Aging and How it Affects our Senses

As we go about our usual day, our activities are largely influenced and affected by our five senses. We may not think about it often but these senses play a large role in everything we do! As we age, there are changes that occur throughout the entire body, which also includes our senses of hearing, vision, smell, touch and taste.

The extent and speed of these changes are largely determined by our lifestyle, current health and conditions as well as genetics. The loss or deterioration of any of these senses can be often be quite challenging and frustrating but continue reading to discover ways in which these changes can be corrected or relieved!

Our bodies require a certain level of stimulation before our senses will recognize it. It has been discovered that during the aging process the level of stimulation that is required increases. It is probably no surprise that the most obvious senses affected by aging are the loss of hearing and vision.

How Vision is Affected

Eye are dryer and more uncomfortable due to less lubrication being produced
Slower reaction between the pupil adapting between bright light and darkness
Clarity of vision decreases
Pupils decrease in size
Increased difficulty in tolerating glare
Particles in the eye may appear (known as floaters)
Difficulty driving and reading
Field of Vision reduces
Cataract Development

All of these changes have the potential to cause injury, eye strain, headaches and fatigue.

How to improve vision problems:

– Eye drops can be very helpful in relieving dry and irritated eyes
– Contact lenses or glasses are highly effective in correcting vision problems
– Incorporate the use of warmer colors (red, yellow, orange) around the home as these colors are easier to distinguish between than cooler colors.
– Schedule regular eye examinations

How Hearing is Affected

As we get older hearing loss occurs due to the structures and nerves gradually breaking down within the ear.

Eardrum thickens
Presbycusis – This is the most prevalent type of hearing loss associated with aging. Sounds of high frequency become more difficult to distinguish and general hearing may decline. The degree of this type of hearing loss is linked to the exposure to loud noise in the past.
Tinnitus – Tinnitus is a very common condition that is experienced amongst many older member of society. If you notice a persistent ringing or unusual sounds it is very likely to be tinnitus.

The loss of hearing can have a dramatic impact on our lives. Unfortunately some level of hearing loss can’t be avoided, when it comes to aging. The good news is that there are many ways in which hearing can be improved. All it takes it a visit to your health professional to find out the various forms of assistance available. You may be referred to a specialist or qualify to use hearing aids or implants. There are also a range of devices for around the home that are designed especially for those experiencing hearing difficulties.

How Taste and Smell are Affected

The senses of taste and smell are closely related and work together brilliantly. As we age these senses decline, which can lead to problems.

These two senses assist in ensuring that we consume and enjoy healthy food. They also act to keep us safe. However the decline of these senses can cause a lack of appetite and nutrition deficiency. Someone with difficulties with taste and smell are also more like to accidently to ingest food that is not fit for consumption!

Many find that increasing the concentration of flavors or adding more spices assists in enhancing the enjoyment of food!

If you experience changes in you taste or smell, speak with your health professional as such losses can also be due to other factors, aside from aging, that can be easily treated.

How Touch is Affected

The act of touching involves receives signals and vibrations, which let you know whether something is pleasant, unpleasant, soft, hard, hot or cold! During the later years this reduces in sensitivity due to a reduced level of blood flow to the touch receptors. This can make it more difficult to distinguish between sensations such as hot and cold.

These changes pose a risk to such problems as:

– Difficulty walking
– Frostbite
– Burns
– Hypothermia
– Pressure Sores

Safety Strategies:

Regularly check your entire body for skin condition, sores and other abnormalities. You never know what you may discover even if you’re not experiencing pain!

Adjust the water heater in your home so that it doesn’t exceed a certain temperature. This will reduce the likelihood of accidental burning occurring.

If unsure on the appropriate level of dressing for the current temperature, consider having a quick glance at a thermometer, to guide you.

Create your OWN Healthy Habits

Smiling couple preparing salad together in kitchen

In my last article, I referred to how obesity can run in families.  Maybe you know of somebody who battles with their weight, and they will discount it and say, “Oh, I just have

fat genes. My parents and siblings are like that – everybody in my family is.”

It’s so easy to just write obesity or weight problems off like that, but really, it’s not doing you or anybody saying it any favors at all.  In fact, it’s like writing yourself off and resigning yourself to a lifetime of obesity and the lifestyle-related problems that come with it.

At the end of the day, nobody wants to be sentenced to a lifetime of obesity.  And the only way you can spare yourself of it is to take full and 100% responsibility for YOU!

It is entirely up to you to make the changes

Nobody is going to wake up one morning and make it their life mission to help you lose weight.  Only you can do it.

You can watch as many healthy lifestyle programs relating to fitness and healthy diet…but at the end of the day, you need to implement what you learn to reap the benefits.

You have to stop talking about it, and start doing it.

The weight will not just fall off on its own.  You have to take action to lose the weight and get back to health.

Now, I know you may have struggled with this before.  You may have tried diets.  You may have tried doing a very strict fitness regime.

And even so – even with the best of intentions – you found yourself giving up because it was too hard.

But today is a NEW day!

Just because you may have failed in the past, doesn’t mean you will fail this time.  The past is the past.  And the future is whatever you want it to be – whatever you create it to be.

And when it comes to losing weight and getting yourself back to health, it’s all about creating new habits.

Now, new habits doesn’t mean pain and suffering.  It doesn’t mean you’re going to have a hard time and miss out on good things.  In fact, new, healthy habits means you are gaining so much.  You are getting on track to getting the healthy body you want and the healthy mind you want.

When you have a healthy body, you have a healthy mind.

And it all boils down to habits.

Here are some things to know about creating healthy habits:

It only takes 30 days to create a new habit: replace an old habit that isn’t healthy, with a healthy habit.  Do it for 30 days and it becomes second nature.  It’s no longer such a struggle to do it, because you naturally DO it!

By adopting healthy habits, you will relieve yourself of stress: it’s amazing how a healthy lifestyle of diet and exercise can relieve you of stress.  You can manage stress a whole lot easier when you are living a healthy lifestyle.

And here are a few habits you can adopt TODAY

It’s really not that hard.  See these are surefire steps to your optimum health and wellbeing:

Start walking: You always feel better after a walk.  Try making time each day – or at least 3 days a week – to walk at least 30 minutes.  Try shaking up the pace of your walking with bursts of fast walking, then normal walking.  Also, you can try jogging for say one minute every 5 minutes.  Shake your body up and your metabolism is turbocharged…so it will burn fat for a lot longer – for hours after you stop exercising.

When hungry, snack on nuts: It doesn’t take long for you to fill up when you snack on nuts.  The hunger will go away pretty fast…and nuts are an essential food you should eat every day for optimum health.  Nuts are good for you!

Don’t make excuses: Remember it is up to YOU to take 100% responsibility for your health.  Don’t skip health checks and don’t skip your exercise or healthy eating.  You can add variety so you keep on the right path.

Plan to eat well: Create a meal plan and buy food you can store in your freezer.  It spares you the temptation of eating unhealthy take away foods.

Remember to relax: People give up because they push themselves too hard.  Afford yourself relaxation from your fitness routine – a couple of days per week of rest is fine.  And if you want to treat yourself to the occasional chocolate, you can.  Just stick to healthy basics every other time.

Thirty days and you’re there!  Start today!

The Bad Stuff About Obesity in America

thumb down

If you think obesity is on the rise in America, you’re absolutely right!  It’s now known that about 60 million people in the US are obese.  Obesity affects more women than it does men, and women aged between 20 and 74 are those predominantly affected by this epidemic.

And most of them are African American or Mexican American.

That’s according to the statistics anyway – and they are nothing short of alarming.

Obesity in the US has been on the rise since the 1960’s, and it was from this time that the life of the average American got busier.  Much more career focused, busier, less active and more convenience-driven.  That’s also why take away chains are doing such a roaring trade…but look a the incredible cost.

A rise in obesity means increased health problems, which drains our stressed health system.

But, what exactly is obesity?

It’s one thing to be overweight and another thing to be obese.  When one is overweight, it means they are heavier in the muscle, bone, water and fat department.  If one is obese, they have too much fat.  According to health care professionals, to be obese, guys have in excess of 25% body fat, and women have in excess of 30% body fat.  Biologically, women have more body fat than guys.

So that is what is considered to be obese.

And that’s pretty significant.

Obesity is directly linked to lifestyle diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease – even breast, colon and prostate cancer.  But physical diseases isn’t where it ends.  Obese people tend to suffer more from mental health conditions such as depression, low self-esteem and a lack of self-confidence.

Obesity can happen to anybody…but positive change all boils down to willpower

Sure, it’s often the case that obese people come from obese families.  The fact of the matter is though that it can happen to anybody.  You just need to have that lifestyle of eating too much and exercising too little – if at all.  All of these factors are a recipe for obesity.

As scary as the statistics are and the ramifications of obesity, the power is with you to ensure you don’t become obese – or stay obese, if you already are.

Earlier this year, on Good Morning America, we watched how 500 people lost a combined weight of nearly 700 pounds.  That’s astonishing isn’t it?

The five people were Eric Freemyer who lost 130 pounds, Wendi Tillem who lost 124 pounds, Kim Eidson who lost 159 pounds, Marty Moorehead who lost 163 pounds and Ken Shooltz who lost 120 pounds.

They lost weight by using a variety of diets from Aitkins to Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet, and exercising.  As great as the weight loss has been though, all five of these people have made the necessary lifestyle changes to keep their weight within the healthy range.

As great as those stories are though…

…some of you guys out there may have tried diets like this, but to no avail.  Perhaps you could not stick with it?

If that’s the case, don’t beat yourself up.  Understand that permanent weight loss is the only weight loss.  There is no point yo-yoing…losing five pounds here, ten there.  You need to achieve a healthy weight and you need to stick to that weight, in order to be healthy.  Lifestyle is the only way.

So before you reach for that next diet shake or order weight loss pills, remember that.  Do you really want to be drinking shakes all your life?  Do you really want to be popping pills?

More often than not, the answer is no.  And that’s a good thing, because lifestyle is the only way.  Adopt a healthy, balanced diet and exercise at least half an hour a day, three days a week.  There really is no other way to do this permanently.

Keep reading my articles to get helpful tips to help you achieve it for yourself – and your family!

Parents ARE the biggest Influencers!

overweight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the United States, obesity in children is definitely on the rise!  It is now estimated that 1 in 3 American kids are considered either overweight or obese.

It’s shocking isn’t it?  I remember back when I was at school, and it was rare to see a child who was overweight.  All the kids seemed to be really skinny back then, and little wonder.  We ate healthy and instead of sitting in front of a computer playing games, or sitting down playing on the Xbox, we were outside playing cowboys and Indians and running around.

The way kids live has changed and it is reflected in their growing size.

And sadly, if the trend continues, for the first time ever, we will see a younger generation die before their parents – as a normal thing.

So, the question is:

Who is INFLUENCING these kids and making them fat?

The biggest influencers of children are their parents.  And that shouldn’t come as any surprise.  Take a look at American adults and you’ll find that – according to Wikipedia – 64% of adults are overweight or obese, and 26% are obese.  Wikipedia cites the source of those statistics to be “Obesity Statistics: U.S. Obesity Trends” published in 2006.  So the statistics are probably worse now, given the rising rate of obesity.

Parents often, are working fulltime, and it results in them taking shortcuts when it comes to diet.  Instead of cooking healthy foods at home, many parents turn to drive-thru alternatives and poor quality “heat and eat” options from supermarkets. 

And the prevalence of computers, the internet and gaming consoles means kids aren’t playing outside so much anymore.  They are sitting in front of a computer – and often eating junk foods while they’re playing games.  And working parents, who are often time poor – allow their kids to do this.

It makes for a dangerous mix.  A bad diet and sedentary lifestyle.  Put simply: kids are getting old before their time.  And they are getting lifestyle diseases as well – Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, joint problems, breathing problems, some cancers – even strokes and heart disease.

Parents are working hard.  Don’t get me wrong.  But they – and their children – are paying for it with their health.

 

How to change things

To change things, parents have to take ownership of the problem.  They need to see themselves as the major influencers of their children, and then take action to change it. 

These things can help:

  • Set aside family time each day to do something active – it only has to be half an hour – and make it fun!
  • Take the time to prepare healthy meals – if you are time poor, try cooking healthy things that you can store in your freezer, and simply heat and eat on busy nights!
  • Keep computer game time to a minimum – set a ceiling limit and encourage your kids to play in the backyard or sign up for a sport.
  • Actively encourage your kids to participate in sports and other active interests – save money on takeaway food and use that money to enlist your kids in a sport that will help them get active.
  • Be active yourself and eat healthy – you are to be an example to your kids.
  • Don’t give your kids unhealthy foods for lunches and snacks – you have to set the rules.

Remember, it may seem like hard work in the beginning, but it only takes 30 days for a new action to become a habit.  So work hard at creating these healthy habits.

Your kids will thank you for it in the future!

My Top Tips for Weight Loss Eating

Fifty Fit & Fabulous

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Often in my work as a personal trainer, I hear about the diet frustrations that many of my weight loss clients contend with.  Up there with the best of them is the frustration surrounding the foods they really love, but feel they cannot enjoy because those food are ‘naughty’ or ‘bad’.

One of the things I am always happy to share with these clients is that there are so many substitutes out there that will keep you from going crazy from “yum deprivation”. 

Dieting doesn’t have to mean living on lettuce and cardboard at all.  This is what too many people believe, and it’s why too many people crash diet.  They cannot keep up with the strictness of the nutritional plan they are following.

Healthy eating is something we need to make a lifestyle thing and here are my healthy and delicious alternatives to those foods we find yummy:

  • Drink diet soft drinks instead of regular sugar ones:  Soft drinks and sodas are to blame for so much weight gain, and it’s not looking like slowing down any time soon.  Just because you’re trying to lose weight though doesn’t mean you have to cut soft drink out of your life altogether.  There are plenty of diet soft drinks out there that are sugar free, and you can enjoy them without feeling any guilt, anytime you wish to reach for a soda.
  • Wholegrain bread instead of white bread:  It’s a lie that you need to cut bread out of your diet altogether if you’re looking to lose weight.  Instead of eating white bread which is full of unnecessary calories, opt for wholegrain bread.  It has fewer calories, less fat and it’s rich with the nutrients that your body really craves.  This wholegrain recommendation also applies to bagels and bread rolls.  You don’t have to cut them out altogether!
  • Low fat cookies and cakes instead of the calorie-rich ones:  Many people get that 3pm lull towards the end of the day when the afternoon is winding down.  During this time you may be used to enjoying a cake or cookie, and the good news is you can still do this.  Just go for the low fat bakery options.  They do exist – you just need to spot them in your cake and cookie aisle at the grocery store.
  • Vegetable burgers instead of hamburgers:  Sometimes you just feel the need to wolf down a hamburger, and thanks to low-fat veggie burger alternatives, you can – guilt-free!  They take a little getting used to, I must admit, but it’s well worth trying them out.  Be sure to add a nice serve of salad to your burger for an enjoyable, healthier hamburger alternative.
  • “Fake butter” instead of real butter:  Sure it tastes a little different, but it’s worth switching from the fatty version to the fake.  The big companies producing butter are now creating fat-free versions, so you don’t have to forgo butter after all if you get the urge to enjoy it!

Take these handy tips into consideration within the context of a healthy, balanced diet, and you’re on your way to making a healthy lifestyle, your lifestyle!

To get advanced strategies go see you local 24 hour fitness trainer.

This site is dedicated to you and your continued success.  Feel free to leave you thoughts and questions so we can get you answers to your burining questions.

Staying safe and keeping your pride while working out!

Blonde Moment

Be afraid, be very afraid!  I say that with the intention to humor you mostly, but also to alert you to a very real and present fact: people are doing themselves – not to mention their pride – injuries in their quest to get fit.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  It’s great to throw yourself (not literally!) into a healthy lifestyle of regular fitness.  But if you haven’t worked out for a long time – maybe several months or years – you’re going to have to heed a few warnings from a personal trainer.

Of which I am one!

Over the course of my personal training career, I’ve seen my fair share of injuries to both body and pride for many a client.  In fact, just recently, I read an article on the internet that revealed to me these very alarming facts:

http://rss.msnbc.msn.com/id/35127528/ns/health-fitness/

  • Last year in this country, there were more than 50,000 people treated in the ER for fitness equipment injuries!
  • Treadmills are the most dangerous pieces of fitness equipment!
  • People often injure themselves whilst checking their iPhones or iPods, the equipment computers or watching the TV or others working out!
  • The biggest causes of injury on fitness equipment: lack of attention and not knowing how to use the equipment properly.

In short, these injuries are 100% preventable and personal trainers can help you avoid injury to both body and pride!

Imagine having to face your gym colleagues again after cart wheeling off a treadmill. Don’t laugh – it’s happened more than once!  And unfortunately, injuries like this which involve bone fractures and sprains keep even the most determined health-kicker out of action for weeks!

Even the most accident-prone, clumsy person can master fitness machines with the expert assistance of a personal trainer.  It’s always rewarding for me to introduce somebody completely new to fitness, to equipment that gets results.  Once they are properly taught how to use the equipment, it’s always great to see the individual bask in the satisfaction of real results!

Once you know how to use fitness equipment the right way, you will never forget.  It’s like riding a bike!  You’ll be well on your way to adopting a healthy and active lifestyle, conducive to good health and wellbeing.  Your local gym will have 24 hour fitness trainers on hand ready to show you the ropes, without the risk of injury.  Trial and error definitely can come with pain in this game!

It’s really worth working with a personal trainer from day one, because you avoid silly injuries like the ankle sprains and leg breaks from pushing yourself too hard on a treadmill or falling off a stepping machine.

We don’t just teach people how to use exercise equipment – we also help every individual we work with to start slow in the beginning.  How many times have you decided to really throw your efforts into getting fit?

Perhaps you’ve bitten off more than you can chew with the weights machine and done your shoulder or back?

Maybe you’ve torn muscles by running on a treadmill without adequate warm up?

It’s painful to your body, and definitely to your pride.

Getting fit takes time.  It will take you at least three months to really get your body fit.  There are no overnight fixes.  No magic pills.

A good personal trainer will get you on track to achieving your fitness and health goals from day one.  No more trial and error.  No more falling off the wagon because you’re losing motivation.

If you’re 100% serious about achieving your goals when it comes to fitness, talk to a qualified personal trainer today.  Save yourself an injury to your body and to your pride – and get well on your way to your goals today!

Check out the local 24 hour fitness trainers in your area!  You won’t regret it, and you’ll get fit without all of those silly injuries to body and pride!

Add Cardio to Your Day for Awesome Results!

People at the gym doing cardio exercises.As a personal trainer, the number one reason why people contact me for help is because they want to lose weight and get healthy.  Today in 2010, people are getting fatter and with that, they’re getting sicker and more depressed because they don’t look and feel as great as they could.

The weight loss journey can seem like such an overwhelming challenge to people, particularly when it comes to the issue of exercise – and that’s when all the excuses come out.

By excuses, I’m talking about excuses NOT to exercise.  People are often turned off by exercise, because they think it’s going to be painful and difficult.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  That’s because the exercise most effective at burning calories and ultimately, fat, is cardio!

Cardio or cardiovascular exercise works the body – particularly the heart and lungs – to burn calories.  In other words, it tells the excess fat you’re carrying to disappear completely!  And the great thing about cardio exercise is that it includes such a wide range of fun, physical activities that will elevate your heart rate so you can burn a greater amount of fat.

Cardiovascular exercise activities include but are not limited to:

  • Walking (outside or on a treadmill)
  • Swimming
  • Cycling (outside or on an exercise bike)
  • Jogging (outside or on a treadmill)

By doing at least half an hour of cardiovascular exercise 5 days per week that gets you sweating moderately (this is good by the way), you will:

  • Burn fat much more efficiently without the high intensity (associated with anaerobic exercise like sprinting and weights)
  • Increase your metabolism which will help you burn more fat
  • Increase your energy
  • Increase your stamina
  • Sleep better
  • Recover quickly after exercise
  • Cope with stress in a better way
  • Feel happier and in control of moods

Get cardio working for you today, and remember what I said yesterday: it only takes 30 days to create a new habit.  In short, start walking, swimming or jogging today