Q. I am in my 50s should I exercise?
A.Get serious about your workouts now and you'll outsmart fate in each of the decades to come
Unless you're one of the lucky few to hit it big in the genetic lottery, staying fit ain't easy. And if it's this difficult now, imagine what it's going to be like in 10, 20, 30 years. But before you begin planning your future as a wobbly, overweight hunchback, understand that getting in the shape of your life for the rest of your life doesn't have to be daunting. In fact, if you find your fitness groove now, you'll set yourself up for success in the future. Studies show that working out may lower a woman's risk of breast cancer by 47 percent, osteoporosis by 45 percent, and heart disease by 14 percent. So we tapped dozens of doctors and fitness experts to find out exactly what you should do to add years to your life, and asked four stellar women — one from each decade — for their secrets to outsmarting that wily Mother Nature. The bottom line: Whether you're fresh out of college or funding Junior's tuition, the moment to launch your lifetime fitness plan is now. Then simply adjust your workouts throughout the years to give your muscles, bones, and heart what they need to keep working well enough to keep up with you.
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Fate Says: You're Playing Mind Games
Um, why are the keys in the refrigerator? Blame a perceptible decline in the estrogen and progestin that help neurons in the brain function properly, says Karyn Frick, Ph.D., a neuroscience professor at Yale University. These hormones are critically important to areas of the brain involved in cognition and memory, such as the hippocampus.
Cheat Fate: Brain-er-cise
Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that moderately active adults over the age of 55 processed information faster and more accurately than sedentary ones. They also scored higher on measurements of brain activity related to memory and attention span. "Exercise helps slow and even reverse the mental decline that accompanies [aging]," says Charles Hillman, Ph.D., an associate professor of kinesiology at Illinois. It doesn't take a lot. According to Dr. Hillman, simply walking briskly for 30 minutes 3 days a week, working in a hill or two, makes you less likely to forget your 60th birthday.
Fate Says: You're a (Hot) Flasher
Your thermostat is whacked, courtesy of menopause.
Cheat Fate: Find Your Rhythm
Researchers at the Lafayette Clinic in Detroit say that deep, paced breathing — like the kind you do in yoga — reduces hot flashes in menopausal women by 44 percent. How often should you take to the mat? At least twice a week, according to a study at Richard Stockton College in Pomona, New Jersey. It found that women who did two 1-hour yoga sessions a week reduced hot flashes and night sweats and improved flexibility.
Fate Says: You're More Susceptible to Cancer
Seventy-seven percent of breast cancer cases occur in women over 50. One major risk factor is estrogen, according to Marisa Weiss, M.D., president and founder of breastcancer.org — and you've been exposed to decades of estrogen by now. "But you can lower the risk of breast cancer through exercise," Dr. Weiss says.
Cheat Fate: Make Every Activity Count
In a landmark study, Harvard University researchers found that postmenopausal women who burned more than 1,000 calories per week through physical activity had nearly half the risk of developing breast cancer of those who expended fewer than 1,000. All activity counts, not just time spent on "official workouts." (For the record, walking burns about 100 calories per mile.) Use the chart above to make sure you fry 1,000 a week. For each activity, it lists the number of calories burned in 10 minutes by a 120-pound woman. (Figure you burn about 3 to 5 percent more calories for every additional 5 pounds of weight.)
Meet Sela Ward
Growing up in Mississippi, Ward had eating habits that were not exactly heart healthy. "My favorite lunch was a mayo sandwich," says the 50-year-old. But when she became an actress (see her in The Guardian, in theaters this month), Ward realized she needed to change. "When I saw that the camera adds 10 pounds, I knew I had to do something." She started running and signed up for a low-cal food delivery service that she has used off and on for the past two decades. As her body changed, so did Ward's exercise routine: "When I felt pressure in my joints, I stopped running." She now practices yoga 3 days a week, weight trains, and walks her dogs in the canyon around her Los Angeles home for 45 minutes daily. "I need the comfort of buttered cornbread. But when I indulge, I make sure to climb an extra hill the next morning."
Her advice: Read Younger Next Year for Women by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge. "There's nothing more powerful than being shocked into exercising 6 days a week."
Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program.Please consult your physician !
Wishing You Great Health!
Glen Edward Mitchell
Any questions? Ask Glen