Thursday, January 29, 2009

FITNESS AT ANY AGE: Older People Who Diet Without Exercising Lose Valuable Muscle Mass

By Eduardo Lorenzo

Participating in exercise related activities can do wonders for your body and mind at any age. However, increasing your level of activity after the age of 50 has even more significant health benefits.

Here's why: a recent study published at Science Daily ( showed that a group of sedentary and overweight elderly people placed on a four-month exercise program not only became more fit, but burned off more fat, compared to a group of elderly sedentary people who were placed on a diet but did not exercise.

The new study also showed that when older people diet without exercising, they lose more lean muscle compared to those who exercise, said senior researcher Bret H. Goodpaster. When they combined weight loss with exercise, it nearly completely prevented the loss of lean muscle mass.

The results are important because older people tend to lose muscle mass as they age and too much muscle loss may interfere with activities of daily living.The 64 participants were 60-75 years of age and were either overweight or obese. All of the participants were sedentary at the outset of the study.

The researchers divided the participants into three groups:exercise onlydiet onlyexercise plus diet. The exercise only group could either walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bicycle, although most chose to walk. The diet only group reduced their caloric intake to achieve a 10% weight loss by the end of the four-month study period. The final group combined both the daily exercise and the diet. Exercise increases efficiency, burns more fat.

"The take-home message is that, even among older people and during a fairly short period of time, exercise produces metabolic changes that require the expenditure of fewer calories during physical activity," Goodpaster said. "Exercise also allowed older people to more preferentially burn fat, which may be healthier metabolically."

At Electra Health Club & Spa we offer a variety of services and programs that are tailored to everyone and every age. We are proud to offer Silver Sneakers™, a program that is designed especially for Seniors.

Our personal trainers all enjoy working with the senior population, as the progress can be achieved so quickly. Our programs can improve joint stability, range of motion, and overall strength, in addition to promoting weight loss.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Yoga at Electra

Yoga may seem like a newcomer onto the fitness scene, but yoga actually began in India more than 3,000 years ago. In the ancient language of India, Sanskrit, yoga means to unite or join. This union or joining, if you will, refers to the union of body, mind and spirit.

The typical yoga session is a blend of strength, flexibility and body awareness through various postures, body positions and movement. Although a myriad of styles and philosophies exist within yoga, most yoga practitioners and teachers agree that yoga is built on three major foundations: exercise, breath control and meditation. How far a person wants to delve into each of these is obviously an individual choice. Ideally, some degree of each will be incorporated into a session.

Many health clubs, and fitness centers provide yoga instruction in their class offerings, and of course, yoga studios specializing in yoga offer classes throughout the day. In many studios, yoga is offered on a pay as you go basis, or as a package with a slight discount. That pricing ranges widely, from $7 per class up to $15 per class in some locales. Typically the discount for buying a package is approximately 10%. This can cost hundreds of dollars per month.

We are proud that at Electra, we offer yoga in our group classes six days a week. For the cost of a low monthly membership (less than half of a typical yoga studio), our members can take a yoga class almost everyday. Our members can attest to the quality of the classes, our yoga instructors are fantastic!

Come on in and take a yoga class, you will gain flexibility, strength and balance; a winning combination for a healthy and fit life!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Is a Personal Trainer Right For You?

By Eduardo Lorenzo, NASM-CPT

If you are not satisfied with your health and fitness level and are tired of just going through the motions on your own, never really accomplishing any of your goals, then it’s time to realize you need help.

Perhaps you may think, hiring a personal trainer is expensive, or you may have some other valid concerns. I personally feel the same way!

However let me address the first issue; is a personal trainer expensive? Gareth Lynch-It’s not expensive when you compare it to surgery, liposuction, and other alternatives; that besides being expensive may not be safe as well. While at the same time you learn nothing on how to prevent your body from getting to the same place again after a couple of months or years.

True, that in today’s economy we need to plan ahead and be smart buyers. However you either invest in yourself today or regret it tomorrow and pay a bunch more in costly health issues or by being deprived of enjoying your life with those you love. (By the way Personal Training is not a lifelong commitment… being fit and healthy is!)

Reality is that personal training fees may vary from one location to another and from the experience and expertise of the trainer. But remember you are investing in yourself. Ask yourself, what price tag do you put on a healthy and fit body? Keep this in mind, how you treat yourself today will define you tomorrow… what goes around comes around!

Now comes your concerns: how do I know if I hired the right trainer? This is where I like to highlight the differences between any old personal trainer and a true Fitness Specialist. In my opinion any personal trainer might take your money, count repetitions and get you tired. A true Fitness Specialist, will motivate you, guide you through the right path, work hard with you in order to inspire and educate you and get you in the best shape of your life.

A true Fitness Specialist will be able to understand your background. He would consider whether you'd had surgery, or been injured, or even whether you wanted to compete in a Figure, Fitness or Bodybuilding show. A true Fitness Specialist is able to explain his methods of training and why they are effective and how they relate to you. Is there an assessment process? How long will it take to see realistic results? You get the picture.

What you are looking for is a reflection of trainer credibility and expertise. Anyone can print a business card with a muscle head or fit girl as their logo, and call themselves a trainer. SO… if the trainer makes cliché'd quips like, "I kick my clients’ butts…No pain, no gain, dude," thank them for their time and move on. Be an intelligent consumer. Ask for specifics and clarification if you don’t understand something. It’s your life you are trying to regain or looking to improve.
Also you should never base your selection solely on physical appearance.

A person with a flawless-looking body may not know the first thing about safely teaching proper exercise techniques or how they relate to your body. The person you hire will be teaching you skills and lifestyle habits and doesn’t need to look like a model in a fitness magazine. But trainers do need to practice what they preach. Let’s face it. Are you really going to respect someone’s opinion if you’re in better shape than they are? Probably not.

Above all, make sure you choose a trainer with whom you feel comfortable and whose personality is a good match with yours. Chemistry will go a long way towards your goals. Remember this…

ANY TRAINER can get you tired.



Eduardo Lorenzo specializes in sports performance, injury prevention, corrective exercises, physique enhancement and weight loss programs.