Improve Your Balance

Posted on June 10, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

Keeping your balance is very important in your life, especially your postural balance and equilibrium. Everyone should do balance exercises almost daily to avoid falls. Falls are a leading cause of disability, injury and death for seniors. Also, obese individuals have more trouble maintaining their postural balance. Some say our bodies are like an inverted pendulum with the top of the pendulum being the ankles and the bottom being the trunk. In the Simple Diet, unfortunately, I did not recommend balance exercises. Since I started going to the YMCA 4-6 times a week, I see that less than 5% of people there regularly do balance training.

My wife and I are seniors and we have balance challenges. I don’t want to mention her age but we celebrated our 55th Anniversary this week. I have developed a worksheet and we plan to do balance exercises almost daily. Over the past 9 months I have become strongly convinced that regular balance exercises are very important health-promoting activities for everyone. These can be done without equipment and while in the kitchen, while waiting in line, etc.

Dr. Anderson’s New Guide to Total Fitness includes these recommendations: do home balance exercises for about 10 minutes for 6 days per week. I recently gave specific directions (BALANCE YOU FITNESS PROGRAM) on nutdoc.wordpress.com. Add this row of information to the Table on page 49 of The Simple Diet:

Balance Do standing and walking exercises 10 Balance Exercises, 6 days per week 60 minutes                (300 calories)

 

Remember, maintaining your balance is very important—especially for seniors. Best, Nutdoc

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BALANCE YOUR FITNESS PROGRAM

Posted on May 26, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

In the last year I have added balance to my recommended fitness program. In addition to Cardiovascular, Weight Training, and Stretching, you should add balance activities. Balance exercises help you maintain your balance—and your confidence. While important for all ages, it is especially important for seniors. It reduces your risk of falling.

Here are some simple exercises. Start out using a chair or counter for balance. Do each exercise for about 15 seconds.

Stand to the left of the chair and hold on to the chair with the left hand (if you need to.) Balance on the left foot with the right foot bent behind you, then do forward kicks with the right leg, then rotate the right foot, then place the right foot on the upper left calf. Repeat standing on the right foot with the right hand on the chair. For more of a challenge do this while standing on a pillow or a semi-circular Bosu Ball.

Do the march: stand on right foot to right of chair, hold on with right hand; do 15 march steps with left leg, repeat with right leg.

Do heel to toe test: walk heel to toe with front foot touching back foot. Some refer to this as the sobriety test but I have no personal experience with this!

Dynamic walking: walk across the room at a normal pace while looking slowly to the left and to the right.

Google “balance exercises” for photos and more instructions. Bring more balance to your life. Best, Jim

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2. SIMPLE DIET CHALLENGES

Posted on March 12, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

A. KEEPING RECORDS. Did you know that in Upward Basketball for elementary school children they do not keep score. The object is to have good wholesome fun, not the win. BUT, when we are working on Weight and Health Management, while this is FUN (!?), we need to be winners for our weight to behave the way we plan. Keeping score is vital in this process. On the Simple Diet, we ask you to keep Daily Summary Charts of intake of entrees, shakes, fruits, and vegetables as well as physical activity. Successful people also keep Weekly Summary Charts (as posted on Nutdoc) of food intake, physical activity and weight. This way you can maintain your WINNING ways until you reach your weight goal.

B. EXERCISE LIMITED. I have treated many patients with this diet who were in wheel chairs. In the book we chronicle the story of a lady who ditched her wheel chair and became a ‘shopaholic’ at the mall as she increased her walking with her granddaughter. Exercise is more of a challenge if you cannot walk but most people have found ways to be more active. You can do the upper body exercises illustrated in the book and probably the straight leg raises and maybe the prone leg raises while in bed. Many people with arthritis and limited walking abilities can do water aerobics. Many people with knee problems that limit their walking can use a recumbent exercise bicycle. Your doctor and physical therapist can give you more specific guidance. Let’s try to get movin’!

C. SALAD DRESSINGS AND CONDIMENTS.The Simple Diet includes use of salad dressings and other condiments with 15 calories of less per tablespoon. We recommend using no more than two tablespoons of these condiments per meal. I pour 1 tablespoon of fat-free Ranch Dressing on the side of my plate and use as dip for my raw vegetables at lunch and then use less than 2 tablespoons of fat-free French dressing on my salad in the evening. In restaurants where low-fat salad dressings are served in a small bowl at the side, I dip the tines of my fork into the dressing and then into my salad.

D. WINE AS A FRUIT? “May I count wine as a fruit on the Simple Diet?” The legalistic Dr. A. says, “No, will power dissolves in alcohol!” Seriously, in Phase One of the Simple Diet, wine is not considered a fruit and using alcohol during this phase greatly reduces your chances of getting to your weight goal. On the Simple Lifetime Diet, wine and alcohol in moderation (7 drinks/wk for women, 10 drinks/wk for men– guidelines of health authorites) is permitted.

E. SHELF-STABLE ENTREES: When I travel I always take shelf-stable entrees that do not require refrigeration. And, they are already cooked and can be heated for one minute in a microwave. I often eat them without heating in the car or on a plane. My favorites are from HMR, available at ihmonline.com or at 1-888-446-2846. Other shelf-stable entrees such as Compleats® or Dinty Moore® from Hormel, are available at grocery and drug stores.

 

Good luck, Nutdoc

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Self-Talk for Weight Loss

Posted on March 31, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

A positive mind-set and a can-do attitude contribute importantly to weight management, fitness and health. Recent research indicates that many overweight people have some degree of dysfunction of the right brain. The right brain tends to control our urges to overeat or abuse our bodies in other ways. This research suggests that ‘overpracticing’ positive, affirming approaches can help the right brain overcome these areas of sluggish activity. We now know that the brain can develop new connections and grow new cells, even in 70-something individuals!

            Self-talk is one practical and proven way to help the right brain develop positive outlooks and  generate affirming self talk. Most people are left-brained and the left-brain is driving and impatient. The left-brain generates self-talk like: “that was stupid”, “you have no will-power”, “you are lazy”, and “you are a pig.” The right brain has trouble getting a word in edge-wise but can be trained to generate positive and affirming self-talk such as: “you are motivated and can achieve your goals”, “you are disciplined and can control what you eat” and “you enjoy exercise because of the sense of accomplishment and its health benefits.” Here are some self-talk statements that can be tailored to your situation and begin to program you right brain to generate these statements:

  • I am committed to improving my health and enjoyment of life through specific goals related to my diet and physical activity.
  • I have set realistic health and weight management goals that will enable me to be more physically active and feel good about myself.
  • I contribute importantly to my family. I plan to become healthier and more fit so that I can participate more fully in family activities.
  • I exercise regularly and I enjoy it. I appreciate the positive health effects that physical activity provides. Each week I burn more than 2000 calories.
  • I keep records of all my food intake and my physical activity. I review them three times daily and plan for the next part of the day or tomorrow.
  • I only eat food that is healthy and nutritious for me, and I always eat the right amount.
  • While everything about my health is not under my control, I plan to do everything I can to enhance my health and wellness.

Action Items

·         Write out seven goals that reflect your own needs.

·         Read these goals aloud at least once daily.

·         Repeat specific goals—especially general ones about yourself when negative self-talk statements pop into your brain.

Self-talk is working for me and for many of my patients in health and weight management. It will work for you also!!!
Please post your comments. Best wishes.

Jim (nutdoc)

 

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Trouble remembering names?

Posted on October 1, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

How to preserve and enhance cognition and brain function
Sometimes around 60 or older most people notice they don’t remember names like they used to. Often they can remember many details about an acquaintance they are seeing after a gap in time but the name doesn’t come right away. At 74, this is a major frustration for me.
Stimulated by my poor name memory, I have done some research in this area. The sad fact is that our mental or cognitive ability peaks at about age 25 and then declines about 1% per year thereafter. Thankfully our experience and wisdom compensates and most appear to gain intelligence through much of adult life. IQ testing does not capture all of our cognitive abilities but if it did, one could say that the average college graduate’s IQ declines about 40 points by age 70. Cognition is the mental process of acquiring knowledge, including aspects such as awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment.
Physical activity is the best way of preserving our brain function. Countless studies indicate that those people who are physically active maintain cognitive ability better than couch potatoes. Probably it requires walking about 2 miles daily or spending about 40 minutes doing physical activity daily to preserve cognition. Several bouts of aerobic activity, where your heart rate gets up to about 120-130 beats per minute, weekly probably are required. Other things that help preserve cognition are eating a healthy diet that includes generous amounts of fruit (4 servings/day), vegetables (4 servings/day), and whole grains (3 servings/day). Eating fish or taking 2 fish oil daily capsules also help. Being socially active and doing mental gymnastics such as crossword puzzles also are protective from cognitive loss.
What appears to accelerate loss of brain function? Cigarette smoking, watching more than 2 hours of television daily, high animal fat intake from red meat, processed meat, and high fat dairy products and obesity are associated with more rapid decline in brain function.
Your health is in your hands. At any age after 25 you can begin the process of staying mentally alert and preserving your short term memory by exercising regularly, eating healthily, not smoking, and remaining socially active. These activities stimulate growth of new brain cells, enhance the connections between cells in the brain, and preserve the vital brain hormones, messengers and connections.
Please give me your comments and suggestions.
Jim Anderson

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