T Nation

Need Advice For My Mother


#1

I was hoping to get some fat-loss training advice for my 55-year old mother (She's about 150 lbs @ 5'7"). I know that she would benefit from going to an actual gym with more equipment, but she absolutely hates them (So I was planning on helping her make due with what we have available here.)
Treadmill
Stationary Bike
Minimal Free Weights/ Dumbbells
General all-in-one workout station (Chest Press, leg extensions, seated row, lat pull down)
Swiss/ Medicine Ball
Blast Straps
Pull-Up Bar (Which I don't see her ever using, but thought I'd throw it out there)

I'm not too familiar with fat loss routines, so that would be the first thing.. any recommendations?
Lastly, she keeps complaining about her feet problems (she has "Plantar Fascitis"). Plus, joint pain in her knees and hands. She says that her hands get incredibly sore from holding small dumbbells for way too long, and she can't do lunges or squats. I'm of the mentality that you should work-through pain, but I understand that she's 55 and doesn't share my same sometimes crazy sentiments. She just wants to lose a little weight, look better, and feel better. Any help/ advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.


#2

Couple of things.

Basic walking did wonders for me early on (shed about 10kg just on a walking programme) --that would work on the treadmill for the winter then get outside in decent weather.

Walking can be progressive, ie faster pace, more slope, surprisingly effective.

I found that supplementing with fish oil has dealt with ankle/knee pain well. Well reported in these parts as being super effective for inflammatory related pain.

Most importantly have a real close look at her diet.


#3

Thanks for the advice big nurse.
I can't really comment on her diet (It needs a lot of work [she's an emotional eater], plus she just found out that her cholesterol is bad), but I understand how important the diet is to the weight-loss and life in general. All i can do is what I have done in the past, keep bugging her about trying to clean up her diet.


#4

I second the walking, add in enough walking and good diet you've got some solid stuff to start with.


#5

Well if she doesn't like gyms or dumbbells I would say get her to try Pilates or Iyengar Yoga. Both of these are excellent and perhaps most importantly, these activities may fit with her personality more. Iyengar yoga, while having followers of all ages, does attract more of the +40 crowd than say hot yoga. Any type of yoga will be excellent for her feet. And Pilates, what can I say, it is a really nice (yet difficult) activity. I also agree with the walking but I also think it helps if working out is fun, so maybe a hiking group. Good luck!


#6

Instead of a gym check and see if you have a wellness center near by. More people her age and after a month the social aspect may start to appeal to her. I know where I go in the morning there is a little coffee group going on after they work out. They sit there and shoot the shit for awhile. (Yes I work out in a wellness center but it is a very nice wellness center and I am like the youngest guy in the place) You can ask some of the therapist's in your area.