Fitness News & Views

A Publication of Graham Fitness

June 15, 2016

1 Corinthians 6: 19-20


Your Monthly Quiz

How Many Can You Get Right?

No Cheating!




  1. What one thing can women do to help them live longer without changing their diet or exercising?
    • Do volunteer work
    • Go shopping
    • Go to church
    • Learn to cook
  1. Which of the following does not contribute to good balance?
    • Hearing
    • Vision
    • Muscles and joints
    • The vascular system
  1. Toast has fewer calories than untoasted bread.
    • True
    • False
  1. How can you improve the intensity of a walk?
    • Walk outside
    • Listen to upbeat music
    • Add hills
    • Walk in hot weather
  1. What percentage of people 65 and over fall every year?
    • Between 20 and 40 percent
    • About 10 percent
    • Between 50 and 60 percent
    • Almost 80 percent
  1. What year was the designated hitter allowed in Major League Baseball?
    • 1973
    • 1977
    • 1904
    • 2003
  1. Major League Baseball has implemented several changes in the last few years. Which of the following is not one of those changes?
    • Catchers can no longer block home plate
    • Video reviews of close plays
    • Coaches cannot visit the mound during an inning
    • Each team plays about 40 interleague games a year



          How would you like to live longer without changing your diet or exercising more? Sounds like a commercial for some crazy new gimmick, doesn't it? But a study conducted over 16 years by the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston proves that women who attend church regularly live longer than those who don't.
         The study followed thousands of women. About 14,000 of them attended religious services more than once a week, about 30,400 once a week, 12,000 less than once a week, and 18,000 never attended.
          The women who went to church regularly were 33 percent less likely to die during the study period compared with those who never went. Frequent religious attendance was associated with a 27 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease and a 21 percent lower risk of death from cancer.
           Observational studies like this one cannot prove cause and effect nor were any men included in this study, but Dr. Dan Blazer of Duke University Medical Center in Raleigh said this in an accompanying commentary to the study, "Though we do not know the mechanisms, research and especially this study, emphasize the importance of religious service attendance to health."

          Falling is a major problem with our older population. It is estimated that between 20 and 40 percent of adults over 65 years old fall every year, costing in excess of $3 billion.
             Vision, the vestibular system which is the balance system of the inner ear, nerves carrying sensory information to and from the brain, and muscles and joints all work together to provide good balance. When any of these interdependent systems declines, balance suffers.
                 Diseases of the eyes, such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration; problems with the vestibular system caused by drug side effects; and joint diseases, such as osteoporosis and arthritis, along with deteriorating muscles, all combine to wreak havoc on balance.
            There are many things you can do to decrease the likelihood of falling. As you age, have your vision and hearing checked periodically. Faulty vision and hearing are major causes of falls.
                Perhaps the most important thing you can do to maintain good balance is to exercise regularly. Consistent exercise, especially weight bearing exercise, strengthens bones and muscles. Strong muscles and bones prevent most falls. They also help reduce injury in case you do fall.
            Balance-specific exercises are also good. A balance-specific exercise is an exercise that requires good balance to perform. Standing on one leg at a time for thirty seconds (or as long as you can) is one such exercise. Walking on balance beams is another. I include at least one balance-specific exercise in every workout, whether for myself or my clients. It is a good idea to begin doing these types of exercises long before your balance starts to go. Obviously, you don't wait until you need a walker to start walking on balance beams.
                If you are elderly and living at home, there are some other precautions you should take. Clear walkways of anything that could trip you up such as electrical cords or rugs that turn up or scrunch up. Don't climb on stools or chairs for any reason. Use night lights wherever you might be walking at night, and install grab handles and nonskid mats in showers and tubs.

           I have never written an article for this newsletter that dealt with an individual client, but this article is about Joe. Joe is a special needs client of mine and a very special person. I've been working with Joe since 2008, and over that time we have become good friends. We've been to maybe a dozen Carolina football games together over the years, even though he's a Clemson fan. My only rule is he can't pull against the Gamecocks when he's with me. In addition we've been to a few baseball games together, and many weekends during the baseball season will find him at my house watching the Pirates on TV with me. He's great company.

            In all the years, I've worked with Joe, he's never complained about anything I've asked him to do in the gym. His work ethic is amazing. After every workout, he walks on his own for an additional 30 to 45 minutes. He does every exercise any of my other clients do, including pushups, squats, and lunges, and he does most of the exercises with as much weight as I can lift -- in some cases, more. And he never misses a workout unless he's out of town with his parents who are also my clients and good friends.

            Joe is also a sports sponge. He can tell you the names of coaches and assistant coaches of almost every major college football team, and he understands many of the intricacies of football and baseball.

            One thing I've learned working with Joe and meeting many of his special needs friends: They really are special people. Never underestimate their capabilities. I know I'm a richer person for having known Joe.

              Sometimes I run across articles chronicling feats which are amazing. I found such an article in a recent issue of Runners's World. On May 28, Dave Proctor, a 35 year old massage therapist, ran 162 miles in 24 hours on a treadmill. He averaged under 9 minutes per mile and that included bathroom breaks.

            The event which was a fundraising run for MitoCanada, an organization that raises awareness of mitochondrial disorders, was held at an expo center in Calgary.

            Proctor is a veteran ultra-marathoner, but he said he hadn't accounted for the toll running on a treadmill for so long takes on your mind. "The sun doesn't go down and you don't move," he said. All he could do was glare with growing annoyance at a crooked poster on the wall ahead of him. He wanted to straighten it.

            At first he said it was all fun, but after 8 pm, the air conditioning in the building shut down and didn't come back on until 8 am. With two hours to go, he couldn't see straight, his ears were ringing, his toes were numb, and his stomach was upset. But when it was all over, he said it was worth the pain.

            Proctor's 7 year old son Sam suffers from a mitochondrial disease which effects his muscular coordination. Sam needs a walker to get around, so the event had special significance for Proctor. It raised over $75,000 for the fight against mitochondrial diseases.

           We're about one-third of the way into the Major League Baseball season, and I've got to rant. Indulge me if you will. (Note: If you're not an MLB fan, you may skip to the next article.)

          Baseball, and by this I mean the Major Leagues, is destroying itself incrementally, and it makes me angry - really angry! Baseball is the most perfect game ever invented, but the bone-head executives who run the game have implemented more stupid changes in the last few years than were made in the first hundred. And every one of the changes has weakened the game. It all started way back in 1973 when the American League allowed the designated hitter. Thankfully, the National League chose not to do so. I won't even start on how that rule changed the game for the worse, but since it didn't affect the National League which is the league that really matters, I put up with it. Then in 1977, interleague play began, but since each team only played a handful of games a year, I tolerated it. But in 2002, they expanded interleague play to its current system where each team plays about 40 interleague games. That means that in 20 games a year, the NL has to have a designated hitter. Now the talk is that the designated hitter needs to be in both leagues, because it's not fair to the poor AL when they have to play in a NL park without their designated hitter. It's coming. You can't stop stupidity.

            Then baseball implemented reviews to make sure they got all the calls correct. This is so unnecessary. Let the umpires make the calls on the field. They're going to make mistakes, but over the course of 162 games, the calls will even out, and reviews take anywhere from 30 seconds to five minutes. Plus I miss the arguments between umpires and players and coaches. Next is automated balls and strikes, no doubt. Technology is ruining the game I love.
             Last year, they said catchers can no longer block the plate, thus eliminating collisions at home, and this year, a player can't deliberately slide into a fielder who is attempting to complete a double play. And next year, they are shrinking the strike zone and eliminating the need to throw four balls on an intentional walk. Each rule change diminishes the great game of baseball. And each rule change makes me a little more crazy. And my wife is getting more and more fed up with me. Can you imagine? So that's my rant. Thanks for listening - or not.

            Recently, a friend of mine told me that a slice of bread has fewer calories after it has been toasted. Or maybe they said toast has more calories. I don't remember. Either way, it just didn't seem right to me. Why would toasting a slice of bread alter its calorie content?

            Fortunately in the world of the internet, it's easy to verify such things, and a simple search turned up several websites that answer the question of toast versus regular bread. Alas, bread and toast have the same calories. Toast has less water, so it is slightly lighter, but the calorie content is the same in both. Another myth busted.

          Walking, even at a slow pace, improves cardiovascular fitness. But the more you walk and the higher the intensity of your walk, the more your fitness will improve. The simplest way to increase intensity is to walk faster. Another way is to add elevation. If you like to walk outdoors, add some hills. If you prefer a treadmill, simply increase the elevation by one or two degrees.

This conversation is absolutely true. It took place last week:
Client: I got a massage yesterday.
Me: Swedish?
Client: No, she was Chinese.

Graham Fitness
Tim Graham

ACE Certified Personal Trainer

Certified Nutrition Specialist



Phone: 803-447-8557

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