Benefits of walking

Photo : Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

I try to walk everyday for exercise and weight management.  I even wear a pedometer to keep track of my daily steps.  Now, after reading the following article I will be walking to improve my brain health.

Walking Could Improve Neural Connectivity, Lowering Risk of Alzheimer’s in Older Adults

By John Raphael, Nature World News

May 5, 2017

“A new study led by the University of Maryland School of Public Health revealed that walking interventions could improve the neural connectivity in older adults, potentially reducing the risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or Alzheimer’s disease.

The study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, showed that walking for 30 minutes for four times a week can increase the neural connectivity between the brain’s posterior cingulate cortex (PCC)/precuneus region and other brain regions of patients diagnosed with MCI.

‘The brain’s posterior cingulate cortex (PCC)/precuneus region is a hub of neuronal networks which integrates and disperses signals,’ said Dr. J. Carson Smith, director of the Exercise for Brain Health Laboratory and senior author of the study, in a press release. ‘We know that a loss of connectivity to this hub is associated with memory loss and amyloid accumulation, both signs of MCI and Alzheimer’s.'”

Read more about the benefits of walking


At 101, Kaur runs and wins the race…

I’m not sure I could even run 100 yards and I’m only 57!  Maybe I could start running for fitness though…

101-year-old woman wins 100 metre sprint Kaur

By Adam Boult, The Telegraph

“Man Kaur, a 101-year-old Indian woman, racked up her 17th gold medal this week at the World Masters Games in Auckland, New Zealand, completing the 100 metre sprint in one minute 14 seconds.

Truth be told, she was the sole competitor in the race, with no other runners coming forward to take part in the 100-years-and-over category.

Speaking to reporters via an interpreter, Kaur said after the race: ‘I enjoyed it and am very, very happy. I’m going to run again, I’m not going to give up. I will participate, there’s no full stop.’

Kaur started participating in athletics events eight years ago, at the age of 93, following encouragement from her son Gurdev Singh, 78, who also competes in the Masters Games.”

Read more

Heart health may improve by doing daily household chores

heart healthOlder Adults Should Engage in Household Work to Keep the Heart Healthy

NDTV Food, March 27, 2017

“Staying active can take you a long way to good health. It is not without reason that doctors tell us to engage in physical activities and lead an active lifestyle. It has various beneficial effects on our body, aiding day-to-day functions as well as keeping diseases at bay. Elders too should keep active to not fall prey to health problems. Even walking or carrying out household chores can work wonders. According to a recent study by University of Pittsburgh, engaging in daily activities like making bed, doing the laundry, climbing stairs, carrying groceries, dancing or walking can help immensely, even in their road to recovery from heart attack or other ailments.

According to researchers, a daily walk is proven to be beneficial, and tai chi, yoga and balance training can also help, but encouraging patients to do more chores around the house is the simplest way to get people moving. The study published by the American Heart Association said patients should be encouraged to do everyday household chores instead of simply given medication.”

Read more about heart health

Add strength training to your workout routine

strength training

Strength training can benefit muscles and bones throughout life

By Lori Weinzatl, Ministry Rehab Services

March 3, 2017

“Strong bones and strong muscles go together. And both are essential to good health, mobility and independence in old age. That’s the conclusion of recent studies linking sarcopenia and osteopenia to an increased risk of falls, fractures and the possible need for long term care of older adults.

Sarco refers to muscle; osteo means bone and penia, loss.

Osteopenia and osteoporosis (a more severe loss of bone density) have long been known to pose threats to older men as well as women. Recent research has found that sarcopenia is also a hazard. And the combination of bone and muscle loss is more debilitating than either on its own.

For most humans, both muscle mass and bone density reach their peak by age 30 and decline gradually thereafter, becoming more noticeable around age 60 or 70.

But it’s not just the size of your muscles that counts; it’s their strength and ability to function–grip strength, walking speed, balance, mobility. And these, too, decline with advancing age.

Reduced muscle mass can co-exist with lower bone density or it can cause those changes. When muscles are strong, they exert a strong mechanical force on the bones around them, giving the bones what they need to stay dense and strong. Conversely, weak muscles lead to weaker bones.”

Read more about the causes of sarcopenia

When was the last time you had some outdoor therapy?

I love the outdoors, especially the Colorado outdoors.  I am blessed to live within an hour of the Rocky Mountain National Park since hiking is one of my favorite hobbies. I feel closer to God when I hike and, besides the exercise and sense of accomplishment, I feel at peace.  The following article may give you a reason to enjoy some outdoor therapy:

…a walk in the country reduced depression in 71 percent of participants…

outdoor therapy
Photo by Dennis Smith / Reporter-Herald

The peace of wild places makes us happier, healthier

By Dennis Smith, Loveland Reporter-Herald
January 4, 2017
“I don’t know how many other outdoor lovers feel it, but I’m sure most do — even if they don’t recognize it for what it is. ‘It’ is the peace of wild places. And, in my opinion, the grandest form of emotional and physical therapy.

The subject came up on a deer hunting trip to the Platte River bottoms in eastern Colorado last month, but invariably, it comes up almost every time the boys and I hit the open road to go hunting, fishing or camping.

And it always comes up just about the time we cross into that zone where the signs of civilization begin to thin and where mountains and trees, deer and elk, or farms and ranches, cattle and coyotes begin to appear and the nerve-grating cacophony of cars, trucks, train horns, shopping malls, traffic signals and city lights vanish in the rear-view mirror.”

Read more about “peace of wild places”

Dennis Smith is a Loveland outdoors writer and photographer, and his freelance work is published nationally. Smith’s Home Waters column appears on the first and third Thursdays of the month.  He can be reached at  Reprinted by permission.

Add resistance exercise to your routine twice a week

Health benefits of resistance exerciseresistance exercise

“Unlikely late life hobby”

appalachian trail
Sue Hollinger and Elrose Couriac

I love hiking but these two fabulous young ladies know how to do it right!  They had more than a little adventure while hiking the Appalachian Trail.

80-Year old twins complete Appalachian Trail

by Karen Chavez, Citizen-Times

December 28, 2016

“Hiking the entire 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail, one of the longest footpaths in the world, is an exercise in the outer limits of human will and strength. And usually, left to the youth of the world.

But 80-year-old identical twin sisters Elrose Couric and Sue Hollinger completed the trail this summer, finding the secret to completing the brutal journey – setting a goal and having a glass of red wine every night on the trail.

Having wine with cold pizza, even better.

‘We’re very goal-oriented. We always need a goal,’ said Hollinger of the massive hike. ‘We wished we were daring enough or young enough to do a thru-hike. It would have saved lots of time, but we couldn’t.’

It took the twins 14 years to hike the entire Appalachian Trail, which they completed July 7. They hiked it in sections, rather than in one shot, which takes the average hiker about six months.

According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the nonprofit that manages the footpath, some 3 million people hike the trail each year. About 3,000 attempt a thru-hike and 1 in 4 complete it.

The section-hiked journey was no less difficult. Besides sore muscles, bruises and broken bones, the sisters had bear encounters, a near-drowning experience, yellow jacket attacks and a near brush with a murderer.

But overall, they said in unison, ‘It was such a fun time.'”

Read more

%d bloggers like this: