That Darn “Box”!

It’s a challenge many Baby Boomers and seniors face all the time.  When exercise causes pain, you just don’t want to do it!  This is the dilemma I’ve lived with increasingly for the past few weeks.  With bone-on-bone arthritis in my left hip, I’d just about given up on activity.  Walking (my go-to cardio) was just too painful and uncomfortable, and I was afraid to further aggravate my hip at the gym.

This bike will soon be my own personalized stationary bike!

Giving In To The Pain

So I sat, felt miserable and starting watching my fitness level go down.  I knew better, obviously!  But even if I pushed past the pain during exercise, related aches in my leg kept me up at night–not acceptable.

Realizing I was heading towards a bigger-sized pair of pants soon, and that I would be heading into hip replacement surgery in less than stellar physical condition, I finally realized I needed to do something.  What would I tell my clients?  Look for an exercise that doesn’t hurt your hip!  Of course.

Looking For Acceptable Movement

So I started swimming.  This is excellent non-weight-bearing exercise that gets my heart pumping.  But the community pool is five minutes away and it’s starting to cool off a bit.  And it’s definitely more difficult to “suit up,” drive to the pool, swim laps, come home and shower than it is to lace up my shoes, step out the door and go for a walk.

So I can’t depend on the pool to keep my fitness level up–I just don’t get there enough.  That left the gym.  After an absence too long for me to confess, I stepped back in and started going on a regular basis last month.  My legs definitely have lost strength, and I probably won’t be able to gain all of it back until after the hip replacement.

But the biggest surprise was the stationary bike.  I could jump on, gradually up the resistance and get in a fabulous 30-minute workout.  Encouraging, but still not as convenient as walking (the gym is a full 15-minute drive from home).

So I thought about buying a stationary bike.  But I won’t need it in a few months if all goes according to plan.  My next idea: see if I could rent one.  Unfortunately, a quick internet search came up with nothing close by.

The Light Bulb Goes Off!

And then the proverbial “box” that was constraining my brain exploded:  I have an expensive bike gathering dust in my garage.  I can turn that into my very own special stationary bike!

This past weekend, my husband and I cleaned that bicycle.  Then I went to research stands (they call them “trainers” in the biz) at the local bike shop.  Voila, for a reasonable price, I could order a device that converts my snazzy road bike into my convenient, step-out-my-back-door-to-the patio cardio machine!  Now I can pedal after breakfast, during writing breaks or after dinner while watching the sun set.

No More Excuses!

What’s causing you to cut back on your exercising?  I challenge you to think outside the box and find something that works to keep you healthy!

For more ideas to help you exercise through your wellness challenge, give me a call!

We can discuss some practical tips and discover if any of my programs or classes are a good fit for you.
If you’d like to schedule that call with me, just CLICK THIS LINK, and let me know in the message that you would like a 1-on-1 call with me right away and I will be in touch to schedule that – oh, and leave me your phone number in there too since email is not as reliable as it used to be! Thanks.

October = Pink Ribbons!

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women (skin cancer is #1). According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), it strikes one in eight U.S. women. And it’s a huge concern for Baby Boomers and seniors, with the majority of cases occurring after menopause.

The American Cancer Society estimates more than 310,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2017, and more than 41,000 will die from the disease (the rate has been dropping since the late 1990s). Fortunately, recent research is unraveling a few of the questions related to this disease, and paving the way for you to control some of its risks.

Beyond Your Control…Or Not
You simply cannot change certain risk factors. For example, your sex (being a woman), age (over 55) and genetics (certain genes, your race and a family history of breast cancer) can all increase your chances of developing breast cancer.

You can, however, control lifestyle choices. And this is critical, since only 5% – 10% of breast cancer cases are hereditary, according to ACS. Alcohol consumption, your body weight and activity levels all affect your breast cancer risk.

Extra Weight + Baby Boomers or Seniors = Big Risk
Two of the most significant, especially after middle age, are exercise and weight control. These appear most powerful when they occur together.

Being overweight after menopause increases the risk of breast cancer for a couple of reasons.
• First, fat tissue increases the amount of estrogen we produce, and high levels of this female hormone are a known risk factor for breast cancer. A recent study of 93,000 women over age 50 found that increasing skirt size over the years was a strong predictor of breast cancer. Researchers theorize this is related to the additional estrogen that often occurs when midriff girth increases.
• In addition, insulin levels increase with obesity. Although insulin is required to produce energy from the foods we eat, heavy people can become “insulin resistant.” In this condition, the body’s cells can’t properly use insulin, and increased amounts of this hormone are needed. Higher levels of insulin have been linked with breast cancer.

Exercise helps in both of those areas, reducing estrogen and insulin levels; it also promotes weight loss and weight maintenance. Recent data suggests that as little as 1-1/4 to 2-1/2 hours of brisk walking weekly reduces breast cancer risk by 18%.

What You Can Do Now!
ACS recommends the following lifestyle changes to limit your breast cancer risk:
• Get moving! Find a physical activity you enjoy, and aim for 150 minutes of activity weekly.
• Limit sedentary behavior (sitting, lying down, watching television or other forms of screen-based entertainment). Break up this sitting once every hour.
• Be as lean as possible throughout life without being underweight. If overweight, drop a few pounds–even a 5% – 10% reduction in weight makes a difference in breast cancer risk.
• Eat healthy! Although there’s no conclusive evidence about specific foods and breast cancer prevention, ACS recommends a diet rich in vegetables and fruit (2-1/2 cups per day) and whole grains (for dietary fiber), while limiting fat intake.
• Imbibe with care–Limit alcohol to no more than two drinks per day for men and one for women.

For more ideas about breast cancer prevention and overall wellness, give me a call!

We can discuss some practical tips and discover if any of my programs or classes are a good fit for you.
If you’d like to schedule that call with me, just CLICK THIS LINK, and let me know in the message that you would like a 1-on-1 call with me right away and I will be in touch to schedule that – oh, and leave me your phone number in there too since email is not as reliable as it used to be! Thanks.

You Can Prevent Falls!

It's one of the biggest fears for folks over age 60, and with good reason! Every 13 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall, and every 20 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall! September 22 was the 10th annual Falls … [Continue reading]

Healthy Aging Month

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Can You Get Stronger?

I've written a lot in the past about sarcopenia, the loss of muscle that starts after age 30 and results in a 3% - 5% decrease in muscle mass per decade. This is a serious problem for Baby Boomers and seniors, leading to falls and a loss of mobility, … [Continue reading]