Super Seniors Fitness Solutions

Keys to Living Well, Feeling Great & Enjoying Life

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

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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

 

Inspirational Seniors #5 October 15, 2013

Filed under: Fun,Health — jax allen @ 3:37 pm
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Pilates and Yoga are a great way to build and maintain strength, improve mobility and therefore independence plus improve posture and breathing. All of which are essential at any age!

 

Improve Your Breathing #3 July 2, 2013

Filed under: Health,Uncategorized — jax allen @ 1:48 pm
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#3 Focus on Breathing – Child’s Pose Drill

There are numerous breathing drills to work on. There are some quality drills out there that can be done using balloons, and other tools to help restore proper breathing mechanics. However, my favourite drills are extremely easy to use and require little set up time to perform properly. Here are the top 3 breathing drills.

3 Child’s Pose Breathing- If you’re familiar with yoga at all, then you’ve probably seen this one. The child’s pose is done by sitting back on your heels with your toes plantarflexed (pointed), knees tucked, heels on your butt, and your chest tucked into your knees with your hands along the floor ahead of you. I really like to use this one if someone struggles with getting air into the low back with either the crocodile breath or The other drills i use here. The child pose position allows you to close off your ribs with your knees, and really helps force air into the low back to stretch the spinal muscles in the upper back with each breath. This is a good one if you’re stuck in an extended posture. Getting into some major flexion and controlling a breath will be a challenge, but will be useful in getting your posture back in line.

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