Sunday, April 26, 2009

Roll Back The Clock

Yesterday I met with the lead Personal Trainer at the gym where I attend. We talked about Personal Trainers finding their "niche" of clientele. I explained that as a personal trainer, I am interested in working with "older" adults, let's say 35 or 40 and up. (I know that 35-40 is not old, but you get what I mean); those adults who simply want to loose a few pounds, strengthen the heart, increase flexibility, and just feel a little better about themselves. My "niche" is not those that are looking to become Mr. Universe or train for the Olympics. The Lead Trainer said to get as much information as I possibly can about training my "niche."

In doing some research, time and time again, I came across articles that discussed the role exercise can have on the aging process. One such study was published in 2001, and further supported what many cardiologists have long since believed, that even moderate amounts of aerobic exercise can literally "roll back the clock." One of the things this study concluded was that with as little as 6 months of moderate aerobic exercise, middle aged individuals can reverse the effects of decades of aging on cardiovascular fitness.

In addition to cardiovascular exercise, many studies indicate that weight training is extremely beneficial to older adults. We are not talking about necessarily heavy lifting, but lighter weights. Scientists say the answer is yes, weight training is needed. In a study of women aged 50 to 70, the women who strength trained gained 1% more bone density in the hip and spine while the group that did not lift weights lost 2.5 % bone density. Those who trained had strength increases from about 35 to 76% above the control group. Balance improved 14% and general physical activity increased by about 27%. The same is true for men. Its a fact that after age 30 [many claim as early as 25] Muscle begins to atrophy, a process which accelerates after 40. It is claimed that between ages 40 and 60 an average man loses 35% of Muscle and add this to the 15% between age 25 and 40. You should work all of your major muscle groups at least twice a week, starting out with a weight you can lift 12-15 reps, then when you can easily do 15 reps, increase the weight a few pounds.

Exercise may not actually be a fountain of youth, but it is as close as it gets. It is never too late to start. Get outside and walk! Or get to a gym and begin your program today.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Eat Less, Exercise More-The Only Way

Diet fads come and go! Easy solutions abound! Take a pill, loose the pounds! Work out for four minutes and loose weight! There's no way around it: the only true way to loose weight is to eat less and exercise more! More calories have to be burned than are consumed! That and only that will ensure weight loss and less body fat.

A new study has again shown this proven method. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, suggests the type of weight-loss diet doesn't matter as much as sticking to it. Whether you're comparing a low-fat, high-protein, low-carb, high-protein, or other diet, eating less and doing more is what looses the weight, not the type diet you're on.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Second Hand Smoke: More Damage Done

It has been know that smokers put themselves at risk for many ailments including heart disease and cancer, but a new study conducted at the University of Cambridge, Peninsula Medical School and the University of Michigan showed that second hand smoke can be just as harmful as those who smoke when it comes to dementia. Second hand smoke exposure also causes heart disease, cancer, premature death, asthma, and impaired lung function. This new study, by Dr. David Llewellyn of the University of Cambridge and colleagues, is the first major one to conclude that second-hand smoke exposure could lead to irreversible dementia and other neurological problems. 5,000 non-smoking adults over the age of 50 were the subjects in the study.
What is significant about this study? It's one thing if someone wants to kill himself by smoking, but the effects of the smoke coming off the end of the cigarette can harm any innocent bystander in the second hand smoke.
There is nothing good that comes from smoking, and there is nothing good that comes from being exposed to second hand smoke. I have to say I am glad there are laws that keep second hand smoke away from me.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Smoking Ban Decreases Heart Attacks

Here's a bit of encouragement for those of you hopefully making one of your New Year's resolutions kicking the smoking habit: a smoking ban caused heart attacks to drop by more than 40 percent in Pueblo, Colorado and the decrease lasted three years. A smoking ban in work and public places was passed in 2003 in Pueblo, and a study found there were 399 hospital admissions for heart attacks in the 18 months before the ban and 237 heart attack hospitalizations in the next year and a half -- a decline of 41 percent! "We know that exposure to second-hand smoke has immediate harmful effects on people's cardiovascular systems, and that prolonged exposure to it can cause heart disease in nonsmoking adults," said Janet Collins, director of CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. "This study adds to existing evidence that smoke-free policies can dramatically reduce illness and death from heart disease."

NOTHING GOOD COMES FROM SMOKING! NOTHING! If you haven't already done so, make stopping a resolution for 2009. Make 2009 your time to quit.