Sore and aching joints can be the bane of good intentions. This time of year the gyms and fitness centers are all packed with men and women over 50 that have made one of their New Year’s resolutions to be fitter and more active in the coming months. As a long time member of various gyms I’ve seen it all before, fast start out the gate and then the crowds seem to start to dwindle beginning in March and I’d say more than half of those that started will not be around regularly by the beginning of summer. Is the culprit lack of motivation or laziness? Well sometimes but often not.
Beware Sports Injury
Often by the end of January the talk amongst a lot of us “baby boomers” in the gym is how much this or that hurts or is starting to bother us. Sometimes it starts with a little nagging injury that before you know it ends up knocking us out of the game completely and not only setting us back a few weeks but for many putting an end to our intentions to become more active all together.
Some of the biggest complaints I’ve heard over the years is sore or aching joints.
Avoid Over Exercising
If you’ve been fairly inactive for months don’t attempt to make up for it all in one month. Too much exercise CAN cause major damage to the body of a person over 50 and especially to women over 50 who are more at risk for osteoporosis if they over exerecise and cut back on their calorie consumption. Osteoporosis affects over 20,000,000 people and usually starts after age 50 in women and age 45 in men.
Fit Muscles help Aching Joints
Joint pain is often caused by the lessening or lack of cartilage between the bones. Cartilage serves as a kind of shock absorber inthe body preventing the bones from bumping and grinding against each other. As the body ages and starts to lose some of this cartilage more of the weight bearing chores and activities you perform during the day are placed on the bones. To compensate for the decrease in cartilage it’s recommended that you maintain as much strong, healthy muscle as possible to do the lifting and moving, thus relieving some of the pressure from your joints and bones.
Multiple and Individual Joint Exercises
The excellent website Womenfitness.net has a list of the best 10 exercises for healthy joints. This list includes exercises for multiple and single joints and aims to make the muscles surrounding these joints stronger and longer enduring while also placing less stress on the joints while performing the activity. Double bonus!
What is a Super Food?
“Super Foods” by my definition are foods that can and do provide some of the same health benefits and life enhancing attributes as some of the drugs that are on the market with none of the possible side effects or costs.
I don’t like taking meds. Don’t misunderstand me, I will take drugs if I have to but my feeling is that a lot of the time taking medication is like crisis management. I think that the right nutrition combined with staying active and getting a balance of cardio and resistance exercise can keep this over 50 body of mine in fine form for many years to come.
It seems that famed nutritionist Elizabeth Somer, editor in chief of Nutrition Alert and frequent guest on NBC’s Today show agrees. Ms Somer the author of such books as Age-Proof Your Body: Your Complete Guide to Looking and Feeling Youngerand Eat Your Way to Happiness: 10 Diet Secrets to Improve Your Mood, Curb Your Cravings, Keep the Pounds Off , claims that fifty – seventy percent of our suffering can be eliminated if we become more aware of what we eat and how we move.
In the WebMD article Superfoods Everyone Needs Ms. Somer offers a list of 14 foods that should be on everyone’s shopping list but especially on the list of those of us over 50 because the foods are proven to fight heart disease, cancer, and high cholesterol. These foods are packed with antioxidants, omega 3’s, phytoflavinoids, potassium, sterols and fiber. All nutrients that ward off the ravages of aging.
Fitness experts in Chicago say they see an average of 100 extra visits to their fitness centers and gyms in the month of January and while these numbers start to diminish by March there are a few ways to keep motivated throughout the whole year.
Their top 2 tips?
1. Work out in the morning. Less likely to become distracted or side tracked by the unforeseen events of the day.
2. Join a class. A group of fellow “sweaters” can do much to keep each other motivated and even add a social perspective to getting fit.
Be sure to read the article to find out more.
In an article titled The Simple Move That Changes Everything Dr. Oz of television fame and Dr. Michael Roizen, one of the founders of the website RealAge discuss some of the benefits of including yoga in your fitness routine if you are over 50.
According to the good doctors yoga
- improves flexibility which in turn eases the amount of added stress on the joints
- uses your own body weight as resistance training, helping to maintain body muscle mass
- increases chemicals in the body that gives you a natural “high” or state of well being.
- Yoga practitioners between 45 and 55 gained almost 20 lbs less than people the same age who did no yoga over a four year period