A community for people who want to remain as healthy as possible as we age.

More Information and Recent Research on Exercise and Fitness

(NBC News) Fitness fads come and go. And sometimes, they inexplicably come galloping back again (we’re talking to you, Prancercise). Some exercise trends could use a little nudge toward the door, though, like family members who stay too long after the holidays. Herewith, a handful of hot fitness fads that have overstayed their welcome for one reason or another. Maybe they’ve caused too many injuries. Maybe they’re just too silly to deal with anymore. Whatever the reason, we’d love to say goodbye to these wacky fitness fads in 2014.
Pole dancing… Yoga mash-ups… Gas mask training… Backwardsrunning... Stiletto workouts… MOB races. “Mud, obstacle and beer”… Stability ball stands.
(Consumer Reports) If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most powerful drugs ever invented. Chances are, you’ve heard many variations of that sentiment. Research suggests that exercise can cut the risk of colon cancer (60 percent), type 2 diabetes (58 percent), heart disease (40 percent), and Alzheimer’s disease (40 percent). Another study, which compared regular exercisers with couch potatoes, concluded that each minute of physical activity added an average of 7 minutes of life span… “Convenience and proximity are key predictors of exercise,” says [Carol Ewing Garber, Ph.D.], so it makes sense that working out at home ups the odds not only that you’ll become active but also that you’ll also stick with a routine.
The best machine for you is the one that you’ll use—but how do you know which one that will be? Our tests of elliptical trainersrowing machinesspin bikes, and treadmills can help you decide. And we consulted with experts to help you pick the machine that will best help you reach your health goals.
Community: But you don’t even really need any expensive equipment. Just walking in your neighborhood (as long as it’s safe!) can help keep you healthy.
(Reuters Health) People who walk enough to meet or exceed physical activity recommendations may be less likely to die early than those who only walk a little, new research shows.
(E. Paul Zehr, Ph.D., Psychology Today) It’s time to get the concept that you need to exercise out of your life. What you need to do instead is embrace your animal nature and include activity in your life at all times. 
(Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD, Appetite for Health) Like it or not, every one of us is getting older. The good news is that many of the signs of aging—achy joints, weight gain, declines in neurological function and fatigue—are associated with a less-than-healthy diet and lack of exercise. The good news is that research is showing that a healthy diet and exercise can help add life to your years—no matter how many candles are on your birthday cake!
More . . .
Exercise helps buffer a bout of overeating
(UPI) Daily exercise lessens many of the harmful physiological effects of short-term overeating and inactivity, British researchers say.
(Reuters Health) People may not be as active as they once were after they retire, according to a new UK study… "What I'd be wondering and concerned about is that the people - when they retire - may not adjust their energy intake to balance their reduction in expenditure," [aging specialist Stephen] Kritchevsky, who was not involved with the new study, told Reuters Health. That could lead to weight gain and related health problems, he added.
(Reuters) People who are already on the way to developing diabetes could significantly reduce their risk of having a heart attack or stroke by walking for just an extra 20 minutes a day for a year, scientists said… A large international study of people with a condition called impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) - a precursor to diabetes - found that taking an extra 2,000 steps a day over one year cut the risk of serious heart illness by 8 percent.
(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Tai chi is especially beneficial for those with osteoarthritis. It can help you strengthen your leg muscles, improve your posture, and promote balance, flexibility, and mobility. It also can teach you to relax and focus, even while executing the moves, and is a way to synchronize the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. In addition, it helps many to develop concentration and coordination, and can reduce the risk of falls, a common concern of older people. Learn more about tai chi, including what to expect when you practice it.
(Medscape) The practice of Qigong significantly improves fatigue in older men with prostate cancer, compared with a stretching regimen, according to a new study. The favorable outcome adds to a small but growing body of evidence indicating that the ancient Chinese practice is uniquely suited to improve this vexing cancer symptom — especially in elderly patients.
(MedPage Today) The words treadmill and fun rarely meet. But recent upgrades to the rehab specialists' tool could change both patient and physical therapist outlooks on treadmill exercises. In this video, we turn to Fred Frost, MD, chair of the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Cleveland Clinic, to learn about how his team has used virtual reality and game elements to help patients recovering from neurological impairments.
(Appetite for Health) [A] team of researchers at Arizona State University recently set out to determine whether breaking up exercise into small, manageable segments performed throughout the day would work as well as one longer, continuous bout… The results were encouraging: all exercise was helpful in controlling blood pressure, but breaking up the workout into three short sessions was significantly more effective than the single half-hour session. The fractionized exercise led to lower average 24-hour blood pressure readings.
(SouthBeachDiet.com) You'd love to tone and trim your legs and butt so you can look great for the New Year, but you don't want to buy special equipment like exercise balls and weights. We get it. That's why we've created a workout that requires nothing more than an optional chair and, in one case, a towel.
(Swanson Health Products) A recent British study indicates supplementing with vitamin D during winter may improve muscular strength… Twenty-four elite classical ballet dancers were divided into two groups, with seventeen dancers assigned to receive 2,000 IU per day of vitamin D-3 for four months and the other seven serving as a control group… Compared with controls, dancers who took vitamin D supplements showed significant increases in isometric strength and vertical jump. In addition, there were significantly fewer injuries in the vitamin D group than in the controls.
The study authors concluded that “oral supplementation of vitamin D-3 during the winter months has beneficial effects on muscular performance and injury occurrence in elite ballet dancers.”

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Please do not give advice. We can best help each other by telling what works for us, not what we think someone else should do.