New York: Fitness, strength and flexibility do not inevitably fade away with age, and are more often a matter of lifestyle choices, according to a new report.
Often, the discomforts of middle-age, like lower back pain or stiff joints, are blamed on aging alone. However, a well-rounded exercise routine that includes aerobic activity, strength training and stretching can help people offset the effects of ageing, according to a report from the Mayo Clinic.
Studies show that regular exercise can lower the risks of chronic ills like diabetes and heart disease, boost immune function, alleviate fatigue and cut the risk of disability in older adults.
People of any age can start exercising, even if they’ve never been active, the report says. However, sedentary people should always talk with their doctors first, particularly if they have any chronic medical conditions.
To get the most benefits, exercisers should try to fit in five types of activity, according to the Mayo report. One is aerobic exercise — any type of movement, like walking or riding a bike, that raises the heart rate and gets you breathing harder. A good beginning, the report says, is to exercise aerobically for 30 to 60 minutes three times per week, working toward a five-day-per-week goal.
Strengthening exercises, such as lifting hand weights or doing push-ups, are important to maintaining muscle mass and strength. Most people will quickly notice improvements after strength training just two or three times per week, for about 20 minutes per session, according to the report.
It’s also important to fit in stretching to boost flexibility, balance exercises to improve coordination and lower injury risk, and “core stability” training — exercises that focus on the muscles of the trunk.
All of these activities do require proper technique, the report notes, so it is a good idea to begin by taking an exercise class or getting advice from a professional, such as a doctor, exercise trainer or physical therapist.
New York: Scientists at the Stanford University Medical Center have found that jogging can slow down the ageing process.
In a study that lasted two decades they found that elderly joggers were half as likely to die prematurely from conditions like cancer than non-runners.
They also enjoyed a healthier life with fewer disabilities, according to the study which is published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
The work tracked 500 older runners for more than 20 years, comparing them to a similar group of non-runners. All were in their 50s at the start of the study.
Nineteen years into the study, 34% of the non-runners had died compared to only 15% of the runners.
Both groups became more disabled with age, but for the runners the onset of disability started later – an average of 16 years later.
The health gap between the runners and non-runners continued to widen even as the subjects entered their ninth decade of life.
Running not only appeared to slow the rate of heart and artery related deaths, but was also associated with fewer early deaths from cancer, neurological disease, infections and other causes.
And there was no evidence that runners were more likely to suffer osteoarthritis or need total knee replacements than non-runners – something scientists have feared.
At the beginning of the study, the runners ran for about four hours a week on average. After 21 years, their weekly running time had reduced to around 76 minutes, but they were still seeing health benefits from taking regular exercise.
Lead author Professor James Fries, emeritus professor of medicine at Stanford, said: “The study has a very pro-exercise message. If you had to pick one thing to make people healthier as they age, it would be aerobic exercise.
“The health benefits of exercise are greater than we thought.”
London: Thousands of silver sprinters plan to join their younger counterparts in this years London Marathon.
A greater interest in fitness and wellbeing is thought to be driving the trend, with nearly 1 in 10 participants falling into the over 50 age bracket in this years marathon (1).
The new figures contradict the traditional image of the over 50s leading a sedentary life as nearly 7,000 50-70 year olds gear up to run in this years competitive 26 mile race, on the 13th April.
However, while experts applaud an active ageing population, theyre also offering a word of warning, given that a recent survey from LitoZin Joint Health©, revealed 74% of runners over the age of 45 suffer from regular joint pain. Joint specialist Dr. Kaj Winther urges participants not to overdo final training sessions and to help keep their joints lubricated by dosing up on a natural supplement such as Litozin Joint Health, which can help reduce joint inflammation and keep niggling pains at bay.
Many people with arthritic problems fear that exercise will make their conditions worse, but it is in fact lack of exercise that can lead to joint deterioration and pain, explains Dr Winther. Rather than further damaging your arthritic joints, a regular program of moderate activity and stretching and strengthening exercises can reduce pain, improve mobility and increase the stability of arthritic joints by strengthening supporting muscles.
To protect your joints when preparing for a marathon, remember the following:
Invest in properly fitted, well cushioned running shoes.
Dont overdo training in the final days before the race to minimise muscular aches and pains.
Do not train if you have flu, a fever or stomach bug and only start gentle training, build up again gradually once you have fully recovered.
Make sure you include plenty of carbs in your training diet in the run up to the race
Drink plenty of fluids before and during the marathon.
Make sure you stretch and warm up your muscles before you begin.
Take a natural rosehip supplement to help keep joints mobile and pain free. LitoZin Joint Health® contains the anti-inflammatory active ingredient GOPO®, which is derived from Rosa canina, a type of rose-hip.
The anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory benefits of GOPO have been proven to offer long-term relief from joint pain and an increase in joint mobility. GOPO has an active benefit on all types of joint pain making it particularly suitable for sports related joint pain, explains Dr Winther.
Studies also show that due to its anti-inflammatory properties, GOPO is more effective at reducing pain and improving mobility than other supplements for joint pain, such as glucosamine.
More about the survey
©The LitoZin Joint Health Sports Survey was undertaken with 500 men and women across the UK in August 2007 and looked at the impact on joint health of various sporting activities amongst groups of men and women in the under 45 and over 45 age groups, who all undertook 10 hours or more of light exercise a month. Any statistics taken from this release must be referenced to the LitoZin Joint Health Sports Survey.
LitoZinâ Joint Health is available in Boots, Superdrug, Holland & Barrett, independent pharmacies and health food stores, and is priced at £19.99 for 120 capsules. For more information on LitoZinâ Joint Health, please see www.litozin.co.uk
G R Lane is one of the major natural medicine companies in the UK and manufactures well-known products such as Olbas, Kalms, Quiet Life and Aquaban.
Established in the 1930s by Gilbert Lane – an early supporter of the idea that we can improve our health through diet and the use of carefully selected plants and nutrients Lanes remains a family owned business and is chaired by Gilberts grand-daughter, Janet Lane.
PETS AND HUMANS BOTH LIVE LONGER WITH EXERCISE
says top vet Carol Osborne
How Much Exercise Do Dogs Need?
Dogs needs at least 20 minutes of exercise twice a day. The exact amount varies with age, breed, weight and physical condition.
Dont jump off the sofa one minute and take a ten mile hike the next, dogs, like people, need to get in shape gradually a little bit each day. Try starting with a couple of ten minute walks and you can both build up from there. And if your pet hasnt taken much exercise recently get the vet to check him/her out before you begin the programme.
One hour of exercise increases your dogs lifespan by 4 hours. Devise a fitness programme for your dog and you may find that you get as much out of it, if not more, than your dog.
Exercise Is Fun With Your Dog!
Exercise is integral to life. Not only is it essential for optimal health, it also improves circulation, stimulates vital organs, facilitates digestion and helps eliminate harmful toxins from the body. Exercise provides aerobic activity that stimulates your dog mentally and physically. And exercising with pets is fun. It is a great way to bond, and it is as good for you as it is for your dog. Most owners end up looking forward to this special time as much as their dog does.
Some enlightened fitness centres open their doors to people and pets use it or loose it doesnt just apply to people.
Exercise promotes confidence, self-esteem and well being. If you make the commitment to eat right and exercise at least 20 minutes twice a day, you and your dog will look good and feel great! Exercise enhances your health, your looks and your life. Before long youll both be wagging your tails!
If your dog cant exercise, you can help by learning canine massage. Its therapeutic and stimulates vital tissues. Its also fun and feels great.
PUP-ULAR CANINE SPORTS (Little League Anyone?)
Playgrounds and obstacle courses are great ways to have fun and stay in shape. You can construct obstacles using odds and ends in your garden or buy them already made from a pet shop.
Treadmills for Dogs
They are great for dogs of all ages, including those that are older and arthritic. Pets can use them if the weather is bad, if they live in an apartment or if you just cant get outside. Canine treadmills come with adjustable inclines and speeds. They are fun for pets and when your dogs done you can use it too!
Fun Exercises for Dogs & their People
All dog love to go for walks. They are especially good for lap and toy breeds that are too small to do a lot of exercises.
Jogging is especially fun for bird and herding breeds that love to run. Be careful if its very hot or very cold and if your dog stops to lie down you need to stop too
Roller blading is worth a try. Just like jogging, its fun with dogs that love to run. Be sure you’re good on wheels and don’t forget your kneepads.
Frisbee is great with breeds that like to focus on objects; Border Collies and Australian Shepard’s find Frisbees fascinating.
Most bird dogs, Labradors, Retrievers and even some Mastiffs love the water. It is also therapeutic for older, arthritic dogs. Be sure your dog can swim, because like people, not all can. Stay near by and keep a close eye on him.
Have a Ball
WITH BALL GAMES. BE SURE THE BALL IS BIG ENOUGH SO YOUR DOG CANNOT SWALLOW OR CHOKE ON IT. Also make sure it’s made of sturdy material like hard rubber so your dog can’t chew it into little pieces and risk choking. Dogs get plenty of exercise fetching and frolicking with balls. They also enjoy chasing, chewing, bouncing and pouncing on them,
Some balls have compartments you can fill with treats like apples, carrots or cucumbers. They’re purr-fect for pet’s that enjoy a good game of “Hide and Go Seek”. Theyre also great boredom busters if you’re out for the afternoon or at work.
EXERCISES TO AVOID WITH YOUR DOG
Avoid rough games like tug of war, wrestling and those that involve your dog chasing you. These games encourage aggression and teach your dog to struggle against you as opposed to working with you.
Dr Carol Osborne DVM is the worlds only veterinarian to be a board certified Diplomat of the American Academy of Anti-Ageing Medicine. She has her own bespoke pet health products at www.drcarol.com