Spirit. Steel. Strength.

Stated simply, the goal of this
exclusive eColumn is to focus
on getting stronger through
very simple principles:

Spirit—what you are on the
inside is infinitely more
important than what you are on
the outside.
Steel—every Seasoned
Senior™ should include a
fitness system of weights and
resistance training.
Strength—getting stronger
should always include a
balance of aerobics, stretching
and a strength-maximizing diet.
Here are eight of the best ways, each simple, and each

Figure out what lights your fire. What motivates you?
More importantly, what de-motivates you. Success this
time around depends upon figuring out what works,
doing more of it, and eliminating what keeps you from
achieving your goals. Spend time going through a period
of self-evaluation. Jot down your thoughts.
Understanding what makes you tick can be the first step
in sticking with a program that can change your life

Write down goals for what you want to accomplish.
As you see more clearly what motivates (and
de-motivates) you, you can determine what you want to
shoot for. It's hard to achieve anything if you don't have
clear-cut goals. Write them down! Set long-term goals
(1-2 years), mid-range goals (3 months to a year) and
short-term goals (the next three months). Refer to them
often. It's always easier to get over the rocky roads when
you have a clear picture of the mountaintop where you
want to go.

Determine the best program for you. Tailor your
training to achieve your goals. Make sure both your
goals and program are realistic, since a not being
realistic is almost always a sure-fire way to get
discouraged and quit. Your Spirit-Steel-Strength training
program should always include a balance of fitness
system of weights and resistance training, aerobics,
stretching and a strength-maximizing diet.

Share your goals with someone you trust. Better
yet, get them to start a training program, as well.
Encouragement means so much when you feel like
quitting. Companionship can be very important, too.
Whether you work out together or just share what you
are doing with the other person, by linking with another
person, you build your chances of sticking with your
program and reaching your goals.

Spend time every day imagining what it will be like
to achieve your goals.
The power of visualization is
incredible. Use your God-given ability to merge images
with your thoughts and feelings. See yourself finishing
the distance you have set for yourself. Visualize yourself lifting your desired weight.
Imagine yourself standing on the scale the moment your reach your desired weight. A
vivid imagination can fuel the fires of your dreams and can help get you past the
challenging times when you feel like quitting.

Always keep learning. Knowledge is power, and the utilization of that knowledge is
effective power. Read books. Watch DVDs. Go to fitness seminars. The more you learn
about strength training, aerobics, stretching and a strength-maximizing eating program,
the more you will be motivated to do more. As you do more, you will find yourself
motivated to learn more. It is a life-changing cycle that will propel you toward all your

Reward yourself. As you reach short-term, medium-range and long-term goals,
determine ahead of time what you will do to reward yourself. Maybe it's clothing. Maybe
its a special meal. Perhaps it's a weekend at a favorite resort. You don't have to spend a
lot of money to create a meaningful celebration. Mainly, looking forward to
pre-determined perks makes your strength training program more rewarding and
motivates your to make your program into a vital, ongoing part of your lifestyle.

Set your own pace. Strength training can be dramatic at times, but usually it involves
slow and stead progress. People who are only motivated by incredible successes and
overnight bursts simple won't last long. True success requires a commitment to sound
principles. Just because you don't look like airbrushed models or chiseled magazine
athletes doesn't mean that you should become disillusioned. Building a strong, fit body
means developing a long-term healthy lifestyle.

Stick with these eight basic keys and you will begin to see significant changes in your
body and outlook on life. Keep a journal or logbook that includes details about your
workouts, your body measurements, and other important details. Soon, you won't have to
worry about sticking with your Spirit-Steel-Strength training program, for you will see the
results, both in your notes and in the mirror.

After stretching at least 10 minutes, go through these five simple exercises:

Do them with just your body weight, or add dumbbells or a barbell across your
shoulders. If you work out in a gym, you can use the leg press machine to achieve the
same effect. The procedure is self-explanatory: Stand upright, squat as far down as
comfortable with your spine straight and upright. Ideally, squats should work your
quads, hamstrings, gluteus and lower back. They are the foundation of any strength-
training program.

Bench Press
Do it just like the coach urged during junior high gym class. Lie on your back, either on
a weight bench or the floor. Use dumbbells or a barbell (or a chest press station in a
gym) to strengthen your chest, shoulder and triceps muscles.

Lat Pull-downs
Named after the latissimus dorsi (the large upper back muscles), this exercise
strengthens your biceps and largest upper body muscles. At home, use one dumbbell,
with a bent knee on a weight bench or chair, to do bent-over one-arm rows. Alternate
arms and knees. Or, at the gym, use the lat pull-down machine.

Overhead Press
The junior high gym coach called it the Military Press. Either standing or seated, using
either two dumbbells together or a barbell, bend over carefully, pull the weight up with
your legs doing the work, not your back, and raise the bar to your chest. Then,
maintaining your balance carefully, raise the dumbbells or barbell over your head, fully
extended. The exercise involves a number of muscle groups, especially your shoulders
and triceps. In the gym, you can use the shoulder press machine.

Bicep Curls
Either standing or seated, preferably using dumbbells (but a barbell will do, as well),
extend the arm fully downward, lift to your chest (some prefer twisting the barbell on the
way up), then slowly extend the arm downward again.

Start with small weights. Try to do 8-12 repetitions of each exercise, and do 1-2 sets of

That's the five main exercises you can use to begin your Spirit-Steel-Strength
Basic Training
. You can add more later, but this quintet of basic strength-training
building blocks will help you get started on your road to being a lean, buff Seasoned

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MyBestYears.com NOTE: Strength-building and physical fitness can make your life better in so many ways.
It's never too late to make the decision to become more active. However, it is always advisable to check with
your physician/health practitioner before making lifestyle changes.