Strength Training Basics – For Seniors

We start losing muscle after the age of 40.  Resistance training, AKA strength training, works to prevent this muscle loss and helps to maintain and build healthy bones.

During strength training muscle pulls against bone.  The force of the muscle pulling against the bone stimulates bone building  and improves calcium retention.  This increased strength will help to:

  • prevent falls
  • climb stairs
  • get up out of a chair
  • increase muscle elasticity
  • strengthen connective tissue, tendons, and ligaments.

In general, exercise and strength training will improve quality of life by helping to slow down and even reversing some diseases that are caused by a sedentary lifestyle such as: type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, heart and metabolic disease.

Just starting out?

Begin slowly.  Start with no weight or very little weight and then slowly increase the amount of weight.  This is called Progressive Overload, progressively placing greater demands on the muscles and bone.

Increase loads as is comfortable.  Resistance bands or household items such as cans of soup, bags of rice or potatoes can are a good alternative to using dumbbells.

Do enough repetitions so that the muscles become too tired to lift any more.  This is referred to as training to failure (momentary muscle failure).

Aim for three sets of 8 to 10 reps.  When the exercise becomes too easy, either increase the amount of the weight or add more reps.  Lifting lighter weights for more repetitions is just as effective as heavy ones for fewer reps.

Try to perform at least 30 minutes of weight-bearing exercises once a week.  You will, no doubt, experience muscle soreness – sometimes not until a day or two later.

Muscle soreness is not necessarily a bad thing.  It is an indication that the body is becoming stronger.  However, do not over-do it, and be sure to give the body plenty of time to recover from an exercise routine.

Also, exercise recovery tends to take longer as we age.  For people with lower bone mass, exercises such as walking or low-impact aerobics is a safe choice.

For most people, exercise should not be a problem.  However, for some individuals increasing their level of physical activity can have an adverse effect.   These people may need to seek medical advice concerning the most suitable type of activity to fit their needs.

Please consult with your professional healthcare provider before beginning any new exercise regimen as to whether the activity/exercise is appropriate for you.  Strength training exercises for older adults may include squats, deadlifts, lunges and overhead presses.  Over time, increase weight to increase difficulty and intensity.  Examples:

Shrug2  Shrug

  1. Stand up straight with feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent.
  2. Hold dumbbells in each hand with palms facing in (toward torso).
  3. Keeping arms straight, elevate (raise up) shoulders high.  Pause.
  4. Lower shoulders back down to normal position. That is 1 rep.
  5. Do 10 – 15 reps.

UprightRow  Upright Rows

Increase strength in both the back and upper arms.  Improve shoulder range of motion shoulders and elbow joint mobility.

  1. Stand with good posture; feet are about shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent.
  2. Hold dumbbells in each hand in front of torso.
  3. Leading with the elbows, lift the weights together upward toward the chin. Or alternate lifting one hand at a time.
  4. Keep abs tight, using your core muscles.  Do not arch back.
  5. Return to starting position.  That’s one rep.
  6. Repeat for 10 reps.

DeltoidRaise  Front Deltoid Raise

  1. Stand with good posture; feet are about shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent.
  2. Hold the dumbbells in front of your thighs, palms facing thighs.
  3. Keeping arms straight raise the dumbbells at arm’s length overhead.
  4. Slowly return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for 8 – 10 repetitions for each arm.

Squat  Plie Squat (Dumbbell Between Feet)

  1. To start, sand straight up with feet wider than shoulder distance apart.
  2. Hold a dumbbell by one end.
  3. Bend knees until thighs parallel to floor, and the other end of the dumbbell touches the floor.
  4. Pressing through your heels stand back up to the starting position.
  5. Keep your back straight throughout the exercise.  Do 6-8 reps.

 

Wall Sit  Wall Sit

Performing the wall sit will strengthen the quadriceps (front of thighs) muscles.

  1. To start, place your back against a wall.  The feet should be shoulder width apart and forward from the wall.
  2. Engaging the core muscles, slide down leaning against the wall until knees are at a 90° angle (thighs parallel to the floor).  Knees should end up directly above ankles.
  3. Hold this position for 20 – 30 seconds.
  4. Compete with yourself by gradually increasing the hold time to 60 seconds or longer.

 

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Keep up your New Year’s Resolution

What was your New Year’s resolution?

  • Change a behavior.
  • Accomplish a personal goal.
  • Improve life.

Want to exercise, but don’t have time.  And/or want to eat clean, but don’t have recipes.

FIT CUI PROGRAM IS HERE TO HELP:  Improve balance, muscle tone, mental outlook.

Smile – Breathe – Feel Great

Workout while cooking dinner:  step-by-step recipes with fitness instruction at each step of the recipe.

Result:

Meal preparation packed with exercise & healthy cuisine.

Visit:  https://fitcui.com/fit-cui-program-overview/

(Also available at Amazom.com)

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The Well-Stocked Kitchen

Forage in the pantry

Chow, nosh, eats, edible fare – be prepared in the case of:

  • unexpected guests
  • cannot go grocery shopping due to inclement weather
  • not in the mood to go ‘out-to-dinner’.

With a well-stocked kitchen and essential ingredients in the pantry, it is possible to quickly prepare delicious, nutritious cuisine in a moment’s notice.

Listed below are some ‘must have’ items that can be combined in various ways to create a satisfying and nutritious meal without having to make a trip to the store.

Pantry Basics

Basic Herbs & Spices & Seasonings

  • Basil
  • Cinnamon, ground
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Parsley, dried
  • Pepper
  • Red Pepper, crushed
  • Rosemary
  • Salt
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme

Beyond Basic Herbs & Spices & Seasonings (for some added pizzazz)

  • Allspice
  • Bay Leaves
  • Cloves
  • Coriander, ground
  • Cumin, ground
  • Curry Powder
  • Cream of tartar
  • Dill
  • Five-spice powder
  • Ginger, ground
  • Sage
  • Sesame seeds
  • Nutmeg

Basic Dry Goods

  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Beans, dried: black, cannellini / navy, kidney, garbanzo, lentil
  • Bread, baguette & sandwich bread
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Cereal, non-sweetened breakfast
  • Cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • Cornmeal
  • Cornstarch
  • Flour, all purpose
  • Grains: barley, millet, bulgur, quinoa, couscous
  • Pasta: standard, whole grain, rice noodles, egg noodles
  • Nuts / Seeds: almonds, peanuts, sunflower, mixed seeds, mixed nuts
  • Rice: long-grain white, brown
  • Rolled Oats
  • Tortillas, whole wheat / corn
  • Yeast, dried

Basic Canned Goods

  • Broth, low sodium chicken & beef.
  • Beans: cannellini, navy, chickpeas, black beans
  • Evaporated milk
  • Mushrooms
  • Tomatoes
  • Tomato paste
  • Tuna, Salmon
  • Artichokes
  • Ham
  • Vegetables: Corn, Green beans

Sweeteners

  • Honey
  • Sugar, white & brown
  • Syrup, maple

Drinks

  • Club soda
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Water
  • V-8

Snacks

  • Crackers, assorted
  • Popcorn, kernels (for popping)
  • Dried fruit: raisins, apricots, cherries

Refrigerator

  • Butter, unsalted
  • Cheese: sharp cheddar, feta, parmesan, mozzarella
  • Eggs, large
  • Milk:  dairy, coconut, almond
  • Yogurt, plain  Greek

Produce

  • Avocados
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Bell peppers
  • Broccoli / Cauliflower
  • Eggplant
  • Leafy greens & Spinach
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Garlic
  • Onions, red & yellow
  • Parsley / Cilantro
  • Potatoes: sweet / yams, white / new
  • Scallions
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

Freezer

  • Ground meat: beef, turkey / chicken
  • Chicken breasts, boneless & skinless
  • Vegetables: peas, chopped spinach, okra
  • Fish & Shellfish
  • Bacon, lean or Canadian Bacon
  • Frozen fruit: strawberries, blueberries, etc.
  • Gingerroot (cut in pieces, stored in plastic baggie)
  • Ice cream, vanilla
  • Pork, ground or boneless
  • Sausage, Italian or Turkey

Jars / Bottled Items

  • Clam juice
  • Condiments: ketchup, mayonnaise,  mustard
  • Jelly, jam / preserves
  • Non-stick spray
  • Oils:  olive (extra virgin), canola, sesame
  • Olives: green, black, calamata
  • Parmesan, grated
  • Peanut butter or other nut butter variety
  • Salsa
  • Soy / Teriyaki sauce
  • Tabasco hot sauce
  • Vanilla extract
  • Vinegar: distilled white, balsamic, rice wine
  • Wines: Marsala, Madeira, and Sherry
  • Worcestershire sauce

More Jars / Bottled Items

  • Applesauce
  • Capers
  • Hoisin Sauce
  • Pesto
  • Pumpkin Purée
  • Salad dressing

Look for our next cookbook.  It will feature a collection of recipes that use only the above list of pantry basics.

 

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Weight Loss Facts

Slim down at a slow and steady rate, eat less / move more:

  • There are 3500 calories in a pound of fat.
  • It is safe to lose 1.5 to 2.0 pounds per week.
  • It is generally unsafe to lose more than 2.0 pounds per week.
  • To lose 1 pound per week, you need a daily reduction of 500 calories/day, which is a reduction of 3500 calories/week.

To achieve a reduction of 500 calories per day, for losing 1 pound/week:

Reduce caloric consumption by 500 calories/day.

Or, ideally, eat less and move more.  Eat 250 calories less per day.  Plus, exercise to burn 250 calories.

To lose 2 pounds per week, double the above number:  1000 calorie/day reduction, 7000 calories per week.

Caloric values for some favorite, but unhealthy  foods:

Food                                                      Calories
Bacon, 1 slice                                          44
Beer, 1 can                                             154
Bread, 1 slice white                               79
Cereal, sugared, ¾ Cup                        100
Chips, potato, 1 oz                                 152
Cookie, 1 oz butter cookie                   132
Cracker, 5 regular size                           81
French fries, 1 med serving                  365
Ice Cream, ½ cup vanilla                     137
Soda, 12 oz. can                                      150
Pizza, 1 slice                                            285

Caloric values for some favorite, healthy foods:

Food                                                      Calories
Apple, 1                                                     95
Banana, 1                                                105
Brown rice, ½ Cup                                 108
Carrots, 1 med.                                          25
Chicken breast, 3 oz.                              140
Cheese, 1 slice, American                       104
Dark chocolate, 1 oz.                               155
Eggs, 1 lg. boiled                                        78
Green beans, 1 Cup                                    31
Salmon, 3 oz., raw                                     177
Walnuts, ¼ Cup                                        180

Conclusion:

To keep the pounds off after losing weight, a change in lifestyle is recommended.  Do the math!  Adjust your daily energy balance to achieve your desired calorie reduction.  Stay away from excess sugar and fat.

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Let’s Go Nuts

Eat nuts (small handful)  for a healthy and wholesome snack.  Nuts contain healthy fats and essential nutrients along with fiber, protein, minerals and vitamins such as vitamin E and magnesium.  But they are also high in calories, especially when they are encased in the various sugar and salt toppings that are available.

Nut Characteristics

Lowest Calorie:  Almonds, Cashews, Pistachios

Higher Calorie:  Macadamia Nuts, Pecans

Heart Healthy:  Walnuts

Brain Healthy:  Peanuts, Walnuts

Disease Prevention:  Almonds

Weight Loss Snack:  Brazil Nuts, Walnuts, Almonds, Pistachio

Nutritional Highlights

Nut                  Calories    Fat (g)  Protein (g)    Carbs (g)        Fiber (g)                 Attribute
Almonds           161                14                6                        6                      3.5               L-arginine, calcium
Cashews            155                13                5                        9                      1.0               Unsaturated  fat
Pistachios          156               13                6                        8                      3.0              Substantial
Walnuts             182               18                4                        4                      2.0              Omega-3 fatty acid
Peanuts              176               17                4                        5                      3.0               Legume, not a nut
Brazil Nuts        182               18                4                         3                     2.0               Selenium
Macadamia       200               21                2                        4                     2.5                Monounsaturated
Pecans                193               20                3                        4                     2.5                Antioxidant
Hazel Nuts         176               9                  6                        6                     3.5                Anti-inflammatory

Consuming nuts may help reduce chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, some cancers, diabetes, arthritis and obesity (they help you feel full, suppressing appetite).  Eat nuts that have nothing added like salt, sugar, etc. – eat them raw or dry roasted.

Bottom Line:  For a healthy snack, choose an ounce of unsalted, raw nuts. They provide many nutrients and antioxidants without extra calories from sugar/toppings.

 

 

 

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Essential Glutes

Many of the jobs/careers out there require extended periods of sitting.  When sitting too much for too long, the glutes (buttock muscles) begin to not work as efficiently as they should.  This leads to tightening and shortening of the hip flexor muscles which can lead to injury, back pain, obesity and osteoporosis.

Also, other muscles will begin compensate, taking on the work load.  The hamstrings, low back, quadriceps and calves may become too strong in comparison creating imbalance, increasing the risk of injury.

Strong glutes:

  • Stabilize the pelvis for walking and running to prevent injuries at the hip, knee, and ankle.  (Weak glutes can contribute to pulled muscles in your hamstring or groin.)
  • Help with back pain – strong glutes support the back.  When the glutes strong, the lower back doesn’t bear the brunt of activity.
  • Improve athletic performance – gain speed and agility with stronger glutes
  • Increase power- a stronger gluteus maximus buttock muscle, largest muscle in the body, works to create lots of power to improve daily life.
  • Give the body a nice shape.

To strengthen the glutes train them about once a week.  Start with an aerobic warm up for about 10 minutes, then perform the exercises described below to build your glutes:

  Hip Bridge
  • Lie on your back with knees bent, feet about shoulder width apart and flat on the floor.
  • Pushing through the heels, press hips up toward the ceiling.  Maintain back, hips and thighs in a straight line.
  • Hold for a couple of seconds.
  • Repeat 10 -20 times.
  Lunge, with or without dumbbell
  • Stand with legs shoulder width apart (wide stance), back straight and head up. May hold dumbbell in each hand at sides.
  • Step forward, bending both legs simultaneously until thigh of front leg is parallel to the floor.  The heel of the back foot will come off the floor.
  • Straighten legs to rise up.
  • Repeat action on same side for 8-12 reps.
  • Switch sides, and repeat action for 8-12 reps.
  Squat, with or without dumbbell
  • Stand with head up, back straight and feet pointed slightly out.  May hold dumbbell in each hand at sides.
  • Squat by bending knees and pushing hips out behind until thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Keep abdominal muscles tight; maintain body weight on heels.
  • Push through heels to stand back up to standing/starting position.
  • Repeat action for 8-12 reps.
  Standing Side Leg Lift, with or without leg weight
  • Stand with head up, back straight and feet about hip distance apart, toes pointed forward. May use leg weight with this exercise.
  • Lift right leg out quickly.  (May hold onto a support, if needed.)
  • Slowly lower it back to start position, taking 3-5 seconds to do so.
  • Repeat 10 – 20 times
  • Repeat action with left leg, 10 – 20 times.
  Step Up, with or without dumbbell
  • Keeping head up and back straight, place right foot on a bench, step or a box.  May hold dumbbell in each hand at sides.
  • Bring left leg up toward chest, then place left foot on the step-up surface, so that both feet are now on the step-up surface.
  • Step down with the left foot, keeping right foot on the step-up surface.
  • Repeat on both sides, doing 15 reps on each side.
  Kick Back – with or without leg weight
  • Get down on ‘hands and knees’.  May use leg weight with this exercise.
  • Bring left leg to chest, keeping hips level.
  • Now drive leg back and up so that it is straight out and slightly up.  Contract glutes and hold the contraction at the top for a couple of seconds.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat the process with the right leg.
  • Repeat, alternating legs.
  • Complete 20 reps on each side.
  Wall Sit
  • Stand with back against a wall.
  • Slide down until knees are at a 90 degree angle, thighs parallel to the floor.
  • Hold for 20 – 60 seconds, or more.
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Why change up your exercise routine?

Change up your exercise routine to maintain muscle confusion (a positive thing) so that the body and brain do not adapt to a particular workout.  Variation serves to stimulate other muscle groups and overcome boredom, it also burns extra fat.  Your body will be more fit, overall, and the brain stays active and sharp.

One way to change things up, for example in strength (weight) training, is to occasionally switch from heavier weight / fewer reps to lighter weight / higher reps.

When using the lighter weight /higher repetitions regime, keep the rest periods in between sets short and at a minimum in order to burn extra fat and increase cardiovascular endurance.

For the senior population, lifting weights (low weight/high reps) a couple of days per week can help reduce the risk of falling and subsequent bone fracture.  Be sure to space your weight training workouts at least 48 hours apart to reduce the possibility of injury.

Consult with a professional healthcare provider before beginning any new exercise regimen as to whether the activity/exercise is appropriate for you.

Below is an example of a low weight / high rep workout routine that includes a change up – use lighter than usual weights:

Begin:  the first few weeks

perform 2 sets of 20 reps

Chest – Bench Press

Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulders. Press to straight arms.  Lower dumbbells back to starting position.

  Low Back – Deadlift

Hold  dumbbells in hands in front of body, palms facing body.  Keeping legs straight and back flat, bend over holding weights.  Raise back up keeping torso in line with legs.  (That is one (1) rep.)  Repeat.

  Shoulders – Front Deltoid Raise

Hold dumbbells in hands, palms facing body.  Keep arm straight, elbow locked.  Raise dumbbell to shoulder level, and then on up over head.  (That is one (1) rep.)  Repeat alternating arms.

  Arms – Bicep Curl, Standing

Hold dumbbells at sides of body, palms facing in; keep knees slightly bent.  Bending elbows, curl arms to shoulder level.  Rotate palms to up position (supination) when beginning curl.  (That is one (1) rep.)

  Legs – Glutes and Thighs, Squat

Stand tall:  head up and back straight, dumbbell in each hand.  With feet shoulder width apart, lower body until thighs touch calves.  Push back up to start position.  Keep Abs tight, push through heels.  (That is one (1) rep.)

  Abs – Side Bend

Stand, holding a dumbbell in left hand (palm facing body) place right hand behind head.  With feet shoulder width apart, bend at the waist to the right as far as possible.  Return to start.  (That is one (1) rep.)  Repeat with other side.

 

Change Up:  after a few weeks

perform 3 sets of 15, 12, 10 reps

  Chest – Incline Bench Press

Hold a dumbbell in each hand at should level.  Press to straight arms.  Lower dumbbells back to starting position. (That is one (1) rep.)

  Back – Trapezius, Upright Row

Hold dumbbells together in front of body, palms facing in.  With knees slightly bent lift weights to chin level.
Lead with the elbows  Lower dumbbells back to starting position.  (That is one (1) rep.)

  Shoulder(s) –  Press

Hold dumbbells, palms facing in.  Press up to straight arms while rotating palms to face forward at the end of the movement.  (That is one (1) rep.)  Maintain slightly bent knees throughout.

Arms – Triceps Extension

Position one dumbbell over head holding both hands under inner plate (palms facing up, supination).   Keep upper arms close to sides of head.  Elbows should be pointing up, over head.   Bend elbows to lower forearm behind upper arm.   Raise dumbbell back up over head by straightening (extending) elbows.  (That is one (1) rep.)  Return and repeat.

  Legs – Glutes and Thighs, Step Up

Stand tall: head up & back straight, dumbbell in each hand.  Step up on box using right leg, bring left leg up to chest level.  Repeat stepping up with left leg and bring right leg to chest.  (That is one (1) rep.)  Continue to alternate.

  Abs – Trunk Twist, using weighted bar or dumbbells

Stand tall: head up & back straight, holding weighted bar or dumbbells.
Tighten abs and slowly rotate body from one side to the other by twisting at the waist.  (A twist to the right then to the left is one (1) rep.)  Repeat.

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Should I Eat Before I Work Out?

Should one exercise on an empty stomach (Fasted) or have a snack beforehand.  It depends!  The table below describes the differing scenarios.

Training Type

Non-Fasted

Fasted

Endurance Athlete:

* Training Low,  low glycogen (energy) stores.

NO

To improve metabolic efficiency: body will adapt to use fat for fuel (can go longer before ‘hitting the wall’).

The desired effect is not immediate.

Maximize performance Eat before exercise: have snack/meal high in carbs, low fat with some protein:

Maintains energy & delays fatigue; augment performance, stay sharp; maintain blood sugar.

NO

Strength and muscle gains (hypertrophy- increase muscle size) Eat a meal with protein (easily digestible) & carbs before workout for energy needed to perform & to increase muscle mass.

NO

High Intensity Interval Training Need carbohydrates for fuel.  Also, need nutrition to maintain/gain muscle mass.  Otherwise body will break down lean tissue (muscle) for energy.

NO

Weight Loss   Helps to ‘burn fat’  BUT  also need to be mindful of caloric intake for the rest of the day.  Do not overeat afterwards.
Make sure to eat after exercising to rebuild muscle and reduce muscle soreness.  Consume carbohydrates and easily digestible protein, but not fat. Fat does not digest quickly so it would not be accessible for recovery.
*Rikki Keen, MS, RD, a certified specialist in sports dietetics and certified strength and conditioning specialist says, “science has shown placing the muscle in a stressful state of low glycogen levels during selected aerobic training sessions can trigger a cascade of hormonal and gene signaling that further enhance training adaptations within the muscle cell.”
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A Fun & Easy Way to Exercise While Cooking

Fitness + Cuisine = FitCui

Posted in Whole Health

REPS / STRETCH/ FLEX CLASS

Nancy L (ACE certified)  @  NancyLFitness.com is offering:

REPS / STRETCH/ FLEX CLASS

Monday, Wednesday and Friday

9:15 am-10:00 am & 12:00 pm-12:45 pm

Stretching, Balance and Strength Training and Flexibility Exercises

Questions:  Call Nancy L @ 541-921-7875.   Cost: $4.00 per class.   Location:  Nancy L’s on Devil’s Lake.

Bring a friend & start having fun.

SMILE…. BREATHE… AND FEEL GREAT!!!!!

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