The Myth of ‘Senior Fitness': It’s Simply Business As Usual!

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You’d think that given the title of my site, I’d be revealing all the ‘secrets’ regarding golden years goodness.

No Secrets.

Same page, different day, as they say.

Lest you’re tempted to cut it short because I have no secrets to reveal, keep reading, my friend, because you need this.

Here are a couple of observations from this writer who has exercised consistently for five decades and wants you to ‘get it':

1. You’ve always needed what exercise does for the human body, but now you seriously need it!
You may remember that just a few years ago you were able to do things that you can’t do now; or are now accomplished with a much greater degree of difficulty. We learned back in the 60’s (you’ll never forget that decade) how quickly the body changes without being exercised when studies were done to determine the effects of inactivity on potential astronauts. We were astounded by how quickly even a top flight athlete could be weakened by being confined to a bed for extended periods. Nothing’s changed since then, except the size of the American waistline and the incidence of diabetes for lack of activity and bad eating habits. Muscles, bones, the brain and your heart still respond positively to the positive stresses of exercise. Don’t fret over what you didn’t do; but by all means, don’t continue to make the same mistake of the sedentary killer lifestyle. ‘Use or Lose’ has never changed and it will not during the course of your lifetime.

2. It wasn’t easy then, and it’s certainly not easy now!
After all these years of frequenting major health clubs, I can authoritatively say that Seniors are, and always have been, conspicuously absent. Sad, because we are the ones most in need of stronger bones and muscles simply from a standpoint of personal survival! If you can’t perform the ‘Activities of Daily Living’ you’re not capable of living independently. Simple and scary. What are you waiting for? Now you’ve got to deal with the feelings of fear and self consciousness of ‘not fitting in’. But those were the same issues that have always kept you on the sidelines, right? Find a friend or a group that will finally help you take the important first fitness step!

Please Do It Now,

Steven

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If We’re Admitting Now That Cholesterol Isn’t Bad, Why Are We Cheering The New Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs?

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I will give you the answer to that question with another question: What else can drug companies do after investing so much money in research and development on cholesterol-lowering drugs?

Economics 101: Sunk costs are irrelevant…if you’re an economist, that is.

The only way to recover costs is from a fantastic marketing and sales blitz, right? You’ve got it!

Title of article:

“New cholesterol drugs from Amgen, Sanofi cut heart risks in half.”

Paragraph five in article:

“Neither study was designed to prove conclusively how the drugs affect heart disease risk, Nissen said. Definitive studies, under way for both drugs and expected to conclude in the next few years, may not yield as dramatic a benefit, he said.”

Does this make marketing sense to you? I’m sorry, I mean, does this appear to be common sense to you? A bold claim regarding the efficacy of a drug– enabling FDA approval that, in reality, won’t be scientifically validated for years to come (if ever).

Read the news release for yourself:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-wp-blm-news-bc-cholesterol15-20150315-story.html

Let’s see… but we’ve just found out that all those studies we trusted years ago were questionable– and the conclusions drawn from them are now understood to be false.

But let’s get one thing straight if we’re going to keep aggressively trying to lower cholesterol in the face of our latest admission of catastrophic information failure: SHOW ME REAL DATA FROM UNBIASED TRUSTED SOURCES this time…with logical conclusions, please.

That’s not too much to ask after cajoling the public into consuming billions of dollars of pharmaceuticals to solve a problem that didn’t exist in the first place.

You knew the real data all along, didn’t you?

Tell It To Me Like It REALLY Is,

Steven
UPDATE 3/17 The stock prices rise on profit expectations on these new drugs…exactly as planned:
http://news.investors.com/technology/031715-743774-sny-stock-upgraded-to-outperform-by-leerink.htm
PS Sometimes drugs are found to have a particular utility by accident. Viagra was developed after noticing a very useful common side effect among males during the testing of the drug as a possible heart medication. So, maybe there are marketable ‘side effect’ possibilities for these cholesterol hopefuls. Stay tuned.

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Already Lost Your Resolve Regarding Your New Year’s Resolutions?

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I really didn’t think it would happen that fast: the drop-off in gym attendance since January, that is.

Perhaps you’ve abandoned a few resolutions by now, and maybe getting back in shape was one of them.

Let’s get beyond the guilt and grab a solution – – not a resolution, ok?

Take a moment to read this short but excellent article from Inc. Magazine:
Done is Better Than Perfect. http://google.com/newsstand/s/CBIwoKTy9SA

As the writer suggests, take any small fitness action right now. 30 seconds of high stepping in place or 10 push-ups, or 3 squats–whatever!

Believe it or not, the consistency of doing small things on a regular basis with minimal improvement will, over time, lead to greatness. It’s quite possible that you were blindsided by disappointed when you worked out intensely for two weeks and then gave up because the slight improvement wasn’t worth the pain.

It happens all the time.

Success, as well, happens all the time…

… always with a consistent forward movement that proceeds step by step.

Enjoy the invigorating experience of high stepping for 30 seconds… and make sure you do it again tomorrow just a little more and a little better. What you’ll find is that 30 seconds won’t be enough, and you’ll want to do 5 squats instead of 3, and before you know it you’ve made it a habit, and after a while you’ll see it’s your lifestyle.

Got it?

Go get it!

Steven

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The Treadmill Test: It Just Became A Powerful Predictor of Longevity… It’s All About Fitness!

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“Fitness level was the single most powerful predictor of death and survival, even after researchers accounted for other important variables such as diabetes and family history of premature death—a finding that underscores the profound importance of heart and lung fitness, the investigators say.”

This is the conclusion from the just-released study by Johns Hopkins cardiologists involving 58,000 people.

You can read the complete article here: http://m.medicalxpress.com/news/2015-03-treadmill-mortality-formula-gauges-year.html

You must search far and wide to find statements more definitive and authoritative than this.

No need to say more.

A simple question, however, is certainly in order:

If not now, when?

For yourself and those who love you and depend on you, make health and fitness core values in your life!

To Your Health and Fitness,

Steven

The Senior Health and Fitness Blog by Steven Siemons is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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Shoe Showdown: Big Difference in the Squat!

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I don’t consider myself a runner – – more of a treadmiller who occasionally ventures outdoors to beat feet. And although squatting is part of my fitness regimen, I’d rather handle lighter weight than heavier. Guess you could say that l’m a lightweight in both categories.

Nevertheless, when I bought a pair of Merrell Vapor Gloves (for the feet, not the hands) and tried them at the gym, squatting became a new sensation – – literally, it felt different.

You can see from the picture of both shoes, the relative size of the heels. What you can’t see is, inside the Reebok, the insole at the heel is nearly as high as the Merrell shoe itself. That’s quite an angle. And while it makes for a very comfortable treadmill experience, I realize now that it was making it much harder for me to balance my weight on the heels while squatting – – an important dynamic in squats.

In fact, with the feeling of almost being barefoot, the effect is quite dramatic. I am enjoying the real feedback of floor contact and the difference that the change in elevation makes in stability.

The other observation worth noting: there is no doubt that it makes the squat a more effective exercise for me.

To Your Health and Fitness,

Steven

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Imagine The Difference That Fitness Could Make!

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This morning as I surveyed the news landscape for articles pertaining to health and fitness, two in particular caught my attention. As a fitness aficionado, most of these issues that appear are familiar to me, and have probably been addressed in this site before.

One of them, a Time article reveals the potential for exercise to effectively prevent depression:
http://time.com/3713268/exercise-depression/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+time/topstories+(TIME:+Top+Stories)

Please read my post, “Exercise As A Prescription For Anxiety” regarding a major study from Australia:
http://theseniorhealthandfitnessblog.com/2014/09/01/exercise-as-a-prescription-for-anxiety/

The second article that caught my attention came from Breaking Muscle regarding Seniors over sixty getting involved with weightlifting for the first time. Seems out of context, right? Wrong! Read what happens: Breaking Muscle: Two Over-60 Athletes Who Prove You Can Compete at Any Age. http://google.com/newsstand/s/CBIw3-mNtiA

Let me connect the dots for you.
Exercise represents one of the most powerful and important tools in existence to change the course of our physical and emotional lives, yet it is virtually nonexistent in preventive and therapeutic practice!

It’s not for lack of scientific proof. It’s sad but true – – in one of the psychological journals evaluating the efficacy of exercise in treating depression–they concluded that the effect of exercise was only temporary – – once the subjects stopped exercising, the effect diminished. It was therefore concluded that exercise could not be a workable treatment modality.

And once I stop bathing, I start to stink.

Don’t wait for mental health professionals to figure this one out – – put on your running shoes, get the dumbbells in hand, learn to squat and get it done! Multiple times a week. Case closed (successfully)!

Imagine the difference in our society – – from the cost of health care to the enjoyment of life itself –if we just got up and made the effort like those sixty year olds picking up the weights.

Get it done,

Steven

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Yoga With DJ’s? Say It Ain’t So, Yogini!

Just when I thought Yoga– my vision of the ultimate in meditative movement–was being compromised by competitive events–now I read that they’re rolling with DJ’s?

Don’t get me wrong, I can get cranked up to move more iron in the gym with the right tune; but Yoga?

With tunes:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/15/deep-house-yoga_n_6661264.html?utm_hp_ref=new-york&ir=New+York

I don’t know who the main spokesperson would be for the Yoga folk, but somebody needs to step up and tell us where you’re going to be down the road, for all those who are considering which Yoga style works best: Competition Yoga, or Rhythm Yoga?

Competitively:
http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/yoga-competitors-pose-extreme/story?id=25574164

Just when I thought I had it all figured out….

Just Some Fitness Fun,

Steven

The Senior Health and Fitness Blog by Steven Siemons is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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