Newspaper Archive of
Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
May 1, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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May 1, 1997

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Wq 1 ood Health and: Fitness There "s life after 50 by Karen Mooney We are all searching for that magical pill cure for old age but we need to look into the Fountain of Truth and see what really can be done to control the biological aging of our bodies. We do have choices. Among the best choices is strength training. Maintaining an independent life- style takes strength. Strength to walk, climb stairs, carry laundry, carry groceries, and other dally rou- tine chores. Many seniors are urged to walk or pedal their way to endur- ance or greater aerobic capacity, and guaranteed that is important but not enough. According to Maria Flatarone, MD, assistant professor in the Division of Aging at Harvard Medical School, only 1 percent of seniors strength train. Dr. Flatarone says, "Part of the problem is that when doctors recommend walking because they think it is safer, they don't realize proper strength training can be better. People with weak leg muscles are more likely to lose thqir footing and hip fractures also rise for people who have weak ankles and quadriceps. A weak individual should get strength training before he/she starts walking." Everyone has a normal chronological aging but our bio- logical aging is a matter of diet, sleep, attitude, exercise, care of your aches and pains, a sense of humor, sun exposure, and a sense of control over your destiny. Deciding how you want to spend those "senior" years can determine whether you will have fearful images of old age or look forward to years of fulfillment and good health. Look around you at the super market or in the mall. You can tell who is more energized, looks younger, and self assured. Staying active, finding new hobbies or careers, and generally "risk-taking" are some keys to vitality. When dreams are replaced by memories then we are giving in to AGING. , My husband is a competitive powerlifter and a member of the US Blind Team. At the past three World meets the Canadian team member, Sarah, has set world records with her deadlift. She is still pulling a 2371b deadlift at age 79! Without strength training a gradual decline takes place after middle age and people who live to 80 years old lose an estimated 30 to 40 percent of peak strength! No wonder daily chores get difficult. You can begin at any age. Tufts Center on Aging in Boston conducted strength training studies with seniors and had dramatic results. In one study men aged 60 to 72 trained on a machine designed to build thigh muscles. After working 3x a week for 12 weeks the men's extensors were an average of 107 percent stronger and their flexors were 226 percent stronger! Here's a few questions to ask yourself before you begin 1. Has your doctor said you have a heart condition and should only exercise by his recommendation? 2. Do you feel pain in your chest when you do physical activity? 3. Do you lose balance because of dizziness? 4. Are you currently taking drugs for high blood pressure or heart condition? If yes is your answer to one of these or you have any other valid concern ask your doctor before beginning. You may need to go a little slower. If NO is the answer to all of the questions, you can start to be more active here. If you are not sure how to begin get professional help or some really up to date books on the subject and go easy. If you are not 20 don't expect you r body to go at that pace. Adaptation and recovery take longer over 50 but the results and your success will be as rewarding. Is it worth is? That's where attitude comes in. How impor- tant is your health to you? What choices do you make for taking care of you? Your enthusiasm for good health can add quality years to your life. Editors note: Karen Mooney is a licensed massage therapist, now practicing in Pahrump with her husband, Howard. She did her undergraduate work at PSU in rehabilitation education and graduate work at Marywood College in psychology. Sweet Polenta Cran-apple Tarts Apple slices simmered in cranberry sauce are layered atop a creamy low-fat base of sweet, cinna- mon-spiced polenta. Any of the new varieties of Washington apples-- Fujis, Galas, Braeburns, or Jonagolds--will work fine in this recipe because they retain their shape and distinct apple flavor when cooked. Makes 4 servings 1 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce 3 Washington apples (Fujis, Galas, Braeburns, or Jonagolds) 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal 3 tablespoons sugar 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 114 teaspoon salt 1 1/3 cup lowfat 1% milk 1. In large pan, heat cranberry sauce over medium heat just until melted, pass through strainer, reserving liquid and as many whole berries as pos- sible. Set aside berries for garnish; return cranberry liquid to same pan. 2. Peel, core, and cut apples lengthwise into quarters; cut each quarter into long 1/8-inch thick slices. Combine apple slices with cranberry liquid and simmer, covered, stirring gently, until apple slices are just tender 15 to 20 minutes. With slotted spoon, remove apples from pan and divide among four 6-ounce lighdy-oiled custard cups; press apple slices in firmly, set aside. 3. In heavy-hottomed pan, combine corn- meal, sugar, cinnamon, and salt; stir in milk. Heat mixture to boiling over high heat, stirring con- stantly. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring, until mixture is thick and cooked---about 4 min- utes. Pour polenta evenly over apple slices. Let stand at least 20 minutes to cool and firm. 4. To serve, run a thin knife around inside edge of each custard cup to loosen polenta and apples. Invert cups onto serving plates to make "tarts." Garnish each tart with reserved whole cranberries. Pass any remaining I I II I