Build the Mindset for Fitness Success

One of the great things about getting older is this: By now, you’ve learned how important it is to have the right mindset in building a new habit or working toward a goal.

Right? You’ve done this countless times throughout life, whether at work, with your family, or pursuing hobbies. You know that:

  • If you have the wrong idea, you’re starting on the wrong foot. 
  •  If you listen to the naysayers, you’ll never get anywhere. 
  •  If you focus on impossible dreams, you won’t achieve your perfectly attainable desires.

So, here is our list of five common mistakes people over 50 make about fitness. Join us today and let’s break free together!

Looking Back (Waaaaaay Back)

Men in their 50s and 60s will tell us on their first visit, “When I was in college, I could bench press a truck while running the 4-minute mile. On a hangover. So, yeah, let’s get me back to that.”


It doesn’t matter what you think you did decades ago, good or bad. Life didn’t end at 25, did it? We figure out your abilities TODAY and how they relate to your desires for TOMORROW.


“Why Is This Taking So Long?”

We all want the “quick fix” to our problems, don’t we? It’s only natural.

But let’s not get frustrated too soon. Success takes time.

Here’s a simple example: You didn’t gain 40 pounds in two weeks, so it’s going to take more than two weeks to lose it.


Too Much Focus on Weight

Our culture puts too much emphasis on weight. Here with us, you’ll learn to focus more about mobility, strength, agility and stamina.

And yes, you’ll start looking better in no time, which might (or might not) be accompanied by a lower number on the scale.

But it’s just one little piece of the puzzle.


“It’s Too Late for Me”

Stereotypes and myths somehow persist that health is for young people only, or something we can’t correct or improve.

Nothing could be further from the truth. As we age, it’s even more important to take care of ourselves so we can enjoy independence and a higher quality of life.

We don’t try to make you young again because there’s simply no need for that. (Also, it’s, you know, impossible!) It’s never too late to start exercising and see improvements.


“I Don’t Care About Muscles”

If you come in here with the mindset that you just want to walk on the treadmills for a few minutes, then you’re missing out on the most powerful tool we have to help you live the life you want to live.

And that’s resistance training. Or strength training. Or weightlifting, if you like.

We all need muscle as we go through life. Muscle keeps us upright. It lets us stand up from the toilet. It lets us put away the groceries, travel, and beat the neighbors at pickleball. You simply can’t do anything without muscle, and we’ll make sure you have as much as you need.

We’ll go over all this and more with you before you start – and at any time after you’ve joined us. We’ll get your mindset right, and we’re here to keep it right long after you’ve joined.

Let’s do this!



Regular Exercise Can Help with Problem Drinking

Alcohol abuse can sneak up on us later in life, experts say. Many people lose their partners, job-associated identity, and a sense of purpose that had guided them for decades, and some can develop or worsen a drinking problem.

The pandemic, and the isolation it brought, led millions of older adults to drink more, surveys found.

Now, with the annual Alcohol Awareness Month in April, it’s a good time to point out signs of possible trouble for people later in life. And to share the good news about the positive role regular exercise can play in overcoming a drinking problem.

We don’t metabolize alcohol and drugs as quickly as when we were younger, doctors say. So, what we could “handle” earlier in life can become a problem later.

Exercise can be a helpful part of recovery, along with 12-step programs, counseling, and medical and family support. Potential problem signs include: drinking quickly; hiding consumption; getting hurt while drinking; and a decline in self-care.

“Many patients with various substance use disorders have found that exercise helps to distract them from cravings,” Dr. Claire Twark wrote for the Harvard Medical School. “Workouts add structure to the day. They help with forming positive social connections and help treat depression and anxiety in combination with other therapies.”

> If you have a concern, contact your doctor, counselor or Alcoholics Anonymous, phone (800) 839-1686.


Healthy Recipe, Seared Pork Chops with Grapes and Thyme

Those jumbo bags of seedless grapes sold in supermarket produce sections are handy to have around in the crisper for healthy snacking. But there are other ways you can maximize that fruitful bounty. Grapes pair exceptionally well with pork, as demonstrated in the recipe here, adapted from one on the website. To stretch that protein, allow the chops to rest while you make the sauce, then thinly slice the meat against the grain. Chances are, you’ll have plenty for another meal. Serves 2-4. RECIPE HERE – Susan Puckett



  • 2 thick (bone-in) pork chops, about ¾ pound each
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large shallot (or 1 small yellow onion), minced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves (or 12 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
  • 1 ½ cups seedless red or green grapes


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels and season on both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large cast iron or other heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the pork chops and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until well-browned.
  3. Transfer to the oven and roast 5-8 minutes, just until cooked through (145 degrees on a meat thermometer).
  4. Remove from the skillet from the oven and transfer the chops to a plate to rest. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan and set it back on the burner.
  5. Add the shallot (or onion) and garlic; cook and stir until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the thyme and cook 1 minute longer. Add the broth, bring to a rapid simmer, and cook until reduced by about a third, or until thickened to a gravy consistency.
  6. Stir in the butter, if using, add the grapes, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until heated through.
  7. If desired, thinly slice the pork from the bone across the grain and arrange slices on each of 2 to 4 plates, reserving any leftovers for another meal. Alternately, place a whole chop on each of 2 plates.
  8. Spoon the grapes and sauce over the pork and serve.

Article Credit Jay Croft, creator and owner of Prime Fit Content.
Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at

Myth Busters: Strength Training Won’t Make You ‘Bulky’

Too many myths cloud the topics of aging and fitness. They keep people from living a healthy lifestyle, and most come from younger people and society at large.

But there’s one super-persistent myth that people over 50 perpetuate themselves. To be more precise, women over 50 use this falsehood too often to avoid the most important type of exercise they need: strength training.

“I don’t want to lift weights because I don’t want to get all big and bulky.”


Have you ever heard or said something like that? It’s astonishing how this one refuses to vanish. So, let’s take another shot at it here, for those of you out there being held back from your optimal life by a lie.

Why It’s So Important

Strength training is also known as weightlifting and it includes using free weights, machines, body weight, resistance bands and yoga.

It not the same thing as bodybuilding in the Arnold Schwarzenegger fashion.

All humans need muscle just to perform basic tasks like standing up, but we lose it if we don’t use it. In fact, common age-related muscle loss (known as sarcopenia) is why we so often see older people struggle to stand up from the couch.

“Sarcopenia is one of the most important causes of functional decline and loss of independence in older adults,” said Dr. Jeremy Walston said in the National Institutes of Health.

Losing muscle contributes to falls and fractures, and it reduces our strength and mobility for all kinds of tasks. Less muscle can mean more body aches and pains, poorer posture, and more trouble.

Sarcopenia is not inevitable. We fight it with strength training so that we can do all kinds of physical activities.

About That Myth

Strength training with us is easy, empowering and safe at any age.

Here’s what’s NOT easy: Accidentally getting “big and bulky” like bodybuilders.

It takes intense concentration and effort – in the gym AND in the kitchen – to get big muscles like that. It also takes testosterone. So, there’s no way a healthy dose of strength training will make you “big” OR “bulky,” let alone both.

That’s a little like saying that you won’t drive a car because you don’t want to be a champion racer.

If you exercise regularly with resistance, you will have more muscle mass to feel, move and look better. Resistance training burns fat, improves balance, eases arthritis pain, builds bones, and helps us sleep better.

And if you want to avoid falls, it’s essential.

Two Women Who Love It

Here are two women who started after 60 and wear by it. We know countless more.

“Without even trying, I lost 25 pounds. I felt better than I ever had in my life,” says Margaret.

“I look like any other little, old lady,” says Barb, a retired physical therapist. “There is a wheelchair waiting for every one of us. And the point is to stay the hell out of it.”

Come see us now to put this deadly myth – and others – to rest once and for all.


Benefits of Exercise Have No Age Limit, Study Finds

A massive study made headlines by concluding that not exercising is worse for your health than smoking and diabetes.

But many readers over 50 will be glad to know that the study also has a huge age-related finding: The spectacular benefits of exercise have no age limit.

“Whether you’re in your 40s or your 80s, you will benefit in the same way,” said the study’s senior author, Dr. Wael Jaber, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic.

Sedentary people are almost four times as likely to die early as those who exercise regularly, says the study. It looked at 122,000 people who were tested on treadmills over 13 years.

“There actually is no ceiling for the benefit of exercise,” he said. “”There’s no age limit that doesn’t benefit from being physically fit.”

So, if you’re already exercising regularly, then keep it up.

But sadly, most Americans of all ages don’t get enough exercise. One bit of good news: People over age 70 are the fastest-growing segment of the population to use personal trainers, according to the Personal Training Development Center.

We believe what this study and the trend show – that exercise is right for everyone, regardless of age. Come see us, and let us show you how comfortable, safe and fun it is to stay healthy and live longer.


Healthy Recipe, Bison and Wild Rice Lettuce Wraps

Ground bison is leaner and more nutrient-dense than beef yet offers a similar flavor. In this gently tweaked recipe from “Smithsonian American Table: The Foods, People, and Innovations That Feed Us” (Harvest, $40), chef Nico Albert, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, combines it with mineral-rich wild rice to tuck into lettuce leaves. Tangy red-hued sumac spice, which is high in disease-fighting antioxidants, is well worth seeking out for its unique taste and other benefits, but if you can’t find it, grated lemon zest and juice will suffice. Adapt it for vegans by replacing the bison with more mushrooms. Serves 4-6. – Susan Puckett


  • 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground bison
  • 8 ounces portobello or other sturdy wild mushrooms
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground sumac (or grated zest and juice of 1 lemon)
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice (or wild rice blend)
  • ½ cup small-diced jicama
  • ½ cup small-diced celery
  • ½ cup chopped fresh herbs (parsley, mint, cilantro, or combination)
  • ½ cup chopped scallions
  • Little gem or romaine lettuce leaves


  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the bison and sauté, breaking the meat into crumbles with a wooden spoon, until the meat is cooked through and some browned bits stick to the pan.
  2. Add the mushrooms, cranberries, salt, pepper, and sumac (or lemon juice and grated rind). Continue to cook, stirring frequently.
  3. When the mushrooms have softened, add 1 cup of water and stir, scraping the bottom or the pan to loosen up the flavorful browned bits. Cook until almost all the moisture has evaporated.
  4. Add the wild rice, jicama, and celery and stir to combine. When the mixture is heated through, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the herbs and scallions.
  5. To serve, spoon the mixture into the lettuce leaves and eat taco-style.

Article Credit Jay Croft, creator and owner of Prime Fit Content.
Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at

The Research on Exercise and Cancer proves that exercise is good for our health at any age, experts say it also helps prevent cancer.

How the Gym Helped ‘Get My Act Together’ After Cancer

Todd Allen and his wife took a European trip seven years ago.

He felt terrible by the time they got home.

Blood tests revealed cancer. Stage 4. Bone marrow.

Todd went through 18 months of chemotherapy and had knee surgery and hip surgery.

Never much for exercise, Todd then made a decision: “After the recovery, I said I gotta get my act together.”

“I’ve been a gym rat ever since,” says Todd, now 65. Now, with a healthy prognosis, he wakes up early each morning to lift weights, run stairs, and do other physical activity. “I look better now than I ever have in my life.”

The Research on Exercise and Cancer

Research proves that exercise is good for our health at any age. Experts say it also helps prevent cancer and lower its risk of recurring. And regular exercise benefits cancer survivors the same way it helps the general population – by reducing obesity and blood pressure, lowering risk of heart attack, stroke, and diabetes, and more.

Strength training is particularly important to help maintain muscle and bone density. People generally lose muscle mass with age, and cancer exacerbates the decline.

The National Cancer Institute shares powerful data about how exercise can reduce the risk of certain cancers:

⦁ Breast cancer by 20 to 80 percent
⦁ Endometrial cancer by 20 to 40 percent
⦁ Colon cancer by 30 to 40 percent

The Clinical Oncology Society of Australia issued formal guidelines that recommend exercise as a part of treatment for all cancer patients. It said:

⦁ Exercise should be a part of standard care for cancer patients to fight the disease and side effects of treatment.
⦁ Treatment teams should promote physical activity, so patients meet exercise guidelines.
⦁ Patients should be referred to an exercise physiologist or physical therapist.

“If we could turn the benefits of exercise into a pill it would be demanded by patients, prescribed by every cancer specialist and subsidized by government,” said Dr. Prue Cormie, author of the organization’s report. “It would be seen as a major breakthrough in cancer treatment.”

A healthy lifestyle should include exercise – which also helps limit other factors like obesity and blood pressure, before and after cancer.

After treatment, exercise helps restore self-esteem and a sense of control, which cancer strips from patients, says Andrea Leonard, founder of the Cancer Exercise Training Institute. “Teaching them to regain control empowers them, increases esteem and confidence, and takes them from victim to survivor.”

‘Let’s Get Some Life While We’re Here’

For Todd Allen, working out at the gym brings him the variety, social interaction, and mental health benefits he craves.

“I love the comradery,” he says. “You have to show up or you get razzed. That’s key for consistency.”

With his health now solid and his outlook bright, Todd is committed to enjoying every day.

“Let’s get some life while we’re here,” he says. “I’m going to hold onto this thing for as long as I can.”

The Research on Exercise and Cancer proves that exercise is good for our health at any age, experts say it also helps prevent cancer.

Trouble Sleeping? Exercise Could Be the Solution

Millions of people don’t get enough sleep every night, even if they know how important it is to their physical and mental health.

And as we age, some people have extra trouble getting the right amount of rest (which varies for each individual, of course).

But here’s one thing everyone should know: Exercise will help you get more and better sleep. Whether it’s walking, running, weightlifting, yoga… Studies are clear that regular, moderately intense exercise improves sleep length and quality.

“Sleep quality and quantity are two important aspects of reducing stress, improving mood and providing lots of energy,” the Functional Aging Institute says. “Lack of sleep and stress go hand in hand.”

The National Sleep Foundation adds, “Not only will getting your zzzs help you perform on a test, learn a new skill or help you stay on task, but it may also be a critical factor in your health, weight and energy level.”

After 65, sleep issues can increase accidents, falls, cognitive decline, depression and more.

Here are a few tips for restful nights.
⦁ Don’t exercise too close to bedtime, since it can stimulate your brain and raise your body temperature, changes that can keep you up.
⦁ Maintain bedtime routines and schedules.
⦁ Get some sunlight every day.
⦁ Keep your bedroom cool, dark and free of electronics.
⦁ Avoid caffeine after noon and too much alcohol close to bedtime.
⦁ Don’t drink much of anything as bedtime approaches; it could make you need to get out of bed.
⦁ Talk to your doctor about chronic issues. You could have sleep apnea or another serious but treatable disorder.

The Research on Exercise and Cancer proves that exercise is good for our health at any age, experts say it also helps prevent cancer.

Healthy Recipe, Double-Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is so named because of how its flesh forms long, tender strands when shredded with a fork after cooking. Its mild taste pairs easily with myriad ingredients. Plus, it’s low in carbs, gluten-free, and high in vitamin A and other essential nutrients. No wonder this pale-yellow, oblong-shaped squash is having a moment with fitness fans.

This recipe, adapted from “Listen to Your Vegetables: Italian-Inspired Recipes for Every Season” (Harvest, $45), offers a handy trick for boosting its deliciousness several notches. After the cut halves steam in the oven, the cooked strands are then spread out on a baking sheet and returned to the oven, allowing the flavors to concentrate and caramelize as the moisture evaporates. Mixed with cheese and herbs and heaped back in its shell, then run under the broiler until bubbly, it becomes your favorite spaghetti sauce’s new best friend. Sorry, pasta! Serves 4. RECIPE HERE. – Susan Puckett

⦁ 2 small spaghetti squash (2 to 2 ½ pounds each)
⦁ Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
⦁ 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for coating the foil
⦁ 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
⦁ 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves or chopped oregano leaves, plus more for garnish
⦁ 4 ounces burrata or fresh mozzarella, torn into small pieces
⦁ Quick Marinara Sauce (recipe follows) or your favorite pasta sauce, optional

⦁ Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Set the squash on a cutting board and nestle it in a folded kitchen towel to hold it in place while you cut it. With a heavy, sharp chef’s knife or serrated knife, carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise, rocking the knife gently back and forth after you cut through the skin. (If you’re struggling, you can zap it in the microwave for 3-5 minutes to soften it a bit before cutting.)
⦁ With a spoon, scoop out the seeds and discard.
⦁ Line a baking sheet with foil and brush it lightly with oil. Season the squash halves well with salt and pepper and drizzle with the tablespoon of olive oil.
⦁ Set the squash halves cut side down on the baking sheet. Roast in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, or until the squash skins are tender to the touch.
⦁ Remove the pan from the oven, leaving the oven on. Let the cooked squash rest for about 10 minutes, allowing it to steam as it slowly cools, then flip. With a fork, gently pull and shred the squash from the skins, forming spaghetti-like strands. Spread the strands on the oiled baking sheet. Set aside two of the squash skins for later.
⦁ Return the baking sheet with the shredded squash to the oven and roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until caramelized (but not burned) in places and dried out a bit.
⦁ Place the double-roasted squash in a bowl and toss with 1 cup of the parmesan, the thyme or oregano, and plenty of cracked black pepper. Divide the mixture between the two reserved squash skins and top with the burrata and remaining parmesan. (Squash may be kept at room temperature for a couple of hours before broiling.)
⦁ Just before serving, make sure a rack is set about 4 inches the heat source and turn the broiler to high. Place the squash under the broiler for 5 to 6 minutes, or until golden and bubbling and the skins of the squash are slightly charred.
⦁ Remove from the oven, garnish with more herbs, cut in half, and serve with pasta sauce if desired.

Quick Marinara Sauce
Makes 2 cups
⦁ 2 tablespoons olive oil
⦁ 3 cloves garlic (or more or less), minced
⦁ Pinch of red pepper flakes
⦁ ½ cup finely chopped parsley (leaves and stems)
⦁ 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
⦁ 1 bay leaf
⦁ 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
⦁ Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

⦁ In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and the red pepper flakes, if using, and sauté for a minute, or just until the garlic begins to turn golden. Stir in the parsley and sauté another minute.
⦁ Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, and oregano and lower the heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 15 or 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Article Credit Jay Croft, creator and owner of Prime Fit Content.
Susan Puckett is an Atlanta-based food writer and cookbook author.


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