If you've gone to a gym recently, you may have noticed that many older people are weight training now. You didn't see that 10 years ago. The number one reason is health. Find out what you should know.
I was a personal trainer many years ago, and I am happy to report that many of the same principles still apply. The difference is, now we are muddled up with the new trends that might be doing us more harm than good. So...ladies and gentlemen let's begin.
Some common myths
Benefits of weight training
Increase in strength, good for all areas of your life, and lessens your chance of injury.
Helps prevent chronic disease just as other types of exercise.
Prevents obesity, especially in the aging adult. Having muscles mass increases fat burning potential;You can actually eat more without putting on extra fat.
You should notice an increase in overall energy.
Experts think weight training may improve bone density.
Gaining power, strength and agility can go a long way to reduce age related changes, says studies from Harvard. Check out www.health.harvard.edu.
What types of exercise should you include?
Pick ones that use multiple muscle groups, rather than specific isolation exercises. This means, instead of working just one group of muscles, focus on exercises that include more than one muscle group. Things like squats, bench press, dead lifts and leg presses...even push-ups and chin ups (if you can do them). Start slow. Using free weights, instead of machines yields better results.
** To get the best results, you must gradually increase the weight. If you use the same weight each time, you will not progress. This is why we see people who go to the gym and always look the same. Strength and muscle tone come from a principle called "progressive overload." Most competitive athletes also use this principle. Of course, we have to start at a low weight. You should be able to do at least 10 reps, if not start lower. Doing more than 10 reps will likely just exhaust the muscles.
Eating properly is a must for muscles to grow. Nutrition Weight and Wellness considers healthy eating as eating a balance of real foods, no processed food. Check out their podcasts at www.weightandwellness.com.
People of all ages have been weight training for years with great results. You can help prevent bone loss. You only have to go 2-3 times per week to achieve benefits. You can choose alternative days for either cardio or rest. Most importantly, enjoy your workouts.
Guest post by Debbie L Belair
Do you neglect your workouts in the summer? Find out how you can exercise safely in hot weather.
What is heat illness?
Heat illness can strike anybody who isn't hydrated enough. Often it occurs over a stretch of a few days. It's what happens to your body when it isn't able to maintain it's normal core temperature, and the body ceases to function. In extreme temperatures you can get ill in several hours. Children, and older adults are more prone to it.
Runners World magazine recommends that after 40 mins of exercise you may need more than just water, and that's in normal temperatures.
There are three levels to heat illness.
1. You might have muscle cramps, and you feel exhausted.
2. Stage two is called heat exhaustion. I have had this, but I had no muscle cramps or any other warning signs. The signs are headache, nausea, vomiting, chills or diarrhea. Get to shade immediately if you develop any of these symptoms.
3. Heat stroke is the third stage. This stage can result in unconsciousness and even death. If your symptoms worsen and your skin becomes hot and dry seek emergency first aid.
If you can't get to the hospital right away, have the individual move to the shade and apply cold water if available.
It's important to know that hydration needs are individual. One way to check your hydration levels is checking the color of your urine. It should be clear if you are adequately hydrated. Remember that high humidity elevates your risk. Runner's world magazine recommends that if you do longer term exercise, supplement with a sports drink. Dr. Hamid Sadrl recommends that you mix 50 per cent water with 50 percent sports drink. Orange juice works too, just add a little salt. It's recommended that you avoid surgery drinks. I like Ultima, it has a nice taste and comes in different flavors, and has no sugar. Other ones are Vega, Nun, and now I hear Gatorade now has a non sugar version.
So, you see, you can exercise safely in the heat. You will have to cut down the duration, and intensity. Remember it takes a few weeks for your body to adjust to the heat in the early parts of the summer. This is the most dangerous time for heat illness to sneak up on you.
If the weather is above 30 degrees, it's best to find some place air conditioned to exercise. Yes, that means that dreaded treadmill or exercise bike. You may opt for early mornings, but I don't recommend running or biking at night. My idea, is to exercise near a lake or stream, so you can cool off after.
With a little planning, and the right clothing you can still get your favorite activity in safely.
Guest post by Debbie L. Belair
There is positive stress, and negative stress. Find out what kind of stress is useful, and what other types of stress can affect your health.
Good stress or bad stress?
You will experience different types of stress throughout your life, but some individuals may be more prone to negative stress.
There is a healthy adaptation the body makes to alert the rest of the body to make necessary changes. This is the kind of stress that occurs when an athlete or other performer needs to get the competitive edge to push themselves further to master the task. Yes, short term stress may help you obtain that achievement oriented goal that you've waited a long time for.
The fight or flight response is a short term condition in which the adrenal glands mobilize adreneline and cortisol to help the stress response. Normally, after the crises is over the body returns to its original balanced state.
This type of stress occurs when the body is exposed to high levels of stress over a long period of time. Blood pressure can remain elevated making the body vulnerable to a number of stress related diseases, usually behavior and physiological problem. This happens becasue the brains neurons are disrupted. I'm sure you have expereienced this. It's why we have trouble thinking properly when we are stressed and agitated.
Once the event is over, the body reverts back to homeostasis. The body activates neurotransmitters to help you recover. Stress becomes a problem when the stress response it not turned off. When stress occurs over a long time, the adrenal glands become exhausted and you feel tired all the time. At this point, you might become ill.
Long term stress can decrease the ability of the body's system to work properly...even altogether. More information can be found at www.nimh.nih.gov/health
Common related illnesses
chronic stress may contribute to peptic ulcers, cardiovascular disease and even cancer. Lately, I have read a lot of health reports indicating that chronic stress is one of the leading causes of cancer. Now that is scary. The American psychological association reports that stress can make health problems worse. Their website is worth checking out at www.apa.org.
Reducing stress levels is critical to long term health.
In a world filled with economic uncertainty, you may be effected by cuts, overload, downsizing, layoff
Here's what you can do
Finally... make a commitment to yourself to spend some time identifying the bad stress, and then set aside a plan. You are worth it!
Post by guest blogger Debbie Belair, Inspiration Copywriting & Editing Services
If you have health problems, please read this post. There are some myths around water, and how much you should drink. New Science has revealed some truths about water.
Do You Know?
New Science has discovered that many chronic related illnesses may be improved or even prevented by drinking more water, but how much is enough? Water is now considered a source of energy for the body, but this has been overlooked in the past.
Dehydration shows up long before we are thirsty, especially as we get older. Dr. Batmanghelidj author of You Bodies Many Cries For Water, says that your body's thirst mechanism tends to malfunction after about the age of 20. The result is that you can get chronically dehydrated. The body needs a certain amount of water to function properly. Medical research finally reveals that "dry mouth," is not a reliable indicator of the body's need for more water. If you want to read more on this topic you can go to www.watercure.com.
Is eight 8 ounces of water Enough?
This is a common myth. Roberta H. Anding of Louisiana State University is a dietician working with professional athletes. She explains that for some, eight 8 ounces of water per day may be too much, and not enough for others. How much water your body requires depends on your body composition, your current health, and your activity level. Some athletes actually calculate their sweat rates, but most of us don't have to go that far. Scale weight before and after exercise is the best indicator of fluid loss. If you lose more than 3 pounds on the scale then you are dehydrated.
* dark colored urine is a sign of dehydration.
If the weather is very hot or very cold... you will need to drink more water. If you exercise more than an hour in hot conditions then you need a sports drink to replace electrolytes and sodium. Orange and tomato juice are also good replacements. I had heat illness once, and I quickly recovered drinking tomato juice.
* Tip- Flying in an airplane depletes the body's water reserves. The cause for this, is pressurized cabins. This might be one of the reasons you feel so tired after a long flight. If you fly often, you should increase your intake of water.
Why do we need so much water?
Make sure the quality of the water you drink is Good
Your water should be free of toxic chemicals and bacteria contamination. The pouring of toxic wastes into river and lakes makes it impossible for governments to continue to guarantee water quality. Aging water pipes should be monitored regularly to ensure that traces of lead are not in the drinking water.
Most tap water is safe. If you are like me, and you don't like the taste...or you worry about the effects of chlorine and flouride, you can let the water stand for a few hours. If you can afford filtered water there are many advanced water systems on the market. I like Nikken's Pi Mag water system. It has balanced nutrients and is P.H balanced. Most of all I love the way it tastes. See www.nikken.com/johnschlapbach, for more information.
As you can see, there are many reasons why it's a good idea to drink more water. Water is a source of energy for all living things.
Drink to your health!
Debbie L. Belair, guest blogger