By Carolyn Johnson, Director
I receive calls often from individuals asking about the use of our exercise equipment. I advise them to come to our Center to check out our exercise classes and the equipment we have available to them. It’s no secret that physical activity tones up muscles, protects bones, burns calories and puts a happy bounce in your step. But recently, researchers uncovered a new bonus benefit. Exercise acts as a powerful vaccine against the aging process itself. Just as the human body needs food for life, so must we all have exercise to survive.
Just last week we received a gift of a New Nordic Trac Treadmill to add to our facility. That is just the first step in some additions and improvements we’re hoping to make at our Center. “Sit and be Fit” is the class that’s now being held weekly at our Center. We have also had classes of “Tai Chi” and “A Matter of Balance.” There are so many benefits to all of these. The key is finding a good match for your lifestyle.
I would like to share with you a study found in the book, Long Life Prescription under the Chapter titled, “Move to Feel Good.”
“In the summer of 1996, five healthy 20- year old men went to bed for three weeks. They weren’t tired. They were participating in what would become known as the Dallas Best Rest and Training Study, a landmark study on the effects of exercise (and the lack there of) on our bodies.
After three weeks of complete inactivity- the men even used wheelchairs to get to the bathroom- their muscle function deteriorated to the point where they could barely stand. As researchers later noted, “Those three weeks of bed rest had a greater effect on their aerobic fitness than 30 years of aging.”
After the bed rest part of the study the men completed eight weeks of intense exercise training that included treadmill workouts and long-distance running. The results? They completely reversed the damage from the bed rest, proving conclusively the amazing power of physical activity.
Fast forward 30 years. Researchers contacted the original five men, now age 50, to participate in a follow up study. All had become sedentary, gaining an average of 50 pounds, and doubling their overall body fat (ah, the joys of aging!).They had almost lost significant cardiovascular fitness. Not all of that loss was related to the natural effects of aging; about 40% was due to inactivity.
But here’s the thing: After walking, jogging, or cycling five hours a week for six months, the men again completely reversed their age- related drop in cardiovascular fitness. Their resting heart rates, blood pressure levels, and heart’s maximum pumping ability, or aerobic power, returned to the levels of 30 years earlier!
The message? “It’s never too late to begin exercising.”
So—Ready, Set, Go… To the Senior Center! Push yourself out of that easy chair and vow that today begins the rest of your life. Remember – the more energy you expand today, the more energized you will be tomorrow.
Starting Friday, July 19th, we will introduce Rashad Kirvin to participants at the Senior Center. Rashad will be working with us on individual training for those interested in improving their abilities. We are thrilled o have Rashad and know his experience will be helpful as we continue to bring new ideas and activities at the center.
For more information, call our Center at 272-4969!