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The following article adapted from BBC online:
Running on a regular basis can slow the effects of ageing, a study by US researchers shows.
Elderly joggers were half as likely to die prematurely from conditions like cancer than non-runners.They also enjoyed a healthier life with fewer disabilities, the Stanford University Medical Center team found.Experts said the findings in Archives of Internal Medicine reinforced the importance that older people exercise regularly.
Survival of the fittest
The work tracked 500 older runners for more than 20 years, comparing them to a similar group of non-runners. All were in their 50s at the start of the study.Nineteen years into the study, 34% of the non-runners had died compared to only 15% of the runners.Both groups became more disabled with age, but for the runners the onset of disability started later – an average of 16 years later.The health gap between the runners and non-runners continued to widen even as the subjects entered their ninth decade of life.
If you had to pick one thing to make people healthier as they age, it would be aerobic exercise
Lead author Professor James Fries
Running not only appeared to slow the rate of heart and artery related deaths, but was also associated with fewer early deaths from cancer, neurological disease, infections and other causes.And there was no evidence that runners were more likely to suffer osteoarthritis or need total knee replacements than non-runners – something scientists have feared.At the beginning of the study, the runners ran for about four hours a week on average. After 21 years, their weekly running time had reduced to around 76 minutes, but they were still seeing health benefits from taking regular exercise.
Lead author Professor James Fries, emeritus professor of medicine at Stanford, said: “The study has a very pro-exercise message. If you had to pick one thing to make people healthier as they age, it would be aerobic exercise. “The health benefits of exercise are greater than we thought.” Age Concern says many older people do not exercise enough. Figures show more than 90% of people in the UK over 75 fail to meet international guidelines of half-an-hour moderate intensity exercise at least five times a week. Gordon Lishman, director general, said: “This research re-confirms the clear benefits of regular exercise for older people. “Exercise can help older people to stay mobile and independent, ensure a healthy heart, keep weight and stress levels under control, and promote better sleep. “While younger people are barraged with encouragement to lead healthier lifestyles, the health needs of older people are often overlooked.”
As we specialise in personal training at home and do as much outdoors work as we possibly can running is a feature of many of our tailor made programmes for clients, and is especially good for weight loss. Even for the older client, or the client with arthritis, provided the surface is suitable (grass better than concrete) and the footwear appropriate (proper running trainers, with extra cushioning or stability whre needed) running or gentle jogging intervals are very efective both in keeping the cardio vascular system healthy and for keeping weight off. Your body adapts to stresses placed upon it, so if it thinks that it has to transport you over the African plains repeatedly (for African plains think the Long Walk in Windsor!) it will make you as lithe as possible to be efficient for the job.
Even those clients among our base who are a bit weighty still do well with some gentle walking/jogging intervals. So get going!! If you want to know how much and when have a look at our free PDF fact sheet on aerobics and CV on The Knowledge page.
GP’s have once again warned to stop prescribing antibiotics to patients who don’t need them, says a report in the Daily Telegraph recently. The practice is not only costly to the NHS, but also dangerous, because the proliferation of the drugs is allowing an increasing number of bugs such as MRSA to develop resistance to them. The European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control warns that if trends continue, all sorts of routine operations (hip replacements, for instance) will become potentially lethal because there will be no way of treating subsequent infections.
Patients put pressure on GPs to prescribe antibiotics, but do not realise that coughs and colds are usually caused by viruses and so will not respond to antibiotics which only target bacteria.
The best way to deal with these common colds is to stay as healthy as possible thus keeping a strong immune system. Resistance training, cardio vascular work and healthy eating are all areas that our personal trainers encourage clients to do not just in personal training sessions but also on their own as general lifestyle improvement. Being strong and fit can really make a difference. Several of our personal training clients in Windsor and Maidenhead have independently commented that since they started personal training ad got much fitter and healthier they have not had a single cold or flu virus.
Although we provide personal training at home (no need for that expensive gym membership that you never use and that just makes you feel guilty) we also get personal training clients outdoors as often as possible. Not only is this better for the soul, but you burn more calories in the outdoors if it’s cold, feel better mentally after being surrounded by greenery and nature, and see lots more of the world too!
Training outdoors with a personal trainer might just involve getting outside in the garden (we can also train clients inside), but there are lots of good venues that we use in the Maidenhead area too that are both pretty and effective for our personal trainers. Braywick park is a much under used purpose built athletics track, as well as having a sandy long jump area and a large green space in the middle. There are also lots of footpaths very nearby, leading to the river Thames and also various streams. I have trained quite a few PT clients here, and it’s great tyo be outside even when it’s raining-you get that Sylvester Stallone feeling like you are in a trailer for Rocky 11.
The river Thames also provides a great location for sessions with a personal trainer in Maidenhead. The towpath goes all the way from Windsor up to Boulters Lock and then on to Cookham and Marlow. This is where Graeme Green wrote Wind in the Willows, ratty and friends’ escapades being based on this beautiful riverside area. Running intervals on the towpath are a great way to get the anaerobic system fitter as well as taking in some wildlife!
Maidenhead also has the benefit of being quite hilly, I was doing some hill runs with my personal training client H just this morning, although I think I might have enjoyed it a bit more than her. Further up Castle hill running almost along the A404 is the Thicket, a beautiful meadow that is particularly pretty in spring when the wild flowers come up. This area is really good for both CV and resistance training, so long as you don’t mind the odd dog walking spectator or horse. Kettlebells seem to put them off (the horses, not the personal training clients).
There are also lots of other smaller green spaces, and of you are thinking about getting some personal training sessions then don’t underestimate the opportunity presented by your garden, no matter how small. Even little steps can be a challenge if done in the right way and decks/paving areas are great for free weights, stability ball exercises and kettlebels. If you want to know where we cover for personal training have a look on the “where we do it” page, and for which trainer covers which area look on the “meet the trainers” page.
To lose weight stop wolfing your food, says a recent report in the Daily Mail. Medical researchers in Athens have found that the more slowly you eat the more the stomach produces the natural hormones that tell you that you are full. As a result, you should consume less. A group of volunteers was asked to eat 30ml of ice cream at varying speeds. Their blood was tested before and after eating, and then at intervals, for levels of the hormones PYY and GLP-1, which are associated with feelings of satiety. Those who ate the fastest had the lowest levels of the hormones in their blood, and so were likely to eat more than they really needed.
Other tips that we have tried with some of our personal training clients are using smaller plates (this worked really well with one of our clients and Annie Sealy, our personal trainer in Maidenhead), taking pictures of all the food you eat, and drinking a glass of water before meals to encourage feelings of being full.
Of course weight loss as we personal trainers and fitness zen masters know is a two sided equation, so the more exercise you can get and also the more toned muscles you have the higher your metabolic rate will be and the more leeway you will have with eating..
The placebo effect, the effect of taking a pill or drug that the patient thinks is real but actually contains nothing more than sugar has been proven to be effective in treating many conditions. This shows that the power of the mind is indeed strong enough to influence and improve mental feelings of well-being. A new study though has now shown that this placebo effect is not just in the mind. German researchers found that pills containing no medicine influenced the physiological processes of the body much in the same way that real drugs do. The researchers ran MRI scans on the spinal cords of 15 healthy patients while painful laser pinpricks were applied t their hands. They then repeated the exercise after a cream had been rubbed into their skin. The volunteers were then told that the cream contained an anaesthetic, even though it was just an ordinary hand cream. The second group of scans showed significantly less activity in a key part of the spinal cord known as the dorsal horn, which transmits pain signals to the brain. This shows that the placebo influenced pain at the earliest stage of the central nervous system, in a similar way to drugs like morphine.
So the power of the mind can not only make you think that you feel better but that you actually do feel less pain. Often with personal training clients we need to remove the barrier of the mind to allow the body to work to it’s full potential. If a client is with one of or personal trainers and feels that a run, for example is to hard, we sometimes get them to imagine that they are being chased by a hungry lion the Serengeti. It’s amazing what a difference this power of the mind can make to the actual performance of the body. When inagining that the lion is about to eat them the clients inevitable speed up and can maintain this speed for longer.
Some 7 million people in the UK are harbouring a condition known as pre-diabetes, which makes them 12 times as likely to suffer from full blown adult onset type 2 diabetes, a charity has warned. More formally called impaired glucose regulation syndrome the condition includes some symptoms of diabetes, such as high blood sugar levels, and tends to occur in people who are overweight and suffer from high blood pressure and cholesterol, says BBC online.
Type 2 diabetes can lead to long term complications such as heart disease, kidney failure, amputation and blindness, but diabetes UK, which produced the report, says that in many cases this pre-diabetes can be reversed if people take more exercise, lose weight and have a more balanced diet.
Our personal trainers at Diets Don’t Work are qualified to train special populations, including diabetics. We can prescribe an exercise routine not just for the sessions with a personal trainer, but more importantly for you to do on your own. We also specialise in sustainable changes to eating habits, and try to make these as simple and achievable as possible.
The key as I have reiterated time and time again in these blogs is to be pre-emptive, so exercising enough while eating sensibly most of the time so that there is a little bit of leeway allowing our personal trainer clients to have some fun too! As well as maintaining a healthy cardio vascular system, resistance training is also of paramount importance for diabetics. Increased muscle mass and muscle tone will help greatly to regulate blood glucose levels.
Have your cake and eat it, just make sure that output is so high that you stay fit and trim nonetheless!!
While trooping around the green in Holyport with my personal trainer client Greta, we got chatting about obesity. How do people get obese, and what can be done to help them? This topic also came to light last week with the case of British man Paul Mason, who is the world’s fattest man, weighing in at 70 stone. Although the press focused mainly on the rights and wrongs of him being supported by the welfare state, his plight also raises more interesting questions.
The only way to prevent this happening is to be pre-emptive. Whether (as in the case of Mr Mason) it’s a matter of mental health issues that need addressing, or the amount of food being eaten vs the calories going out, things are much easier to fix before it gets to late. With our nutritional advice at Diets Don’t Work we try to get personal training clients to eat good things early on in the day and at regular intervals, so that they have consistently even blood sugar levels thus avoiding those starving moments mid afternoon in the office when all you desire is a king size mars bar. Or some biscuits. Or a diary milk. Or two.
So don’t be too judgemental on Mr Mason, the real failing lies in the NHS letting things get so far-surely it would be sensible and also cost efective for the tax payer for the government to agree on a weight above which someone is put on a danger list and given all the help necessary to lose weight before it’s too late.
New mothers who express breast milk during the day and feed it to their babies at bedtime may be depriving their infant and themselves a good night’s sleep, reports the Daily Telegraph recently. Scientists have discovered that the composition of breast milk changes “quite markedly” throughout the day, and that ingredients in the milk that stimulate the central nervous system are found in highest concentrations during the day, while the most relaxing doses are found between 8pm and 8am.
“You wouldn’t give anyone a coffee at night, and the same is true of daytime milk,” said Cristina Sanchez of the university of Extremadura. “breast milk has daytime specific ingredients that stimulate activity in the infant, and other night time components that help the baby to rest.”
She advises therefore that if mothers are feeding their babies expressed milk it should be given at more or less the same time that it was expressed.
Overall health of course both during and after pregnancy is very important. Some basic fitness before getting pregnant will also put new mums in good stead.Fitter mums tend to have shorter and less stressful births, and have predominantly healthy weights. Healthy mum leads to healthy baby! Being fit and doing some structured pre natal exercise also really helps to get weight back to normal, and of course a fit mum is all the stronger for hefting heavy babies and accoutrements too!
All our personal trainers in London, Maidenhead and Windsor are all pre natal trained, so some PT might be just the thing for you if you want to be prepared well.