We’ve all heard since we were small children that calcium is the best nutrient for strong healthy bones and if you’re a woman over 50 you probably already know that not enough calcium in your diet can lead to loss of bone mass and brittle bones as you age but did you know that there are more ways of getting calcium than drinking milk? Or that the rate of absorption and the efficiency of the calcium you take in is very dependent on several other factors than just how much you consume?
This article at Fitnessrepublic.com tells you how you can get your calcium requirements met from other sources than milk such as dark green vegetables like spinach, collards, kale and broccoli or even oranges and almonds.
You also need to know that calcium needs vitamin D in order to be synthesized by the body. This is a must! Vitamin D is made by the body when you are exposed to the sun. You don’t need a lot of sunlight to get this started, the article tells you how little sun you need each week to get enough vitamin D.
The article also goes into detail about some food sources for vitamin D and what other nutrients are needed for optimal absorption of calcium as well as telling you about some foods that may actually inhibit your calcium absorption even if you’re getting enough.
Read more at Fitness Republic
A lot of women over 50 (and yes some men too) develop the cursed “flabby arm” syndrome. Why? It could be one of or a combination of two things. Loss of muscle mass and/or increase of fatty mass.
As I’ve mentioned in previous articles the aging process naturally involves loss of muscle mass beginning around the age of 40 and increases as we get older. This is called sarcopenia. Because of this it is very important for older people to include resistance or weight-bearing exercise to their fitness routines as well as cardio for the heart and lungs.
One of the areas of the body that seems to lose muscle mass the quickest in a lot of women (and paradoxically add fat at the same time) is the arms, more specifically the triceps muscle area.
One really effective exercise to fight the loss of muscle and tone up this underside of the upper arm is the “triangle push up”. The American Council on Exercise, one of the leading certification agencies for Professional Fitness Trainers, rate the triangle push up as the number one exercise to combat flabby arms!
Triangle push ups are performed just like regular push ups except instead of placing your hands beneath the shoulders you form a triangle with your pointing fingers and thumbs in front of your chest . Be sure to keep your back and torso rigid and your head aligned with your spine while lowering and raising your body in a normal push up motion. This exercise has a medium to high level of difficulty so it can be done from your knees or even from the wall push up position.
Follow this link to read the ACE study on the Three Best Triceps Exercises. This is a PDF file so if you’d prefer to download it and read later you can simply right-click on the link and chose to save it to your computer.
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!
Did you know that you should have sex twice a week to help prevent a cold?
And just how many women are finding their sex life more enjoyable now that they’re over 50 anyway?
These and over 20 other questions are asked in Dr. Oz’s Women Over 50 Prevention Quiz.
The good doctor’s quizzes his readers on things like the best supplement to boost your energy level, a good natural treatment for hot flashes, and what ingredient you must have in your lotion to keep your skin from drying out as you age.
I’m not giving away any of the answers here (okay twice a week), but for the rest of them you have to click on the link above to visit the Dr. Oz website.
First let me be straight with you. This is NOT about losing 10 pounds over the next week or 30 days. As the title suggest it’s more of a simple approach that if done honestly WILL guarantee that you lose 20 pounds or more over the next year. Sure your results could come quicker if you simply tweeked the program a little but my intent is to make it as easy and “do-able” as possible.
Before we get into the details I’ll take a moment to share with you the over all picture so you can see what we’re up against and why making just a few simple changes in your every day living can add up to major weight loss over time.
What is “fat” anyway?
We all know that body weight or more specifically “fat” is the result of consuming more calories over time than you are able to “burn off”. One pound of body fat contains 3500 calories of energy. This is the body’s natural way of storing energy for future use. Of course in man’s early history when he spent a great deal of his time hunting, foraging and later working the land this stored energy or calories were constantly expended during the normal course of his day. Even in today’s world some people in really manually intensive occupations such as construction may burn as much as 500 calories in a single hour!
20 pounds = 70,000 Calories!
Okay so given that one pound of fat is 3500 calories 20 pounds would add up to 70,ooo calories! So even our aforementioned construction worker would have to work an extra 140 hours to lose 20 pounds without dieting. Seems like a lot right? But if he were to spread out this 140 hours over a years time it would be about 20 extra minutes a day!
Well believe it or not the same holds true for you. You see the key is the extra calories that we either burn or consume that really make all the difference. What’s “extra” for you of course isn’t the same as whats “extra” for the construction worker. He may use up 5000 calories a day on the job so any calories burned above 5000 would contribute to weight loss and anything consumed over 5000 calories would contribute to weight gain. Simple isn’t it.
The key is finding out how many calories YOU burn in the normal course of your day and how many you CONSUME. If you’re currently consuming more than your body needs to perform it’s daily duties than your next order of business is to either cut back and consume less or find ways to increase your expenditure or whats called your Basil Metabolic Rate.
Part 2 – Determining Your Basil Metabolic Rate
Dr Oz identified the 5 health concerns that are of most concern to women over 50. Their responses were;
The doctor then went on to recommend a nutritional supplement to help alleviate each of these.
For optimal bone health Dr Oz recommends Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin D.
Chronic Disease can be prevented with simple Multi Vitamins. Of course there are many reasons for chronic disease but these vitamins may help with many heart, bone and cancer problems. One multi vitamin a day with less than 2500 units of iron and Vitamin A is all you need.
For loss of energy in women over 50 he suggested 200 mg a day of Co Enzyme Q10. Co Enzyme Q10 aids the mitochondria which is the power house of the body that provides the fuel we use all day.
For weight loss he says take about 15 grams of chia seeds daily. An excellent source of fiber that you can sprinkle on almost anything that’ll help give you that “full” feeling thus fending off over eating.
Turmeric is his recommendation to ward off Alzheimer’s Disease. The science is still not clear on why Turmeric is so effective in fighting Alzheimer’s but it is. It has something to do with preventing the build up on the neurons of the brain that is associated with the disease. Turmeric is widely used in India and it is believe to be the reason that they have such a low instance of Alzheimer’s. He suggests a half teaspoon a day.