LIFE POTATO? NEVER SAY “PHOOEY” TO FITNESS

Couch Potato, Fitness“Exercise. Ugh, who needs it?”

Uh, let’s see…hmm…like everyone. And yes, you, eyes glued to your tablet watching an obscene number of reruns of “Empire”, that includes you. So this isn’t the point in this post where you want to exit the page.  This is where you face the need to stay fit. Always. Chronic sitting is the new smoking. Not moving is a bad move. Period. Studies suggest that the sedentary lifestyle so common in our culture is more deadly than smoking (any brand). They also believe that 6-10% of the world’s non-communicable diseases (such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain kinds of cancer) are caused by physical inactivity.  On the positive side, according to the Centers for Disease Control, exercise can reduce your risk of:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Arthritis
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Breast and colon cancer
  • Osteoporosis

Paying more attention now? So get up, get out there and get going.

There is so much you can do to do so much for your health. Mind, body, inside and out. Any way you look at it, it’s a win-win. The biggest losers are the ones who never try.

GET THE SKINNY ON IT

When it comes to all the information here we’re hopefully opening your eyes to, it’s fact. And it effects everyone at every age. According to the Centers for Disease Control, only 60% of Americans get the recommended amount of physical fitness each day. Only 35 – 44% of adults 75 years or older are physically active, and 28-34% of adults ages 65-74 are physically active. Which takes a lot of them beyond chunky to obese. About one-third of U.S. adults (33.8%) are obese (and no matter how much 370-pound women are trending and being lauded in the media right now— “you go girl-just be yourself!”) obesity is bad and unhealthy in every way.

No kidding.

Which brings us to kids, which is intensely bad news no matter how you look at it.

More facts:

Only one in three children are physically active every day. More than 80% of adolescents do not do enough aerobic physical activity to meet the guidelines for youth (who in the heck is guiding, or rather not guiding them when it comes to their overall health?) Approximately 17% (or 12.5 millions) of children and adolescents (aged 2-19 years) are obese. Oh boy… children and adolescents who are obese are likely to be obese as adults. And this is the killer (or could be at some point)- obesity, even in kids, can contribute to liver disease, diabetes, hormonal imbalance, asthma, depression, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure…we could keep going here.  Not to the mention the humiliation of the “non fatties” (hate these despicable “fat related monikers) out there taunting and trashing “Hey Lardo…sure you can get through the door?” That’ll cause a spiraling tumble to self-esteem.

In the effort to be fit, eating less and better is a big part of the equation. But rather than filling our fridges with veggies and fruit, we’ve become a nation of super-sizing everything that goes into our voracious mouths. We lunch at “Tubway” on 6-foot-long subs (turkey, of course, counting as hunks of healthiness) slurping down vatfuls of soda. But nutrition and eating balanced meals aren’t the Holy Grail. We’ve become a nation of the device-addicted, spending 8+ hours a day on them.

Mama Media!

BEING FIT NEVER GETS OLD

Millennials think that people over 50 are ready for the elephant graveyard, a place where according to legend, older elephants instinctively direct themselves to when they reach a certain age. Boomer hell.  Well, hell, have they got it wrong.  And while these self-absorbed (we didn’t make up that description…it’s everywhere) Millennials don’t want to think of it, the years go by just as quickly for them.  Entertainment Tonight loves to highlight celeb birthdays just before signing off. Celebs getting very close to the age the under-forties can’t believe is coming at them.

Which gets us to “seniors”. First of all, we desperately need to find a word to replace it. It’s the name that’s ancient, not the people clumped in its claws. You’ll be amazed at how far and fast seniors are flying.

In 1985, the National Senior Olympic Games were established, covered by the New York Times, ESPN and Good Morning America. A growing number of seniors are competing at major athletic events like marathons, and some are outperforming athletes half their age. And speaking of age…

WORLDS OLDEST FEMALE BODYBUIDLER-74

NASCAR DRIVER -69

LONG DISTANCE CYCLIST- 62

LONG DISTANCE RUNNER -89

OLYMPIC BASKETBALL PLAYER

ALL STAR TENNIS PLAYER-84

YOGA INSTRUCTOR-93

It’s like the Energizer Bunny meets the Timex Watch.

As you age, regular exercise is more important than ever to your overall health. In fact, a recent Swedish study found that exercise was the number one contributor to longevity, adding extra years to your life—even if you don’t start exercising until your senior (there’s that irritating word again) years. But it’s not just about adding years to your life, it’s about adding life to your years. Being fit can increase metabolism and build muscle mass.  It can improve immune function, lower blood lower pressure, maintain bone density and have a positive effect on digestive functioning. It can lower risk of Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. It improves strength and flexibility and balance. Falls are the pits and hips don’t heal well with complications that can be life-threatening.  Studies show that approximately 20% of elderly people who fracture a hip die within 1 year. “Hit the ground running” shouldn’t ever just become “hit the ground”.

BLOOD, SWEAT AND BALANCED HORMONES

HORMONE IMBALANCES ARE LITERALLY BECOMING EPIDEMIC WITH CERTAIN ILLNESSES AND ISSUES ALMOST COMMONPLACE. THESE HORMONE IMBALANCES CAN DISRUPT YOUR LIFE AND ATTACK YOUR STATE OF OVERALL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING. AT DENVER HORMONE HEALTH, DR. STEPHEN A. GOLDSTEIN, M.D, F.A.C.S. HAS YEARS OF INTENSE TRAINING HELPING PEOPLE WORK OUT ANY HORMONE IMBALANCES THAT ARE TAKING THEM OUT OF THE GAME. WITH SIMPLE TESTS, HE CAN TELL WHAT’S DRAGGING YOU DOWN AND CREATE AN INDIVIDUALIZE PROGRAM THAT WILL MAKE YOU A PLAYER AGAIN.

CALL NOW FOR AN APPOINTMENT. SMART GAME PLAN.

Add Years to Your Life. Life to Your Years.

jan16Make this your mantra and nothing can stop you from not just achieving your goals but sticking with them. You’ve learned what’s important to you regarding your health and fitness. You’ve discovered tools to keep your health finely tuned. You feel great and you want to stay that way. It’s going to take some work, but it doesn’t have to be hard.

WRITE YOUR RESOLUTIONS IN INK

Are you hoping to lose weight? Boost your energy? Manage a chronic condition? Keep yourself from developing serious health issues? Whatever your goal, put it on paper. Write it down. Don’t file it in your mind and then lose it. Don’t write it down to end up crumpled and ignored somewhere. Write it down and stare it in the face. Daily. “I want to keep my heart strong”. “I don’t want to fall.” “I want to control my diabetes.” It might even help to keep a diary. Track your progress and remind yourself that you are making progress. Small changes can add up over time to give you a big health boost.

FILL UP ON MOTIVATION DAILY

Motivation is everywhere. The Mayo Clinic has some simple tips to help you stick to your program and keep you on path.

Routine is the biggest killer of motivation.

Change it up to stay psyched about what you are doing.  If your regimen is stagnant, you’ll wither with it. And all that work you’ve been doing is out the door.

Keep your goals realistic and achievable

Start with 10 minutes a day if you have to. Park in the back part of the parking lot and walk to where you’re going. Cut out the nightly Ben and Jerry’s or M&M’s. It’s easy to get frustrated and give up if your goals are too ambitious.

Make it fun

If you don’t enjoy it, you’re not going to do it. For example, you might find the treadmill tedious and boring. You’re not alone there. So think about what you’ve probably never thought about. What would you like? A dancing class? Martial arts? Don’t laugh. Whatever it is, you should look forward to it, not dread it.

Make physical activity part of your daily routine

Brush your teeth, floss, move. Move more. Make it a habit. Sitting for long periods of time has negative effects on your health. Remember that. And keep moving. Do it throughout the day in small doses. Moderate or vigorous. Whatever you can do is better than nothing.

Don’t go it alone

You’re not the only one trying to achieve what you are. Seek out fitness partners even if it means finding someone to walk with. Develop a cheering section. Sometimes you need to hear your success out loud.

Reward yourself

Take a few minutes to pat yourself on the back about what you’re doing. Treat yourself to something other than food. Add some new workout tunes. Buy a new pair of workout shoes. Binge on good feelings.

Be flexible

It’s ok to take a day or two off if you feel you need a break. Don’t let guilt get you. Just get right back on track and feel good about yourself doing it. Vacation dropout? Forgive yourself. Don’t beat yourself up. You enjoyed it, now let it go.

JUST DON’T GIVE UP.

Make it all matter. Be realistic about what ‘s at stake here. The process doesn’t have to be painful. It’s about feeling better. Achieving your goals is something to celebrate. Look in the mirror and instead of cringing, see what success looks like. Discover the power of willpower over won’tpower.  No “poor me”. “No “I’m going to fail”.  No “I can’t do this”. No excuses.

PART OF “NO EXCUSES” IS TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TO SEE DR. STEPHEN A. GOLDSTEIN, M.D, F.A.C.S. AT DENVER HORMONE HEALTH. YOU MADE A PLAN THAT INCLUDED EATING LESS AND EXERCISING MORE. YOU’VE STUCK TO IT SO FAR. BUT ARE YOU DOING EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO AVOID SABOTAGING YOURSELF? THERE’S A LOT AT STAKE HERE. STICKING TO YOUR PROGRAM ENTAILS SEEING AND FEELING ONGOING RESULTS. IF YOUR HORMONES ARE IMBALANCED, WITH TIME IT CAN BECOME MORE DIFFICULT TO BENEFIT FROM NUTRITION AND FITNESS. YOU’RE NOT GOING TO GET THE FULL REWARD OF YOUR EFFORTS. AND THAT’S KEY TO REMAINING MOTIVATED. THAT’S WHERE DR. GOLDSTEIN CAN HELP. ONCE HE TESTS YOU TO DETERMINE YOUR PERSONAL HORMONE LEVELS, HE CAN CREATE AN INDIVIDUALIZED TREATMENT PLAN FOR YOUR UNIQUE HORMONE NEEDS. WANT TO KEEP FOLLOWING YOUR PLAN? PLAN ON KEEPING DR. GOLDSTIEN IN THE PICTURE. GOING TO HIM ON A REGULAR BASIS, IS A SURE WAY TO KEEP YOU GOING.

Body of Evidence

jan16Everyone knows “exercise is good for you”. Pretty bland assessment. Authorities around the world have researched the topic in depth. The benefits of regular exercise for people of all ages have been well established. Nevertheless, inactivity continues to be a major public health concern, with many people failing to exercise as recommended.

Approximately, only 22 percent of the U.S. adult population meets the minimum requirement of physical activity —150 minutes of exercise per week — according to the New York State Department of Health. One study showed that adults who watch more than 4 hours of television a day had a 46% increased risk of death from any cause and an 80% increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease. According to a CBS news study, it linked physical inactivity to more than 5 million deaths worldwide per year, more than those caused by smoking.

WHAT’S WHAT

There are two terms floating around out there that could be a little confusing to would-be exercisers. So let’s clarify. Although used interchangeably, there is a difference between physical activity and exercise. Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by the skeletal muscles resulting in energy expenditure that exceeds resting energy expenditure. Exercise is considered a subcategory of physical activity and is defined as planned, structured, and repetitive body movements that are performed to improve or maintain one or more components of physical activity. In other words, physical activity is activity that gets a person moving, such as walking to the mailbox, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or even gardening, whereas exercise includes activities such as weight training, tai chi, and aerobics classes. Physical activity and exercise are both important for health and fitness. While the American Heart Association (AHA), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) use physical activity in the titles of their recommendations, by definition they are referring to exercise.

TURN BACK THE CLOCK

Rule number one, and the only rule when it comes to exercise:

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE.

Many people assume that they’re too out-of-shape, or sick, or tired, or just plain too old to exercise. Regular exercise is the only well-established fountain of youth,” writes New York Times personal health reporter Jane Brody. The American Council on Exercise reports that people over 50 can slow or even turn back the clock. Even people in their nineties living in nursing homes can start a routine that can boost muscle strength. No one, not even the disabled can come up with a good excuse not to exercise. As they say, age is just a number.

LIFE CHANGER, LIFE EXTENDER

Exercise has life giving and life enhancing power. Without question, it is one of the most important things you can do for your health increasing your chances of living long and better. Consider just some of its benefits…According to experts such as John Hopkins Hospital, exercise can

  • Control your weight
  • Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Lower risk of colon, breast, endometrial and lung cancer
  • Reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles
  • Lower risk for, strokes, type 2 diabetes and depression, improving your mental health and mood
  • Boost your memory
  • Improve your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls if you’re an older person
  • Improve blood circulation
  • Prevent and manage high blood pressure
  • Prevent bone loss
  • Prevent muscle atrophy
  • Ease back pain
  • Reduce arthritis pain and joint stiffness
  • Help you sleep better
  • Boost energy level
  • Help delay or prevent chronic disease and illness associated with aging
  • Beginning to get the point?

MAKE THE MOVE

The World Health Organization recommends 150 minutes of exercise every week. That might sound like a lot. Actually, it’s only a little over 20 minutes a day. What’s more, you don’t have to do it all in one chunk. You can split it up. For instance, take a 10-minute walk in the morning and pedal on a stationary bike for 15 minutes in the evening — you’re done.

If you ask, “What should I be doing? there’s no questioning here. There are established building blocks of a well-rounded program.

Aerobic (endurance) exercises

Regular aerobic exercise provides the following benefits:

  • Protection from heart attack, stroke, diabetes, dementia, depression, colon and breast cancers, and early death
  • Builds endurance
  • Keeps the heart pumping at a steady and high rate for a long time
  • Boosts HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels
  • Helps control blood pressure
  • Strengthens the bones in the spine
  • Helps maintain normal weight
  • Improves one’s sense of well-being

Aerobic exercise is usually categorized as high or low intensity. You need to sweat, but you don’t have to sweat it. Brisk walking burns as many calories as jogging for the same distance and poses less risk for injury to muscle and bone.

Strength or resistance exercises

While aerobic exercise increases endurance and helps the heart, it does not build upper body strength or tone muscles. Strength-training exercises build muscle strength. These exercises help maintain bone density and lower risk for heart disease, possibly because it lowers LDL (the so-called “bad” cholesterol) levels.

Balance exercises

Each year, millions of older people—those 65 and older—fall. In fact, one out of three older people falls each year. Falling once doubles your chances of falling again. That’s why these often forgotten exercises are so crucial. They benefit your neuromuscular coordination, improving the communication between your brain and muscles. They help with muscle isolation forcing you to maintain stabilization, training the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work in harmony.

Flexibility or stretching exercises

Many stretching exercises are particularly beneficial for the back. In general, flexibility exercises help prevent cramps, stiffness and injuries and improve joint and muscle movement (improved range of motion.) Certain flexibility practices, such as yoga and tai chi, also involve meditation and breathing techniques that reduce stress. Such practices appear to have many health and mental benefits. They may be very suitable and highly beneficial for older people, and for patients with certain chronic diseases.

NOT JUST MUSCLE POWER, BRAIN POWER

BAs reported in the Harvard Medical School Harvard Health Publications, researchers say one new case of dementia is detected every four seconds globally. They estimate that by the year 2050, more than 115 million people will have dementia worldwide. In a study done at the University of British Columbia, researchers found that regular aerobic exercise, the kind that gets your heart and your sweat glands pumping, appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning. Resistance training, balance and muscle toning exercises did not have the same results. Brain scans of older adults who exercise have shown an increase in the thickness of the cortex, the outer layer of the brain that typically shrinks with Alzheimer’s disease. Many people think it is too late to intervene with exercise once a person shows symptoms of memory loss, but some data suggest that exercise may have a benefit in early stages of cognitive decline.

YOUR PERSONAL BEST

When it comes to exercise, your toughest opponent is you. The only thing you’re really competing for is your ongoing health and well-being. There’s a new definition of “personal best” that anyone can achieve. But you can’t achieve it if you don’t go for it. You don’t have to be an athlete. Although just as a bit of inspiration, The National Senior Games or “Senior Olympics” is a sports competition for seniors from the United States. It is a multi-sport event specifically devoted to adults aged 50+, with oldest competitors being over 100 years old. Competition categories include everything from horseshoes to badminton, bowling, cycling, table tennis, archery and swimming, to name a few.  Exercise shouldn’t be intimidating, but rather fun and rewarding.

AS WE AGE, OUR HORMONES BEGIN TO FADE PARTLY BECAUSE OF LEADING SEDENTARY LIVES AND EATING BADLY. HORMONE BALANCE AFFECTS OTHER EFFORTS TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH INCLUDING EXERCISE AND GOOD NUTRITION.  DR. STEPHEN A. GOLDSTEIN, M.D, F.A.C.S. AT DENVER HORMONE HEALTH IS AUTHORITY ON THIS. ONE MEETING WITH HIM AND YOU’LL UNDERSTAND ALL HE CAN DO TO MAKE ANY IMPROVEMENTS IN YOUR LIFESTYLE MEAN MORE. HE STARTS WITH SIMPLE TESTS TO DETERMINE YOUR HORMONE LEVELS FOR ANY EXCESSES OR DEFIENCIES THAT COULD BE NEGATIVELY AFFECTING YOUR HEALTH. AT THAT POINT HE CREATES A UNIQUE AND COMPREHENSIVE TREATMENT PROGRAM THAT WHEN COMBINED WITH EXERCISE AND NUTRITION MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER THAN YOU HAVE IN A LONG TIME. SO IF YOU’RE LOOKING TO PUMP UP YOUR PROGRAM,

GIVE US A CALL. EXERCISE ALL YOUR OPTIONS.