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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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.

 

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 
 

5 Reasons To Eat Chocolate At Menopause March 20, 2015

Filed under: Nutrition,Uncategorized — jax allen @ 8:11 am
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5 Reasons Chocolate Is Good For You At Menopause

Increased weight, brain fog and heart problems are sadly common at menopause, but help may be at hand in the form of chocolate. Believe it or not, there are several health benefits in eating it, including staying slim, so let’s see what they are…

 
 

Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Birthdays, Easter. What do they all have in common? Gifts of chocolate usually, and although welcome we may worry that it isn’t really healthy – but we would be wrong, particularly as we get older. 

Healthy benefits from eating chocolate 

I have to admit I would eat chocolate whether it was healthy or not – but good to know that actually it can be helpful. Of course it depends on the type of chocolate and that means one with a minimum 70-85% cocoa content. A single 100 gram bar of dark chocolate will give you fibre, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium – so that’s plenty of good-tasting minerals right there. Make sure it is also organic and you are getting even more benefit.

These are good reasons to not give up on chocolate, plus how bioidentical hormones can also help.

1. Eating chocolate can help you stay thin 

A new study by researchers at the University of California-San Diego found that people who frequently eat chocolate have lower body-mass indexes than people who don’t. Of course it will depend on how healthy the rest of your diet is!
http://www.bio-hormone-health.com/2014/01/13/how-to-stop-that-bloated-feeling-naturally/

2. Chocolate decreases stroke risk

A Swedish study found that eating more than 45 grams of chocolate a week led to a 20 percent decrease in stroke risk among women. Chocolate contains flavonoids (antioxidant compounds that protect against free radical damage), whose properties help fight strokes. Also, researchers at the Johns Hopkins University found that Epicatechin, a compound found in chocolate dark shields cells in your brain, and so protects it from damage caused by strokes.
http://www.bio-hormone-health.com/2015/02/24/tips-for-reducing-your-stroke-risk/

3. Chocolate reduces the likelihood of a heart attack

Blood platelets clump together more slowly in chocolate eaters which means that it may prevents blood clots, which in turn reduces the risk of heart attacks.
http://www.bio-hormone-health.com/2014/07/04/top-tips-to-avoid-menopausal-heart-disease/

4. Chocolate helps your brain function better 

It didn’t work for me, but British psychologists found that flavanols in chocolate helped people with their mental arithmetic. Study subjects had an easier time counting backwards from a randomly-generated number between 800 and 999 after drinking a cup of hot chocolate than they did without the cocoa. For the latest study researchers asked healthy elderly patients to drink a daily cocoa supplement that contained 138 milligrams of epicatechin flavanols. After three months, when tested, they performed as well on memory tests as a control group of participants 20 or 30 years younger. 

So if the common ‘brain fog’ is hitting you at menopause then a cup of cocoa might just do the trick, but you will also find the same flavanols in cinnamon, apples, and green tea.
http://www.bio-hormone-health.com/2013/02/04/feeling-foggy-boost-your-brain-power/

5. Chocolate can help reduce blood pressure

Scientists have discovered that the antioxidant flavonoids in chocolate can lower blood pressure, improve the elasticity of blood vessels, and may increase HDL (the good cholesterol). But remember it can also be high in fat and sugar, which can pile on the pounds and that is definitely not too good for blood pressure.
http://www.bio-hormone-health.com/2015/01/01/5-ways-to-lower-blood-pressure/

More information:

I have always worked on the old principle of ‘moderation and a little of what you fancy does you good’ so for chocolate lovers this is good news. However, women do put on weight at menopause due to hormone imbalance as fat is redistributed to around the middle and the effects of oestrogen dominance can be seen.

So too big an increase in your fat,sugar and caffeine intake from chocolate can bring other problems so if you also are trying to lose weight these articles will be helpful:

http://www.bio-hormone-health.com/2014/08/06/what-is-oestrogen-dominance/

http://www.bio-hormone-health.com/2014/01/27/the-dash-diet-is-no-1-for-weight-loss/

http://www.bio-hormone-health.com/2014/12/30/more-energy-and-less-weight-on-a-g-i-diet/

 

Popular Diets Achieve Only Modest Long Term Weight loss! November 24, 2014

Filed under: Health,Nutrition — jax allen @ 8:00 am
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Found this article in Forbes Magazine. It gives a balanced overview of the popular fad diets and the eating trends that appear to have a healthy effect.

Popular Diets Achieve Only Modest Long-Term Weight Loss

Four of the most popular current weight loss diets produce at best only modest long-term benefits, a new study published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes shows. The study also found few significant differences across the four diets, offering little hope that any one diet can produce a serious dent in the obesity epidemic.

Mark Eisenberg and colleagues systematically searched the literature for studies evaluating the effects of the Atkins, South Beach, Zone, and Weight Watchers diets. They identified 12 randomized, controlled studies with follow-up of at least 1 year. Ten studies compared one of the diets with usual care. In these trials, Weight Watchers was the only diet to consistently outperform usual care in achieving weight loss, but this difference was modest at best, yielding a 1-year weight loss range of 3.5 to 6 kg with Weight Watchers compared with 0.8 to 5.4 kg with usual care. In the two head-to-head trials, Atkins and Zone resulted in a similar but modest weight loss. Longer-term data out to 2 years — available only for the Weight Watchers and Atkins diets– showed that some of the original weight loss was regained over time. Only one small trial studied the South Beach diet.

Some of the studies also looked at the effect of the diets on cardiovascular risk factors like cholesterol and blood pressure. Consistent with the weight loss findings, there were no large differences across the diets, and the impact of the diets on these risk factors was modest at best.

The authors note that the effects of these diets in real life may be even worse than in the “ideal conditions” of randomized, controlled trials. Observational studies suggest that the effect may be even smaller in real life and that the weight loss seen in the trials “overestimates that achieved by patients seen as part of everyday clinical practice.”

The findings also appear to be consistent with a previous study that looked at earlier popular diets, including Jenny Craig, LA Weight Loss, and again, Weight Watchers. The authors of the earlier study concluded that “with the exception of 1 trial of Weight Watchers, the evidence to support the use of major commercial and self-help weight loss programs is suboptimal.”

“Despite their popularity and important contributions to the multi-million dollar weight loss industry, we still do not know if these diets are effective to help people lose weight and decrease their risk factors for heart disease,” said Eisenberg, in a press release. “With such a small number of trials looking at each diet and their somewhat conflicting results, there is only modest evidence that using these diets is beneficial in the long-term.”

In an accompanying editorial, David Katz writes that one limitation of the study is the narrow range of diets examined by the authors, since three of them represent variations on the low-carbohydrate theme. Missing from the analysis is “the full expanse of competing dietary claims,” including ”low fat as well as low carbohydrate diets; vegan and vegetarian diets; low glycemic diets; Paleo diets; Mediterranean diets and diets incubated at the National Institutes of Health.”

But Katz argues passionately that the focus on individual diets or specific macronutrients is misguided and unhelpful. He proposes a simple formula — “wholesome foods in sensible combinations”– and states that traditional diets, despite superficial differences, “are more alike than different.” Blue Zone populations — a term for the world’s healthiest and longest-lived people — “range from vegans in California, to the quintessentially Mediterranean dieters of Crete, to the traditional Asian dieters of Okinawa,” writes Katz. “The diets all emphasize foods direct from nature, a variety of plants, and none of the hyper-­processed, willfully unsatiating junk that makes up so much of the typical American diet. They are all nutrient rich, high in fiber, and low glycemic. But they are not uniformly low or high in any given macronutrient. The emphasis is consistently on wholesome foods in sensible, time-­honored combinations — and the macronutrients fall within broad ranges.”

Eat Clean. Eat Simple. Stay Active