Exercising With Asthma

Asthma is a chronic disease of the airways. Bronchial passages become inflamed and narrowed in response to triggers like cold air, exercise, smoke, pet dander, dust mites and stress. Breathing becomes labored and difficult and in extreme cases, asthma attacks can be fatal. Asthma affects about 25 million people in the US according to the National Institutes of health, and 300 million worldwide.

Check out this video on Exercising With Asthma!

In these times of social distancing and sheltering in place is a perfect time to focus on your health and well-being. It can make a big difference to keep your immune system strong. If you need some help, I have your back! Here’s a short video about my Health Coaching Technique how I have helped my clients achieve a balanced and Healthy Life. Get 50% OFF Your First Session: Put COACH AT CHECKOUT: https://www.mirabaiholland.com/health-coaching-one-session/

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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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Walking Exercise

WALKING 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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Osteoporosis Prevention Diet

Osteoporosis Prevention DietOsteoporosis Prevention Diet? EEK! One more thing to worry about? Sounds like more bad news but it’s not. True, our bodies can lose up to 40% of their bone mass in the 10 years following menopause. And true, if we don’t do something we could easily end up with osteoporosis. But also true, the fix for this is both easy and delicious.

It’s important to get enough calcium, Vitamin D in your bone healthy diet.  As we age  bodies become less efficient at absorbing these nutrients.

Here are some recommendations.

If you’re 50 or over you should make sure you’re getting a total calcium intake of at least

1200 milligrams daily and a Vitamin D intake of at least 800 to 1000 units daily.

Osteoporosis Prevention Diet

Here are some sources of dietary calcium:

  •  Dairy Products including milk, yogurt and cheese
  • Nuts such as almonds and various green vegetables such as broccoli
  •  Fish with bones such as sardines, and mackerel and calcium fortified juices and cereals.

So, yogurt with fruit, almonds and maybe even a little cereal sounds like lunch. So does a salad with sardines, and a little raw broccoli. How about a nice piece of fish with a smaller salad. You might try some cheese and fruit with a glass of fruit juice. OK, wine. You get the idea. Get your calcium from food and you don’t have to take supplements. But if you do, most people have a better time digesting calcium citrate than calcium carbonate, but they both work fine.

Sources of Vitamin D include:

  • Fatty fishes such as salmon and mackerel and Vitamin D enriched milk, juices and cereals.
  • Although your skin can make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, sun block prevents vitamin D production.

By now you’re making up your own healthy bones recipes so I don’t have to suggest a Salmon, mackerel, milk, fruit juice and cereal smoothie do I?

But if you’re like most people and wear sun block and don’t get enough D in your diet you’ll need to take a supplement to get your 800-1000 units of Vitamin D.

MORE Osteoporosis Prevention Diet  DO’s

Research suggests nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, Vitamins A, K & C found in certain veggies and fruits may help foster better bones. It is recommended to eat about 12 ounces of fruit and 16 ounces of veggies daily.

Here is a list for your concoctions:

  • Magnesium include: Raisins, potatoes, sweet potatoes, plaintains, squash, artichokes, beet and collard greens.
  • Potassium include: Oranges, orange juice, bananas, prunes, papaya, avocados and tomatoes.
  • Vitamin A: Mangoes, cantaloupe, carrots, sweet potatoes and spinach
  • Vitamin K: Spinach, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, collard, turnip and mustard greens.
  • Vitamin C: Oranges, pineapples, payayas, grapefruits, lemons, strawberries, red rasberries

  • Osteoporosis Prevention Diet NO’S

One bit of bad news is too much alcohol or caffeine can add to bone loss; and soft drinks particularly colas that have both caffeine and phosphorous (bad for your bones) may be a double whammy.

So that’s my quickie eating for your bones report. Don’t try that smoothie; it’s nasty.

by Mirabai Holland MFA Certified Health Coach, Certified Exercise Physiologist.

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Does Low Bone Mass Mean Osteoporosis?

mbai-skeleton-hipNearly 30 years ago when I was in school, I wrote an exercise physiology paper on exercise and osteoporosis.

At that time there wasn’t much research available. But even then, the studies I found on tennis players, astronauts, and bed rest pointed in the direction that weight-bearing exercise could help maintain the bone density you have and even promote bone growth. I was intrigued. I’ve followed the research over the years and even created an osteoporosis exercise program.

In working with my clients, I often hear the question “what’s the difference between osteoporosis and low bone mass? (osteopenia) And what can I do about it?

Well to answer these questions, I have to start at the beginning.

Osteoporosis is a disease, which, over time, causes bones to become thinner, more porous and less able to support the body. Bones can become so thin that they break during normal, every day activity. Osteoporosis is a major health threat. 54 Million are at risk, nearly 80% are women.

Postmenopausal women are particularly at risk because they stop producing estrogen, a major protector of bone mass.

As we age some bone loss is inevitable. Women age 65 or men age 70 should get a bone mineral density test. If you have a family history of osteoporosis or other risk factors you may need a BMD much earlier.

The test is completely painless, non-invasive and takes only a few minutes.
It compares your bone mineral density to that of an average healthy young person. Your results are called your T score. The difference between your score and the average young person’s T-score is called a standard deviation. (SD)

Here is how to interpret your T score:

  • Between +1 and –1: normal bone density.
  • Between -1 and -2.5: low bone density (osteopenia).
  • T-score of -2.5 or lower: osteoporosis.

Until recently it was thought that if you had low bone mass (osteopenia) you were well on your way to getting osteoporosis. But it’s now known even at this stage bone loss can be slowed down, stopped and even reversed. You and your doctor will have a number of options depending upon your particular condition.

Many MDs like to start with a calcium and vitamin D rich diet coupled with weight bearing exercise. For many of us, that’s all we need. Others will require medication and there are many bone-building medications available.

Remember it’s never too early to start taking care of your bones. The more bone density you have as a young person the less likely to end up with osteoporosis later in life.

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Osteoporosis: What Does Buying A Purse Have To Do With It?

We all have a lot to lose if we take a serious fall. Assuming we survive, the effects can be life altering. And if you have osteoporosis, what would have been a minor slip and fall for others, could have devastating consequences for you. Here’s a fall prevention video that should be of interest to anyone interested in staying upright.

Osteoporosis Fall Prevention Video

There’s a story that prompted me to post this video and write this article. Here it is.

OsteoporosisI have a friend who had been eyeballing this cute little red purse for a couple of months.  She didn’t need it but she wanted it and sort of became obsessed with it.

She’d visit it online and wave to it in the store. But, there’s no way she was going to buy that purse because wanting it that bad made her feel a little stupid.

Well, the darn thing went on sale the other day at 40-percent off and another 10-percent off with her store card. Now, of course, she had to have that red bag.

Apparently, so did every other woman in the United States. Because, she had it in her online shopping cart and by the time she got her credit card out, it was no longer available. It had been snatched right out of her cart.

She was furious. She felt violated. “How dare they sell MY red purse?”

She called the company.  They apologized and looked for one in their inventory anywhere. They gave her stores and a warehouse to call and reserve it before the last one could be sold. She called around for over an hour and finally got to someone who found one in California and ordered it for her.

As she was patting herself on the back for her investigative skills and persistence my friend had an aha! moment. She had recently been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Her doctor had given her a list of endocrinologists he’d be comfortable recommending but she hadn’t even looked at it, let alone researched it.

“I had been meaning to but I had been putting it off for no good reason. I thought why on earth don’t I apply that same purse passion to taking charge of my own health care?”

She thought about it for a minute and the answer she came up with unnerved her a little. “Health care is not sexy,”  Purses are sexy! Purses are sexier than being healthier and maybe living longer? Eek!

But health is sexy! Quality of life is sexy!

As she started to Google the doctors on the list, she began to sing a parody to that old rock song.
“I’m too sexy for my purse, too sexy for my mouse pad, but not too sexy for my doctor’s office. Maybe a little bit too sexy, but I’m goin’ anyway.”

I think perhaps my friend has touched a nerve in many of us. Would we really rather look good than to feel good?

Sure seems like it. I think it’s that very premise that prompted an ad agency to come up with a TV commercial for a dietary supplement featuring a sexy dancing X-ray skeleton of a baby boomer model that’s protecting her looks by protecting her bones.

It got my attention. If you can’t get them to do it for health, get them to do it for beauty. Twistedly brilliant!

So I guess, if beauty is your motivation, go for it; especially when the health comes with it.
But what do you do if you already have osteoporosis like my friend, or have low bone mass, or you just have the good sense to want to take of your bones?

Osteoporosis And Calcium

“Getting enough calcium in our diet is really important. The NOF recommends
an intake of 1,000 miligrams for adult women from age 50 or younger, and age 51 and older — 1,200 milligrams a day for adult women. If a woman isn’t paying enough attention to calcium in her diet she puts herself at risk. But more is not necessarily better when it comes to calcium. Neither women nor men should get more than about 2,000 milligrams a day.”

 Weight Bearing Exercise

Weight bearing exercise actually builds bone in youth and will help maintain bone.”As we get older the type of exercise changes a little bit. We still have to do some impact work but it has to be safe to avoid injury and falls so you want to add balance training, flexibility training, and safe movement to make sure the individual is able to stay active and healthy.”

So what’s the takeaway here? My takeaway is if you like standing on your own two feet, taking care of your bones is about as sexy as it gets.

May is Osteoporosis Prevention Month! It’s Never Too Late To Take Care Of Your Bones!

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by Mirabai Holland MFA Certified Health Coach, Certified Exercise Physiologist.

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Stress: Dealing With It

Chronic StressStress. It’s everywhere. If you live and work on this planet it’s almost impossible to avoid. In these times of social distancing and sheltering inside it can cause us to feel even more stressed and anxious too.

Feeling stressed? Me too!

Today I’m writing about how to get rid of stress and suggest some easy ways to get that burden off your back.

To get us in the mood, let’s start with a short, guided meditation and stretch video to help reduce stress. Try it with me and see for yourself.

 

Stress:

Now that you’re a believer, lets have a look at stress and how to get rid of it. (By the way, as you get better at becoming relaxed, you can keep your eyes open while watching the waves on the video.)

Stress has been around since the beginning of time. It started as the fight-or-flight response when early humans confronted a life-threatening situation. In that situation, stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, are produced. Your blood vessels constrict, blood pressure goes up, pupils dilate, heart rate quickens, and breathing becomes more rapid. The body is preparing itself to do battle or run. This response is essential in times of acute danger. But problems at work, crying kids, traffic, you name it can trigger the same response.

Given the pressures of daily life, chronic stress itself has become a life-threatening situation. It can cause a host of health problems including headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, trouble concentrating, anxiety, depression, increased body weight, high blood pressure and heart disease.

We can’t eliminate the stress. But we can relieve the fight-or-flight response that sends our bodies into danger mode. And we can cultivate a relaxation response over time that will reduce our physiological stress reaction.

So what do we do about chronic stress? How do we get rid of it?

How? Relax. That’s what my first yoga teacher used to say when I was all bent up in the pretzel pose with a grimace on my face. And, like that meditation you just did, it actually worked. Once I was able to relax, I was stress-free even in the pretzel pose.

Seriously, daily conscious relaxation exercises can make real difference in the way your body responds to stress. Dr Herbert Benson coined the phrase “relaxation response” in his book by the same name in 1975.

Since then he and others have conducted numerous studies, including a recent one at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind/Body Medicine, that have detailed the body’s intricate positive response to conscious relaxation exercises. In a nutshell, the relaxation response has the opposite effect of fight-or-flight. It engages the parasympathetic nervous system to counteract the effects of stress. You experience a feeling of deep relaxation and well being. And if you practice relaxation regularly you’ll feel better and help yourself avoid those stress related health issues. That’s how we get rid of chronic stress.

Meditation is just one of an almost infinite number of ways to consciously relax. Virtually anything that takes your attention away from your daily grind and makes you concentrate on just one thing can work. Doing the dishes, aerobic exercise, yoga, stretching, golf, playing a musical instrument, casting a fishing rod, playing with a cat, almost anything can work if you pay attention to only that and clear your mind. I’m partial to exercise because I get the benefits of a workout as well as the relaxation. It’s my mantra. It’s what I do to get rid of chronic stress.

Dr. Benson suggests you practice some form of conscious relaxation for 10 to 20 minutes every day to get rid of chronic stress in the long-term.

But what if you’re pressed for time? (Pressed rhymes with stressed.)

Reduce Chronic Stress with this little exercise.

Sometimes you only need a few seconds and you feel a lot better.

Sit down and close your eyes. (If you’re on the street, duck into a doorway, stand 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 one second, count one one hundred thousand, and breathe out.

Breathe in again a little deeper and hold for two seconds — one one hundred thousand, two one hundred thousand — breathe out.

Breathe in deeper and hold for three, then four, then five seconds.
When you get to around three seconds of breath holding, your stress level should start to drop and your mind should start to clear itself of thoughts.

After five, you should feel pretty good. This works well for me particularly in moments of acute stress.

That one worked too didn’t it. I hope concentrating on reading this helped you reduce your stress and I hope you’ll make conscious relaxation a part of your life.

It’s a lifestyle change that’s easy to make because it feels so good when you do it.

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Weight Management: Thick & Thin

Weight Management

Aero-Kick-Web_5752

Weight management is learning to control portion size, eating a balanced diet, getting in touch with your hunger and exercising on a regular basis.

Now that we are all sheltering in place it is even more important  to  practice weight management.

Exercise has always helped to burn calories, lose body fat and keep muscle tone, but exercise alone will not keep your weight in check. Eating only when you are truly hungry can help you stay on track. Many of us engage in emotional eating: we eat when bored, depressed angry or even happy. To curb this tendency we must reckon with our inner selves. This can be getting on a scale, putting on a pair of pants that used to fit, and writing down what we are putting into our mouths.

 

For me, weight management is a constant struggle but it is one I embrace and so can you. Remember, the real reason for food is to keep us alive and well.

Weight Management Techniques

Choosing healthful foods is integral to feeling good and possibly preventing diabetes, cancer and heart disease and numerous other health problems. Between fast food and vending machines, it’s often a challenge to eat basic foods that are not prepared or processed with too much salt, sugar and preservatives. Yet a wealth of fresh vegetables, fruits, dried beans, whole grains and nuts are available if you just know what to look for and make time to prepare nutritious meals.

As we age, our immune systems become more vulnerable – especially if we are recovering from illness. The food and agriculture industries are allowed by the FDA to use a multitude of pesticides, antibiotics, hormones and even insect-based dyes to produce as much food as cheaply, and therefore profitably, as possible.

The movement toward organic foods and support for local farming in the U.S. has grown as more people become aware and concerned about the untested and unlabeled additives in our food supply. Although organic foods are often more expensive, the cost can be balanced by avoiding non-nutritious prepared foods – such as snack items, candy, sugary sodas and frozen meals – while choosing fresh produce, dried beans, whole grains and a limited amount of low fat dairy and lean meat and poultry.

Here is an important meal tip; eat a healthy breakfast. Why? Because it will give you energy to last through the morning so that you are not ravenous and prone to overeating at lunch. For the longest-lasting energy, balance three types of food in your breakfast: A serving of whole grains (a piece of whole wheat toast, a half-cup of oatmeal or a serving of whole-grain cereal per size listed on the package); two servings of fruits (which can include a glass of 100 percent juice) and a bit of low fat protein – such as yogurt, an egg, reduced-fat cheese, or skim milk on whole grain cereal. In calories and nutrition, it will beat a sugary, fatty pastry any day. Studies show that women who eat a healthy breakfast each day have an easier time maintaining a healthy weight.

Informative food-related web sites are:

Center for Science in the Public Interest (www.cspinet.org)
American Institute for Cancer Research (www.aicr.org)
USDA Food and Drug Administration (www.nutrition.gov)
Organic Consumers Association (www.organicconsumers.org)

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Orthopedic Injuries: Prehab To Avoid Rehab

ORTHOPEDIC-INJURIES_web-4-iOrthopedic Injuries. Here’s one of mine. This picture is real. It was taken by my husband a few years ago.  That’s me unable to lower my arm without passing out. I’m on the phone with my orthopedist. Orthopedic Injuries are a real drag. This one took me 3 months to rehab.

Nobody wants to grow old, least of all boomers. But we’re turning 65 at the rate of 10,000 a day, and will be for the next 17 years.

We’re running a little scared. We want longevity, but we’re scared of losing our mobility and independence. So we’re trying to stay active, or get active, in order to avoid decrepitude. With that many older bodies on the move, orthopedic injuries are on the rise. Once you’re injured, there’s excellent treatment and rehab available

But there is a lot you can do to prevent orthopedic injuries.
If you want to stay active and mobile in the second half of your life, consider prehab today to avoid rehab tomorrow. Here’s a quick video to tell you more:

Who gets up in the morning thinking: I feel like getting a nice orthopedic injury today. What can I do to help that along? But we have them anyway, even if we’re disease free. We over use our bodies or use them wrong. We break hips and legs. We get strains and sprains. We get hurt at work, at home or playing sports.

Vintage Bodies Prone For Orthopedic Injuries 

No matter how active we’ve been, our bodies are not the same as they were when we were younger. They’ve got miles on them. And like vintage cars, it’s not wise to drive them flat out. Those of us, who’ve used our bodies for a living, know we’ve had to make adjustments for our aging muscles and joints. Many of us are favoring old injuries that have left those body parts weakened and vulnerable.

We may be nursing over use injuries from repetitive actions. These can be anything from back problems from years of standing all day, to shoulder issues from years of manual labor, to carpal tunnel syndrome from constant mouse pushing. But it doesn’t have to take years. Raking leaves, shoveling snow or playing tennis all weekend when you’re out of shape can be an express ticket to Overuse Ville. And being overweight puts extra stress on your musculoskeletal system. But, there’s a simple fix that can reduce your risk for orthopedic injuries, give you more energy, stamina and even help you live longer

Prehab to Avoid Orthopedic Injuries

Two Types of Prehab

There are two main types: general and sport-specific.

General Prehab for Daily Life

Every day, we run for the bus or the phone, load groceries in the car, pick up children or pets and a million other things we take for granted. These all carry a risk for injury and I’ll bet we can all remember being injured doing them. Luckily for most of us the, injuries were limited to a little pull or sprain. But people do fall and break bones, dislocate limbs, have heart attacks and worse because they’re not fit enough for that activity at that moment. Being inactive and overweight adds to the mix. A simple fitness and weight management program may be all you need to help prevent orthopedic injuries during everyday activities.

General rehab for daily living as part of a personal wellness program: looks at the body as a whole, and develops it as a whole to maximize quality of life. This often includes strength training, cardio conditioning and core training, as well as some proprioceptive exercises.

Avoid Orthopedic Injuries with Fall Prevention

Falls are the number one cause of injury death in people over 65. One in three people 65 plus will experience a fall each year. And poor proprioception, not knowing where your body is in space is a leading cause of falls. Proprioception degrades with age but proprioceptive exercise can slow that down and help prevent falls. Add exercises like Tai Chi, and balancing exercises to your fitness routine. They feel great to do and can help keep you vertical into old age.

Sport-Specific Prehab is designed to get you ready for the rigors of a particular sport or physical endeavor. Good activity specific exercises pay special attention to the body parts most involved in that activity or sport with regard to use and form without ignoring the concept of training the body as a whole. Sport specific training is available at many gyms and community centers.

So I hope you’ve become a believer in the little proverb I’ve coined to remind my clients “An ounce of prehab is worth a pound of rehab.”

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Belly Fat: How to Lose It!

Belly FatBelly Fat: How to Lose It!
Once upon a time, not so long ago, belly fat was a sign of prosperity.  Much to our chagrin, that little, or not so little belly, it’s actually a sign that you may be at risk for some serious health issues like Heart Disease, Diabetes, and High Blood Pressure, among others.

Also many women after menopause see a thickening of their waistline due to hormonal changes.

Whatever the cause, the evidence is clear. Apple shaped people are more at risk!
So, how much is too much belly fat?

It’s all about your waist size.  For women it’s a waist measurement of 35 or more.

So, okay you say, I’ve got too much belly fat. What can I do about it? I’ve heard there’s no such thing as spot reducing.

While that’s scientifically true, there’s a lot you can do to target any specific area of you body for work.

Aerobic exercise can burn calories and help you lose weight in general. Targeted ab exercises can help you develop lean muscle mass in that area and help flatten your tummy.

Full body strength training can raise your metabolism and help you return your body to its youthful shape.

Belly Fat: How To Lose It Exercises

Here are a couple of exercises you can do to strengthen and firm up that area to help you whittle away belly fat and replace it with muscle.

  • Try using the old army exercise of sucking in your tummy during every day activities, pulling your navel back to your spine.

And you can try this exercise to help you firm up faster. It tones the center as well as the sides of your abdominals.

  • Lie down on your back and bend one knee up towards your chest.
  • At the same time, turn you torso and point your opposite elbow toward the knee.
  • Start with a few: work up to 20 repetitions over several weeks.
  • Then do 20 reps, take a short break and do another 20.

Putting weight on around your middle is easy. Taking belly fat off is hard. Unfortunately there’s no secret formula. Take a no nonsense look at your diet. Reduce your potion size and cut out empty calories. Start exercising slowly, and progress in your comfort zone. Chances are that pretty soon you’ll be able to find your shoes simply by looking down.

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