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Fitness

Fit At Any Age | Pedometers | Strength Training | Flexibility | How Much Activity

Fit at Any Age:

Every effort that one makes to stay as fit as possible pays off as we age.  A study conducted published in 2006 by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh - Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH) and their collaborators found that:

  • the ability to walk 400-meters, or about a quarter mile, was an important determinant not only of whether elderly participants would be alive six years later but also how much illness and disability they would experience within that time frame.
  • Volunteers who could not complete the roughly quarter-mile walk had a 30% to 40% increase in five-year mortality risk compared with those who finished the walk. Participants who took more than 5.5 minutes to complete the walk also had an increased risk of dying in five years -- a 35% increase in risk for every minute over the 5.5 minute pace.
  • Failure to complete the walk, or exclusion from the walk test, was also associated with a 60% to 100% increase in risk of disability.

In general-

  • Walking 5 miles per day or 10,000 steps can improve your health.  Increasing the intensity (how fast you move or adding an incline such as a hill; stairs; or elevating a treadmill and/or increasing the amount of time that you walk) will improve your cardiovascular fitness even more.

How to find the right intensity:

  • Subtract your age from 220. This is a rough calculation of your maximum heart rate.
  • Determine the lower end of your target heart rate by multiplying your maximum heart rate by 0.7.
  • Determine the upper end of your target heart rate by multiplying your maximum heart rate by 0.85.

man checking heart rateModerate-intensity activity should feel somewhat hard. Watch for these telltale signs:

  • You're breathing faster.
  • You're developing a light sweat.
  • You're feeling some strain in your muscles.

You can also use the talk test. If you can carry on a conversation of brief sentences but you can't sing a song, you're probably exercising in the recommended moderate-intensity range.

  • Individuals who remain physically active into their 70s have a big advantage in their 80s in terms of living longer and reducing their risk of cardiovascular disease and disability.

Every step taken to remain active now helps to improve the chances of a better health as one ages.

Pedometers provide daily feedback on how much you are really moving….:

Pedometers Made Easy:

  • Your pedometer is designed to count the number of steps that you take over a period of time.   Your Target is 10,000 steps per day or more!
  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for how to use and set up

Pedometer

  • Clip and position the pedometer on your waistband or belt between your belly button and your hip bone/or where the line of a crease would be on your pants.  You may have to play with this a bit to see what is the best spot for you. The bottom of the unit must be parallel to the floor and not crooked. If you are not able to get a parallel alignment for an accurate count- place the pedometer on the waist band of your pants or belt  on your lower back between your spine and hip.
  • Your pedometer does not like water or to be dropped.  Treat it carefully and it will provide service for some time.
  • Pedometer Facts:
  1. There are approximately 2000 steps in 1 mile
  2. 10,000 steps is approximately 5 miles
  3. Walking 10,000 steps per day will burn approximately 350 to 600 calories depending on the terrain, speed of the walk, and your current weight.

Strength Training and Exercise

As we age, we lose approximately 1 lb of muscle tissue per year after age 30.  It is imperative that we do everything that you can to maintain as much muscle mass as possible as we age.  Muscle tissue gives us strength to perform physical tasks and increases our metabolism.  Keep it up by….woman exercising

    1. Two to three sessions of muscle building activities- yoga; strength training at the gym or at home using machines or free weights; calisthenics/body work exercises such as push-ups/sit-ups/squats.
    2. Eating lean sources of protein for muscle building and repair.

Flexibility:

What is the latest physical activity recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

How much physical activity do adults need?

Physical activity is anything that gets your body moving. According to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, you need to do two types of physical activity each week to improve your health–aerobic and muscle-strengthening.

For Important Health Benefits

Adults age 18 to 64 need at least:

 

 

walking

2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) every week and

weight training

muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest,  shoulders, and arms).

OR

 

jogging

1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., jogging or running) every week and

weight training

muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest,  shoulders, and arms).

OR

 

walkingjogging

An equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity and

weight training

muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest,  shoulders, and arms).

 

For full report and other age group recommendations refer to: http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/adults.html