Active Aging and Nordic Walking are a Perfect Fit.
Put the spring back into your step or the power back into your walk.
Active Aging Nordic Walking is suitable for older adults that like the challenge of moderate to intense fitness walking, as well as older adults with medical conditions for which the Nordic Walking Poles can help compensate for (e.g. MS, osteoporosis, diabetes, arthritis, joint replacements and joint pain, beginning balance or mobility problems, and more…).
How Nordic Walking can help boost a healthy lifestyle:
· For the older adult with challenging medical conditions:
o When health and mobility challenges or pain in feet, knees, hip, back and hands keep you from [enjoying] your outdoor walking or hiking activities, Nordic Walking poles may give you relief the relief you are looking for.
o Nordic Walking poles can take off stress to feet, knees, hip, and back, and you don’t even have to hold on to the poles when your hands or finger are in pain. Nordic Walking provides physical exercise for the upper and lower body, and the brain, and can provide stability for those beginning to experience balance problems.
o When hand and finger pain is too intense to even hold a cane for stability and balance, the Nordic Walking Poles instead are comfortably strapped to the wrist and have a quick release button for when you need to take off a jacket or sweater or want to get out your water bottle while you are enjoying your outdoor activity.
· For the active aging older adult:
o When maintaining your fitness level, preventing chronic disease and enjoying the outdoors are important to you, Nordic Walking is a great activity to add to your exercise choices to improve and maintain fitness and a healthy lifestyle. This weight bearing activity works on aerobic endurance and muscle endurance for both upper and lower body muscles, promoting both weight maintenance or weight loss, bone density and boosts brain function. Cardiovascular exercise promotes a healthy blood pressure, improved cholesterol and can prevent the risk for developing disease such as diabetes and heart disease. The exercise can also reduce the risk for developing diabetes related medical conditions.
o For the highly fit and athletic:
o Nordic Walking can help you maintain and optimize your health and fitness and is a great choice when running is no longer an option or when you like to take a break from running. Nordic walking originated in Finland when cross-country ski athletes needed to stay in optimal shape and condition during the summer months. Nordic walking can provide a high intensity fitness training choice that works both the body and the brain when correct techniques are learned and used.
I recently travelled to California to obtain training through ANWA(American Nodric Walking Association). This day-long event was very productive and inspiring to me. Nodic Walking is not very popular in Oregon, Nordic Walking poles are not even sold at REI(only walking or hiking sticks, which will not work for Nordic Walking).
I am planning a nordic workshop sometime in the spring. When you are interested in participating please let m eknow. I will keep the group small-upto 6 participants- because I will have to supply poles for participants to work with.
Maintaining bone health is essential throughout cancer treatment for both men and women. A nasty side effect of Intermittent Hormone Therapy is bone loss. Aromatase Inhibitors (AI’s) block the production of estrogen and are associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis sand fractures. For many men following prostate cancer bone loss is not explained by the oncologists. A simple sneeze or couching fit can break or fracture a rib. Vertebrae can break for no reason, causing a curved spine. Nothing good comes from a bend skeletal frame that prevents organs to maximize their abilities such as when lungs are not able to expand fully which are more vulnerable to pneumonia. A broken hip can leave a patient bedridden for a long time.
Dr. Catherine Van Poznak states that diet and exercise (weight bearing activities and resistance training) are the foundation of maintaining and regaining strong bones as well as taking the appropriate amount of calcium and vitamin D supplements. The National Comprehensive Cancer network (NCCN) Task Force on Bone Health in Cancer recommends bone density DEXA screenings regardless of age or gender on a regular basis. Men are advised to have a DEXA scan before starting hormone therapy and again a year later, and to pay attention to bone health.
Osteoporosis in the spine or hip increases the risk of fractures which can also happen by performing inappropriate or high risk exercises or movements. Don’t let your favorite exercise be a bone crushing event. I recommend you consult a qualified health fitness specialist who can analyze your current exercise program or activities of daily living and design a safe bone building and preserving exercise program that still meets your fitness goal.
Postmenopausal women whose breast cancer is fueled by hormones are typically prescribed aromatize inhibitors (ALs) for five years after the surgery or primary treatment. The side effects can sometimes cause harmful side effects such as bone loss and heart problems. The most common side effect experienced by 50% of women is arthralgia, persistent joint pain and is reported the main reason women stop taking the drug.
The HOPE study (Hormone and Physical Exercise) examined 121 women who were physically inactive but able to exercise and who had been taking ALs 6 months. Participants that reported at least mild joint pain were randomized receiving standard care or to participate in a twice weekly supervised resistance training sessions and at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise.
The research study reports that after 12 months of consistent exercise the women in the exercise group experienced 20 to 30% decrease in joint pain, in addition to other benefits, such as weight loss, cardio respiratory fitness. Participants receiving standard care reported an increase in joint pain. CURE Spring 2014
Jacqueline’s comments: The article did not mention of any improvements of functional fitness which is expected from a resistance training program. Since this was not the objective of the study no pre- or post testing may have been performed to assess. My experience in instructing supervised and targeted exercise programs that emphasize resistance training that dramatic improvement in functional fitness are expected, especially in previously inactive individuals.
When you are interested in taking a supervised and personalized exercise training group program I am teaching Revive; Exercise Recovery Program, Workout for: Weight-Loss, better health and the Ageless Athlete, as well as the Diabetes Intervention Prevention Exercise Program (DIP)through the THPRD Elsie Stuhr in Beaverton. Private in-home training to better manage medical conditions is another possibility.
As we age our risk for falling increases, something we don’t want to think or talk about. There are many different reasons why people fall, however the risk factors for falling increases as we age. From reduced muscle strength, reduced joint range of motion, still muscles, bone and/or joint problems, loss of sensation (peripheral neuropathy in the feet due to diabetes or chemo therapy), reduced vision, changes in the inner ear (vestibular), and then there are environmental hazards that can cause a fall to happen and taking certain types of medication.
The good news is, you can reduce your risk factors and prevent falls from happening in the first place. Take the 4 Stage Balance Test to determine if you are at risk for falling, you can also ask your health care provider to do it if you are concerned. This test however does not indicate what the reason is that you have problems balancing and is not conclusive. Further testing needs to be done to determine which systems of the body need to be improved or compensated for with targeted exercises.
A FallProof Balance and Mobility Specialist or Physical Therapist is able to do this and determine if immediate intervention is necessary. Our sister company Home Fitness Care as well as Fitness & Function is able to perform multidimensional balance and mobility assessments at your home, develop an exercise program and in-home private training.
We may also able to recommend a group class in balance and mobility. Not every balance and mobility program is equal and gives you the same results the following Balance and Mobility Program comparison chart can help you.
Plan to stay independent for life and obtain a balance and mobility assessment on a regular basis, at least annually or when there is a change in health/medical status.
Osteoporosis, we don’t feel we have it until it is severe. The fact is that not knowing that we have osteopenia (a milder form of bone loss) or osteoporosis can put you at a greater risk for breaking bones and fractures. Many of our fitness clients or class participants don’t know the condition of their foundation (the skeletal) . Avoiding risky moves, exercises, positions or activities can make the difference between independence and dependency.
What can you do?
Obtain a bone density test, find out your T-scores in the hip, femoral neck and lumbar spine (L1, L2, L3, L4), you want a T-score for each location not just and average number. The more details the better. As your health fitness specialist we can look at those numbers and determine which movements are safe and which movements place you at risk for fractures. We can develop an exercise program to strengthen the muscles around those key areas to give support and strengthen the bone. Weight bearing exercise and resistance training are crucial in rebuilding bone mass and maintaining bone health, but not every resistance exercise or weight bearing exercise is safe.
schedule a consultation to discuss your T-scores so that we can develop an exercise program that optimizes not just your functional fitness but at the same time stimulates bone health.