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It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Run or Walk for Your Health

I just read a December 5, 2014 article from The New York Times (thanks Tony). As we know, walking has been hyped as being an efficient way as far as aerobic exercise is concerned. Well, this article referenced a couple of studies comparing running to walking. We all know that running is associated with reversing aging in many ways. What about walking? Will it provide the same benefits?

Supposedly, older people who walk typically have a lower incidence of obesity, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, longer lifespans compared to sedentary people. Everyone talks about the benefits of walking. What is also true is that walking ability declines with age.  Older people who employ walking as their primary exercise, as the years increase, walk more slowly, with greater difficulty, and experience fatigue more easily.

One question that the researchers asked, “is physical slowing inevitable?” Past research of aging walkers found that they begin using more energy with each step that results in making movement more tiring and harder. Then, these researchers wondered “can running affect the physical ease of movement in older people?”

Likely, if you are a walker, you might say” I’m going to stick to walking because of my bad knees or whatever.” However, if your runner, you might say” I’m addicted and I’m going to keep to my running and hope it’s not just a rationalization.”

And then there was research. One group (men and women in their mid to late 60s or early 70s), walked at least three times a week for 30 minutes or more. The other group ran   three times a week for at least 30 minutes or more. Of course, those who have more questions, go to the research. Also, in the procedure were specially designed treadmills that measured biomechanics. The participants also wore masks to measure oxygen intake.

And then there were findings:1) are you surprised that the runners were better, more efficient walkers than the walkers and they required less energy to move at the same pace as the volunteers who walked regularly.2) They even found that 70 year-old runners  had about the same walking efficiency as your typical sedentary college student. On a personal note, I am 10 years older than my sister who has a personal trainer eats healthy, etc.. There is no way that she can walk with me on the hills. Just ask her.

One researchers explanation for the advantage of runners: 1) with prolonged aerobic exercise, mitochondria increases within muscle cells. Mitochondria provides energy for the cells which allows people to move for longer periods of time with less effort. 2) Runners have better coordination between their muscles, which means utilizing fewer muscles to contract for movement, which allows for less energy being used.

For me, psychologically running is important because I can still do it, even though it’s difficult at times. Running allows me to think positively about myself, my health, and my friendships and still allows me to be competitive. In part, that’s why I end each post with: keep moving, laughing, smiling, bonding, loving and appreciating.

That is my secret. What is yours?


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