Aug 15, 2013

The Holy Grail of Exercise

Here is the best benefit of Five Factor Fitness -- you look and feel younger. And, you might be able to prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer's.

The Holy Grail of Exercise
by Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Previously I wrote -- Worried About Alzheimer's? Tip #1 Exercise

I mentioned that more than 100 150 million American's are touched by Alzheimer's, and more than 33 57 million are worried about Alzheimer's.

I also discussed these scientific facts:
  • There are at least 18 research studies showing that exercise can improve memory in people suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
  • A recent meta-analysis of the reports shows that a physical exercise program -- even one started when people are in their 70s -- can significantly boost executive function.
  • Investigators looked at the relationship of physical activity and mental function in about 6,000 women age 65 and older, over an 8 year period. They found that the women who were more physically active were less likely to experience a decline in their mental function than inactive women.
  • Mice that exercised had 50 to 80 percent less plaque in their brains than the brains of the sedentary mice. Importantly, exercising mice produced significantly more of an enzyme in the brain that prevents plaque.
  • High cholesterol in your 40s increases the odds of contracting Alzheimer's--by 50 percent.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension) causes build-up of beta-amyloid in the brain. Beta-amyloid is a central component of the senile plaque in the brains of Alzheimer's patients, and its toxicity against brain cells is believed to be a prime cause of Alzheimer's.
  • This fact is not well known but if you have a big belly in middle age the chances that you could suffer from dementia are tripled.
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There is no magic bullet that will protect you from Alzheimer's and dementia. However, there are ways that you can reduce the odds of suffering from Alzheimer's, or possibly delay the onset of Alzheimer's.

In graduate school I studied risky decision making and statistics. I can say with confidence, if you are not exercising you are making a risky decision, and you are increasing the odds that you might suffer from Alzheimer's, heart disease, or any number of diseases that are catastrophic in the long run.

In my previous article, I also mentioned the remarkable transition my mother underwent as she exercised and after she finished exercising.

When I first came to Delray Beach to take care of my mother she was falling down repeatedly. Once she fell and broke her finger. When my mother would fall, she could not get up off the ground or floor on her own.

After we started exercising my mother stopped falling -- she did fall a single time -- in over four  7 years. I believe the exercise program was the single most important factor in that development.

I found our current exercise program after reading a long list of exercise books, and trying just about every thing under the sun including: circuit training and training with a professional trainer. None of these were effective for us.

Imagine this, when you do Five Factor Fitness (FFF) you exercise less, and you eat more often. You can do Five Factor Fitness in as little as 25 minutes, 5 days a week. I usually go around 55 minutes each day.

You do five exercises each day : cardio warmup, two strength training exercises, a core exercise, and the finish-- additional cardio exercise. Five total exercises for five minutes each.

If you have not worked out with hand weights (dumbbells) when you first look at this exercise program you might feel intimidated. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The exercises are easy to do, and fun.

When you do this exercise program you work each of your muscle groups. One group at a time.
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Before you know it, you can feel your muscles starting to interact with each other. This gives you the feeling that you are really accomplishing something every time you work out. It is a very pleasant feeling.

I don't care what you look like to today -- how heavy you are. Within weeks people will start remarking about how you look better, and ask you if you are losing weight -- even if you have not lost an ounce.

The exercise program changes the shape of your body. And, even if your muscles are covered by fat, am amazing transition is taking place. Your muscles are getting stronger and you are getting toned.

Ever see someone that was really heavy and thought they looked pretty good for, uh, a big person. This happens because they have muscle tone under their fat.

Another great feature of Five Factor Fitness is that you change the number of sets and repetitions you do each week. This insures that you won't get bored.

If you are older pay close attention to this.
There is one specific exercise in this program that allows you to hit your transverse muscles (transverse abdominis). These muscles are basically the girdle of you body. When they start to tighten you start to really look good.

Here is the big benefit of working the transverse muscles. You start to "pee" harder. That is right, the pressure increases. This alone will make you feel younger, and leave you with the sense that you are really accomplishing something when you exercise.
It all the years in the gym doing Five Factor Fitness, I have never seen a single person do this exercise. Not once.

The core exercises in this program, along with the strength exercises give you that nice look in the middle that makes you look athletic.

Imagine lowering your body fat, getting stronger, reaching the point where cardio exercise becomes easier and easier.

The psychological and emotional benefits that comes with doing Five Factor Fitness are very pleasant. The understanding that you might be warding off Alzheimer's or dementia is also very powerful.

You do not need to join a gym to do Five Factor Fitness. You can do these exercises at home, and the minimal amount of equipment you need is inexpensive.

All of these exercises can be adapted to any older person. You do most of them while sitting or lying on your back. This does not diminish the effectiveness.

To caregivers. I am convinced that exercise will lower the odds that you might suffer from Alzheimer's. Exercise will help keep you free of depression, and will give you the extra energy you need to make it through the day.

Ditto, to all readers.

Here is the best benefit of Five Factor Fitness -- you look and feel younger.

My name is Bob DeMarco, I am an Alzheimer's caregiver. My mother Dorothy lived with Alzheimer's disease. We lived our life one day at at time.

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