How Many You Can Answer
In one study, what percent of
obese children as young as 8 years old showed some signs of a
thickening of the heart walls?
Which of the following is not
a consequence of inactivity?
- By the age of 70, most
sedentary adults have lost what percent of their muscle?
According to Beth Kitchin, PhD
and RD, at Alabama Birmingham, we need to drink eight 8-ounce glasses
of water every day.
It is more important for the
elderly to lift weights than it is for them to walk for
exercise, given the choice of one or the other.
- Sarcopenia (muscle loss)
- Osteoporosis (bone density loss)
- Knee pain
- Hypertrophy (high blood pressure)
To check your
answers, read this issue of the newsletter.
Recently on a website called Active.com, I saw an article titled
"26 Things Runners Absolutely Hate." Even though I don't
run anywhere nearly as much as I used to, I still consider myself a
runner, and I found the article by Erica Schuckies amusing. Here are
a few samplings from the article:
- When non-runners say you'll
injure yourself by running.
Yeah, I concur with Erica on this one. I've been running for
almost 40 years and my knees, hips, ankles, and feet are just
fine while a lot of people my age who have never run have
already had hip or knee replacements.
- Rain. I
don't agree with her here. I actually like to run in the rain,
especially in the summer. In the winter, not so much.
- Dog walkers who can't or won't
control their pets. This one really gripes me.
The only thing worse than a dog on one side of a path or
sidewalk and the owner on the other side and the leash stretched
out over the entire path, is a dog that jumps at you. I've
actually been bitten by a dog whose owner was completely
- Earbuds that won't stay in. This
can be annoying for sure.
- Groups of walkers who take up
the entire path and won't move over. These
are the ones you'd just like to take out with a well-placed
- When you notice half way
through your timed 30-minute run that your stopwatch never
started. And the only person you can blame for
this one is yourself.
No explanation needed.
- Black ice. This
is the worst. I've taken more than one fall by slipping on a
patch of ice I never saw, and it's never fun.
If you are short on time, but still want to get a good workout in,
here's one. It's a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Workout
that takes less than 20 minutes to complete.
There are five exercises which you perform for 30 seconds each
without breaks. :
- Jog in place - 30 seconds
- Pushups - 30 seconds
- Bicycle crunches - 30 seconds
- Squats - 30 seconds
- Mountain climbers - 30 seconds
After doing the five exercises, take a 15 second break then do it
again. Repeat the sequence four times. It's a pretty tough workout
which provides both strength and cardio benefits, and it's fast. So
no longer is "I don't have time to exercise" an excuse.
I'm 68 years old now. Because of that my clients tend to be a little
older. Older folks need strength training even more than younger
ones. Young people, and by that I mean people in their 20's and 30's,
generally lift weights for reasons of vanity. They want to look good.
Older people aren't as concerned with that, and as a result, they
often think they don't need to do strength training. But they do -
even more than their kids and grandkids.
Adults who do not regularly lift weights lose about a half pound of
muscle every year during their 30's and 40's. That rate doubles to
one pound a year in people over 50. So sedentary adults have lost 40
percent of their muscle by the age of 70.
Muscles are the engines of the body. As you lose muscle, you lose the
ability to perform what nursing homes call ADL's, or Activities of
Daily Living. These include walking without an aid, ascending and
descending stairs, and even getting up and down from chairs. The
reason we have commercials that say, "I've fallen and I can't
get up" is because the elderly have not challenged their muscles
for years. Everyone - even those in their 80's and 90's - should be
able to get themselves off the floor if they have to. And they can if
they will work a simple strength training program on a regular basis.
All it takes is about 30 minutes, two or three times a week.
A lot of old people - and I can use that expression because I am one
- think that walking is sufficient. But given the options of either
walking or lifting weights, lifting is far more beneficial. So here's
the challenge: If you're over 40 years old, get in the gym now and
start pumping iron. If you need instruction or motivation, give me a
call. My number is 803-447-8557.
As for the very young, there are some disturbing facts coming out.
According to the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions
2015, recently published in Circulation
magazine, signs of heart disease are now showing up in obese children
as young as 8 years old.
Researchers analyzed MRI scans of 20 obese children and 20 healthy
kids. The scans showed that in the obese group the heart's left ventricle
had 27 percent more mass and 12 percent more thickness than in the
healthy weight group. Forty percent of the obese children also showed
concentric hypertrophy, a condition where the heart's walls have
thickened, impairing its ability to efficiently pump blood throughout
the body. Remember, we're talking about kids as young as 8 years old.
The authors warned that if left unchecked, these children would face
significant heart health risks in the future. Once obesity is
established in the very young, it is very difficult to reverse as
they age. As a result, it is really important that parents monitor
their kids eating and activity habits from a very early age. By age
8, it may be too late.
If you are seated in front of a computer all day at work, you still
need to get up and move around some. Sitting for long periods of time
is devastating to your health. There are a few simple things you can
do such as using stairs whenever possible and visiting other workers
cubicles when delivering a message instead of using email.
Even better is to take 15 to 30 minutes every day to do a few simple
exercises in your office or perhaps in the conference room if you
work in a cubicle. Here's a simple workout that utilizes office
furniture and your body weight:
- Chair squats.
Begin seated in your chair then stand up without using your
- Push-ups. If
doing push-ups on the floor is too difficult, use the side of
- Hip raises. Lie
on your back on the floor with your knees bent and you feet flat
on the floor and about shoulder-width apart. Now lift your hips
until there is a straight line from your knees to your
Position yourself facedown on the floor with your elbows
underneath your shoulders. Push up until only your toes and
elbows are on the floor. Hold this position as long as you
can up to 30 seconds.
Place your hands by your sides on a chair and lower your body
until your elbows are at a 45 degree angle, then push yourself
all the way up. To increase the difficulty, move your feet
farther away from the chair.
Do from 8 to 15
reps of each of these exercises and if you have time, repeat the
circuit. You should be able to do two circuits in about 20 minutes.
If you don't have even that much time, stop every hour at the top of
the hour and perform two sets of one of these exercises. Then the
next hour do a different exercise. It shouldn't take you more than
two minutes, but in five hours, you will have completed the same
workout, but spread out over the entire day. I promise you'll feel
better at the end of the day than you do now by sitting all day. Try
it and see.
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So what are some of the consequences of physical inactivity? A 2012
study, conducted by Booth, Roberts, and Laye, came up with 15
problems either caused or exacerbated by being sedentary. Here they
- Proneness to visceral obesity, type 2
diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Visceral obesity is
belly fat. Metabolic syndrome is a clustering of several health
conditions such as high blood pressure and high triglycerides.
- Weaker immune system.
- Memory decline.
- Loss of muscle (sarcopenia) and loss of
- Reduced skin-wound healing.
- Lower oxidative capacity. This is the
ability of the body to remove toxins adequately.
- Higher risk of Alzheimer's, dementia,
depression, and anxiety.
- Artery stiffness.
- Higher risk of osteoporosis which results
in a decrease in the strength of your bones.
- Higher risk of breast, endometrial, and
- Loss of coordination and balance which
makes for a higher risk of fractures from falls.
- Decreased function of joints, ligaments,
- Elevated risk of stroke, coronary heart
disease, and peripheral artery disease.
- Hypertension (high blood pressure),
elevated LDL (bad) cholesterol, and lower HDL (good)
- Increased risk of non-alcoholic fatty
So come on, get
up, and get moving, or you might have a long rest ahead of you
As you probably know if you've been a long-time reader of this
newsletter, I don't subscribe to the
you've-got-to-drink-a-lot-of-water every day philosophy. Beth
Kitchin, RD, PhD, at Alabama Birmingham feels the same way. You can't
lose weight by drinking excessive amounts of water, she says,
although you might burn a few extra calories by getting up to go to
the bathroom frequently. Nor do you need to drink eight 8-ounce
glasses of water every day as we've been told.
You need to stay hydrated, but you can drink anything to do that,
and, yes, coffee counts. Bottom line, drink when you're thirsty,
drink anything you want, and, please, stop carrying that plastic
bottle of water everywhere you go.
Certified Personal Trainer
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Harbison Recreation Center
106 Hillpine Road
Columbia, SC 29212
The Harbison Rec
Center offers more facilities for less money than anywhere else in
town These are just some of the features: a new weight room with
all new machines, free weights, treadmills, ellipticals, and
stationary bikes; a 25 meter junior Olympic size indoor heated
swimming pool; sauna; whirlpool; racquet ball and tennis courts; a
basketball gym; and miles of traffic-free trails for walking or
jogging. There are classes for seniors as well as summer camp and
after school programs for kids. Also newly remodeled locker rooms and
an all-purpose room for large gatherings. All for only $315 a year
for singles or $600 a year for families Check out their website: http://www.harbisonhoa.com/rec.
Wolf's Fitness Center
5432 August Road
Lexington, SC 29072
Wolf's is a total
fitness facility offering some great amenities. There's a huge weight room
featuring free weights and machines. There is a cardio area with
treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, stair steppers, and the
cardio theater. Other
amenities include an indoor walking/running track, sauna, child care
facilities with an attendant, tanning beds, clean locker rooms and
showers, and sports supplements. Prices are very
reasonable and there are no
enrollment fees ever. Wolf's also offers a full slate
of fitness classes including kickboxing and pilates, as well as spinning classes.
Check out their website, www.wolfsfitness.com
for rates and specials.