Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

Boost Lower Body Strength

Friday, September 30th, 2011 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

This easy-to-learn buttocks exercise, which also works the legs, can help older adult fitness participants increase lower extremity strength, an important factor in preserving mobility and personal independence. Stand behind a sturdy straight-backed chair, placing both hands on top of the chair’s back. Your feet should be a comfortable distance apart (about shoulder width). Bend as if to lower your buttocks onto the seat of an imaginary chair directly behind you. This will involve pushing the buttocks backward somewhat while bending. Do not drop the buttocks below knee level. Return to starting position and repeat. Gradually build up to performing approximately 12 repetitions. One added advantage of implementing this version of the squat is that it includes balance support.

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School’s Out!

Monday, May 23rd, 2011 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

The American Senior Fitness Association (SFA) is marking the end of this academic year with A-plus savings on SFA’s award-winning educational programs. You can earn a respected senior-specific fitness credential as well as two years’ worth of continuing education credit – fully meeting the CE requirements to renew many major fitness certifications – by taking just one complete SFA professional education course. And with SFA’s convenient distance-learning plan, you can do so in the comfort of your own home and according to your own personal schedule. No gasoline costs, no airport hassles, no pricey hotels, no hurry! Please visit www.SeniorFitness.net for more information or to order your SFA educational program.

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Think Smart

Monday, May 23rd, 2011 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

Attention senior fitness professionals: You may wish to share the following brain fitness pointer with your older adult physical activity participants – and put it to work for yourself, as well.

Writing for the May 13-15, 2011, edition of USA Weekend, Cara Hedgepeth recently described the book The Winner’s Brain by Jeff Brown, Mark Fenske and Liz Neporent. Its authors maintain that qualities such as motivation are more important than IQ when it comes to achieving success in life.

Just one useful idea presented in The Winner’s Brain involves using a technique called “bookending” in order to help oneself prioritize goals and finish the most important task at hand.
When a number of things are on one’s mind, it can be difficult to focus on the job that needs to be wrapped up first. To utilize bookending, one should mentally employ cue words (such as “now”) to represent the needed bookend. Describing the conscious process, Hedgepeth writes: “Put everything but one task on the other side of that bookend so you can work on accomplishing that one goal. Once you’ve completed that task, lift the bookend and move on to the next.”

For additional ways to help your older adult health-fitness clients maximize their cognitive function, enroll in SFA’s popular professional education program “Brain Fitness for Older Adults.”

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Stick With It

Monday, May 23rd, 2011 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

The passage of time can be a good thing under the right circumstances. That’s the take-away from recent research conducted by cardiologist Paul Bhella of the JPS Health Network. He found that a lifelong (or long-term) devotion to physical activity can preserve the heart tissue of senior citizens – to a degree, in fact, that is comparable or superior to that of younger, healthy persons who don’t work out, according to a report by Alex Branch of the McClatchy-Tribune.

By now most people know that physical exercise is heart-healthy. But some may fear that they started their fitness programs too late in life to do them any good. Over time, the human heart loses mass and elasticity, which increases the risk of heart failure. But here at SFA, we emphasize that it is never too late to get going and reap worthwhile physiological and psychosocial benefits.

At the annual meeting of the
American College of Cardiology in April, 2011, Dr. Bhella discussed his research team’s findings. They compared the hearts of subjects over age 65 who had exercised different amounts (if at all) during their lives with the hearts of subjects under 35 who, while healthy, were physically inactive. MRI results showed that youthful heart mass was maintained in the older adults who had habitually exercised four or five times per week. Better still, exercising six or seven times per week not only preserved mass, but also promoted new mass – exceeding that of youngsters (ages 25 to 34) who didn’t exercise. Similar outcomes were observed regarding heart elasticity.

For the study’s purposes, “exercise” was defined as aerobic activity, such as walking or cycling, generally performed for more than 20 minutes per session. Importantly, a “lifelong” commitment to exercise did not necessarily mean uninterrupted physical activity since childhood – or even since high school. Most of the senior citizens with notably desirable heart mass and elasticity levels had been physically active for about 20 to 25 years. That suggests that middle-aged and older persons can gain greatly by embarking on a regular program of physical exercise.

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Research and Practical Health Care

Friday, May 6th, 2011 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

The great universities of the world produce important research findings and provide practical medical care as well. Below are three current news releases from the University of Florida that demonstrate such centers’ value — and that will be of great interest to those involved in older adult health and fitness.

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Need Weed?

Friday, April 15th, 2011 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

It’s a poorly kept secret that many senior citizens have both longstanding and ongoing experience in the use of marijuana. But did you know that physical exercise might curb the urge to partake? Jim Evans explains below.


DEAR JIM: I’ve been smoking “weed” most of my life – since I was about 20. I’m 73 now and I still smoke 3-4 joints a day. I’ve thought about quitting from time to time, but it helps me relax and it’s pretty much of a habit now anyway. As you can probably guess, I’m pretty laid back after all these years, but I have been experiencing an increasing number of panic attacks as I grow older. I know there isn’t any
way to treat my dependence with medication, and I really don’t want to quit anyway, but I’m wondering if some kind of physical activity might help me to cut back a little. POTHEAD FROM POMONA

DEAR POTHEAD: Until recently I couldn’t really say whether exercise might be a factor in curbing marijuana use or not. However, a recent study by Vanderbilt University Medical Center seems to indicate that exercise might actually curb both marijuana use and cravings.

The study, published earlier this year in the journal PLoS ONE , found that, after just a few sessions of running on treadmill, participants who were admittedly “cannabis-dependent” but did not want treatment to stop smoking pot, experienced a significant decrease in both cravings and daily use.

In fact, their craving for and use of cannabis was cut by more than 50 percent after exercising on a treadmill for 30-minute sessions over a two-week period. Researchers measured the amount of exercise needed for each individual to reach 60-70 percent of their maximum heart rate respectively, creating a personalized exercise treadmill program for each participant.

“This is 10 sessions but it actually went down after the first five. The maximum reduction was already there within the first week,” said co-author Peter Martin, M.D., director of the Vanderbilt Addiction Center.>

“There is no way currently to treat cannabis dependence with medication, so this is big considering the magnitude of the cannabis problem in the U.S. And this is the first time it has ever been demonstrated that exercise can reduce cannabis use in people who don’t want to stop.”

The importance of this study – and future studies – will only continue to grow with the new knowledge of the role of physical activity in health and disease, according to co-author Maciej (Mac) Buchowski, Ph.D, Research Professor of Medicine and director of the Vanderbilt Energy Balance Laboratory.

“It shows that exercise can really change the way the brain works and the way the brain responds to the world around us,” added Martin. “And this is vital to health and has implications for all of medicine.”

More research will need to be done to substantiate these findings, but it certainly sounds promising. In the meantime, you might start walking for 30 minutes a day – on a treadmill or otherwise – and gradually increase the pace and see what happens. You can do your own personal experiment to see if it helps you to cut back on your pot smoking. If not, at least you’ll be in better shape.

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Looking Back — And Forward — With Smiles

Thursday, March 24th, 2011 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

During the first quarter of 2011, SFA has begun a number of exciting initiatives including the preparatory stages of two new professional education courses. As these events unfold, look for detailed announcements in Experience! Below are just a few highlights from 2010:

  • SFA president Janie Clark continued to champion older adult quality of life in her role as an effective advocate for optimal senior fitness programming. She served on the National AFib Support Team, which was sponsored by the pharmaceutical corporation sanofi-aventis to promote a better understanding of atrial fibrillation among laypersons, medical personnel, and health-fitness professionals. She appeared on Retirement Living Television and wrote for EP Lab Digest, the news and clinical update publication for electrophysiology professionals. She also gave interviews for articles in Club Industry magazine, the Chicago Tribune, American Fitness magazine (published by AFAA, the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America), and numerous other media outlets.
  • SFA launched a popular newsletter and website series "Who’s Who in Senior Fitness" which profiles individuals who’ve made key contributions to the field. Upcoming issues of Experience! will feature Kay Van Norman, Jim Evans, and more.
  • The Association signed on to exciting new corporate partnership and distributorship agreements.
  • SFA members achieved numerous worthwhile accomplishments, many of which were documented in Experience! You can access past issues by visiting SFA’s website.
  • SFA’s latest professional education program, Brain Fitness for Older Adults, continued to earn stellar expert reviews, such as the following statement by neuroscientist Dr. Ryan McKim, PsyD: "Drawing on recent neuroscientific research, SFA has designed a thoughtful and progressive training program for senior fitness professionals interested in integrating cognitive fitness into their existing physical activity programs. Recent advances in neuroscience are drawing long overdue attention to the importance of cognitive health. SFA has designed an impressive and well-researched training program for senior fitness professionals."
  • Educational participants gained vital knowledge and expertise from their SFA courses. Below are some commentaries from students who completed their work during the past few months.
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    Specialties

    Thursday, March 24th, 2011 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

    Recent comments on the Brain Fitness for Older Adults professional education program:

  • "I could not put the materials back down because it was so fascinating. I loved the video. Very informative." Margaret, Tennessee
  • "I liked the suggested plans for brain fitness projects, and covering just enough historical and physiological content. Good mix of reading and video content. Very good program." Lori, Virginia
  • "I liked the variety of material — practical and theoretical. The references were excellent, and the additional resources were helpful." Suzanne, Oklahoma
  • "Material presented well. Amount of material is a bit overwhelming." Mary, Pennsylvania
  • "I liked the simplicity of materials and instruction sheet suggestions to complete class." Leslie, California
  • "Very easy to understand — even technical terms made sense." Betty, Illinois
  • "Extremely educational, comprehensive, and practical! Thank you so much for making this unique course available!! It will be invaluable for helping my clients maintain and improve their quality of life!" Hope, Florida
  • Recent comments on the Long Term Care Fitness Leader professional education program:

  • "As an activity coordinator in LTC facilities for the past 12 years, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed studying for this course — Part One and Two! Plan to take more courses from SFA. Will share much of what I’ve learned with the staff at my ALF workplace. Very informative!" Elise, Florida
  • "Great information. Very useful material that can actually be applied to real life situations. Truly enjoyed this applicable material. I was refreshed by the material and I also learned a few new techniques and ideas. Material is very helpful whether as a beginner or a refreshment course. Very good!" Jose, New Mexico
  • "What I liked most about the course — Everything!! I enjoyed all the materials and videos. I liked the way these were organized and boxed in sets for future reference. I liked the wide range of topics covered. I especially enjoyed the in-depth coverage on arthritis, as well as the overview of commonly prescribed medications and their effects on exercise." Mary, Illinois
  • "I liked the conversational, practical writing style. Helpful information." Cathy, Maryland
  • "All great! I liked the information flow and the in-depth info. Great info." Debra, Ohio
  • "I loved all the terrific activity ideas that my frail elderly fitness participants can take part in both safely and successfully. These workouts and activties are fun, beneficial, and easy to conduct. They have my participants smiling, laughing, moving, and engaging with each other. Thanks a million, SFA!!! " Sharie, Florida
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    Staples

    Thursday, March 24th, 2011 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

    Recent comments on the Senior Fitness Instructor professional education program:

  • "I am glad I chose your organization for this course! Great materials! Lots of great information that I can use for reference over and over again! I liked the materials included. I like that you
    had everything to work with. The manual is very good and useful as a reference." Pauline, Washington
  • "I enjoyed having my eyes opened to some very important matters concerning critical areas for seniors." Randall, Texas
  • "Terms I have encountered in my [organization name omitted] exam materials, which weren’t fully explained, were clarified much better with SFA materials. And I like that the course is specifically dealing with seniors and not the whole population." Joan, California
  • "I liked the exercises displayed with each section. It will be helpful in class planning." Cindy, Missouri
  • "I wish more [organization name omitted] credit courses (by other companies) were as well laid out and knowledgeable in their subjects. I have been [organization name omitted] certified for 15 years and this is one of the best correspondence courses! Extremely well organized and, most importantly, the questions and content are useful for this subject area." Rachel, Washington
  • "Thank you for this wonderful program. Though it has taken me a while to complete, it was well worth it. I found both courses (Part One and Two) to be informative and thorough. I look forward to helping others and being a positive role model for the American Senior Fitness Association. Great material! Very informative relative to senior safety during exercise. Enjoyed all aspects… I enjoyed the study of specific exercises and programs for senior adults — also, information regarding nutrition. I would also like to mention the professionalism of the staff at SFA, particularly Grant. He is always kind, polite and able to answer my questions. Thank you!" Sydney, Michigan
  • "I love this course! I like your open book approach. I learned so much. Once I opened the book I could not put it down. I love the exercise plans as well as the motivation chapter. Thanks! I liked all the information about risk factors and senior nutrition. I learned a lot. Thanks for this opportunity to become a senior fitness instructor. Although persons aged 65 and older comprise only about 12 percent of the U.S. population, I see my future as a senior fitness instructor wide open." Graziella, New Hampshire
  • "This is one of the best manuals for older adults that I have found in my studies! Many thanks to Janie Clark! The content of the course is excellent and most useful. It was especially helpful having the exercises pictured along with the ‘instructor-to-client’ information and the ‘teaching tips and ideas.’" Mary, Florida
  • "Great review and reinforcement of what I’ve been teaching for years!! I am an RN and have been a group fitness instructor for over 25 years! Thanks for all." Rebecca, North Carolina
  • "Interesting, very informative, very practical and can use right away. The variety offered for different types of health situations and training for many types of clients who want to exercise and get in shape is appreciated." Laurie, Massachusetts
  • "Great program. Will add to my current training schedule for older clients. Enjoyed the reading material. Nicely written, easy to follow." Kathryn, California
  • "The information content was interesting and easy to understand. The staff is excellent and very accessible." Linda, Nevada
  • "I liked the content. Good course!" Jane, New York
  • "I gained a better understanding of the benefits of exercise for the older adult population." Sylvia, Tennessee
  • "I liked the organization of material. Great course!" Sophia, Massachusetts
  • "I liked the simplicity." Adam, Minnesota
  • "The detail on the exercise routines — excellent! And the pictures were very helpful. I appreciate the workbooks for future reference. Very comprehensive." Beth, California
  • "Instantly useable information. Extremely in-depth. Very informative." Melissa, Ohio
  • "Very thorough and organized by subject areas." Juliana, Colorado
  • "Well organized, easy to understand, no trick questions on test [happy face symbol]." Kathryn, Massachusetts
  • "I could go at my own pace. I could fill out the exam as I studied. Thanks!!" Laura, North Carolina
  • "Easy to follow." Elaine, Florida
  • "Very thorough and organized presentation." Juliana, Colorado
  • "Wonderful programming ideas, clearly presented. Lots of creative ideas for teaching seniors. DVDs were very enjoyable." Mary, Illinois
  • "Great course. I liked the organization of the information." Nikki, South Carolina
  • "Challenging. I liked the fitness tips I could use right away." Carma, Washington
  • "Very comprehensive. Thoroughly addresses all the aspects of instructing senior fitness classes." Denise, Colorado
  • "I liked the DVDs that show
  • "I liked the overall education principles of senior fitness. I learned about training and teaching older adults and the health risks to consider." Tracy, Texas
  • "Keep up the great work! It was very complete!" Robert, Hawaii
  • "I liked the variety of topics and the depth they were covered, including info on medications. I liked all of the background information about older adults." Jennifer, California
  • "I appreciated the practical tips on setting up classes." Kelly, Nebraska
  • "Appreciated that it was so clear and concise. Made the material more enjoyable to read." Margaret, California
  • "Format, presentation — good." Grace, Illinois
  • "Great reference material." Leslie, Georgia
  • "Very easy to follow. Great study material." Megan, Washington
  • "Well thought out. Very thorough!" Eric, Washington
  • Recent comments on the Senior Personal Trainer professional education program:

  • "I liked the progression of content. Challenging and exciting even though I have a BS in physical education. The program is age-specific which is why I enrolled. I am energized and looking forward to taking more of your courses. Very courteous staff. Material well presented in a clear, concise manner and with systematic logical order." Barbara, New Hampshire
  • "I will recommend this course to others. Useful information." Nancy, New York
  • "I am looking forward to applying all study materials to my new career in senior personal training and to my own personal fitness program as a ‘senior’ myself! Thank you! I like all of the detailed information from start to finish. Very thorough and applicable to trainer and clients! I found value in the explanation of the seven fitness assessment tests, training goals, and implementation of functional fitness training. Thank you for the valuable work you do to assist trainers and clients to achieve healthy lifestyles as seniors!" Cathy, Louisiana
  • "It was very informative. I was able to apply it immediately." Mike, Oregon
  • "I liked all the great hands-on ideas, as well as the client handout sheets and functional fitness emphasis. The materials were well organized." Mary Ann, Illinois
  • "The course not only covered subject matter regarding the actual job of senior personal trainer, but also marketing and acquiring clients. I liked the anatomical details and explanations." Phillip, Arizona
  • "I personally enjoyed the ‘Contemporary Reading’ manual. I learned quite a bit about the most important psychological dynamics involved with the aging adult. I hope to put much of this into practice. I thought all the material was very well organized. The language and text were most understandable and applicable." Rebecca, New York
  • "The ‘Special Population Imperatives’ section was very educational and helpful. The information was easy to understand and was organized well." Daniel, Colorado
  • "The glossary of terms was very helpful. I learned a lot. Great, updated, current, well organized information." Ann, North Carolina
  • "The subject matter was interesting. I liked the information about fibromyalgia and the high blood pressure basics. I would like the design of the certificate to show more about the content completed." Elizabeth, Virginia
  • "I liked all of the handouts, forms on wellness, and questionnaires; the related lifestyles information; the goal-specific sections; and the examples of exercises and sample training forms." Renee, Nevada
  • "Important, practical, concise information that is immediately useful. Presented in an effective, retainable format. I liked the use of specific client and training examples. Great resource. Overall, good to excellent." Kimberly, Oregon
  • "I liked that the learning pace was my choice! I also found the information easy to follow but, at the same time, I learned a lot." Caitlin, Pennsylvania
  • "Terrific course! Though I have over 30 years experience as a personal trainer, the information gleaned from your course materials has further increased my confidence and comfort level for working with seniors in a one on one setting. Thank you again for this wonderful program! It will truly be an asset in my quest to be one of the most reputable senior fitness businesses in the state of Michigan. I learned so much with these tools!" Sydney, Michigan
  • "I liked the exercise promotion and suggestions for increasing the use of lower body exercise." Tim, California
  • "I felt it was all very informative. I especially liked the part on how to market yourself to older populations and all of the sample questions and handouts." Pamela, California
  • "Interesting, meaningful. I liked the range and depth of info." Debra, Ohio
  • "The knowledge of the material was excellent! It is very well written and easy to understand." Patricia, Iowa
  • "I liked the value of the information as it pertains to older adults, and that it focused specifically on older adults." Rick, Idaho
  • "Clear, concise. Info easy to follow." Juliana, Colorado
  • "Very easy to follow and well written." Whitney, New York
  • "The content was easy to read and gave me ideas I had forgotten about." Tracy, Texas
  • "Excellent course." Susan, Texas
  • "I especially liked Part III of ‘Contemporary Readings in Senior Personal Training,’ specifically ‘Exercise Psychology and the Aging Adult.’ Also especially liked chapter two of ‘Physiology and Health Promotion for Senior Fitness Professionals,’ specifically ‘Practical Exercise Science: Key Facts and Definitions.’" Carlo, Texas
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    Hip Hip Hooray!

    Thursday, March 3rd, 2011 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

    Today we celebrate an outstanding leader in the field of older adult fitness and take a revealing look at his most recent book-length publication, which is entitled the Healthy Hips Handbook: Exercises for Treating and Preventing Common Hip Joint Injuries. In the book’s introduction, author Karl Knopf states that it "is designed to help prevent a hip problem for some and, for those of you with existing hip problems, provide post-rehabilitation exercises that you and your health-care provider can select to best meet your needs."

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