Archive for category: Health & Fitness

Fitness for Fun


December 16, 2009

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Health & Fitness

Fitness for Fun

mountainsmExercising regularly? Are you doing the right exercises suited to your body? Is the thought of exercising regularly becoming frustrating and tedious? How about Fitness for Fun? A balanced exercise routine along with cardio activity and a healthy diet is so important for your long term health and it doesn’t have to be a chore.

First, let’s talk about what happens to muscles as we age.
Muscle mass decreases as we age. Beginning in the fourth decade of life, adults lose 3%-5% of muscle mass per decade, and the decline increases to 1%-2% per year after age 50. Muscle keeps us strong, it burns calories and helps us maintain our weight, and it contributes to balance and bone strength. Without it, we can lose our independence and our mobility.

Is my body past the phase of muscle building?
Muscle mass can increase at any age if exercised properly. In an important study of weight lifting and older adults conducted with 100 male and female residents of a nursing home in Boston (age range: 72 to 98 years of age; average age 87), subjects lifted weights with their legs three times a week for 10 weeks. At the end of the study, there was an increase in thigh mass of 2.7%, walking speed increased 12%, and leg strength increased a whopping 113%! In a similar study of adults 65-79 years old, subjects who lifted weights three times a week for three months increased their walking endurance by 38% (from 25 minutes to 34 minutes) without substantial increases in mass.

These are the areas and ideas that you should focus on:

Flexibility and Agility Exercises: This improves your body’s flexibility, range of motion and increases your metabolism. This helps you maintain a strong body structure and helps prevent more serious injuries like sprains and strains.

Relaxation: Helps reduce stress and lower your blood pressure and anxiety.

Eating Healthy: A properly combined diet is imperative to good health. Having a little “snack” here and there is part of life, but it should not overtake our whole eating regime. Eating well and maintaining proper eating habits is the biggest factor in keeping a healthy weight.
Strength training exercises: Increases your overall body strength, builds more muscle and improves your bone density. To explain further, I have listed some examples in these areas with more detail so you can see what may work and be appropriate for you and your schedule.

Yoga: Yoga has become so popular in our society because of its total heath benefits. Researchers have found that regular practice led to reduced back pain; improved sleep, better sense of wellness, improvement in heart health, reduction of rheumatoid arthritis and type 2 diabetes; and greater overall physical fitness. There are many types and levels of yoga. Find the one that works best for you!

Water Aerobics: Water aerobics is an excellent way to stay fit and in shape. All the areas mentioned above are compiled into this form of exercise; Cardio, Strength training and flexibility training. This can be done anywhere there is water, anytime of the year; in a pool, a lake, or an ocean. Alone or with a group of people together for a class, it’s a great way to get started in an exercise routine if you are just getting out there.

Tai Chi: Tai Chi is a series of traditional Chinese movements that help increase stamina, flexibility, reduce stress and clear your mind. The gentle exercises really focus on your inner being and knowing your body and getting you to become aware of who you are. Tai chi does not promote any joint or muscle strain, therefore it suits anyone who is in rehabilitation or suffering from any illness.

Dancing: Now who doesn’t love to dance? And anyone can do it. If you are in need of assistance of a wheelchair, or having difficulty with any sort of movement, you can still get up and dance. It’s all about what is in your heart. Music is one of the best means of therapy. Dancing is fun and exciting and you can do it solo or in a group. Ballroom dancing is fun, classy really gets you moving. Or how about a simple get together with a group of like minded people who just want to be with one another and share some old classical tunes. As the saying goes, “Dancers don’t stop dancing when they grow old; dancers grow old when they stop dancing.”

Weight Training: When you think of strength training, what is the first thing that comes to mind? The heavy weights, dealing with and the loud music, does this sound about right? The fitness centers and gyms have changed drastically since those “muscle head” days. There is new equipment like resistance bands, exercise balls, specific routines to attain your goals or just wanting to feel good and stay in shape. There are also areas to work with for rehabilitation issues such as sprains and strains. If your choice is not to join a gym, there are many other centers that offer the same type of programs without the extra expense. Senior Centers have programs, YMCA’s or YWCA’s and so on. All you have to do is get up and get out!

Now I’m sure you get the idea! Just get up and do it! It’s not all just about the physical activity, but the the fun and socialization aspect of it all. Get out there, walk, talk and join clubs, groups and be yourself and HAVE FUN! Because this is really what it is all about!

Before starting any type or new exercise program, please be sure to check with your doctor. Now get out there and have a great time, make Fitness for Fun and meet new people. Live your life to the fullest, you deserve it!!!

Nicole Gruendl, Life and Success Coach

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No BS Quick Cures for Crankiness

No BS Quick Cures for Crankiness

Beat a bad mood with some feel-good solutions that will work in minutes flat.

angSure, there are days when you’d like to hang a sign on your door that says, “Leave me the heck alone!” But whether you’re stewing because of a tight deadline, a bad hair day, raging hormones or a sleepless night, you don’t have to spend the day gnashing your teeth and spitting venom at everyone that dares approach. Soothe those prickly feelings in a hurry with some remedies proven by science, and get on with your day in a more positive way. Here are 8 ways to cure your crankiness right now.

1. Listen to your mom
Save favorite voice-mail or answering-machine messages from people you love so you can listen to them anytime — or simply dial up a friend or family member. The voice of a loved one can quickly dissolve crankiness. That’s because pleasant sounds can decrease the tension that triggers irritability and distract you from annoyances. On the flip side, unwanted noise raises blood pressure, cortisol (the stress hormone) and, over time, even your risk of cardiovascular disease.

2. Order the suicide-hot wings
Spicy or hot food or drinks (think Thai, Hunan) can raise your body temperature and relax your body. So if you’re starting to think that AC is short for Arctic Circle at work, grab some hot ginger tea, wear a wool or fleece top or take a sauna or longer shower at the gym and the No BS Exercises will also warm you up. Increasing your body temperature can help calm your mood by reducing muscle tension, changing brain wave patterns, inducing hormonal changes and causing vasodilation (relaxation of blood vessels), which increases blood flow to extremities and circulation in general. when you’re comfortable, you’re automatically less cranky.

3. Get rocking
Ever wonder why Grandma looks so serene in her rocking chair? Rocking yourself is a natural anti grouchiness mechanism.. The rhythm allows the brain to relax and your heart rate to slow. If you don’t own a rocker (or want to), try this rocking yoga move: Sit on the floor, draw your knees up to your chest, join your hands under your knees and tilt your head forward toward your knees — now rock forward and roll backward onto your rounded back. Find any calming rhythm to shake your bad mood — literally — such as a mantra, humming, rocking or dancing in a swaying fashion. The clincher is that any music you listen to should be slower than your heartbeat — just think slow, soft rhythms.

4. Use powder
Sprinkle on some baby powder after your shower to chill your mood before you step out, or choose baby-powder-scented antiperspirant, car fragrance or drawer liners. Why? The smell of baby powder can quell a bad mood by evoking feelings (and memories) of safety and comfort.

5. Pause four times a day
Pause a total of 20 minutes a day, five at a time, to exorcise your inner grouch, That’s the magic number, research showed that’s what it took to reduce stress, including irritability, by 50%. Whenever you pause, your brain takes your body off high alert: your breathing returns to normal, which slows your heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormones and reduces the adrenaline overload that tension creates. The most important five-minute downtime is when you wake up: “Your body undergoes the biggest change in blood pressure and heart rate in the morning, so avoid hitting the ground running.

6. Telling  jokes
Learn something from men: Study findings show that they typically open conversations with a joke or at least something not serious, whereas women start off by asking or telling someone what’s wrong, and the seriousness tends to escalate. “We can learn something from men about stress. “The more you can do to smile and laugh, the tougher it is to hold on to to bad feelings.” Laughing stops hyperventilation and reregulates our breathing pattern. And just smiling sends feedback to the brain that positively affects heart rate, blood pressure and digestion.

7. Wear pastels
Choose the peach top instead of the red one today. You may think that bright colours such as orange, red and yellow are cheery and energizing, but they can actually trigger aggression because they’re overstimulating. Consider that traffic signs usually capture these colours to send us into alert mode: watch out, danger and stop. Warmer tones have a nurturing, caring feeling, and the less bright and saturated the colours, the more soothing they are.

8. Get your heart racing
Do 10 minutes or more of aerobic exercise to douse grumpy feelings, 10 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise improved people’s mood the most. Working out at a higher intensity or longer won’t make you any cheerier either. Exercise has proven strong, calming effects that can last for several hours. But we’ve also found that it’s aerobic activity that seems to improve mood the most.

Chris Sine
Fitness Trainer

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8 Tips for Mental Health & Fitness

8 Tips for Mental Health & Fitness


1. Build Confidence

Identify your abilities and weaknesses together, accept them improve on them and never lose sight of your goals, you can succeed.

2. Eat right, Keep fit

A balanced diet, exercise and rest can help you to reduce stress and enjoy life.

3. Make Time for Family and Friends

These relationships need to be nurtured; if taken for granted they will not be there to share life’s joys and sorrows.

4. Give and Accept Support

Friends and family relationships thrive when they are “put to the test”.

5. Create a Meaningful Budget

Financial problems cause stress. Over-spending on our “wants” instead of our “needs” is often the culprit.

6. Manage Stress

We all have stress ors in our lives but learning how to deal with them when they threaten to overwhelm us will maintain our mental health.

7. Find Strength in Numbers

Sharing a problem with others who have had similar experiences may help you find a solution and will make you feel less isolated.

8. Identify and Deal with Moods

We all need to find safe and constructive ways to express our feelings of anger, sadness, joy and fear. Exercise is the best release, no one gets hurt and you will feel better after words.

Chris Sine
Fitness Trainer

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