Thursday, January 31, 2008
Over 65? Keep Exercising!
Strength training essential for elderly, CDC says
By Daniel DeNoon
WebMD Medical News
Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario, MD
Latest Exercise & Fitness News
Fitness Cuts Men's Death Rate
Helmets Save Lives in Winter Sports
Fitness Begins at Home
Exercise Eases Some Menopause Symptoms
Health Tip: Athletes Should Wear a Mouth Guard
How can older adults add to their years of independent living? Add strength training to your exercise routine, the CDC says.
This isn't about six-pack abs or competition weight lifting. It's about life. Seniors who exercise are healthier, suffer fewer falls and fractures, and -- most importantly -- live more independent lives.
Yet only 11% of the over-65 set does strength-building exercises the recommended two or more times per week, according to CDC data. The report appears in the Jan. 23 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The national health goal is to up this number to 30%. If that sounds hard, the CDC numbers provide a clue: Nearly 25% of active seniors meet the strength-building objective.
Being active means moving your butt -- what the CDC calls "moderate-intensity physical activity" -- for at least 30 minutes a day, at least five days a week. Or you can do more vigorous exercise for at least 20 minutes a day, at least three days a week.
Not sure which exercises are best? The National Institute on Aging has an online guide -- complete with an exercise video. Look for the exercise guide at the NIA web site, http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/physical/growing_stronger/growing_stronger.pdf.
The CDC calls for churches, community centers, senior centers, schools, and fitness centers to offer exercise programs for older adults. These programs should:
Increase awareness of fitness benefits
Be friendly to people with physical limitations.
Address the fear of injury.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Monday, January 14, 2008
Just finished reading a really good book on healthy eating (Amazon.com: The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth About What You Should Eat and Why: Books: Jonny Bowden) and it had an awesome quote in it:"The quality of the food we eat comes from the quality of the food our food eats."
Saturday, January 12, 2008
On average, people gain between 9 and 11 pounds from Thanksgiving to New Year's- inexcusable if you ask me but what do I know? I put on just shy of that (7 lbs.), and 5 of them are already gone. Here are a few easy ways to get the weight back on track:
- Eat breakfast every day to ensure blood sugar (glucose) stabilization and keep metabolism constantly active
- Eat foods that are "nutritiously dense" (think veggies like broccoli and spinach that offer a huge supply of vitamins, minerals, and fiber yet are low in calories)
- Assuming you're engaged in an exercise routine, make sure you are strength training. In a recent helath fair i worked at, I'd estimate of the limited number of people who admitted they exercised regularly, less than half engaged in resistance training. Sure, "cardio" (walking, cycling, swimming) activity burns calories but doesn't improve muscular strength and endurance- and bone density- the way strength training does. Get off the treadmill for once and pick up a challenging pair of dumbbells. Simple exercises like chest presses, lunges, and dumbbell rows will do the trick.
Monday, January 07, 2008
OKLAHOMA CITY — With a button-popping spread of cornbread, sausage and gravy, chicken fried steak and pecan pie designated as Oklahoma's official state meal, it's no surprise that Oklahoma City's mayor wants to put the city on a diet. Mick Cornett has challenged the city to shed 1 million pounds as its New Year's resolution.
Prompted in part by his own struggle to lose weight, Cornett wants to end Oklahoma City's dubious distinction as one of America's fattest cities.
"The message of this obesity initiative is that we've got to watch what we eat," Cornett said Thursday. "Exercise is part of it and the city is trying to change into a city that is less sprawling, has more density and is more pedestrian friendly, but you're not really going to take on obesity unless you acknowledge that we eat too much and don't eat the right foods."
As part of the initiative, residents can sign up and track their weight loss on a new Web site, . More than 2,600 people had registered by Thursday. They've lost more than 300 pounds. http://www.thiscityisgoingonadiet.com
Besides a body mass index calculator, the site includes recipes and links to metro-area fitness centers. Plans call for expanding the site to include the opportunity to blog and network with other participants, Cornett said.
"It's always easier if you're doing something hard if you have other people to do it with," he said.
The mayor timed the start of the weight-loss program to the beginning of the new year, when many people begin exercise programs after holiday feasts.
Oklahoma City ranked 15th in a 2007 survey of America's fattest cities conducted by Men's Fitness magazine. The survey examined lifestyle factors in each city, including fast-food restaurants per capita and availability of city parks, gyms and bike paths.
"I can't tell you exactly where you rank in our 2008 survey, but I can tell you that Oklahoma City is in the top 10," magazine spokeswoman Jennifer Krosche said. "That's not good."
The Oklahoma Legislature designated an official state meal in 1988. The menu also includes fried okra, squash, barbecue pork, biscuits, grits, corn, strawberries and black-eyed peas.
Cornett, 49, stands about 5-foot-10 and weighs 183 pounds. He began a personal fitness initiative eight months ago when he weighed 217 pounds.
"I would like to get down to 175, so I've made a goal to lose 8 pounds over 8 weeks," he said.
Carrie Snyder-Renfro, a 44-year-old teacher working out at a fitness center Thursday, said she made a resolution last month to eat healthier and exercise. While she was unaware of the mayor's Web site, she said she would consider signing up.
"Last year I dieted and lost about 10 pounds a month for three months, but I left out a key component," she said, huffing and puffing on an elliptical machine. "I didn't exercise regularly. I ended up losing muscle mass instead of fat, and I ended up gaining almost all of it back.
"Now I'm making it more of a priority to put everything in balance. I have to get the eye of the tiger back."
Cornett wants to make exercise more attractive to residents by increasing the number of bike trails and sidewalks in the sprawling city, where public transportation is minimal, most people are wedded to their cars and outdoor activities for some might be limited to watching a football game.
"In Colorado, you ski, you climb, you run ... something," said Karen Massey, community nutrition coordinator at Integris Baptist Medical Center. "In Oklahoma, we're either involved in competitive sports or we do nothing. We're spectators."
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
For those of you who missed it, ABC News had a segment of 20/20 on a few weeks back about a man who lost 400 pounds- all without surgery. Here's the story. Email me your comments: