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Optimal Health Newsletter, Issue #112– Resistance Training Beyond 40
August 27, 2009

Keeping your heart healthy the natural way

Issue #112

August 27, 2009

The Best of Heart Health from

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Strength Training Beyond 50

I have always been told that as we age we should trade in our barbells for a treadmill. Apparently that wasn't the best advice.

Science is now telling us that exercise including heavier weights is essential for health at any age.

Strength Training Beyond 50?

A while back I was in a health food store with my family picking up some of the weekly necessities. In the cereal aisle I spied a couple discussing the lists of ingredients on several boxes. I am always intrigued by the mix of people one can find in a health food store. But there was something different about this couple that made them stand out.

Both the man and the woman looked like they had recently posed for a body building magazine. They were beautiful… from a body building perspective. They had finely sculpted muscles everywhere. Having spent many years in gyms myself I was, of course, a little envious. But there was something else about this lovely couple that I noticed.
They were not that young.
You could see it in their faces. In fact, I assumed from what I could tell that they were both somewhat older than me. Now I was really envious. If they could do it then I could not use my age as an excuse.

I had always been told that as we age we should pay more attention to cardiovascular training. That is… we should drop the heavy weights and pick activities that get our heart rates up. However, as important as intensity training is to heart health there is an increasing amount of research data to indicate that heavy training is essential to overall health.

As we age we experience a progressive loss of muscle strength, muscle mass and muscle quality. Science has a name for it…
Unlike other ailments sarcopenia creeps up on us often without notice. Some statistics show that men lose about a fifth of a pound of muscle per year between the ages of 25 and 50. It gets worse after that. As this dreadful process is going on we also tend to carry more fat. So instead of getting lighter from muscle loss we often get heavier making it difficult to notice the loss of muscle tissue.

If our vanity was the only thing affected the results of sarcopenia would be bad enough. But health issues beyond the loss of ripped abs and contoured deltoids also come into play.

Recent research shows that loss of muscle strength and mass leads to a decline in the immune system as well as an increase in heart disease and diabetes. Other negative repercussions of muscle loss are…
  • Stiffer joints
  • Weaker bones
  • Slumping postures
  • Decreased metabolism
  • Increased stress
  • And perhaps cancer survival
Of course all of these conditions lead to other secondary conditions such as increased falls, more frequent bone breaks, and increased healing time.

According to Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, PhD, a ¬professor of kinesiology and community health at the -University of Illinois and a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine we have come full circle in our recommendations for physical training. He says…

We used to discourage older adults from lifting heavy weights. Now we’re telling them they can’t maintain overall health without it. After age 50, you can’t get by just doing aerobic exercise.

What else do we need? Strength training. Or more precisely… resistance training. In fact the Centers for Disease ¬Control and Prevention now recommend a couple of sessions of resistance training per week for aging adults.

But can it really help? Can we expect positive gains as a result of strength training after, say, the age of 50? According to Robert Wolfe, PhD, a professor of geriatrics at the University of Arkansas…

Muscle function can improve—sometimes robustly—with resistance training, even after the onset of ¬sarcopenia, but it is far more effective to begin resistance training before the process gains momentum. Intervention in the middle years is necessary.

I don’t know how old the couple was I saw in the health food store. I don’t know how hard they trained or how much money they spent on dietary supplements. But I do know they were of a mature age and their muscle mass was phenomenal. Even without the scientific research I know there is hope for me to regain some of what I lost after quitting strength training.
I know because I saw a great example.

Did You Know?

Did you know that ocean farmed salmon is one of the highest sources of Omega-3 (EPA and DHA) available? (Mackerel is a bit higher but I never liked the taste very much.) Just 100 grams of raw ocean farmed salmon (about 3.5 oz.) contains 1.9 grams of Omega-3 making it one of the best foods you can eat for your heart health. See the chart below.

To brush up on the heart health benefits of Omega-3 please use the links below:

General info on Omega-3 and heart health:

Omega-3 and Triglycerides:

Omega-3 and clogged arteries:
Not a lover of salmon?
Don’t want to eat it every day?
Can’t afford to eat it every day?
Then how can you get the American Heart Association’s recommended 2-4 grams of Omega-3 per day?

Simple. Do what I do. Take a high quality fish oil supplement. It is a cost effective and convenient way to get all the heart health benefits of Omega-3. With a good product you don’t have to worry about…
  • Ocean contaminants
  • Fishy aftertaste
  • Intestinal discomfort due to added fillers
Purchasing a high quality product really is worth the price difference. And getting enough Omega-3 is worth the lifestyle investment. Use the link below to see the product I purchase.

You will especially be interested in the section under Competitive Information. There is a link in that section which discusses the problem of ocean pollutants. There is also a great link under the Expert Advice/Research section.

Oh yeah… this products qualifies for free shipping with minimum purchase... But hurry!

Recipe of the Month

Since we are on the topic of salmon and Omega-3 it seems appropriate to feature salmon in our recipe of the month. We have a lot of favorites. Here is one to get you started.

Note: I love to grill my salmon but this one works best in the oven.

Roasted Salmon with Citrus and Herbs


6 servings (serving size: 4 1/2 ounces salmon)

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime rind
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (2 1/4-pound) salmon fillet
  • Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400°.
Combine first 7 ingredients in a small bowl. Place salmon on the rack of a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; place rack in pan. Rub parsley mixture over salmon. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

Confused About Supplements?

I am a firm believer in taking high quality dietary supplements to support my overall health.

Perhaps you are too.

But there are so many supplements on the market and so many companies producing them. Where does one start? With the…
Optimal Heart Health Supplement Guide.

The Supplement Guide does not discuss the hundreds of different possibilities out there. It is the short list of a few dietary supplements that have been demonstrated over and over to support a healthy heart. It is a must for anyone who is serious about heart health. And so is its companion guide…
How The Best Supplements Are Made.

Knowing which supplements best support heart health is only half the battle. With so many companies in the marketplace producing inferior products it is difficult to know where to get high quality supplements. It does no good to throw away your money on products that do little or nothing once ingested.

The short eBook How The Best Supplements Are Made will help you ask the right questions when it comes to investing in top quality dietary supplements.

Both eBooks are free for readers of Optimal Health News. So why wait.

Download both FREE eBooks today using the link below.

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