Fit Beyond Forty

Fit Beyond Forty provides personal training to build strength, improve balance, increase flexibility, strengthen your core, and help move with less pain.

Fit Beyond Forty provides fitness, nutrition, and motivation. Provides personal training to increase strength, improve balance, and enhance cardio endurance.

[05/13/19]   You’re invited to a small group “Fit Beyond Forty” fitness group every Saturday at 10 am at Alameda Personal Training, 1416 Park St. , Alameda. We focus on flexibility, balance, mobility, power, and strength. And we have a lot of fun. The first session is free. Join us!

For your back, don't do that, do this.

You may have seen other gym-goers doing Bent Over Rows, either with a barbell or with dumbbells, to develop their back muscles. By bending over at the waist, a lot of stress is placed on the lower back as the vertebrae compress. Over time, you’ll feel increasing pain in your lower back.

Here's a way to strengthen your back without risking injury to your lower back: Incline Bench Rows with Dumbbells.

1. Using a neutral grip, lean into an incline bench.

2. Take a dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip (palms facing each other), beginning with the arms straight. This will be your starting position.

3. Retract the shoulder blades and flex the elbows to row the dumbbells to your side.

4. At the top of the motion, squeeze the shoulder blades together, then return to the starting position.

Give the Incline Bench Dumbbell Row a try. Your lower back will thank you.

For your shoulders, don’t do that, do this.

Over time, the tendons of your shoulders start to wear down. It’s usually a combination of things: spending hours every day hunched over the computer, bench pressing weights that are too heavy, just getting older, which results in your tendons become less flexible.

You can make these problems worse if you do the wrong kinds of exercises. If you’re beyond forty and feel discomfort in your shoulders, don’t lift overhead. The worst exercises are the ones where you bring the weight behind your head, such as a barbell behind the neck press.

When you press the barbell behind your neck, your shoulders externally rotate, causing the tendons to rub against the bones in the shoulder. Even lifting the weights in front of your head, though not as bad as behind the neck, can make your shoulders ache.

What to do? The trick is to work out the shoulder muscles without externally rotating the shoulders. A terrific exercise is the scaption.

1. Hold the dumbbells at your side, with palms facing the side of your body.
2. Contract your glutes, draw in your navel, and retract and lower your shoulder blades.

3. Raise both arms, thumbs up, at a 45-degree angle in front of the body, until your arms are parallel to the floor.
4. Slowly return your arms back to the side of your body and repeat.

Give scaptions a try. Your shoulders will thank you.

Fit Beyond Forty's cover photo

Fit Beyond Forty

Strength Training Reduces the Risk of Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease

Lifting weights has benefits at any age. Lifting weights helps maintain muscle mass, protects joints from injury, combats osteoporosis, decreases body fat, reduces cognitive decline, and increases strength. Now research finds that strength training reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Researchers followed 35,754 healthy women between the ages of 47 and 97. Women who lifted weights, compared to women who had not, experienced a reduced rate of type 2 diabetes of 30% and a reduced risk of 17% for cardiovascular disease. Women who lifted and engaged in aerobics had reduced risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease compared to women who only participated in aerobic activity.

So be sure to include weight lifting along with aerobics, stretching, balance, and core exercises. A Certified Personal Trainer can create a comprehensive workout plan designed for your specific needs.

Does Eating Celery Burn Fat?

Some people claim that certain vegetables, such as celery, actually burn fat. This claim is based on the thermic effect, which refers to the energy the body needs to digest, process, and eliminate food. The claim is that the thermic effect of certain foods is more than the calories in the food itself. Supposedly, you can eat as much of these “negative-calorie” foods as you want without gaining an ounce of weight. Which can lead a person to think, “Hey, I can eat that piece of cheesecake without gaining weight as long as I also eat a piece of celery. It balances out, right?”

Sadly, no known food provides negative calories. The thermic effect of foods is 5-35% of the calories they provide. The thermic effect of celery is about 10%. That means, when you eat a 6-calorie stalk of celery, your body uses less than a calorie to process it (thermic effect) and stores the remaining five calories. Of course, these five calories will not make you gain any measurable weight, and celery provides valuable nutrients, so enjoy. But don’t think that celery stick is making you lose weight.

First Let's Stretch a Minute

For generations, every sports team, gym class, and recreational athlete was told to stretch first thing. It was assumed that stretching prepped the muscles for better performance. Then research came out saying that static stretching, the kind where you hold the stretch for a while, actually reduces strength, speed, and power. So stretching has been getting a bad rap. Should we even bother?

In the March 2012 issue of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Effect of Acute Static Stretch on Maximal Muscle Performance: A Systematic Review, researchers looked at 106 of the best studies concerning stretching. The researchers were particularly interested in whether the length of time spent stretching impacted strength, speed, and power. They concluded that in the large majority of studies, static stretches held for less than 60 seconds did not impact maximal physical performance. So go ahead and stretch, just don’t hold the stretch for more than a minute.

Heat or Cold When Pain Comes Your Way
Into every joint some pain must fall. It may be a sprain, strain, arthritis, tendinitis, or something else. Keep these practices in mind.

• Sports injuries: Use ice for acute pain, inflammation and swelling. Heat perpetuates the cycle of inflammation and can be harmful.
• Headaches: Cold masks or wraps over the forehead, eyes and temples help the throbbing pain of a migraine. Ice is preferred, but heat wraps can halt neck spasms that contribute to headache.
• Arthritis: Heat wins for arthritis and injuries that linger more than six weeks. For acute gout flares, go for the ice.

Since two out of three Americans are overweight or obese, you can be sure of no shortage of claims to miracle cures to help you shed those pounds. Here’s a summary of the latest research on two of the claims, taken from the January/February issue of Nutrition Action Newsletter, and some suggestions on what really works.

Gary Taubes in Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It claims that we get fat because of carbs, since they boost insulin. So cut out the carbs and you cut out the fat. To test this out, Kevin Hall of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney diseases recruited 19 obese adults and cut their calories by 30 percent. One group cut about 800 calories worth of carbs, and another group about 800 calories worth of fat. People lost slightly more body fat when they cut fat then when they cut carbs. Kevin Hall said,” Our lower-fat diet led to fat loss without cutting carbs or insulin. So that claim about low-carb diets is incorrect.”
The Washington Post reported, “If you’ve ever tried out the latest diet fad only to find yourself gaining weight, scientists now have an explanation for you.” Well, not really. An Israeli study looked at how food raises blood sugar levels among people who did not have diabetes. It varied considerably from person to person. People who ate foods that typically keep a lid on blood sugar levels lost no more weight than people who ate foods that tend to raise blood sugar. The folks at Nutrition Action Newsletter cautioned, “Don’t pay much attention to diet books that recommend foods based on their glycemic index.”
Want to lose weight? Here’s what the researchers agree on.
Cut carbs, fat, portion size, or anything else that cuts calories.
Start by cutting unhealthy carbs such as added sugars and white flour.
Get most of your carbs from fresh or frozen vegetables or fruit.
Pick a diet you can stick to for the long haul.

Don't Begrudge a Gentle Nudge
Here’s a little nudge to keep your workouts consistent and your diet in line. Pact is an app that uses cash stakes. You make a weekly pact to exercise more or eat healthier. You set what you’ll pay other Pact members if you don’t reach your goal. Your goal might be something like three workouts in a week or ten servings of fruits and vegetables. The app uses GPS to verify your workouts or you can send photos of yourself eating those veggies. Rewards are based off the number of days committed and completed in your Pact. If you meet your Pact goal, you get a cash reward for each day committed, paid for by those who didn’t make their goal. But don’t quit your day job. Rewards are generally between $0.30 to $5 per week, depending on the number of activities committed.

Leave the Potatoes on the Couch: Exercise Key to Healthy Aging

If I haven’t worked out in years, is there any benefit to starting an exercise program now?

Absolutely yes. Whether you haven’t exercised in years, or never exercised, exercise will make a huge difference.

In a paper published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, scientists studied 3454 people, average age 64, who were either inactive, moderately active (at least one moderate physical activity a week), or vigorously active (at least one vigorous activity a week). Those who became physically active, compared to those who remained inactive, were more than three times as likely to be “healthy agers.” Healthy aging was defined as (1) being free from major chronic disease; (2) having no major impairment of cognitive function; (3) having no major limitation of physical functions and (4) and having good mental health. One scientist said, “This research shows us that even if you don’t become active until later in life, your health will still benefit.” So don’t think it’s too late. You can reap huge benefits from exercise, no matter when you start.

Should I do cardio before breakfast to lose fat?

It makes perfect sense. While you sleep, your body depletes its stores of glycogen, (which come from carbs and your body uses for energy). If you do cardio before breakfast, your body will have to burn up the fat for energy instead of burning up carbs. Presto chango, the fat burns away! Alas, it’s not so easy.

Exercise affects how your body burns fat over the course of days, not just hour to hour. Your body continually adjusts its use of fat and carbohydrate for fuel. If you burn more fat during a workout, you’ll burn more carbohydrates, but not as much fat, the rest of the day.

Sadly, your body just can’t use all that fat for fuel. During moderate-to-high intensity levels of exercise, the body breaks down significantly more fat when fasted. Unfortunately, the rate of breakdown exceeds the body’s ability to use the extra fatty acids for fuel. In other words, you have a lot of extra fatty acids floating around in the blood that can’t be used by working muscles. After your workout, these fatty acids shuttle back into fat cells, leaving you where you started. Why did I get up so early?

Have you ever tried to do a strenuous workout on an empty stomach? Before long you run out of gas. Your body needs those carbs for energy. So you burn fewer calories both during and after exercise, meaning you burn less fat.

Wait, there’s more! Your body has to get energy from somewhere, and that somewhere is protein. Burning protein means losing muscle. Protein losses can exceed 10 percent of the total calories burned over the course of a one-hour cardio session — more than double that of training after you’ve eaten.

If you workout first thing in the morning, eat some carbs and protein first. Try a scoop of whey protein in a glass of natural fruit juice. Eating before working out promotes substantial increases in those calories that your body burns after training. And here’s the good news: if you eat first, the vast majority of calories expended after you exercise come from fat!

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