Aging Gracefully Blog

Archive for March, 2012

SHARE Celebrates its Volunteers

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

The annual party for SHARE volunteers had a special focus this year as we gave out-going Executive Director Alice Yaker a heart-felt send off.  Alice is retiring after years of providing a steady hand at the helm of the organization.  She leaves a legacy of good will, financial stability and expanded outreach for SHARE to continue its work of supporting women with breast and/or ovarian cancer.

Here I am with Beth Kling, the Communications Director, who works with me on my monthly blog for the SHARE newsletter, "Get Fit, Stay Strong with Joan Pagano."  She's a brilliant editor and we've been working together for a year now.  It was great to finally meet her in person…and, surprise! discover that she's as tall as I am (5'10").

“Dr. Alvin’s Going Down!”

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Dr. Alvin is four pounds away from busting a big number on the scale!  He’s now down 22 pounds, and at his current weight loss of two pounds a week, he’s approaching a major breakthrough.  When we had our weekly phone chat last week, he told me, “I’m giving myself credit, I’ve never done this in my life,” meaning taking charge
of his health and fitness.  “Consistency is key,” he said, “fitting my biking or walking session in every day, even working out late at night if I have to.”

Of course he’s eating differently, too.  His diet consists mostly of chicken and fresh fish from the market.  He uses a slow cooker, steamer and grill to prepare his meals with a minimum of oils and fats.  He’s switched chicken salad for a salad with chicken, and he’s reading labels for any ingredients he uses in his cooking. These sensible changes go a long way in contributing to healthy weight loss and are manageable in everyday life.

Women’s Health Magazine March 2012 issue

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

Will using a heart-rate monitor really help my workout? Lauren R., Indianapolis, IN

Absolutely. This little gadget provides an important representation of how hard you're working says Joan Pagano, author of Strength Training for Women. By tracking your ticker, you'll know what it takes to hit your target training zone. You should be at 80 percent of your maximum heart rate - find your max by subtracting your age from 220 - when pushing hard (say, during the intense part of an interval) and 60 to 70 percent while moving at a steady, aerobic pace (like during a longer run). It's also an easy way to measure your progress: The lower your resting heart rate - check it first thing in the morning - the stronger your heart has become.

Success Stories: Don’t Let Old Age Creep Up on You!

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Elizabeth shared her story with me, "A year ago I was in physical therapy for my knee injury. Getting therapy helped me strengthen the weak areas in my legs and proved to me that it wasn't just 'old age'. I thought that the popping of my knee cap when I was gardening was a fact I'd just have to live with. I decided I needed to be stronger and have more stamina."

Elizabeth goes on to say that she's just not one to pop a DVD into the computer and follow along, so instead she thought about how to incorporate more movement into her day by tip toeing around (to strengthen her calf muscles), stretching at the sink and walking up the steps at the office.

In her own words, she describes what it felt like:  "When I first started walking the 3 long flights at the office the third level was hard. I could feel a burning in my legs and I was out of breath. Now my heart is beating pretty hard but my legs don't burn, I'm barely out of breath and I recover in a minute. Walking up from the basement, making it 4 floors, is hard but way easier than last year. Most of the time I am carrying something, at least 10 lbs. My knee hasn't 'popped out' during yard work! A huge improvement."

Use this tip for yourself:  Don't assume that creaking bones, pops in your joints or nagging discomfort in any part of your body is a natural part of aging.  Therapy can help work out the pain and adding movement to your day improves your overall mobility.

Real Life Role Models

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

What do Alvin, Fern, Debbie and Lucy have in common?  Over the past couple of months, they have all shared at least one personal tactic that has worked for them in reaching their health and fitness goals.  Here's a re-cap of some of the headlines so far:

Add intervals of higher intensity cardio to burn more calories in less time
Get creative about fitting exercise into your day
Achieve your goals by making yourself accountable
Add some fun to your workouts
Practice daily:  eat and exercise in such a way that you can face doing it again tomorrow
Override the signals of aging with exercise
Work on your core to improve strength and mobility for the whole body

For details on how these role models achieved their results, check out our blog posts beginning in January.  And stay tuned:  the list keeps growing!  We'll keep you posted here as we continue to add more real life examples of people who are making fitness work for them.