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  Sunday January 25th, 2015    

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Hot flash on pain relief (07/30/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns

"I want nothing to do with natural foods. At my age I need all the preservatives I can get." None other than George Burns could have said that. We usually don't get enough of the things we don't want - no matter how good they are for us.

Turn off that TV and listen up! I want to share some good stuff I read in a recent AARP article by Gabrielle deGroot Redford. "Nine Reasons To Get Off The Couch Already" may sound judgmental, difficult, and in your face (or your grocery bag). This will pass.

The facts in this article came from Redford. The wisecracks are mine. Physical activity is basically aerobic (stimulates the cardiovascular system, boosting blood flow) and strength training (reduces and even reverses some of the body's natural age-related declines in muscle mass and strength). Just because something is impossible doesn't mean you shouldn't try.

I wouldn't put much weight on a statement made by some guy in Aerobic Research who proclaims, "Our bodies should last us 120 years." (Of course, that's not to say that our minds would be able to keep up.)

It's recommended a person does 30 minutes of aerobic exercise most days of the week and 20 minutes of strength training two or three times a week (you needn't let it interfere with daily happy hour.) The article didn't say if regular polka dancing, casino browsing, or aluminum can collecting would suffice.

Back to reality, people who exercise have a lower risk of having a heart attack or a stroke. If my memory serves me correctly (another subject), years ago people with "bad hearts" were cautioned to refrain from such exertion.

Short-term memory loss can sometimes be used to our advantage. A recent study found that mice the equivalent of 70 in human years actually developed new brain cells in the memory section of the brain when they exercised regularly for only one month. (How much does a simple rodent have to remember anyway?) Squeak, squeak!

It was found that men ages 40 and 70 who burned at least 200 calories a day, exercising or taking brisk 2-mile walks, were less likely to suffer from impotence. Arf, Arf! This may or may not trip someone's trigger.

Don't try this at home! With regular physical activity just 3 days a week, one's wounds can heal about 25% more quickly. (Never mind that your skinned knees and scraped elbows came from trying to keep up to your wife on gravel roads.)

Ladies, chill out! Release your endorphins by regular exercising and you may scare those annoying hot flashes away. 75% of women in the U.S. suffer through them.

The information I can personally attest to is the good news that exercise can reduce muscle and joint pain. Just by running a marathon or, if you prefer, walking 10 minutes at a time is beneficial, also contributing to your sense of well being. (That lightheaded buzz is temporary.)

Stretching workouts, deep breathing, weight loss, and a healthy diet can bring about relief of arthritis pain naturally. You may discover that paint ball games, bungee jumping, arm wrestling, and looking trim in a Speedo swimsuit can be your cup of tea, regardless of your age. (Gimmie five!)

Hold onto your purses and fanny packs! Researchers found that folks 50 and older who exercised for at least 30 minutes three or more days a week actually saved $2,200 a year on medical bills. (I think they left out a couple zeros.) What's in your wallet?

By now, someone is probably grumbling, "Yeah, walk a mile in my shoes and see how spry you'd be."

"Beat ya to the mailbox!"

"Go fly a kite!"

"Anyone for a game of Texas Hold'em!"

Hey, there's nothing wrong with acting our age. It's been working for centuries.

Janet Burns has been a lifetime squatter in this neck of the woods. She can be reached at: patandjanburns@earthlink.net 


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