American Senior Fitness Association (SFA) is pleased to present Round-Up, a periodic digest of senior fitness research, news, health facts and wellness tips.

"Round-Up" is a publication of the American Senior Fitness Association (SFA). Whether you're an older adult, senior fitness professional, health care worker, family caregiver -- or any combination of the above -- "Round-Up" provides you with information of interest and news you can use.
NOTE: you can also access "Round-Up" at


July 15, 2005

Table of Contents

Finding the Right Balance

Following is the abstract from "Exercise Intervention Designed to Improve Strength and Dynamic Balance Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults" by Ro DiBrezzo and colleagues, Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 13(2), 198:

Loss of balance and falling are critical concerns for older adults. Physical activity can improve balance and decrease the risk of falling. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a simple, low-cost exercise program for community-dwelling older adults. Sixteen senior adults were evaluated using the Senior Fitness Test for measures of functional strength, aerobic endurance, dynamic balance and agility, and flexibility. In addition, measures of height, weight, resting blood pressure, blood lipids, and cognitive function were obtained. Participants then attended a 10-week exercise class including stretching, strengthening, and balance-training exercises. At the completion of the program, significant improvements were observed in tests measuring dynamic balance and agility, lower and upper extremity strength, and upper extremity flexibility. The results indicate that exercise programs such as this are an effective, low-cost solution to improving health and factors that affect falling risk among older adults.

Splash News

WaterWear, Inc., also known as H2O Wear, is a different type of swim suit manufacturer. You won't find page after page of strapless bikinis and skimpy thongs in the WaterWear catalog. Instead, you'll see attractive suits that have been carefully constructed for comfortable movement whether one is in the pool for fun, therapy, or fitness.

WaterWear bathing suits are made from chlorine-resistant fabric and feature triple-stitched edged seams. Many of the suits sport wide straps, built-in bras, and cuts that emphasize generous coverage and support. The WaterWear catalog's models include not only slender youngsters, but also women representing a wide variety of age groups and body shapes. WaterWear can fit anyone up through a size 28. Men's items are also available. For a free catalog, call 800-321-7848.

A Handy Exercise

To exercise the hand, try circling each finger (and the thumb) individually without moving the others. Circle each finger several times in one direction and then in the opposite direction before moving on to the next finger. It's not as easy as it sounds!

Possible Micronutrient Deficiencies in Elderly Women

Following is the abstract from "Micronutrient Requirements in Older Women" by Ronnie Chernoff, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 81(5), 1240S (Supplement: Women and Micronutrients: Addressing the Gap Throughout the Life Cycle):

The nutritional requirements of older women is an area of great interest because the extended life expectancy leads to an increase in women living into their 80s, 90s, and longer. The recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) and dietary reference intakes (DRIs) are not specific for women living to advanced ages, and little research has been conducted specifically on the micronutrient needs of elderly women. Older adults are at greater risk for nutritional deficiencies than are younger adults due to physiologic changes associated with aging, acute and chronic illnesses, prescription and over-the-counter medications, financial and social status, and functional decline. Among the significant age-associated changes in nutrient requirements, the need for energy decreases and the requirements for protein increase with age. Among the micronutrients, the significant ones that may be associated with deficiencies in elderly women include vitamin B-12, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, iron, zinc, and other trace minerals. In old and very old women, these are micronutrients of interest but there is a great need for research to determine appropriate recommendations ... However, there is little specific information regarding micronutrient requirements for elderly women. One reason for this is the difficulty in conducting reliable and valid studies due to the heterogeneity of older adults and their unique rate of aging associated with their health status, limited income, disability, and living situation.

Shedding Light on Multiple Sclerosis

If you have a special interest in multiple sclerosis, you can write to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for information about its resources and services. The address is: 205 East 42nd Street, New York NY 10017. Their website can be found at


Wrap It Up

A bowl of fruit makes a lovely centerpiece whether you're using the dining room table or a picnic table. What could be better than a thing of beauty that's also edible? But some diners won't touch it because they're loathe to disturb such an artful display of shiny apples, downy peaches, and perfect bananas. Others might not dig in because, although they'd like a taste, they're not prepared to commit to a whole Granny Smith, Red Delicious, or Macintosh. These poor souls are going to miss out on some great flavor and nutrition!

What to do? Try this handy idea from "30 Minute Meals," a program on television's Food Network. Stir together some strawberries, pears, bananas, and peaches that you have cut into bite sized chunks. Dribble on some fresh lime or lemon juice to keep your fruit looking its best. Next, make fruit roll-ups. Spread any flavor of all-fruit jam onto unheated white flour tortillas, add some of your fruit mixture to each one, and then fold them up Mexican tortilla style. Now enjoy some tasty and fun-to-eat fruit tortillas!

What Can We Learn From Older Athletes?

Plenty! That's what researchers anticipated as they prepared to study participants in recent Senior Olympics events, according to the Associated Press. Among other procedures, measurements of lean muscle mass, bone mineral density, and neurocognitive function were planned for these senior softball players, swimmers, runners, and marathon competitors. The results may help to crack a scientific mystery regarding senior athletes: Why does athletic performance decline quite slowly for years after age 50, but then take a rather sharp and sudden downturn at age 75? Hopefully, we'll get some answers once all of the data has been compiled and analyzed. As SFA learns the findings, we will bring them to you.

Featured Web Site:

Stephen B. Halls, MD., of the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, has provided several user friendly "health calculators and charts" on his web site. Dr. Hall's calculators include a Body Mass Indicator (BMI),  Breast Cancer Risk Calculator, Ideal Weight Calculations and more. Dr. Halls' calculators are routinely revised to reflect currently accepted standards and access is free.

Free SFA Basic Membership

No cost, no kidding, no catches! If you aren't already a member of the American Senior Fitness Association (SFA), just sign up online at There are no fees or membership dues. And, we don't give out our members' e-mail addresses or any personal or contact information to others!

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