A question that often pops up in my own brain concerns flexibility vs cardio. I know both are important, but as I age, my concern seems to be more about staying flexible. This is a great article by Linda Melone, because it addresses this question and many other issues that may arise about senior exercise.
A funny thing happens on the way to 50 and beyond: Your body doesn’t respond to exercise as it did earlier in your life. Fatigue, muscle and joint aches and increased injuries seem to happen with greater frequency.
Unfortunately, it’s not your imagination. It happens to the best of us as a natural consequence of aging. In fact, some of the “standard” fitness rules no longer apply, at least not in the same way as they did in your 30s and even 40s. Here’s how the rules change after 50 and how to stay injury-free as you age.
Old rule: Stretch a few days a week
New rule: Stretch after every workout, and then some
Stretching is no longer an option after 50. Staying flexible becomes more important as you age, says Michele Olson, adjunct professor of exercise science at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama.
“Flexibility, because it’s related to the collagenous tendons, which is a part of our lean body mass, starts to decrease,” she says. “Since our tendons connect our muscles to our bones, the perfect time to stretch is after your weight training sessions.”
Olson recommends a total body stretch, involving all major muscle groups, a minimum of two to three times a week. This would ideally be done after each workout when muscles are warm.
Old rule: Focus on cardio
New rule: Resistance training takes center stage
Bone density and muscle mass drops rapidly after 50, says Olson, making resistance training a crucial part of a complete exercise program. In addition to the link between muscle mass and metabolism — muscle burns more calories at rest than fat — increasing muscle and bone strength also prevents falls and fractures.
You still need cardio, of course, for reducing heart disease risk, which accelerates after 50, says Olson.
“And, as we increase lean mass — bones and muscle — the war against belly fat must also begin,” she says. Plus, a 2014 study shows a single 20-minute bout of weight training may enhance memory. Strive for eight to 12 repetitions per set, two to three times a week. If you can easily perform more than 12 reps, increase the resistance, says Olson.
Old rule: Slow and steady cardio works best
New rule: Use interval training to pump up the fat burn
Going for an easy stroll with a friend may be a good way to get fresh air, but it won’t do much for calorie burning, says Olson.
“Continue cardio for its heart health benefits, but focus on intervals since interval training for 30 minutes versus moderate, continuous exercise decreases belly fat,” she says. “Moderate, continuous cardio does not.”
Interval training involves alternate bouts of higher intensity cardio with “rest” or easier periods. Intervals create an “after burner” effect called EPOC, which stands for “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.” That’s a state in which your body continues to burn a higher rate of oxygen and calories after you’ve finished your workout. How many calories and for how long depends on the intensity of the intervals.
For more “Old” and “New” Rules from author Linda Melone, please click this link.
I have noticed in the past few years a huge interest in organic gardening. I wondered the other day what motivates me spending at least an hour each day loving my garden. Well, here’s my answer.
Working with soil and seeing seeds sprout and then watching red bell peppers grow is simply fun. I also love connecting with the earth. Getting my hands dirty with soil and compost makes me realize that I am part of a bigger picture, and I love the feeling of giving back.
With the dire state of Big Agriculture these days, I feel that organic gardening is my response to a system that cares only about money. And they care NOTHING about my health, your health, or your baby’s health. We have only about 10 -15 years before our soil is completely deleted of any life-giving microbes.
Until that happens, our processed food will keep getting more expensive each year, as farm production goes down. You can only add just so much chemical fertilizer, insecticides, Roundup, and GMO seeds before Mother Earth revolts and says “NO MORE.”
One question many people have is “What really does Organic Gardening mean?” I searched for what I consider a clear and precise definition. It starts with the health of the soil.
There is a lot of information coming out about the dangers of artificial sweeteners. It’s too bad that the general public is brainwashed into believing that artificial sweeteners are much better than sugar. This goes right along with another belief — that to lose weight I have to eat all “non fat” and load up on “good carbs.”
Hopefully, this article will help you realize that your health will say “thank-you” when you ditch all artificial sweeteners. Here’s a wonderful and enlightening video by Dr. Mark Hyman, a favorite teacher of mine.
“I know you’re not big on sugar and frequently tell people to cut down on it,” writes this week’s House Call. “But what about artificial sweeteners? Can I use those instead?”
Sadly, the answer is emphatically no. Human, animal, experimental, and other studies show artificial sweeteners can be just as bad and maybe even worse than regular sugar.
Artificial sweeteners have long been positioned as “guilt-free,” innocuous, safe alternatives, so why would I argue they are actually worse than sugar?
Manufacturers love to position zero-calorie sweetened foods and drinks as better because they create a “halo effect” and they know you’re more likely to buy them.
We’re surrounded by low-calorie or calorie-free foods and diet soft drinks that contain artificial sweeteners touted as healthy or consequence-free. As a result, the number of Americans who consume products that contain sugar-free sweeteners grew from 70 million in 1987 to 160 million in 2000.
At the same time, the incidence of obesity in the United States has doubled from 15 percent to 30 percent across all age groups, ethnic groups, and social strata. And the number of overweight Americans has increased from about 30 percent to over 65 percent of the population. The fastest growing obese population is children.
High sugar intake deservedly takes the blame here, but we frequently overlook artificial sweeteners as a potential culprit. The evidence is catching up. Recent studies have not been kind to artificial sweeteners, claiming among other problems theyadversely affect gut health and glucose tolerance.
You’re probably wondering, though, how a calorie-free sweetener could make you fat. If you’ve read my blogs, you know that while calories count, other factorslike hormonal imbalances contribute far more to weight gain.
Let’s briefly look at three reasons artificial sweeteners create adverse consequences to your waistline and health. To continue reading this excellent article, please click here >> Mark Hyman MD.
Artificial sweeteners were initially designed to be sugar substitutes and a helpful tool for the battle against the bulge. Unfortunately, the state of obesity in the world has gotten worse, and artificial sweeteners are clearly not helping. You can find sugar substitutes in diet sodas, yogurt, and a host of other food products.
Mar 28, 2015 …Artificial sweeteners are steeped in controversy and research shows their health effects are anything but sweet. Here we look at the two worst artificial sweeteners.
Artificial sweeteners were initially designed to be sugar substitutes and a helpful tool for the battle against the bulge. Unfortunately, the state of obesity in the world has gotten worse, and artificial sweeteners are clearly not helping. You can find sugar substitutes in diet sodas, yogurt, and a host of other food products. These artificial sweetener additives mimic the flavor of sugar but offer no useful energy and may in fact be toxic.
The Two Most Concerning Artificial Sweeteners
There are five dangerous sugar substitutes that are approved for consumer use: saccharin, neotame, acesulfame potassium, aspartame, and sucralose. Of the five main artificial sweeteners, sucralose and aspartame are the most pervasive and dangerous substitutes found in products on store shelves today.
This additive is marketed under the name Splenda. Sucralose is basically denatured sucrose. Its preparation involves chlorinating sucrose, chemically changing the structure of the sugar molecules by substituting three chlorine atoms for three hydroxyl groups.  Chlorine a known carcinogen, so why would the FDA allow toxic materials to be used in our food and beverages?
It’s uncertain as to why the FDA approved sucralose knowing the nature of chlorine. You should know too that it was approved even with the pre-approval research revealed possible toxicity of the substance.
There have been no long-range studies of the effects of sucralose. The same thing happened with tobacco. As a result of not performing the required epidemiological research, it took years to track the dangerous effects of smoking cigarettes.
It’s unfortunate and confusing that the same mistake is repeated even with the initial negative indications and checks and balances that are now in place. If the FDA does not step in and make monitoring and research possible and necessary, then we can’t readily learn the safety of such substances, including food items.
This additive is sold under the names Equal and NutraSweet and there are thousands of other everyday products that contain aspartame, too. Just to name a few: yogurt, sodas, pudding, tabletop sugar substitutes, chewing gum, bread, etc.
For its approval we have to thank the Searle Company for falsifying reports, and unscrupulous attorneys for delaying legal proceedings.  Once the statute of limitations ran out and the product was once again up for review, many discrepancies came to light between reported versus actual findings.
Consumers lodge complaints about NutraSweet, to the tune of “80% of all complaints about food additives,” but Betty Martini reported that the FDA has yet to move on any of them. In spite of this inaction by the FDA, there are indications that this sweetener is toxic.
According to Ms. Martini, in a report from Flying Safety, an official United States Air Force publication, US Air Force pilots were warned not to consume Aspartame in any amounts at all. Why? “Aspartame has been investigated as a possible cause of brain tumors, mental retardation, birth defects, epilepsy, Parkinson’s Disease, Fibromyalgia, and Diabetes.”  And the FDA has made no move to regulate this toxic substance.
If you haven’t stopped using artificial sweeteners , please do so immediately! Artificial sweeteners, or non-nutritive sweeteners as they are sometimes referred to, have been controversial since they were first introduced to the market in the 1950s, and scientific research shows they are associated with many dangerous side effects.
Introduced to satisfy consumers’ sweet tooth, these artificial sweeteners with no calories seemed, at the time, like good alternatives to refined sugars and natural sweeteners. However, the side effects simply aren’t worth it. These fake sweeteners cause symptoms that range from headaches and migraines to weight gain and even more serious conditions like cardiovascular disease. (1)
What many people don’t realize is that artificial sweeteners also can cause a dangerous addiction — an addiction to overly sweet foods. They retrain the taste buds to need more and more, sweeter and sweeter foods. This leads to even greater incidences of obesity, type 2 diabetes, kidney damage and so much more.
How do you keep your eyes and ears alerted to “different” or “alternative” ways of staying healthy? Not everything out there is worth looking at, that’s for sure. But once in a while I run into a health benefit that in a big way…. is so worthy of the search!
While looking at an exercise method called High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), a different kind of breathing was mentioned, the Buteyko Method. The benefits of HIIT exercising can be increased by just learning how to breath correctly through my nose. I know, this contradicts almost everything my coaches, doctors and health experts have always preached — take a big breath through your mouth … breath in and out … and now hold it!
The Buteyko Method of breath training is not new. It has hundreds of followers whose asthma, sleep apnea, and COPD have improved. Here is more information about this remarkable breathing method.
Buteyko Breathing Therapy (BBT) was developed in 1952 by a Ukrainian physiologist, Konstantin Buteyko, who linked hyperventilation to asthma and developed a breathing technique to address it. The theory behind the method is that taking slow, shallow breaths rather than trying to breathe deeply, works best during an asthma attack. BBT became known in the United States and Europe after it was introduced into Australia in the 1990s. The Buteyko approach got a boost in 2009 when Jane Brody, who writes the Personal Health column in the New York Times, described how a friend of hers with severe asthma was able to cut back to using less than one puff of his inhaler each day after just three months of breathing lessons. He was also able to discontinue taking oral medications all together. http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA401205/Buteyko-Method-Best-Breathing-for-Asthma-Symptoms.html
How is your breathing? How is your health? Check for yourself
TAKE THE Control Pause Breathing Test
Professor Buteyko developed a test to measure your depth of breathing and consequent retention of carbon dioxide, resultant oxygenation and health. He named it the “Control Pause” breathing test. This acts as a natural peak flow meter and is far more useful.
CONTROL PAUSE TEST
You can try this for yourself – find a clock or stop watch then – 1 ………Sitting down, close your mouth and breathe normally in and out through the nose for 2/3 minutes.
2 ……….After a normal out breath, gently close your nose with thumb and forefinger, glance at a a clock face or time with a stop watch.
3 ……….When you feel the FIRST need to breathe, release the nose and take a breath in through the nose. remembering to keep the mouth closed at this point. 4………..Note the number of seconds that have passed before breathing in.
The number of seconds that has passed is your Control Pause.
If you managed
less than 10 seconds …..you have health problems
less than 25 seconds….. your health needs attention
…………………………………..30-40 is satisfactory
…………………………………..60+ seconds is excellent
AND NOW you can check your health with our symptom checklist – DOWNLOAD HERE