Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

Your Brain, Use it or Lose it?

Friday, July 9th, 2010

It’s probably the most important body part you have, but when was the last time you worked out your brain? And, no, trying to remember where the Weather Channel moved on your cable system, doesn’t count. If you’re like most of us Boomers, the thought of  losing your mind, could cause you to, well, lose it. We’re obsessed with crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and Scrabble, but I would guess that very few of us actually make time to work out our brains. Even if you believe that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, exercising your noggin can’t hurt. The most important thing is to get started, and keep at it. Sounds like exercising anything, doesn’t it? There are a lot of companies working in this space, as Baby Boomers age, the market is growing with them. I met some of the people behind Posit Science at a Boomer conference, and recently have been in touch with one of their Internet marketing analysts, Eric. He’s sent me a couple of the games to try out…pretty interesting, and a little scary. Check them out here: 

How did you do? I’ll share if you do.

If you want another way to work out your brain, check out this week’s Blogging Boomer’s Carnival!

What are you doing for Active Aging Week? How about Nordic or Balance Walking?

Monday, September 14th, 2009

It's All About Aging Balance WalkingNext week is Active Aging Week, and how many of you have heard of Nordic or Balance Walking? No, it’s not what they do in Scandinavia to cross the street, nor does it require snow or freezing cold temperatures. It was originally started by cross country skiers who wanted a way to workout in the off-season.  It’s a form of walking with two poles, that to the rest of us look suspiciously like ski poles (that’s where the Nordic part comes in, get it?).  Now, as with most exercises designed to get you to buy new equipment, you can’t just go into your garage and dust off whatever ski poles you haven’t used since the last century. What you need is a pair of walking/running shoes, something with a rocker bottom (think bottom of a rocking chair), and a set of poles. A good source for both is the Foot Solutions website. And here’s a good introduction to the technique.

You always hear that exercise is essential for all of us, and the more we are active as we get older, we stay flexible, and live longer, healthier lives. What are the advantages of Balance Walking? Because you are actively using your arms, you burn 40% more calories. They say if you do it right, you can actually burn as many calories as running, without all the wear and tear on your knees from the impact. You also strengthen upper body and core muscles and improve posture. Think arms like Michelle Obama without all those tricep kickbacks…

Even though my mother is a great walker, I worry about her balance, and with good reason. Each week, more than 30,000 Americans over the age of 65 are seriously injured by falling, and nearly 250 die from their injuries according to the National Safety Council. Getting her started Balance Walking would be a great thing. No more worries about uneven sidewalks in the city, icy winter weather, or uneven terrain in the country. A few other advantages for the Greatest Generation? Well it’s not exactly Cane Fu Fighting, but you see where I’m going with this, don’t you? Watch out aggressive bikers! And although you can certainly do it on your own, signing up with a group gives you social, mental and physical benefits.  There are even Nordic Walking marathons for the truly committed among you. So, let go celebrate Active Aging Week! Are you up for it? I’ll see you in Central Park!

Cane Fu fighting. Seniors drop Pilates for some cool moves with a cane?

Monday, July 20th, 2009

It's All About Aging woman with a caneSeniors using their canes as weapons, a concept to make you smile, right? An article recently in the Wall Street Journal was all about “Cane Fu” and it turns out to be a great form of exercise as well as self defense. Senors are flocking to classes at senior centers and retirement communities, and Mark Shuey has developed Cane Masters to train them. While there’s always the danger that anything you use as a weapon can be taken and used against you, the element of surprise, is probably in a seniors favor.

Not surprisingly, if you do a search for Cane Fu, there’s a ton of information on the Internet, ranging from the very serious and scary, to the highly amusing. As much as I generally dislike, the Colbert Report, this recent video on Cane Fu, is pretty hilarious.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Enemy Within – Cane Fu
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Health Care Protests

According to the Huffington Post, “it isn’t an entirely new use for the cane. In ancient Rome and Egypt, canes were used as weapons. In the 13th century, swinging a cane before a member of royalty would assure your beheading. In the 17th century, canes required a permit.

“Things changed 200 or 300 years ago. You don’t want to take a cane to a gunfight, so the cane became a crutch and it’s been visualized as that for the last couple hundred years,” Shuey said. “Today when you carry a cane, they think you’re a gimp.”

So what do you think? Time to drop Pilates for Cane Fu?