Posts Tagged ‘weight gain’

Healthy Hints for the Holidays

Monday, December 20th, 2010 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

SFA author Jim Evans is a 40-year veteran of the health and fitness industry and an internationally recognized senior fitness consultant. Today Jim provides practical solutions for mature adults who have concerns regarding holiday weight gain.

DEAR JIM: It seems the older I get, the more weight I gain — especially during the holidays. I seem to be able to hold my own during the rest of the year, but I probably gain at least five pounds every year between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. At this rate I’ll be a blimp by 2011, and I’ll only be 69. What can I do to control my weight this holiday season?

DEAR HEFTY: The holidays are here again, and the average American can expect to gain from one to 12 pounds during the holiday season depending on what statistics you want to believe. It’s the same old story every year. Most Americans will make the same New Year’s resolution every year too: to lose weight! How to break the cycle of failure? Try these healthy hints to help you control your weight while still enjoying the holidays:

  • WALK AFTER EVERY MEAL. Instead of sitting around feeling stuffed and uncomfortable after every big meal, get up and walk. You don’t have to be a party pooper and leave your company behind to talk to themselves — invite them to walk with you. A brisk walk around the block will be invigorating for everyone, and you can continue your conversation along the way.
  • DRINK LOTS OF WATER. Drink a full 8-ounce glass of water when you first get up in the morning and right before you sit down to eat that big meal. Another helpful trick is to take a drink of water between every bite of food. All of this will help you to eat less and improve your digestion too.
  • EAT SMALLER PORTIONS. Serve yourself smaller portions — you can always go back for another serving if you are really that hungry — and cut the servings into several small pieces. Of course, this is a psychological ploy to fool your brain into thinking you are eating more than you really are, but it does work because generally you will eat less if you take smaller portions. Eat more slowly, too, instead of trying to wolf your food down as if there were no tomorrow. What’s the hurry, anyway? Enjoy!
  • EAT BREAKFAST. Be sure to eat breakfast on the day of any big holiday meal, even if you sleep in late and the meal is only a few hours away. It will keep you from eating too much at one time and help you digest your food more efficiently.
  • WALK IN PLACE. Most people will be watching lots of television during the holidays and, between all of the football games and Christmas specials, we are creating a nation of couch potatoes in just a few short months every year. Well, fight back without sacrificing your favorite television programs. How? Just stand up during every commercial and walk in place in the middle of the room. It might sound stupid, but just think about how many commercials appear on each program. You can log a lot of miles and burn a lot of calories without even leaving the house. Think you might be embarrassed in front of family and friends? That’s their problem, not yours, and you might be pleasantly surprised when they join you (it might be fun for grandchildren too!).
  • STAND UP AND SUCK IT IN. It sounds simple because it is simple. Many people walk around slouched over, shuffling along dragging their feet with absolutely no sense of energy. They are sleepwalking through life. Make a concentrated effort to stand up straight, throw your shoulders back, hold your chest high, suck in your tummy and walk with purpose. Try it while you are holiday shopping. Walk like you mean it. It takes a little more effort in the beginning, but after a while it will become a habit.

These simple suggestions can help you to have a healthier holiday season this year and every year hereafter. And, maybe you can convince Santa to join you.


Even a small amount of belly fat can be harmful

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Even a small amount of belly fat can be harmful. During a study at the Mayo Clinic, participants who were asked to gain just nine pounds showed a greater tendency of reduced endothelial function, most notably when the weight gain appeared around their middle. Researcher Dr. Virend K. Somers noted that “There is something about fat deposited in the belly that makes it potentially hazardous to health, because impaired endothelial function has been linked to increased risk of high blood pressure and blood vessel disease.” Please click below for a report from HealthDay.



Fibromyalgia and Exercise

Monday, May 17th, 2010 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

As reported by HealthDay, a recent Norwegian study found that physical exercise and weight control may help ward off fibromyalgia. Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology followed 16,000 Norwegian women for 11 years, during which time 380 developed fibromyalgia. Below are several important findings from the study:

  • Women who exercised at least four times a week had a 29 percent lower risk for fibromyalgia, compared to inactive women.
  • Women who exercised two to three times a week were approximately 11 percent less likely to develop the condition.
  • Women who were overweight (with a Body Mass Index of 25 or more) had a 60 to 70 percent higher risk for developing fibromyalgia, compared to women with a healthy body weight.
  • However, overweight women who exercised at least one hour per week were less likely to develop fibromyalgia than were inactive overweight women.
  • Since this investigation did not prove a direct cause and effect between exercise or body weight and fibromyalgia, more research is being called for. Patrick Wood, MD, of the National Fibromyalgia Association told HealthDay that exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight may be helpful in avoiding the condition, and that doing both are especially prudent for people with a family history of fibromyalgia.

    This research was published in the American College of Rheumatology’s journal Arthritis Care & Research (62:12). To read the abstract, click on


    Exercise and Knee Replacement

    Monday, May 3rd, 2010 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

    It may make common sense that the pain relief gained through knee replacement surgery would instigate more physical exercise and, thereby, better weight control. But that is not what researchers found when they tracked 106 patients for two years following their knee replacements. Instead, 66 percent of the subjects had gained an average of 14 pounds.

    The good news is that the other one-third had lost, on average, approximately four pounds. In those who lost weight, no decline in quadriceps strength was seen, whereas the quadriceps had weakened in those who gained weight.

    Researchers explained that, after surgery, single knee replacement patients have a tendency to place more weight on the knee that wasn’t replaced. The added load of weight gain can compromise both knees and, in particular, may hasten the progression of osteoarthritis in the non-operated joint.

    In summary, knee replacement patients should take care to maintain a healthy body weight. If knee pain persists following the surgery, such patients may wish to consider swimming, pool aerobics or other joint-sparing workouts designed to control weight and promote heart health.

    This research was conducted at the University of Delaware. Click here to read the university’s report on the study.