Nuitrition and Exercise – Partners for Life

Introduction by Andrew Hook
June 10, 2011
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Last December, my daughter Lauren told me that it was time for me to consider getting back into shape and begin practicing healthier eating habits. At 61 and not having entered a gym in decades, I asked Lauren to select a gym. She visited Town Center Fitness and met the owner, Tom Purcell. He was enthusiastic and invited her to try a free work out. Lauren reported to me that Town Center Fitness was the gym for me, and she suggested that I join to retain one of their personal trainers. I followed her advice. Tom introduced me to Carlton Dove, a level one CrossFit certified personal trainer. I hired Carlton and, since January, have worked out with him three times each week using the CrossFit methodology. (See www.crossfit.com.) In addition to the workouts, I have been working with Carlton to improve my eating habits using a Paleo diet. (See www.marksdailyapple.com.) I am confident that I am more fit now than I was in January, and I intend to continue working out and improving my nutrition for the rest of my life. Now when I visit Lauren, I work out with her at her gym, Crossfit South Arlington. I am pleased that I can share Tom and Carlton’s advice with you in this Oast & Hook News. Incorporating into your lifestyle an exercise routine and nutritious eating habits is essential to healthy aging. I highly recommend the services of the Town Center Fitness and working with a personal trainer like Carlton.

Nuitrition and Exercise – Partners for Life

By Tom Purcell
The senior population is booming, and soon 20% of Americans will be 65 years or older. If you’re lucky, aging is inevitable, and living independently through our “golden years” is one of the most important goals to obtain.
Aging can cause an array of common ailments: heart problems, losing muscle strength, osteoporosis (weak bones), memory loss, poor posture, balancing problems, and a host of other preventable heath problems. By taking steps to implement a healthy lifestyle, you can age gracefully and truly enjoy your ability to live independently.
Maintaining your physical health is important to healthy aging. Practicing healthy habits throughout your life is ideal, but it’s never too late to reap the benefits of taking good care of yourself. Studies show that seniors in their 90s can improve their strength and flexibility. Getting older doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have a slew of medical problems or poor quality of life, and you can enjoy aging if you understand what’s going on with your body and take steps to maintain your health.
Here are some tips for healthy aging that are good for any stage of life:

  • Get up and start doing Aerobic exercise (continuous movement for 20 to 30 minutes per day). This will help keep your heart strong, improve your energy, burn calories for weight control, and help with sleep and stress. Some examples are: walking, biking, swimming, and rowing. Find an activity you like and stick with it.
  • Lift weights. Resistance training will help strengthen your bones and muscles. As we age, our body will lose strength and with this problem our bones and muscles will weaken. You don’t have to let this happen. If you start lifting weights two to three days per week, you can keep your body strong. Consult a fitness professional on prescribing a complete and balanced weight training program.
  • Eat healthy and cut out the junk food. A well-balanced nutritional plan is a key to keeping an aging body vibrant. Some of the major problems that we run into are: our portion per meal is too much, too much sugar snacks, proper hydration (water), not enough fruits and vegetables, and drinking too many calories (alcohol, sodas, and high sugar juices).
  • See your health care provider: Have regular check-ups with your physician, dentist, and optometrist. You can prevent some common health problems if you see these health care providers annually.
  • Stretch and balance: We lose flexibility and balance as we age. As our muscles and bones weaken, our range of motion and sense of balance decrease. Stretching everyday will help keep you limber. One of the most common problems seniors face is falling. Lack of strength, flexibility, and weak bones make for a bad combination and can increase the risk of falling. Balancing is a behavior where the brain has to read the signals from your feet. If not practiced over time (years), then you lose that “sense” of balance.
  • Stop Smoking: Smoking is one of the worse things you can do to your body. Smoking can cause cancer, weaken bones, ruin your skin, reduce your breathing, damage your eyes, teeth, hair, and nearly everything else in your body. It’s a hard habit to break, but it needs to be broken to live a healthy life.

Taking care of your physical health is important to aging gracefully, but it’s also important that you live independently. Age is just a number. Quality of life is the goal. Now is the time to savor good health and happiness.
Tom Purcell is the owner and a trainer at Town Center Fitness located in the Armada Hoffler Tower at Town Center, Virginia Beach, Virginia. Tom believes in training each client in order to get the best out of that individual to attain one of the greatest gifts of all ‒ that of good health. Setting goals and educating each individual on how to achieve that individual’s personal best keeps Tom’s clients motivated and dedicated to adapt to this lifestyle.
Carlton Dove has been working as a coach and instructor in the golf industry since 2000. He has been creating fitness programs for golfers since 2006 to further help his clients reach their goals in golf and enrich their game. Carlton’s passion for coaching and his desire to help individuals reach their goals in golf broadened in 2010. Carlton wanted to be able to better serve the training requirements for clients of all demographics, which lead him to the NSCA. Carlton obtained his designation as an NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer in 2010. Working one-on-one as a coach for ten years, Carlton now looks forward to further helping people reach their health, fitness, and/or sport specific goals.

Ask Allie

O&H: Allie, please tell us about one more dream job for animal lovers.
Allie: Sure! A humane educator is a teacher or consultant who visits schools (primary or secondary), to teach students about having compassion for pets and all animals. The Humane Society University of the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS), along with the Humane Society Youth (also part of HSUS), has created an online teaching degree with a humane education focus. Through this program, teachers can learn how to design, present, and evaluate a curriculum with a focus on humane education. Students interested in pursuing a career in humane education can start by making animals the focus of projects in courses, so they can show how animals impact all aspects of our lives. For more information on this interesting field, please visit the Association of Professional Humane Educators’ website at http://aphe.org, or the Humane Society University’s website at www.humanesocietyuniversity.org. This sounds like a great opportunity! I think it’s important for young people to develop respect and compassion for animals at as young an age as possible. Time to visit with my friends in the neighborhood. See you next week!


If you are interested in having an Oast & Hook attorney speak at your event, phone Jennifer Harris at 757-399-7506 or e-mail her at harris@oasthook.com . Past topics include estate planning, long-term care planning and veterans benefits.

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