Are you medicated for high blood pressure? How about high cholesterol? Has your doctor told you recently you are pre-diabetic? If you are over the age of 50 and a citizen of the United States, statistics unfortunately reflect a “yes” response to one or more of these questions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s official website, past 54 years old, male and female, 1 of every 3 people has high blood pressure.¹ That’s not good! And the cost of this is astounding also! Did you know that high blood pressure costs our nation $47.5 billion each year to support the cost of health care services, medications to treat high blood pressure, and missed days of work?² How about high cholesterol? Again, not so good. The average total cholesterol level for adult Americans is about 200 ml/dl, which is borderline high risk.³ How about those who are pre-diabetic? You represent 1 of 79 million people according to the latest diabetes fact sheet which came out in 2011.(4) What’s going on? The answer is simple. As a nation, we are moving less!
Nationwide, both our youth and adults are occupying their time with being more sedentary. And, it shows. A look at the last published “Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans” from 2008 reveals that less than half (48%) of all adults meet the recommendations. Our youth are also struggling. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years.(5) Not surprisingly, physical activity has declined also. A cross-sectional study done to determine how many youth aged 6 – 11 met both screen time recommendations (2 or less hours per day) and physical activity guidelines (60 minutes moderate intensity 7 days per week) using data from the 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey revealed a startling conclusion. Fewer than 4 in 10 children met both physical activity and screen time recommendations. And, the numbers dwindled with increased age.(6) No wonder out current First Lady took on childhood obesity as her personal campaign!
Okay, now time for some good news! We have a significant level of control over the health of our nation because all of these “conditions”, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity are almost unanimously lifestyle related. There are the rare instances where one of us was just handed a sour set of genes. Even then, physical activity and total dietary intake still have a strong influence over your ability to manage the results. So how do we start?
I think the best place to start is to simply understand who the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are and why we should be listening to them when determining our physical activity goals. The CDC is a government established group that is put in place to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the United States. Information is constantly reviewed to reflect the latest findings from research and nationwide statistical surveys. So when the CDC puts out recommendations, you can be sure that they are grounded in evidence-based research.
Let’s look at some guidelines that I think you will find extremely helpful as you visit your own activity levels. For starters, the national recommendation for total minutes of physical activity (not inclusive of muscle strengthening activity) is a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity and up to 300 minutes moderate or 150 minutes vigorous each week. I repeat. That is each week! So, here is the encouraging part. If you are not yet reaching a minimum of 150 moderate or 75 vigorous minutes each week, and you are on one or more medications for high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol, you have a significant level of control! I can tell you I hear day in and day out how negatively medications make clients feel. They tell me about achy joints, a common side effect of statins. I hear about grogginess, low energy, and upset stomachs. The list goes on. Fortunately it doesn’t have to. Simply commit to getting the recommended minutes each week and, as you lose weight and regulate your own numbers, you’ll be talking to your doctor about a weaning off program!
In order to get in the minimum recommendation of 150 minutes each week of moderate physical activity, you must establish a workable strategy. If you are a client of BodyBasics, you know we are all about creating plans that you can stick to week in and week out. Let’s explore an example that may be helpful to you. For starters, understand the importance of having success and building on that success gradually. Do not overlook this or you will find yourself starting off with goals that are way too aggressive and stopping your plan abruptly after only a few sessions. So, let’s say that you determine you are currently completing 90 minutes a week of moderate physical activity. If so, first and foremost, celebrate that you are consistently getting this much! Seriously! National statistics show a large majority of your fellow citizens are not. Now, set a goal to build 10% more activity into your weekly total every 2 weeks. Remember, we are setting you up for lifetime totals, not something you are going to engage in diligently for a few months and then shelve. If you follow this format of increasing by 10% every 2 weeks, in 3 months you will be just under 160 minutes each week! That is doable!
Here are some examples of what moderate intensity physical activity can be taken from the CDC website:
Now let’s also talk about your muscles. As a seasoned adult, you understand the challenges that can come with declining function. Most likely you’ve watched your parents struggle to get up out of chairs or you may actually be having that challenge yourself. You may find it interesting to note that without the stimulus of strength training exercises, you lose approximately 5% of your muscle every 10 years past the age of 35. That means you will have 20% less muscle at age 75 than you did at age 35! The loss in muscle mass increases your risk for osteoporosis, causes weight gain, and significantly compromises your balance and confidence with getting around. Again, just as with increasing physical activity, the solution is well within your grasp, literally. Simply grab some weights and use them at least 2X every week to target the major muscles in your body. Doing so will actually reverse the predisposed decline our body’s biological clocks come with. In fact, you can actually build muscle well into your later years!
My intent in writing this article was to bring hope, and a healthy appreciation for why we insist on you committing to exercise more than a couple of times each week. In order to stave off bone and muscle loss and to improve your blood profiles, you have to commit weekly. If you don’t you won’t. It is as simple as that.
I encourage all of you to join us for the month of May, which happens to be National Physical Fitness and Sports month, in committing to be more active. For those of you who have been to BodyBasics this year, you know we are posting a monthly commitment challenge for all to participate in. For May that challenge will be to be physically active for 150-300 minutes each week. Join us in keeping our bodies and our nation out of the doctor’s office and in better shape!
- Go AS, Mozaffarian D, Roger VL, Benjamin EJ, Berry JD, Borden WB, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2013 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2013;127:e6–245.
- Heidenreich PA, Trogdon JG, Khavjou OA, Butler J, Dracup K, Ezekowitz MD, et al. Forecasting the future of cardiovascular disease in the United States: a policy statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2011;123:933–44.
- Roger VL, Go AS, Lloyd-Jones DM, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2012 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2012;125(1):e2–220.
- Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Flegal KM. Prevalence of childhood and adult obesity in the United States, 2011-2012. Journal of the American Medical Association 2014;311(8):806-814.
- Fakhouri TI, Hughes JP, Brody DJ, Kit BK, Ogden CL. Physical Activity and Screen-Time Viewing Among Elementary School–Aged Children in the United States From 2009 to 2010. JAMA Pediatr. 2013;167(3):223-229. doi:10.1001/2013.jamapediatrics.122.
BodyBasics will be offering two kids exercise and health classes this summer. With the rise of childhood obesity and sedentary lifestyles we decided to take some action! FUNctional Health is a youth fitness and health class being offered to kids 8-12yrs at BodyBasics! In our one hour classes kids will be introduced and educated on healthy habits. The focus will be fitness driven, with education about nutrition, hydration, and importance of adequate physical activity.
- Session 1 June 2-27
- Session 2 July 7 – Aug 8
- Mon, Wed, Fri @4:30pm
- $180 per 4 week session
- Call us to reserve a spot for a child you care about. Space is limited.
Open House – Save the Date!
Saturday, May 31, 9am-1pm
Join us for a fun, informative open house. If you have yet to come see our new facility or it’s been awhile, we want to see you! Feel free to bring friends and family.
- 9am-10am Fitness Fusion Class
- 10am -11am Dr. Griffin will be speaking on four key areas to promote health and cure disease using little to no medications.
- 11am-12pm Foundations class and Raffle Prize Winners Announced
- 12pm-1pm Edna Silva, RN will be speaking on how you can prevent, halt, stabilize, and even reverse coronary artery disease.
- 1pm-1:30pm Parent’s meeting for start of FUNctional Health
- Jennifer Halvey referred by Mary Revie
- Bill Matsukado returning client
- Abe Stewart referred by Lorri Tomeo
- John and Susan Rosenberg
- Jenny Meyer referred by Patti Trout
- Elizabeth Van Horn
- Dave Bishow referred by Kim Blanchard
We see these drinks in supermarkets, coffee shops and specialty smoothie shops but most do more harm than good. I like to call them glorified milkshakes. However, done right smoothie’s can be a great pre or post workout beverage. Here are some good tips for making your own healthy smoothies.
Use fresh ingredients, blend liquids first then add in dry ingredients and use a high powered blender. Enjoy one of my favorite smoothies, light and fruity and perfect for hot summer days!
Strawberry Mango Smoothie
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 frozen banana, pealed and sliced
- 1 mango skinned and diced
- 5 large strawberries, hulled
- 1 cup crushed ice
Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth, then enjoy!
For added nutrition boost have fun with these additional items.
Flaxseed: Rich in protein, fiber and omega-3’s
Chia seeds: Fiber-loaded and protein-rich to control blood sugar
Hemp seeds: Vegan protein source with a mild nutty flavor
Wheat germ: 1 gram of dietary fiber per tablespoon
Karen began training at Body Basics in October of 2013. She had been suffering from frozen shoulder syndrome with impingement in both shoulders since 2011. Facing possible surgery because of the severe pain Karen decided to try physical therapy and cortisone injections instead. The treatments helped but Karen was still in pain and lacked the ability to participate in the activities she had once previously enjoyed. Playing with her grand kids, repelling, and basic exercise were no longer a part of her life due to the severe pain. Since working with Zane, Karen has vastly improved her shoulder mobility. Not only does she have full range of motion and is no longer in pain. Karen is dead-lifting, bench pressing, medicine ball slamming, jump roping and most importantly, once again she is able to pick up and play with her grand kids. She also traveled along the east coast with her husband Colby, all the while carrying a 60lb backpack for several miles without any pain. Congratulations to Karen for her hard work and dedication.
Myrya, Chris, Amber, Zane, Maureen, Mike, & Carrie
Get 150-300 minutes of physical activity every week!