Getting Fit: Find Fabulousity!

Getting Fit: Find Fabulousity!

I was back in my home town recently, where I taught for over 20 years. I missed my ladies so I decided to take some of my former students out for tea and dessert.

I thought for a minute the dessert part was a bad idea when a couple of them wouldn’t eat a piece of cake in front of me. But when I dug in, moderately of course, the party got started in earnest.  Ever the moderator, I asked them each to share things that were important in their lives over the past year.

As we went around the circle, they spoke of getting pregnant, daughter’s weddings, losing your job, becoming a gym rat, outliving heart disease, surviving menopause, the joy of grandchildren, and a trip to China.

Maybe because I was their host, the conversation drifted toward how getting fit had changed their lives.

They shared stories about feeling invisible, not sexy, not pretty, having no energy and feeling like a lump. One remembered showing up in my office, tearing her hair out saying my doctor told me I need to do something, I’ve got serious health issues, but I hate to exercise. What do I do?

She said, I told her “I’m going to give you exercise you can look forward to instead of dread.”

Getting Fit: Find Fabulousity!

Most of my work is done with women who haven’t been active in a while. My coaching style is to start people wherever they may be physically and emotionally and get them moving, gently, and pleasantly. If the first experience is pleasant, you’ll want a second and the third and so on. Sustainability is the key to getting fit and staying fit successfully. And that’s what happened with these ladies. But something else remarkable happened too.

They told me getting fit had given them the self confidence to pursue things they would never have dared to try; that the change in their bodies had kindled a change in the way they saw themselves. Instead of feeling invisible they felt fabulous and that Fabulosity had spilled over into the rest of their lives. As much as I would love to take all the credit for this transformation, I think that it boils down to healthy body, healthy mind;

Getting fit was the key that unlocked the door to their potential.
Pretty cool huh?

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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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Women Health and Fitness Quiz

Women Health and Fitness QuizHere is a women health and fitness quiz to test your health and fitness IQ.

As we come to the end of summer, it’s time to remind ourselves   to be vigilant about our health and fitness.  Answers are at the end. Good luck in taking this Women Health and Fitness Quiz.

 

For more info on women health and fitness and at home exercise programs come and visit me at www.mirabaiholland.com

Women Health and Fitness Quiz

(answers at end)

1. What is the number one killer disease of women?
a. Osteoporosis
b. Breast Cancer
c. Heart Disease
d. Diabetes

2. What does osteopenia mean?
a. Low muscle mass
b. Low bone mass
c. Another word for osteoporosis
d. Strong bones

3. What is the normal % of body fat?
a. 15-20%
b. 22-30%
c. 25-35%
d. 30-35%

4. Which one of the following blood pressure readings is considered a risk factor for heart disease?
a. 110/70
b. 115/80
c. 120/80
d. 140/90

5.What helps to pick up metabolism?
a. Lean muscle mass
b. 1000 calorie a day diet
c. Sleeping 8 hours a night
d. Meditation

6. How much body fat does the average 65 year old woman have?
a. 30%
b. 37%
c. 43%
d. 50%

7. What is sarcopenia?
a. high muscle mass
b. low bone mass
c. high bone mass
d. low muscle mass

8. What is interval training best for:
a. Picking up the metabolic rate
b. Adding variety to your routine
c. Making it easy to get a drink of water
d. Both a & b

9. An optimal program for older people would include activities to improve:
a. strength, flexibility and coordination
b. eyesight
c. digestion
d. jogging

10. What body shape is the one that puts you at less risk for both heart disease and breast cancer?
a. apple
b. pear
c. banana
d. pineapple

11. To be at less risk for heart disease your total cholesterol should be:
a. Above 200
b. Below 200
c. Between 200-220
d. Between 220-225
12. Which is the “good” cholesterol
a. HDL
b. LDL
c. NDL
d. Margarine

13. How much exercise should you do?
a. At least 3-4 times a week, 30 minutes at 60-90% max heart rate.
b. At least twice a week, 60 minutes at 70-90% max heart rate
c. At least once a week, 60 minutes at 80-85% max heart rate
d. At least twice a week, 30 minutes at 70-90% max heart rate

14. What is the equation of finding your target heart rate?
a. 220-age x %
b. 200-age x %
c. 220 x age – %
d. 200 x age – %

15. What does aerobic exercise do?
a. Helps to stimulate metabolism and reduce LDL
b. Helps to develop stronger abdominals and back muscles
c. Helps to build a stronger heart muscle
d. a & c

16. What are the risk factors for heart disease that you can control:
a. Family history, age, menopause
b. Inactivity, excessive alcohol, and high blood pressure
c. Smoking, high cholesterol and triglycerides
d. b & c

17. How often should you weight train?
a. Every day
b. 3 days in a row, 2 days rest
c. 2-3 times a week, alternating days
d. None of the above.

18. How often should you perform a Breast Self-Examination?
a. every other week
b. Once a month (if still menstruating best time a week after the start of your period)
c. Once every week
d. None of the above.
19. When should you start getting annual mammograms?
a. After age 40
b. After age 45
c. After age 50
d. After age 55

20. What are the best types of exercise if you have had breast cancer?
a. Light strengthening and stretching exercises.
b. Walking and swimming.
c. High intensity strength training
d. a & b

21. 44 million Americans at risk for Osteoporosis; what % are women?
a. 60%
b. 70%
c. 80%
d. 90%

22. By the time women are 70 they can lose up to
a.15% bone mass
b. 20% bone mass
c. 30 % bone mass
d. 45% bone mass

23. As a woman goes through menopause what is the main factor that causes bone loss?
a. loss of estrogen
b. fatigue
c. hot flashes
d. lightheadedness

24.What are the 3 areas at most risk for osteoporotic fracture?
a. Spine, neck, foot
b. Hip, shoulder, foot
c. Spine, hip, wrist
d. None of the above.

25. What type of exercise is not particularly effective for loading your bones
a. Weight training
b. Walking
c. Swimming
d. Jogging
ANSWERS: 1. c, 2. b, 3. b, 4. d, 5. a, 6. c, 7. d, 8. d, 9. a, 10. a,11. b, 12. a, 13. a, 14. a, 15. d, 16. d, 17. c, 18. b, 19. a, 20. d, 21. c, 22. c, 23. a, 24. c, 25. c

 

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Fitness and Wellness IQ: Test Yourself By Mirabai Holland © 2012

Test your fitness and wellness I.Q. today. It can greatly increase your longevity. If you haven’t been physically active or done regular exercise for a while, it may be hard to know what to do.
Fitness And Wellness Self-Quiz
(answers at end)

1. What is the number one killer disease of women?
a. Osteoporosis
b. Breast Cancer
c. Heart Disease
d. Diabetes

2. What does osteopenia mean?
a. Low muscle mass
b. Low bone mass
c. Another word for osteoporosis
d. Strong bones

3. What is the normal % of body fat?
a. 15-20%
b. 22-30%
c. 25-35%
d. 30-35%

4. Which one of the following blood pressure readings is considered a risk factor for heart disease?
a. 110/70
b. 115/80
c. 120/80
d. 140/90

5.What helps to pick up metabolism?
a. Lean muscle mass
b. 1000 calorie a day diet
c. Sleeping 8 hours a night
d. Meditation

6. How much body fat does the average 65 year old woman have?
a. 30%
b. 37%
c. 43%
d. 50%

7. What is sarcopenia?
a. high muscle mass
b. low bone mass
c. high bone mass
d. low muscle mass

8. What is interval training best for:
a. Picking up the metabolic rate
b. Adding variety to your routine
c. Making it easy to get a drink of water
d. Both a & b

9. An optimal program for older people would include activities to improve:
a. strength, flexibility and coordination
b. eyesight
c. digestion
d. jogging

10. What body shape is the one that puts you at less risk for both heart disease and breast cancer?
a. apple
b. pear
c. banana
d. pineapple

11. To be at less risk for heart disease your total cholesterol should be:
a. Above 200
b. Below 200
c. Between 200-220
d. Between 220-225
12. Which is the “good” cholesterol
a. HDL
b. LDL
c. NDL
d. Margarine

13. How much exercise should you do?
a. At least 3-4 times a week, 30 minutes at 60-90% max heart rate.
b. At least twice a week, 60 minutes at 70-90% max heart rate
c. At least once a week, 60 minutes at 80-85% max heart rate
d. At least twice a week, 30 minutes at 70-90% max heart rate

14. What is the equation of finding your target heart rate?
a. 220-age x %
b. 200-age x %
c. 220 x age – %
d. 200 x age – %

15. What does aerobic exercise do?
a. Helps to stimulate metabolism and reduce LDL
b. Helps to develop stronger abdominals and back muscles
c. Helps to build a stronger heart muscle
d. a & c

16. What are the risk factors for heart disease that you can control:
a. Family history, age, menopause
b. Inactivity, excessive alcohol, and high blood pressure
c. Smoking, high cholesterol and triglycerides
d. b & c

17. How often should you weight train?
a. Every day
b. 3 days in a row, 2 days rest
c. 2-3 times a week, alternating days
d. None of the above.

18. How often should you perform a Breast Self-Examination?
a. every other week
b. Once a month (if still menstruating best time a week after the start of your period)
c. Once every week
d. None of the above.
19. When should you start getting annual mammograms?
a. After age 40
b. After age 45
c. After age 50
d. After age 55

20. What are the best types of exercise if you have had breast cancer?
a. Light strengthening and stretching exercises.
b. Walking and swimming.
c. High intensity strength training
d. a & b

21. 44 million Americans at risk for Osteoporosis; what % are women?
a. 60%
b. 70%
c. 80%
d. 90%

22. By the time women are 70 they can lose up to
a.15% bone mass
b. 20% bone mass
c. 30 % bone mass
d. 45% bone mass

23. As a woman goes through menopause what is the main factor that causes bone loss?
a. loss of estrogen
b. fatigue
c. hot flashes
d. lightheadedness

24.What are the 3 areas at most risk for osteoporotic fracture?
a. Spine, neck, foot
b. Hip, shoulder, foot
c. Spine, hip, wrist
d. None of the above.

25. What type of exercise is not particularly effective for loading your bones
a. Weight training
b. Walking
c. Swimming
d. Jogging
ANSWERS: 1. c, 2. b, 3. b, 4. d, 5. a, 6. c, 7. d, 8. d, 9. a, 10. a,11. b, 12. a, 13. a, 14. a, 15. d, 16. d, 17. c, 18. b, 19. a, 20. d, 21. c, 22. c, 23. a, 24. c, 25. c

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