Monday, December 24, 2012

To operate or not.....?

A few years ago I slipped on an icy patch crossing the street in Fort Collins, Colorado and landed on the bumper of a car. It forced my right arm much high that is was meant to go. Boy was it painful. As gracefully as possible I picked my self up and with one arm hanging at my side motioned to the driver that I was OK!! That was a lie because I knew that I had pulled something out of it's socket, broke a bone or tore ligaments.

Within a few days it started to feel better so I went back to my usual exercising routine avoiding most things that would cause pain to that area. A few months later I visited a orthopedic surgeon just to see what I actually did to my shoulder. His answer after doing an MRI, "You have a massive tear in your rotator cuff." He explained to me that it had already begun to reattach itself and his advise was the following: surgery or leave it alone. Surgery would require lots of rehab, pain, many months to heal and the arm will never lay against your body evenly. The other option was leave it alone. That was an easy choice, I left it alone. The surgeon also said that because I continued too exercise the healing process was much more rapid than a normal recovery from this kind of injury.

Nine years later I have not had any trouble with that arm. I play tennis, lift weights, cycle, swim, run and hike without a hint of a problem.

The essence of the story: think it thru before jumping into surgery and do some of your own research, it's easy, just google it!!

Keep it Simple, Consistent and Fun.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Getting Old is OK...........

As a 76 year old guy let me give you my observation about getting old.... it's really not as bad as we were told. Yeah there are new little aches and pains that you never had before or sometimes you forget words or thoughts that just disappear as you were about utter them. Ever go into a room with a definite goal in mind and then wonder what you're doing there!! This is called aging. Nothing unusual about it just a phase of life we haven't experienced before. The other option is not so good.

What helps me the most in keeping a sharp mind as I age is to exercise more and eat less. Exercise stimulates the mind with the increase of blood flow to the brain and eating less allows my body to work more efficiently by not having the stomach work harder breaking down more food than we need. Now this may seem like a simple answer to what we've been taught to believe but my suggestion is to try it and see for yourself. It works for me.

Keep It Simple, Consistent and Fun

Friday, December 7, 2012

.......every day!

My experience: consistency is what counts. It's not what you do once in a while it's what you do every day that matters.  It's the tortoise and the hare story, if you stay with it you'll win, not necessarily because you come in first, but because you crossed the finish line.

The turtle and the rabbit are just a metaphor for consistency.

If it's about your new exercise plan or changing eating habits just remember, be consistent! My experience is not to weigh yourself everyday or check your exact time after each run but just do them consistently and the positive results of those efforts will appear magically!

Keep It Simple, Consistent and Fun. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Take Care of Your Heart!

When the old heart is not doing well the rest of the body becomes much less efficient. So as we get older more attention should be given to the care of that old heart so that it continues to beat at a healthy level. How do we do that?

My experience as a 76 year old, with no family history of cardiovascular problems, is the following. I eat primarily a mediterranean diet consisting of some meat, chicken and fish and lots of fruits, vegetables and grains. I use olive oil by the truck load, and yea I know it has lots of calories but it's health benefit outweighs the calories.

I do different types of aerobic and strength exercises daily for at least one hour a day usually more. Lots of my exercising is in the form of sports that I really enjoy: Tennis, running races and cycling. Of course not at the level of when I was 26 but what's important is I still do it.

Remember: Keep it Simple, Consistent and Fun.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Body Heals Itself

My experience as a 76 year old is your body will heal itself of most minor injuries without having to do anything. Just let it rest and heal for the time it needs. Here's some examples from my own experience.

I tore my rotator cuff within the last 15 years by slipping on ice and landing in the wrong position.
Painful when it happened, yes, but not so bad that I needed to go to the doctor. The truth is I didn't realize what damage had been done at the time. Within 2 months it was feeling fine and slowly I got back to my usual physical activities including tennis, weights, biking, etc. I was told to have an operation to reattach it but I didn't and it grew back on it's own.

I also have two lower discs in my back that are hurniated causing them to push on my sciatica nerve which is real painful. I began to do stretching and squats easing the pressure from the discs. Within three months the pain was gone and has never returned. That was 5 years ago and needless to say I continue doing those exercises. The human body is a wonderful machine, it just needs care and maintenance.

Keep It Simple, Consistent and Fun.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sitting more than an hour is a no-no!!

For those who spend a great deal of time on your computer, weather it's work related or just surfing the net, always get up after an hour or so and do some stretching or take a short walk. When your walking make sure you breath deeply and swing your arms with a full motion it helps get the blood flowing in your body. Stop and do some push ups using a park bench or some squats which help the circulation.

Remember the body is meant to move. When it's not moving things begin to slow down and eventually those things get clogged up. Now that's not exactly a medically correct description of what happens but for us neophytes it's close enough.

So I guarantee when you get back to your computer you'll feel great.

Keep it Simple, Consistent and Fun.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

As You Age: Eat Less, Exercise More!!

I'm sure I've touched on this subject in a previous blog but I'm compelled to write about it again.

I keep reading about all the research and studies that are being conducted comparing the benefits of eating less and exercising more. Should one only exercise 30 minutes and continue eating the same or should one look at what you're eating and how many calories you're eating and if that  amount of calories your eating is elevated then should you be exercising more, blah, blah, blah!!!

Let me share my thoughts as a 75 year old man who has managed to stay in good physical shape.
My experience is to keep it simple and not get mired down in the overwhelming amount of research about health as we age. I see a very easy remedy to this made up dilemma.

As you pass the age of 50 just start to "Eat Less and Exercise More."The chronic diseases begin to surface at that age, but can be avoided, so pay close attention to your health. It's really that simple and it's all in your hands if you are willing to do something about it.

                                               Keep it Simple, Consistent and Fun.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Learning Curve

I've been working on a fitness program for adults over 50 for the last two years called, "A prime life." It's been a huge learning curve for me not only because this has never been my line of work but because my computer skills and internet savvy is somewhat limited. But I'm learning!!

The main focus will be on motivation, to get people to "just go out the door." The exercises and healthy eating tips will be ones you may have heard for years only now you'll be reminded on a daily basis.

Each day you will receive an e-mail with an attached 3 minute video reminding you to "just go out the door." In that video we'll take you through a series of simple exercises and discuss healthy tips on eating. These exercises and healthy eating tips will be demonstrated by us, your contemporaries. You'll see exercises and heathy eating tips designed to accommodate your age group. Remember this video is to motivate you to, "just do them."

An announcement will be made when this program is available, hopefully within in the next month. So if you feel that it's hard to get motivated to exercise and eat healthier please take a look at our website.

Keep it Simple, Consistent and Fun.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Weight Training

I've been lifting weights since I was 18, about 57 years to be exact, now that's a lot of years! I lifted heavy weights in the beginning but as I got older the weights diminished and the reps increased. I strongly believe that weight training has allowed me to enjoy skiing, running, hiking, biking, swimming and playing tennis up to the present day without any interruption from injury.

My experience is that weight lifting has kept me in better shape to do all these sports. To quote a book I read recently, The Cure of Everything,  "people with high levels of muscular strength have fewer functional limitations and a lower incidence of chronic disease." I agree with this statement.

If you've never lifted weights before and are past 55 don't think it's to late to start. Begin slowly with some easy exercises using light weights i.e. , pull downs, bench presses, curls and simple shoulder lifts. 

All these weight lifting exercises plus other exercises will be on my website coming soon, so stay tuned.

Pull Downs

Keep it Simple, Consistence and Fun.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Use common sense

I just finished reading an article in the NY Times regarding "Hot Weather Exercising."

I'm a regular reader of the health section in the NY Times and consider them quite good. Having said that I've been a runner since the age of 30, I'm now 75, including running marathons, 1/2 marathons, 10K's and 5k's in all kinds of terrain and weather. The idea that a study is needed to determine if your getting hot while running in the heat seems a bit ironic. Of course you're getting hotter!!

 Race in 85 degrees!!
My experience exercising in the heat:

If it's very warm outside then run in the early or late hours of the day when the sun has it's least intensity. Do alternative exercising like swimming, brisk walking, biking, weight lifting, yoga, etc. The older you get the least resistance you have to hot weather, my experience. Or don't exercise the day that it's too hot, take the day off, it won't kill you, might even help.

Keep it Simple, Consistent and Fun. degrees

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The simplicity of Fitness

All the research, scientific studies and books on how to stay healthy and fit as we grow older always comes to the same basic conclusion, "eat less, exercise more." It's that simple yet we seem to want to complicate what's so simple.

Now what is that about? As a 75 year old man my experience in staying fit has brought me to the following conclusion:

We are inundated with all kinds of easy ways to lose weight and get fit. What's missing is the big question, is there a willingness on your part to actually do the work and do it consistently? Once you've decided to be willing, then within time, depending on your fitness when you started you'll see change, it's up to you. It's all in your hands. Remember how many years you've been out of shape before you try to get fit and buff in six weeks, it isn't going to happen, it will take time. So.....

Keep It Simple, Consistent and Fun.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Exercise time is anytime!!

No excuses, we can exercise anytime anyplace and let me show you how I do it. First of all you've got to get off the couch or out from behind your computer for a brief time everyday. Then day or night, "just go out the door."

Start with a brisk walk, a jog, or a bike ride for at least 15 minutes. If that's all the time you have that's OK, but my experience is once I started some form of exercise it will go beyond 15 minutes. Once you get back do some pushups and a little stretching and you'll feel the difference it makes in the rest of
your day.

This routine can and should be done twice a day but in the beginning do as much as feels comfortable then increase it a little each week. The most important thing to remember is:

Keep it Simple, Consistent and Fun.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Aging is not for the weak..literally!!

As we age all systems begin to slow down in our bodies. We don't move as fast were not as strong nor do we think as fast and for some of us our hair stops growing. Not much we can do about it but we can most assuredly slow the process down (not the hair), and here is how.

Everyday walks or jogs for 3/4 hour, strength training at least three times a week, stretch everyday for fifteen minutes, get hours eight sleep every night and reduce the amount of food you eat compared to when you were thirty.

My experience as a 75 year old who does all the above still has the ability to do things I did when I was much younger, not with the same vigor or strength but suitable for my age. There is no reason to become frail as you age just make exercise a top priority in your life. It's totally in your control all you have to do is do it!!

Keep it Simple, Consistent and Fun.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My opinion of the single best exercise.

The one single best exercise that activates the biggest muscles, those in the buttocks, back and legs, are 'squats'. Squats also have a real strong aerobic component to them making the heart work harder and faster. Having said that all exercises are good, some are just better suited for different individuals, it's a choice.

 It's a very simple exercise, just fold your arms across your chest, bend your knees and lower your body until your thighs are about parallel to the floor. If you've never done these before then start slowly squatting only half way down until you develop a rhythm. My experience is that the first squat or two are the most difficult, so don't get discouraged they get easier as you go.

Keep it Simple, Consistent and Fun.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Body Heals Itself

Last December I took a spill off my bike and broke my elbow and fractured my arm. I was close to UCLA emergency so I walked over with my bike in tow. They took an X-ray to confirm that was in fact is what had happened. Because of the swelling and a planned trip to Colorado for christmas with my son the next week, we decide not to operate and reattach the elbow to the fractured arm until the first of january. The procedure was to wire the elbow to the forearm to hold it in place. By the time of the operation, three weeks later, an x-ray revealed that the forearm fracture was almost completely healed.
Surprise, surprise nature doing it's thing. Eight weeks after the accident I was playing tennis, running and lifting weights. I had imagined at least five months of recovery before getting back to my usual routine. My orthopedic surgeon was the most surprised attributing the fast recovery to my healthy condition. He said that the weight training and aerobic exercises that I have doing all my life attributed greatly to my fast recovery.

That's the upside to exercising!!!

Keep it Simple, Consistent and Fun.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Center Piece for Exercise

My experience as a 75 year old who has been exercising all his life is the following:

Running, jogging or walking are the core of all exercises.

You doesn't have to run long distances or run at a fast pace to stay in good shape you just have to walk, run or jog everyday. I've always been a believer that consistency in your exercising is very important. Any of these three help build and sustain your endurance and aerobic conditioning and that's vial for your health.

When I was younger I ran 20-30 miles a week but as I got older my running turned into walking and jogging a more realistic way to stay in shape for my age. I play lots of tennis, swim, bike, hike and lift some weights to round out my exercise program. The results of this and most important to me is my ability to travel with great ease which I attribute to my years of exercising and staying in condition.

Remember: Keep it Simple, Constant and Fun.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Don't be a Hamster!!

Walking, jogging or running on a treadmill, when not necessary, seems to me like a hamster on a treadmill going nowhere. My advice is, 'Just go Out the Door'. Walk, jog or run outside in the open air as much as possible and enjoy the people you see and the things you experience. Time will pass quicker and you'll have a chance to see your neighborhood in a way not seen from a car. Along the way you can slow to a brisk walk and do some arm movements, lifting them above your head, to the side and in front of you in three separate movements. Do five repetitions and then began your jog again, it helps break up the tediousness of running. Ahhh then finishing after a one hour of exercise is the best part of outdoor exercise.    Always remember:

Keep it Simple, Consistent and Fun.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Stop Talking about Food!!

Food is nourishment that allows us to grow and keeps us alive------and that's all it is. If we eat nourishing food not only will we stay healthy but we will stay vital. There is no perfect diet for humans, but the more plant foods, vegetables and fruits, the better.

We keep talking about food, i.e, ways to make your food taste better, watch more food shows, cook in more exotic ways using enormous amounts of salt, butter and sugar so they may taste better. None of these gives us more nutritional value or bang for the buck!!

My advice as a healthy 75 year old is don't snack, stop talking about food and just enjoy it when your eating. Take your time savor each moment and each morsel and remember:

Keep it Simple, Consistent and Fun.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Weight of the Nation

I just watched the most informative video on the very serious problem of overweight and obesity that exists in our country. Startling statistics confirming that 68% of all Americans are either over weight or obese. Not only does this affect the lives of these people but also the cost to the health care programs, insurance companies, hospitals, businesses etc.

Companies of all sizes are also feeling the affect due to employees increased absentee rates and more use of the companies insurance plans caused by various illnesses. Most of these illness and diseases are directly related to overweight and obesity. Theses are mostly preventable diseases.

As adults we are all responsible for our own health not only for ourselves but for the society that we all live and share. There are many reasons for this epidemic some not in our control. What is in our control is our responsibility to do something about it.

This HBO special gives you all the needed information so take advantage it.

Keep it Simple, Consistent and Fun. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Healthy habits and long life

I strongly recommend all those who are turning 50 years old to read the 4/14/12 NY Times article about the life of Dr. Lester Breslow and his research on healthy habits and long life. Also on the same subject there is a wonderful book written by Dr. James Fries and Dr. Donald Vickery entitled "Take Care Of Yourself."

Both say the same thing that your lifestyle is your most important guarantee of lifelong vigor and that you can postpone most serious chronic diseases by making right choices.

Healthy aging was once thought to be a contradiction in terms well it's not and at 75 I'm the proof that it works. You are your own first line of defense against an unhealthy life style. Think about it!!

Keep it Simple, Consistent and Fun. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sarcopenia-- what's that!!!

When I first read about Sarcopenia I thought it was a Greek delicacy!! Well it turns out to be a very important subject as we pass fifty years of age. So here's the lowdown.

Sarcopenia is the degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength associated with aging. It's a component of the frailty syndrome. In short it is characterized by a decrease in the size of the muscle, which causes weakness and frailty. We lose 0.5-1% per year of muscle mass after the age of 25. OK so now you know.

The only way to naturally combat this condition is through physical activity incorporating strength training. That's something we can all do. It's totally in our control.

Keep it Simple, Consistent and Fun.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Simple Stretching

How many adults over 50 can do simple stretches one of the most basic movements for the human body. Unfortunately not many and why is that?

My theory is we're not taught when we're kids so we don't stretch when we become adults. Let me show you a way to start to become a person who stretches.

After sitting at your desk on your computer for a period of time sit back straighten your posture and raise your arms above your head reaching for the ceiling and hold it for thirty seconds. Do this three times and see how much better you feel. This is just one simple stretch that will make the long hours at your computer so much better. I'll suggest a number of other stretches in later blogs.

Keep it Simple, Consistent and Fun.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fast Food Nation

With all the credible information out there to guide us towards a healthier diet the majority of Americans still eat badly. Why? Statistics show us that the majority of people still live on fast foods. The convenience and price of fast foods unfortunately sways many into eating a very unhealthy diet.

As a healthy 75 year old I began to change my bad eating habits when I turned 50. I always exercised but my eating habits were full of processed fatty foods. Slowly I began to integrate more fruits and vegetables into my diet and surprise, surprise I found I really enjoy theses new foods. Without going on a "diet" over the next 10 years I went from 170 to 150 pounds by doing the following: eating less food, less fatty foods and stopped the constant snacking. It works.

Keep it Simple, Consistent and Fun.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Exercise and finishing

The best part of exercising is finishing. When it feels so difficult to start your exercise just remember how good you felt when you finished the day before. It's a real mental motivator.

Change your walking or running route so you don't get bored or lose interest. Never start with a difficult goal. Ease into it and remember the first 10 minutes is the most difficult. Instead of walking or jogging in the city go for a hike, it's a whole different experience without cars or noise only trees, walking paths, fresh air and lots of quiet.

All these choices are yours and yours alone.

Keep it Simple, Consistent and Fun

Friday, March 16, 2012

It's so Simple

It's really so simple, just go out the door and get started. Within a block of brisk walking you'll begin to feel the difference. Picking up the pace your shoulders will start to move back your breathing will become easier and your thinking will be more positive. Try a little jog for about 30 seconds intervals then back to brisk walking. Look around as you walk and really see the neighborhood you live in. As a walker and not a driver it's a very different experience.

The hour will pass real quickly and you're done. Then some simple stretches to end your exercise for the day. If you have the time a short brisk walk after dinner will help digest your food and allow you to sleep better.

Keep it Simple, Consistent and Fun.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Never to old!!

Last week I did a duathlon (run-bike-run) in La Quinta, Ca. and surprise, surprise I came in first in my age group of 75+. The real surprise was that four other men in my division were older, one was 80!!
The race started out with a one mile run then a fourteen mile bike ride and ending up with a three mile run. At 75 I can't run or bike as fast as I would like but I can still do it and that's what counts. A great feeling just finishing.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Brain functions better after exercise

Walking is now considered a form of exercise but was originally a form of transportation built into our daily life. Modern technology with all it's benefits have made us more sedentary creating many serious health issues.

Walking briskly, jogging or running has been proven very beneficial for your brain because it increases blood circulation and the oxygen and glucose that reach your brain. Keeping ones brain healthy is so simple all you have to do is what comes natural to the human body, walk.

So get out there each day and walk briskly, jog or run. You'll feel so much better when you've finished and your brain will love you for it!!

Keep It Simple, Consistent and Fun.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Exercise and your brain

As we get older our ability to run fast, swim long distances or play our favorite sports begins to decline. We accept this as getting older and not an indication of physical problems.

Yet we become alarmed when forgetfulness and memory loss creep into our everyday lives as we pass 50 years of age. The fear that dementia may be on the horizon creates a lot of anxiety for us. All of this in my opinion is unwarranted. If your body slows down as you age why wouldn't your brain do the same.

We all know that if we exercise daily and eat properly our health will not deteriorate nearly as fast. That's all we need to do.

Keep it Simple, Consistent and Fun.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Lucy and Me

I spent ten days in Colorado visiting my son Peter and his family for the Xmas holidays. I'm now in my 76th year and still able to travel with ease and spend fun time with Lucy and Oliver my grand kids. Not that this is such a great accomplishment but so many of my contemporaries have a difficult time doing something as simple like traveling to see their families. I attribute my ability to enjoy traveling, including biking trips to Europe and South America, by staying fit through exercising every day and eating a healthy diet.

Keep it Simple. Consistent and Fun.