corresponds to overall fitness.
Fitness of our cardiovascular system and respiratory system.
corresponds to muscle maintenance / building.
Muscle atrophy and wasting occurs with aging and may lead to
osteoporosis (bone softening) among other things. Flexibility
corresponds with stretching and is important for mobility and balance.
Particularly in the elderly, loss of balance with falls leads to
significant morbidity and health deterioration.
Aerobic - Decreases blood pressure and resting heart
rate. Increases HDL and cardiac output. Decreases resting
respiratory rate. Increases blood flow to lungs. Burns
Dr. Andrew Weil
All three forms are critical for healthy aging.
Favorite aerobic exercise is walking. Recommends 45 min 5
days a week of brisk walking eg. 1 mile in 15 mins.
Dr. Mehmet Oz - renowned
heart surgeon - see Oprah and RealAge
Aerobic -The goal is to
maintain your target heart rate during your exercise for at least 30
minutes. To calculate your
maximum heart rate,
subtract your age from 220. Your target heart rate is between 60% and
85% of your maximum heart rate. Brisk walking is fine.
Anaerobic - Anaerobic
exercise is a good complement to
your aerobic exercise program. Exercise activities that take less than
3 minutes are considered anaerobic activities. Although anaerobic activities do not help
strengthen your heart, they do help strengthen your muscles. Do anaerobic exercise 2 or 3 times a week.
The goal is to have each
exercise workout last 30 to 60 minutes.
Flexibility - Yoga helps improve strength and flexibility
and can also help control blood pressure and regulate breathing and
heart rate. Stretching, weight-lifting and crunches should all be
your fitness routine. "A lot of folks think about how fast they run,
but you've got to stay limber,"
Kenneth Cooper, M.D. -
trailblazer concerning health and aerobics
Exercise can be used in three general ways. It can be
used as rest and
relaxation, muscle building and figure contouring, and as
cardiovascular pulmonary conditioning. All three have merit, but only
one has the potential of prolonging life, and that is cardiovascular
pulmonary conditioning. Studies clearly show that if you just walk
briskly and cover two miles in 30 minutes, three times per week, it has
the potential of reducing deaths from heart
attack or stroke
58% percent. Now that's too fast for most; slow it down, walk two
miles in 40 minutes, five times per week and you get the same
benefit. But exercise is only a part of a
total wellness program, and if you
want to reduce risk of death by heart attack you're going to have to
reduce cholesterol, stop smoking, control your body weight, and
exercise. Those are the keys to good heart health.
We have been trying to exercise the question of how
necessary to get cardiovascular benefits. If you know the aerobic point
system that I developed 35 years ago, it's still very valid. That is,
15 points a week are the least number of points that you can earn and
get heart benefits. An example is two miles of walking in less than 40
minutes, 5 days a week. Or you can walk three miles in 45 minutes,
twice a week. Or two 45-minute aerobic dance classes per week will give
you at least 15 points per week. "get 15 aerobic points per week.
has been shown to reduce death from all causes: heart attacks, strokes,
by some 58%."
Unbelievable article with important news - the brain can
regenerate and physical exercise benefits many cognitive functions - ie
memory...... So get walking!
Weight Training - AARP Magazine - April 2007
1. Can the Growing Stronger Exercise Program be done
three times a week if I have the time? What about just once a week when
I'm really busy?
New guidelines from the
American College of Sports Medicine suggest strength training two or
three times a week. Be sure to give your muscles at least one day of
rest between workouts. Two sessions is what is prescribed because it
will confer benefits and is also quite manageable from a time
perspective. However, if you have the time to do the program three
times per week, you will gain the following benefits:
- More stimuli to the bones
- Extra physical
activity—important for overall good health
- Strengthening muscles a bit more
If you do decide to do the
program three times per week, just make sure they are on
non-consecutive days, such as Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. If you can
only do the program one day per week when your schedule gets hectic
that is certainly better than nothing. But we recommend you try to get
in two days per week whenever possible.
5. What is the proper way to breathe during strength
Exhale during the most
strenuous phase of the movement—often referred to as "exhale on
the exertion." Inhale during the less strenuous phase. It is also
important to inhale and exhale fully between each repetition.
However, the most
important thing is simply to breathe regularly. Most people assume that
they are automatically breathing when in fact they are actually holding
their breath. Take a moment to focus on your breathing during your next
strength training session and during other strenuous activities such as
climbing up the stairs. You may be surprised to find that you are
actually holding your breath.
Why Strength Training?
Research has shown that
strengthening exercises are both safe and effective for women and men
of all ages, including those who are not in perfect health. In fact,
people with health concerns—including heart disease or
arthritis—often benefit the most from an exercise program that
includes lifting weights a few times each week.
Strength training, particularly in conjunction with regular aerobic
exercise, can also have a profound impact on a person's mental and
Benefits of Strength Training
There are numerous benefits to
strength training regularly, particularly as you grow older. It can be
very powerful in reducing the signs and symptoms of numerous diseases
and chronic conditions, among them:
- back pain
Tufts University recently
completed a strength-training program with older men and women with
moderate to severe knee osteoarthritis. The results of this
sixteen-week program showed that strength training decreased pain by
43%, increased muscle strength and general physical performance,
improved the clinical signs and symptoms of the disease, and decreased
disability. The effectiveness of strength training to ease the pain of
osteoarthritis was just as potent, if not more potent, as medications.
Similar effects of strength training have been seen in patients with
Restoration of Balance and Reduction of Falls
As people age, poor balance and
flexibility contribute to falls and broken bones. These fractures can
result in significant disability and, in some cases, fatal
complications. Strengthening exercises, when done properly and through
the full range of motion, increase a person's flexibility and balance,
which decrease the likelihood and severity of falls. One study in New
Zealand in women 80 years of age and older showed a 40% reduction in
falls with simple strength and balance training.
Strengthening of Bone
can lose 1-2% of their bone mass annually. Results from a study
conducted at Tufts University, which were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1994, showed that strength training
increases bone density and reduces the risk for fractures among women
Proper Weight Maintenance
Strength training is crucial to
weight control, because individuals who have more muscle mass have a
higher metabolic rate. Muscle is active tissue that consumes calories
while stored fat uses very little energy. Strength training can provide
up to a 15% increase in metabolic rate, which is enormously helpful for
weight loss and long-term weight control.
Improved Glucose Control
More than 14 million Americans
have type II diabetes—a staggering three-hundred percent increase
over the past forty years—and the numbers are steadily climbing.
In addition to being at greater risk for heart and renal disease,
diabetes is also the leading cause of blindness in older adults.
Fortunately, studies now show that lifestyle changes such as strength
training have a profound impact on helping older adults manage their
diabetes. In a recent study of Hispanic men and women, 16 weeks of
strength training produced dramatic improvements in glucose control
that are comparable to taking diabetes medication. Additionally, the
study volunteers were stronger, gained muscle, lost body fat, had less
depression, and felt much more self-confident.
Healthy State of Mind
provides similar improvements in depression as anti-depressant
medications. Currently, it is not known if this is because people feel
better when they are stronger or if strength training produces a
helpful biochemical change in the brain. It is most likely a
combination of the two. When older adults participate in strength
training programs, their self-confidence and self-esteem improve, which
has a strong impact on their overall quality of life.
People who exercise
regularly enjoy improved sleep quality. They fall asleep more quickly,
sleep more deeply, awaken less often, and sleep longer. As with
depression, the sleep benefits obtained as a result of strength
training are comparable to treatment with medication but without the
side effects or the expense.
Healthy Heart Tissue
Strength training is important
for cardiac health because heart disease risk is lower when the body is
leaner. One study found that cardiac patients gained not only strength
and flexibility but also aerobic capacity when they did strength
training three times a week as part of their rehabilitation program.
This and other studies have prompted the American Heart Association to
recommend strength training as a way to reduce risk of heart disease
and as a therapy for patients in cardiac rehabilitation programs.
Research and Background About Strength Training
Scientific research has shown
that exercise can slow the physiological aging clock. While aerobic
exercise, such as walking, jogging, or swimming, has many excellent
health benefits—it maintains the heart and lungs and increases
cardiovascular fitness and endurance—it does not make your
muscles strong. Strength training does. Studies have shown that lifting
weights two or three times a week increases strength by building muscle
mass and bone density.
study conducted on postmenopausal women at Tufts University
demonstrated 1% gains in hip and spine bone density, 75% increases in
strength and 13% increases in dynamic balance with just two days per
week of progressive strength training. The control group had losses in
bone, strength, and balance. Strength training programs can also have a
profound effect on reducing risk for falls, which translates to fewer
requires little special equipment, but there are a few basic
A sturdy chair and
strong, stable chair without arms that does not rock or sway when you
sit in it or move when you stand up from it. When you’re seated
chair, your knees should be at a 90-degree angle and your feet should
be flat on the ground. If the chair is too high, find one with shorter
legs; if it’s too low, try putting a pillow or a folded blanket
seat to give you a slight boost.
For your exercise
choose an open area, preferably carpeted, with at least enough space
for your chair and ample room to walk around it. Carpeting will prevent
the chair from sliding. On bare floor, put your chair against the wall.
If you think you might like to exercise to music or while watching
television, plan your space accordingly.
shoes are essential for any exercise. For strength training, try
athletic shoes with good support, such as walking, running, or
cross-training sneakers. The sole should be rubber, but not too thick,
as fat soles may cause you to trip. If you don’t already have
that fit this description, you can find them at sporting goods,
discount, and department stores.
loose, cool, comfortable clothing that breathes well during
exercise-for example, a cotton T-shirt and cotton shorts or pants. If
you want to purchase new workout clothes, look for materials that
readily absorb moisture and breathe well.
weights) and ankle weights
can complete the first part of the exercise program without weights,
but as you get stronger and add new exercises, you will need dumbbells
and ankle weights. It’s a good idea to buy these before you begin
strength training, or as soon as possible after you start, so that
you’ll have them on hand when you’re ready to add them to
Your minimum purchase should include a set of two dumbbells in each of
the following weights:
best ankle weights for this program are the adjustable type. These
allow you to add weight gradually in increments of a half-pound or full
pound, until you reach as much as ten or twenty pounds per leg.
In purchasing this
equipment, you have several choices:
stores and mail-order companies offer specials that include a set of
one-pound, three-pound, and five-pound weights at substantial savings.
This is a good starter kit; later you can buy heavier dumbbell sets.
safety reasons, consider storing your weights in a floor-level cupboard
or in a container such as a wooden box or canvas bag-preferably on a
cart with wheels for easy relocation to your exercise spot. Storage
containers and wheeled carts are usually available at local department
and discount stores. If you choose not to use a cart, try to keep your
weights in the area where you exercise to minimize transporting the
weights from one area to another. Also, be mindful to store weights out
of the reach of children and in a place where people will not trip over
Working at proper intensity: how to judge your
It is important to
find the right balance between exercising
conservatively to prevent injury and consistently progressing to
increase strength. This easy-to-use scale will help you determine the
proper intensity of your workout.
to adhere to your strength-training regimen as much
as you can. You may find that you make a few false starts before you
succeed at making this program a regular part of your life. There may
be times when interruptions such as vacation, illness, or family or
work demands conspire to prevent you from doing your exercises for a
week or two-or even longer. Try not to feel guilty or disappointed in
yourself. Just restart your routine as quickly as you can. You may not
be able to pick up exactly where you left off-you may need to decrease
your weights a bit. But stay with it, and you will regain lost ground.
If you have trouble
getting back into the swing of things, start
back into the program slowly. Remember why you started strength
training in the first place, why you chose your particular goals. (It
may help to reassess your goals and make new ones; as time passes, your
motivations may change.) Most important, remember how your past
successes made you feel: healthy, strong, independent, and empowered!
Exercise Intensity Indicator
Ask yourself these
questions after each exercise.
- Were you able to
complete two sets of ten repetitions in good form?
Reduce the weight to an amount that you can lift ten times in good
form; rest for one to two minutes; then repeat for a second set.
continue to question two.
- After completing
ten repetitions, do you need to rest because the weight is too heavy to
complete more repetitions in good form?
Yes: You are
working at the proper intensity and should not increase weight.
continue to questions three and four to determine how to safely
increase the intensity of your workout.
- Could you have
done a few more repetitions in good form without a break?
If you can do only a few more repetitions (not the entire next set of
ten without a break), then at your next workout you should do the first
set of repetitions with your current weight and your second set with
the next weight up. For example, if you’re currently using
dumbbells, use two- or three-pound dumbbells for your second set.
- Could you have
done all twenty repetitions at one time, without a break?
Yes: At your
next session, use heavier dumbbells for both sets of repetitions.
SIDE NOTE #1: Remember that you should complete
each repetition in proper form, using the “two-up,
NOTE #2: When you start doing the exercises with the adjustable ankle
weights, you will be able to increase intensity by adding half- or
one-pound weights to each leg.
Various tests to determine limited range of motion over
various joints and muscles
2008 US Gov Guidelines
- 2 hrs and 30 mins weekly of moderate aerobic exercise ( walking
briskly, dancing, doubles tennis) in 10 min or longer blocks of time 0r
1 hr and 15 mins of vigorous exercise per week. Strength training
two days a week.
Variety of Risk Factors for death - all improved with increasing physical exercise
All deaths over 13 yrs comparing physical fitness in 4 groups - better fitness, less chance of dying
Relationship of musculoskeletal fitness and independent living in older adults.
" For instance, in another study, people who
went from unfit to fit over a 5-year period had a reduction of
44% in the relative risk of death compared with people who re-
What is a MET? One MET is the rate at which adults burn kcal at rest: This is
approximately 1 kcal per kilogram (kg) of body weight per hour (expressed as 1
kcal/kg/hr). MET stands for metabolic equivalent and is defined as "the ratio of
the work metabolic rate to the resting metabolic rate" (Ainsworth).
MET Value of 1. In The Compendium of Physical Activities Tracking Guide, an
activity with a MET value of "1" (e.g., sitting quietly and reading or watching TV)
would have an energy expenditure of 1 kcal/kg/hr. Therefore, sitting quietly does
not require any more kcal than one would burn just to rest. Sitting quietly and
other "activities" that have MET values close to 1 are considered "sedentary"
MET Values > 1. The Compendium lists a MET value of 3.3 for walking at a
moderate pace on level ground. Accordingly, walking at a moderate pace on
level ground would have an energy expenditure of 3.3 kcal/kg/hr (3.3 times that
of the resting metabolic rate, which is 1 kcal/kg/hr).
600+ different activities listed in the Compendium, see "Understanding and
Using the MET Values." The information below focuses only on using METs
" A range of 500 to 1,000 MET-
minutes of activity per week provides substantial
benefit, and amounts of activity above this range
have even more benefit. Amounts of activity below
this range also have some benefit. The dose-response
relationship continues even within the range of 500 to
1,000 MET-minutes, in that the health benefits of
1,000 MET-minutes per week are greater than those
of 500 MET-minutes per week."
How fast should you walk - Dr. Weil
Core Exercises - back sparing - Stuart McGill