Fitness News & Views

A Publication of Graham Fitness

Feb. 15, 2016

1 Corinthians 6: 19-20


Fitness Quiz

See How Many You Can Answer


  1. By the age of 70, most sedentary adults have lost what percent of their muscle?
    • 40%
    • 50%
    • 25%
    • 64%
  2. In one study, what percent of obese children as young as 8 years old showed some signs of a thickening of the heart walls?
    • 5%
    • 60%
    • 30%
    • 40%
  3. Which of the following is not a consequence of inactivity?
    • Sarcopenia (muscle loss)
    • Osteoporosis (bone density loss)
    • Knee pain
    • Hypertrophy (high blood pressure)
  4. According to Beth Kitchin, PhD and RD, at Alabama Birmingham, we need to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day.
    • True
    • False
  5. 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.
    • True
    • False

To check your answers, read this issue of the newsletter.




         Recently on a website called, 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 oblivious.
  • 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 cross check.
  • 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.
  • Chafing.  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. :

  1. Jog in place - 30 seconds
  2. Pushups - 30 seconds
  3. Bicycle crunches - 30 seconds
  4. Squats - 30 seconds
  5. 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 hands.
  • Push-ups. If doing push-ups on the floor is too difficult, use the side of the desk.
  • 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 shoulders.
  • Planks. 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.
  • Dips. 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 are:

  1. 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.
  2. Weaker immune system.
  3. Memory decline.
  4. Loss of muscle (sarcopenia) and loss of strength.
  5. Reduced skin-wound healing.
  6. Lower oxidative capacity. This is the ability of the body to remove toxins adequately.
  7. Higher risk of Alzheimer's, dementia, depression, and anxiety.
  8. Artery stiffness.
  9. Higher risk of osteoporosis which results in a decrease in the strength of your bones.
  10. Higher risk of breast, endometrial, and colon cancer.
  11. Loss of coordination and balance which makes for a higher risk of fractures from falls.
  12. Decreased function of joints, ligaments, and tendons.
  13. Elevated risk of stroke, coronary heart disease, and peripheral artery disease.
  14. Hypertension (high blood pressure), elevated LDL (bad) cholesterol, and lower HDL (good) cholesterol.
  15. Increased risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

So come on, get up, and get moving, or you might have a long rest ahead of you prematurely.


          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.

Graham Fitness
Tim Graham

ACE Certified Personal Trainer

Certified Nutrition Specialist



Phone: 803-447-8557

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Graham Fitness, 106 Hillpine Road, Columbia, SC 29212