Fitness Friday With Coach Kirt…Quick Tip

Do you ever experience tight or sore calf muscles? Give these quick calf stretches a go to loosen the back of the lower leg in a jiffy.

Standing Wall Calf Stretch.

Preparation: Place both hands on wall with arms bracing your upper body. Carefully lean into wall with one leg bent forward and other leg extended strait back with knee straight and toes positioned directly forward.

Execution: Push rear stretched heal to floor and move hips slightly forward. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds. Repeat 3 times each leg.


Standing Floor Board Strait Leg Stretch.

Preparation: Face wall with both knees slightly bent. Position fore foot on wall with heel on floor.

Execution: Straighten knees and lean body toward wall. Hold stretch 15-30 seconds. Repeat 3 times each leg.


Stair Strait Leg Calf Stretch.

Preparation: Position toes and forefoot on stair with arches and heels extending beyond edge of step. Grasp hand railing or sturdy wall for balance.

Execution: With knees straight, shift body weight to one foot. Hold stretch 15-30 seconds. Repeat 3 times each leg.

calf stretch off step


~ Did you know?

Biological Age is Modifiable! Want to learn more? Contact Boomers N Motion to Empower and Reset YOUR body’s physiology TODAY!


Wellness Wednesday…5 Tips for Mindful Eating


Last week we learned that Mindful Eating is all about slowing down and paying attention to what you’re eating.  The goal is for you to enjoy your food more, feel full and satisfied, and put an end to cravings. I t’s like a diet that’s not a diet at all.  As Charles Eisenstein put it, “We overeat not because we enjoy food too much. It is because we don’t enjoy it enough.”

Today, let’s look at my 5 favorite tips to help you eat more mindfully.

5 Tips for Mindful Eating


Ask Yourself – Am I Even Hungry?hungry-woman-thinking-about-food-choices

Each time you reach for food – stop, take a breath, and ask yourself, “Am I even hungry?”  How often do you reach for food for reasons other than hunger?  Maybe you’re stressed, or tired, or just like to munch while watching TV.  If you answer, “NO” to the question, find something else to do.


Turn Off All Devices

phoneoffTurning off all your devices can be difficult. We’re talking about shutting off your TV, closing your laptop or computer, powering down your tablet, and even stashing your phone in a different room. By keeping your distractions down, you will be able to focus more on your food.


Sit Down to Eat

eating-8026fa6e           This might sound like a given, but how often do you eat on the go? I’m very guilty of this one as I eat in my car all the time. When you’re busy, it can be difficult to take the time to actually sit down and enjoy a meal. Give it a try, though, and see what a difference it can make.


Chew 20 Timesds_foodfrenzy01_toyvu

 That’s right – chew each bite 20 times! This automatically forces you to slow down and pay attention to what you’re doing.



Become a Food Critic

This can be fun! Pretend you’re a food critic, and you have to write a review on the meal you’re eating.  How would you describe the aroma of the meal?  What do you taste?  Can you pick out a spice that you like, or is it missing some seasoning?  What’s the texture like?  Get creative, and judge the presentation of the dish too!


Final Thought: Reconnect with Food and Take the Time to ENJOY It!


Stay happy, healthy, and N motion, AND REMEMBER…age is just a number!





Melissa Merkle and Kirt Lietzow own Boomers N Motion, an exercise and health coaching business focused on keeping baby boomers and older adults healthy into their golden years.  For more information on group classes and private, in-home coaching, please contact Melissa and Kirt at




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Fitness Friday With Coach K…Fit Five

We all know that we should exercise, but do we know how to exercise? Perhaps you’re missing a few key factors that could very easily set you back weeks, if not months, if they go unnoticed. Consider today’s Fit Five, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your health and wellness goals!

Fit Tip #1: Start low, Go slow:

This could very well be the one and only tip you consider because it’s so critical. It’s all too common to dive head first into a new routine, which is wonderful. Unfortunately, it can quickly lead you to the injured reserve list. Instead of incorporating weights, cardio, and group class five to six days continuously, your body will likely prefer one or two days a week, to start, with ample rest days in between. Exercise length should also be kept in check in the beginning; therefore, keeping the duration at or below 30 minutes total. If 30 minutes nonstop proves to be too intense, partition your sessions into 10-15 minute blocks, 2-3 times throughout the day. The take home – inadequate rest equals inadequate recovery.


Fit Tip #2: Keep it Loose and Limber:

We’ve been told to stretch before activity for what seems like half a century. Well, the science is in. If you stretch prior to exercise, it is dynamic stretching ONLY. Dynamic stretching is “incorporating movements that mimic a specific sport or exercise in an exaggerated yet controlled manner; often include during the warm-up or in preparation for a sports event.” ( An example of this is performing lateral arm raises prior to doing loaded dumbbell side laterals.4

What about holding your stretches? Static stretching is a form of controlled stretching that targets an isolated muscle or body region and should be implemented AFTER the targeted area is warmed up. Static stretches can be held ideally for 15-20 seconds. Fortunately, ballistic “bouncing” stretching is no longer prescribed, as the risk to reward is too high.2_2_9902_2_1_690x520

Fit Tip #3: Variety is the Spice of Life:

Maybe your goal is to lose weight or to retain or even add muscle. Fantastic! These are excellent attainable, long-term goals! Although, be mindful of affixing to one method alone to attain that goal. If you are repeating the same movements time and time again, these repetitions can lead to muscular imbalances, which can adversely affect your body patterns. It’s advised to add a diverse mixture of exercises to your program to reap the greatest rewards of your efforts. For instance, doing bicep curls exclusively to target the arms will give you great biceps but will leave the backs of your arms, the triceps, under-stimulated. This imbalance will likely lead to injury but could be avoided by incorporating a variety of exercises that target the entire arm.


Cardiovascular exercise is no exception. Sure, your spinning class meets 5-6 times a week. If you only do spinning, though, you are only going to be good at utilizing muscles required for spinning. Therefore, change it up from time to time to establish new movement patterns that challenge the whole body.

1C-Exercise_Variety_is the_Spice_of_Life-1338x460

Change, Challenge and GROW!

Fit Tip #4: Understand Your Training Weight:

When starting a new weight training regimen, we aren’t quite sure what weight to start with. Are we? The easiest recommendation to adhere to is starting with the lowest resistance possible in all regards. Whether it comes in the form of a machine, dumbbells, or barbell, get familiar with that method before all else. Only after you’ve mastered the movement, slowly add resistance (weight) until you encounter fatigue at 12 repetitions. The 10th, 11th, and 12th repetition should challenge YOU, but should not alter your form. If you find you can perform more than 12 repetitions with good form, increase the weight gradually. Conversely, if you are unable to complete 8 repetitions, lower the resistance. Overall, a weight that puts you between 8-12 repetitions with good form is ideal for weight resistance exercise.  


Fit Tip # 5: Listen, your body is talking to YOU:

When people begin an exercise program, they are all in. This is great, yet you don’t want your autonomy to lead you to defeat. It may be time to take a break if you exhibit any of the following.


  1. Abnormally tired or weak well after you’ve finished exercising.
  2. Insomnia.
  3. Abnormal pain/discomfort during or after exercise.
  4. Loss of Appetite.
  5. Personality changes.
  6. Lack of motivation.
  7. Decreased mental alertness.

As you can see, overtraining can hide behind many different symptoms. The key to your success is to be aware of your mental and physical state throughout the entire process. It can be just as advantageous to know when to apply the brakes and slow down, as it is to hit the accelerator.



~ Did you know? 


Biological Age is Modifiable!  Want to learn more?  Contact Boomers N Motion to Empower and Reset YOUR body’s physiology TODAY!

Wellness Wednesday…Try This Exercise to Eat Less



multitasking-canstockphoto5328140Have you ever gotten done eating a meal and realize you didn’t even taste what was on your plate? We’re often times too busy, distracted by other things (like the t.v. computer, or phone), or just simply on auto-pilot and don’t even pay attention to what we’re putting in our mouth. How about you? Do you even remember what you had for dinner last night?

This summer I’ve been leading a weight-loss group of 20 people, and we’ve gone through a program called Living Lean by Self Help Works. The program is very unique in that it’s not a diet at all. Instead, it’s all about mindfulness and re-training your brain to automatically make healthy choices. It doesn’t just happen overnight, and it’s definitely a process requiring a lot of work. But, the results have been awesome!


What is Mindful Eating?


Mindfulness and mindful eating are really simple concepts to understand. There are all sorts of fancy definitions, but it’s really just about slowing down and being present and “in the moment” as you eat. It’s about paying attention to what you’re going to eat and then acknowledging how the food tastes, smells, and even feels on your tongue.


Mindful Eating Exercise

If you want to see what I mean, try this exercise.

  • Take 1 Peanut
    • Take one peanut out of your pantry. If you don’t have a peanut, another nut, potato chip, or pretzel will work too. But, just take ONE.
  • Close your Eyessingle-peanut
    • Close your eyes, and keep them closed throughout the entire exercise.
  • Smell It
    • Smell the peanut or chip. Really smell it. Have you ever really paid attention to the smell?
  • Lick It
    • Next, I want you to lick it, and make sure you lick all around and/or both sides. If you’re using a chip or pretzel, pay attention to the salt. Are both sides salted or only one? (Did you even know that was a thing?)
  • Put it in your Mouth
    • Now put the nut or chip into your mouth and just kind of roll it around. Don’t chew it yet! What kind of shape does it have? Is it sharp, smooth, have any bumps or ridges?
  • Chew It
    • It’s time to chew. Take as many bites as you can. Try to get at least 20. What side of your mouth do you chew on? (Most people actually have a dominant side, and maybe you’ve never slowed down enough to notice.) How does it taste? Does it get stuck in your teeth?
  • Reflect
    • Before you open your eyes, think about how you feel. Did you even like the taste of what you just ate? Do you want another one (assuming you’ll eat it the same way)? Are you satisfied?
  • Open your Eyes


How’d you do?   Did anything surprise you? I was surprised to find that half a peanut has a little knob that sticks out of the side of it. I never slowed down enough to notice that before. And, honestly, I don’t usually just eat half a peanut. It’s so interesting what you notice when you actually slow down enough to pay attention.  I also found that one peanut was satisfying.  I didn’t have to eat more.  What about you?  Was one potato chip really be enough?

Ding, ding, ding…this is how the exercise can help you lose weight!  If you slow down enough and really focus on what you are eating, you will likely eat less and therefore lose weight!

mindful-eating-700x466If you want to learn more about mindful eating, stay tuned next week. I’m going to share tips, so you can incorporate this technique into your day-to-day routine. The goal is to be mindful about what goes into your mouth, so you enjoy it. And, if you’re trying to lose weight, to re-train your brain so you never have to diet again.



Stay happy, healthy, and N motion, AND REMEMBER…age is just a number!





Melissa Merkle and Kirt Lietzow own Boomers N Motion, an exercise and health coaching business focused on keeping baby boomers and older adults healthy into their golden years.  For more information on group classes and private, in-home coaching, please contact Melissa and Kirt at

Fitness Friday With Coach K…Why Resistance Training?

Why resistance training?




What is it about resistance training that is so important as we grow into our golden years?


Linear studies conclude that weight training, more specifically free-weight exercises, can be beneficial across all age groups. In fact, baby boomers and older adults can see promising results even though they may have a chronic illness or disease. How remarkable is that? Those benefits include a decrease in cognitive concerns of age related falls, decreases in muscle mass, bone density, strength, and power.


Senior woman working with weights in gym


Confidence through exercise is such a powerful tool! 



Astonishingly, resistance training exercise has been reported to help in developing muscle mass and neuromuscular function in 85 year young individuals! It gets better. Clinical trials with those over the age of 90 years old have reported measurable increases in strength gains with the appropriately correlated weight-training regimen. Wow! Conclusively, continued regular engagement in weight training manifests increases in absolute strength capacity, while diminishing overall strength loss.





Muscular power (muscular power is strength in addition to the speed at which you apply force to a resistance) had also improved in those that regularly incorporate resistance training at a high velocity. Individuals at an average age of 77 years old showed the greatest muscular power increases! Those who participated were exercising with 65-70% of their own body weight during the leg press exercise! These quantifiable power increases attributed to a lessoned susceptibility of imbalance and walking instabilities.



Balance is the Key to Life!



According to another recent study, lower body instability in individuals ≥65 may lead to fatal and non-fatal injuries that primarily stem from falling. The American Health Care System claims 1/3 of adults (67-97yrs) fall every year and cost upwards of $30 billion to our medical expenses annually. Those numbers are astounding! Baby Boomers and older adults whom participate in weight resistance regimens regularly self-report a decreased fear of falling, while developing a greater general functional performance level.


The take away?

Weight training makes you strong, steady an light on your toes!





~ Did you know? 

Biological Age is Modifiable!  Want to learn more?  Contact Boomers N Motion to Empower and Reset YOUR body’s physiology TODAY!

Wellness Wednesday…10 Foods that Make YOU Sick


Welcome to the final week of our summer series, Food = Medicine! We’ve been talking a lot about specific foods that have medicinal effects and how to incorporate them into our daily routines. As we close out the series, we’re going to look at foods that will actually harm our bodies. That’s right! These foods cause illness and disease. While some of these foods taste good (and, yes, I enjoy them too), it’s best to avoid them. Here’s why:

Artificial sweetenersartificial-sweeteners

  • Cause brain tumors and increased cravings for sweets, leading to insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity


Hydrogenated oils/ Partially hydrogenated oils

  • Cause heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity


Fried foods (including chips)

  • Cause heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity


Soda pop (diet and/or regular)


  • Leads to insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity
  • Also, the phosphoric acid leads to calcium depletion, which leads to osteoporosis.



Processed meats (bacon, sausage, lunch meats)

  • Nitrates and nitrites cause cancer (especially leukemia in children)



  • Leads to insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease, inflammation and obesity


High fructose corn syrupHFCSblog

  • Leads to insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, inflammation and obesity



  • Linked to prostate cancer, heart disease, and digestive disorders


MSG (monosodium glutamate)

  • Hyperstimulates brain cells, causing them to burn out and die
  • Leads to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases


Artificial food coloring (red, blue, and yellow dyes)


  • Affects the brain like MSG
  • Contributes to attention-deficit disorder and hyperactivity





TIP :Poison

Throw out foods with these ingredients OR print out poison stickers and place them on EVERY food in your pantry that has one of these ingredients!



Stay happy, healthy, and N motion, AND REMEMBER…age is just a number!






Melissa Merkle and Kirt Lietzow own Boomers N Motion, an exercise and health coaching business focused on keeping baby boomers and older adults healthy into their golden years.  For more information on group classes and private, in-home coaching, please contact Melissa and Kirt at