Tag Archives: exercise

5 Things To Keep In Mind And Avoid Back Pain

Back pain strikes everyone at some point in their life and it’s most common at an old age. Stress, a sedentary lifestyle, weight gain, and injuries can all lead to back stress or worsen it.  However, if you follow the steps outlined below, you will find that you can help reduce how much back pain you feel throughout your life.

Exercise your back

Your back is more likely to get hurt if it is weak. You can avoid back pain by exercising your back regularly. Part of the muscles that make up your back also make up your inner ab muscles. These muscles wrap around your stomach to the back. Over time, these muscles can get stretched out, causing lower back pain. For elderly people the best way to strengthen these muscles is to practice yoga or tai-chi. This way you can avoid the risk of injuries but efficiently develop muscle strength in the otherwise easily neglected body area.

Walking, swimming and any kind of stretching exercises are also beneficial for managing back pain. Talk with your doctor about what exercises are right for you.

Have good posture

If you constantly sit with an arched back, or stand with your stomach pushed out, this causes your back to weaken and become sore faster. Standing and sitting with good posture will help you avoid back pain it is never late to start it to improve your posture and your spine’s condition. Simply sit up straight with your shoulders pulled back from your chest. Not only will this help reduce back pain, but it will also prevent the stooped look that many elderly people have as they age. When standing, tuck the stomach in and stand with a straight spine.

Keep your weight in check

If you are overweight, it is likely you will have additional back problems. The human body is not meant to carry heavy weight on the frame and it can cause more serious problems for the elderly. The heavier you are, the more stress you place on your back, especially if you carry your weight in your stomach. Losing weight and maintaining a healthy size is one of the best ways to reduce back pain and injuries.

Work smartly

When you pick things up, use your legs and not your back. Make sure you can easily lift whatever you are trying to pick up. Most people should not try to lift something over 50 pounds without help, even if they are young and fit. If you cannot lift something safely on your own, enlist the help of other people or lifting objects, such as a dolly.

If you spend a lot of time home sitting, make sure to take frequent breaks to walk around and stretch out your back. Sitting for long periods places strain on the back that is uncomfortable and can lead to injuries. A footrest can help give your spine a break.

Sleep in the optimal position

Your sleep position and conditions can influence how much back pain you face. Your mattress should be supportive, yet comfortable you can find special mattresses in webshops like the Healthy Back Online Store that have memory foam and other advanced technologies to support your back and spine better. These are not cheap but very beneficial products in the long run. Sleeping on your side or your back is best for the health of your spine and will minimize back pain. Don’t immediately jump out of bed in the morning. Take a few minutes to stretch before you get out of bed to help loosen the joints.

When you employ these tips, you can go a long way towards improving the health of your back and preventing future injuries. Your back is one of the most important parts of your body, and it is important to care for it properly. This way you can avoid many inconveniences in the future and improve your general condition and well-being.

Working Around Your Workout: How to Get Fit Despite a Disability

If you are facing a disability, you may find that staying healthy is a challenge. However, just because you are disabled, whether temporarily or permanently, does not mean that you cannot stay healthy and fit. You may have to be a little more creative, but there are many ways you can stay fit and healthy despite any disability that you may face. Try incorporating these ideas into your lifestyle to keep healthy even in the face of disability:

Eating the right foods

According to health experts, eating right is about 80 percent of fitness and health. If you eat the right kinds of food, and the right amount of foods, you will have a greater chance of maintaining a healthy weight without the need for exercise. Maintaining a healthy diet is essential for maintaining your entire physical and mental wellbeing. Eat a diet rich in a variety of protein sources, healthy carbohydrates, and many fruits and vegetables. Processed foods and diet foods can actually counteract healthy eating benefits. Avoid sugars, processed foods, and any chemical food sources for the greatest health. When possible, stick to natural sources of oils and fats and avoid highly processed oils, such as soybean and corn oils, for greatest benefit.

Drinking the right liquids

 

What you drink is as important as what you eat. If you drink a lot of sugary drinks, you will see weight gain, in most cases. You should drink plenty of water and liquids a day. Exact numbers are not important, but you should always drink to thirst. 6-8 glasses of water is plenty for most people. Avoid drinks that can conflict with medications, such as alcohol.

Exercise Ideas

Disabled persons may find that traditional exercises, such as running and lifting weights are impossible
in their current disabled state. However, there are many activities and exercises that a disabled person can do. One effective exercise that nearly all disabled persons can engage in is swimming. Even amputees can benefit from swimming on a regular basis. Some disabled persons may be able to still walk, lift weights, play tennis, or dance. Talk with your doctor about realistic exercise methods for your disability.

Maintaining a Positive Attitude

Your attitude toward life can also impact your entire physical and mental wellbeing. A poor attitude can actually lead to weight gain and other health problems. Try to maintain a positive outlook on life through therapy, doctor support, medications, and the companionship of friends and family. Engaging in good eating and exercise habits can also help you maintain a positive outlook on life.

If you have recently become disabled, there are many things to think about, such as getting your Beginners’ Guide to Social Security application. However, thinking about your physical health should always be a priority. You may be surprised at what you can do to stay healthy and well even while facing a disability. Whatever else you face, you can feel good knowing that you are making strides to improve your physical health along with your mental health.

Geriatrics at the Gym: Why Older People Need Regular Exercise Too

Giving health and exercise recommendations to older people can be a tricky task because, unlike other age groups, they tend to have massive differences in general health levels and physical ability. Some older people can run marathons, whilst others struggle to get out of bed in the morning.

Yet no matter your level of health or mobility, adding a little extra exercise to your weekly routine (even for the elderly) is almost always a good idea for your health. Here are just some of the reasons why, especially if you are an older person, you should be exercising regularly.

Something is better than nothing

It is a simple phrase, but “something is better than nothing” pretty much encompasses all you need to know about exercise for older people. Many older people avoid exercise altogether because they cannot run on treadmills or do an aerobics class, but that does not mean that they cannot do any form of exercise. The US government recommendations for exercise for older people recommend that they perform 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week or else they should be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow. You don’t need to be running like Usain Bolt on a treadmill: for example, a little moderate speed-walking (enough to get your heart-rate up) and perhaps playing with some light free weights while watching the TV can make all the difference. You may actually be surprised at what you can achieve. While you can start out gentle, you might find that soon you could work up to running, cycling, or even playing a sport.

You have the time (and the discounts)

If you are retired, then you may no longer have the age-old excuse of “I don’t have time to exercise.” There is no reason why you should not be using your newly acquired free time to stay fit and ensure you can get the most out of your old age. Much like being a student, perhaps the best part about being an older person is the discounts. Gyms are often sponsored by local governments to encourage older people to join their gyms, and therefore memberships for older people tend to be a lot cheaper than for younger adults. If you are not incredibly mobile, then you also have the option of buying some home fitness equipment like gentle free weights or exercises bikes to enable yourself to stay fit even if you can’t easily get outdoors.

Exercise is the best way to combat diseases of old age

Several conditions and diseases, from Type 2 Diabetes to hip problems, occur more in the older generation than they do in the younger generation. However, exercise (combined with a healthy diet) is actually one of the primary ways to fight these conditions and remain healthy. Active elders generally outlive their inactive counterparts, and a little activity everyday is essential to combating illness as well as generic losses of balance, strength, muscle tone, bone density and reflexes that occur naturally as you age.

Just because you are old does not mean you need to feel old

There is a large difference between being old and feeling old: the former you cannot fight but the latter is easily defeated. It can be easy especially for retirees to view your twilight years as a time for rest and relaxation, and it is a rest that many retirees deserve. But too much inactivity can leave you unable to actually enjoy all the things you told yourself you would enjoy in your retirement, whether that be a round of golf or playing with your grandchildren. Even if exercise itself is boring to you, the way to makes you feel simply put is younger.

Maintain your independence

As you become older, things generally become more difficult. Everything from climbing the stairs to carrying your groceries can become an insurmountable task. But it does not have to be this way: if you maintain your strength via exercise, then there is no reason why you should not maintain your independence and remain a functioning and contributing member of society. An incredibly amount of old people fear becoming useless or becoming a burden to their families, and exercise is just one way in which you can ensure you stay independent for as long as possible.

All in all, exercise has an exponential amount of benefits for people of all ages but it is especially great for older people as it really can make a huge difference to their health and their ability to maintain free and independent lives. Always consult a medical professional before undertaking any great change in your exercise routine, but otherwise, get out there and get fit!

Can Exercise Help Prevent Breast Cancer in Seniors?

Let’s be honest. There are a million reasons to exercise and not many acceptable reasons to avoid it. People who exercise are happier, less stressed, more well rested, leaner, and overall healthier than couch potatoes. But recently, researchers at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill added another reason for women to exercise to an already impressive list.

After studying more than 3,000 women between the ages of 20 and 98 years old, some of whom had breast cancer and some who did not, the team found a startling commonality. Women who exercised were less likely to develop breast cancer, regardless of the period of their lives when they start. The data held true for women who exercised throughout their lives and also for women who started exercising after menopause. The bottom line, it’s never too late to start.

These findings add to a growing body of research that tie regular moderate exercise to lower rates of breast cancer. The results can’t lead to a definitive conclusion that it is exercise that lowers the risk of breast cancer. People who exercise may have other things in common, like a diet lower in saturated fat and higher in vegetables and fruits. However, the evidence is compelling, regardless of the reason for the results.

One possible reason for the lower breast cancer rates is lower body fat. Excess body fat has been linked to overproduction of hormones, including estrogen, and growth hormones that aid in tumor development. Exercise also boosts the immune system and helps prevent cell damage from free radicals.

The study interviewed 1,504 women with breast cancer and 1,550 women without cancer. Each was asked for details about lifetime exercise habits and other health factors, including smoking and alcohol intake.

The Catch
It’s not exactly a catch, but the correlation between lower incidence of breast cancer and exercise was notable only in post-menopausal women. Pre-menopausal women had a much lower statistical edge of 6%, perhaps because the risk factors are more determinate by genetic and other factors for younger cancer victims.

Post menopausal women who reported exercising for 10-19 hours a week during their reproductive years were 30% less likely to have breast cancer than women who did not exercise during the same stage of life.

In addition, women who started exercising after the onset of menopause and averaged 9 to 17 hours per week were 30% less likely to develop breast cancer than sedentary women of the same age. The benefits extended well into old age. Women well into elder years enjoyed the same benefits as younger women.

Quantifying the numbers
As mentioned before, women who exercise regularly often have very different lifestyles than women who do not exercise. After accounting for such factors as disparity of education and income, smoking, drinking, and other life and health details, exercise still rose to the top of the commonality list.

Of course, women who exercise can be different from sedentary women in many ways. Active women are often better educated, more financially secure and more inclined to eat a healthy diet. By contrast, low income results in poor nutrition, overwork (and underpay), and the stress that goes hand-in-hand with living in poverty. Lower cancer rates could be a result of any combination of factors, so the researchers accounted for differences in education, income, smoking and other lifestyle and health factors. Regardless of these influences, exercise was still linked to lower breast cancer risk.

Another factor the researchers took into consideration was body weight. Women who weighed less had lower breast cancer rates. For obese women, exercise may have played a role in mitigating the increased risk of cancer. Either way, exercise offered benefits for all women. If the benefit from exercise turns out to be due to lower body fat, it’s a moot point. Exercise still accounts for the difference. Active women have lower body fat.

Any study like this that relies on the memories of respondents has certain limitations and can only be examined for broad patterns, but the trend is clear and impressive. The questions were very specific about the amount of time spent exercising and the intensity of the exercise. The researchers used the information to assign a lifetime composite score to each participant, then compared the scores with incidence of cancer.

The Takeaway
Perhaps the most significant finding in the study is this: The intensity of exercise did not matter. Women who engaged in moderate physical activity for 2 hours a day, five days a week, benefited. Activities ranged from typical daily gardening, cleaning house, or walking to more intense activities like running or cycling. More intense activity did not increase the benefit. The lesson is simple. Anything women do at any age or stage in life that does not involve being motionless, results in lower risk of breast cancer.

Exercise has many benefits for elderly people. Studies show that  elderly people who exercise regularly  have more cognitive brain functions and are less inclined to mental deterioration. Minimizing the risk of breast cancer is just another big, fluffy feather in the exercise cap.

A great way to encourage seniors to start reaping the benefits is to advocate gentle activities like tai chi or yoga, gardening, bird watching, or simply a morning walk.

Cindy Johnson is a freelance writer with a new passion for healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle. Read her blog for healthy eating and lifestyle tips. When she’s not writing, Cindy loves to hike in the mountains of North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, son, and a small assortment of dogs.