Use it or Loose it! Applies to Muscles and the Brain!

Growing older is not for the faint of heart!

I have run across this quote many times. It has recently got me to think about what it is all about and if it can affect our happiness. Some of the things we deal with as we age is the loss of strength and muscle tone, decreasing resilience, memory changes, cognitive changes and so on. Right? Well I do not think it is necessary to fall into the trap of accepting any of those things as inevitable and normal. I think we can do something about each. As we age, we still want the same thing as always – to be happy anyway!

I read a great article in the Globe and Mail newspaper that dispels the myth that we naturally loose muscle after the age of 40. Take a look here for yourself if you like. Essentially it says that the loss of muscle after the age of 40 is really due to life style changes. We stop doing the things we used to do and therefore stop using those muscles. That leads to muscle loss. We sit more, we walk or run less. We use modern aids instead of just lifting and moving things like we used to. We might even get the kids to do it!

When I sit and think about it, I feel about 25 or so inside. It is only when I get up and look at a mirror that I see that I am actually 64. The mind stays young, why not the body? That can lead to depression or at least sadness. So, as most of you readers know by now, I decide what to do about it to be happy anyway! I do strength training to increase my muscle tone and mass. Yes it does reverse the loss of tone and lean muscle mass. I do not continue to jiggle when I stop moving! I feel great and therefore feel happier. Do something if you are concerned about loosing fitness levels as you age.

There are lots of things you can do to keep your mind from “shrinking” as well. I have read studies that show that we do so many things each day that our brain sets up neural roads that wear deeply so that we can do lots of repetitive things without thinking about them (habits). The problem is that the areas that are not used start to deteriorate. There are many studies that show that the brain is very plastic and can adapt other pathways if required to, in order to get things done using other parts of the brain. The key is to keep as much available as we can. What sorts of brain workouts can we do?

Whatever you decide, change things up as much and as often as you can. Sure, take up Bridge or chess, do crosswords and so on. BUT, change it up. Put your pants on starting with the other leg for the next month (just try it). Brush your teeth using the other hand. Use a different route to work. Read a different genre of book for a while.

Lifetime learning is more than just taking courses. Especially in these days of electronic media. Keep up with the new media. That alone is a form of life-long learning. 🙂 When you come across something new, look at it with wonder and investigate – learn. Just like when we were kids ourselves.

I am rambling on here. I will break this off and do a specific blog about brain use. Until then, remember, you can be happy anyway – just decide and act.

Be Fit – Be Happy! :)

I have said it before, what we all really want is just to be happy. There are several post here about some various things to consider. Right now I want to address one more issue. Weight – specifically overweight and obesity and the potential health problems related to those conditions.

Here are a couple of things that I found that demostrate the problem and what we might want to start considering:

Facts from World Health Organization.
Globally, there are more than 1 billion overweight adults, at least 300 million of them obese.
Obesity and overweight pose a major risk for chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke, and certain forms of cancer. (emphasis added)
The key causes are increased consumption of energy-dense foods high in saturated fats and sugars, and reduced physical activity.

Scientific American Magazine
By David H. Freedman January 18, 2011
style=”text-decoration: underline;”>Modern epidemic: For millennia, not getting enough food was a widespread problem. Nowadays obesity is a global burden that affects one third of Americans. Another third are overweight.
Obesity is complex: Researchers have developed key insights into its metabolic, genetic and neurological causes. But this work has not amounted to a solution to the public health crisis.
Behaviour focus: Using techniques that have proved effective in treating autism, stuttering and alcoholism may be the most valuable for either losing weight or preventing weight gain.
Next steps: Behavior studies show that recording calories, exercise and weight; adopting modest goals; and joining a support group increase the chances of success.

It really does come down to the quite simple idea of less intake and more output. As we age we loose lean muscle mass and fat increases. The reason fat increases is that we need less calories to maintain our weight as our muscle mass decreases (and/or our activity decreases) yet we tend to keep taking in the same amount of calories. The unneeded calories convert to fat and stay with us. We look for a magic pill or “diet” to solve our problem. We try joining a gym or some such thing to “burn it off”. All to no avail. We end up hating it and avoiding it. We “fail”.

Wrong!!! We don’t fail. We are just doing the wrong things because that is what we have been told to do for so long. It really does just take about 7 minutes three times a week to get in great shape. That is what 7 Minute Workout is all about. But it is about much more. It has great sessions to help us learn about how our bodies really work and how the food we choose to eat makes a difference. No preaching – no threats – just information and answers to questions. It also includes a great support network which, as you see from one of the items listed above, greatly increases the likelihood of success. There are also tools to record your progress and share it as you feel you want to.

Join me in stopping the trend to overweight and the health problems that come with that. First us, then our family, then our friends, and then their friends – and so on. Let’s change the world, one step at a time.

A Great Article on Fitness


7 Minute Workout…..that’s an oxymoron isn’t it?

I mean how is this possible?

Best of all it really WORKS!

This unique innovative exercise and weight loss system is the brainchild of co-founders Joel Therien and Chris Reid. It is called 7 Minute Workout and is taking the Fitness and Weight Loss Industry by storm. It is FUN and EASY and ultimately you only workout for 7 Minute Workout a day-3x per week. That in itself is unheard of and the fact that it WORKS makes it even more amazing and unusual.

Both Joel and Chris have been using this system for the past 20+ years while they were both competitive athletes in World Class competition.

Joel Therien – was a very successful Body Building athlete in World competition.

Chris Reid – won the World Power Breaking Championship in Taekwon-Do in 2004 (Seoul, Korea).

They lived and breathed this system and became products of this system of training and weight control. It catapulted them into successful competitive World-class athletes. They have adhered to this program ever since they left the circuit and continued on with their careers.

The program has a proven track record and has been tested for a number of years and shows quantifiable results which will “rock” the foundation and myths of the traditional style and methods now being adhered to by the Fitness Industry. 7 Minute Workout is dedicated to pursuing and attaining optimum health as its Worldwide Mission. It is presenting this tried and true system to HELP in the fight against obesity and the diseases that are so closely associated.

Through this exciting program anyone can become the BEST THEY CAN BE! After all, everybody can find 7 Minutes to Workout during the day to exercise and increase their strength and stamina. The age old excuse of I don’t have time does not exist anymore, NOR does the “I hate to exercise” retort…because believe it or not, after starting 7 Minute Workout you will actually LOVE to exercise and will LOOK FORWARD to it.

Who can do it? Anybody…..

– all ages

– all shapes and sizes

– all levels of fitness (beginner, intermediate, advanced)

– all health issue levels

The program is simple and effective, the cost is very affordable, staff support and training is phenomenal, and the ongoing motivation and interest in your personal WELFARE and SUCCESS is excellent.

7 Minute Workout promises not only to give you weight loss and physical fitness BUT it will give you flexibility, vitality, enjoyment and a feeling of WELL BEING and personal accomplishment. You will look better and feel better.

The 7 Minute Workout created by Joel and Chris proves why short duration exercise increases the desire to workout. Joel has personally developed 2 hugely successful network marketing businesses and is about to launch 7 Minute Workout as a home based business opportunity in a multibillion dollar marketing niche. You don’t want to miss out on this extraordinary opportunity!

Find out about this innovative home based business opportunity and begin your journey towards Better Health and Wealth. Click here and get the three free videos showing how the process works, how the business works, and all that is made available to you to get more fit and build a great home based business!


What Gets Measured Gets Managed!

I just read a management approach that applies very nicely to fitness. McKinsey, the management consultancy, teaches its junior trainees: “Everything can be measured, and what gets measured gets managed.”

Can you see how that applies to fitness? If we teach people to just measure their weight, that is what they will want to manage. That is what most weight loss companies do. By and large, they fail. I think they fail in the long run because when people stop measuring their weight regularly, they revert to past practises and do not “manage” their weight any more. In our business, we ask people to not focus on their weight when they first start. That is not what we want them to measure first.

Of course, everyone will weigh themselves first just to see where they start from. Then, though, we want them to move on quickly and measure their progress in strength development. Do the exercises. It only takes about 7 minutes! Chris and Joel remind us often during the workouts to count the reps and adjust the weights so we get to momentary positive muscle failure early. In other words, we measure how strong we are getting from one cycle to the next. We want to get stronger so we really focus and do the workouts correctly. Results are apparent. (Our muscle mass grows and that leads to greater calorie burning, even at rest.)

As we get used to the exercise routine, then we are advised to start measuring our food intake. Food Tracker is designed to show us what nutrients (protein, carbs, and fat) we are putting into our bodies and in what amounts. We can see what the ratio is after each entry so we can see if we are getting too much fat or not enough protein. Because that is being measured, we adjust and manage what and how we eat. That leads very naturally to changes in how we “manage” our food intake and that stays with us for life! It is not a diet!

So, let’s do what 7 Minute Workout is all about and by all means, measure the results. Just measure the results that really lead to life-long change. Measure what you want to manage. Weight will always be one element, but do not make it the sole element. Measure strength (and inches under Your Progress) and food intake (under Food Tracker). The tools are all there.

To your good health!


1 Pound of Muscle Burns 100 Calories!!

By the time we reach the age of 40 we have lost about 10 pounds of lean muscle mass. Have you noticed, like I have, that most of us have not lost any weight or size? In fact, most of us have gained weight and gotten bigger. Sounds like a bit of a paradox doesn’t it?

It is actually fairly easy to understand when you know a bit about metabolism. Muscles burn more calories than fat. What this means is that it takes more calories to maintain the lean muscle mass as it does to maintain body fat.

What’s going on? As we lose muscle mass, we need less calories on a daily basis to maintain our bodies. However, we usually do not reduce our intake. In addition, we tend to move a bit less because we are working more and “playing” less. Again, we do not need as many calories but we continue to take on the calories we have been accustomed to eating. Our bodies take this excess of calories and turns it to fat and stores it up in the event that we do not get enough food in the future. That is how we are designed. So, we gain more fat and lose more muscle mass. This leads to steadily increasing weight and loss of fitness. This leads, naturally, to health problems!

Time to take control! You know it and I know it. BUT, we just do not have the time or inclination to spend hours a week at a gym or running to burn calories. In fact, for most of us, we do not find any enjoyment in these sorts of activities. Further, we need to “eat better”. Maybe a diet! We have been told that we just need to increase our activity and reduce our intake of food. While that is essentially true, it is not that easy, is it?

If you think about that 10 pounds of muscle mass that we have lost by the age of 40, we  can understand that we would have to run for about an hour every day to burn the 1000 calories that the lean muscle mass used to burn. Who can or wants to do that? Why not just get the muscle mass back? That makes so much sense doesn’t it? Can we? Yes, we can!

Don’t want to spend time in a gym with the gym rats? Don’t know what to do and can’t afford the time or money for a personal trainer to “yell” at you to “work harder, more, more ….”? Well stay tuned. I will have some great answers very soon. 🙂