Here's Your March Quiz -
The Answers Are All in the Newsletter.
- Two factors affect how much you sweat. They are:
A hypochondriac is less likely to get sick than someone who doesn't worry about their health.
For weight loss, strength training beats cardio because muscles increase your metabolism.
Which of the following is not a reason our sense of balance declines as we get older?
- Your age and your overall fitness.
- Your size and how hard you work out.
- Your gender and your age.
- Your overall fitness and how hard you work out.
The CDC recommends a minimum of 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. Which of the following is not a moderate-intensity activity?
- Bones and muscles lose strength.
- The vestibular system weakens.
- Vision distorts.
- One side of our body becomes weaker than the other.
According to the CDC, you should not do more than 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity a week.
- Walking at 3 mph or faster.
- Bicycling at 12 to 15 miph.
- Doubles tennis.
- Ballroom dancing
I'm going to open this month's newsletter with a personal story. I've been skiing for exactly forty years, and for the past 16 years, my friend Rick and I have gone skiing every year together, often with one or both of my kids. We've been to the Laurentians and Mont Tremblant in Canada, to Park City, Utah, and Snowmass in Colorado, and we've been to North Carolina and West Virginia. We've been to several of these places two or three times. Rick, my son Tanner, my daughter Darby, and I are all good skiers, and with all that skiing, none of us have been what I'd call seriously injured. Rick pulled a calf muscle once, and I had a ski come off and hit me in the nose once, and I fell on my right shoulder once, but none of these mishaps resulted in anything consequential. Well that changed on this year's trip to Snowshoe, West Virginian.
Rick, Tanner, and I were skiing on February 27th. It was about 11 am on our second day out. We were skiing a slope which is aptly named Widowmaker. I was about two-thirds of the way down the slope, with Tanner well ahead and Rick behind me, when I fell. The fall itself was embarrassing, but not serious. However it was unusual in the fact that my head and body were facing down the mountain and my skis uphill. As a result, I began sliding and couldn't stop myself. Rick said I slid about 50 feet on the snow. The problem was the snow was only on the slopes. Off the slope was mud and rocks because there was no natural snow cover. I knew I was heading for the edge of the snow and would probably end up in the mud, and I did, going airborne and hitting it hard.
I slid another 10 or 15 feet in the mud and rock pebbles before finally coming to a stop. I managed to get to my feet, and get my skis back on and ski down to the lift where Tanner was waiting. I still had to take the lift back up and ski a mile over to another lift which took me back to our condo. That was it for my skiing. I had hurt my back and my left ankle and my right shoulder. I had no idea how badly, but I knew everything hurt.
Back at home on Wednesday, March 1st, I went to my doctor who took x-rays. The results: shoulder trauma which caused latent arthritis to flare up, a cracked left ankle, a cracked rib, and a compression fracture to the lumbar 1 vertebra. The amazing thing is, and for this I thank God, only the shoulder hurts. My ankle and foot are swollen and black and blue, but the bones are aligned and should heal easily. I'm supposed to wear a boot for a while, but no cast is necessary. The cracked rib doesn't even hurt. As for the break in the vertebra, I'm supposed to wear a back brace for a couple of weeks, but it will heal easily too, and it doesn't hurt. The shoulder is painful, but it should be okay in time as well. Wow!
As for future skiing, I'll turn 70 in a month, and I think I'll trade in the snow for the beach in the future. Rick said, "Tim, you can't do that. You've got to get back on the horse." I told him, "You can shoot that damn horse!"
Two things affect how much you sweat - how hard you're working out and how large you are. Many people think men sweat more than women, but the truth is, given the same intensity and length of exercise, there is almost no difference between men and women.
A joint study by researchers in Australia and Japan and published in Experimental Physiology found that the key factor in how much a person sweats is determined by the surface area of their skin. A large man doing the same amount of exercise as a smaller man will perspire more. The same is true of women, but a man and a woman who have approximately the same skin surface area and working at the same intensity will sweat about the same.
Now you know why those hundred pound girls look fresh after a workout and the 240 pound men look like they just got caught in a rain storm.
A study done in Norway which followed more than 7000 adults over 12 years found that healthy people who worry about having a heart attack have a higher possibility of heart disease, independent of other risk factors, compared with those who don't worry.
Healthy people who are preoccupied with acquiring a serious illness are known as the "worried well." This anxiety disorder often results in the individual developing the symptoms of the disease they are concerned about. For instance, someone worried about having a heart attack may develop chest discomfort, palpitations, nausea, sweating, and abnormally rapid breathing.
The amazing thing is that people with high levels of health anxiety have about a 70 percent increased risk of developing heart disease relative to those individuals with like risk factors but with low levels of anxiety.
That doesn't mean you should not take care of yourself. It means don't worry about contracting a disease you don't have. In other words, don't be a hypochondriac.
Those of us who are getting older need to work on our balance. The older you get, the more the foundation that once solidly supported your body begins to falter. The bones and muscles that anchored you to the ground lose strength. The vestibular system that oriented you to your surroundings weakens, and your sight, which helped you distinguish depth, fades and distorts. Age related balance loss is one of the main reasons why nearly three million older adults are injured in falls each year.
With all that said, you don't need to become a statistic just because you're getting older. One of the best things you can do for your balance is to strengthen your muscles by lifting weights. Strength exercises not only benefit the muscles, but they keep the bones strong as well. So if you're not lifting weights now, you really should begin. You don't have to compete with the younger guys and gals in the gym. Light weights are effective as well as long as they offer some resistance to your muscles.
In addition, you should be doing some balance specific exercises. Here are four such exercises that you can do in your home:
- Heel-to-toe walk. Walk in a straight line for 15 or 20 feet by placing the heel of the left foot directly in front of the toes of the right foot, then the right foot in front of the left, and so on. A good place to practice this is down a hallway so that if you feel like you might lose your balance, you can touch the wall to stabilize yourself.
- Stand on one foot. Stand in front of a chair or counter and lift the left foot off the floor and stand on the right foot for 10 seconds. Then do the same with the right foot. Work up to 30 seconds with each foot.
- Heel-to-toe stand. Stand in front of a chair or countertop and place your left heel in front of your right toes and hold that position. Hold that position for 30 seconds, then switch your feet so your right heel is in front of your left toes. This is just like the heel-to-toe walk except you are standing in one spot for this one.
- Leg raise walk. Stare at a fixed point in front of you. Now step forward with your left leg, bending it at the knee. Hold your left leg in the air for two seconds and then bring it down in front of you. Now do the same with the right leg. Repeat 10 to 15 times with each leg. This is another exercise you might want to do in a hallway so you'll have support on each side of you.
These exercises may seem difficult at first, but you'll improve quickly, and with the improvement you'll gain confidence. I'd suggest you do these at least once a day. They'll only take about 15 minutes to do, and they could save you a serious fall down the road.
How much exercise is best for good health? Here's what the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends for adults:
To improve your health, do 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. That's about 30 minutes, five days a week. Moderate-intensity activities include walking briskly at 3 mph or faster, water aerobics, bicycling slower than 10 mph, doubles tennis, and ballroom dancing.
Or you may opt for 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity such as jogging or running, swimming laps, singles tennis, aerobic dancing, bicycling faster than 10 mph, or hiking with a heavy backpack.
The CDC also recommends that all adults do muscle-strengthening activities at least two days a week that work all major muscle groups including the legs, back, abs, chest, shoulders, and arms.
Keep in mind, these are the minimum requirements. Any increase in your activity will help you gain even more health benefits.
"Cardio vs. weights: Which is actually better for weight loss?" I saw this headline on the CNN website. I know what the answer is, but I wanted to see what this article concluded, so I clicked on it. Here's the conclusion: "After 8 months of tracking 119 overweight and previously sedentary volunteers while they performed resistance training, aerobic exercise, or a combination of the two, the clear winner was ... aerobic exercise. By a lot."
Son of a gun, they got it right! There are some great reasons to lift weights, but losing weight isn't one of them. Strength training builds muscle. Cardio workouts burn calories. By the way, the article went on to conclude that those who combined strength training and cardio benefited the most.
I saw this tweet recently. I could have written it, but I didn't. It comes from Trackie Nation:
Me normally: Ugh! Running is evil. Make it stop.
Me injured: I love running so much. I miss it more than anything.
ACE Certified Personal Trainer
Certified Nutrition Specialist
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