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FitTips for One and All - Vol.3, No.2
FitTips for One and All
Volume 3, Number 2
Presented by Fitness for One and All
Director: Gary F. Zeolla
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Seniors on Muscle Beach?
You're Never Too Old to Get Fit
By ARA Content
If you think you're too old to benefit from a fitness regimen that includes weight training, think again.
Seven years ago, Beatrice Maullin read about the Crown Valley Senior Olympics competition in her hometown of Pasadena, Calif. She had been working out at a local gym doing aerobics, machine weights and free weights. Thinking that there was no sport in which she could compete, she called to volunteer for the Senior Olympics. But when she saw that one of the events was powerlifting, an exercise in which she had become interested, she decided to enter the competition, despite having only two weeks to practice the proper form.
In April 1995, Beatrice won her first powerlifting gold medal. By the way, at the time she was 74.
Today, at 80, Beatrice has won 25 gold medals, holds the powerlifting world record for her age group (82.5 pounds), and is the oldest woman in the United States to compete in the bench press. She has won the "best overall" title in weight lifting for the past six years and has been featured locally and nationally in newspapers, magazines and television, advocating weight training for women of all ages.
Beatrice was not a fitness enthusiast all her life. "I took dance as a young girl, raised two boys, and ran my own businesses, but it's not the same as working out," she said. "I don't know why I waited this long to finally do something just for myself. There must have been some magic plan waiting for me to take that first step. I can't believe all this excitement and fuss started when I was in my 70s," she says. "I've never had so much fun."
Studies consistently show that weight training for seniors is beneficial in many ways. Increased strength can help improve balance, reduce blood pressure, stabilize blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol. A separate study also shows that women who take up weight training increase their metabolism for a longer period of time -- and therefore burn more calories -- by training with weights, as compared to jogging or other aerobic exercise.
And increasingly, fitness clubs are catering to seniors, who often are their most committed members and are by far the fastest growing segment of the health club market. For example, Gold's Gym offers discounts to seniors, including 25 to 50 percent off enrollment fees, and many instructors take special training to accommodate the needs of the older fitness club members, says Derek Barton, vice president of Public Relations and Communications for Gold's Gym International.
"Our mission at Gold's is to help all of our members fulfill their human potential," Barton says, "and that includes seniors. We want them to go for it. We not only have a growing number of seniors enrolling in our clubs, but also a growing number of seniors doing great things, like Beatrice."
Beatrice says that although the recognition and gold medals are nice, those aren't what keep her coming back to the weight room.
"I feel healthier, more exuberant, happier about the time I spend in the gym," she says. "I love meeting people of all ages at the gym, because they understand the dedication it takes to stay in good health. Of course, going to the gym to work out, you must allow extra time to exercise your jaw muscles, too!"
Beatrice has no plans to retire any time soon. In fact, she tries to get out and speak to women's groups as much as possible to spread the word about the benefits of weight training, even though she realizes it may create some competition in her age bracket.
"These new baby boomers are in for a big surprise when it comes to getting older if they have not been keeping fit by exercising," she says. "If they have not, the fit seniors will beat them mile for mile."
Courtesy of ARA Content. Used by permission of Fitness Pro Advantage.
It's Never Too Late to Prevent Osteoporosis
By ARA Content
Osteoporosis, a chronic disease that results in the deterioration of bone mineral density, affects nearly 28 million Americans -- 2 million of which are men. Despite these staggering numbers, this disease is often preventable.
Though osteoporosis has been thought of as a disease that affects mostly women, 5-6 million men are at risk of developing this disease each year and the risks increase with age. This year alone 80,000 men will suffer from hip fractures and one-third of these men will die within a year. It has also been estimated that direct and indirect costs associated with osteoporosis are $12-14 billion annually.
The leading causes of osteoporosis in men are:
- Heavy use of alcohol
- Steroid usage
- Hypogonadism (loss of male hormone)
Additional causes of osteoporosis (in both men and women) include:
- Genetics/family history
- Lack of weight-bearing exercises
- Inadequate calcium intake throughout life
Your Prescription Medication is Not Enough
With such alarming numbers, the National Institutes of Health and the National Osteoporosis Foundation have recommended that treatment of osteoporosis with any drug therapy also requires sufficient calcium and vitamin D to achieve optimal benefits. Studies have shown that you can triple your medication's bone-building benefits if you get the recommended 1,200 milligrams of calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D daily. But, according to a recent survey, only 30 percent of women are taking calcium and vitamin D with their osteoporosis medication.
According to national studies, we are not getting enough calcium in our daily diet. While foods such as milk, broccoli, kale, beans and cheese are primary sources of calcium, large quantities of these foods would need to be eaten in order to get the right amount of calcium. A single serving of dairy provides only about 300 mg of calcium and up to 100 IU of vitamin D.
Because the average woman only gets about half the recommended daily requirement of calcium through her diet, patients who are on therapy for osteoporosis need a calcium and vitamin D supplement. "It's generally acknowledged that we don't get enough calcium through our diet, so it's a good idea for most adults, particularly those patients on osteoporosis therapy or at risk for osteoporosis, to take a calcium supplement such as Citracal + D," advises Dr. Miriam Nelson, associate professor of Nutrition and director of the Center for Physical Fitness at the School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, and author of "Strong Women, Strong Bones."
Choosing a Supplement That's Right for You
Research has determined that different types of calcium supplement formulations (carbonate, phosphate and citrate) are absorbed in different ways by the body. The most widely available over-the-counter calcium supplements are formulated primarily from calcium carbonate, which is relatively insoluble.
Though calcium carbonate usually contains the highest concentration of calcium by weight, a study published in The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology shows that calcium carbonate is not readily available to the body. A study conducted by Howard J. Heller, M.D., assistant professor, Center for Mineral Metabolism and Clinical Research at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, indicates that the tablet formulation of calcium citrate in the form of Citracal was more bioavailable than calcium carbonate in the form of Os-Cal, even when given with a meal.
Dr. Nelson explains, "Calcium citrate does not require stomach acids for absorption as does calcium carbonate. This is an added benefit for older women who do not produce much stomach acid between meals. When combining the ease of absorption when taken with or without a meal and the vital Vitamin D component by which calcium turns into bone, calcium citrate supplements such as Citracal + D are a simple way to maintain the bone mass you've built."
Here are Some Tips to Prevent Osteoporosis:
- Eat calcium-rich foods, such as dairy, broccoli, kale, and beans
- Moderate your intake of alcohol
- Don't use steroids
- If you smoke, quit
- Take a daily ten-minute walk as a form of weight-bearing exercise
For more information on osteoporosis, please visit Mission Pharmacal's Web site at www.citracal.com.
Courtesy of ARA Content. Used by permission of Fitness Pro Advantage.
Mission Pharmacal, the manufacturer of Citracal, produced the above article. Although this does create some bias in it's recommendations, I have seen many other studies verifying that the citrate form of calcium is better absorbed than the carbonate form, especially in older adults who often lack stomach acid. And there are many other quality products besides Citracal® that contain calcium citrate.
The product that I have used for years is Twinlab's Calcium Citrate Caps®. This product also contains magnesium, in a 2:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium. Magnesium is another mineral important in bone formation. I know this product is well absorbed and works well as it is the best product I have found for controlling my neurological "tics." I now have my mom taking it for her osteoporosis. See Calcium Citrate Caps for further details.
Now the above article is correct in noting that vitamin D is also important. But this nutrient is contained in adequate amounts in Twinlab's Daily One Caps®. So a combination of these two supplements provides the full spectrum of necessary nutrients.
Another point to note is that the best form of exercise for preventing osteoporosis is weightlifting. And the best weightlifting exercises to perform are the powerlifts (squats, bench presses, and deadlifts). So the first article above goes well with the second. See Proper Performance of the Powerlifts for details in this regard.
New on Fitness for One and All
Training Log (11/30/04 - 1/24/05) has been completed with all of my workouts this this time period.
Training Log (Alternate High/Low Reps with Drop Reps) (1/25/05 - 4/16/05) details the routine I'll be using until my next contest.
The two-part article Training Routine Format has been updated and revised.
Also by Gary F. Zeolla:
Darkness to Light Web site and Darkness to Light newsletter.
Christian Theology, Apologetics, Cults, Ethics, Bible Versions, and much more!
Disclaimer: The material presented in this newsletter is intended for educational purposes only. The director, Gary F. Zeolla, is not offering medical or legal advice. Accuracy of information is attempted but not guaranteed. Before undertaking any medical treatments or diet, exercise, or health improvement programs, consult your doctor. The director is in no way responsible or liable for any bodily harm, physical, mental, or emotional, that results from following any of the advice on this newsletter.
All material in this newsletter is copyrighted © 2005 by Gary F. Zeolla or as indicated otherwise.