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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Why is Exercise Important for Menopausal Women? June 29, 2016

Why is exercise important for menopausal women?
Women go through so many hormonal changes in their life and staying positive and living a healthy, active lifestyle can help them cope better with the changes, both physically and mentally.
What specific issues will exercise address?
A healthy, active lifestyle as you age can help counter ageing effects such as muscle loss, decreased bone density and decreased joint mobility. Bone loss during menopause is always a concern, so following a balanced plan which includes moderate impact exercises can help. As hormones change, many women also find that they gain weight. Being active, combined with healthy nutrition can help with weight loss and weight maintenance. Many people believe that as we age, our need for activity diminishes but, the older we become, the more focused we must be on staying active so that we can have good overall health.
What are the other benefits?
The benefits of being active go far beyond the physical. Exercising releases endorphins that make you feel good; sweating and improved circulation give your skin a youthful post exercise glow and although we can’t stop the ageing process, building lean muscle mass and promoting bone density can help counteract nature’s plan. Exercise is wonderful for all stages of life but especially during a period when women need a confidence boost and some stress relief.
Can exercise reduce menopausal symptoms?
I believe that exercise can reduce stress and feelings of anxiety as well as combat the feeling of being tired which often accompanies menopause. Exercise can help you to feel energised, positive and in control.
How often should they exercise?
How much exercise you need depends on your overall goal. For weight-loss and general health, 150 minutes (or about 30 minutes, five times a week) of moderate to vigorous physical activity a week may be enough. Although a workout time of 30 minutes is adequate, I believe it’s best to schedule for a slightly longer duration of approximately 50-60 minutes each day. Allocating an extra 20-30 minutes will allow adequate time for a warm up and cool down as well as time to write in an exercise journal or prepare a healthy post exercise snack. Exercise produces the best results when you are consistent in your routine. It should be part of an overall wellness strategy to improve your life. Thus, your activity plans should not be something that stresses you out. It’s counter-productive if you have to rush off right after your exercise routine because it somehow spoils the stress relieving effects.
Why is strength training important for menopausal women?
As part of the ageing process and the hormonal changes that take place, women naturally lose muscle mass which can negatively affect their metabolism, how they feel and how they look. Whether you are trying to lose or gain weight or maintain your current body composition, strength training can help you to achieve your body-focused goals while improving the way you feel. The benefits of strength training include weight loss, increased lean body mass and improved strength as the training adaptations that happen in the body as a result of strength training can greatly enhance the activities of daily living, such as lifting, standing, walking and enjoying simple activities. If you love to play sports, strength training can also help you to improve your overall performance. Training for strength does not have to mean lifting weights. You can do body weight exercises, use resistance bands or objects around the house, such as water bottles.
Should yoga and meditation be included in the fitness routine?Meditation is an ancient practice associated with health benefits; exercising your mind is just as important as exercising your body. Meditation is a great way to regain your focus, calm your mind and, at the same time, avoid the pitfalls that come with reaching for the cookie jar when stressed. Complementing meditation with yoga may help you develop mental strength, flexibility and physical strength. Whatever your needs or fitness goals, there are styles of yoga that will suit you.

What about dietary changes?
Our daily nutrition choices are important, not only for controlling our weight but for being and feeling our best. Nutrient-dense foods packed with vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants, can enhance our overall sense of wellbeing. Calcium is important for bone health, protein essential for healthy muscles, and consuming healthy fats is also important. During times of major changes within the body, it’s best to make small daily changes instead of one big jump. It’s about being a little more mindful of what we are putting into our body each day. Hydration is also crucial because of all the sweating that menopausal women experience, so one must replenish lost fluids.
Train Smart.   Eat Well.  Feel Great

 

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. 

 

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

 

Avoid Hospital!! May 2, 2015

Filed under: Fitness,Health,Senior Moments — jax allen @ 7:16 am
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Download the 5 Ways Guide to Prevent Senior Hospitalizations

 

This article is very interesting, especially if you care for a senior at home. 
A simple checklist to remind you to notice warning signs. 
I love the points about staying active – just walking to visit a friend every day and eating a varied diet will have a massive effect on wellness and independent living. 
Follow the link to download the article. 
Jax.