Tag Archives: Physical exercise

Straight, No Chaser: The Other Side of 40 – The Musculoskeletal System – Changes, Challenges, Solutions

The second part of this series on how your body changes with age is about your muscles. This section combined with the previous skin section explains why you wrinkle. As before, I’m going to go through system – changes – challenges – solutions. If you’re keeping score, especially focus on the take home messages within solutions. I welcome any questions or comments.
Changes: Did you know that muscle cells are unable to replace themselves once they are formed? Therefore, muscle cell loss is permanent. Plus, muscular response gradually slows with age. That said, the loss of muscular capabilities over time is by far the result of cell loss due to inactivity. As muscle cells are lost, weakness and slowness increase. Plus, some of you don’t exercise at all, or as much/vigorously as you used to, so you’re not building up anything new.
Challenges: The effects of these changes on our health status are mostly due to the fact that the muscles are the main tools for effecting strong circulation throughout the body (i.e. muscular contraction pushes blood around). As the muscles become smaller, including the muscles in the face, and as fat tissue accumulates, including in the face, the entire appearance changes to that of an older person, with all the ramifications described in the post on the description of skin changes with aging. In addition, as muscle fibers decrease, weaken, and slow, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep up with younger people, who may make allowances, but who may also become avoidant. Your recognition of this creates a vicious cycle, and you eventually settle into ‘being old’.
Physical Therapist Working with Patient
Solutions: In two words – exercise & activity. A well designed, consistently followed exercise program addressing both strength and response is indispensable for the maintenance of muscle cells, and of good health over time. A personal trainer is a pretty good idea after a certain age. You neither need to under nor overdo your weight lifting regimen. In any event, move those muscles as much as you can, whether via walking, yoga, running or sex. Being a couch potato is never a good thing.
Post-scripts:

elderly-couple-stretching

  • Another thing that very few of us do is stretch. Those old muscles are tight, and the tendons/ligaments are short and ready to pop. You really must stretch before your weekend warrior events or most any big exertional activity. That’s a big part of why yoga promotes longevity.
  • Fortunately, the main muscles of the heart and the diaphragm (your breathing muscle) do not lose muscle fibers with age because they are continually active. Yet, your heart and lungs have their own problems besides the muscles. That topic is forthcoming. All that said, be mindful that through ongoing exercise and training, you can stem the tide on these changes.

Young is as young does.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: How Many Calories Do You Need a Day?

calories
Let’s put this post (at least the end of it) under the category of things you do but really don’t think about.
How many calories should you take in per day to
function (meaning produce the energy you need for your activities of daily living)?  It actually depends on your gender, your age and your level of activity.  Let me start by defining the types of lifestyles, according to the Institute of Medicine.  If you are in the third category (active), I doubt that you’re worried.
Sedentary means a lifestyle that includes only the light physical activity associated with day-to-day living.
Moderately active means a level of physical activity equivalent to walking about 1.5-3 miles per day at 3-4 miles per hour in addition to the activities of daily living.
Active means a level of physical equivalent to walking more than 3 miles per day at 3-4 miles per hour in addition to the activities of daily living.
That breaks down as follows:

  • For women between 14-50, the number is right about 2000 kcal/day (calories) if you’re moderately active and 1800 if you’re sedentary.
  • For men between 14-50, there’s some greater variance, but the 2500 kcal/day works if you’re moderately active and 2200 if you’re sedentary.

In short, that averages to about 600-800 calories per meal, with the low-end being for sedentary females and the high-end being for moderately active males.
soda1
Now consider, 16% of the calories in the average American diet come from refined sugars.  Fully 50% of that total comes from beverages with added sugar.

Every 12 ounces of non-diet of pop/soda you drink contains about 150 calories.  

Your average dessert ranges from 300-500 calories.  

The most popular one, only one cup of ice cream, contains 270 calories.

I’ll let you take the math forward from there.  However, the take home point is obvious.  Suffice it to say, the link between pop, deserts and obesity has been well established.  Here’s three Quick Tips for you.

  • Try finding a drink with fewer calories if you want to lose calories (and weight).  It’s water, not Coke, that adds life.
  • Try eating your favorite fruits as dessert.
  • Also, consider just walking 3-4 miles a day.  It’s not that hard, if you just do it.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Life Begins (To End) at 40 (Unless It Doesn’t) – The Musculoskeletal System

The second part of this series on how your body changes with age is about your muscles. This section combined with the previous skin section explains why you wrinkle. As before, I’m going to go through system – changes – challenges – solutions. If you’re keeping score, especially focus on the take home messages within solutions. I welcome any questions or comments.
Changes: Did you know that muscle cells are unable to replace themselves once they are formed? Therefore, muscle cell loss is permanent. Plus, muscular response gradually slows with age. That said, the loss of muscular capabilities over time is by far the result of cell loss due to inactivity. As muscle cells are lost, weakness and slowness increase. Plus, some of you don’t exercise at all, or as much/vigorously as you used to, so you’re not building up anything new.
Challenges: The effects of these changes on our health status are mostly due to the fact that the muscles are the main tools for effecting strong circulation throughout the body (i.e. muscular contraction pushes blood around). As the muscles become smaller, including the muscles in the face, and as fat tissue accumulates, including in the face, the entire appearance changes to that of an older person, with all the ramifications described in the post on the description of skin changes with aging. In addition, as muscle fibers decrease, weaken, and slow, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep up with younger people, who may make allowances, but who may also become avoidant. Your recognition of this creates a vicious cycle, and you eventually settle into ‘being old’.
Physical Therapist Working with Patient
Solutions: In two words – exercise & activity. A well designed, consistently followed exercise program addressing both strength and response is indispensable for the maintenance of muscle cells, and of good health over time. A personal trainer is a pretty good idea after a certain age. You neither need to under nor overdo your weight lifting regimen. In any event, move those muscles as much as you can, whether via walking, yoga, running or sex. Being a couch potato is never a good thing.
Post-scripts:

elderly-couple-stretching

  • Another thing that very few of us do is stretch. Those old muscles are tight, and the tendons/ligaments are short and ready to pop. You really must stretch before your weekend warrior events or most any big exertional activity. That’s a big part of why yoga promotes longevity.
  • Fortunately, the main muscles of the heart and the diaphragm (your breathing muscle) do not lose muscle fibers with age because they are continually active. Yet, your heart and lungs have their own problems besides the muscles. That topic is forthcoming. All that said, be mindful that through ongoing exercise and training, you can stem the tide on these changes.

Young is as young does.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: How Many Calories Do You Need a Day?

calories
Let’s put this post (at least the end of it) under the category of things you do but really don’t think about.
How many calories should you take in per day to function (meaning produce the energy you need for your activities of daily living)?  It actually depends on your gender, your age and your level of activity.  Let me start by defining the types of lifestyles, according to the Institute of Medicine.  If you are in the third category (active), I doubt that you’re worried.
Sedentary means a lifestyle that includes only the light physical activity associated with day-to-day living.
Moderately active means a level of physical activity equivalent to walking about 1.5-3 miles per day at 3-4 miles per hour in addition to the activities of daily living.
Active means a level of physical equivalent to walking more than 3 miles per day at 3-4 miles per hour in addition to the activities of daily living.
That breaks down as follows:

  • For women between 14-50, the number is right about 2000 kcal/day (calories) if you’re moderately active and 1800 if you’re sedentary.
  • For men between 14-50, there’s some greater variance, but the 2500 kcal/day works if you’re moderately active and 2200 if you’re sedentary.

In short, that averages to about 600-800 calories per meal, with the low-end being for sedentary females and the high-end being for moderately active males.
soda1
Now consider, 16% of the calories in the average American diet come from refined sugars.  Fully 50% of that total comes from beverages with added sugar.

Every 12 ounces of non-diet of pop/soda you drink contains about 150 calories.  

Your average dessert ranges from 300-500 calories.  

The most popular one, only one cup of ice cream, contains 270 calories.

I’ll let you take the math forward from there.  However, the take home point is obvious.  Suffice it to say, the link between pop, deserts and obesity has been well established.  Here’s three Quick Tips for you.

  • Try finding a drink with fewer calories if you want to lose calories (and weight).  It’s water, not Coke, that adds life.
  • Try eating your favorite fruits as dessert.
  • Also, consider just walking 3-4 miles a day.  It’s not that hard, if you just do it.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Here’s Steps For You To Take – Get Active!

Fitness

Here’s how you get started with a work out regimen. As we left off in the previous post, fitness is for everyone. If you’re currently inactive, worried about becoming active or worried about boosting your level of physical activity because you’re afraid of getting hurt, fear not. Moderate-intensity aerobic activity (e.g., brisk walking) is generally safe for most people, and even if it’s been a long time and/or you have medical problems, the health benefits of being active are far greater than the risks of getting hurt and the consequences of remaining inactive.
First things first: Get cleared by your physician.
If you have a chronic medical illness like diabetes, heart or vascular disease, arthritis or asthma/COPD, talk with your physician about your ability to be active. Your doctor will work with you to develop a plan matching your capabilities, and you or you and your personal trainer can execute it. You’d be surprised how much health can be generated with a reasonable amount of effort. As little as 60 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (e.g., brisk walking) produces measurable health benefits. The key is to avoid being inactive.

smallprogress

You’re not going to run a marathon on your first day back working out.
Strokes and heart attacks are rare during physical activity. The risk that does exist comes from someone who figuratively goes from 0–60. Don’t go from inactive to hyperactive, engaging in vigorous-intensity aerobics (e.g., that includes shoveling snow, running stairs, etc.). It’s a good idea to work with a personal trainer if it’s within your means. You need to have a plan in place to get from zero to hero.
We’ve previously discussed losing weight in the context of the caloric index. Just remember that in order to lose one pound, you need to burn an average of 500 more calories per day than you eat or drink—for an entire week. We’ll get back to the dietary consideration in an upcoming post, but for now let’s focus on the exercise/activity component of the equation.

fitness_challenge

To translate what “500 more calories per day than you eat or drink” looks like, follow these tips:

  • Strive for 150 minutes/week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (e.g., brisk walking) or
  • Strive for 75 minutes/week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity or
  • Strive for an equivalent mix of the two

Be advised that your metabolism may play a role on whether you need more or less aerobic activity to accomplish your goal.
Now these aerobic recommendations represent a minimal amount likely to help you maintain your current weight. Increase these amounts and/or use the dietary intake side of the equation to help you lose weight. Check back tomorrow for a review of those.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Life Begins (To End) at 40 (Unless It Doesn’t) – The Musculoskeletal System

musculoskeletal-system
The second part of this series on how your body changes with age is about your muscles. This section combined with the previous skin section explains why you wrinkle. As before, I’m going to go through system – changes – challenges – solutions. If you’re keeping score, especially focus on the take home messages within solutions. I welcome any questions or comments.
Changes: Did you know that muscle cells are unable to replace themselves once they are formed? Therefore, muscle cell loss is permanent. Plus, muscular response gradually slows with age. That said, the loss of muscular capabilities over time is by far the result of cell loss due to inactivity. As muscle cells are lost, weakness and slowness increase. Plus, some of you don’t exercise at all, or as much/vigorously as you used to, so you’re not building up anything new.
Challenges: The effects of these changes on our health status are mostly due to the fact that the muscles are the main tools for effecting strong circulation throughout the body (i.e. muscular contraction pushes blood around). As the muscles become smaller, including the muscles in the face, and as fat tissue accumulates, including in the face, the entire appearance changes to that of an older person, with all the ramifications described in the post on the description of skin changes with aging. In addition, as muscle fibers decrease, weaken, and slow, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep up with younger people, who may make allowances, but who may also become avoidant. Your recognition of this creates a vicious cycle, and you eventually settle into ‘being old’.
Physical Therapist Working with Patient
Solutions: In two words – exercise & activity. A well designed, consistently followed exercise program addressing both strength and response is indispensable for the maintenance of muscle cells, and of good health over time. A personal trainer is a pretty good idea after a certain age. You neither need to under nor overdo your weight lifting regimen. In any event, move those muscles as much as you can, whether via walking, yoga, running or sex. Being a couch potato is never a good thing.
Post-scripts:

elderly-couple-stretching

  • Another thing that very few of us do is stretch. Those old muscles are tight, and the tendons/ligaments are short and ready to pop. You really must stretch before your weekend warrior events or most any big exertional activity. That’s a big part of why yoga promotes longevity.
  • Fortunately, the main muscles of the heart and the diaphragm (your breathing muscle) do not lose muscle fibers with age because they are continually active. Yet, your heart and lungs have their own problems besides the muscles. That topic is forthcoming. All that said, be mindful that through ongoing exercise and training, you can stem the tide on these changes.

Young is as young does.
Feel free to ask any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: How Many Calories Do You Need a Day?

calories
Let’s put this post (at least the end of it) under the category of things you do but really don’t think about.
How many calories should you take in per day to function (meaning produce the energy you need for your activities of daily living)?  It actually depends on your gender, your age and your level of activity.  Let me start by defining the types of lifestyles, according to the Institute of Medicine.  If you are in the third category (active), I doubt that you’re worried.
Sedentary means a lifestyle that includes only the light physical activity associated with day-to-day living.
Moderately active means a level of physical activity equivalent to walking about 1.5-3 miles per day at 3-4 miles per hour in addition to the activities of daily living.
Active means a level of physical equivalent to walking more than 3 miles per day at 3-4 miles per hour in addition to the activities of daily living.
That breaks down as follows:

  • For women between 14-50, the number is right about 2000 kcal/day (calories) if you’re moderately active and 1800 if you’re sedentary.
  • For men between 14-50, there’s some greater variance, but the 2500 kcal/day works if you’re moderately active and 2200 if you’re sedentary.

In short, that averages to about 600-800 calories per meal, with the low-end being for sedentary females and the high-end being for moderately active males.
soda1
Now consider, 16% of the calories in the average American diet come from refined sugars.  Fully 50% of that total comes from beverages with added sugar.

Every 12 ounces of non-diet of pop/soda you drink contains about 150 calories.  

Your average dessert ranges from 300-500 calories.  

The most popular one, only one cup of ice cream, contains 270 calories.

I’ll let you take the math forward from there.  However, the take home point is obvious.  Suffice it to say, the link between pop, deserts and obesity has been well established.  Here’s three Quick Tips for you.

  • Try finding a drink with fewer calories if you want to lose calories (and weight).  It’s water, not Coke, that adds life.
  • Try eating your favorite fruits as dessert.
  • Also, consider just walking 3-4 miles a day.  It’s not that hard, if you just do it.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Life Begins (To End) at 40 (Unless It Doesn’t) – The Musculoskeletal System

musculoskeletal-system
The second part of this series on how your body changes with age is about your muscles. This section combined with the previous skin section explains why you wrinkle. As before, I’m going to go through system – changes – challenges – solutions. If you’re keeping score, especially focus on the take home messages within solutions. I welcome any questions or comments.
Changes: Did you know that muscle cells are unable to replace themselves once they are formed? Therefore, muscle cell loss is permanent. Plus, muscular response gradually slows with age. That said, the loss of muscular capabilities over time is by far the result of cell loss due to inactivity. As muscle cells are lost, weakness and slowness increase. Plus, some of you don’t exercise at all, or as much/vigorously as you used to, so you’re not building up anything new.
Challenges: The effects of these changes on our health status are mostly due to the fact that the muscles are the main tools for effecting strong circulation throughout the body (i.e. muscular contraction pushes blood around). As the muscles become smaller, including the muscles in the face, and as fat tissue accumulates, including in the face, the entire appearance changes to that of an older person, with all the ramifications described in the post on the description of skin changes with aging. In addition, as muscle fibers decrease, weaken, and slow, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep up with younger people, who may make allowances, but who may also become avoidant. Your recognition of this creates a vicious cycle, and you eventually settle into ‘being old’.
Physical Therapist Working with Patient
Solutions: In two words – exercise & activity. A well designed, consistently followed exercise program addressing both strength and response is indispensable for the maintenance of muscle cells, and of good health over time. A personal trainer is a pretty good idea after a certain age. You neither need to under nor overdo your weight lifting regimen. In any event, move those muscles as much as you can, whether via walking, yoga, running or sex. Being a couch potato is never a good thing.
Post-scripts:

elderly-couple-stretching

  • Another thing that very few of us do is stretch. Those old muscles are tight, and the tendons/ligaments are short and ready to pop. You really must stretch before your weekend warrior events or most any big exertional activity. That’s a big part of why yoga promotes longevity.
  • Fortunately, the main muscles of the heart and the diaphragm (your breathing muscle) do not lose muscle fibers with age because they are continually active. Yet, your heart and lungs have their own problems besides the muscles. That topic is forthcoming. All that said, be mindful that through ongoing exercise and training, you can stem the tide on these changes.

Young is as young does.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, AmazonBarnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright, Sterling Initiatives, LLC. 2013-2015

From the Health Library of SterlingMedicalAdvice.com: "Why Is It So Hard to Lose This 'Last' 5-10 Pounds?"

find the best way to lose weight and tips
It may be that your body has reached its ‘desired’ weight – its effective, genetic set point.  Reaching this level is relatively less painful than getting past it, but your body’s idea of an ‘effective’ weight won’t necessarily correspond to your personally desired level of leanness. Women in particular tend to achieve healthy homeostasis at higher body fat levels. Breaking through plateaus can be hard enough, but plateaus ordained by the body can seem to be impossible. It’s probably going to take some serious tinkering with carbs, calories, activity levels, sleep and stress. If everything else is on point and accounted for, you may be looking at healthy homeostasis (a biological balance). Then the question becomes “Do you want to mess with a good thing”. If so, stay the course; just don’t expect results as rapidly.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) will offer beginning November 1. Until then enjoy some our favorite posts and frequently asked questions as well as a daily note explaining the benefits of SMA membership. Please share our page with your Friends on WordPress, and we can be found on Facebook at SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2013 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Life Begins (To End) at 40 (Unless It Doesn’t) – The Musculoskeletal System

Physical Therapist Working with Patient
The second part of this series is about your muscles. This section combined with the previous skin section explains why you wrinkle. As before, I’m going to go through system – changes – challenges – solutions. If you’re keeping score, especially focus on the take home messages within solutions. I welcome any questions or comments.
Changes: Did you know that muscle cells are unable to replace themselves once they are formed? Therefore, muscle cell loss is permanent. Plus, muscular response gradually slows with age. That said, the loss of muscular capabilities over time is by far the result of cell loss due to inactivity. As muscle cells are lost, weakness and slowness increase. Plus, some of you don’t exercise at all, or as much/vigorously as you used to, so you’re not building up anything new.
Challenges: The effects of these changes on our health status are mostly due to the fact that the muscles are the main tools for effecting strong circulation throughout the body (i.e. muscular contraction pushes blood around). As the muscles become smaller, including the muscles in the face, and as fat tissue accumulates, including in the face, the entire appearance changes to that of an older person, with all the ramifications described in the post on the description of skin changes with aging. In addition, as muscle fibers decrease, weaken, and slow, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep up with younger people, who may make allowances, but who may also become avoidant. Your recognition of this creates a vicious cycle, and you eventually settle into ‘being old’.
Solutions: In two words – exercise & activity. A well designed, consistently followed exercise program addressing both strength and response is indispensable for the maintenance of muscle cells, and of good health over time. A personal trainer is a pretty good idea after a certain age. You neither need to under nor overdo your weight lifting regimen. In any event, move those muscles as much as you can, whether via walking, yoga, running or sex. Being a couch potato is never a good thing.
Post-scripts:

  • Another thing that very few of us do is stretch. Those old muscles are tight, and the tendons/ligaments are short and ready to pop. You really must stretch before your weekend warrior events or most any big exertional activity. That’s a big part of why yoga promotes longevity.
  • Fortunately, the main muscles of the heart and the diaphragm (your breathing muscle) do not lose muscle fibers with age because they are continually active. Yet, your heart and lungs have their own problems besides the muscles. That topic is forthcoming. All that said, be mindful that through ongoing exercise and training, you can stem the tide on these changes.

Young is as young does.

Copyright © 2013 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Quick Tips on Boosting Your Metabolism

fat crying
It would be improper for me to have dragged you through the mud for three days and depressed you into thinking you can’t improve your situation. Hopefully, you’re not feeling that way. You should now have a better understanding of how the body works, how to count calories and how to compare yourself to a baseline for health. What left is giving your body a leg up on your efforts. Yep, I’m talking about boosting your metabolism. Any of you that have been with me for a while know that means I’m not promoting something you’ll find in a bottle, although there are many good supplements that can assist in that effort. I’ll refer you to your (or my) favorite personal trainer for those considerations. As always, I want to offer you the tools to be self-empowered. To that end, here’s five Quick Tips to boost your metabolism. Why five? Because five is easier to implement than six. Once you get these five down, let me know, and we can get a bit more intricate.
1. Eat smaller meals, and eat more frequently. It’s true. More meals more often is better, but only if they’re smaller. Calorie counting is still a major part of the equation. The point of more frequent meals is preventing the body from going into starvation mode, which slows your metabolism as the body attempts to conserve energy. If you do this, you’ll discover those meals are smaller and you will get closer to eat more appropriate portions than we typically do. Also, make those in-between meals healthy choices like a handful of fruits or nuts.
2. Prime your pump. Remember, it’s all about your heart’s ability to efficiently move blood around the body anyway. The healthier your heart is, the better your metabolism will be. You need aerobic exercise that increases your heart rate for 20-30 minutes at a time. Learn your target heart rate for your age, and exercise to get into that range. Your metabolism will better approximate that of a fine tuned machine rather than a sputtering old car.
3. Weight train. This is very simple. The more muscular you are, the more calories you will burn, especially relative to someone of the same weight who is obese. Not only will you become a finer calorie-burning machine, in this case you actually will look better! Add weight training to your exercise regimen.
4. Choose the fish (and not the fried variety). Fish oil contains substances called omega-3 fatty acids (EPA, DHA) which increases levels of fat-burning enzymes and decreases levels of fat storing enzymes. Daily ingestion has been shown to help by approximately 400 calories a day.
5. Enlist a personal trainer. Everyone needs help and motivation. Some of us need a lot of help and a lot of motivation. We also need expertise. There’s nothing more frustrating than working hard yet not seeing any results because you’re working incorrectly. A good trainer can put you on the path, supervise your regimen, and hold your hand through the process. The minutia of age, sex and body habitus considerations that also play a role in this can be managed by a good trainer. Your ideal trainer will have knowledge of nutrition, wellness and supplements that are tailored to your specific considerations. This will get your metabolism revved up!
By the way, if you’re into green tea, caffeine or spicy/hot peppers, enjoy them for their other benefits, but don’t expect them to contribute significantly to your efforts to improve your metabolism. At least that’s what the consensus in the medical literature points out.
Finally: yes, it’s true that metabolism naturally slows with age (starting as early as age 25); everyone has heard that fact. However, here’s what you don’t usually hear: that’s not inevitable and is more a result of your becoming less physically active than just aging. That demonstrates the need for you to be even more diligent in your efforts. Good luck, and I welcome your questions and comments.
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Straight, No Chaser: Healthy, Sustainable Weight Loss – Let's Get Started

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How to Lose Weight, and What is Healthy Weight Loss (AKA, How Much, How Soon and How)?
Let’s start with the How. Commercial voice: “You should contact your physician before starting any weight loss routine”. We ended things on the last post talking about the caloric balance equation, which (simplified) means you need to get off your derriere, and close your mouth. Without getting too technical, to lose weight, 1 pound equals 3,500 calories, so your net caloric intake must be cut by at least 500 calories per day to lose a pound a week. Here are some Quick Tips to cut calories (and I will not be discussing any of the popular diets or medical remedies (with one exception in the next post); you can see your physician or nutritionist about those. Besides, guess what? Most of you don’t need a fad diet. Keep it simple. And…more importantly, you should be more concerned with healthy regimens that help you keep the weight off, not drastic efforts that have proven to have quick short-term but unsustainable long-term outcomes).
1) Work out: If you can sprint, do so. If you can’t, jog. If you can’t jog, walk. I like working out while watching sports, because my heart’s pumping anyway. Weight training at the same time is even better. Once you hit a good exercise regimen, your metabolism will improve, making weight loss that much easier.  By the way, the next post is on metabolism; stay tuned.
2) Hungry?  Start counting calories.  Use this standard to determine what your daily calorie intake should be.  Meal plan so you don’t exceed that level.  Remember the caloric equation to lose weight: Amount expended minus the amount eaten should be 500 calories a day.  In the next post, I’ll give you a Quick Tip for an extra 400 calories a day you can lose.
3) Still hungry? Try brushing your teeth. Don’t laugh. It actually works. And it gives you nice teeth. Otherwise try drinking water or chewing calorie-free gum. All these are nice, simple inexpensive appetite suppressants.
How Soon? It’s natural for anyone trying to lose weight to want to lose it very quickly. But evidence shows that people who lose weight gradually and steadily (about 1-2 pounds per week) are more successful at keeping weight off. Healthy weight loss isn’t just about a “diet” or “program”. It’s about an ongoing lifestyle that includes long-term changes in daily eating and exercise habits. Think health instead of weight, and the weight will improve.
How Much? If you were my patient (but you’re not!), I’d tell you to forget about ideal body weight and BMI – for now. Focus on a modest weight loss, like 5-10% of your current weight. Even this success will improve your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Once you accomplish that goal, do it again. So even if the overall goal seems large, see it as a journey rather than just a final destination. Seek to learn new eating and physical activity habits that will help you live a healthier lifestyle. These habits may help you maintain your weight loss over time. To that end, I love healthy challenges. Try a 30-day water instead of pop (soda)/coffee, etc. challenge, or even better, give yourself a 30-day ‘fruit for dessert challenge’ or ‘salad of your choice for lunch’ challenge. When that’s done, immediately do it again.  Learn to integrate healthy habits into your quest to lose weight, and you’ll increase the odds of having sustainable weight lost. At the end of the day, it’s been well established that those who maintained a significant weight loss report improvements in not only their physical health, but also their energy levels, physical mobility, general mood, and self-confidence. Good luck, and check back for the next post on how to fine-tune your metabolism!
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Straight, No Chaser: How Many Calories Do You Need a Day?

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Let’s put this post (at least the end of it) under the category of things you do but really don’t think about.
How many calories should you take in per day to function (meaning produce the energy you need for your activities of daily living)?  It actually depends on your gender, your age and your level of activity.  Let me start by defining the types of lifestyles, according to the Institute of Medicine.  If you are in the third category (active), I doubt that you’re worried.
Sedentary means a lifestyle that includes only the light physical activity associated with day-to-day living.
Moderately active means a level of physical activity equivalent to walking about 1.5-3 miles per day at 3-4 miles per hour in addition to the activities of daily living.
Active means a level of physical equivalent to walking more than 3 miles per day at 3-4 miles per hour in addition to the activities of daily living.
That breaks down as follows:

  • For women between 14-50, the number is right about 2000 kcal/day (calories) if you’re moderately active and 1800 if you’re sedentary.
  • For men between 14-50, there’s some greater variance, but the 2500 kcal/day works if you’re moderately active and 2200 if you’re sedentary.

In short, that averages to about 600-800 calories per meal, with the low end being for sedentary females and the high end being for moderately active males.
Now consider, 16% of the calories in the average American diet come from refined sugars.  Fully 50% of that total comes from beverages with added sugar.

Every 12 ounces of non-diet of pop/soda you drink contains about 150 calories.  

Your average dessert ranges from 300-500 calories.  

The most popular one, only one cup of ice cream, contains 270 calories.

I’ll let you take the math forward from there.  However, the take home point is obvious.  Suffice it to say, the link between pop, deserts and obesity has been well established.  Here’s three Quick Tips for you.

  • Try finding a drink with fewer calories if you want to lose calories (and weight).  It’s water, not Coke, that adds life.
  • Try eating your favorite fruits as dessert.
  • Also, consider just walking 3-4 miles a day.  It’s not that hard, if you just do it.

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Straight, No Chaser: Golf Injuries

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We’re in the middle of summer, which for many of us means a lot of golf (at least on the weekends). You should be aware that golf-related injuries continue to be on the rise. I’m not talking about the struck by lightning, hit by a golf ball or club, driving your cart into the adjacent lake or being bit by a crocodile variety. I’m talking about overuse of specific parts of your body that are involved in the golf swing. 80% of golf-related injuries are reportedly due to such overuse considerations. It’s also estimated that 40% of amateurs and 60% of professionals will experience an injury related to such overuse. It should be intuitive and is certainly true that the risk for such injuries increase with age.
Here are the three most common sets of golf injuries in amateurs (professionals have slightly different injury patterns and frequencies). I’ll also address how they occur and what you can do to prevent them. Keep it in the short grass.
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1. Lumbar Strain/Development of Low Back Pain: We spend so much time learning to extend the club, coil and uncoil while swinging a golf club about 100 MPH (some of us, myself included, at an ever faster rate; professionals average speeds of approximately 120 MPH). The very premise of doing this for three and a half to five and a half hours at a time (shame on you, slow golfers!) is not the most natural consideration based on our bodies’ design. Studies of professionals show that about 1/3 of them have experienced significant low back pain of at least two weeks’ duration. And they know what they’re doing!

  • What to do? This may be close to blasphemy to many golfers, but studies show that not carrying your golf bag (i.e. using a caddy or a golf cart) cuts the rate of golf injuries in half. That’s not saying don’t walk! Even the pros don’t carry their own bags. A second consideration (or perhaps it should be first) is learning proper technique. Additionally, flexibility training that increases the range of motion of the lumbar spine and extension and rotation of the lead hip (left hip in right-handed golfers) should decrease low back pain. Personally, I’ve had great success with golf-tailored stretching exercises and modified yoga techniques. Try it. The only thing you have to lose is the pain and maybe a few strokes.

2. Elbow Injuries – Medial and Lateral Epicondylitis: Consider these the plague of the hacker. Both conditions are inflammatory problems involving tendons of the elbow. Medial epicondylitis is known as ‘golfer’s elbow’, although it occurs in other sports such as bowling, lifting weights and sports involving throwing. It’s typically associated with those times that you (excuse me, your playing partners…) hit the ground before the hitting the ball, and you feel that shiver in your elbow. Lateral epicondylitis is known as ‘tennis elbow’, although golfers may be affected on the lateral side as well. This typically occurs when you over-involve your right hand in your swing; eventually the overuse will produce inflammation in that tendon. Similar conditions exist in the wrist as well.

  • What to do? Get better, for starters! Proper swing mechanics reduce the incidence of both golfer’s and tennis elbow. Additionally, good health (including an exercise regimen inclusive of strength training and stretching) and pre-round stretching maneuvers help to reduce the likelihood of these conditions presenting during your round. Additionally, if the situation becomes truly painful, typical treatments include recommendations to rest, use ice and anti-inflammatory medications, and to immobilize the involved area.

3. Shoulder Injuries – Failure to have proper mechanics also rears its ugly head and affects the lead shoulder in golfers. Strains, bursitis, tendonitis and eventually arthritis are all frequently seen problems in golfers.

  • What to do? Again, it’s about prevention, strengthening and stretching the muscles and tendons in and around your rotator cuff and developing good technique that reduces undue strain on your areas being called into action during the swing.

If I had one tip to give you, I’d recommend that you always take at least 10 minutes before your round to stretch. Doing so will reduce your injury risk by half. Yet, only 10-20% of golfers actually consistently do this. Jumping from a cramped car to swinging a golf club 100 MPH is a formula for disaster.
If I had one piece of advice to give you, it’s simply to discover an exercise regimen that includes strengthening (muscles and core), flexibility and cardiovascular considerations. Obviously, the second would be to get lessons, which by itself will improve your risk profile.
I hope this information proves to be of some use to you. I welcome any questions or comments.