Aging Gracefully Blog

Archive for October, 2011

Going strong at 61 bpm

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

With advancing age I've developed increasing anxiety about going for my annual physical with Dr. Bruce Yaffe, who's been my primary care physician for 23 years.  What will he discover in doing his detective work of lab tests and screenings?  Are there any silent diseases like high blood pressure or osteoporosis waiting to manifest?  Will I still measure up to my full height and normal bone density?

This year I needn't have worried.  Not only was I current with all of my screenings – mammogram, bone density and colonoscopy  - but I got good scores on all the tests for blood pressure, cholesterol, Vitamin D level, etc..  My lifestyle practices also bode well, including the fact that I use seat belts in taxi cabs (which Dr. Yaffe always asks – he's very savvy!)

But best of all was the praise I got for my resting heart rate.  Dr. Yaffe was impressed that at the age of 65, my resting heart rate was 61 beats per minute.  Apparently it's rare for someone over 60 to have a heart rate that low.  I credit my daily habit of walking to all of my appointments, which usually adds up to the recommended 10,000 steps per day, and challenging myself on the weekends with half-hour runs.  The consistency of maintaining a steady level of physical activity really does pay off!

Interview with Kelly Alexander

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

Kelly Alexander conducted a tight, information-packed interview with me regarding the benefits of physical activity for breast cancer prevention and treatment.  Listen on The Kelly Alexander Show, Week of October 13-19, 2011 or download interview mp3 here, run time 19:22. As few as 3 hours a week of exercise can reduce your risk for developing breast cancer and lower a chance of recurrence by as much as 40%.  That's a big return for a small investment!

Tune into the interview to hear more about:
What 30-40 year olds should be thinking about now
Why body fat contributes to the risk of developing breast cancer and other diseases
The importance of cardio to improve feelings of well-being
How strength training helps prevent lymphedema
Easy exercises to open up the front of the shoulder and chest
The role deep breathing plays in returning to normal

“More Strength, More Confidence” in Oxygen magazine’s Off the Couch Collector’s Issue:

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

"The push-up is the little black dress of exercises:  simple and understated, with enough versatility to make it perfect for all occasions," writes Karen Asp  in her article "More Strength, More Confidence" featuring my six week Push Up Progression in Oxygen magazine's current Off the Couch Collector's Issue.

The title of the article comes from my quote that mastering the push up "builds confidence and self-esteem, especially when you achieve something you thought was out of reach." There's a variation of the push up to suit every level of fitness, and you can work the progression from easy to more difficult, building strength as you advance. Best of all, you can do them any time, any place, no equipment required – no excuses! download pdf article here Timely, Unbiased Information

Sunday, October 9th, 2011


I've teamed up Wendy Hoffman, the founder of , to offer you a free download of my book, "The Best Defense against Aging:  Getting Fit and Staying Strong."

Wendy and I have collaborated over the years and her site is a reputable source for targeted information for women in menopause.  Connect with Wendy for your copy of my e-book (box at top right), and find out how you can participate in the new study on Vitamin D and fish oil , get the latest update on research findings from the North American Menopause Society annual conference, and review other timely topics on menopausal issues.

Coming soon! Check back for more info on the giveaways of my books that Wendy and I have planned for the near future.

SHARE Raises Breast Cancer Awareness

Saturday, October 1st, 2011


Long before Breast Cancer Awareness became a popular cause for major fashion and cosmetic concerns, SHARE Cancer Support was born.  In 1976, twelve women came together to talk about their experience with breast cancer, two words that were still taboo in our mainstream culture - "breast" and "cancer."

My interest in this area was sparked by a client who'd had breast surgery.  She made such dramatic progress in her fitness program that she felt there must be other women who would benefit too.  With her encouragement and with the supervision of Dr. David Hidalgo, then Chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in NYC, I pioneered exercise guidelines for postoperative breast surgery.

My work with survivors continued at SHARE, a self-help group for women with breast and/or ovarian cancer.  During the years I gave workshops there, I also assembled a team of instructors to lead the warm-up for the annual SHARE Walk in Central Park.  This slideshow captures some of the highlights of various years.

view as slideshow

To this day, my long association with SHARE continues in the blog I write for their website,
"Get Fit, Stay Strong with Joan Pagano." Be sure to tune in for my fitness tips geared to cancer survivors and for the inspiring interview I did this month with Margo Kornfeld, a SHARE volunteer and fitness enthusiast.