Category Archives: Fitness

Working Out Again – And Loving It!

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I had great news from the cardiologist yesterday.  He had me do a nuclear stress test on Monday to see if there is any blockage in my coronary arteries.  He told me yesterday the test went well, so I asked if it was OK to run and do weight training.

No running allowed, but i am permitted to walk fast (ha – that’s about all I do, anyway, these days!)  But – the good news – HE OK’D THE WEIGHTS! Big Smile

So this morning I did my first 7 minute workout for several weeks, and loved it.  My strength is not quite where it was, but it’s still pretty good: not too much loss, and I’ll soon gain it back.

It feels great to be able to do the 7 Minute workout again – I’ve really missed it.

[note](This post originally appeared in the Social section of the site at 7 Minute Workout.[/note]

Alan Jenkin[box title=”Author” color=”#0080FF”] Alan Jenkin has posted to several blogs for a number of years. His subjects include health and fitness, running, personal development and internet marketing. He lives in Texas and has a vacation home in the Caribbean, where his hobbies include boating and scuba diving. He is married to best-selling author Billie Willmon Jenkin.
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Gloom and Despondency

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Health Challenges {#moods_dlg.Worried}

I have had health challenges lately, and between that and traveling I found myself not able to keep up with my 7 minute workout. Imagine how great it felt to work out again on Monday! I had lost some strength during the layoff but was still way ahead of when I started

My doctor, though, had decided to send me to a cardiologist to check out why I had been having problems. Now I have always believed I have a strong heart, so didn’t expect anything but a cardiac clearance to go ahead. I had even started running again (or jogging, at least) and my resting heart rate is around 60-65.

Imagine my concern when the cardiologist told me to quit any strenuous exercise. I asked about weight training and jogging and was given a definite ‘no’. “You can walk a little, just like you were strolling on a beach, but don’t go more than a mile or so” he said.

With most doctors I would dismiss this as exercise resistance, but this guy is a runner – he has run two marathons so far this year. He wants to get me back running, but plans to do another test to see if a surgical procedure is needed. Wish me well for the test next Tuesday! (It’s an echo cardiogram taken from inside, behind the heart.)

The Problem {#moods_dlg.DozingOff}

For the technically minded I have asymmetrical septal hypertrophy. Apparently, this is genetic, and is a leading cause of sudden death in young athletes. He knows I’m not a young athlete (!) but believes it can still be dangerous. I guess I’m lucky that I didn’t keel over already.

The usual procedure for the chronologically gifted, like me, is drugs that lower the heart rate. Fortunately, he recognizes this is not a good idea for me, so he’s thinking about a surgical procedure designed to restore my heart to something approaching normal. I’m holding the intention that either he will decide there is no need for intervention after he’s checked me out on Tuesday or that we’ll go ahead with the procedure and I’ll be running a half marathon again next year.

Wish me luck. {#moods_dlg.WellDone}

[note](This post originally appeared in the Social section of the site at 7 Minute Workout.[/note]

Alan Jenkin[box title=”Author” color=”#0080FF”] Alan Jenkin has posted to several blogs for a number of years. His subjects include health and fitness, running, personal development and internet marketing. He lives in Texas and has a vacation home in the Caribbean, where his hobbies include boating and scuba diving. He is married to best-selling author Billie Willmon Jenkin.
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4 Tips For Health

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[heading]4 Tips For Better Health[/heading]

winterThe winter has finally almost gone, according to the calendar, so now we can start enjoying the health we have nurtured over those cold months. If, like me, you still have the sniffles from a lingering cold, you’re ready for it!

So let’s take a look at how to preserve and improve our health.

1. Vitamins

Yes, we do need them. Even the American Medical Association, who for years said we could get all the vitamins we need from our food, accepts that a multivitamin, at least, is necessary for all of us. The question is – which vitamins should we take?

For years, I took Centrum, until I learned four facts:

  • There are better vitamins around
  • As we grow older we need more vitamins
  • It’s never too soon to start adding vitamins and other supplements to our diet
  • Everybody needs a good multivitamin, but apart from that our needs are different

My staple now is One-Per-Day tablets, which supply far more of the essential nutrients than the Centrum I used to take. I also supplement with other vitamins and minerals according to my own needs.


Life Extension Membership

2. Exercise

In North America, especially, we don’t exercise enough. We have created an environment where walking for our normal daily activities is discouraged. We drive instead of walking or cycling and ride elevators instead of climbing stairs. Any activity is good, but I choose to run and work out at home with free weights.

As I grow older, I am reducing my running and replacing it with walking, but I still look forward to running more in the warmer months. I remember the joy it gave me when I was younger and faster, and attempt to recapture as much of that as I can!

3. WaterWater

Stay hydrated with at least eight glasses of water per day. You can add a slice of lemon or some electrolyte drops to enhance it of you find it difficult to consume that much. And, please, stay away from sodas: as well as being dehydrating, they are either too sugary or have toxic artificial sweeteners.

I keep a large bottle of water on the desk in my office, and drink from it whenever I feel thirsty. That way, even when I’m not exercising, I stay hydrated.

4. Attitude

More than anything else, our attitude to life controls our health. If you are gloomy, fearful or pessimistic, your health suffers accordingly.

Build an “attitude of gratitude.”  Try starting and ending each day by finding all the things in your life you can be grateful for, and just see how much better you feel!

And don’t carry grudges. For some of us, forgiving others feels like weakness, but hating someone is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die!  Forgiving someone is a gift for you, not the person forgiven.

Summary

So those are the four tips: exercise, supplement, drink and be merry!  Yes, there are plenty of other things you can do to improve your health, but with those four you’re off to a great start.

Enjoy good health!
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Resources

For Vitamins, I use Life Extension Products

If you enjoy running, you might like my Facebook page at Half Marathon Training Schedule, and I get my gear from Road Runner Sports.

You can read about the weight training program I use at 7 Minutes 2 Fitness.
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Alan Jenkin[box title=”Author” color=”#0080FF”] Alan Jenkin has posted to several blogs for a number of years. His subjects include health and fitness, running, personal development and internet marketing. He lives in Texas and has a vacation home in the Caribbean, where his hobbies include boating and scuba diving. He is married to best-selling author Billie Willmon Jenkin.
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7 Minutes Or Less To Improved Memory

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7 Minutes Or Less To Improved Memory

A recent study shows immediate benefits in improved memory after short bursts of exercise for both healthy and cognitive-impaired persons.

[note]“Brief Exercise Immediately Enhances Memory: Results Apply to Older Adults Both With and Without Cognitive Deficits” is the title of a recent article in Science Daily. This long-titled article summarized results of a study carried out at UC Irvine’s Center for the Neurobiology of Learning & Memory. The scientists there found that a short burst of moderate exercise improved the memory of both normal adults and those with mild cognitive impairment.[/note]

[heading]The Study[/heading]

Stationary bikeThe details of the study were that the subjects, ranging from 50 to 85 years old, were shown images, such as nature scenes and pictures of animals, and then exercised for six minutes on a stationary bicycle at 70 percent of their maximum capacity. (Yes, less than the 7 minutes we spend on our workouts!) One hour later, they were given a surprise test to see how well they recalled the pictures they had seen.

Results showed [quote]a striking enhancement of memory by exercise in both the healthy and cognitively impaired adults, compared with subjects who did not ride the bike.[/quote]

[heading]Mechanism[/heading]

The researchers postulate that the improved memory may be due to the release of norepinephrine. A biomarker for norepinephrine activity in the brain (salivary alpha amylase) significantly increased after exercise, especially in subjects with memory impairment.

The study indicates that short bursts of moderate exercise may be an effective alternative to treatment with drugs.

[heading]Summary[/heading]

Previous studies have generally focused on long-term effects of exercise, so it’s exciting to see that brief exercise, such as our 7 minute workout, can actually show immediate benefits. The benefits in muscular strength, of course, take time, but you can actually get an immediate memory benefit. Since memory starts to decline relatively early in life (depending on the individual), this means that most of us can get this instant gratification!

Yet another reason to enjoy the 7 minute workout Feeling Good

Exercise Band Videos

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[note]The following post was first published in the Member’s Area of 7 Minute Workout on November 1, 2012.[/note]

 

[heading]Exercise Band Videos[/heading]

Following Chris Reid’s suggestion, I made three videos of Shoulder exercises using exercise bands instead of weights.  I noticed afterward that in the bent position I am not bending very far forward.  Apart from that, they seem to illustrate how you can work out with exercise bands instead of weights when traveling. 

 

Video 1 illustrates the bent fly exercise.(Click on the pictures to see the videos.)

Bent Flies


Video 2 is the rear fly exercise.

Rear Flies


Video 3 is the seated shoulder press.

Seated Shoulder Press


I added a bonus video giving a little more information about the bands.  If you are interested in some professional videos explaining them better than I can, go to Exercise Bands.  

Exercise Bands Demo

 

[heading]Advantages of exercise bands:[/heading]

  • They are very light and convenient for travel.
  • They are less expensive than weights.

 

[heading]Disadvantages of Exercise Bands:[/heading]

  • They are progressive, rather than constant, during the exercise.  This takes some getting used to.
  • The weight marked on the band does not necessarily match the weight you would get using dumbbells.  This may be due to the progressive nature.  Use your previous level with weights as a guide to get started, then adjust the “weights” of the bands as necessary.

[note]

Let me know if you would like me to demonstrate some other exercises in the 7 minute workout series using exercise bands.

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Alan Jenkin[box title=”Author” color=”#0080FF”] Alan Jenkin has posted to several blogs for a number of years. His subjects include health and fitness, running, personal development and internet marketing. He lives in Texas and has a vacation home in the Caribbean, where his hobbies include boating and scuba diving. He is married to best-selling author Billie Willmon Jenkin.
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