definition and low body fat, but physical appearance has very little to do with overall health. Needless to say, gut health goes far beyond diet. Core strength goes far beyond having six pack abs.
FARM FRESH FOODS & GREAT GRANDMA’S CONCOCTIONS
I know a lady in her late 70s who’s slightly
overweight. She never bothered to exercise. We were lunching together at a church picnic and she’s enjoying ALL the yummy stuff … basically eating whatever she wants. I’m sitting there with my bunless grass-fed beef burger, broccoli bits and unsweetened applesauce.
“Doesn’t any of that junk food bother you?” I asked. “Nope” she replied. “I can eat just about anything.” After much conversation, we discovered the answer to this great mystery.
As a little girl, she was raised on a farm. Her entire family worked the land and ate fresh, homemade, unprocessed foods (as did almost everyone from that generation). When she did get ill, her mom would administer great grandma’s homemade medicine for whatever ailed her; cough, flu, stomach ailments … chigger bites.
In sharp contrast, kids from my generation and younger were treated to a host of preservatives, fillers, dyes, sweeteners, prescription drugs, GMOs and poisonous foods disguised as “healthy.” Consequently, we’re allergic to everything, can’t eat anything and are medicated way beyond reason. Yes, we can do 100 squats in a CrossFit session. Yes, we can lift heavy weights and run five miles a day. But we can’t eat a freakin’ sandwich without getting the runs and breaking out in hives.
Now I’m asking myself, “Is this what healthy is supposed to feel like?”
FIRST, THE BAD NEWS
As the New Year turns a corner, many of you have considered joining a gym and getting in shape. That’s great. But if, after all the diet and exercise, you still have stubborn belly fat, irritable bowels, fatigue and food sensitivities, you may have an unhealthy gut. The point of getting in shape is not just to look good; you should feel good too. Without a healthy digestive system, your body won’t be able to recover. Your supplements, protein powders and expensive veggie drinks will simply slide unused through a skinny hallway of nearly petrified fecal matter (your colon) and into Colorado Springs’ septic system. Well … that’s one way your money goes back to the city government!
IN PART TWO …
True health begins on the inside. In my next column, since this is about fitness, I will address exercises that you can do to strengthen your gut and colon. Plus, I’ll share a valuable checklist so you can be sure you’re using safe, healthy methods for muscle recovery and regeneration.
A NEW YEAR’S SURPRISE
Had to share … I wandered in to a large, commercial gym about a week ago, and I was pleasantly surprised to see all the “over 50” faces! About 70 percent of the morning rush crowd appeared to be over 50 … and most looked over 60! These weren’t newcomers either. My sweaty “over 60” compadres outlasted me on the cardio machines. So I tip my hat to you; you’re kicking my butt!
Vicki Morgan C.P.T. is a Senior Strength Trainer at Flex Gym with ACE certifications in Post-Orthopedic Recovery and Nutrition Essentials. At age 55, she enjoys competitive powerlifting and bodybuilding. Reach her at seniorstrength.pro or 719-237-9020. NO TEXTS. Consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. If you experience pain or difficulty, stop and consult your healthcare provider. This article is not meant to take the place of any treatment or activity your physician has deemed necessary.