Interval training for health

“Eventually it happens to everyone. As we age, even if we're healthy the heart becomes less flexible, more stiff and just isn't as efficient in processing oxygen as it used to be.”

Fortunately, we can manage and may even reverse some of these changes that happen to our heart due to aging and inactivity.

In the study quoted in this article, 50 year olds, with exercise were able to turn their hearts back to that of a 30-35 year old.

The primary exercise method used to achieve this change was interval training. Interval training is characterized by doing short intensive bouts of exercise followed by rest.

I have personally benefited by doing interval training and use it regularly. Yet, while research supports the benefits of interval training, there is also a downside. It could be dangerous for an unhealthy heart.

A heart that can function normally at lower heart rates, may not be able to handle the additional strain and oxygen requirements, when pushed to higher levels of intensity.

If you do decide to try this type of training, confirm with your doctor that your heart is strong enough to be pushed to maximal, levels. Next, if you are given the go-ahead, start with exercising at a low to moderate intensity level, for 2-3 months and slowly let your entire body and heart adapt to the stresses of exercise.

Do you have an exercise savings account?

Study finds that a lifetime of regular exercise slows down aging.

I suggest that, if you are young you create two savings accounts. One for your retirement and the second an exercise savings account so that you have the health to enjoy the money that you saved for retirement.

For the first account talk to a financial planner or just start saving whatever you can afford. For the exercise account, start with walking and then add some basic strength training.

The good news is that for the exercise account, you do not need to commit to an athletic type of training schedule. You just need to have a regular schedule for moderate physical activity.

Health - Social Interaction - Freedom

"I do it for my health, because it's sociable, and because I enjoy the freedom it gives you." Pam Jones, Age 79

When I read this quote, what stood out to me was the word freedom. To be 80 years old or almost 80 years old and to still have control over daily life decisions is successful aging. Further, to have an activity that after 8 decades of life still provides a sense of freedom can only make life more enjoyable.

Thus, whether it is taking a bike ride, going for a brisk walk or going to the local health club the benefits of regular, moderate exercise continue to be positive. Your personal life and the lives close to you will also improve.

If not already doing so, check with your doctor and give exercise a try.

There is hope for damaged knees!

When the cure for osteoarthritis is found, it will save society billions of dollars and bring the knee replacememt industry to a screeching halt. However, as the scientists and researchers look for this elusive cure what can we do to ameliorate or prevent this painful and debilitating condition?

A knee injury can happen to anyone. Whether by stepping in a hole during a brisk walk, twisting a knee in a friendly tennis match or preparing for high level competition, a torn meniscus is still a torn meniscus. The joint is no longer normal. A torn meniscus is essentially the start of knee degeneration. If surgery is required and a piece of the meniscus is removed, it is a virtual guarantee that the damaged knee will become arthritic. 

.....Yet, there is hope. As Dr. Stone suggests in his blog, there are options. First, do not ignore your injury. Next, find a doctor who is up to date with the latest techniques and options. Lastly, while some of the latest techniques are expensive and not yet covered by insurance they are still worth considering and discussing with your doctor.

The other bit of good news is that through exercise you can improve the prognosis for your damaged knee. Keeping the surrounding muscles strong will help to protect the joint. Also, by choosing activities that are less damaging to the knee and limiting activities to those that are really important in your life, you can slow the wear and the progression of knee osteoarthritis. 

As I have discovered and espoused over the years, a properly designed land exercise routine combined with a deep water exercise program is the best way to improve your overall fitness and is especially effective for strengthening a damaged knee joint.

Link to Dr. Stone's Blog