Tag Archives: weight-bearing exercise

Two keys to strong bones … Harvard

Although bone-weakening osteoporosis is quite common among older people, it isn’t an inevitable part of aging. There’s a lot you can do to shield your bones from this disease.

While it is true that women account for most cases of osteoporosis. I think the fact that they outlive men, and the disease usually hits after late 50’s, because women outlive us, a disproportionate number of women get the disease. The International Osteoporosis Foundation says that worldwide, 1 in 3 women over age 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures, as will 1 in 5 men aged over 50.

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The best insurance against osteoporosis is building the highest bone density possible by your 30s and minimizing bone loss after that. But if you’re already in midlife or beyond, there is still much you can do to preserve the bone you have and perhaps even to replace lost bone. Daily weight-bearing exercise, like walking, is the best medicine. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D are two other critical strategies for keeping bones strong.

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Running actually reduces some inflammation – Study

Running may also slow the process that leads to osteoarthritis

As regular readers know, I ride my bike nearly daily,  here in Chicago. A hundred years ago, it seems, I ran daily. I stopped running because I enjoy bike riding more.

We all know that running causes a bit of inflammation and soreness, and that’s just the price you pay for cardiovascular health. You know; no pain, no gain.

Running

Well, maybe not. New research from BYU exercise science professors finds that pro-inflammatory molecules actually go down in the knee joint after running.
In other words, it appears running can reduce joint inflammation.“It flies in the face of intuition,” said study coauthor Matt Seeley, associate professor of exercise science at BYU. “This idea that long-distance running is bad for your knees might be a myth.” Continue reading

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Filed under arthritis, inflammation, osteoarthritis, osteoarthritis pain, running

Crawling has excellent physical benefits

I am now in my seventh year of writing this blog and I pretty much learn something new every day about living a healthy life because I read about the subject constantly. Nonetheless, I was amazed to learn that crawling is a serious form of exercise with excellent benefits to both the body and brain.

I have written repeatedly that walking is the Cinderella of the exercise world in that its physical benefits are almost totally unappreciated. I’m not sure what to call crawling, that’s right, the same thing that babies do before they are able to walk. I was not even aware that crawling was in the exercise world. I was ignorant.

 

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The Health Science Journal says, “Crawling is an important functional milestone as it strengthens the muscles and connective tissues in and around the hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, spine and hips. Furthermore, this weight-bearing quadruped motion also helps to stretch the hand ligaments, facilitating the development of the arches. Crawling also opens up the saddle joint at the base of the thumb – essential for being able to perform fine motor skills like holding cutlery, pens and pencils.

“In adulthood, the increasing prevalence of sedentary lifestyles results in many of the deep stabilizing muscles becoming weak and ineffective at performing their functional role. Muscles and connective tissues weaken, posture changes and instability, dysfunction, tightness and pain usually follow, particularly during physical exertion.

“This is why crawling exercises are as effective in adults as they are in infants and can help restore the optimal musculoskeletal health that has occurred as a result of a sustained period of inactivity.”(my emphasis)

This is from The Breaking Muscle website, “Yes, crawling, a seemingly childish and foolish “exercise,” could be the one thing that improves your health, your strength, your mobility, and your performance in any athletic area. It could even improve your ability to think, focus, and reason.

“Crawling is a developmental movement pattern that ties everything about you together. In developing children, crawling activates and integrates the different parts of the brain. Through crawling, neural connections and pathways are established in the brain that allow the brain to become more efficient at communication between the left and right hemispheres. The better the brain can communicate and process information, the better the body moves.1 Crawling also unites your sensory systems. It integrates your vestibular system (your balance system), your proprioceptive system (your sense of self in space, or your self awareness system), and your visual system (your visual system). It can even improve your hand eye coordination.”

Here is a You Tube video on it:

I don’t know about you, but I am going to start crawling today.

Tony

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Filed under aging, aging brain, balance training, core exercises, crawling, Exercise, exercise benefits, muscle building, muscles

Harvard on resuming bike riding

This seems particularly timely as I wrote about my own cycling – Riding a bike on Chicago’s Lakefront on Chicago’s Lakefront yesterday.

The Harvard Health Publications has a nice positive blog post on starting cycling again presumably as a senior.

Heidi Godman, Executive Editor of the Harvard Health Letter, states that she loved riding as a kid, but now only rides occasionally.

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“It’s fun, it’s socially oriented, and it gets you outside and exercising,” says Dr. Clare Safran-Norton, a physical therapist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Plus, cycling is an aerobic activity, it’s easy on the joints, and it helps build muscle and bone. Continue reading

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Filed under aging, cardio exercise, cycling, regular bike riding, safe biking, Weight

Time Magazine cover story – Exercise

It’s really thrilling to see stuff we write about here pop up in the popular press. Time has a cover story on exercise in its latest, 12 Sep 2016, issue. Please buy it! I guarantee you will learn valuable information on this important subject.

Mandy Oaklander does a bang up job and it is well worth the cover price if you are not already a Time subscriber.

Before quoting from it, I want to direct you to my Page – Important facts about your brain (and exercise benefits).

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I loved the following: “Eating alone will not keep a man well,” Hippocrates famously wrote. “He must also take exercise.”(my emphasis)

Following is the conclusion of the Time piece:

“Everyone knows exercise is healthy. Now scientists are understanding exactly why. Here are some of the amazing things that happen to a body in motion.

“Increased blood flow to the brain creates new blood vessels. Exercise also triggers the release of chemicals that dull pain and lighten mood.

“Exercise revs up blood flow to the skin, delivering nutrients to the epidermis and helping wounds heal faster.

“The body is better able to burn fat for energy instead of carbs, causing fat cells to shrink.

“Moving quickly makes the heart pump more blood to the body’s tissues, including the muscles. That extra oxygen helps muscles better withstand fatigue.

“Repeated weight-bearing contractions make muscles grow and put pressure on the bones, increasing their density.

“Exercise may protect telomeres, the tiny caps on the ends of chromosomes. This appears to slow the aging of cells.”

Tony

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Filed under cardio exercise, Exercise, exercise and brain health, weight-bearing exercise

Good chance you have sarcopenia …

I remember a short story in high school about a man who happened upon a medical encyclopedia. Reading it, he decided that he was suffering from every malady except housemaid’s knee.

As the ‘one regular guy’ producing this blog, I read a lot on various aspects of living a healthy life. I confess to a temptation to occasionally wander into hypochondria myself.

I recently ran across the term ‘sarcopenia.’ Ever heard of that?  It was a new one to me.

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Here’s what the Mayo Clinic blog  had to say, “It is a simple fact. As we age we lose muscle and strength. There’s even a medical term for this — sarcopenia. It’s derived from the Greek words “sarcos” (flesh) and “penia” (lack of).

“Estimates of how much muscle is lost with age vary from 8 percent to about 50 percent of our muscles. Men seem to lose muscle faster than women. Strength is lost more rapidly than muscle.”

WebMD  says, “Physically inactive people can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass each decade after age 30. Even if you are active, you’ll still have some muscle loss. Continue reading

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Heavier weight not crucial for muscle growth – Study

I am a senior citizen as regular readers know. So, sometimes, I need to scale down exercises to be appropriate for me. There is nothing sadder than an injury sustained while exercising and trying to make yourself healthier.

So, I was pleased to read of the new research from McMaster University is challenging traditional workout wisdom, suggesting that lifting lighter weights many times is as efficient as lifting heavy weights for fewer repetitions.

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Thankfully, you don’t need to mimic Arnold to build your muscles.

 It is the latest in a series of studies that started in 2010, contradicting the decades-old message that the best way to build muscle is to lift heavy weights.

“Fatigue is the great equalizer here,” says Stuart Phillips, senior author on the study and professor in the Department of Kinesiology.  “Lift to the point of exhaustion and it doesn’t matter whether the weights are heavy or light.” Continue reading

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13 Curious facts about bones – Infographic

It’s important to remember that our bones are living tissue as much as our muscles. We need to work them with weight bearing exercise throughout our lives. Aerobic work is fine for our cardiovascular system, but get some weight work in regularly. Happily, going for a walk is weight bearing exercise.

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To read more benefits of walking – Check out my Page – Why you should walk more.

Tony

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You Should Walk More – Infographic

I am a firm believer in walking as an exercise for good health. Although I ride my bike nearly daily and love it as well as the exercise benefits I derive from it, biking is not weight-bearing exercise. Walking is. Your bones benefit from walking,  so you are defending yourself from osteoporosis with every step.

We all need weight-bearing exercise as well as cardio.

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To read further on walking , check out my Page – Why you should walk more.

Tony

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The Best Body-Weight Exercises

If you’re not already doing them, add these exercises to your regimen. They can be performed virtually anywhere.

I like these a lot. Check out How good are push-ups and chin-ups?

Tony

Athletic Performance Training Center

0903_ExercisePullupTwo_200x200[1] Pullup Strength training is an important component of athletic performance improvement, along with sport-specific skill development; nutrition; rest and recovery; and mental preparation.  And, while traditional weight lifting exercises should be part of every athlete’s strength and conditioning program, don’t ignore or underestimate the impact that body-weight exercises can have on your development.

Here are 3 of our favorite body-weight exercises:

  • Pullups work the entire upper body and — performed correctly — lead to improvements in strength.  If you can’t (yet) do a pullup, use a TRX, band, or spotter to assist.  Beginners can also start with the lat pulldown exercise.
  • Pushups are another great upper-body exercise, because they engage the chest, shoulders, back, and arms.  Master the basics first, then modify the exercise by placing medicine balls under your hands, use the TRX, elevate your feet, experiment with different hand positions, wear a weighted vest, or…

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Body Strengthening Yoga Poses – Infographic

Wandering through Pinterest, I ran across another super infographic that I wanted to share with you. Yoga is not a new subject to the blog. I wrote Why Should I Do Yoga? two years ago. One of the best reasons that yoga works for me, a bicycle rider, is that yoga is weight-bearing exercise and while bike riding is superb cardio exercise, it is not weight bearing so does not protect against osteoarthritis.

You can enlarge this by clicking on it

You can enlarge this by clicking on it

To read further on yoga check out: Are There Health Risks to Hot Yoga?

Yoga for Arthritis; Yoga for Seniors
Are There Immediate Benefits to doing Yoga?

Why is Yoga Good for You?

Tony

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Filed under seniors, weight-bearing exercise, yoga

Kettlebell Training

Historically, the kettlebell was first used for elite military training in Russia. It now has gone mainstream; used widely in sports training and general strength training. You can find them in sporting goods stores, and even regular department stores. I actually found mine on sale at Target.

Bite into Nutrition

images-kbell I have been consistently training with a kettlebell for several months now. I have to admit that it was not initially one of my favorite forms of workout.  At first it seemed intimidating and I felt clumsy using it, but once I got the hang of it and embraced the challenge, it became more enjoyable and empowering. Mainly, I do the basic two-handed swing move with it. This morning, I got brave and tried out a kettlebell workout class. It was way more challenging than I thought it would be.  It was a combination of aerobic and strength training moves, all using various sized kettle bells (8 – 25 lbs). One of the great things about the kettlebell, is that it comes in several weight sizes, so you can ease into it and progressively increase the weight level as you go. I am currently able to use a 35 lb…

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What is a New Weapon Against Osteoporosis?

I wrote about the dangers of osteoporosis for both men and women previously citing the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

Generally speaking:
* 1.5 million osteoporotic fractures occur every year
* 10 million Americans suffer from it
* 34 million Americans have low bone mass (osteopenia)
* 40% of white women over 50 will have a hip, spine or wrist fracture in their lifetime
* By 2020 50 over age 50 will have, or be at high risk of developing osteoporosis

You can get all the details at the first link above.

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One of the strongest weapons against osteoporosis is weight-bearing exercise. One of the reasons so many people suffer from the disease, especially seniors, is that they don’t do much weight-bearing exercise. While walking qualifies as some of the lightest weight-bearing exercise, it often isn’t a person’s first choice.

That’s why this morning’s Wall Street Journal article on walking while wearing a weighted vest is so valuable.

Seems that the weighted vest increases the load on your bones and provides extra benefits for someone who is ‘only’ walking. Continue reading

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240713 Lessons learned when exercising in the heat

Keeping up with your exercise schedule can sometimes be a challenge, especially when it is hot. Having lived in this environment for many years, I have naturally adapted to the conditions and made changes in how I exercise during this period.

Tony

Explosivelyfit Strength Training

Lessons learned when exercising in the heat

Right now, in my neck of the woods, it is not uncommon for the temperatures to be in the high 80s and low 90s (Fahrenheit). Although the humidity is relatively low here compared to other parts of our great country, it is still hot.

Keeping up with your exercise schedule can sometimes be a challenge, especially when it is hot. Having lived in this environment for many years, I have naturally adapted to the conditions and made changes in how I exercise during this period.

Lifting in the heat – lift early

The expected temperatures today are going to be hovering around 97° but right now, at 0430, it is a very pleasant 59°. This makes it ideal to head out to the gym get the majority the work out completed before the temperatures get too hot. And since I am an early…

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What are the Mental Benefits of Exercise? – Oleda Baker – Guest Post

Click anywhere to see these full size

Click anywhere to see these full size

As you can see from her photos, Senior Supermodel Oleda Baker is aging magnificently. I interviewed Oleda last December. She is a treasure trove of information on everything this blog stands for, namely weight control, healthy living and healthy aging, so I asked her if she would share some of her ideas with us. She has written 10 books on beauty and health. Her latest, written at the age of 75, Breaking the Age Barrier – Great Looks and Health at Every Age – was released in November 2010 and is available from Amazon or from her website www.oleda.com where she also sells her own line of health and beauty aids.

You might think the most important deterrent to brain cell deterioration is engaging in mind-bending games or doing the daily crossword puzzle. Taxing the brain and learning new skills are excellent activities, but they usually don’t get your heart rate up and pump blood to your brain cells.

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Perhaps the most striking brain research discovery of the last decade is that physical exercise can forestall mental decline. It may even restore memory. Animal studies have shown that aerobic exercise increases capillary development in the brain, increasing blood supply, which carries more oxygen to the brain.

It doesn’t have to be formal exercise at the gym. You can play tennis a couple times a week, ride a bike, or walk a mile each day. A combined program of aerobics and weight training will produce the best results.

Fit people have sharper brains; and people who are out of shape, but then get into shape, sharpen their brains along with their bodies.

It was once thought that brain cells do not regenerate as do other cells of the body, but more modern science learned that neurons do continue to form in the brain, even into old age.

Memory does begin a decline when we reach our 40’s, but the progression is not as steep as originally feared. Indeed, forgetfulness may be due less to brain cell loss than other influences, such as taking care of the kids, the job, paying the bills, doing chores, everyday living all competing for cognitive time.

To keep your brain young you need to give it lots of varied stimulation and challenges. Like a muscle, it needs to be exercised, to “strain the brain,” so to speak. Repeating the same mental functions over and over, such as Sudoku or crossword puzzles or watching television, doesn’t help slow cognitive deterioration. Mental stimulation is as important for your brain as physical exercise is for your body.

Oleda

As so often happens with Oleda’s ideas, they coincide exactly with my own. The only difference is that Oleda has lived longer and more successfully than I have. To read further about the value of exercise to the brain, check out my page Important Facts About Your Brain and Exercise.

Tony

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Filed under aging, dementia, happiness, life challenges, men and healthy eating, men's health, Oleda Baker, Weight

Weight Training Techniques for Seniors

One of my problems with most advice on working with weights is that it is written by young jocks for young jocks. I am a senior citizen and I don’t want to break or tear any parts of my body. If I tried to emulate some of the recommendations or workouts done by you younger guys and gals I think I would end up in the emergency room.

The principles of exercise change for seniors whether it is cardio or resistance work. I have written about seniors doing endurance sports and also seniors lifting weights.

Dr. Anthony Goodman, in the course I took called Lifelong Health, said that seniors should concentrate on using lower weights, but do higher reps because seniors want to strengthen their ligaments and tendons as well as the muscles. Ligaments and tendons weaken as we age and lead to injuries that can really slow you down. Strengthening ligaments can also protect you from common aging problems like Achilles tendon rupture, rotator cuff tears in the shoulder and hip and knee injuries.

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Having said that, I am very pleased to pass on the bottom quarter of a recommendation from Dr. Doug McGuff as reported by Dr. Mercola on his fitness website in January of 2012. Although over a year old, it was news, welcome news, to me. I hope it will be to you, too. Sometimes old news is good news.

Dr. McGuff is explaining super-slow weight lifting. As you will see in his conclusion it is especially helpful for seniors.

Essentially, by aggressively working your muscle to fatigue, you’re stimulating the muscular adaptation that will improve the metabolic capability of the muscle and cause it to grow. McGuff recommends using four or five basic compound movements for your exercise set. These exercises can be done using either free weights or machines. The benefit of using a quality machine is that it will allow you to focus your mind on the effort, as opposed on the movement, because the movement is restricted by the structure of the machine.

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Filed under aging, endurance sports, seniors, Weight, weight-bearing exercise, weight-training