Topic: General

New PBS Documentary Age of Champions

Monday, April 15th, 2013 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

The American Senior Fitness Association invites you, your friends, clients and colleagues to watch the new PBS documentary Age of Champions for free from April 18th – 28th at

Age of Champions tells the story of five competitors who sprint, leap, and swim for gold at the National Senior Olympics. You’ll meet a 100-year-old tennis champion, 86-year-old pole vaulter, and rough-and-tumble basketball grandmothers as they triumph over the limitations of age.

“All of the characters in the film have the conviction that the best in life still lies ahead of them. They show us how we can grow older with grace and good humor,” says Age of Champions director Christopher Rufo.

The film premiered to a standing ovation at the prestigious Silverdocs Film Festival, the Washington Post hailed it as “infectiously inspiring,” and it’s already shown at more than 1,000 venues around the world.

Share this resource with your friends, clients and colleagues by emailing them the following link:

April 18th – 28th
Live Q+A with the filmmakers on April 25th


The Upside of Exercise

Monday, April 15th, 2013 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

You may know SFA professional Caroline Anaya, MS, as author of the popular book The Curious Upside of Aging. She also offers a short video, The Upside of Exercise, that can be an effective recruiting tool for health-fitness professionals. It provides 29 inspirational testimonials in 30 minutes on DVD. These authentic and heartwarming testimonials have already motivated many seniors to move past their concerns, issues and mistrust regarding the benefits of exercise… and give it a go! For more information, visit


SFA Graduating Class at College of Marin

Monday, April 15th, 2013 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

Congratulations to Betsy Best-Martini’s latest Exercise Leader for Adults with Special Needs graduating class at California’s College of Marin.


Ahhh, Spring

Monday, April 15th, 2013 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

At last! Spring is well under way and we can get outdoors for a nice walk! Here’s one wry take on this much-welcomed season:

    Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush."

    – Doug Larson


Lightning and Migraines

Monday, March 4th, 2013 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

Recent research published in the journal Cephalalgia indicates a possible connection between nearby lightning and the onset of migraine headaches. More than 28 million Americans are affected by migraines, which may be accompanied by nausea, sensitivity to light and visual hallucinations. Migraine patients are sometimes disabled for hours or days by their severe headaches.

Scientists from Ohio’s University of Cincinnati College of Medicine studied research participants’ headache logs along with weather data from Ohio and Missouri. They found that their participants were 28 percent more likely to have a migraine on days during which lightning strikes occurred within 25 miles of their homes.

How might lightning induce migraines? Perhaps thunderstorms bring more allergy spores into an environment. Or, perhaps the electromagnetic waves and ozone produced by lightning somehow act to trigger the headaches.


Nutrition Labeling

Monday, March 4th, 2013 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has issued a fascinating press release entitled "Can Changes in Nutrition Labeling Help Consumers Make Better Food Choices?" The Academy’s statement, which will be of great interest to health-fitness professionals, follows:

The Nutrition Facts label was introduced 20 years ago and provides consumers with important information, including the serving size, the number of servings in the package, the number of calories per serving, and the amount of nutrients for each serving of a packaged food. However, research has shown that consumers often miscalculate the number of calories and the nutritional content of products that have two or more servings per container but are usually consumed in a single eating occasion.

Two nutrition labeling changes could have the potential to make nutritional content information easier to understand: 1) dual-column information that details single serving and total package nutrition information, and 2) declaring nutritional information for the entire container.

Amy M. Lando, MPP, and Serena C. Lo, PhD, of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, College Park, MD, conducted an online study with more than 9,000 participants to measure consumers’ accuracy in using modified versions of the Nutrition Facts label and to assess their perceptions of how useful, trustworthy and helpful the label was.

Says Ms. Lando, "FDA commissioned this experimental study to look at whether different ways of presenting the serving size and nutrition information on the Nutrition Facts label might help consumers. In particular we were interested in studying products that have two servings per container but that are customarily consumed in a single eating occasion."

Study participants evaluated nine modified Nutrition Facts labels and the current label format for four fictitious products (two frozen meals and two grab-and-go bags of chips). The labels were classified into three groups. The first group of labels used a single-column format to display information for products with two servings per container; the second group used versions of a dual-column format to display information for products with two servings per container; and the third group used single-column formats that listed the contents of the product as a single, large serving.

The study team also tested whether changes in formatting, such as enlarging the font size for the declaration of "Calories," removing the information on the number of calories for fat, or changing the wording for the serving size declaration, would be helpful to consumers in determining the calories and other nutrient information for a single serving and for the entire package.

Study investigators determined that participants could more accurately assess the number of calories or amount of fat or other nutrients per serving and in the entire package when a single, large serving per container or a dual-column format was used.

"This research is just one step in understanding how some potential food label modifications might help consumers make better decisions. Ideally, we would like to see how these labels perform in a more realistic setting, such as in a grocery store, with actual packaged foods as opposed to large labels on a computer screen," concludes Dr. Lo. "The Nutrition Facts label is only one tool that can help consumers make informed food choices and maintain healthy dietary practices, but it is a valuable tool so it’s important to continue exploring ways to support effective use of the label for these purposes."


Cough, Be Gone!

Monday, March 4th, 2013 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

The Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies offers the following helpful advice for relieving the coughing that may well accompany colds this time of year:

Drinking lots of fluids helps keep one’s throat clear. Choose water and fruit juices over coffee or soda.

Using a humidifier to moisturize the air at home will make breathing easier. When one has a cold, dry air irritates the throat — and the air in one’s home can get very dry during the winter.

Sucking on hard candy or medicated throat lozenges can discourage coughing when one’s throat is dry or sore.

Having a little honey may be soothing. Stir 2 teaspoons of honey into a cup of warm tea or warm lemon water.

Elevating the head of one’s bed may improve one’s ability to rest. Raise it from four to six inches if the cough is due to a backup of stomach acid. Also eschew food or drink within two to three hours of

The Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies does not encourage using over-the-counter cough syrups and medications "because they aren’t effective." If a cough persists longer than two or three weeks — or if it is accompanied by fever, increased shortness of breath or bloody phlegm — contact a medical doctor.


Just for Fun

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

Year 2012 marks the twenty year anniversary of the American Senior Fitness Association (SFA)! Recently our editors took a stroll down memory lane, back to the year 1997 when Dr. Knopf was interviewed for an article in an SFA periodical called The Senior Fitness Bulletin. Below are a few highlights from the piece:

"Karl Knopf earned an A.A. degree in recreation and physical education from De Anza College in Cupertino, California, in 1972. Two years later he completed his B.A. degree in physical education and sociology from San Diego State University. In 1978, he received a master’s degree in human performance and adapted physical education from San Jose University. In 1981, he earned his Ed.D. degree in post-secondary education from Nova University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"Dr. Knopf is a former college wrestler and triathlete. In fact, to celebrate his thirtieth birthday, he ran 30 miles. Unfortunately, he subsequently hurt his back while lifting a patient out of a wheelchair. Now he exercises daily by swimming and using a recumbent bicycle."

The 1997 article goes on to quote Dr. Knopf discussing that injury: "I learned from this experience what it is like to live with daily pain. I think this makes me a better teacher because I feel worse than most of my students." With a touch of humor, he continued: "I also know that if I don’t exercise I’ll feel even worse!"

Indeed, Dr. Knopf never let his back injury slow him down very much. He has always remained active both physically and intellectually. Regarding his work with older adult fitness participants, he said: "My philosophy is that I like for people to set themselves up to win. After the first three times, I don’t want them to feel like they’ve exercised. It has to be fun!"


It’s Time for Fall Savings

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

The American Senior Fitness Association (SFA) hopes that you’ve had a great summer.

Now, to help welcome Fall, we’re offering savings on all of our award-winning professional education programs. So if you’re ready to add a senior-specific fitness credential to your resume, to earn continuing education credits accepted by most fitness organizations or do both, be sure to place your order by Monday, October 8, 2012.

Plus, here’s extra good news for early birds! Order your program by Monday, October 1, and SFA will pay the shipping on U.S and Canadian orders.

Please click here to view discount fees or order online. You can also call SFA at 88-689-6791 to take advantage of this opportunity.


Who’s Who in Senior Fitness

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

Dr. Jessie Jones is Chair and Professor in Health Science, and Director of the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Center at California State University, Fullerton, USA. A longtime friend and National Advisory Board member of the American Senior Fitness Association (SFA), Dr. Jones has an extensive teaching and research background in gerontological health.

Professor Jones is co-author of the Senior Fitness Test Manual, co-editor of the book Physical Activity Instruction of Older Adults, has published numerous articles, and has presented at conferences throughout the U.S. and the world.

Dr. Jones continues to focus her research agenda on factors related to health and well-being in later years and on factors associated with the physical and cognitive status of adults with fibromyalgia and other chronic pain disorders.