Tag Archives: aging

Baby Boomers living longer but in worse shape than their parents.

According to a recent study baby boomers are less likely to see themselves as being in excellent health and exercise regularly than the same age group 20 years earlier.

Scary Health-Care Statistics on the Broken-Down Boomer Generation – Businessweek

At first I was puzzled by this report because I’ve heard for years about how far modern medicine has gone towards increasing our life span. What I hadn’t considered was that longevity and health don’t always equal the same thing.

An organization that represents the insurance industry says that in the last 5 years applications for disability and SSI have increased and while some of this is to be blamed on the rough economy some of it is also real declines in health.

Most striking to me were the jump in high cholesterol levels – more than doubled from 34% to 74%, use of a cane or other walking aid – more than doubled from 3.3 to 6.9%, and obesity up 10% to almost 4 out of every 10 boomers. All this is accompanied by a marked decrease in regular exercise and increase in alcohol consumption.

So while it’s true that modern medicine has gained tremendous ground in the fight against disease it seems that our LIFESTYLES, are robbing us of the ability to truly enjoy those added years.

Loss of Mental Sharpness Begins Sooner Than We Thought BUT It CAN Be Prevented

According to this NBC news report the loss of mental facilities that we all fear might happen in our 60’s and 70’s may actually start in our 40’s. The good news is that although it’s irreversible it can be prevented with exercise.

It’s believed that the benefits associated with increased oxygen and blood flow to the muscles and heart that we get by exercising may also help the brain stay young.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

 

Healthy Aging – I’ts not about where you live but how you live

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A new study (June 2011) done by the University of Washington looked at a U.S. county by county comparison of deaths over a 20 year period between 1987 and 2007. Their findings show that the life expectancy for women has decreased in some parts of the Southern U.S. and the life expectancy overall varies  a lot for both men and women in different parts of the country.

New York Leaps in Life Expectancy

Surprisingly Manhattan saw the largest increase in life expectancy with men gaining almost thirteen years and women more than seven. The biggest losers? Five counties in Mississippi and Alabama. In fact these counties had life expectancy rates comparable to El Salvador and Honduras.

Women catching up with Men

Over the last 50 years women have been increasingly become the target of tobacco manufacturers marketing campaigns and to steal a phrase from one of their most successful ads “you’ve come a long way baby”. Unhealthy lifestyles that include smoking, obesity, inactivity and other things that lead to heart disease and diabetes has a lot to do with the decline over the years of life expectancy among women.

To see where your county stands in this study follow the link to view an inter-active map.

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If you’re over 50, why eating BEFORE a workout may be important

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Should you eat before or after a workout?

Generally speaking most experts on exercise and nutrition say that it’s a matter of personal preference as long as you eat something within a one hour window either before or after your workout routine. I know some people that become nauseous  and feel ill if they try to eat before going to the gym and I know just as many people that feel light headed and weak if they don’t. But if you’re over fifty I think it’s beneficial to eat a little something before exercise and not doing so consistently may even be counter productive to achieving your fitness goals.

How the body uses fats and carbs and protiens during exercise

During exercise the body normally uses a combination of fats and carbohydrates for fuel. The ratio of this mixture varies with the intensity of the workout. Carbohydrates provide a quick source of energy and therefore while moderate to intense exercise burns more carbs than fat you must also be aware that moderate to intense exercise also burns more calories in the same amount of time as a low intensity workout would.

The body usually burns very little or no protein during exercise, protein is not a good source of quick energy. It is only during really strenuous workouts that the body may turn to protein as an energy source – or when the needed carbohydrates and fats are depleted.

Protein – The key to avoiding muscle loss over 50

In a previous article I wrote about the importance of resistance training over 50 in combating sarcopenia or muscle loss that is a natural part of aging. I explained how after the age of 40 most of us will experience a slow but definite decrease of muscle tissue in our bodies that will only accelerate over time and make us feel and look old.

In addition to resistance training we can also fight this with proper nutrition. One of the most important nutrients in this battle is protein. I’m sure you’ve heard it before “proteins are the building blocks of muscle”

Since proteins are so important for building and maintaining muscle tissue that is so critical to keep a youthful appearance it is necessary that we guard against burning these proteins as much as possible while we exercise, more so than when we were younger and still able to build and maintain muscle easily.

Fueling up before exercise helps prevents loss of protein and muscle

A snack an hour or so before your workout should provide you plenty of energy to fuel your exercise routine without the danger of burning muscle. If you’re following most of the fitness experts suggestions and eating 5 or 6 small meals a day instead of the traditional 3 big meals than your’re probably never on “empty” and should be ready to workout any time during the day. I normally exercise in the morning within an hour after I awake and have found the liquid protein shakes to be the thing for me. Since they’re liquid they deliver energy within 20 or 30 minutes and they not only give me the needed carbs to fuel my workout but provide a little extra protein to my diet to help me recoup after the routine.

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