Protein and Strength Training—Two Important Components for Healthy Aging

proteinStory at-a-glance −

 According to recent research, current dietary guidelines on protein intake may be too low for health, particularly if you’re over 50

 Protein is essential for optimal muscle growth and maintenance—especially for seniors— Continue reading

Why Your Body Changes When You Age-And How to Slow It Down

ageIt’s easy to get trapped in the mind frame that your health diminishes naturally as you age. You may find yourself getting a little slower, a little softer, and slightly more prone to pain and sickness.

The body goes through changes as you age. Once you hit 45, you start losing muscle mass at a rate of Continue reading

Insight into Men’s Testosterone Levels

Most people know that a man’s testosterone level peaks around age 20, and begins a steady decline from about 40 years old on, so that it is about 50% less by the time he is 80 years old.  What I don’t hear people talking about is the fact that, except in extreme cases, knowing what a man’s testosterone level is not really that helpful.  First, there is a huge range in what is considered ‘normal’ for testosterone.  For example, in men 20-30 years old, a normal testosterone level is anywhere between 270-1030 (almost a 4-fold difference). That level refers to total testosterone level, most of which travels through the body attached to a protein that keeps it from having any effect in the body.  Only free testosterone is what is important.  Furthermore, testosterone levels fluctuate greatly throughout the day.  Since testosterone levels are highest in the morning, which is usually when a sample is taken.

The other thing to consider is that since there is such a large range of normal, different men will feel differently with exactly the same testosterone level.  It is probably more helpful Continue reading

Aerobics and Resistance Training Are Great for Diabetes2

Living with Diabetes

You’ve probably heard it before, if you have type 2 diabetes it’s important to include exercise as part of your lifestyle to manage blood glucose levels. The latest research confirms that’s true, and adds that combining different types of exercise may be even more effective.

Treatment goals for type 2 diabetes

The treatment goals recommended for type 2 diabetes mellitus are clear cut: to achieve and maintain optimal blood glucose levels, along with lipids (blood fats) and blood pressure control. Many people with diabetes can achieve this by making lifestyle changes:

• Making healthy food choices;
• Doing regular exercise;
• Taking prescribed medications; and
• Losing excess weight.

The importance of exercise stressed in recent position paper

Last fall, in a joint position paper published by the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association, the subject of exercise and its effects on those with type 2 diabetes was reviewed in-depth. It revealed that only 39% of adults with diabetes are physically active, compared to 58% of other American adults.

The position paper also stated that exercise is highly recommended for people with type 2 diabetes mellitus and can be done safely and effectively. While this is not new, both this position paper and a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) indicate that a combined regimen of aerobic exercise and resistance training such as weight lifting can significantly lower blood sugar.

Combine aerobic and resistance workouts for the best results

The research suggests that combined training 3 times each week for people with type 2 diabetes mellitus may be of greater benefit than either type of exercise alone. Previous studies looking at exercise and type 2 diabetes suggest that when combining aerobic and resistance training, caloric expenditure was greatest. This most recent study published in JAMA showed that participants doing the combination training lowered their Hemoglobin A1c from 7.7 percent to 7.3 percent–which indicates a reduced risk of heart disease.

Start your new program by checking with your healthcare provider

Always a word of caution–be sure to check with your healthcare provider before starting a new exercise program. If exercise is new to you, initial instruction and possible supervision from a qualified exercise trainer is recommended