Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

Physical Activity Has an Anti-Aging Effect on Cardiovascular System

Brought to you from FindHelp4Seniors.ca

Article by SeniorJournal.com, December 1, 2009

People who engage in regular physical activity are gaining an anti-aging weapon that will help them live longer lives. New research finds intensive exercise prevents aging of the cardiovascular system by preventing shortening of telomeres – the DNA that bookends the chromosomes and protects the ends from damage, a protective effect against aging.

Researchers report in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association that they measured the length of telomeres in blood samples from two groups of professional athletes and two groups who were healthy nonsmokers, but not regular exercisers.

The telomere shortening mechanism limits cells to a fixed number of divisions and can be regarded as a “biological clock.” Gradual shortening of telomeres through cell divisions leads to aging on the cellular level and may limit lifetimes. When the telomeres become critically short the cell undergoes death.

The 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to researchers who discovered the nature of telomeres and how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase.

“The most significant finding of this study is that physical exercise of the professional athletes leads to activation of the important enzyme telomerase and stabilizes the telomere,” said Ulrich Laufs, M.D., the study’s lead author and professor of clinical and experimental medicine in the department of internal medicine at Saarland University in Homburg, Germany.

“This is direct evidence of an anti-aging effect of physical exercise. Physical exercise could prevent the aging of the cardiovascular system, reflecting this molecular principle.”

Essentially, the longer telomere of athletes is an efficient telomere.

The body’s cells are constantly growing and dividing and eventually dying off, a process controlled by the chromosomes within each cell. These chromosomal “end caps” — which have been likened to the tips of shoelaces, preventing them from fraying — become shorter with each cell division, and when they’re gone, the cell dies. Short telomeres limit the number of cell divisions, Laufs said.

In addition, the animal studies of Laufs and colleagues show that the regulation of telomere stabilizing proteins by exercise exerts important cellular functions beyond the regulation of telomere length itself by protecting from cellular deterioration and programmed cell death.

In the clinical study, researchers analyzed 32 professional runners, average age 20, from the German National Team of Track and Field. Their average running distance was about 73 kilometers (km), a little over 45 miles, per week.

Researchers compared the young professional athletes with middle-aged athletes with a history of continuous endurance exercise since their youth. Their average age was 51 and their average distance was about 80 km, or almost 50 miles, per week.

The two groups were evaluated against untrained athletes who were healthy nonsmokers, but who did not exercise regularly. They were matched for age with the professional athletes.

The fitness level of the athletes was superior to the untrained individuals. The athletes had a slower resting heart rate, lower blood pressure and body mass index, and a more favorable cholesterol profile, researchers said.

Long-term exercise training activates telomerase and reduces telomere shortening in human leukocytes. The age-dependent telomere loss was lower in the master athletes who had performed endurance exercising for several decades.

“Our data improves the molecular understanding of the protective effects of exercise on the vessel wall and underlines the potency of physical training in reducing the impact of age-related disease,” Laufs said.

The German Research Association and the University of Saarland funded the study.

Co-authors are: Christian Werner, M.D.; Tobias Furster, medical student; Thomas Widmann, M.D.; Janine Pöss, M.D.; Christiana Roggia, Ph. D.; Milad Hanhoun, M.D.; Jürgen Scharhag, M.D.; Nicole Buchner, Ph. D.; Tim Meyer, M.D.; Willfried Kindermann, M.D.; Judith Haendeler, Ph. D. and Michael Böhm, M.D.

Additional Resources:
• The American Heart Association’s Start! initiative encourages all Americans to participate in regular physical activity. Start! includes personalized walking plans for people at any fitness level. Visit http://www.startwalkingnow.org to download the Start! Walking Plans and locate Start! Walking Paths near you.

Saskia Wijngaard is founder of FindHelp4Seniors.ca, which is home to the most comprehensive online directory for senior-friendly services across Canada. FindHelp4Seniors.ca is a meeting place for seniors across Canada as well as their families and caregivers. The goal has been to ensure that Canadian seniors have access to the best senior-friendly community resources, services, agencies, and businesses – giving you and your loved ones peace of mind.

Saskia can be reached at 905.855.1558 or via email at Saskia@Everything4Seniors.ca

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New Years Resolutions Day 40

Okay on this cold and yucck day I need an excuse not to go to fitness today. Who has one.

Let see. Car won’t start…… It did!
Outfit is dirty and smelly……. just cleanned it!
Showered already ….true but after exercise you will need to shower again.
I have a big partyto plan for ….nope
no chocolate in the house so there is nothing to exercise off. ……. RU Kidding me.
Got a headache…take an aspirin.
Got to go to Rotary….. So its only 4:00
Can I call it in. NO

Everyone I need some inspiration.

New Year’s Resolution – Day 2

New Years Resolution- Day 2
Halaluah!  Any one doubting the presence of a great being didn’t step on the scale with me today….. 169 lbs!   Okay, so I am trying to figure out how I could have lost so much weight.
I figure the fitness staff are deliberately playing a trick on us fitness bluffs and lower the weights by a couple of pounds. Or 2. the hormones really make that much of a difference.
Last night I watched the 650 lb virgin and thought wow and I am fussing about 30 lbs.  However those 30 lbs jumped on board since my wedding and at that rate I would be homeless in 2 years. My new husband has always said he doesn’t mind if I get really overweight ….except where am I going to live.
So Last night if it wasn’t for this blog that I had written yesterday I would have cheated. 3 Times I went into the kitchen and if I had not written that I would not eat after 7:00 …man I could have satisfied the munchies. I was a good  and was rewarded by “losing 3 lbs”  I am still looking for them and will probably find them tomorrow when I step on the scale again.
I have taken my vitamin pills, and exercised for 5 days in 7  so I have kept my resolutions so far.
I went to the bank and starting on Monday I will be hiring a bookkeeper for my new business so then I will see how easy it will be for me to stay on track with my 10,000 in the Black resolution.

New Years Resolutions – 2010

New Year’s Resolutions
I have just watched the movie “Julia and Julia”  its about a woman, Julia Powell’s 2002 challenge to cook all of Julia Child’s recipes in one year, and to blog about it.
I have decided to blog about my New Year’s resolutions for a year and try to document the struggles to actually keep them. I do not know of too many resolutions that are actually followed through to the end of the year so here goes let’s see if I can do what the young Julia did.
My New Year’s resolution.
Starting now. Day 1
1. I am going to return to my pre-menopausal weight and stay that way until the end of the year.
2. I am going exercise, end result I want to be able to participate in spinning, and a 75 minute exercise class period with having to call 911.
3. I want to be consistent about taking my vitamins and being good to my body.
4. Not only am I going to be good to my body but I am also going to be good to my financial side of the equation. By the end of the year I want be 10,000 in the black.
4. I am going to write everyday about my struggles to do this.
Now I think in order to be successful I need to tell you where I am starting from. I have always been a thin sickly kid. Never able to gain weight….not enjoying the time that it would take to consume food. In fact, there was one time that the winter winds would not allow me to walk out of my friend’s door. I had to call my brother to walk through a storm and pull me home like a kite blowing in the wind.
I am 5 feet 9 inches and when I got pregnant with my son I was 111 pounds. At the end of my pregnancy I was huge and had gain 57 pounds. Now I stepped on the scale this afternoon and I am 172 lbs. Are you kidding me? Do the math I am heavier by 5 pounds then when I was 10 months pregnant ( as a side note they say 9 months pregnant but 40 weeks is not 9 months anyway they slice it and if you add an additional 2 and 1/2 weeks on for being late that is 42 almost 11 months….just like an elephant’s) . This menopausal madness has to end.  Okay to some of you this isn’t a problem, however, Menopause is packing on weight that I have noticed is going on at the rate of 10 pounds per year.  This is where it begins.  So if it is meant to be its up to me.
Part of the problem is that I met and married my husband, Henry, June 14th 2008 and as a result eat more appetizers, and consume wines and other calorie ladden beverages. I met him 3 years ago. I was 140 pounds. So that is 32 pounds that I want to lose. I get close to that and fit and I am happy…  Dr Oz said the average woman is in danger of get diabetes if she is over 160 pounds Yikes. Anyway, when I stepped on the scale….after the heart attack and realized that the good life had added that much weight.   I decided right there and then I was cutting out wine for 2 months. Further, No bread shall pass my lips ….bread substitutes yes, but none of that delicious bread with a generous portion of butter that melts into the cracks……stop it.
Okay tonight, will be my first test. I exercised and burned off 220 calories, I am going to increase that by 10 calories every day. I had only one small portion of Sheppard’s pie. No food or snacks after 7:00 I did mention that I was menopausal right and that every time you have a minute to think that thoughts go back to food. Anyway. Join me tomorrow to see if I have broken my NEW YEARS RESOLUTION.

Fitness 4 Seniors

Aging is a natural process, and with it comes many fringe benefits. For example, living the retired-permanent-holiday life, a gained respect from youngsters, and you can’t forget the senior discounts. However, with aging also comes an immense amount of responsibility. This responsibility not only includes influencing the future generations, but also extends to the need of taking care of yourself. One of the common reasons why many young people dread growing old is because it is associated with being brittle, weak, dependant, and ill. Seniors need to prove to everyone that they are a vibrant and vital part of the population, and being fit is the first step.

Now I’m not asking everyone to tell his or her elderly family members to hit the gym for three hours every single day. But let’s face the facts: a significant percentage of older adults do not get the physical exercise they need, lack of physical activity combined with a poor diet is the second most common reason for death in the USA, and being fit can reduce the risk of many diseases. Seniors are quickly becoming the fastest growing demographic in both Canada and the USA, and we cannot afford to have such a large percentage of the population to be of poor health.

Before diving into an intense regime though, seniors should consult medical professionals on any physical problems they may have that could inhibit exercise. They should also ensure to use the required safety equipment, such as helmets, or eye protection. Stretching before exercising is also recommended. One of the most important things is to know your own limit – do not overstrain yourself.

Many people today put off exercising because it seems like a chore to some. Fitness should not be forced activities that your doctor pushes you to complete. It should be FUN. You can make it an enjoyable social occurrence, by getting away from traditional methods. Instead of running on a treadmill watching Oprah reruns, and lifting weights listening to a looped playlist, make exercising more interesting. Seniors should take advantage of the retired lifestyle, and use their newfound time to go hiking on trails with beautiful scenery, or biking along the lake. Make healthier lifestyle choices to encourage physical activity – take the stairs instead of the elevator, park your car further away from the mall entrance. Exercising should not be just another addition to your daily To Do list; it should be viewed as a transition into a healthier, longer, and more fulfilled life.

Achieving Well-Being

written by Chloe Hamilton of Warm Embrace Elder Care

“All of us will age eventually, if we live long enough,” stated Dr. Peter Naus at the June 15th “Celebrating Seniors” event.  His lecture focused on the positive elements of aging, which actually begins at birth.  In reality, people cannot delay aging, they can only impact the way in which they will choose to age.

The old saying “you cannot teach an old dog new tricks” is simply not true, according to Naus.  Perhaps it is true for canines, but it does not apply to humans.  We retain our ability to learn throughout life, and can continue to make significant contributions to society.

Naus feels that the most important element of positive aging is to have a sense of well-being.  He defines well-being as having a positive outlook on life, maintaining a purpose despite loss, having a realistic sense of control over one’s life, and having a strong sense of self.  These conditions are not constant; they fluctuate constantly.  It is possible to achieve a sense of well-being even amidst declining health.

Naus also offered practical advice on how to achieve well-being: eat well, exercise, drink less alcohol, do not smoke, and stimulate your mind.  Do not minimize the gains in life, or maximize the losses—don’t exaggerate the extremes.  Be sure to “count what you have, and not what you lack,” and Naus says you will be closer to achieving well-being.

Old-age should be a time for discovery.  Discovery of what, you may ask?  True discovery is an individual journey, so you must find it for yourself.  Seniors need a vision, a dream, not just memory alone.  You will find peace if you truly believe “just to be is a blessing, just to live is holy.”  Such concepts are not unique to old age; these tenets create well-being at any age.  Naus encouraged the audience to live well at every stage of life, and remember that it is never too late for change.

There are pervasive negative connotations throughout Canadian society regarding aging.  There is a strong market for “anti-aging” products and services, but the term alone is problematic.  By deeming a product or service “anti-aging” it is suggestive that there is an inherent problem with aging.  Indeed, we even tend to pay compliments by suggesting someone looks younger than their age, as though retaining a youthful appearance is akin to aging gracefully.

Cicero, the roman emperor, wrote that the “the course of life is clear to see, each stage has unique peculiarities,” and “each stage should be gone in time,” suggesting that hanging on to one phase longer than it’s natural course is the very opposite of graceful aging.  Instead, the “mellowness of age” should be embraced as a stage of life.

Seniors deserve to be valued for the wisdom that they can share with others.  They are living proof that aging is not synonymous with being sick and decrepit.  Instead, old age can be a time for deep fulfillment and pleasure, a time for personal well-being.

Naus concluded by challenging the audience with two choices:  “we have a decision to make.   Either we can put all of our energy into denying aging, or we can embrace aging as a natural and meaningful part of life, and achieve well-being.”

Written by Chloe Hamilton of Warm Embrace Elder Care