Aerobics May Improve Memory

Aerobics May Improve MemoryAerobics May Improve Memory.
I became interested in exercise and memory several years ago when my older students began to tell me that their memories seemed to improve after they took my class.
I was teaching mostly dance-exercise in those days. I started with simple steps and built up to a pretty complex routine.
There has to be a connection I thought, between the physical movement, making your brain learn this routine, and improved memory.
I’m no scientist but I was curious. So I started to break it down.
What I was having people do is learn short phrases of movement and then link them together. The cardio dance routine required them to move forward and back, side to side, remember specific steps; and stay in rhythm.
This was a real challenge for many of my students who had never done anything like this before. As they got more proficient, the class became a social gathering; because of this shared experience.
My students felt energized afterwards, not exhausted. They told me that besides getting a good body workout they were getting a memory workout as well. They said they could actually remember things better.
I wondered if there was science to support our anecdotal experience.
I contacted a couple of local Alzheimer’s specialists (there was no internet back then) and they told me – you’re probably right but there weren’t any specific studies on this more than 20 years ago.
Even now the research is not conclusive. But, technology in the last 15 years has allowed science to discover a lot more about the brain.
Vascular memory loss has been linked to heart disease and cardio fitness is a major factor in preventing and managing that issue. Aerobic exercise increases the amount of oxygen supplied to the brain improving mental function. Cardio fitness has been shown to reduce loss of brain cells in older adults.
A study of 1,449 older adults shows those who in middle age exercised vigorously enough to perspire and breathe hard for 20 to 30 minutes at least twice a week reduced their risk of later developing Alzheimer’s disease by about 60 percent.*
But cardio is just part of the equation.
Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that certain types of dance, particularly with routines to learn and remember, may help prevent age-onset memory loss and diseases like Alzheimer’s. “…. cognitive activity may stave off dementia by increasing a person’s “cognitive reserve.” **
And a study conducted at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, says activities that combined mental and social as well as physical stimulation offered the greatest protection against dementia***
Activity is the active word. Be physically active, mentally active and socially active, preferably all at once. Taking a Cardio Dance class or getting together with friends to do a Cardio Dance DVD is a good place to start. And to this day, when I start my cardio dance class I say,
“It’s time to workout our hearts and minds!”

*Rovio, Suvi; Kareholt, Ingemar; Helkala, Eeva-Liisa; Viitanen, Matti; Winblad, Bengt; Tuomilehto, Jaakko; Soininen, Hilkka; Nissinen, Aulikki; and Kivipelto, Miia. “Leisure-time physical activity at midlife and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.” The Lancet Neurology; published online Oct. 4, 2005.
** Dr Joe Verghese, lead author of study conducted at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, N Engl J Med, 2003; 348:2508-2516.
***Karp, Anita; Paillard-Borg, Stephanie; Wang, Hui-Xin; Silverstein, Merrill; Winblad, Bengt; and Fratiglioni, Laura. “Mental, Physical and Social Components in Common Leisure Activities in Old Age in Relation to Dementia: Findings from the Kungsholmen Project.” Presented at the Alzheimer’s Association 9th International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders, Philadelphia, Penn., July 17 – 22, 2004. Abstract published in Neurobiology of Aging, July 2004, Vol. 25, S2: p. S313.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3761497/

Compared with the control group, the exercise group significantly improved in verbal fluency (p = 0.048), word list delayed recall (p = 0.038), word list recognition (p = 0.007), and total CERAD-K score (p = 0.037)

  • Metabolic syndrome (MS) is associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment.
  • Aerobic exercise improves cognitive function in elderly people and contributes to the prevention of degenerative neurological disease and brain damage. Dance sport is a form of aerobic exercise that has the additional benefits of stimulating the emotions, promoting social interaction, and exposing subjects to acoustic stimulation and music.
  • In the present study, dance exercise for a 6-month period improved cognitive function in older adults with MS. In particular, positive effects were observed in verbal fluency, word list delayed recall, word list recognition, and the total CERAD-K score.
  • Our data suggest that the implementation of dance exercise programs may be an effective means of prevention and treatment of cognitive disorders.
  • http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnagi.2013.00075/abstract

For more information on women health and fitness and in home exercise programs for women check out  www.mirabaiholland.com

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Fashion Flash! Holiday Edition

Fashion Flash Welcome to another NEW Holiday Week Edition of Fashion Flash! I’m your host, Health & Wellness Blogger, Mirabai Holland from MovingFreeWithMirabai.com. Join us Fashion Flash! Bloggers for some Holiday Fabulousness. We’ve got Fashion, Beauty, Health, Lifestyle and a Partridge in a Pear Tree. Enjoy.

 

 

 

erik-notes-from-dressing-room-logoErika, blogger in chief at Notes from My Dressing Table is sharing Beautiful Holiday Gift Ideas from Evine She also has a special discount code for first time customers and a fabulous giveaway open through 12/16.

 

 

No-nonsense beauty blog logoDeb of No-Nonsense beauty Blog has a holiday gift of health for the whole family.  Find out more.

 

 

 

Jackie Silver Style logoCan the state of your personal space affect your health? Jackie Silver Style shares interesting findings.

 

 

 

 

ready_or_not_screen_print_boston_artist_nick_ward2After 40, eyelashes and brows can get sparse and brittle. Allison from Never Say Die Beauty introduces you to the Art Natural Advanced Eyelash and Brow Enhancer that’s helping her achieve longer, fuller, softer lashes and brows fast!

 

 

 

http://movingfreewithmirabai.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/society-wellness-BANNER_FASHION-FLASH.jpg

Melanie from Society Wellness teaches us that the health and tone of the muscles in our face are the keys to a youthful glow, and a balanced body.

 

 

 

 

 

Glamour-Granny-Travels-logo-FFInka of glamourgrannytravels  goes green in exotic Bogor/Indonesia.

 

 

 

 

Second-LivesOkay, she’s no Diana Nyad but Claude Noelle Toly is a swimmer and she recently swam around the Statue of Liberty, a long time dream.  Not too shabby for an antique dealer by day.  Do you have a similar dream?

 

 

 

http://movingfreewithmirabai.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Best-of-Everything-After-50-logo-for-FF-group.jpgBarbara Hannah Grufferman, author of THE BEST OF EVERYTHING AFTER 50 and AARP Contributor, shares her best tips to stay strong . . . for life.

 

 

 

 

 

BEAUTY INFO ZONE LOGO HEARTMarcia from Beauty Info Zone is crazy about concealers. She obsessively collects them but some get used more than others. What 3 concealer brands are high on her radar these days.

 

 

 

 

Tania Stephens blog logoThe holidays are in full swing. Thanksgiving just passed us and now Christmas is in a couple of weeks. Tania from 50 Is Not Old styles a holiday outfit today that will be sure to put you in the Christmas spirit.

 

 

 

PRIMEBEAUTYScreen-Shot-2012-05-28-at-6.15.05-AM-300x62Looking for a high quality gift for a special woman? Prime Beauty is giving away this Tahaitan South Sea Pearl Necklace from The Pearl Source.

 

And if you need a little nudge to help avoid gaining those extra pounds try my Holiday Workout Kit: A Great Buy!

For a gift that keeps on giving for a lifetime, check out my holiday 50% discount  on all my products. Put MOVENOW AT CHECKOUT GOOD UNTIL 1/30/17

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Holiday Workouts

Holiday WorkoutsJust about now, you may have gotten too busy to think about exercise or what I call “Holiday Workouts” . But with New Year’s resolutions just around the corner it might just make some sense to hedge your bets.

Well, I’d like to remind you to get moving again if you want to “live long and prosper”.

So to make it easy, do these 5 Most Important Holiday Workouts at least a few days a week even if you begin with as little as 5 minutes a day working up to about 30 minutes.

Tip: Plan your workout:

Try to exercise as much as you can at the same time every day.

Have your workout clothes and accessories ready ahead of time so you can grab and take them with you or put on and go!

Holiday Workouts: Aerobic Training No. 1

Feeling sluggish? Believe it or not a daily dose of aerobic exercise can help provide you with more energy and stamina. Aerobics is any activity that uses your large muscle groups like brisk walking, swimming, jogging, biking, climbing  stairs, or low impact cardio dance. Starting out with as little as 5 minutes a day and building up to 30 minutes will help lower your blood pressure, increase your good cholesterol, HDL, improve your lung function, strengthen your heart, burn calories and elevate your mood.

Holiday Workouts: No. 2: Muscle Strength

Flab is one of those things we all really hate. What’s worse than wearing something that will reveal that little wiggle. Studies show that if we do nothing we will steadily increase body fat as we get older. So an inactive 25 year old woman may be at 23% (normal range of %body fat) but if she stays inactive by the time she is in her 60’s she can be as high as 43%.

The good news is this is completely reversible by adding some strength training exercises. And it doesn’t take much: just twice a week for 30 minutes or so.

Make sure you leave 24-48 hours in between for muscles to recover and grow.

Use your own body weight with push-ups (beginners can do them against a wall and modified squats or lunges. Start with a few and build up to 15 reps.

Or use resistance bands or hand and ankle weights. For this, you may need some professional help like purchasing an exercise video with a certified instructor, joining a gym or working with a certified personal trainer. Once you learn a simple routine you can do you can slowly increase the weight as you get stronger.

Tip: Start with 8 reps for each exercise. If you can’t finish the set the weight is too heavy. And if you can do a few more, you need more resistance. The key is to listen to your body!

Holiday Workouts: No. 3: Flexibility training

When was the last time you could touch your toes? Or in the morning when you wake up do you feel stiff?  If this sounds like you then doing a few stretches every day could help you move more freely and even reduce muscle aches and pains.

Try doing  an easy stretch or yoga video or class even once a week can help increase your flexibility.

Holiday Workouts:  No. 4:  Balance training

Because we see in older adults a loss of balance, which results in more falls,” noted Holland.

— You can do this standing in line at the grocery store

— Stand on one leg and see if you can let go of the shopping cart

— Hold for about 10 seconds

 — Also try standing on your tippy-toes and holding for a few seconds

— Balance should be done everyday — all you need is two to three minutes

Holiday Workouts:  No. 5: Core training

We see so many people as they get older avoiding their abs, which results in a bad back,” said Holland. “They’re not really supporting upper torso.”

 — Try a few minutes of abdominal exercises

 — Reverse curl while you’re lying in back and pull your knees into you

 — Hold for five seconds and release

 — Start with 10 reps a day and work your way higher

 — Crunches are key — not full sit-ups — because some people can do more damage than good

 — Keep back on the floor and don’t go all the way up

 — Really concentrate so you can feel you’re abdominal wall contracting

And if you need a little nudge my Holiday Workouts Kit is a Great Buy!

For a gift that keeps on giving for a lifetime, check out my holiday 50% discount  on all my products. Put MOVENOW AT CHECKOUT GOOD UNTIL 1/30/17

TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR HEALTH! SHED THOSE HOLIDAY POUNDS!

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Relieve Holiday Stress

Relieve holiday stressRelieve holiday Stress

When I think of the holiday season as joyous as it is, I can’t help thinking about stress.

Feeling the stress of the season? Me too!

Stress has been around since the beginning of time.

It started as the flight-or-fight reflex when early humans confronted a life-threatening situation, and now, stress itself has become a life-threatening situation.

Well, if we can’t eliminate all causes of stress, which is the way to go if you can do it, but good luck with that, what CAN we do about it?

Relieve holiday stress starting with my personal favorite.

  Relieve holiday stressSnuggle with a dog or cuddle with a cat.

Relax. No really, conscious relaxation is a form of Yoga or Meditation. Sometimes you only need a few seconds and you feel a lot better.

Try this at home or at work:

Sit down and close your eyes (if you’re on the street, duck into a doorway and keep your eyes open and one hand on your purse)

Let your muscles relax

Concentrate on your breathing

Breathe in and hold your breath for 1 second – 1 one hundred thousand, Breathe out

Breathe in again a little deeper and hold for 2 seconds – 1 one hundred thousand, 2 one hundred thousand – Breathe out

Breathe in deeper and hold for three, then four, then 5 seconds

When you get to around 3 seconds of breath holding your stress level should start to drop and your mind should to clear itself for thoughts.

After 5, you should feel pretty good. This actually works and can relieve holiday stress.

Eat better. Substituting good food like fruit for sugary snacks and drinking less caffeine and less alcohol can make a big difference

At home, put on some music and dance around for a song or two.

If you have the time, keep going, After a few minutes, as your heart rate goes up your mood will improve. This is because you’re now doing aerobic exercise, a great mood elevator, after about 20 minutes you’ll feel even better because the endorphins, your body’s natural anti-depressant drugs will kick in and all will be right with the world for a while.

By the way a half hour brisk walk or putting on an aerobics video also works great to relieve holiday stress.

Another great way to relieve holiday stress is to get a massage. Professional massage therapists are great, but for just plain stress, getting your significant other or a close friend to give you a massage works just as well, maybe better. Be sure to return the favor.

Hope you’ll try these and relieve holiday stress. Happier Holidays!

 For a gift that keeps on giving for a lifetime, check out my holiday 50% discount  on all my products. Put MOVENOW AT CHECKOUT GOOD UNTIL 12/31/16

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Holiday Exercise!

Holiday ExerciseHoliday Exercise!

With the holidays around the corner again those old familiar fears are rearing their ugly heads. For me it’s: how am I going to get through this with my sanity and how am I going to keep from gaining a ton?

Exercise has always been my catchall solution, like Windex for the father of the bride in that movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

As those of you who read my column know, during the holidays I pretty much throw up my arms and prudently sample every goodie that comes my way. But I emphasize the word SAMPLE. If I come to the table hungry those samples could get quite large, so I use my Windex (I mean holiday exercise; I don’t use real Windex) to help me through.

Holiday Exercise Tips:

Here is a short video to kick start your Holiday Exercise:

Endorphins make you feel like all is right with the world. Maintaining sanity becomes much easier after a good workout.  They also tend to suppress your appetite. 30 minutes or so of aerobic exercise is enough to get your body to release those endorphins and it burns about 200- 300 calories. Strength training about a half hour every other day burns about 200 calories. It also raises your metabolism and keeps it up for hours after you’ve finished exercising. You see where I’m going here?

If you get started now you can stay sane, get in shape, reap all the health benefits daily holiday exercise has to offer, maintain or even lose weight, and get a jump on the 2 most popular New Year’s resolutions: Get in shape and lose some weight. Not bad.

Happy Holidays

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Can Sleeping Less Equal Weight Gain?

Can Sleeping Less Equal Weight GainCan Sleeping Less Equal Weight Gain

Eating fewer calories, exercising more and still having a hard time getting those extra pounds off? Here’s a question for you: How’s your sleep?

I for one, every time I travel, seem to gain a couple of pounds just when I want to look my best.

I noticed that I tend to sleep less and intermittently when I am on the road. Once I settle again in a place, my sleep gets more regulated and I am able to drop those pounds.

I’ve adjusted my sleep pattern, as I have gotten older to help myself sleep better. The earlier I get up in the morning the better chance I have of getting to sleep that night and staying asleep for a longer period of time. I’m more energized, and when I eat, I eat less and feel more filled.

Can Sleeping Less Equal Weight Gain

It turns out that there are many studies that indicate that sleeping less then 7 hours can increase body weight. One recent study with several pairs of twins, found that the twin who slept more than 9 hours was about half as likely to gain weight as the one that slept only 7.

Sleep deprivation affects your hunger urge. If you sleep less, you feel like eating more and you probably do. That’s because not sleeping increases your body’s level of gherlin, the hunger hormone and decreases leptin the “I’m full” hormone.

A sleep study in Finland with middle-aged adults who had sleep problems found that women had greater sleep related weight gains than men. Though men were also affected. The study indicated that it seems the fewer hours you sleep the more calories you tend to eat the next day.

If you want a good night sleep here’s are some things to consider:

  • Exercise: Don’t exercise too late in the day. So many of us go to the gym after work but it can keep you up at night. Late exercise can prevent the body from making sleep-inducing melatonin for several hours.
  • Caffeine: It can take 6 or more hours to wear off. Having that cup of coffee after dinner, even with a low fat dessert, may not be such a good idea.
  • Alcohol: A couple of drinks with dinner can wake you up in the middle of the night and make it hard to get back to sleep. I have a friend who swears by a glass or two of wine at lunch but never alcohol after 2pm. She says she sleeps like a baby at night. I think if I had a glass or two at lunch, I’d sleep like a baby at 2pm and be up for the night at 5.
  • Stress: And then there is our old buddy stress. We all have some level of stress and how we deal with it can keep us up at night. Getting yourself relaxed in quiet, dark, temperature controlled environment can relieve stress and induce a desire and ability to sleep.

So what’s it going to be, wide awake at 3am or getting that beauty sleep and waking up lighter and brighter on your toes? Learning to get a good night’s sleep is a process.

Can Sleeping Less Equal Weight GainDon’t stress over it, it may keep you up at night.

 

 

 

 

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Holiday Eating No Weight Gain?

Holiday EatingCan you really enjoy holiday eating with no weight gain?

Well, when we think of the holidays the first thing that comes to mind is holiday eating and the fear of weight gain. That’s because we always have a few treats up our sleeves. And we do gain weight.

But, preventing this phenomenon of holiday eating is not as hard as you think. You don’t have to starve, deny yourself favorite holiday dishes or do heavy-duty compensation workouts.

 Holiday Eating With No Weight Gain: Some Pointers

If you are the one cooking, you are more in control of what is going to be placed on the table.

So you can choose equally delicious lighter recipes. But, if you are visiting friends and family all bets are off and your radar needs to be on. It’s all about portion control.

Don’t wait till the second piece of pie gets offered. Pre-planning is key. In some cases you’ll know from past experience what the menu will be. Even if you don’t, assume there will be a barrage of excess temptations. Excess is the operative word. Enjoy but not to excess.

Whether you count calories, points, or eyeball your portions, eat half of what you think you should eat. If you are not sure of a particular food or treat, pass on it, or just take a bite to see if it is worth the calories. If you find yourself hungry after all of this, you can eat a little more or maybe you’ve actually saved room for that dessert.

You can visit, enjoy the company, make merry and have a smug sense of self-assurance that this whole season will pass without you gaining even a pound. Who knows, you might lose weight.

That brings me to your insurance policy. If you don’t exercise regularly this is definitely the time to start and get a jump on your New Year, New You. If you do, make time for it. You don’t have to do extra but don’t make the excuse you’re too busy at this time of year.

Cardio exercise is great calorie burner, and we all know that a half hour of moderate aerobic exercise a day can reduce one’s chance of heart attack by a whopping 50%.

See how I snuck in my pitch for exercise? I am not suggesting anything that I don’t do myself. It works for me and I bet it will work for you.

Give it a try and let me know what you think. And let me know if you were able to enjoy holiday eating without weight gain.

Happy Holidays!

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Clicking Joints: Should I Worry?

Clicking JointsClicking Joints: Should I worry? What are those clicking, popping and crackling sounds in my joints? Is it Arthritis? Have I overdosed on breakfast cereal? No, it’s probably Crepitus. Sounds like a precursor to decrepitude, but it’s not. Crepitus is just the word used to describe the clicking sounds.

In fact, in most cases, if there’s no pain associated with those sounds, it’s nothing to worry about. Many people live their whole lives with some clicking joints and popping without any ill effects.

 Clicking Joints?

Clicking Joints have closed bags of synovial fluid, called bursa, between them. They cushion joint movement so we can walk and work painlessly. That fluid has a little bit of air or gas dissolved in it. Through our daily movement, that gas can form a bubble or cavity in the bag. The fancy term is Cavitation.

When you move your knee, elbow or shoulder, the bubble bursts and makes a click or popping sound. Cracking your knuckles is a good example of breaking those bubbles on purpose. So, the rule of thumb is: no pain, no problem.

Snapping however is another story. That rubber band-like sound is often accompanied by pain. It’s a sign you have an injury, or that some muscle, nerve or connective tissue is out of place.

In this case you should see your doctor. A good way to promote healthy joints in general is to strengthen the muscles around them. Regular strength training can make a difference at any age. If you haven’t been exercising in a while, start slowly and build up. Last thing you want to do is hurt the joints you’re trying to strengthen.

So, what’s the takeaway here? Well, next time your friends have clicks and pops in their joints, you can tell them they probably have Crepitus!

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Walking Exercise

WalkingWALKING EXERCISE

Scientists are still debating exactly when, where, how, and why the species that became us stopped scampering around on all fours, and began to walk erect.
But, with gradual anatomical changes over six or so million years,
we’ve gotten used to it, and at this point it, it feels quite natural. We can walk erect all day now and get from place to place, as people in many regions of the world do daily.

Although our current anatomy made it harder for us to climb trees, walking erect has spawned other things we’ve come to enjoy, like baseball, basketball, tennis, stand-up paddle-boarding, track and field, soccer, ice hockey, roller derby, walks in the park, hiking mountain trails, carrying a colicky baby around the room for hours. Okay, scratch that last one. How about dancing?

For better and worse, nowadays, most of us only have to walk from the car to the elevator, and walking has been relegated to recreation, or simply, exercise.
This brings me to the fact that walking is good for you. We all know that. But, just as a reminder, here’s a partial list of the health benefits of walking from Mayo Clinic

Some people think walking is so good for you they almost never sit. People work at standing desks and wear pedometers to count their steps. 10,000 is a common daily goal.

Others can’t stand to just stand. They’ve built desks onto treadmills and take meetings, type emails, and do their office work while walking. I’ve heard numbers like 10 miles a day in a treadmill while at work. Some believe treadmill desks boost productivity.

I’m a walking advocate and a walking enthusiast. However, as you may know, I believe in the ease in, start with a little, stay in your comfort zone, set attainable short term goals, build up to your ultimate goal over time, method of exercise.

Studies show that vigorous exercise has the most positive effect on the list of health benefits. The same studies also show that moderate exercise shows measurable benefits.

And, I know from personal experience that it’s more sustainable when it’s fun.

This, as you may have guessed, brings me to my pleasure principal. If I like something I do it because I like it. If it’s good for my health, so much the better.

It’s easy to like walking if it’s easy. Start with a pleasant gentle stroll, and if you build up at your own pace over time, it stays easy, even when you eventually build up to vigorous.

I think pedometers and heart rate monitor watches are good tools if you keep them fun. The prices have come down and they give you some valuable information.
But some of the fittest people I can think of, the people who walk everywhere every day because walking is their only mode of transportation, don’t use them. So you don’t absolutely need them.

Shoes are good, walking, running, cross training, or hiking shoes, if you can afford them. But I’ve been to countries where some of the fittest people can’t afford them. Some of the people I’m thinking of don’t have shoes at all. But, I do suggest activity appropriate shoes if you can afford them. Otherwise, just shoes will have to do. You can get plenty fit in just plain shoes if they’re comfortable to walk in.

Good posture is essential for walking. Stand and walk with your head over your shoulders, your shoulders over your hips, and the whole body line-up centered over the base of the feet. Don’t slouch forward or lean back. Try to keep your abs pulled in when you think of it. If you’re used to less the good posture, it may feel awkward at first. But, once you get used to it, I don’t think you’ll want to stand or walk any other way.

Music is the plane that flies you to your destination. So if you like music, plug in your ear buds and walk to your favorites. Try to pick music that helps you walk at a comfortable pace, not too fast or too slow. Stay in your comfort zone.

Do walk. Please make time in your day for it. Whether it’s outside, in a mall, on a treadmill, or in place. It’s in your nature. And, I think you’ll thank yourself for the effort.

Last but not least walking is an adventure. Here’s a video of something that actually happened to me while out walking. The camera just happened to be there.

Andiamo!

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Autumn Weight Loss Plan

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Cancer Exercise Programs

Cancer Exercise ProgramsCancer Exercise Programs

Studies show that about one third of cancer deaths each year are related to an unhealthy diet and not enough exercise. On the other hand, not smoking, eating well, and getting plenty of exercise are the most important things we can do to prevent cancer.

 

Cancer Exercise ProgramsCancer Exercise programs can help to control your weight and stabilize hormones. The same 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day that reduces your risk of heart attack by 50% can also reduce risk breast and colon cancer.

 

 

Cancer Exercise ProgramsControlling your weight helps to reduce the risk of breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, and kidney cancers. Healthy low fat diet of fiber, fruits and vegetables is also a major factor in reducing cancer risk.

Cancer Exercise Programs

Easy aerobic exercise has been shown to increase hemoglobin levels, reduce inflammation, lessen fatigue, and keep muscles in shape for better every day activities. Also you can increase self confidence, reduce depression and aid in recovery of surgery. Here are some aerobic exercise suggestions. Click each picture for info.

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Other research has shown cancer exercise programs that involve strength and flexibility exercises have helped patients return to a normal activity level sooner. Click the Strength and Flexibility video pictures to choose the right program for you.

BUILD MUSCLE, BOOST METABOLISM, BEGINNERS: Fabulous Forever® Easy Strength DVDTOTAL BODY STRENGTH STARTER WORKOUT WITH BAND Fabulous Forever® Stretch and Tone DVDlongevity-strength1small.jpg

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Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed kind of cancer and lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among all Americans. Using sunscreen and not smoking make these two cancers largely preventable.

For women, the second most deadly cancer is breast cancer, third is colorectal cancer. Among women’s reproductive cancers, cancer of the endometrium – the tissue lining the uterus – is the most commonly diagnosed, followed by ovarian, vaginal, and vulvar cancers.

Breast cancer. Age and hormones play a big role in prevention of reproductive cancers in women. The hormone estrogen (and subtypes, such as estradiol) has a lot to do with breast cancer, although scientists are still exploring why. New research studies are finding that young girls who get plenty of exercise and eat calcium and soy foods may have lower risk for breast cancer later in their lives. Pre-menopausal women have lower risk if they have had children and breast-fed children; for this age group, being overweight seems not to be as great a breast cancer risk as it is for post-menopausal women who gain weight. Weight gain also adds risk of recurrence for overweight breast cancer survivors.

Exercise and social support seem to increase the life expectancy of breast cancer survivors, preventing recurrence. Monthly self-exams and annual mammograms are vital in detecting breast cancer early enough to treat it, so that a patient’s survival is as great as possible. More exacting screening methods, including sentinel node biopsies (removal of small bits of tissue likely to reveal cancer) and mammograms better able to penetrate dense breast tissue that can hide cancer, are improving detection and making earlier treatment and longer survival possible. Breast cancer symptoms include:

• Lump or thickening of the breast
• Breast pain
• Dimpling or puckering of the skin
• Change in skin color or texture
• Change in breast shape
• Swelling redness or heat
• Discharge from or retraction of the nipple
• Scaly skin on or around the nipple

Cervical/Uterine Cancer. Cervical cancer is one of the few types of cancer (liver cancer is another) that develops as the result of a virus. PAP smear tests to detect cervical cancer have been greatly improved in the past few years. Regularly getting a PAP smear is the best method of detecting cervical cancer. Abnormal bleeding, especially in post-menopausal women, may be a sign of these cancers, but may also be a sign of other disorders that are not cancer. Premenopausal women may have heavier than normal bleeding. Pelvic pain (except cramping) and urination difficulties also are possible symptoms.

Ovarian Cancer. Ovarian cancer is difficult to detect before it has spread to a stage where it is usually fatal. Symptoms may include constant abdominal bloating and gas in the digestive system. Other symptoms may be the same as for cervical/uterine cancer, described in the previous paragraph.

Cancer treatments are improving. Although the side-effects of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation can still be devastating and very unpleasant, all of these therapies are being more finely tuned and made less dangerous as better technology is developed. More studies are showing effective combination treatments. Many cancers are becoming more manageable over a long-term with healthy habits and watchfulness, instead of the automatic death sentence they used to be. However, some hard-to-detect cancers, including ovarian and pancreatic cancer, have often spread too far before they can be treated.

It is important to keep up with new developments in cancer treatment and other care options. Here are some reliable resources on cancer, exercise, nutrition & support for women:

National Cancer Institute

Ovarian Cancer National Alliance

National Ovarian Cancer Coalition

American Breast Cancer Association

American Cancer Society

American Institute for Cancer Research

Cancer Care

National Women’s Health Foundation                                              

Medical Fitness Network

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