Tag Archives: Aerobic exercise

Exercise and Arthritis

Introduction:
Arthritis is becoming more and more common — and not just among the very old. That’s the bad news. The good news is that a program of moderate exercise can reduce pain and improve mobility for many of the over 40 million individuals with this degenerative disease.

Now What is Arthritis?
Arthritis means inflammation of a joint. Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is characterized by a progressive loss of cartilage. This degenerative disease is usually limited to a specific area, such as the knees, hips or spine. Common symptoms include joint pain, limited range of motion, and swelling. Rheumatoid arthritis, which is far less common, causes the inner linings of the joints to become inflamed.

click to see the picture

How Can Exercise Help?
For many years, doctors have recommended that patients with arthritis engage in flexibility training to help improve range of motion and reduce some of the stiffness in their afflicted joints. In recent years, doctors have also begun to recognize the benefits of cardiovascular exercise and strength training. Not only does a wellrounded exercise program preserve joint range of motion and flexibility but it also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, increases joint stability, and lessens the physical and psychological pain that often accompanies a diagnosis of arthritis.

Exercise and rest:-
People with arthritis often have to balance carefully how and when to exercise and when to rest.

In adults, if the joints are particularly inflamed or swollen it may be necessary to rest more than usual. But generally, people with arthritis should exercise every day to prevent joints becoming stiff and painful, and to keep muscles strong.

For children with arthritis, it’s particularly important to exercise even when the disease is very active, because contractures and deformities can develop very quickly.

People with arthritis need three forms of exercise:

 

1.General exercise for health
Any exercise that leaves you feeling a little breathless and your muscles slightly tired is good for you. As well as keeping you mobile it can help you relax, make you feel better about yourself and give you more energy.

When exercising, it’s best to use as much of the body as possible – swimming, walking and cycling are all good options. Swimming has the added advantage that the water supports the weight of your body rather than your joints. Some strokes may not suit you, though, so try to get professional advice.

If you go to exercise classes, check they’re run by a qualified teacher and that the teacher knows about your condition.

2.Mobilising exercises
People with arthritis need to keep their joints moving. Bending and straightening exercises, gentle pedalling or swimming can help a lot. Your physiotherapist may recommend hydrotherapy at your local hospital: many people find they move more freely in water and the warmth of the water loosens their joints.

3.Special exercises to strengthen muscles
If your muscles are strong and healthy, they protect your joints better and you may feel less pain. Your physiotherapist will be able to give you a series of muscle-strengthening exercises to perform at home. Swimming and hydrotherapy are also effective ways of strengthening as well as mobilising.

Exercise checklist for People with arthritis:-

Do the following:
•Choose exercises suitable to your level – if you’re a beginner, work up gradually
•Do gentle warm-up stretches before and after the exercise
•Wear good footwear and appropriate clothing
•Enjoy yourself

Don’t do the following:
•Binge on exercise – little and often is better
•Continue with an activity if it makes your pain worse
•Do fitness or aerobic exercises on a stone or concrete floor
•Exercise if you feel ill

You may click to see :-
Some Basic Movements In Yoga Exercise:
Top Three Types of Exercises for Artherities:

Living with Arthritis

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/in_depth/arthritis/treatmentarthritis_exercise.shtml
http://www.acefitness.org/fitfacts/fitfacts_display.aspx?itemid=22

http://www.afarewellrescue.com/exercise-and-arthritis/

A public demonstration of aerobic exercises

A public demonstration of aerobic exercises (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

http://www.healthyexerciseworld.com/exercise-for-arthritis.html

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Five for Fitness

Most of us are born healthy and usually remain so with minimal effort till around 20. After that, our body starts to fall apart — like an old, unserviced machine — unless some effort is made to maintain the inherent fitness levels.

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The recommendations vary from walking an hour daily (ideal) to 30 minutes three days a week (just about enough to scrape along). Despite doing this, people develop stress, bad posture, arthritis, diabetes, abnormal lipid profiles, hypertension and heart attacks. That’s because they are unaware of the other components of an ideal fitness regimen, the need to simultaneously develop “core strength”, flexibility, strength training and balance.

People are bombarded by adverts of gyms and expensive exercise equipment. The latter may target specific muscle groups to produce a six-pack abdomen and bulging biceps. Most people do not, however, have the time to go to a gym regularly. As for fancy equipment, it usually starts to gather dust after a short period of activity.

Corporate gurus talk about maintaining core strength, and employees take to meditation, religion and prayer as they try to maintain their inner fortitude. Actually, in fitness terms, strengthening the “core” means exercising the muscles deep within the torso, the abdominal muscles, those of the back and pelvic floor. The core is a group of muscles, so a balanced approach is needed to work them all. All body movement is powered by these muscles. A strong back and fit abdominal muscles are needed, or else it results in poor posture and back problems. These muscles work together to support the spine when we sit, stand, bend over, pick up things and exercise. In sum, they are the body’s epicentre of power and balance.

Dancers and yoga practitioners do exercises that give them strong core muscles. They are thus fitter, have better postures and more energy than their peers in old age.

Core training can be done at home. It requires just 20 minutes thrice a week. The exercises are regularly taught as part of yoga and Pilates. CDs and books are also available. Proper demonstration will enable you to do them correctly.

A simple, effective core workout routine which covers all the basic muscles includes the plank exercise (balancing on the toes and forearms), the side plank (where you balance on one arm and leg), push-ups, squats, cycling in the air and lunges. All movements need to be held for 20 seconds at a time. Repeat five or six times.

Strength training does not involve heavy weight lifting. The muscles of the arms legs and lower back can be effectively trained using 1kg weights. This can be done with an iron or aluminum baby dumbbell (available at sports shops). You could even fabricate one by filling a 1-litre plastic bottle with water. The movements are similar to those in a school PT drill. Doing this regularly will slowly and surely build up muscle power.

People often do not give enough importance to flexion training of the muscles. If you don’t do anything more stressful than slow walking, your calf muscles may contract and eventually become tight. They can then restrict the range of motion at the knee and ankle resulting in eventual injury. All the groups of muscles in the body need to be stretched to their limit but there should not be any pain. Stretching is taught in yoga. The exercises are also demonstrated on the Doordarshan sports channel. If you discontinue the activity, benefits are lost in three or four days.

Balance becomes more and more important with age. Training for balance involves standing on one leg at a time with the arms stretched out. Once you are able to do this with ease, try doing it with your eyes closed.

A common misconception is that exercise tires you out. On the contrary, it improves stamina and the ability to perform day-to-day activities. Several studies have shown that it reduces cortisol levels and therefore improves mental strength and reduces stress.

To be effective, exercise training needs to balance the five elements of good health. The routine should include aerobic activity, muscular fitness, stretching, core exercise and balance training.

Sometimes fitting in an exercise schedule with all these components becomes difficult. Try getting up half an hour earlier in the morning to complete the routine. Regular exercise will improve balance and posture and reduce the risk of injury, lifestyle diseases and arthritis, leading to a long, healthy and happy life.

Source : The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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Exercise Radically Improves Brain Power

Exercise can keep your brain sharp as you age. A new study has shown that a program of exercise can, over the course of a year, increase the size of your hippocampus, a part of the brain key to memory and spatial navigation.

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The hippocampus often shrinks in late adulthood, leading to memory impairment.

According to the Los Angeles Times:
“To complete the study, the team recruited 120 older people who didn’t exercise regularly. Half were randomly assigned to an aerobic exercise program … The group doing aerobic exercise had increases in hippocampus volume: up 2.12 percent in the left hippocampus, and 1.97 percent in the right hippocampus.”

Regular exercise can also improve the ability of overweight children to think, plan and even do math, according to other recent research. MRIs have shown that previously inactive children who start to exercise experience increased brain activity in the prefrontal cortex, an area associated with complex thinking, decision making and correct social behavior.

The more they exercise, the better the result.

Eurekalert reports:
“Intelligence scores increased an average 3.8 points in those exercising 40 minutes per day after school for three months with a smaller benefit in those exercising 20 minutes daily.  Activity in the part of their brain responsible for so-called executive function also increased in children who exercised … Similar improvements were seen in math skills”.

Resources:
*Los Angeles Times January 31, 2011

*Wall Street Journal February 22, 2011

*Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

*Eurekalert February 18, 2011

*Georgia Health Science News

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Healthy Heart

Introduction:
Why do you need to keep a healthy heart?

Heart disease is the number one  cause of death in men and women, greater than the next five causes of death combined!

According to the latest estimates by the American Heart Association, over 64 million Americans have one or more forms of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Fortunately, there are ways to significantly lower your chances of developing heart disease and reverse the effects of a current heart condition you may or may not be aware of. Lower cholesterol, triglycerides, homocysteine and CRP levels are a start to promoting healthy hearts.

Healthy Heart Guide  educates people about the risk factors of heart disease, attempting to persuade them to adopt a healthier lifestyle .

Even if you’ve already been diagnosed with heart disease, making lifestyle changes can help you live a longer, healthier and more enjoyable life.

Essential Blood Tests :
Find out the risk factors for developing heart conditions:

*Risk Factors Heart Disease :
*Cholesterol Levels :
*Homocysteine Levels :
*Triglyceride Levels :
*C-Reactive Protein :

Lowering Your Risks:
Specific Ways to Promote a Healthy Heart
:


*Cholesterol Ratio

*CRP Blood Test
*Diet For Lowering Cholesterol
*Homocysteine and Heart Disease
*LDL Cholesterol Heart Disease
*Lowering Triglycerides
*Natural Blood Thinners

Being active:
Being active Being active is absolutely essential for a healthy heart – for the simple reason that your heart is a muscle. Even if you haven’t been active for some time, your heart can become stronger, so that it’s able to pump more efficiently giving you more stamina and greater energy. Becoming more active will also improve the ability of your body’s tissues to extract oxygen from your blood, help you

maintain healthy levels of blood fats and speed your metabolism. Three types of exercise are needed in order to become fitter and healthier. These are aerobic, resistance training and flexibility. All three are vital for all-round fitness.

Aerobic (cardiovascular) exercise:
Particularly important to prevent coronary heart disease is aerobic or cardiovascular exercise. This is any kind of activity that increases your breathing rate and gets you breathing more deeply. These activities include: walking, running, swimming, dancing or any of the aerobic (cardiovascular) machines at the gym such as the rowing machine, treadmill, stepper or elliptical trainer.

These are designed to increase the strength of your heart muscle by improving your body’s ability to extract oxygen from the blood and transport it to the rest of the body. Aerobic exercise also enhances your body’s ability to use oxygen efficiently and to burn (or metabolise) fats and carbohydrates for energy.

These are designed to increase the strength of your heart muscle by improving your body’s ability to extract oxygen from the blood and transport it to the rest of the body. Aerobic exercise also enhances your body’s ability to use oxygen efficiently and to burn (or metabolise) fats and carbohydrates for energy.
Stretching:
Stretching helps relax and lengthen your muscles, encourages improved blood flow, and helps keep you supple so you can move more easily. Experts say it’s good to stretch for 5-10 minutes every day. There are a number of simple stretches which you’ll find in virtually any book about exercise or can be taught by the instructor at the gym.

If you want more organised stretching, yoga and Pilates are safe and gentle for people with heart problems, as they help calm the mind and body and reduce stress. That said, there may still be some exercises or postures that are not recommended if you have heart disease, so check with your doctor first and tell your instructor if you have high blood pressure or heart disease.

Getting started:
There’s no need to join a gym or take part in organised sport, unless you want to, of course. Simply incorporating more activity into your daily life and doing activities like walking, gardening, cycling can be just as effective as a structured exercise programme.

Your aim should be to be moderately active for 30 minutes most days of the week. If you find it hard to fit this into your life, split it up into shorter periods. You should feel that your heart rate is increasing, you are breathing more deeply and frequently. You should be able to walk and talk at the same time – if you can’t then the activity is too strenuous.

Safety first:
If you experience any or all of the following, stop exercising and consult your doctor.

•Chest pain
•Dizziness, light-headedness or confusion
•Nausea or vomiting
•Cramp-like pains in the legs (intermittent claudication)
•Pale or bluish skin tone
•Breathlessness lasting for more than 10 minutes
•Palpitations (rapid or irregular heart beat).
•Continued fatigue (lasting for 24 hours or more)
•Fluid retention (swollen ankles, sudden weight gain)

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/in_depth/heart/prevention_activity.shtml

Your Guide to Heart Health & Lowering Your Risk of Heart Attack & Stroke

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Suck This ‘Magic Hormone’ into Your Body and Transform Your Health – Takes Just 20 Minutes

A recent study published in the journal Mechanisms of Aging and Development confirms the “anti-aging” effect of high-intensity training.

Telomere shortening occurs as you age, however the factors involved are not entirely understood as of yet. The study was conducted to determine whether age-associated telomere shortening is related to habitual endurance exercise and maximal aerobic capacity.

The results suggest there’s a direct association between reduced telomere shortening in your later years and high-intensity-type exercises.

The authors’ state:
“The results of the present study provide evidence that leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is related to regular vigorous aerobic exercise and maximal aerobic exercise capacity with aging in healthy humans.

LTL is not influenced by aerobic exercise status among young subjects, presumably because TL is intact (i.e., already normal) in sedentary healthy young adults.

However, as LTL shortens with aging it appears that maintenance of aerobic fitness, produced by chronic strenuous exercise and reflected by higher VO2max, acts to preserve LTL.

… Our results indicate that leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is preserved in healthy older adults who perform vigorous aerobic exercise and is positively related to maximal aerobic exercise capacity. This may represent a novel molecular mechanism underlying the “anti-aging” effects of maintaining high aerobic fitness.”

But that’s not all.
High-intensity interval-type training also boosts human growth hormone (HGH) production. A 2003 study published in the journal Sports Medicine found that “exercise intensity above lactate threshold and for a minimum of 10 minutes appears to elicit the greatest stimulus to the secretion of HGH.”

Resources:
Mechanisms of Ageing and Development February 2010;131(2):165-7

Sports Medicine 2003;33(8):599-613
Sports Medicine 2002;32(15):987-1004
Growth Hormone and IGF Research December 2008;18(6):455-71
Journal of Applied Physiology 2005; 98: 1985–1990
Journal of Applied Physiology 2005; 98:1983-1984

Posted by: Dr. Mercola. December 24 2010

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