Let’s Get Real: There’s Just No Substitute For Sweat!

You’ve probably seen already that a major food company is developing what they’re touting as ‘exercise in a bottle’. We’re already paying a heavy price for thinking that cures can be accomplished by swallowing pills, so I’m not excited about this latest twist on laziness. Don’t be upset at me; I know that the intention is to provide cutting edge nutrients to people who can’t necessarily exercise.

But please don’t let people think that there’s anything close to exercise without physical exertion. It simply complicates an already seriously distorted outlook that we as a society need to address.

The wonderful fact is that we’ve discovered recently that even modest efforts at higher activity levels can make a dramatic difference in a person’s health, along with minor lifestyle changes.

We already know that the longest living societies on the planet are not fitness freaks. They live active lifestyles with moderate and nutritious food intake and enjoy a sociable and purposeful existence.

It’s not available in chocolate or vanilla.

Our bodies and minds react to positive challenges by getting stronger; at any age and in any condition, assuming absence of degenerative disease.

Knowing that 80% of our major health threats can be avoided by simple and free behavioral changes available to all, I’m thinking our efforts could somehow be more effectively focused.

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Use It, Don’t Lose It!

Steven

My Fitness Gift To You!: http://youtu.be/3yiwW_tunqE

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Aging: Fighting and Winning the Battle in Your Head

Even though we know that aging is going to dramatically alter our lives, like an accident unfolding before our eyes in slow motion, when our bodies do change, we’re again confronted with our own mortality, and another confirmation of what lies ahead.

You, like me, probably know lots of different people; some healthy and others in varying states of disability, having a wide range of responses to their aging. What is it that gives some the courage to fight and be positive in the face of major obstacles, while others see only darkness no matter what good befalls them?

I don’t have the answer to that question, but I can undoubtedly declare that if you’re going to have a shot at happiness in the waning years, courage needs to be part of your psyche.

For sure, you’ve got to come to grips with the reality in your own head. Accepting the fact that I had become a ‘senior citizen’ was, for me, an actual decision to embrace that fact and the accompanying consequences. This is a new phase, and I will be tested and tried in new and challenging ways. To approach it otherwise, in my thinking, would be a setup for disaster. While I promote health, fitness, and wellness as lifestyle choices to improve the quality and quantity of life, I understand that all I have is this moment; there are no entitlements to health and longevity.

These thoughts were prompted by a great article written by a 69 year old marathoner, who reflects on the decline of her performance due to aging:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/aging-marathoner-still-running-but-at-a-much-slower-pace/2014/12/05/d77ab396-691e-11e4-9fb4-a622dae742a2_story.html?wprss=rss_national

I hope you take the time to read her story and her personal reflections. You will have those same thoughts, if you haven’t already.

Learning how others come to grips with circumstances can be a source of strength in your own daily walk.

Take a lesson from the study of the longest living population groups: all of them have in common, among other things, the characteristic of a strong social network. There’s no substitute for people around you who care.

To all of my fellow seniors who face each day with a much more difficult mountain to climb than confronts me, I admire your courage.

My Fitness Gift To You!: http://youtu.be/3yiwW_tunqE

Steven

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Prescription Drugs: What Is Their Proper Place In Your Life?

Having just read the news that deaths from prescription pain killers have doubled in the last decade, this moment presents itself as the perfect time to ask ‘why’.

Actually, there are so many debatable reasons why, that it will be much more productive to move on to the real function that prescription drugs should serve.

Let’s start with the understanding that your body has many natural mechanisms to ward off and combat potentially harmful invaders; from our incredibly efficient lymphatic system, to the fever response, that works to make the environment inhospitable to the invading organism. There are many ways that we self-monitor and remain protected, all done automatically and without notice, until we encounter extremes.

Sometimes our bodies need help, as with the case of antibiotics, to provide a level of response that goes beyond what our natural response can accomplish. To bolster our immune responses, vaccines give us an enhanced protection against diseases that are simply too deadly for our natural defenses.

Beyond these primary needs, we have come to rely on pharmaceuticals to alter the symptoms of underlying issues with devastating consequences. For every symptom you treat (pain is a symptom) with a drug, additional complications occur in the form of side effects. Even the most basic and plentiful pharmaceutical commodity such as ibuprofen can be deadly. Often, the choices are not easy. When the pain is so intense that it is absolutely unbearable, there’s no substitute for the relief of that pain. Everyone of us has experienced this.

It becomes, very much, an issue of self regulation. Obtaining prescriptions for practically any physiological malfunction is relatively easy, and in fact, encouraged. Do you think all those commercials for erectile dysfunction are to promote your good health? Did you ask your doctor for the free trial offer as the commercial suggests?

Wake up and smell the coffee.

Personal desicions about what you consume to be healthy are all yours. It’s not easy understanding all the issues sometimes, but the risk of making wrong decisions when it comes to the increased dependence on pharmaceuticals to treat symptom upon symptom is serious.

Both of my parents were on drugs for high cholesterol and my father for high blood pressure. My father had his first bypass surgery at a relatively young age. Over 90% of people my age are taking at least four prescribed medications. I take none. With a focus on proper nutrition, exercise, and moderation, my body has been doing well what it’s meant to do.

Lifestyle choices can prevent 80% of the problems that are typically treated with drugs and more drastic interventions.

You Choose,

Steven

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‘Grain Brain': You Must Read This Book!

Is it really possible that the dietary guidelines recommended to us for so many years, and promoted by so many trusted sources, could actually be the cause of disease and ultimately leading us to Alzheimer’s?

It’s not simply the evidence which is overwhelming, it’s also the way in which Dr. David Perlmutter, an expert in nutrition, as well as a clinical neurologist with numerous case studies, weaves the history of how all this transpired. It’s not a coincidence that diabetes rates skyrocketed fifty percent in the ten year period following the shift to carbohydrates as the major source of calories.

Caution: if you think that carbs are king, be prepared to rethink your world. If you believe there’s a significant difference regarding your body’s reaction to whole grain bread versus a Twinkie, read this book.

A large portion of the work focuses on gluten sensitivity and its effects on the body. Citing not only the major significant studies behind his conclusions, but also case studies of dietary intervention, Dr. Perlmutter makes a compelling case for evaluating the possibility that gluten might play a much larger role in disease than we currently recognize.

In the side bar of this website, I’ve stated that the basic pillars of my approach include the equally important factors of proper nutrition and sleep, as well as exercise, for a wellness Lifestyle.

It’s abundantly clear to me that no amount of exercise can make up for the deleterious effects of poor, or even improper nutrition.

You can’t change the fact that we might have been led astray in the past, but you can make significant changes now to alter tomorrow.

Learn (The Truth) About Nutrition,

Steven

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Aging: You’re Standing On The Down Escalator. Which Way Do You Want To Go?

You’re standing on the down escalator moving towards the bottom. If you don’t want to be at the bottom, you’ve got to make a decision quickly and begin the efforts to outpace the descent. Doing nothing is the same as leaving your fate to the direction of movement of the automatic stairs: downward.

Aging is much more subtle. You have no idea that your bones may have lost their strength until your life is drastically changed by a fall. Last time you hurried about, it may have caught your attention that you’re breathing heavier than you used to, and you can feel your heart laboring harder to keep up.

Now is a great time to contemplate where you’re headed with your lifestyle.

The only option you have to improve that doesn’t have negative side effects is a fitness lifestyle: exercise, proper nutrition, and adequate sleep. From the Wellness perspective, a purposeful and positive outlook on life goes a long way, also.

Let’s get real and figure out your next move. You can keep doing the same thing with the same results, or you can make a decision, take action, and work toward being a little better each day.

You decide.

There are no excuses, only results. Your body will respond to positive stress like exercise by getting stronger, no matter how old you are. Different results demand different actions. Stop feeding on excuses, get up and begin your new beginning.

If you stand still, you lose.

Get It Started,

My Fitness Gift To You!: http://youtu.be/3yiwW_tunqE

Steven
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We Can Reduce Osteoporotic Fracture Risk By 50% Right Now…

…in the lives of our children.

“It’s estimated a 10% increase of peak bone mass in children reduces the risk of an osteoporotic fracture during adult life by 50%.”

“The prevention of osteoporosis begins with optimal bone growth and development in youth. It is recommended children engage in physical activity for at least 40 minutes a day. This exercise can include sports with a weight-bearing element (cycling and swimming are non-weight-bearing) or activities such as dancing, skipping, running or walking.

Weight-bearing exercises build bone density and mass, making them stronger and less vulnerable to osteoporosis later in life. Building bone density and mass is particularly important for young people aged 8 to16.

Research has shown physically active young girls gain about 40% more bone mass than the least active girls of the same age. In girls, the bone tissue accumulated during the ages of 11 to 13 approximately equals the amount lost during the 30 years following menopause.”

This excellent information is quoted from the International Osteoporosis Foundation, whose link is:

http://www.iofbonehealth.org/

What About Today’s Seniors?

Because of the changes that aging brings, the benefits of weight bearing exercise still exist, but at a significantly reduced effect. These effects, though diminished, are still very important. In clinical trials, compared to sedentary Seniors who are continuing to lose bone density at a rate of about two to three percent per year, subjects who participated in a program of regular weight bearing exercise experienced an average of one percent gain per year. Obviously, over a period of just a few years, these numbers become very significant; especially if one is borderline osteoporotic to begin with. It’s important, as well, that we not forget the additional benefits of an organized exercise program that includes bone-building movements. Increased muscle mass and strength, especially in the elderly, means a better chance of survival. Also contributing to a safer and more enjoyable lifestyle is the increase in coordination and balance that result from movement and exercise.

Back To Our Children

If the only benefit from organized, effective exercise programs was the 50% reduction in future Osteoporosis, it would make overwhelming sense to make sure our children had access to such programs; for them as individuals, and for us as a society.

When we add in all the other numerous positive side effects of exercise, it becomes beyond overwhelming.

To Our Health and Wellness,

Steven

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Find An Activity You Can Enjoy The Rest of Your Life! That’s How Long You’ll Need It.

Originally posted on The Senior Health and Fitness Blog:

image

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could exercise for a limited amount of time and have it last the rest of our lives? Because it’s a source of fun and achievement for me, you’d still be able to find me in the gym on a predictable basis.

One of the great facts that we’ve discovered in the last few years is that simply being active doing things that you already enjoy contributes significantly to your physical well being.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/03/20/291894075/exercise-cuts-breast-cancer-risk-for-all-women-everywhere?ft=3&f=1001

Wonderful news to those who think it’s only about sweat, strain, and soreness.

Don’t over analyze trying to figure out the best program. The most important and best program is the one you do! Once you experience the vitality that accompanies a fitness lifestyle, there are countless choices for continuing.

To Your Wellness Beginning,

Steven

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