Super Seniors Fitness Solutions

Keys to Living Well, Feeling Great & Enjoying Life

Does the Same Exercise Work At Any Age? July 15, 2016

Filed under: Fitness,Health,Uncategorized — jax allen @ 6:19 pm
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Body is very youthful, resilient, and has not experienced pain from previous injuries yet. Risk tolerance is higher and should be kept in check, while continuously pushing limits and maintaining safety. This is the era for body design.


Body is extremely capable and muscle is easiest to grow; rather than focus on ‘impact’-based activities, we’re going to focus on joint stability, core strength, and developing a ‘life’ muscle base. This way, your metabolism stays high for a very long time to come.

Physical endurance, speed maintenance, and youthful aging become the priorities. Working on the ‘inside’ of your body becomes more important than ever before, and you experience the consequences of years of prolonged sitting, standing, or repetitive motions you’ve done at work and at home. Counter-acting aging becomes the highest priority to maintain and improve the quality of your life, and time is more of a factor than ever before.

This is the era that requires you re-build strength. Your metabolism is naturally slowing down, hormonal changes related to aging are taking place in both genders, and anti-aging exercise, nutrition, and mindset become the focal points of life, rather than career or education. This is the peek of your career, the onset of golden years, and the moment that makes you want to give back and teach others. The example you set now is one others will live by for years to come.

Body, figure, balance, pain elimination. Time to ‘tune in’ your body, activate as much muscle as possible, and take your body slightly out of the comfort zone every day, so you can move like a kid again.

Having just completed a second Instructor training course for the ageing population I know that although generally any movement and activity will promote health and wellbeing at any age. 

What I have learnt over a thirty year career working with adults of all ages, is that those clients that exercise in a meaningful way,  regularly more than 3 times a week are in much better shape than those that use increasing age as a reason NOT to exercise. 

The technical side of exercise programming for me is about getting my older clients, those over 40, off the treadmill, cycle, stepper and rower.  Then persuading them to pick up some weights or a restance band on a regular basis. Everything falls into place when you maintain or increase your lean muscle mass.

 It is absolutely true that you can gain and regain fitness at any age. 

Join a specialist gym – where the trainers understand ageing, understand that being over 50 doesn’t mean that you’re disabled and weak, or that you will benefit from a nice easy walk on a treadmill for an hour! 

Find an experienced and educated trainer – who will plan a strength training program for you, to maintain important postural muscles and promote healthy movement and wellbeing. 

Independence, Falling & Joints – the correct exercises will maintain your independent lifestyle, prevent you falling or just as important your fear of falling. 

The right trainer will also advise you how to improve your nutrition and how best to keep your joint moving too. 

Specialist Health Clubs are popping up all over,  but your local community centre or village hall will have something fun and active for you to join in. Buy a dog, borrow a dog, join a walking group – just DO  something EVERY DAY!!

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Exercise CAN Reduce Cancer Risk!  June 28, 2016

Filed under: Fitness,Health — jax allen @ 8:15 am
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Study finds exercise can reduce risk of cancerJun 27 2016 8:00 am


Lowcountry Senior Center fitness instructor Aleshia Parrish leads a group of seniors through a recent Zumba class. PHOTOGRAPHS BY BRAD NETTLES/STAFF

The risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer, colon cancer and about a dozen others can be reduced by staying physically active, according to a recent study.
The findings are backed by the World Cancer Research Fund, which estimates that about 20 percent of all cancers diagnosed in the U.S. are related to body fatness, physical inactivity, excess alcohol consumption and poor nutrition.

“We know that weight and body mass index has been linked to cancer, so it makes sense that taking care of your body can be a benefit,” said Aleshia Parrish, a manager and aerobics instructor at the Lowcountry Senior Center.

Parrish said it’s important for people of all ages to stay active because some conditions, such as cancer and other ailments, can appear at any time.

Parrish’s class on Wednesday morning had more than two dozen participants, including Lillie Padgette, a 94-year-old local resident who said she’s been working out consistently for about a decade.
Another participant, Cheryl Townsend, has been taking organized exercise classes for nearly 25 years and says she also isn’t surprised about the findings in the study.
“Exercise lowers blood pressure, takes away a lot of stress and does so many other great things. So I have no doubt that it helps reduce cancer, too,” she said.
Researchers at the National Cancer Institute reported their findings in May after spending 11 years working with other researchers in the United States and abroad.
The group collected data on 1.4 million participants, ages 19 to 98, and examined a broad range of cancers, including rare malignancies.
Participants routinely reported their physical activities and body mass index. They also were tracked through cancer registries to determine if they were diagnosed during the study’s time frame.
Researchers found that leisure-time physical activity, such as walking or aerobics, is associated with a lower risk of colon, breast and endometrial cancers. The greatest risk reductions were found in gastric cardia, kidney cancer and myeloid leukemia.


The risk of being diagnosed with head and neck cancers, myeloma, bladder cancer, lung cancer and rectal cancer can also be reduced through exercise, the researchers determined.
Specifically for colon cancer, the National Cancer Institute states on its website that studies consistently have found that adults who increase their physical activity, either in intensity, duration or frequency, can reduce their risk by 30 to 40 percent.


“The key message is that the results suggest that physical activity has a role in population-wide cancer prevention,” said Steven Moore, one of the researchers involved in the study.
 

 

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.

 

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. 

 

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 

 

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).



 

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