Winter… the dreaded time where productivity decreases, laziness increases, and the days are generally colder and darker, making it a lot less appealing to exercise.
Staying active all year round can be an intimidating task, especially when Mother Nature is not co-operating. This is why it is important to be involved in a community based exercise program where you can have friends to hold you accountable and cheer you on through the winter. Exercising throughout the year will help you to achieve a weather-proof, healthy lifestyle. When we exercise, our muscles change slowly and get stronger over time, which is why it is vitally important to keep up your fitness throughout the year, as opposed to exercising intensely in the summer and then doing nothing in the winter.
Knowing that activity levels drop in winter and we are naturally inclined to exercise less, this is one more reason to celebrate the 1st of September and the start of Spring!
August – the month when women unite to celebrate their uniqueness and embrace the power that comes with being female. Women are special and so it makes sense that the ageing process, as well as the factors that influence ageing are different between the genders. So while there are a lot of similarities, there are some things that are uniquely female.
According to the World Health Organisation, women live an average four years longer than men. Life expectancy ranges from 58 – 80 across the world. However cardiovascular disease, which is often considered a “male” problem, is the number one cause of death in women. Luckily exercise substantially reduces not only the risk of cardiovascular disease but also many other chronic disease risk factors including breast cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes and more. Women tend to live longer than men, as they make up 54% of people 60 years of age, 60% at age 75 and older, and to 70% at age 90 and older. As a result, it is even more important for older women to ensure that they maintain an active lifestyle achieving the correct type and amount of exercise. Being active is not just about adding years to your life, it’s about adding quality life to your years.
Almost everyone will suffer from some form of lower back pain (LBP) at some point in their lives… So what is it that makes us so susceptible to LBP?
The spine is the main boney structure in the back; it consists of thirty three vertebrae that work together to form the backbone of our body. These vertebrae alone cannot support the massive loads and high stress and strain that we put on our backs. The vertebrae require assistance from all our soft tissue structures, ligaments, joints, fascia and most especially our muscles.
The back is full of muscles, big ones that cover large portions of the back, and more importantly small, deep muscles surrounding the spine, that provide stability and support.
Over the last few months, I have reviewed several research issues related to aging in general and specifically the relationship between exercise and healthy aging. So what have I learned that I think physicians should know?
One of the most debated topics is how much exercise does one actually need to do a week? Some will say you need to be in the gym for an hour everyday… others swear by special machines that mean 10 minutes a week is enough…
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has researched this topic from every angle and has found indisputable evidence that all humans need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week.