Weight Loss: Just 5% Can Make a Difference in Your Knees!

Losing weight results in numerous health benefits. If you have problems with your knees, read the good news in this excerpt from a recent study:

“The most exciting finding of our research was that not only did we see slower degeneration in the articular cartilage, we saw that the menisci degenerated a lot slower in overweight and obese individuals who lost more than 5 percent of their body weight, and that the effects were strongest in overweight individuals and in individuals with substantial weight loss,” Dr. Gersing said. Light to moderate exercise is also recommended to protect against cartilage degeneration in the knee.” (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170502084050.htm)

Understanding Why

In the picture above showing the bones of the knee, notice the small surface area of contact where the movement occurs. The smooth white coating you can see on the ends of the bones provides a slick surface where the bones meet–the ‘articular cartilage’ mentioned above.

From the laws of physics, the smaller the area of contact of an object, the more force it exerts on the surface below. For sure we can’t change the small contact area of our knee joints, but you can significantly reduce the tremendous force and stress of movement by reducing your weight.

Doesn’t it make sense to take charge of your health when you have the opportunity to do so?

Steven

Simply Senior Fitness by Steven Siemons is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Your Attitude Towards Food: Try Mindfulness On A Mission!

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Having just read that half of the household pets in the United States are obese, (seriously: http://tpt.to/a53qK8t), it’s time to step back and reflect on where we are and what we’re doing.

We’ve already dangerously shifted our attitudes about obesity in our children (see my comment and link to article here: http://wp.me/p45KYd-JR). Now the same behaviors are effecting our pets!

Food As Nourishment

Food will always be a major source of temptation for us; not only because of our wonderful sense of taste, but because of its function in major social settings, as well. I have memories of special meals from decades ago–the perfect combination of fantastic food, beautiful atmosphere, and special people. It will always be that way.

Appreciating food first as our source of sustenance and life can, for some, influence eating behavior. If you use this focus purposefully–to consciously stop eating before experiencing the feeling of fullness in your stomach–you can gain control of this powerful urge. It is not easy and it involves living for short intervals of time with a slight feeling of hunger. Slowing down and experiencing the moment can reduce the habit of racing towards the ‘fullness finish line’ and turning a positive experience into one of physical discomfort and a feeling of defeat. An interesting article, ‘How Mindfulness Can Change The Way The Brain Works’ certainly has relevance here: http://www.digitaljournal.com/life/health/mindfulness-in-the-news/article/424657

Use mindfulness as a tool to focus your resolve like a laser in order to change your behavior. Adding a strong emotional component to your thoughts strengthens your purpose–like an athlete preparing for an event. You do have the power!

Lacking this specific goal, you’re likely to eat to the point of fullness, which pretty much guarantees that you’ve consumed more calories than the body can utilize. It doesn’t matter what metabolism-boosting foods you think you’re eating, if you’re over-consuming calories, you’re packing on pounds.

There will always be fast and easy ways marketed that offer false hope. Your body didn’t add that extra weight quickly, and neither will it metabolize it for energy quickly. By the way… nothing melts fat away.

For further encouragement, please see my prior post: ‘Refuse It, So You Don’t Have To Lose It!’

http://theseniorhealthandfitnessblog.com/2014/04/25/refuse-it-so-you-dont-have-to-lose-it/

Also of interest: ‘8 Things You Should Never Say To Yourself About Food’ :

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/25/food-self-judgment_n_6517110.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women

Eating With Mindfulness,

Steven
(Research Update 3/9/16: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160309082810.htm)
The Senior Health and Fitness Blog by Steven Siemons is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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2 Things You Must Stop Doing Immediately

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When it comes to health and fitness, there are two types of behavioral changes that can be made. First, you can start doing new things that will improve your health: a new walking program, taking the Yoga class you’ve been thinking about, etc.

Secondly, you can stop doing the things that are hurting you. What I say in the following few words is ‘to the point’. I understand the struggles and disappointments  involved in facing internal drives that propel us in the wrong direction. But you’ve got to:

Stop Smoking Now!

There are no exercises, supplements, herbs, or prescribed medications that can make up for the damage that you’re doing by smoking. You know this already and yet continue the behavior. I do not have the answers to this. I do know people who have simply quit. If others can do it, you can do it, too. Don’t tell me that you enjoy it, you’re still killing yourself slowly. Don’t tell me that Aunt Betty smoked and lived till 100. She would have lived longer and healthier if she hadn’t smoked. And that’s simply a hollow rationalization. I breathed my share of second-hand smoke as a child.

Stop Overeating Now!

Once again, there are no exercises, pills, or medications that can ‘add more health’ than you’re subtracting by engaging in this behavior. This is a difficult and controversial issue, I know, but the facts are overwhelming and there is no doubt about long-term effects. There are no miracle diets. Techniques do exist for losing weight quickly and are used by athletes ‘cutting weight’ in order to qualify to compete at specific weight categories. They utilize massive fluid loss, can be dangerous, and the body must be returned to normal hydration and weight immediately after competition. This is not for you. Permanent weight loss is a lifestyle change. Ingesting fewer calories than what your body requires results in losing weight. I’ve seen many diet ‘secrets’ recycled through the years.  New diets sell products–just like the newest style of clothing. The shoe designers decided a while back that fashionable women now wear extremely high heals. That means lots of high heel shoes have been sold the last few years, right? Fad diets are exactly the same. The newest fad diet generates new fad diet dollars. Stop spending money on the latest ‘diet style’. You must eat what your body needs…the excess is stored as fat. If anyone out there can show me that this metabolic fact is now untrue, please do. I lost 27 pounds by adopting the practice of not eating to the point of feeling full. It was difficult for me, and the weight did not disappear quickly. That’s how the body works. Respect it and understand it as it is.

Please, right now, stop doing the things that you know are robbing you of your precious good health.

To Your Health and Fitness,

Steven Siemons

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