Adults over 50 who are caring for aging parents are not like other fitness clients of similar age.
For starters, caregivers tend to be less healthy. A study by the insurance company MetLife noted that “adult children 50+ who work and provide care to a parent are more likely to have fair or poor health than those who do not provide care to their parents” (MetLife 2011). Another study showed that 17% of caregivers felt their health had gotten worse as a result of their caregiving responsibilities (Feinberg et al. 2011).
Fitness professionals expend considerable energy helping people to lose weight, but there’s another way to view this challenge: What are the main factors that cause people to gain weight?
Research shows that two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese (Ogden et al. 2014), a health condition associated with hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression and various cancers (breast, endometrial, colon and prostate) (Malik, Schultz
Health and fitness professionals often focus on how many kids are
overweight. However, a study in the American Journal of Clinical
Nutrition has found that not exercising is a higher risk factor for
all-cause mortality than being overweight or obese (Ekelund et al.
A lot of people do concurrent training— cardio and strength training within the same session—because it seems to achieve multiple goals at the same time. It’s also a proven fat-burner, making it a popular choice for general fitness.
It may be time to focus health promotion efforts toward Asian Americans. Research from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (2014; 64 , 2486–94) says that this population has a significantly high risk of dying from heart disease or stroke.
Using U.S. census data and death records, researchers examined death rates among the largest Asian subgroups (Asian-Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese). They then narrowed their search to deaths caused by heart disease and stroke. Overall, the researchers combed 10,442,034 death records.
Some of us call it “afterburn”—the elevated calorie burning that lasts long after exercise is over. The scientific literature defines it as excess postexercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC (see Figure 1).
For the most part, EPOC represents the body restoring itself from physiological variables elevated by exercise. EPOC is an important physiological phenomenon for fitness professionals because it can play a contributing role in weight management.
Can New Research Prevent an Age-Old Paradigm?
Heart rate variability (HRV) is a reliable marker of physiological factors that directly affect the rhythms of the heart (Acharya et al. 2006). Acharya and colleagues explain that HRV reflects the heart’s ability to adapt to changing circumstances—stress, exercise and disease—by balancing the regulation of the autonomic nervous system, which controls bodily functions such as breathing, heart- beat and digestion.newsletter_teaser: Heart rate variability (HRV) is a reliable marker of physiological factors that directly affect the rhythms of the heart (Acharya et al. 2006). Acharya and colleagues explain that HRV reflflects the heart’s ability to adapt to changing circumstances—stress, exercise and disease.
newsletter_teaser: We usually talk of energy in general terms, as in “I don’t have a lot of energy today” or “You can feel the energy in the room.” But what really is energy? Where do we get the energy to move? How do we use it? How do we get more of it? Ultimately, what controls our movements?
Fat may seem like the enemy of civilized people—especially sedentary ones. Yet we cannot live without it.
Fat plays a key role in the structure and flexibility of cell membranes, and it helps regulate the movement of substances through those membranes. Special types of fat, known as eicosanoids, send hormone-like signals that exert intricate control over many bodily systems, mostly those affecting inflammation or immune function.