April 19th, 2010

Table of Contents:

Let’s Build a Network (Industry trends)

Sharing Caring (Dementia research)

Easing Sinus Headache (Gentle exercise may help)

Walking Away Menopause’s Downside (Physical activity study)

More on Walking (Mental benefits for everyone)

Keep Climbing! (Humor)

Let’s Build a Network

by American Senior Fitness Association

The American Senior Fitness Association (SFA) is now on FaceBook and Twitter and we invite all Experience! readers to join us. We hope to help build an active, informative older adult fitness forum that will be accessible on both sites.

Seasoned FaceBook and Twitter users already know that vast amounts of knowledge and information are being shared on a wide range of topics. SFA’s goal is to create a network that will focus exclusively on senior-specific health information that you can apply to your older adult fitness programs or your own wellness regimen.

If you’re not yet taking part in these fast growing social networking sites, give it a try. It’s easy, free, and you can learn what people with similar interests and concerns are thinking worldwide. Best of all, you can participate as much or as little as you desire and, if you don’t wish to continue, you can quit at any time.

So, whether your interest in older adult health and fitness is personal, professional or both, please get involved. Your participation is the key to success.

Click on the icons below to join us:

If you have suggestions that could improve our presence on these sites, be sure to let us know. We look forward to hearing your ideas and comments.

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Sharing Caring

by American Senior Fitness Association

Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (online) has verified what many in the elder care field have always "known": Persons with memory loss feel emotions related to their sad or happy experiences and retain those feelings even after their memory of the actual event has faded.

When researchers at the University of Iowa showed sad and happy movie clips to patients with memory loss, they found that although the patients could not recall what they had watched, they did continue to feel the emotions prompted by the clips.

In a news release, lead author Justin Feinstein said, "… both emotions [sad and happy] lasted well beyond [the subject's] memory of the films." He continued, "A simple visit or phone call from family members might have a lingering positive influence on a patient’s happiness even though the patient may quickly forget the visit or phone call. On the other hand, routine neglect from staff at nursing homes may leave the patient feeling sad, frustrated, and lonely even though the patient can’t remember why."

"Intuitively, I’ve always known this due to my experience as the activity director of an adult day-care center with an Alzheimer’s unit and from my work as a nursing home exercise provider," said SFA president Janie Clark, MA, who was not involved in the study. "But it is very good to see it confirmed through research."

Feinstein wrote, "Here is clear evidence showing that the reasons for treating Alzheimer’s patients with respect and dignity go beyond simple human morals."

Clark added, "Even when elders have lost much long- and short-term memory, they still know when they’re receiving kindness and loving attention."

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Easing Sinus Headache

by American Senior Fitness Association

This time of year, those who suffer from sinus headache may be especially affected. The University of Maryland Medical Association (UMMA) recommends consulting with one’s physician regarding the use of medications, saline nasal spray, a humidifier, and ways to control one’s allergies.

In addition, UMMA advises that a conservative form of movement may also offer some relief from sinus-related pain: Try slowly and gently stretching the neck. Always breathe regularly and naturally during stretch activity. Health-fitness professionals may wish to make this information available to clients complaining of the discomfort caused by seasonal pollen spikes.

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Walking Away Menopause’s Downside

by American Senior Fitness Association

Canadian researchers placed sedentary, moderately obese women who were recently post-menopausal or soon approaching menopause on a 16-week walking program. Their results, published in the journal Menopause and reported by Reuters Health, suggest that walking at a comfortable pace for 45 minutes per day, three days per week, can ameliorate some of the cares associated with menopause. Researchers noted that the 45-minute total can be accumulated by taking shorter walks during the course of a day.

Both groups of women (pre- and post-menopausal) lost weight after 16 weeks. The pre-menopausal group lost more pounds and more fat mass, while the post-menopausal group enjoyed a greater reduction in waist size and benefited from an increase in lean mass.

Both groups also improved in ratings of well-being. The pre-menopausal group made greater strides in vitality, social functioning, and overall physical activity. The post-menopausal group excelled in terms of general health, emotional/mental health, everyday physical functioning, and the reduction of bodily pain.

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More on Walking

by American Senior Fitness Association

With the weather growing more moderate, it’s an especially good time to start a regular program of walking. The Arthritis Foundation points out several physical benefits one can gain from walking, for example:

  • Weight control;
  • Lowered risk of stroke;
  • Reduced blood pressure; and
  • Decreased pressure on one’s joints.
  • But that’s not all. Below are a number of mental benefits that the Arthritis Foundation wants us to know we stand to gain from walking:

  • Slowed mental decline — In a large study of women ages 65-plus, those walking 2.5 miles per day had a 17 percent decline in memory over time, compared to a 25 percent decline in those walking less than 0.5 mile per week.
  • Lowered risk of Alzheimer’s disease — In a study of men ages 71 to 93, those walking more than one-fourth mile per day had half the incidence of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, compared to those walking less.
  • Better sleep — In a study of women ages 50 to 75, those taking one-hour daily walks were more likely to relieve insomnia than those not walking.
  • Improved mood state — In a study of depressed patients, walking for 30 minutes per day was found to be more effective than antidepressant medications.
  • An opportunity for soothing meditation — Arthritis Today magazine cites race-walking medalist Carolyn Kortge’s testimonial to the value of daily outdoor walking in managing her arthritis. It helps change her focus from the pain to a meditative frame of mind.
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    Keep Climbing!

    by American Senior Fitness Association

    One contemporary humorist has a very simple fitness test for us to consider:

    "A man’s health can be judged by which he takes two at a time — pills or stairs."

    – Joan Welsh

     

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