It depends. Too bad people are so misinformed about the benefits of running. Anything that allows movement is going to increase health benefits, and they far out-weight the risks. This post outlines some key health benefits of a regular running program. Fall is a great time to start a run program.
Post by Debbie L. Belair
Some old school doctors, and other health professionals have told people that running is bad for you, and some even have said it "ages" you. I realize some people do things to extreme that they are not fit enough for, and then they blame the activity. Runner's world recently reported a study done between cyclists and runners. They reported that runners displayed a higher level of bone density.
I have been running, and reading runner's world since the 70's. They recently featured some stories about youths with Autism and Asperger's. Runner's world.com has a great source of information.
Grace Ling, 20, was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome in grade three. One year later and exercise program had her running in a gym. One year later she was running with her high school track team. By senior year, she had qualified for the national cross country team, and earned an athletic scholarship. Running allowed her to embrace her diagnosis, and now she uses her running success to explore other areas of her life. Ling reports: "I used to hate myself because I had Asperger's, but now I love that about myself, It gives me the innate ability, the motivation, to do things."
Running is a lifestyle, not simply an exercise to punish your body everyday.
For me, running has always brought out the inner child, a sense of freedom and play. For some, running is an adventure every time they go out the door. I suffer from depression, and running has always been the one thing that centers me. I guess it's because adrenaline boosts the brain, and lifts moods long after the exercise is completed. It's also about bettering yesterday, and improving mental toughness.
The popular notion used to be, that running long slow distances was best for burning calories. The was the way I used to train. Recent research has determined that short bursts of higher intensity exercise leads to a longer lasting calorie burn.
In the "olden" days runners never dared to walk. It's important to remember that beginning and experienced runners need to walk when your heart rate is getting too high. Walking breaks also prevent injury.
Running is an inclusive Sport
Most running communities are very inclusive. They welcome all levels and ages. Some clubs have "learn to run clinics." You are never too old to start running, as long as you get the green light from a trusted physician. It's best to start with some coaching if you have never run before. If you have done a lot of walking you are likely ready to start running slowly.
Strength and Endurance
Running strengthens leg muscles used in almost everyday activities. You will feel less winded walking stairs and out playing with the kids because your lungs will get stronger too. Most research has shown that bone strength increases with weight bearing exercise.
You don't need any expensive Equipment
Other than a good pair of running shoes, it's cost free. Running club fees tend to be quite low in comparison to other sports.
Fall is a great time to start running, now that the cool weather is coming. Remember to start slow and try to enjoy yourself.
Happy summer to you all. If you've been to a gym recently, you may notice many older persons training. You didn't see that 10 years ago. Read on to find out why you should go to the gym.
I was a personal trainer many years ago, and I am happy to report that the same principles still apply to weight training. Be careful not to get to muddled up with new fitness trends that might be doing you more harm than good. Many myths keep a lot of people out of the gym, including many women. There are many health benefits from lifting weights.
Benefits of weight training
You will be stronger and have an easier time with other daily activities.
Many studies have shown that weight training helps prevent chronic disease, just as with other forms of exercise. The important thing to remember is "progressive overload." This means gradually increasing your weight, not doing the same weight and same reps every workout.
You may have more energy. Weight training helps prevent obesity, especially as you age. We lose bone density as we age. Exercise can help prevent bone loss.
Don't forget to feed your body properly. Want more information about diet, go to weightandwellness.com Download their podcasts for a good understanding of nutritional science.
"I will get bulky when I lift weights." Not true, unless you are taking drugs, or hormones.
"The muscles turn to fat when you stop." Actually having muscle mass increases your metablolism and that means you burn more calories. Muscle tissue is metabolically more active than fat. You can lose muscle easier than losing fat, so the rest depends on your lifestyle.
"You should go to the gym everyday." Not a good idea. You shouldn't go to the gym more than 4 times per week. Rest is necessary to build muscle.
" I don't want to look like a man." You won't... unless you take certain substances. I won't get into that. You will look toned and sexy. It takes a special kind of training to look like that anyway.
"Working harder, builds more muscle." Muscle overload has diminishing returns so don't punish your body by over doing it.
It's always useful to get help from a trainer...even if you have been doing it for a long time. There are always new exercises and new research out there. Be careful about trying exercises that you see in the gym...just because they look fun. Not all exercises are suited to everyone.
Most of all, enjoy your workouts.
This post explains why playing Pickleball is so popular for fitness. Pickleball is a new and fast growing sport that utilizes tennis, badminton and table tennis skills. It's for all ages.
What is it?
It's a game played on a smaller court than tennis. It's actually the same size as a badminton court. Paddles are used. The ball is a perforated plastic ball. You can play indoor or outdoor. It's gaining popularity because it's less of a learning curve then tennis, but you receive many of the same fitness benefits associated with tennis. It's scored differently then tennis, and an underhand serve is used.
The game consists of doubles and singles. Most people play doubles, but for those of you who want a bigger challenge you can play singles. The game has a social aspect that is very engaging.
One reason it is popular is because just about anyone can learn to play. It doesn't require a great fitness level to play, but if you play on a regular basis... I guarantee you will improve your fitness level. When you are having fun with a group of people, time passes, and before you know it you've burned a lot of calories.
It's a great sport for aging adults because it isn't as hard on the joints as many other sports, and it's low impact.
The many health Benefits
Contrary to popular belief, getting older by itself doesn't equal weakness and loss of balance; The strongest indicator is inactivity as we get older. Physical activity protects against the high blood pressure and Diabetes...and likely, many other chronic conditions.
Nobody wants to spent the last decades of their life with chronic illness. You can maintain joint and bone health through regular exercise. Sports like Pickleball improve your hand-eye coordination and reaction time. You can find out more at https:www.pickleballportal.com. If you really want to see how the game is played check the videos on U Tube.
*New studies by Scientists have discovered that exercise if done regularly, can improve cognitive functioning.
Make sure you start slowly. It is recommended that you start with 30 min sessions, if you haven't been active for a while. You will feel tired for the first little while until your body adopts.
The British Journal of Medicine says that many studies on long term health have been done on tennis players. Pickleball has similar benefits, if you play at least three times per week.
How to stay injury Free
Wear the right shoes, not running shoes unless they are very flat. Many running shoes have elevated heels and you can injure an ankle. Court shoes are specifically made for side to side movement. Your shoes are the most important piece of equipment.
Never run backwards to get a ball, bad things can happen. Instead, run forwards and then turn toward the ball.
Always warm up properly and stretch before and after play, especially the hips and knee area. Try doing some yoga stretches.
Try to avoid playing on a very windy day, I pulled out my back the other day after just 20 mins in the wind. It's just not worth it!
It's good to wear eye protection, there have been cases where people have lost an eye.
No matter what your age, you can play Pickleball and improve your over all fitness and coordination. If you have old injuries take precautions. Joining a club will insure that you get proper coaching tips and have lots of fun doing it.
Your skin and nails often show early signs of health issues. Here's what to look for.
The body gives external signs of early disease and or vitamin deficiencies. We all have skin issues at some point in our lives.
Since it's the largest organ, your skin may show the first signs of illness. Health experts are saying the your skin often shows signs of cancer, and endocrine related illnesses. Yes we know that too much sun can cause skin to appear leathery and wrinkled.
If you have thick, dark patches of skin you may have diabetes, or other endocrine imbalances.
From time to time, we all have skin blemishes and bumps.
Warning signs of cancer: ABCDE Test
If you have skin lesions and they don't go away, it's important to get them checked out. The ABCDE test is simple.
A is for asymetric, B is for irregular border, C is for changing color, D is for diameter greater than a pencil eraser, and E is for elevated. If you have any of these signs you should get checkout out by a doctor.
Other skin conditions may signal eczema red,dry skin patches. May be linked to anxiety and depression. More information can be found at www.rd.com/com/health/conditions/skin-disease. New research has linked Adults, and children with ADD/ADHD with eczema.
You may have something called skin tags. These are little extensions of skin that hang. It's normal to have some, but too many may be a sign of Diabetes. They can easily be removed if you find them hard to live with.
Don't underestimate nail health, as this can provide clues to health changes. White spots on nail beds can indicate a zinc deficiency. You may want to supplement with a multivitamin and minerals. Silica is a great supplement for nail health.
Brittle nails and hair maybe a clue of a thyroid disorder. On the other hand, very soft nails can signal iron deficiency, or a liver condition.
You may notice that you have horizontal ridges on your nails. These lines are called Beau's lines. This can indicate high levels of stress, or uncontrolled Diabetes says The good Life Magazine. See healthline.com/health/skin-disorders.
Brown edges on finger nails may just be a sign of aging, but also may indicate serious diseases, like kidney or cardiovascular disease. These occur in both men and women.
Clubbed nails are often seen in the elderly, or persons with lung and other cardio vascular disease. Clubbed fingernails occur when the tips of the nails are thick and large and the nails curve around the tips.
Many other kinds of skin problems can come and go, but the ones that linger should be investigated by a doctor. It's important to determine when these conditions are a normal part of the aging process, or the hint of a health problem.
There is good stress and bad stress. Find out how stress can affect your Health.
Good Stress or bad Stress?
You will experience different types of stress throughout your life, but some individuals may be more prone to the negative effects of stress. Find out what kind of stress is useful, and what negatively affects your health.
Is a healthy adaptation the body makes to alert the body to make necessary changes. This kind of stress is when an athlete or other performer needs to get the compettive edge to push themselves further to master the task. Short term stress may help you obtain that achievement oriented goal.
The fight or flight Response is a short term condition in which the adrenal glands mobilize adrenelin and cortisol to help the stress response. Normally after the crises is over the body returns to its orignal balanced state.
This is when the body is exposed to high levels of stress over a long period of time. Blood pressure can remain elevated making the body vulnerable to a number of stress related diseases, usually behavioral and physiological problems. you may have difficulty concentrating and have anxiety and memory problems. This is because the brain's neurons are disrupted. I'm sure you have experienced this. It's why we have trouble thinking properly when we are stress or agitated.
Once the event is over the body reverts back to homeostasis. The body will activate neurotransmitters to help the body recover. Stress becomes a problem when the stress response is not turned off. It's when your stress levels occur over a long period of time, then the adrenal glands become exhausted and you feel tired all the time, and maybe you will become ill. It affects your immune system.
Long-term Stress can decrease the ability of the body's system to work properly...even altogether. More information can be found at www.nimh.nih.gov/health
Common stress related Illnesses
Chronic stress can contribute to peptic ulcers, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer. Lately I have read a lot of health reports that one of the leading causes of cancer is stress. The american Psychological association says that stress can make health problems worse www.apa.org. Reducing stress levels contributes to long term health.
In a world filled with economic uncertainty, you may be effected by pay cuts, overload, downsizing, lay offs etc. All of the above may result in toxic work places. I am very familiar with this, and I have seen many coworkers suffer, myself included.
How do we deal with this? This is the big problem. You have to protect your health.
Here's what you 'can' Do
Make a commitment to yourself to identify the stressor(s) and make a plan to counteract the source. You are worth it!
If you don't want to gain weight this winter, this post is for you. Changing habits is the answer.
Hello readers, I just thought this was a good time to share some important tips about winter weight gain...now that winter is here early. Now... is the time to plan. Keep moving even if you you don't feel like it. If you don't like being outside in the cold, you can try some indoor activities... or tackle those household chores you put off in the summer.
Yoga or weight training can help you maintain your strength. Weight training increases muscle mass that can help fend off extra pounds. It's the habit that counts, and planning ahead helps. Once it becomes a habit, your body will look forward to it. Setting goals is an important part of this process.
The bad news is that as we age there is a decline in Human Growth hormone. The good news is that exercise increases the production of this hormone. Yes you can change this.
New Science claims that shorter bouts of more intense exercise can be more effective than longer sessions. It's like interval training. You don't have to use a timer or count heart beats though. There is a calorie burning period after exercise, but the "burning" period lasts longer after more intense exercise bouts.
By the way, I found a great podcast for you if you're over 40. It's called the 40 Plus fitness podcast. This site is http://older.fitness/. The host interviews some great guest speakers, and they are all experts.
You have great intentions, but can you make them a habit?
"Changing habits is the key to success," Stephen Covey.
Do you neglect your workouts in the summer? Find out how you can exercise safely in Hot weather.
What is heat illness?
It happens when your body isn't able to maintain it's normal core temperature, and the body ceases to function. It can happen over a period of two or three days when the body is dehydrated. It is dangerous to exercise in temperatures above 82 degrees F unless you allow your body to gradually acclimatize. It can take up to two or three months. Hydration plans are a must, even for trained athletes. There are three levels of heat illness.
Water is not always enough if you are in hot conditions over a long period of time. Activities like cycling, running, and hiking are longer-term activities that might require more than just water. Remember that the amount of humidity elevates your risk.
Dr. Hamid Sadrl recommends you mix 50% water with 50% sports drink, but orange juice works too. Avoid sugary sports drinks if you can. His site offers more information at www.active.com. A good recovery drink contains potassium. Running stores offer a wide variety of drinks. I like Ultima-it has a nice taste and comes in different flavors, and it has no sugar or gluten.
Remember that hydration needs are individual. One way to check if you are hydrated is to check the color of your urine. If urine is dark, then you need more fluids. The mayo clinic advises that you work out at the coolest time of day. Short intervals of about 20 mins will work. You might find that the best thing to do, is workout near a body of water.
Check out the Mayo clinic's site, mayoclinic.com for more information.
You can work out in the heat with a little planning, but it's best to keep it short. Wearing a Heart rate monitor helps you keep your HR in a safe zone. One little trick I use is to wear a white hat that has been dipped in cold water. I put it on as I am going out the door.
This posts sheds a little light on the myth, that running is bad for people. The science has proven it.
Running is not any worse for your health then doing nothing at all! Unless a doctor tells you not to run, or you have severe health problems, you can run...at least a jog anyway. It's always best to start with a walking program first. You can't expect your body to respond well to running if you are typically a "couch potato." This is the reason why people get injured, and then they blame it on running.
As long as we start slow, and start with walking to get your joints ready for the coming workload. The body gradually adjusts. It's fun and you can go at your own pace. Don't try to keep up with others until you are a seasoned runner and you know what your body can do. Running is a little like being a kid again. It gives you that feeling of freedom.
It's always best to walk and run with a break in between. Jeff Galloway, a famous runner, and coach started the walk/run method. The most recognized source for running information is runnersworld.com. Also, John Stanton has a book available at the local Running Room store.
Please don't let anyone tell you, "you're too big to run." That's bogus! I have encountered many women bigger than me in races, and some of them have passed me at the finish line. If you are healthy and have no cardiac issues you could benefit from the walk/run program. It's a good idea to start with a HR monitor. I have had one for a while. It's a bit tricky to use at first. Remember to listen to your body.
Exercise experts have found that those people with classic over weight symptoms can benefit and even reach a point where medication can be stopped altogether. Blood pressure, and blood sugar can be stabilized through regular endurance activity.
The great thing about running is that you can eat more, and not worry about watching the scale. Running promotes a sense of accomplishment, and it's measurable. You can keep a log of your progress on most mobile devices. I prefer the written log.
Running can slow down the aging process, and keep your legs stronger. Typically women lose their leg strength as they get older. This is noticeable, if you suddenly stop exercising.
You will have more energy for other daily activities. But for some people, it's the only time they have alone.
Running has been known to elevate moods and lessen stress. Some studies even suggest that running can decrease the severity of menopausal symptoms, like hot flashes and disturbed moods. It increases the production of serotonin, the body's feel good chemicals.
Reports by Melpomene institute claim that 74% of runners felt that running improved overall symptoms.
My experiences with running have been very positive, and I know people in their 60's and 70's who run. Remember, always check with your doctor before starting a running program. Running or fast walking can help you with weight loss, if you do it at least three times per week.
Ever wonder why people meditate, and why it isn't Silly? This post may surprise you.
If you think you might benefit from meditation, then this post is for you. This post explains why it isn't "silly" to meditate.
There has been a lot of new research that shows benefits of meditation on both the mind and body. It's an ancient practice that works on transforming the mind. It helps you relax and gain focus and concentration. The body and mind are combined to reach a state of complete relaxation. You need not be a yogi, or religious person to meditate.
The Mayo clinic studies indicate that meditation is capable of slowing down certain disease processes, and even helping to prevent them from starting. People with nervous disorders benefit the most from mediation, especially those with epillepsy because it improves brain wave stability. Even heart disease can be reduced because mediation helps increase blood flow to arteries and vessels. The recommended minimum time is 30 mins. per day.
A cancer patient with a tumor the size of a small apple was able to reduce the size of the tumor to that of the size of a walnut...even without medication in a time period of only 3 months. In this case the patient practiced for about 3 hours per day consistently. Of course you don't have to practice this long to get benefits. Most people are too busy to do that anyway. However, its been said that it's time well spent.
Another reason people meditate is to enter the body and mind into a deep state of relaxation. The idea is that the mind and body work together to increase mental energy. Meditation relieves excessive tension in the muscles and helps the quality of sleep.
Buddhists believe that you can work with your emotions and completely transform your mind. For more great information see podcast.bsw.org and audiodharma.com. I have been listening to these podcasts for a few years now.
Last, but not least-- the most important benefits go to those with mental illness according to researchers. Negative thinking patterns can be diminished with meditation. We look forward to learning more about this soon.
So relaxing the body and sharpening the mind can go a long way to improve the quality of life and fend off illness. Please post your comments to add insight to anything I post.