In 2010, a survey by Celie et al (in the European Review of Aging and Physical Activity) involving a test group size of 200,000 participants in a 15km (9-ish miles) road race revealed very interesting results. Being an analyst by day, I love this kind of research. Here’s what they found:

  • For each year over 40, runners in this study slowed by only 0.2% (or about one second per mile, per year).
  • The gap between men and women shrinks significantly so that by 60, women have made up five of the ~15% difference in performance that separates the genders at age 40.
  • While both genders slow at roughly a linear rate from 40 to 60, men’s performance decreases more sharply afterwards, while women continue on a roughly linear track.

Jore

The study also separated runners into “trained” and “untrained” categories. It turns out that trained runners were almost 16% faster than untrained ones.

Another study was done in 2003 by Stephen Bird on highly competitive male runners. After a battery of tests, they found that 10k race performance decreased at a rate of about 0.5% per year (just under 2 seconds, per mile, per year). More interesting were the results on the other tests involving physiological markers that are assumed to decrease with age (maximum heart rate, muscular strength, and oxygen uptake, etc.). These markers decreased significantly slower in the trained runners than they did in the general population. What’s more, while oxygen uptake and heart rate decreased with age, running economy—a measure of how efficient you are—hardly decreases at all!

Hello! As an “over 40” athlete, I think it’s high time we tossed out “old think”. Many declines in health will NOT occur in a body that works out and is fed with real, hormone & chemically free foods. Lifting weights, working out, running… is NOT age discriminatory. Rather, it is just the opposite. That’s some great news—and backed by science!

So, what are you waiting for? A wonderful mentor of mine likes to ask the question, “What have you got to gain?”

 

NEWSFLASH!

Companies from big to small will benefit from adding a focus on their employees’ well-being. Turns out it does not detract from productivity –or cost. Quite the opposite, in fact. There have been more than 200 scientific studies indicating the positive return-on-investment for worksite wellness programs. And why wouldn’t they? We spend more time at work than anywhere else, so the workplace provides a primo opportunity to promote healthy habits.

On the company side, these benefits are seen:

  • High well-bring boosts performance
  • Enhanced recruitment & retention of healthy associates
  • Reduced health care costs
  • Decreased rates of illness & injuries
  • Reduced associate absenteeism
  • Improved employee relations and morale

How, specifically, does it help employees?

  • Weight reduction
  • Improved physical fitness
  • Increased stamina
  • Lower levels of stress
  • Increased well-being, self-image & self-esteem

I guess that’s not a newsflash, however, is it? We’ve known that inherently that a focus like that is good for morale. Now, after numerous studies, we know that a health focus is a win-win all the way around. Well-being is good for employees, the company, its clients

So, if your company doesn’t have a program, suggest one. The studies are in: ROI is positive. Will it take a little time and money to get started? Sure, but there are many ways to go about it and a lot of outside vendors who can provide help in a number of ways.

What have you got to gain?

 

http://www.gallup.com/businessjournal/180146/memo-executives-boosts-employee-engagement.aspx?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_content=morelink&utm_campaign=syndication

http://www.uri.edu/research/lrc/research/papers/Dursi-Healthcare.pdf

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/wellness_articles.asp?id=246

 

Tom Nikkola, CSCS, CISSN, Pn1 recently shared a blog with the above title. If you are like me, you appreciate Cliff notes, so here they are, short ‘n sweet:

  1. You’re probably not a high school athlete anymore.

Be sensible, ‘nuff said.

  1. Your body will change when you challenge it, not when you punish it.

One of my favorite quotes is, “You can’t expect 100% results with 50% of the effort.” Training is like life, you get out of it what you put into it.

  1. Exercise is just a stimulus. Nutrition and sleep are what actually change your body.

Train to change your body, then fuel and recover (sleep) properly to allow your body and hormones to do their thing.

  1. Sometimes, doing an exercise wrong is worse than not doing it at all.

I’ve been certified for over 20 years, but will be first to admit I don’t know it all and I love to learn new ways to train and/or a better way. Don’t be afraid to seek help. Keep learning & sharpen the saw.

  1. The sauna and steam room can help you recover faster.

Heat speeds recovery, lowers oxidation, increases growth hormone, and is detoxifying. Plus, it makes your body inhospitable to unwelcomed bacteria and viruses.

  1. Nutrition and supplementation can lessen the muscle soreness.

This subject alone could be a year’s worth of blogs. Let food be they medicine and medicine be thy food. If you do supplement, consider curcumin and/or coconut oil.

  1. You don’t have to be a runner, but you should view the process of getting fit as a marathon, and not a sprint.

You didn’t get where you are overnight, so don’t expect overnight results. One bad meal won’t make you fat—on the other hand, one week of workouts & healthier eating won’t make you fit.

Until next time, live strong. Be fit. Laugh often. And smile.

What have you got to gain?

 

Interested in reading more about the benefits of Curcumin or Coconut Oil?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-weil-md/turmeric-health-have-a-happy-new-year_b_798328.html

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-662-Curcumin%20(TURMERIC).aspx?activeIngredientId=662&activeIngredientName=Curcumin%20(TURMERIC)

http://www.doctoroz.com/blog/charles-mattocks/benefits-coconut-oil

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/05/01/coconut-oil-benefits_n_3194782.html

http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/health_benefits_of_coconut_coconut_oil_coconut_milk_coconut_water_coconut_flour?page=2

 

 

successIf you are about to embark on a new year and a healthier new you, hats off to you.  Sometimes change can be scary. It can be challenging. It can upset the “status quo” and even impact relationships. Even so, change is where real growth occurs, right? So, set your goals and visualize sweet success.

What’s the best way to ensure you achieve your goals?

  • Write them down
  • Identify clear action steps (those are the tactical, small action steps that get you to the bigger goals)
  • Make your goals public (share them, shout them, post them, make a vision board)
  • Enlist help from family and friends (get those closest to you involved & surround yourself with like-minded individuals)

And if you fall off the wagon somehow, give yourself a break. You’re human. Focus on what you’ve done right and good give yourself credit. Be cool with where you are. Then take the next small step. And keep going.

Remember, every little bit helps & consistency is key. I’m rooting for you!

Live strong. Be fit. Laugh often. And smile.