Super Seniors Fitness Solutions

Keys to Living Well, Feeling Great & Enjoying Life

Forget Cholesterol!  April 12, 2016

Filed under: Health,Nutrition — jax allen @ 11:18 am
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Forget Cholesterol

Inflammation’s the Real Enemy
Keeping up with which foods to eat and which ones to avoid could be a full-time job. That’s because scientists continue to learn more about what we put in our bodies.
Some of their latest findings could change your mind about fat.

  
Twenty years ago, doctors told us to stay away from high-fat foods like eggs, bacon, and butter because they raised cholesterol and could lead to heart disease.
America responded and stopped eating fat. In its place, however, we ate more sugar and other carbohydrates.
How did that work out? Not great. As a whole, Americans grew fatter and sicker than before. Scientists back then may have reached the wrong conclusion.
Now a growing number of medical experts say weight gain, heart disease, and other illnesses are not caused by high cholesterol, but by something different: inflammation.

  
That means instead of avoiding foods that raise our cholesterol, we need to avoid foods that cause inflammation.

Cholesterol’s Bad Rap

Dr. Beverly Teter, a lipid biochemist at the University of Maryland, studies how the different kinds of fat in food affect our health.
Teter said scientists wrongly blamed cholesterol for heart disease when they saw high levels of it at a damaged blood vessel. Teter believes the body put the cholesterol there to fix the problem, which was actually caused by inflammation.
“It’s the inflammation in the vessels that start the lesion,” she explained. “The body then sends the cholesterol like a scab to cover over it to protect the blood system and the vessel wall from further damage.”
Research also shows cholesterol can protect against respiratory and gastrointestinal problems, and helps create vitamin D. People with higher cholesterol live longer.
Teter said that’s a scientific fact that she can vouch for personally.
“I come from a family that has, my mother’s side, had naturally high cholesterol. Her cholesterol was between 380 and 420 when I started watching her medical records, and she died at 97,” she said. “So I don’t think that cholesterol was too bad for her.”

Inflammation Producers

Cholesterol is especially important in the brain, which contains more cholesterol than any other organ and needs it in order for a message to get passed from one brain cell to another.
Therefore, Teter said when it comes to food choices, don’t worry if it raises your cholesterol. Focus your attention instead on whether it reduces inflammation.
When choosing which fats to eat, pick the ones that are high in Omega 3 fats and also choose natural saturated fats. On the other hand, stay away from the fats that lead to inflammation, such as trans fats and Omega 6 fats.

  

How to you tell the healthy Omega 3s from the unhealthy Omega 6 fats? Vegetable oils and mayonnaise contain Omega 6 fats, so be careful with how much you consume.

  

Ideally, Omega 6 fats are healthy but only when consumed in the same amount as Omega 3 fats. The typical American, however, consumes 15 times more Omega 6 fats than Omega 3s. This imbalance creates inflammation.
So cut back on the Omega 6s and increase your consumption of Omega 3s. These are in foods like olive oil and avocados.
Cold water fish is an excellent source of Omega 3 fat, particularly DHA, which is a super brain booster. One great way to make sure you’re getting enough Omega 3, specifically DHA, is by taking a fish oil supplement. Doctors recommend one that contains at least 750 mg of DHA daily.

Butter is Better

At one time dieticians considered margarine, which is a trans fat, heart healthy. Doctors now say a better choice is butter.
In the last 20 years, trans fats have become the ingredient of choice for almost all processed foods. You can tell something contains trans fat if you see the word “hydrogenated” in the list of ingredients.
Saturated fats have really gotten a bad reputation over the last couple of decades. But they are not as bad as they have been made out to be. In fact, doctors recommend eating some saturated fats every day, such as coconut oil.
This saturated fat fights colds and the flu and has even reversed the symptoms of Alzheimers, ALS and Parkinson’s Disease in some people.

Say ‘No’ to Inflammation

You should also remember those non-fat foods that make us fat and increase inflammation contain sugar and refined carbohydrates. Anything containing high fructose corn syrup or other sugars leads to inflammation.
So do grains, especially refined grains such as white bread, pasta, rice, and so on.
So when it comes to your health, inflammation beats out cholesterol as the new enemy. Take it on by saying “yes” to foods like fish and coconut oil, and “no” to sugar and carbohydrates, and dangerous trans fats.
*Originally aired February 1, 2013.

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Fitness After 50? April 9, 2016

Filed under: Fitness,Health — jax allen @ 4:40 pm
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Fitness After 50?It’s always going to be a work in progress, but just because the big 50 or even 60 is looming doesn’t mean you should back off your sport or workout routine. 

  
Workout Smart!

What is important is that you focus on what works, not what big box gyms have conned you into doing which is probably ineffective, time consuming and boring. Since the 90’s most gyms and, sadly, many instructors have plonked their members on cardio equipment for hours every week giving false promises about calorie burning and fat loss. 

I’ve worked in gyms for over 30 years and there was a time when I would advise members to step, cycle and row their way through long workouts with maybe a little weight or resistance training. But, in 1994 I attended an National Tutor update and we were shown study after study that proved fitness and shape change was not best achieved by long duration cardio training. 

Since then I have changed the way I plan personal and group sessions. 

Always encouraging clients to work outside their comfort zone. To shorten and intensify their sessions. I’ve gradually moved away from the Aerobic dance, Zumba & Exercise to music style of training – I know it doesn’t control body fat or promote lean shapely muscle and both are even more important as the years fly by. 
  

  
In 2009 I discovered HIIT high intensity interval training. This radically changed how I train my clients. Even my Super Seniors find themselves doing short intense segments within their workouts, making muscles work hard does everything you need to promote health and fitness, and without grinding away delicate and precious joints. 
50 seems like a long time ago now! And 60…..

Looking forward to it and to taking my clients along with me. 

Shorter workouts that change EVERYTIME, that challenge Balance, Strength, Stamina and Suppleness plus a little complexity to get our brains involved too. Add great music and it’s not working out its having FUN! 

So next time you find yourself thinking about cutting back and easing off because you’re 40, 45, 50 or more DONT! 

Find a trainer that understands, that is a role model and work with them! 

Train Smart

Eat Clean

Feel Great
Jax 

 

Female Hormone Basics – What, When, Why….. March 11, 2016

Filed under: Health,Senior Moments — jax allen @ 7:58 am
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Read the entire article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/society-for-womens-health-research/hormones-from-puberty-to-post-menopause_b_9409894.html

 

Study – exercise Means Better Memory November 30, 2015

Filed under: Fitness,Health — jax allen @ 11:00 pm
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Another study shows exercise means better memory for senior citizens



Many studies find fitness equals better mental ability – this one links it mostly to long-term memory

By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com

Nov. 24, 2015 – A new study released today declares that older adults who take more steps than most by walking or jogging performed better on memory tasks. Really, how could this be news? It is just another way of looking at physical fitness and how it enhances memory and cognitive ability. But, this one does find a new twist.

 As the editor of SeniorJournal.com for 16 years I have reported on dozens of studies that have come up with the same result – physical fitness, which can be obtained in many ways, helps people stay mentally fit as they age.

I’m not complaining but I am declaring this is an established reality – exercise equals better mental performance as people age. 

This research started with the question, “Could staying physically active improve quality of life by delaying cognitive decline and prolonging an independent lifestyle?”

 

“Absolutely,” is the answer I could have provided before their study. It has been proven in dozens of studies – maybe hundreds – that primarily have varied only by the technique used to gain the physical fitness – running, walking, swimming, weight-lifting, dancing, hula hoop, etc.





The differences in this study is it looked at groups of both young and old adults. Which leadsthem to look at long-term versus short-term memory.

The report appears online in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.

The study included 29 young adults (ages 18-31) and 31 older adults (ages 55-82) who wore a small device called an ActiGraph, which recorded information including how many steps each took, how vigorous the steps were and how much time it involved. These are used in many, many studies of physical exercise.

Participants also completed neuropsychological testing to assess their memory, planning and problem-solving abilities. 

In addition to standardized neuropsychological tasks of executive function (planning and organization abilities) and long-term memory, participants engaged in a laboratory task in which they had to learn face-name associations. 

The researchers found that older adults who took more steps per day had better memory performance. 

And, what will appeal to many elderly, the association between the number of steps taken was strongest with a task that required recalling which name went with a person’s face – the same type of everyday task that older adults often have difficulty with. 

In young adults, the number of steps taken was not associated with memory performance.

It is long-term memory that is improved by activity

This lead them to the conclusion that the effects of physical activity extend to long-term memory – the same type of memory that is negatively impacted by aging and neurodegenerative dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease. 

”Our findings that physical activity is positively associated with memory is appealing for a variety of reasons. Everyone knows that physical activity is a critical component to ward off obesity and cardiovascular-related disease. Knowing that a lack of physical activity may negatively impact one’s memory abilities will be an additional piece of information to motivate folks to stay more active,” explained corresponding author Scott Hayes, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine and the Associate Director of the Neuroimaging Research for Veterans Center at the VA Boston Healthcare System.

The authors point out that staying physically active can take a variety of forms from formal exercise programs to small changes, such as walking or taking the stairs. 

“More research is needed to explore the specific mechanisms of how physical activity may positively impact brain structure and function as well as to clarify the impact of specific exercise programs (e.g., strength, aerobic, or combined training) or dose of exercise (frequency, intensity, duration) on a range of cognitive functions,” added Hayes.

The authors say that the objective measurement of physical activity was a key component of their study, because the majority of studies to date have used self-report questionnaires, which can be impacted by memory failures or biases.

This work was supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Rehabilitation Research & Development Service and Clinical Science Research & Development Service [MV]. Assistance with participant recruitment was provided by the Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (P50-AG005134) and Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center (P30-AG13846).



 

Can Sage Help With Night Sweats? November 24, 2015

Filed under: Health,Senior Moments — jax allen @ 9:34 pm
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Can Sage Help Night Sweats?

Around three-quarters of all menopausal women suffer from night sweats. They can be one of the most disruptive symptoms of menopause because they disturb a woman’s sleep, which may lead to other problems, such as fatiguestress, and irritability. So, what’s the best way 

to manage night sweats? For some, sage has helped to alleviate night sweats and other menopausal symptoms.

How Does Sage Help Night Sweats?

Sage (Salvia officinalis), a member of the mint family, has been used as a medicinal and culinary herb for thousands of years. When it comes to menopause, modern studies have shown that sage helps to relieve both the frequency and severity of certain symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats and dizziness. Though not completely understood, the estrogenic compounds found within this herb are unmistakably effective at regulating hormone imbalance. In this regard, it has also been used to treat irregular periods, and many women find that it helps the body make the transition through hormonal change.

Sage makes an excellent natural remedy, because along with reducing sweating, this herb can provide a relaxing, tranquilizing effect – thus making sleep drier, deeper, and sweeter.

Other Benefits of Sage

Sage is an incredibly multifunctional herb and may provide additional benefits, especially when it comes to brain function and cognition. Thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action, sage may be excellent for:

Delays the onset of Alzheimers disease

Improving thinking and learning in those with Alzheimers

Boosting mood

Improving mental performance in the young

Heightening memory and attention in older adults

Amazingly, its list of benefits continues. Sage is also astringent, antiseptic, stomachic, and tonic, and thus used to soothe scratchy throats, cure canker sores and tender gums, treat asthma, relieve painful bites and stings, clear mucous, and encourage proper digestion.

Side Effects of Sage

Just like any herb or medicine, sage may come with some potential risks. Though considered safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, taking sage in larger, medicinal amounts may result in restlessness, wheezing, vomiting, vertigo, rapid heart rate, tremors, seizures, and kidney damage. It can also irritate the skin in those sensitive to sage.

To avoid the risk of adverse side effects, it is best to consume sage only in the recommended amounts. As an essential oil, the dosage should not exceed 12 drops per day.

More Information

Sage’s anti-sweating and relaxation properties can make it a great herbal supplement for managing night sweats. 


 

Armchair Athlete? November 12, 2015

Filed under: Fitness,Health,Nutrition — jax allen @ 8:35 am
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 Adapted from an article ….

Sports Performance Bulletin

Issue No. 225, November 9, 2015

  
This article is very interesting…. I know what he means. I’ve been teaching multiple fitness classes most days since 1983, some days it feels like 1883! 

Maintaining muscle mass, good quality sleep and eating protein IS key! 

Tips for the Ageing (armchair) Athlete 

From

David Joyce

Editor, Sports Performance Bulletin

Tips for the ageing athlete 

  
One of the reasons I love working in sport is that you are constantly surrounded by young people and their questionable fashion, language and music! I firmly believe that you’re only as old as you want to be, and that there’s a marked difference between being aged and being old.
Age is something that happens due to the inexorable passing of time, and there are certain strategies that we can implement to ensure that we lessen the decay that Father Time wants to impart.
Firstly, a decline in muscle power doesn’t just creep up. It hits you square in the face. A fall that leads to a fractured hip is one of the biggest causes of so-called age-related hospital admissions in the Western World. We know, that a huge part of this stems back to poor muscle strength and power.
So, is there anything we can do about this? Of course there is! 
You are never too old to lift heavy things! Sure, there may be a decline in what you can lift when you’re 80 compared to when you’re 35, but there is stacks of scientific research that has been done that demonstrates that even 90 year-olds can gain both muscle size and strength following a targeted strength programme. 
The most effective exercises are the ones that you do, so, in other words, any exercise that has an overload demand attached to it will develop strength. Should we teach a 60 year old to power clean if they’ve never done it before? Possibly not, because this complex lift is as much about skill as it is about strength, but if the 60 year old is well trained in its technique, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t continue to lift in this manner. 
Often, the time it takes to recover following a strength session is longer as we get older. This needs to be taken into account when planning training, in particular taking care to space out plyometric work, even for the masters athlete that is well attuned to this activity. 
In terms of nutrition, there is now plenty of evidence that demonstrates the effectiveness of a diet high in protein being especially important for the mature athlete, to counteract the sarcopaenia (muscle fibre loss) that coincides with increasing number of candles on the birthday cake.

Interesting…. I know what he means. I’ve been teaching multiple fitness classes most days since 1983, some days it feels like 1883! 

Maintaining muscle mass, good quality sleep and eating protein IS key! 

Jax  

 

Asthma Drug Cures Ageing? October 29, 2015

Filed under: Asthma Drug Ageing Cure,Health — jax allen @ 8:37 am
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An inexpensive drug used to prevent asthma attacks in children and adults may help to rejuvenate ageing brains, according to a study in rats.  
Researchers found that a six week course of the drug, montelukast, improved memory and learning in older rodents, with their performance in cognitive tests nearly matching that of much younger animals.
The drug seems to work through a combination of effects that reduce inflammation in the brain and encourage the growth of fresh neurons in a key region called the hippocampus. The drug did not improve the performance of young animals in the study.
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Scientists now hope to start a clinical trial in patients with dementia to see if the drug has similar beneficial effects on people’s brains. But researchers may struggle to take the drug into large human trials because it is off-patent and so difficult for a funder to recoup costs from.
As people age, their brains start to function less well. The gradual loss of memory and cognitive skills goes hand in hand with a slowdown in the growth of new brain cells and an increase in inflammation in the brain. 
Ludwig Aigner at Paracelsus Medical University in Salzburg, Austria, decided to look at the effects of montelukast on the ageing brain after another group of scientists found that eotaxin, an inflammatory molecule involved in asthma, built up in the blood of older people and seemed to contribute to cognitive decline.
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Aigner and his colleagues wondered if other biological pathways linked to asthma, or a number of different inflammatory conditions in the body, might also have an impact on brain function by driving up inflammation and hampering the growth of fresh brain cells. They chose montelukast because it blocks inflammation in asthma, and might possibly do the same in the brain too.
They gave daily doses of montelukast to four-month-old rats and 20-month-old rats, the latter equivalent in age to 65 to 70-year-old humans. The older rats did not have a rodent form of dementia, but showed the same decline in brain agility that humans experience with age.
To start, groups of rats were trained to find a submerged platform in a water pool. After five days, older rodents were still hazy about the location of the platform, but those given the drug could find it almost as well as younger animals.
After a two day break from training, the rats were again lowered into the water pool and went looking for the platform. Again, older rodents were bad at remembering where the platform was, but those on the drug seemed to have better memories, and found the platform nearly as quickly as younger animals.
Further tests looked at how animals behaved when familiar objects in their cages were moved around. Young animals spend more time checking out moved objects, which researchers link to them having a better memory of their original position. When older rodents had the drug, they behaved in a similar way.
The scientists went on to look at sections of the rats’ brains and found that older animals given the drugs had more freshly-grown neurons than their counterparts that only received the placebo. They also had less obvious inflammation in their brains.
“The important thing is that while we saw effects on neurogenesis, we also saw effects on other systems in the brain. The drug reduces neural inflammation in the brain. But we also looked at that blood-brain barrier and that is partially restored. We know in aged brains that the blood-brain barrier is leaky and that contributes to neural inflammation,” said Aigner.
“Neurodegenerative diseases are very complex, but what many people have done in last decade is focus on one particular mechanism to cure a disease. I don’t think that will ever work. If we have a drug that affects various different mechanisms then we might have a better chance,” he added.
Doug Brown, director of research and development for the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We know that inflammation in the brain may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease, and so finding ways to treat this is a potential avenue for researchers. It is encouraging that an existing treatment for asthma has been found to improve memory in older rats by reducing inflammation in the brain, yet it is much too early to say what other benefits this drug may have in people.
“The approach of repurposing existing drugs is a promising one as it could mean new treatments for dementia become available in half of the time of a standard drug – bringing hope to hundreds of thousands. Through our drug discovery programme, Alzheimer’s Society is currently co-funding a clinical trial into the arthritis drug Etanercept, which could work in a similar way by reducing inflammation in the brain.”