Archives April 8, 2019

Health Savings Accounts and Retirement #9

Erik:                                       00:06                    

You’re listening to uncommon sense podcast by Bowman financial strategies. I’m your host Erik Bowman and thank you for joining me today.

Disclosure:                          00:18                    

This communication does not constitute federal tax advice and may not be used. As such. Please consult a qualified tax professional for tax advice or assistance. In addition, investment advisory services offered by Change Path LLC, a registered investment adviser, Change Path and Bowman financial strategies are unaffiliated entities.

Erik:                                       00:42                    

Hi everyone. Welcome to Uncommon Sense Episode 2. Uncommon sense being the financial education series by Bowman Financial Strategies. My name is Erik Bowman, your host. Today we’re going to be discussing HSAs. What is an HSA? How has an HSA treated from a tax perspective? How do HSAs interrelate with Medicare and what are some strategies that retirees can utilize HSAs for?

Erik:                                       01:19                     An HSA, for those of you who may not be familiar with the acronym, HSA stands for health savings account and it’s a specifically designed type of savings account where you can put away money on a tax preferred basis to use for qualified medical expenses. A few quick things to know about HSA is just so you don’t get confused and potentially open up the wrong kind of account and therefore wouldn’t have the tax benefits is it differs from an FSA or a flexible spending account. The biggest differences that an HSA, it rolls over year to year and you can accumulate those dollars each year up to the maximum contribution. In the year 2018 for an individual, the HSA maximum contribution limit was $3,450 and for a family HSA contribution limit in 2018 it was $6,900. For the tax year 2019, there’s been a slight increase of $50 to the self only HSA contribution limit, so it’s now $3,500 a family HSA contribution limit we are now at $7,000. one very important stipulation regarding HSAs is that you may only contribute to a health savings account if you have a qualified high deductible health insurance plan. This is very important to understand because if you have a traditional PPO or HMO plan, you cannot contribute to an HSA and enjoy any of those tax benefits. So just to dig in a little bit, and really review, what are the basics of HSA? Is there one of the most powerful tax deferred or tax beneficial plans out there because they’re actually tax beneficial in all three phases. That means that when you make a contribution into an HSA, that’s going to be tax deductible in that year of contribution. And as a side note, you may contribute to an HSA up until the filing deadline for that particular year. So for example, for the year 2018, you can contribute up to the maximum total amount for the household by the filing of April 15th, roughly of April, 2019.

Erik:                                       03:47                    

In addition, when the dollars are put inside of an investment account, which they are allowed to be put inside investment accounts, um, those, that growth is going to be tax free. And then as long as you’re following the rules and using the dollars from the HSA for appropriate medical expenses, it will also be untaxable when you take the money out. So as you can see compared to an IRA or a 401k, what we have is that you get the additional benefit of not only having it be tax free on the way in, but during the entire growth phase. And on the way out, no other retirement plan actually allows for all three phases of those dollars to be tax free. Another interesting caveat for HSAs is that so long as you have had the appropriate type of high deductible health insurance plan, if you never did make your contributions like you could have, you could make current contributions in the current year into your HSA and you can reimburse yourself for previous year’s expenses. Just keep in mind those expenses had to have been incurred while you are under an HSA qualified health insurance plan.

Erik:                                       05:07                    

So the bottom line is that what is available to you and is often under utilized for people who actually have one of these health savings accounts, is that the maximum contributions are not ever made. And this would be even in the face of paying health costs or healthcare costs that would exceed that contribution limits. So there’s money being left on the table, savings and tax benefits that are being left on the table. So what you can think about now is if you’ve contributed to your IRA and your 401k, and even if you have maximized those contributions, and if you’re in your early sixties and have an HSA eligible health insurance plan, it may make sense to contribute to the maximum allowable by law each year, build up a reservoir of tax free funds that were tax deductible in the year of contribution that you can then use it anytime, even after you’ve gone on Medicare.

Erik:                                       06:10                    

One of the questions that I oftentimes get regarding HSAs relates to Medicare. The question often sounds something like this, which is, can I have an HSA or contribute to an HSA while I’m on Medicare? Because those tax advantages sound very beneficial. The quick answer is no. That once you file for Medicare, you are ineligible to contribute to an HSA anymore. That’s a pretty black and white statement by a Medicare and the IRS. However, if you have been contributing into an HSA and you have not utilize those dollars and there is a balance in there that has accumulated over the past couple of years, you may use those dollars with no penalties at any time. Even while you were on medicare, you simply can’t continue to make contributions into the HSA while you were on Medicare.

Erik:                                       07:07                    

It’s really just another way to save for retirement. Although those dollars in order to enjoy the tax benefits and need to be dedicated to healthcare costs, certainly we know that as we enter into retirement and live along fun life and retirement, that there’s a good chance we are going to have healthcare expenses and it’s nice to have a reservoir of dollars available that are treated so special from the IRS from a tax perspective. And once again, you can’t make any new contributions into an HSA once you start Medicare, but you can use your saved up assets inside of your HSA account for qualified health care costs if you are on Medicare. Very important distinction there. And finally, a key takeaway points are number one, if you have an HSA and you’re capable, you should maximize those contributions even if you don’t think you’re going to spend that amount in the current year because those dollars will rollover and you can use those in future years for qualified health care expenses. Second, if you have Medicare, you are not allowed to make additional contributions into an HSA, but you may use the previously accrued balances for qualified health care expenses. I hope you found this podcast on

Erik:                                       08:31                    

HSAs health savings account to be useful and I hope it answered some of the basic questions that you may have about it. Thank you for joining me for uncommon sense, the Bowman Financial Strategies financial education series. I’d love to hear your feedback on financial topics you would like to learn more about. Just drop me an email at Erik, that’s E R I K, at Bowman financial strategies dot com, or go to the Bowman financial strategies website and send me a note on our contact page. In addition, you can always search for topics of interest in my archive on our podcast page at Have a great day.

Disclosure:                          09:16                    

This communication does not constitute federal tax advice and may not be used as such. Please consult a qualified tax professional for tax advice or assistance. In addition, investment advisory services offered by Change Path, LLC, a registered investment adviser, Change Path and Bowman Financial Strategies are unaffiliated entities.

Fitness for Retirees, Interview with Janelle Graham Fitness Trainer #11

Erik:                                       00:01                    

Welcome to Mastering Monday, the interview segment. Hi, I’m Erik Bowman, your host and owner of Bowman financial strategies where we provide straight answers so you can make confident decisions to live the retirement you have always dreamed up. I wanted to thank you for listening to the interview segment and this is part three of three episodes of an interview with Janelle Graham fitness trainer out of Castle Rock, Colorado’s 24 hour fitness, enjoy. Janelle, what would be the one piece of advice that you would give to somebody who’s currently retired or is going to be retiring soon and why?

Janelle:                                 00:45                    

My biggest piece of advice would be to move. You got to move. Moving is improving and if we’re not moving, then we’re not improving. It’s not just sitting from a desk chair into your couch or in your recliners, um, although that’s much comfier than your work situation may have been. But actually getting up and being mobile and actually moving, getting outdoors, sometimes indoors, whatever it takes, but actually moving for at least 30 minutes, 30 minutes

Erik:                                       01:21                    

Each day.

Janelle:                                 01:23                    

Yes, consciously moving because moving is going to keep you improving. And if you’re not moving, then your body is not improving and it, it’s gonna start shutting down.

Erik:                                       01:32                    

I was thinking about some of the things you probably are helping people with during training sessions. And I believe that when people are at their house and they’re doing their everyday things, whatever, whatever that may be, cooking in the kitchen, doing laundry, going up and down the stairs, cleaning out their basement, all the photographs that they plan on going through, one day they’re down in the basement and now they have to move boxes out of the, out of the way to get to them so they can start that project in retirement that they should be thinking about every movement when they’re going down the stairs, they should be thinking about what muscle they’re using, how their balance is actually being impacted by that step up or down the stairs when they’re bending over to pick something off the bottom of the pantry floor that they don’t just in a non thoughtful way reached down that they should think about what joints are using and the more time they get in the gym with somebody like you, that can actually start to kind of overlay, here’s why this exercise is important to your normal daily life routine. And I just think that that’s something that gets missed a lot of the times because they don’t realize that there are ways to move the can hurt you and ways to move that can help you.

Janelle:                                 02:39                    

Absolutely. Taking what they’re doing on a daily basis and really making it even more efficient. Right. And making it move efficient and more balance and more stability and more strength so that they can do more. Right, and they feel like moving more because they’re actually moving better, right? They’re moving more efficiently. It doesn’t hurt to bend down and pick up that box (right) of photos and have to carry it up the staircase because you’ve learned how to move. That improves your everyday lifestyle.

Erik:                                       03:12                    

Success breeds success. Whenever you begin an exercise regimen. I think some people may be concerned or be thinking about the idea that it could hurt, number one, especially if you haven’t done it in a long time. So there’s this progression in a way to move into it slowly but also some reality check on how quickly results come and to understand what that cycle actually looks like so they don’t get maybe disappointed and checkout sooner than they should.

Janelle:                                 03:47                    

You should feel a difference within four to six weeks. So you should feel that walking around your house is easier. Bending down to pick up the groceries and walk them into the house gets easier. So it’s a progressional base. As you do more, you kind of oil all of your joints and you oil your body, it’s going to start to move better. And those aches and pains that you used to have should start to go away within four to six weeks and you should start to feel a little bit better. And then that progresses you into the next phase to where you can start taking on a little bit more. But it’s all based off of where you’re at and giving you specifics of what to do written down. Um, also videotaping is another great way because then you have a compare and contrast. Like, all right, this is whenever you started at week one, how you were squatting and how you are lifting your arms up to put something into a cabinet and now you’ve gotten a sequence of exercises that you’re supposed to be doing at home, right? And progressively, okay, now where you at six to eight weeks later and retaking a video because then you have that visual. Now it’s not just a feeling anymore. You feel that you’re better, you feel it. The aches and pains are gone, but what have I actually improved on?

Erik:                                       05:15                    

You don’t have to ask the grand kids to open up the mayonnaise jars.

Janelle:                                 05:18                    

There you go! You know it’s true. It’s totally the truth. So those little things speak volumes, but it’s being aware of, hey, maybe you didn’t even notice that whatever was aching or painful isn’t achy or painful anymore and you can’t figure out exactly what it was. But over the last four to six weeks, just changing up what you’re doing and how you’re doing it because you have a sequence of things and you know what to do to help make it successful.

Erik:                                       05:54                    

Talk a little bit about if somebody was actually seeking a trainer, what’s that first meeting like? What do you talk about? What do you typically do with somebody at the gym?

Janelle:                                 06:04                    

The first meeting is really just to get to know you. It’s to find out about what you’re doing currently. Also about your past history. So what did you do in the past? Uh, what was your job? What were some of your activities? Do you have kids? You know, what are your goals? Are you wanting to travel? So it’s a lot of one on one time, just kind of getting to know you. Then we sit down and we talk about nutrition. Okay, right? How are you eating? What are you consuming? Because then that kind of gives me a baseline, um, as a trainer to know, okay, this is what you currently did. This was your past history. Here are some goals. So we try to lay out at least three goals. Now I’ve have your nutrition, so I’m starting to get to know you a little bit better.

Janelle:                                 06:49                    

Then we take you into what we call an overhead squat assessment. I’m going to set you up and stand and I’m going to have you squat and do what your body is going to allow you to do and we look at you and different angles and take notes and that gives me a baseline of how your body is moving in time and space currently. Okay. And that gives me a direction to go and to help you to get you closer to those goals that we talked about and what you’re wanting to achieve. Now that you’re retired and you have all this extra time on your hands.

Erik:                                       07:22                    

And I assume that you know, based on that functional assessment that then you can determine me a more specific regimen to help address their shortfalls as opposed to just kind of a generic everybody should do. Although there are probably some exercises everybody should do, but I assume you see people with various range of motion issues and strength issues and core issues that would require a more specialized approach.

Janelle:                                 07:47                    

Yes. So everyone is going to move differently and it doesn’t matter how tall you are, how short you are, how much you weigh, right? It’s what your body is actually allowing you to do in that time and space. And every individual that comes in is going to have a completely different plan, (right.) than the person before or after them. Even if you have 10 gentlemen and 10 ladies that are all 5’8″ and they all weigh the same amount, all 10 men and all 10 women are going to all move differently. Right? (Right.) So they’re all going to have a completely different exercise and cardio regimen that they need to do based off of where their body is.

Erik:                                       08:31                     Some people may be thinking about the type of exercise they might do in their home and it sounds a little bit solitary, maybe are not that enjoyable. What are some things that people could consider that might make exercising more enjoyable or even something they look forward to?

Janelle:                                 08:46                    

Yeah. And make it fun. Um, so getting together with a friend and go for a walk outside or even getting together the group of people, finding a group that’s a walking group or a skiing group, if that’s, you know, your interests at home, pulling up a podcast and doing, you know, what’s on that podcast.

Erik:                                       09:08                    

So like an exercise podcast?

Janelle:                                 09:09                    

Yeah, there’s exercise podcasts. You can get stuff through dish network and direct TV. Um, they’ve got different exercise workouts,

Erik:                                       09:18                    

Youtube as well.

Janelle:                                 09:20                    

Youtube, you can look them up on Youtube, just putting in some good old music and turn it up nice and loud and dance in your little heart out in your living room as well as, you know, take an audio book and go out and walk while you listen for two or three chapters if you’re into books and reading. So then you’re getting the best of both worlds, getting with friends that have dogs and going to a dog park and just walking around a dog park, taking a dog for a walk around the block. Lots of different ways to get involved in the community or with your friends to make it more fun. And more exciting. So then it’s also that accountability factor as well.

Erik:                                       10:03                    

I noticed when I go to the gym, I go to the 24 hour fitness in castle rock. I know I see classes going on in the pool that looks like it may be better for people who do have some joint issues or health issues.

Speaker 2:                           10:17                    

Yeah. So the aqua classes are really great because they get you moving and also a resistance as well, cause you have the resistance in the pool, but you’re actually able to move a little bit better. So any of those aches or pains or maybe moving on land may hurt a little bit. You get in the pool and you have buoyancy and so now you’re able to actually move and work out those areas that may have a little bit of tenderness on land and you’re with a group of people. So you’ve got that camaraderie and you get to meet new people, you make new friends.

Erik:                                       10:49                    

There’s usually a little music going on in the back too. I noticed that.

Janelle:                                 10:52                    

Oh yes, there’s always music going on, so it kind of gives that a little bit of life to the exercise. (Yeah.)

Speaker 1:                           11:02                    

Tell us a little bit about how if somebody wanted to get in contact with you, if they were interested in talking to you about what it might be like to work with you and have you be their personal trainer, how could somebody contact you?

Speaker 2:                           11:13                    

Calling 24 hour fitness and Castle Rock Colorado, leaving a message there. My phone number is (217) 390-2887 is another great way to contact me.

Erik:                                       11:28                    

Janelle, thank you so much for being here today. I really appreciate you taking the time out of your day to come here and talk to my people about how they can live well in retirement, so thank you very much. Thank you for having me.

Janelle:                                 11:44                    

Thank you for listening to this last of three episodes of an interview with Janelle Graham fitness trainer from Castle Rock, Colorado is 20 hour fitness. If you have any comments or questions, you can leave them at Facebook or at Bowman Financial Strategies Facebook page or on our webpage, at

Disclosure:                          12:10                    

investment advisory services offered by Change Path, LLC. Change Path and Bowman Financial Strategies are unaffiliated entities.

Fitness for Retirees, Interview with Janelle Graham Fitness Trainer #10

Erik:                                       00:01                    

Welcome to mastering Monday, the interview segment. Hi, I’m Erik Bowman, your host and owner of Bowman financial strategies where we provide straight answers so you can make confident decisions to live the retirement you have always dreamed of. This is the second part of a three part interview with Janelle Graham fitness trainer out of Castle Rock, Colorado is 24 hour fitness. If you were to recommend anything to a senior too, be healthier, what are the few things that you think are going to be the most important to achieve? 80% of the optimal results. And that goes towards a little bit of a concept I talk about with my clients, the 80 20 principle that there is a certain number of activities where you can achieve really good results and by doing more activities your marginal return starts to shrink a little bit. So what are the top things, do you think anybody who’s a senior citizen should be considering to try to be a little more active and a little safer and healthier?

Janelle:                                 01:04                     I would say number one is an exercise regimen to routine. Number two would be nutrition. What are they in taking on a daily basis to help get them healthier and stay healthier to live longer. And number three I would think would be a mindset. Our minds are huge benefactor, but they can also be a disadvantage if we are in a good mindset that feeds into how our bodies actually act and react to what we think.

Erik:                                       01:38                    

Well, let’s go ahead and break that down one step further than exercise. What are the top one or two things that you would recommend somebody does for an exercise regimen if they haven’t done much for the last couple of decades and now they’ve got some time on their hands and they want to prepare for retirement? What are the top two things that you would recommend they do

Janelle:                                 01:57                    

From an exercise standpoint? Number one would be getting up and just walking. So we talked a little bit about cardio, so getting out and just walking a few blocks and then gradually increasing that to like a mile or so. (Okay.) And the second one would definitely be a strength training regimen. So actually getting the muscles and the bones stronger.

Erik:                                       02:16                    

If they’re not going to the gym and they don’t have a gym membership, what could they do around the house to help develop some strength?

Janelle:                                 02:24                    

You could use anything in your cupboard. So soup cans, chairs, anything from your kitchen table chairs to even your sofa sitting and standing. If you have a staircase, just stepping up and down on the staircase will build leg strength. But then you’re also going to have a little bit of a heartbeat increases as well. So there’s a lot of things to surround your home inside, but also outside,

Erik:                                       02:48                    

When it comes to nutrition (Mm-hmm?) What do you think the top one or two things are there?

Janelle:                                 02:54                    

My biggest thing with nutrition is, it’s not about what you eat, but how much actually consume. Enjoy what you’re eating. But how much of it are you actually in taking on a nutrition basis? Really being aware of, okay, I really want steak and potatoes and

Erik:                                       03:12                    

chocolate cake,

Janelle:                                 03:13                    

chocolate cake! Some cookies. Absolutely. But learning how to actually give yourself that, okay, I can have this, but watching how much we’re actually in taking. So instead of having a full cookie splitting in half,

Erik:                                       03:30                    

I was going to say instead of having five have two, but instead of one, we’ll have the half out there. Might agree with two instead of five.

Janelle:                                 03:38                   

  They probably will. Okay.

Erik:                                       03:41                    

I think hydration is a big thing, especially out here in Colorado because every joint in the body, all of your connective tissue requires that. And I think there’s a lot of things on the market that you can buy. But what are your thoughts on just water?

Janelle:                                 03:54                    

That’s the second big thing with nutrition. So first we talked about food and consumption, but like you said, the water aspect is huge. That is something that you need to really take into consideration. It’s not just the tea and the coffee and maybe the soda that you have, but just pure water that you’re in taking on a daily basis and making sure that you’re getting enough because that’s going to help keep the body moving functionally. How it’s supposed to move and give the joints and the muscles that lubrication that they need. Um, your body’s like a car. You take your car in to get it checked up and get it fixed up and make sure everything’s working well. Change the oil. Yeah, you got to change the oil. Sometimes it needs new brakes or new tires. Do you think about your body as the same thing? Your body is a machine and there’s different tuneups and different things that we need to do and water is one of those tune ups (Right.) that just keep things moving fluid, (Right) and keep the body moving fluid like the oil in your car.

Erik:                                       04:58                    

Many people, they have been focused on raising children, uh, volunteering at school, working full time for decades and now it’s time to maybe start thinking about themselves for the first time in a long time. And if exercise is a part of that, one of the questions that I think they should have answered is how do you transition into an exercise regimen so that you can do it safely without injuring yourself and so that you can enjoy it enough that you don’t quit

Janelle:                                 05:28                    

With a workout routine or regimen really comes down to what are your goals and what are you personally wanting to achieve? Thinking about, okay, well now I’ve got all this time on my hands and I’m excited about it. What have I done currently or in the past that could help me further myself forwards and get into what are your interests? You’re wanting to go skiing, right? Or take that trip overseas. So first having what we’re wanting to do because then that keeps us motivated. We have to have a motivator to get us going sometimes. So if we have a motivator to get us going and then we gradually work into those stepping stones to get you through that. So a similar case would be a gentleman that comes in and works out personally with me. He had retired and been retired for a few years and him and his wife for wanting to go on a vacation and he hadn’t been moving, he’d been more sedentary. So how do we get him up and how do we get him moving? And so it’s stepping stones, just teaching them how to actually squat properly, sit and stand, and really working on balance, giving different things balance wise because we have to have a lot of balance. And that’s one of the biggest things that ends up going as we get a little bit older that’s going to help with walking.

Erik:                                       06:54                    

So part of what you’re reviewing or training of the client in, in that particular scenario are specific exercises and routines that focus on balance?

Janelle:                                 07:06                    

Like standing on one foot,

Erik:                                       07:07                    


Janelle:                                 07:08                    

Just standing on your right leg and pulling your left leg up, walking heel to toe down a straight line. So very simplistic things. A lot of people are like, oh well I can do that. And then you ask them to do it and they’re like, oh my goodness, I thought I had great balance. (Right.) You know, but very simple stuff that you can do every day just in your own home. You don’t have to come to the gym to do. So it’s kind of almost like your homework (yeah). That you do on your own. And it’s, um, simplistic everyday life stuff. But those are the building blocks we have to get into place first to lay a foundation, right? Because once we lay a good foundation, you get going every few weeks and by three to four months down the road, he’s squatting without a chair or a box behind him.

Janelle:                                 07:52                    

He’s able to stand on one foot. He notices that he can step off of a curb without being worried about catching himself and he’s getting in and out of his car easier. Right? Not grunting, no. Right. Or like, Ooh, ow, this hurts or that hurts. Yeah. We’ve got those few months underneath our belt and now he’s got another month or two before he actually leaves for his trip. (Right.) And so now we’ve built those building blocks. We’ve laid down stones and a pathway to help him get there. And now we can actually progress a little bit further and get him stronger to go on his trip.

Erik:                                       08:31                    

Thank you for joining us for the second of three episodes with the interview segment with Janelle Graham fitness trainer from Castle Rock, Colorado’s 24 hour fitness. You can leave comments on our Facebook page or on our website at

Speaker 3:                           08:31                    

Disclosure:                          08:56                    

investment advisory services offered by Change Path LLC, change path and Bowman financial strategies are unaffiliated entities.

Fitness for Retirees, Interview with Janelle Graham Fitness Trainer #8

Erik:                                       00:01                    

Welcome to mastering Monday, the interview segment. Hi, I’m Erik Bowman, your host and the owner of Bowman financial strategies where we provide straight answers so you can make confident decisions to live the retirement you have always dreamed of. Today is the first of three episodes where I interviewed Janelle Graham of fitness trainer from 24 hour fitness in Castle Rock, Colorado. I hope you enjoy.

Erik:                                       00:32                    

Hi Janelle. How are you today? I’m well, how are you? I’m good. Thanks for coming and talking with us today about physical fitness. Uh, I’d like to start off with you telling us just a little bit about yourself, your history and what it is you currently do.

Janelle:                                 00:47                     I am originally from Illinois. I went to school for Athletic Training and Sports Med to um, just get to help others because I have a big heart and helping others and just improving what people are doing on a daily basis and helping them live a healthier, fitter and stronger life. So I have been doing group fitness for 14 years and I got into the personal training one on one with clients for about the last three years now. It’s been a different journey from being in a big group setting. So now working one on one and getting individuals personalized programming to help them daily, life wise. Some clients want more of that athletic bound and then other clients are just wanting to be able to get up and move on a daily basis. So wide array.

Erik:                                       01:38                    

What is it you like most about the personal training as opposed to the group training?

Janelle:                                 01:43                    

My personal training aspect is it’s a one on one. So I have personal responsibility for that persons and helping them feel better about themselves or help improve some type of performance if that’s their number one goal. Some it is just, you know, they want to get up and move on a daily basis and be able to walk around to get an out of their car easier and just do daily life activities better. (Right.) So that’s a big shift in difference from like a group fitness setting cause you’re dealing with 30, 40, sometimes even 50 people. So in that one on one setting, it’s more individualized for their wants and their needs and what they’re looking at doing.

Erik:                                       02:30                    

And where are you located? Where do you work out of?

Janelle:                                 02:32                    

I’m at 24 hour fitness and Castle Rock,

Erik:                                       02:35                    

Colorado Castle Rock. And just full disclosure, you work with my wife Heidi and you’ve been a godsend to her to help her maintain some mobility and um, develop strength training and she loves working out with you. So thank you for that.

Janelle:                                 02:47                    

Thank you.

Erik:                                       03:33                    

A couple of questions and as we go through the questions, we just want to keep in mind that you know, my firm works primarily with seniors or people that transitioning from the working years of their life. We call that the accumulation years and they’re transitioning into the distribution years where they are going to stop working, still generating income, but hopefully having a time of their life. They want to be going on vacation, they want to be going on cruises, they want to spend time with grand kids. They want to be able to walk and hike and ski and do all of these things. And we know that just because we’re all aging doesn’t mean we want to take doing less as the route that we must go down, that we want to take advantage of those, especially the first 15 years of retirement where we’re still healthy and we have the assets to be able to do fun things and enjoy our life. So with that said, um, one of the questions I had and I think that a lot of my clients would have is we can divide physical fitness into flexibility, strength training, cardiovascular fitness, how do those work together and is any one of those maybe a higher priority for somebody who’s 60 years old plus?

Janelle:                                 04:00                    

Looking at those, if you’re 60 plus, the biggest thing I would personally take in would be the strength training aspect of it. And because as we get older, our bone density decreases. So having a good strength training program or just a regimen to keep the bones stronger and that’s going to help you actually stay active longer cause you’re not going to have to worry about slipping and falling and maybe hurting or breaking anything. So strength training, research out there has shown that it actually increases your bone density. So keeping just the skeletal system strong because that’s what all of your muscles attached to and that skeletal system actually helps you move. Strength training is a big part as 60 and older to keep you upright so that you’re able to just go for a walk on a daily basis. That could be your cardio format and programming.

Janelle:                                 04:59                    

Just walking a mile a day would be probably number two is just getting up and actually moving. So a lot of 60 and older come into a lifestyle change where they may have been getting up and going to work and they’ve been on this great schedule. So they’ve been moving and now that they’re into that retirement phase of life, they get more freedom, which is exciting because now they get to go into a bunch of things. Um, but then they also find themselves more sedentary. Thinking about a cardio programming can be as easy as just getting up and going for a walk around a few blocks, you know, mile, uh, maybe walking up and down a hill. And if you’ve got stairs in the house, it’s simple as that as well.

Erik:                                       05:42                    

A little quick anecdote there is, uh, my wife got me out walking with her, a couple actually over the summer. We went out for about three months straight and I thought that my knee was going downhill and I had arthritis and it hurts so much and I couldn’t bend down to pick things up off the floor and I went out because my wife told me to and so I did, but then magically one day after doing that for three months, just walking one to five miles a day, my knee was completely healed.

Janelle:                                 06:09                    

All the pain was gone! Just from walking, (just from walking right) from walking. That pounding the resistance that you get just from walking on concrete or walking on dirt roads or even like hiking trails. The impact just from that actually helps with the bone density as well. Then the last one would probably be flexibility than mobility, so that’s going to come into a big factor, especially as you start to move a little bit more. You’re going to notice that things muscles start to get a little bit tighter and you may lose a little bit of range of motion and that’s where the flexibility mobility of what you’re doing on a daily basis is going to be important as well.

Music:                                   06:53                     Hmm.

Erik:                                       06:54                    

You had mentioned a little bit Janelle about strength training being critical because of bone density issues with seniors and aging. When it comes to flexibility, can you talk a little bit about how strength training and flexibility to actually tie together?

Janelle:                                 07:33                    

They absolutely can. So with strength training, you want to be working through specific ranges of motion just in your strength training regimen on a daily basis. You’ll actually be heading into that flexibility and getting more mobile basic things of learning how to sit down in a chair properly and stand up is strength training, but it’s also falls in the realm of flexibility and mobility. Actually getting the joints of the body to actually move the way that they’re supposed to move.

Erik:                                       07:46                    

How would you think that a physical regimen or an exercise program for a senior is going to differ from one for somebody who’s 30 or 40 years old and why?

Janelle:                                 07:59                    

With someone that’s on, you know, that’s in this their 60s compared to the 30s and 40s, um, their bodies are going to move just a little bit different and they’re going to need a little bit more of a structure base, almost a checklist of things to do and their physical activities to make sure that they’re working in that strength zone and actually getting the strength that they need just to be able to do daily life activities, like picking something up off the floor, bending down to get their groceries, and then putting things into a cabinet are simple things for someone that starts to get a little bit older. (right) But building up the strength to actually be able to lift something a little bit heavier compared to someone that’s in their 30s or 40s they’re getting into more of that athletic sense more so, and so they’re going to be moving at a quicker pace. They’re going to be lifting a lot heavier. So as we get older we have to be a little bit more cautious of how we’re actually moving and that we’re actually moving in a safe and effective manner so that we don’t hurt ourselves and that we can do more in the gym but also at home as well because we do have a higher chance of getting injured as we get older. (Right.)

Erik:                                       09:17                    

We may have brought some of those injuries with us too.

Janelle:                                 09:24                    

Right. You know, based off of what your job was and maybe even some of your past history of what you did whenever you were younger, you know, did you play sports or were you more active when you were in your 30s and 40s? (right.) Some people aren’t as active in their thirties and forties and also some family history comes into that as well. But anybody can be healthier and fitter and stronger as long as they have an understanding of it and they have a program that is suitable for them and where they are currently. So they’re doing the things that they are able to do but also progressing and learning new things. Because just because you’re in your 60s doesn’t mean that you can’t learn something new.

Erik:                                       10:00                    

The key takeaway from that is everybody can progress forward from the point that they’re at now. (Absolutely.) There’s no, it’s kind of done. (No,) but anybody can start from wherever they are and if they have an appropriate exercise program in place, they can progress and actually get more healthy even if they’re in their 60s or 70s and I think about some of the common activities that seniors might be doing. A lot of that is just a desire to walk or go hiking, do those things they never had time for. But a lot of travel takes place and when you go to Europe or you’re on a cruise ship, there’s a lot of walking and it would make sense to practice walking distances before you just land in Italy for three weeks and you now are walking six miles a day and you’re not ready for it. I just think it’s interesting that people forget every decade that we’re in right now is practice for the next decade as far as physical fitness is concerned. (Yes.)

Erik:                                       11:00                    

Well, that concludes our first of three interviews, segments that run approximately 10 minutes each with Janelle Graham, and I wanted to thank you for joining me today. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them on our Facebook page or on our website at

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