November 1, 2006
Table of Contents
Help for Exercise "Haters" (Motivational tips)
Avoiding Pressure Sores (Caregiver information)
Attention Cracker Snackers! (Healthy nibbling)
Qigong: A Nontraditional Exercise Option (Senior fitness research)
Hey, Turn it Down (Humor)
SFA Members can access "Experience!" online at www.SeniorFitness.net/Experience.htm
Help for Exercise "Haters"
Everybody wants to be an exercise lover. So why are dropout rates so high? Following are some helpful hints for sticking with your training program (excerpted from The Wellness Way, a Canopy Press publication):
Avoiding Pressure Sores
If you are the caregiver for someone restricted to bed, preventing bedsores is of the utmost importance. They tend to develop in predictable areas (elbows, hip region, knees, heels, ankles -- places where bone is close to skin and may rub against it). Following are some practical safeguards provided by The Good Health Fact Book from Reader's Digest:
Attention Cracker Snackers!
Lots of folks enjoy crackers and, unfortunately, most of us enjoy them even more when they're smothered with fatty cheese spreads. When crackers are eaten, use moderation and be sure to choose whole grain crackers. Look for baked brands with low or no sodium and fat.
To replace unhealthy spreads, begin with natural mixed sprouts, which are available in the fresh produce sections of most grocery stores. You can buy packages with mixtures of sunflower, wheat, radish, lentil, and alfalfa sprouts. Mix this thoroughly with plain non-fat yogurt. It makes a spicy, satisfying spread for whole grain crackers.
Qigong: A Nontraditional Exercise Option
Following is an edited abstract from "Pilot Study Comparing Physical and Psychological Responses in Medical Qigong and Walking" by Victoria Kjos and Jennifer L. Etnier, Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 14(3), 241:
Identifying alternative exercise modalities in an effort to stimulate and promote participation in physical activity, especially among older adults, is a critical health consideration. The purpose of this study was to compare physiological and psychological responses to medical qigong with self-paced brisk walking.
As explained by the authors, quigong refers to methods for promoting and controlling qi (also known as chi) for purposes that may include enhancing health, self-defense, and/or spiritual growth. The literal translation of qi is vital energy and that of gong is work. Qigong originated in China five thousand years ago and now comprises many different branches. The branch used in this study was a form of medical qigong, which focuses on the healing of disease.
Older women (55 to 79 years of age) performed 22 minutes of either qigong or walking on two separate days. During exercise performance, heart rate and ratings of perceived exertion were assessed. Psychological affect, blood pressure, and pulse rate were assessed before and after the exercise bouts.
Heart-rate data indicated that both forms of exercise were at a moderate level of intensity. In addition, similar values were found for the physiological and psychological variables as a function of the two forms of exercise.
Therefore, it was concluded that this form of medical qigong can be considered a moderate-intensity physical activity that should have both physiological and psychological benefits for older women.
Hey, Turn it Down
Here's a quotable quote that teenagers can't identify with -- but some of us here at Experience! are beginning to be able to appreciate the concept:
"The first sign of maturity is the discovery that the volume knob also turns to the left."
-- Jerry M. Wright
Experience! readers: Thank you for your interest and questions. Due to the high volume of contacts SFA receives, we cannot respond to individual queries or comments. However, the newsletter does address frequently asked questions and topics of vital interest to our members.
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When you join SFA, you'll receive our e-newsletter "Experience!" which will bring you older adult fitness news, research, wellness tips -- even easy, health-conscious recipes now and then!
You'll also receive occasional e-mail news flashes, senior fitness updates, and special informational articles throughout the year.
And don't forget! Only SFA members receive year-round discount prices on all of SFA's educational programs and resources! So, if you're not already a member, join up today at www.seniorfitness.net.
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