Super Seniors Fitness Solutions

Keys to Living Well, Feeling Great & Enjoying Life

Top Tips to Avoid Menopausal Heart Disease June 20, 2016

Filed under: Health,Uncategorized — jax allen @ 9:56 pm
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Top Tips to Avoid Menopausal Heart DiseaseHeart disease is the leading cause of death among women so taking care of it through diet, exercise and bioidentical natural progesterone will all help your heart stay healthy.

June 14, 2016  

 

Once she reaches the age of 65 a woman’s rate of heart disease has caught up with that of men so it makes sense to be proactive and minimise your risk factors for a long and healthy life.
Risk Factors:
The biggest risk factors are smoking, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, being overweight and having an unhealthy diet. They are also risk factors for a number of other serious health conditions including diabetes so reducing them will improve your health profile immediately.
It is a common misconception that women suffer exactly the same type of heart disease as men, but yet again there is a real difference between the sexes. Women post-menopause can have narrowing of the arteries and a build-up of deposits just like men do, but it is much more common for the cause of the heart attack to be spasm of the coronary arteries. Research suggests that the oestrogen component of HRT may aggravate coronary artery spasm, where bioidentical natural progesterone will relieve it.
What to do to minimize your risk:
You already know to eat a varied, healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables but there is now a new player in the mix. Interesting new research from Malmo in Sweden found that women whose diets were high in fibre had almost 25 percent lower risk of heart disease than women whose diets were low in it. The best fibre source is fruit and vegetables, rather than bread, so you are getting multiple health benefits as well as heart protecton.
A real health boost will be yours if you also follow an anti-inflammatory diet with lots of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants – including vitamins A and C – plus the minerals potassium and magnesium.
Good news if you love chocolate – and who doesn’t – because cocoa has been validated as having these cardiovascular benefits:
• Inhibits the oxidation of LDL
• Improves endothelial function
• Inhibits platelet activation
• Reduces LDL
• Increases HDL
• Increases insulin sensitivity
• Reduces inflammatory proteins
• Lowers blood pressure
Of course these are not just found in chocolate – you will get the same benefits in tea, fruit, vegetables and red wine so you can balance out your chocolate intake! The chocolate health winner though is raw chocolate and you can add it to smoothies, drinks and shakes. If you want to chew on a bar then go for dark (plain) chocolate with a high cocoa content of at least 75%.
Regular, enjoyable, exercise is also key and if it is weight bearing it will help with osteoporosis too.
Stress affects every single part of your body and if you are regularly stressed, and on a long-term basis, then this is a serious risk factor and needs to be addressed. Find ways to reduce the pressure whether that is taking a walk, talking to a friend or taking up a hobby. Singing, dancing, meditation are all good ways to relax – just find what suits you and stick to it.
Summary:
Tackling your diet, exercise regime and stress levels will make a huge difference to your risk of heart disease. There is also another two other things you can do to protect your heart.
It has been known for many years that progesterone is effective in relaxing coronary arteries which have gone into spasm, and that excess oestrogen can in fact cause spasm. As we have seen, most menopausal women’s heart attacks are due to heart spasm so this is a simple and effective preventive measure to avoid a potentially fatal heart attack.
Oestrogen dominance is also linked to heart disease so tackling that as well will give you a good healthy way to take care of you heart.
More information
http://www.bio-hormone-health.com/2016/01/18/3-ways-to-reduce-high-blood-pressure/
http://www.bio-hormone-health.com/2016/02/05/top-tips-to-avoid-menopausal-heart-disease/

http://www.bio-hormone-health.com/2016/03/21/what-signs-of-oestrogen-dominance-do-you-have/

 

Hormone Injection Promotes Fitness in Older Adults June 14, 2016

Filed under: Fitness,Health,Uncategorized — jax allen @ 10:21 pm
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Osteocalcin increases muscle performance, but naturally declines as we age – but injections can reverse the age-related exercise capacity declinein mice. 


 Levels of the hormone osteocalcin naturally decline as we age
A hormone jab could get the elderly exercising like they were years younger, a new study found.
During exercise the bones produce a hormone called osteocalcin that increases muscle performance.
But levels of the hormone naturally decline as we age, beginning from the age of 30 in women and 50 in men.
A study by Columbia University Medical Centre identified the first bone-derived hormone known to affect exercise capacity.
It also showed osteocalcin injections can reverse the age-related exercise capacity decline in mice and the findings apply to humans.
Geneticist Professor Dr Gerard Karsenty said: “Our bones are making a hormone called osteocalcin that provides an explanation for why we can exercise.

 

 Osteocalcin injections ‘can reverse the age-related exercise capacity decline’

“The hormone is powerful enough to reconstitute, in older animals, the muscle function of young animals.
“Muscles and bones are close to each other, but it had never been shown before that bone actually influences muscle in any way.”
The senior author noted during exercise in mice and humans, the levels of osteocalcin in the blood increase depending on how old the organism is.
He observed that in three-month-old adult mice, osteocalcin levels spiked approximately four times the amount that the levels in 12-month-old mice did when the rodents ran for 40 minutes on a treadmill.
The three-month-old mice could run for about 1,200 meters before becoming exhausted, while the 12-month-old mice could only run half of that distance.


“This may be one way to treat age-related decline in muscle function in humans”

To investigate whether osteocalcin levels were affecting exercise performance, Prof Karsenty tested mice genetically engineered so the hormone couldn’t signal properly in their muscles.
Without osteocalcin muscle signalling, the mice ran 20 to 30 per cent less time and distance than their healthy counterparts before reaching exhaustion.
Surprisingly, says Karsenty, when healthy mice that were 12 and 15 months old, and whose osteocalcin levels had naturally decreased with age, were injected with osteocalcin, their running performance matched that of the healthy three-month-old mice.
Read more: Secret to ‘eternal youth’ found in GINGER gene that makes you look two years younger
The older mice were able to run about 1,200 meters before becoming exhausted.
Prof Karsenty said: “It was extremely surprising that a single injection of osteocalcin in a 12-month-old mouse could completely restore its muscle function to that of a three-month-old mouse.”
Normal “resting” levels of osteocalcin in the blood also declined with age in rhesus monkeys and humans, with the decline occurring about 15 to 20 years sooner in women than in men.
It has never been shown that bone actually influences muscle “in any way”

He added: “If you look backwards during evolution, men were much more active than women – for example, in hunting and fishing.
“That may be an explanation for why the decrease in circulating osteocalcin occurs later in men than in women.
The study also measured levels of glycogen, glucose, and acylcarnitines – an indicator of fatty-acid use – in mice with and without osteocalcin to determine the cellular mechanisms behind osteocalcin’s effects.
It found the hormone helps muscle fibres uptake and catabolize glucose and fatty acids as nutrients during exercise.
Prof Karsenty added: “It’s never been shown before that bone actually influences muscle in any way
“Osteocalcin is not the only hormone responsible for adaptation to exercise in mice and humans, but it is the only known bone-derived hormone that increases exercise capacity.
“This may be one way to treat age-related decline in muscle function in humans.”
The study was published in the journal Cell Metabolism.

 

Sample Heart Healthy Menu June 1, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — jax allen @ 4:47 pm

Copy and paste this link into your browser to get some great advice from The Dieticians of Canada. 
http://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Heart-Health/Heart-Healthy-Eating–Sample-Menu.aspx
Enjoy. Jax 

 

Fact – Exercise to stimulate your brain activity and reduce mental ageing May 30, 2016

Filed under: Fitness,Health,Uncategorized — jax allen @ 2:24 pm
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For years, science has proved that physical activities and exercise have immeasurable benefits for one’s health.
And now a new study published by Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology suggests that exercise can also benefit your mental health.
The study found that exercise stimulates brain activity and reduces mental ageing by about 10 years among senior citizens.
According to a report, the research tapped 900 adults with the average age of 71 to fill out a survey which determined how often and how long they had engaged in physical activity in the previous two weeks at the time of the poll.
Each of the participants underwent memory and thinking evaluations as well as an MRI. They were then asked to undergo the same test again five years later to compare the data.
“We found that people who exercise moderately or heavily had a reduced risk of memory loss and what we call executive function, equivalent to about 10 years,” said Dr. Mitchell Elkind, professor of neurology and epidemiology at New York Presbyterian/Columbia University.

“Calisthenics several times a week, playing handball or tennis, even moderate amounts of activity can be a benefit,” Elkind, who co-authored the study, added.
Aside from reducing mental aging among senior citizens, exercise has been found to be beneficial for people of all ages.

According to an article by the Mayo Clinic, exercise helps people maintain healthy weight because physical activities burn calories. Exercise also prevents illnesses like stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, certain types of cancer, and arthritis.
Physical activities also help stimulate brain chemicals and induce good mood. It boosts energy as exercise delivers more oxygen and nutrients to the tissues to help the cardiovascular system to work better.

The Mayo Clinic asserts that exercise also promotes better sleep and even a better sex life.
“Exercise and physical activity are a great way to feel better, gain health benefits and have fun. As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day,” it concluded, with a caveat for those who have not engaged in physical activities for a long time or for those suffering from health conditions to seek the guidance of their physicians first. 

 

Pilates and Multiple Sclerosis May 26, 2016

Filed under: Fitness,Health,Senior Moments — jax allen @ 7:47 am
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Pilates and Multiple SclerosisSit & Be Fit : Monday & Friday 11:30 – 12:15

Elmscroft Community Centre Gloucester UK

£3 per session Annual membership £10

At Take Heart we have 2 exercise sessions every week suitable to anyone with mobility, breathing or other health issues where a chair based Pilates programme would improve their wellbeing. 

If you have MS some exercises can fire up your Lhermittes (the spine buzzing sensation MSers often experience when bending the head down toward the chest). Others can make you too hot and bring on your symptoms. So, finding the right balance of mobility, strength and stretching is important. 

 

Recommendations:

We have a few tips to keep in mind when you start your Pilates program.

1) I know, I know, you hear this all the time, but it’s smart to first talk to your primary care physician and/or your neurologist.

2) Try out a class at your local gym or Pilates studio. Then try another class with a different instructor. And then try one more class with a different instructor still. Go back to the one you like best and who best fits your exercise style and needs. Some instructors have ungodly challenging classes while others are so effortless that you might as well be taking a nap.

3) Pay attention to your workout room and class times. If heat gives you problems, choose a gym that keeps their rooms on the cool side and aim for morning sessions when these areas tend be cooler. Additionally, classes during off times are less crowded meaning fewer bodies to generate heat.

4) Go at your own pace. If a certain exercise bothers you–your Lhermittes gets fired up, you get too hot, whatever–take a break. Your Pilates instructor can suggest alternative positions that would work better for you. By the same token, if you feel you are not challenged enough, ask the instructor to show you a more difficult technique.

5) For those on tight budgets (or tight timeframes), you can practice Pilates at home once you are comfortable with traditional Pilates movements learned at your classes. It helps to have a yoga/Pilates mat and we’d advise a DVD or book to help jog your memory. 

ActiveMSers Bottom Line: Pilates has the potential to help those with multiple sclerosis in many common problem areas: balance, body awareness, stress, spasticity, and strength to name just a few. As a refreshing mind/body workout, it’s a great alternative–or accompaniment–to tai chi and yoga. Physical therapists often recommend Pilates to help rehabilitate injuries since it incorporates low-impact movements in a gentle, graceful manner: “By emphasizing proper breathing, correct spinal and pelvic alignment, and complete concentration on smooth, flowing movement, you become acutely aware of how your body feels, where it is in space, and how to control its movement.” Give it a shot.
We, at Take Heart, are a friendly social group, we always arrive early to catch up with each other and have refreshments from 10:45. Maybe, join us for a coffee and a biscuit or two. You are sure to feel welcome. 

For a FREETrial call 

Niel on 07715 647472

Or Ernie on 07899 851078

Or email me jaxallenfitness@gmail.com

Enjoy LIFE -Have ENERGY – Stay INDEPENDENT

 

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.

 

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

 

So, 50 is the new 23! February 12, 2016

Filed under: Senior Moments — jax allen @ 2:13 pm
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So 50 is the new 23!

I heard on BBCBreakfast this morning that 50 is the new 23.
That makes me about 31! Firstly in my 20’s I never even imagined  being 58. Secondly, I don’t think I want to be 31 again.
My thirties were all about ‘juggling’, pregnancy, school runs, running a business, trying to keep a family together…. Phew, I’m tired just thinking about it. 
I prefer my 50’s, I have finally learned to say No!
I no longer waste my time with friends that steal my bliss – you know the ones – the moaners, the groaners, the ‘fun sponge’ that kills the mood wherever they go.
Sure, I wouldn’t mind another crack at my 40’s, but I’d definitely not want to go back to my 20’s and definitely not now. It’s so difficult for young people to get their adult lives started. Trying to live while saving for a house deposit, insuring a car to get to work, trying to get a job with a wage high enough to live on. 
 
No, I like being in my 50’s. Enough energy and good health to enjoy pretty much anything that comes my way. Yes, that’s because as my friend Jane says ” we’ve worked at it” 
We’ve both exercised, eaten well, never smoked etc. 

Another friend, Claire, tells me that I’m ‘an early adopter’ apparently that means I’ll give most things a go! That’s something wouldn’t do in my 20’s.
 

Our favourite cafe ” Pope & prosecco” in Rome



On top a tour bus around Rome the beginning of a fab week thanks to ‘Wowcher’ never imagined the holiday would be that good.



A fantastic lunch spot on one of the islands near Venice – found by accident while chatting to another traveller on a water bus. Guggenheim in the morning, joining an Italian wedding after lunch! Another fabulous bonus day to enjoy!



Not a bad view from my “morning Yoga” balcony in Barbados. 


Saying Yes is also easier now, I find myself getting ready for a surprise holiday to Dubai!  A friend was let down by her travelling companion and so when I was offered the chance I jumped at it. 
A couple of years ago I found myself in Barbados following a similar opportunity. 
I think my moto should be ‘ something always turns up!’ It usually does. 
Let’s see what this afternoon brings, whatever age I’m supposed to be! 
Jax 
 

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).