As a senior, joint flexibility is one of the keys to living a healthy, active and independent lifestyle for as long as you can. While your joints may have stiffened over the last few years, it is never too late to start a stretching program to get back some of the flexibility lost. Without the intervention of a stretching program, muscles will keep getting shorter and continue to lose their elasticity. Stretching can reduce back and neck pain, improve posture and relieve pain caused by arthritis.
While there are several different types of stretching, the one’s seniors should focus on are static and dynamic.
Static vs Dynamic: Static stretching is preferred for lasting muscle length and soft tissue flexibility. It places a reduced load on a muscle, but for a longer period of time. The muscle is slowly extended to its fullest length and held there for 10 to 30 seconds.
Dynamic stretching increases range of motion by placing a greater load, but for a shorter period of time. The muscle is still stretched (but at a faster rate) to its fullest length and held there, but for a shorter amount of time, usually 2 to 5 seconds. It more replicates muscle movement when that muscle is in use.
However, because “muscle bouncing” is more of a danger with dynamic stretching, static is a safer choice as far as minimizing the risk of an injury in seniors. If a dynamic stretching program is used to increase joint flexibility and range of motion, only do it on muscles that have been warmed up prior to stretching.
While stretching is commonly used as part of both pre- and post-workout training programs in younger adults, stretching is the whole exercise program for many seniors.
How Often Should I Stretch?
After muscles are warmed, by doing a mild cardio exercise such as walking, stretch each major muscle group 3 to 5 times holding each stretch for 10 to 30 seconds. To maintain flexibility, stretching should be performed 2 to 3 days per week. For maximum, flexibility stretch 4 to 5 days per week.
Hip Extension – Stand while holding onto the back of a chair for stability. Extend one leg backward in a sweeping motion keeping your knee straight. Return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times with each leg.
Ankle Circles – Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Lift your right foot up bending at the knee. Rotate your foot in a circle 20 times. Change the rotation direction and move in a circle 20 times again. Repeat with another ankle.
Bent Over Rows – From the standing position, hold onto the back of a chair with one hand for support. With your other arm fully extended downward and holding a lightweight in that hand, pull that arm up and back bending at the elbow until the upper arm is parallel to the floor. Repeat 10 times before switching arms.
Overhead Press – Seated in a chair with a light weight in each hand (chest level), ensure your arms are bent at the elbow. Forearms are perpendicular to the floor. Push the weights straight up until arms are fully extended. Hold for a second or two before lowering the weights back down to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
Weights can be a bottle of water, unopened soup can or light dumbbells as required. Increasing and maintaining flexibility makes everyday tasks easier along with being less painful.
When it comes to weight loss, there are generally three schools of thought. The first is extreme dieting. This involves strictly following the instructions of the latest dieting trend to make headlines. The measures are extreme, and the results are generally short-lived. The second is balanced dieting – controlling your calorie intake against the amount of calories you burn during the day. Creating a calorie deficit is said to result in weight loss. The third is metabolism boosting. Your metabolism is the process by which your body turns food into energy. A slow metabolism leads to your body storing food as fat, while a fast metabolism burns through food more quickly. So which approach is best?
1.) Extreme dieting is nonsense.
You might see short term results, but it is generally completely unsustainable. Put it out of your mind.
2.) Balanced dieting vs. working on your metabolism?
Proponents of both are often quick to disparage the benefits of the other. The reality is a balanced diet and boosting your metabolism really go hand in hand. Keeping both in mind is the best way to approach weight loss.
There are many ways to boost your metabolism, but the most important is to make sure you are eating enough of the right foods. Severely reducing your calorie intake slows down your metabolism, making weight loss even more difficult. In order to lose weight, you need to maintain your calorie intake. This is being aware of just how many calories you are taking it, and how you are getting them. By substituting fatty, high-calorie foods for greater portions of healthy, low-calorie foods, you will speed up your metabolism and lose weight more quickly.
Another aspect of dieting and metabolism is exercise. Aerobic exercise burns calories, but by increasing your heart rate you can encourage your metabolism to work faster, greatly increasing the benefits. A good way to increase heart rate is to introduce high-intensity periods to your exercise. Joggers can break out to a sprint and walkers can increase to a jog —30 seconds every few minutes.
The truth is there is no definitive answer to the question of dieting vs. metabolism. A balanced diet (not a severe calorie cutting diet) will naturally improve your metabolism. Similarly, foods and activities to boost your metabolism will result in a more balanced diet. The key is in understanding your body. Understand the foods it needs and what positively impacts your metabolism. Keeping both in mind can you see sustained, permanent weight loss.
For many, growing older seems to involve an inevitable loss of strength, energy and vigor—but that need not be, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Frailty and decreased energy associated with aging are largely due to muscle loss due to inactivity. And when it comes to muscle, the old saying is true: “Use it or lose it.”
What To Do: One of the best ways to keep muscles healthy and strong, the CDC advises, is through exercises called strength training.
Why Do It: Regular strength training builds bone, muscle and helps to preserve strength, independence and energy. These exercises are safe and effective for women and men of all ages, including those not in perfect health. In fact, people with health concerns, such as arthritis or heart disease, often benefit the most from lifting weights a few times each week. Strength training can also reduce the signs and symptoms of:
- Arthritis—reduces pain and stiffness and increases strength and flexibility.
- Diabetes—improves glycemic control.
- Osteoporosis—builds bone density and reduces the risk for falls.
- Heart disease—reduces cardiovascular risk by improving lipid profile and overall fitness.
- Obesity—increases metabolism, which helps burn more calories and helps with long-term weight control.
- Back pain—strengthens back and abdominal muscles to reduce stress on the spine.
What’s more, studies have shown that people who exercise regularly sleep better and have less depression, more self-confidence and self-esteem, and a greater sense of well-being. Fore more details please visit https://www.mdlaserandcosmetics.com/
Fortunately, strength training exercises are easy to learn and have been proven safe and effective through years of thorough research. What’s more, you may be relieved to learn, there are ways to train without undo strain, aches, and pains.
- A few minutes (2-3 times a week) to maintain general fitness. 3 or 4 five-minute bursts of activity such as walking or stair climbing.
- 2-3 more minutes a day for yoga breathing and movements for body maintain balance, usable strength, flexibility, and muscular restoration.
- Another few minutes every day and before any vigorous exercise doing calf stretches and forward bends.
- Stay hydrated before, during and after your workout.
- Reduce risk of muscle soreness after exercise; consider massage, Epsom salts bath or intermittent hot and cold showers, and proper stretching and cooldown.
- Signs you should look for alerting you to rest your muscles and avoid overtraining are a higher than normal resting heart rate, disrupted sleep due to an elevated heart rate, muscle cramping, and muscle twitching. All signs of muscle strains and pulls.
- Eat right. In addition to lots of fruits and vegetables and a few lean meats, consume foods with magnesium, which helps fight inflammation, and with vitamin B12—especially if you’re over 50—such as fortified cereals. Drink three cups of fat-free or low-fat milk throughout the day or consume the equivalent in yogurt, cheese or other dairy products. Consider an anti-inflammatory diet—cut out sugar, potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant.
- Topical pain relievers such as creams, gels, and patches work locally. Lidocaine is a highly effective pain reliever and its unique non-narcotic and nonaddictive properties make it a benign alternative to opioids, without the risks and devastating side effects of opioids.”
If you ever considered an aesthetic treatment like Botox® , Restylane, skin tightening, hair loss treatment, weight loss, feminine rejuvenation or laser hair removal, but were nervous because you didn’t know what to expect? A great way to enjoy cosmetic treatments and build your confidence is to go with a friend. Just like shopping, working out or dieting, it’s always better with a buddy.
Men and women are increasingly turning to non-invasive services to help them look and feel their best. According to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, over 1.5 million laser facial procedures and about half a million laser hair removal treatments are performed per year. Still, going by yourself could seem daunting.
Chemical peels can be used in conjunction with other facial procedures such as Botox® and Restylane® (the combination of treatments used depends on what is needed to give you the new look you desire). When administered correctly, they will smooth the surface of your skin, improve your skin tone and color, diminish wrinkles and shrink blood vessels and pore size.
Restylane®, does more than smooth skin. Studies show it stretches fibroblasts (the cells in the skin that make collagen) in a way that produces new collagen. This treatment may last longer than many other skin-smoothing products. Recently with advances in PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma), Growth Factor and nonsurgical facelifts (Instalift and Novathreads), you can boost own regeneration of collagen and elastin for a younger and tighter looking face.
The laser/IPL hair removal process involves sending a gentle beam of laser energy through the skin to the hair follicle, where the energy is absorbed by the hair and transformed into heat. This process destroys the hair follicle, preventing new hair from growing.
An Expert Opinion
According to an article in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology non-invasive skin rejuvenation and laser hair removal are perhaps the two most popular laser procedures. In fact, an intense pulsed light (IPL) laser can treat both superficial vascular and melanocytic lesions, generate collagen stimulation, and affect hair removal.
Whether it involves skin rejuvenation (like skin tightening and photofacial), body shaping (like fat melting and cellulite reduction) or laser hair removal treatments, having someone to schedule appointments with and brag about results to, makes the journey more enjoyable and eventful.
You can give someone you care about the gift of being happy with what she sees whenever she looks in the mirror.
Your metabolism is like a woodstove. When you put a log on the fire, the fire gets hotter and produces more heat. Once that log is consumed, the fire dies down to just coals until you add another log. Overall when you exercise, your metabolism works harder to provide more energy to your muscles. But the type of exercise you do makes a difference as to how hard your metabolism works.
Before we get into the specifics as far as the types of exercise that make your metabolism work the hardest, let’s first talk about the three types of calorie-burning processes:
1) Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR):
This is the rate your metabolism works while sitting, sleeping, standing, etc. It accounts for about 75% of the time your metabolism is working and for the most part, is a fairly constant rate until you eat or exercise.
2) Thermal Effect of Food (TEF):
Once you have something to eat, your metabolism kicks into TEF mode to digest and process the food just consumed. This accounts for about 10% of the time during your day. Eating six small meals per day, keeps the TEF going at a steadier rate than does three meals per day, which causes a more cyclic up-and-down rate; because you always have some food in your stomach, your metabolism stays in TEF longer.
3) Physical Activity Energy Expenditure (PAEE):
Once you start exercising, you are burning more energy than with the other two methods, so your body has to work harder to keep up with the increased energy requirement. Washing dishes, walking up stairs, doing laundry, etc. all qualify as exercise, as does a workout, and thus will kick your metabolism into PAEE mode.
What Type of Exercise Will Make A Difference?
While exercising, in general, does affect the PAEE of your metabolism, different types of exercise affect it more than others. For instance, it is easy to accept you burn more calories running for 20 minutes than you do walking for the same amount of time. Both use the same large lower muscle groups but at different rates.
However, there is a big difference in your PAEE between cardio and strength training. There is even a difference between the types of cardio. Low intensity and endurance training focus more on burning fat instead of glucose stored in the muscles. For more details please visit https://www.mdlaserandcosmetics.com/
But high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and weight lifting, the focus is on burning glucose stored in the muscles. That glucose has to get replaced so your PAEE stays up higher and longer even after finishing your workout. And of course, the more muscle you build, the more calories you burn, even at the RMR rate.
Are you dieting but cannot seem to shake off as much weight as you want? Chances are you are probably sabotaging yourself despite your hard work. Making the wrong dieting choices can see you take in more calories than you think. So, what is the right way of dieting? Well, a good place to start would know what not to do. Check out this list of 6 mistakes people make with their diet that stop them from losing weight.
#1: Skipping Meals:
Most dieters think that skipping a meal helps to cut back the number of calories taken in during the course of the day. The truth however is that skipping a meal leaves you hungry, setting you up to eat more lately on. It is essential that you eat at least 3 meals a day even when on a diet. Just make sure the meals are healthy and low in calories.
#2: Eating Too Much of Healthy Foods:
While this may sound strange, eating copious amounts of healthy foods can actually up your calorie intake. Just because a certain food is considered healthy does not mean that it has zero calories. So, serving of salad is healthier than a plate of chips, but that does mean you can eat as much salad as you want. Keep in mind that portion control is still necessary even when you are eating healthy foods to lose weight.
#3: Taking Supper Early:
Unless you are an early sleeper, it is wise to avoid having your supper well before bedtime. Eating early and then spending the next 5 or more hours awake will see your body use up all the fuel from the ingested food and then demand for more. Dieticians recommend to eat no less than 2 to 3 hours before turning in for the night. This will lessen the chances of you being hit by nightly hunger pangs that will cause you to break your diet. For more details visit our website.
#4: Avoiding Snacks at All Cost:
Contrary to popular belief, snacking in between meals does not automatically sabotage one’s diet. In fact, if done right, snacking can work to help a dieter drop more pounds. Snacking between meals fills up your stomach, causing you to eat less during meas. As a result, by end of the day you have consumed fewer calories than you would have without snacking. However, be very careful to not overdo it with the snacking, as that can easily ruin a good diet plan. A smart move is eating a light snack such as a serving of non-fat young hurt or a handful of strawberries 3 hours after or before a meal.
#5: Eating Fast:
The best diets can be destroyed simply by eating too fast. Slow eating sends the fullness signal faster than fast eating. Eating fast poses a risk of overeating. Regardless of how busy you are, be sure to set aside enough time for eating.
#6: Drinking Too Many Calories:
While dieters obsess over their calorie intake, they often tend to overlook the calories that are ingested through drinks. Coffee, smoothes, juices, tea, sodas, and even alcohol all have significant calories that can contribute to weight gain if overlooked. This is why it is important to factor in the drinks you normally take when creating a weight loss diet.
There is no such thing as a perfect diet with sure-proof results, knowing what to avoid when dieting can get you one step closer to enjoying a successful weight loss. Don’t make these mistakes and you will improve the results from your weight loss diet.
Ever since wearable fitness trackers came out, this has been a debate. Is a fitness tracker necessary if you have a smartphone with a fitness app installed? The answer is it depends. Specifically, on these three things:
How you plan to use it: Unless you have your smartphone with you all day long, including bouncing up and down in your pocket when you are out running, it will not record steps. With a wearable fitness tracker, like any in the Fitbit® line, each move is tracked and counted. Just synch once a day with your smartphone to see all the data it collected during the day.
Another disadvantage of using your smartphone to track fitness is battery life. With a fitness app running in the background, the life of a battery charge is severely shortened. With most FitBit® devices, they can go four or five days between charges.
Where you plan to use it: Most smartphones are not waterproof, so taking them in the pool (plus where would you keep it!) is not a viable option. The new FitBit® Flex 2 is fully waterproof down to 30 feet, so it records activity while even exercising in the pool. Most serious joggers do not carry their smartphone with them while out running, so if using just a smartphone app, their running steps would not be captured. Wrist-worn FitBit® fitness trackers capture each step taken so you get an accurate picture of your fitness activity for the day.
What you want to track: Two common measurements people are now tracking are heart rate and sleep, both of which are not trackable using most smartphones. However three models in the Fitbit® line track this data (Charge 2, Blaze and Surge)
Heart Rate – Monitoring heart rate is important as you want to get your heart rate up into the target heart rate zone (220 – age times 70% to 80%) for maximum fitness benefit while at the same time not overworking your heart. The PurePulse® feature on all three models noted above not only heart rate but also heart rate zones so you can see the benefit you are getting at a certain heart rate.
Sleep Monitoring – Not only will these trackers tell you how long you slept but also how well by tracking how many times you were awake and or restless. You can even set a wake-up alarm that will vibrate on your wrist when it is time to get up.
While smartphones can do some of the same things as wrist-worn fitness trackers, they usually cannot do them as efficiently or as comfortably. The best combination is to use both – track data with a FitBit®, and analyze the downloaded data in the FitBit® app on your smartphone.
March brings with it the promise of warm and sunny days because it is the vernal equinox. Earth spins a winter frostbitten cheek toward springtime when animals are waking up from their long winter sleep to come out of hibernation and flowers poke their heads out of a defrosting earth to greet the sun.
The American poet George Washington Wright Houghton writes “In come the March winds, they blow and blow, they sweep up the brown leaves, that green ones may grow”, captivating our imagination and excitement as we look forward to spring.
March enters with bluster after the hectic rush of the New Year. But, before we enter the mid-year slump, now is a great time to re-evaluate goals, re-write our to-do lists to see if we are still on track to have your best year yet.
So before begin spring cleaning or playing outside in the beautiful weather, take a moment to read this issue. I think you’ll find it informative and helpful. So without further ado, let’s begin!
Myths, false information and folklore have created confusion about things that affect decisions in our daily lives. One thing that is true, however, is that fruits and vegetables are healthful foods.
Here are the top five myths about fruits and vegetables and the facts that can help you stay healthy.
Myth 1: Fresh is best.
Fact: Unless you eat them, you don’t get the benefits of fruits and vegetables, so try what fits best into your lifestyle: fresh, frozen, canned, dried or 100 percent juice. If you’re going to cook them anyway or want them fast, think of canned and frozen.
Myth 2: Organic is more nutritious.
Fact: Organic fruits and vegetables have not been proven to be more nutritious than traditionally harvested fruits and vegetables.
Myth 3: Potatoes and other starchy vegetables are fattening.
Fact: A plain medium potato, with no fattening toppings, may actually aide in weight loss and maintenance. Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, a good source of fiber and are one of the largest sources of potassium, per serving, of all fruits and vegetables.
Myth 4: Dietary supplements are necessary for health.
Fact: Fruits and vegetables have hundreds of active compounds with a long list of health benefits, which haven’t been able to be replicated with supplements. Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables are most beneficial when acquired through whole food consumption.
Myth 5: Fruits and vegetables are expensive.
Fact: Fruits and vegetables can be included in a healthy diet, even on a budget. According to the USDA, most adults can meet the fruit and vegetable recommendation for less than $2.50 per day.
Most Americans do not consume enough fruits and vegetables to meet recommendations in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Many consumers perceive these foods to be expensive. The United States Department of Agriculture estimates the average price at retail stores of a pound and an edible cup-equivalent (or for juices, a pint and an edible cup-equivalent) of 156 commonly consumed fresh and processed fruits and vegetables and find that in 2013, a consumer on a 2,000-calorie diet could satisfy Federal fruit and vegetable recommendations for $2.10 to $2.60 per day.
The USDA also finds that a family of four could purchase a sufficient variety of fruits and vegetables to meet those same guidelines with a limited budget, based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Thrifty Food Plan (TFP). However, this would require the household to allocate a much larger share of its overall food budget to fruits and vegetables and a smaller share to foods high in solid fats, added sugars, and sodium. For more details please visit MD Laser and Cosmetics website.
It’s been proven many times over that exercising can help you look and feel younger, but exactly what kind of exercises should you be doing? Broken down into two broad categories, it should be a mix of cardio and strength training.
Doing anything that raises your heart rate qualifies as cardio training. So whether you ride a bike, walk, jog, play tennis or swim laps, all of it gets your blood flowing faster. This gets more oxygen to your cells and more carbon dioxide out.
In a study done at McMaster University in Ontario Canada, researchers had one group of mice run in a wheel while the other group did nothing for exercise. What they found in the group that exercised is that every aspect of their health and appearance improved versus the control group that did nothing.
But that was only part of the story; they also found that the control group’s fur started graying and balding. In the group that exercised, their fur did not gray, nor did they experience balding.
In another study – this time on humans -the doctor then took another skin sample from each and did a comparison study after 3 months of exercise. Importance of exercise was demonstrated in a published study by the National Institute of Health linking skin health to exercise and diet. What he found was the group that exercised had improved skin; both their inner and outer layers had significantly improved. So much so that he concluded their skin was of the same age as a 40-year old.
As we age, we lose bone density, muscle mass, and tone. By using light weights or resistance bands, but doing many repetitions, you can slow the loss of bone, keep muscle tone and maintain mass. Heck, you can even build muscle mass after age 65 with the right program!
The second aspect of looking and feeling younger is eating the right foods. Stay away from fast and processed foods, and diet soda.
Instead, focus on eating lean meats and fish, whole grains, nuts, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Each of these foods adds something special to your diet, so to have a complete nutrient plan you need some from each group.
The other half of eating right is portion control. As we get older, our metabolism starts to slow down, so we don’t need as much food as we once did to maintain our current weight. Read labels to see how much a portion really is as packaging can leading you into eating more than one serving.
Doing cardio, strength training and eating right is as close to the fountain of youth as anything we have. Exercising on a consistent basis not only increases endurance and stamina, but it improves muscle tone and skin. With exercise and healthy eating, you’ll look years younger than you really are, have more energy and in general feel better and have a more youthful outlook on life.
A big step toward eating better lunches can be to fill half your plate with fruits and veggies. There are several powerful vegetables one can add to improve your health according to WebMD. Here are hints on how:
- Add fruit and nuts to salad; top with a low-fat dressing.
- Add chopped tomatoes, pineapple or avocado to tuna and chicken salad.
- Create fruit skewers with sliced pineapple, cantaloupe or bananas dipped in lemon juice and toothpicks. Pack low-fat yogurt for dipping.
- Spread peanut butter over a whole grain tortilla; top with crushed whole grain cereal and a whole banana. Roll up and enjoy.
- Serve a delicious pineapple salsa with leftover grilled chicken, pork or as a healthy dip with fresh veggies and low-fat chips. Combine chopped fresh pineapple, red and green bell peppers, sweet onion slivers, lemon juice, fresh cilantro and one seeded finely chopped jalapeño. Each serving provides a boost of vitamins C and A.
- Stir in canned beans and fresh chopped tomatoes to low-sodium canned soup for a heartier lunch.
- Tomato and part-skim mozzarella chunks drizzled with a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar is always a hit.
- Stuff whole grain pita with veggies and beans or fruits and nuts. Top with low-fat yogurt.
- Mix chopped tomatoes and herbs with cottage cheese for a dose of calcium, vitamin C and fiber or add chopped pineapple and banana to cottage cheese for a naturally sweet after-lunch treat.