Older women who exercise outdoors more likely to stick with it


By Shereen Lehman
© Kevin Dodge/Corbis (Reuters Health) – Outdoor workouts left women in a better mood and kept them exercising longer than counterparts who exercised indoors, according to a small study from Canada.

Results of the three-month trial involving women in their 50s and 60s suggest that outdoor exercise programs should be promoted to help older women keep active, the researchers conclude.

“Being physically active is essential to be healthy and remain functional with age,” said senior author Isabelle Dionne of the University Institute of Geriatrics of Sherbrooke in Quebec.

Only about 13 percent of Canadian women older than 59 years and less than 9 percent of older American adults get at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week, Dionne’s team writes in the journal Menopause.

Exercise is important for post-menopausal women because it helps to decrease the prevalence of chronic diseases, physical disability, cancer, and infections and reduces the risk of dementia, Dionne told Reuters Health

“Finding the right activity, meaning that it provides pleasure and motivation, is the key to remaining active as long as possible,” she said in an email.

Dionne said that one of her Master’s degree students had observed that women who exercised outside seemed to be happier.

“Because adherence is the main problem with healthy lifestyle, I felt training outdoors may be part of the answer to help people start and, especially, remain active,” Dionne said.

For the study, Dionne and her colleagues enrolled 23 post-menopausal women to participate in a 12-week long exercise program. All of the women normally led a sedentary lifestyle and exercised less than twice weekly, took no medications, didn’t smoke and had no symptoms of depression or only mild ones.

The women were randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group exercised together outdoors three times per week while the other group followed the same program indoors. The exercise programs included both aerobic exercises and strength training.

The women were asked how they were feeling before and halfway through their midweek sessions. In addition, before and after their workouts, the women answered questionnaires designed to measure feelings of positive engagement, revitalization, physical exhaustion and tranquility.

The study team found that on average, the women who exercised outdoors had a greater sense of tranquility after working out and attended more sessions – 97 percent of the 36 sessions in the trial for the outdoor exercisers compared to 91 percent of sessions attended by the indoor group.

The outdoor exercisers also showed decreased depressive symptoms and increased activity levels outside of the workout sessions, compared to the women who exercised indoors and whose general activity level didn’t change.

“Training outdoors brings a whole new dimension to being active and provides so many stimuli that people adhere to a larger extent than going to a gym or training in groups indoors,” Dionne said.

Thus, Dionne said, the women training outside were in a better mood, more motivated and satisfied with their training program.

Dionne said there are a growing number of ways to train outdoors such as taking outdoor physical activity lessons, or exercising in outdoor gyms, kids’ parks and city “green areas.”

“This adds to the well known nature paths, bike paths, suburb parks, quiet streets (to walk), community ice rinks, etc.,” she said. “It is only a matter of using them.”

Dionne said that similar results have been shown in studies of younger women.

“Regarding men, we do not have scientific evidence and we can only assume that it is somewhat the same,” Dionne said.



The Key To Surviving A Hectic Holiday

As we find ourselves in the holiday season, too many of us find that we are in a time of year when rushing around with too much to do is commonplace. We are working, running errands, dropping off kids and grandkids (even dogs at ‘doggy daycare’) all the while answering cell phones with computers blinking at us in the background. It’s exhausting!

If we listen, life’s messages to slow down purposefully, meditatively takes on new meaning during this time of year. Let’s use it as an opportunity.

So often, we women focus on everyone else’s needs, neglecting our own and being unfaithful, in a sense, to ourselves. Finding and connecting with your spiritual core is both intensely personal to your beliefs, needs and outlook as well as deeply necessary for strength and replenishment. We need to find time every day to stop, detach momentarily from the hectic pace of ticking things off the to do lists, and take part in a relaxing or meditative activity.

With everything we have to do, one might think that finding time for meditation is impossible. Here are three things to remember about daily meditative time:

• It doesn’t have to take hours. Try meditation for just three to five minutes at a time.

• You can create your own meditative moments, in the style and at the time that pleases and suits you. This is not someone else’s scripted protocol.

• Quiet, meditative time is just as important to your health as good food, rest and exercise.

Where and when you choose to take this time is up to you. I frequently hear, “I can’t turn off the chatter in my mind.” If a thought or worry threatens to intrude on your few moments of peace, picture yourself placing those thoughts into a box labeled NOT NOW. Remember, your meditation doesn’t have to be silent if you don’t want it to. Is there a genre of music that helps you connect with the part of your being that is joyful and creative? Try playing it while keeping the volume fairly low and let your mind relax and declutter. Or, imagine (just for 1 to 2 minutes) sitting on a beach alone while you count the waves slowly washing in to the shore.

Women often say flat out, “I can’t do this.” Some say that they can’t shut off the noise in their minds, or that this kind of quiet time makes them feel anxious or perhaps even sad. It may seem a bit scary at first, to take this absolute time for yourself, brief as it may be, to listen to the language of the spirit. Remember that there are no shoulds when it comes to experiencing a meditative time — simply making the decision to stop for a few minutes every day is healthy and restorative. If you find yourself wrestling with feelings of sorrow or nervousness during a more quiet time, practice simply taking a few deep breaths. Observe what you are feeling without trying to judge the emotion or make it go away.

If you are the type of person who keeps very busy, so much that a few unscheduled moments become unsettling, you may want to take this as your cue that you need more, not less, of this kind of uninterrupted, tranquil interlude.

Meditative time recharges our commitment to our health and renews our focus on the spirit. As a daily habit, meditation allows a reflective, thoughtful, or even prayerful time — whichever is most comfortable and familiar to you — that subtly shifts you from rushing around to a more deliberate way of thinking about what you are doing and why. When you meditate, you replenish the well that allows you to flourish in the fullness of all your experiences, both the positive and the not so great.

The holidays can be (and frequently are) hectic with finding the perfect gift for someone else. It’s time we consider giving ourselves the gift of learning the language of the spirit — our spirit. Happy Holidays!

Author:  Stephanie Bender.


Are Your Medical Bills Out of Control?

If you are like many America’s facing unexpected medical bills the task of sorting through invoices can be tedious.

Patients are frustrated to receive multiple bills, for such things as hospital services, with little to no explanations as to what the invoice includes.

None of this surprises Pat Palmer, the founder of Medical Billing Advocates of America. “We get feedback from consumers saying that providers are telling them ‘We can’t give you an itemized statement’ or ‘You should have asked for it before you left the hospital.'”

For those with confusing or huge hospital bills some experts’ advise patients to take the following steps.

Knowing your patient rights within a doctor’s office or hospital is the first step in avoiding financial disagreements. Make it clear that you are aware of your legal right to have such things as an itemizes invoice.

Get explanations in writing and take protests to the top. All communications with a provider should be in writing and if customer service departments are not helpful avoid them and write a letter to the chief financial officer.

Ask for help from you insurer. They have a responsibility to some degree to what happens between you and a contracted physician and can often be a great ally.

And finally seek help and file complaints if your bill is much higher then you expected or can afford. Organizations such as Medical Billing Advocates of America and Health Proponent can help you fight charges or lower your bill.

To learn more read HERE

~Professional Medical Corp.

Are They Your Vaccinations?

Medical personnel and flu shotsThe flu season may finally be coming to an end in the U.S. and after an extreme season, compared to previous years, many are eager for it to conclude.

Getting vaccinated has become one of our best defenses against the illness, but a recent report put the vaccine’s effectiveness at 62 percent, and many American’s are not sold on getting the vaccination.

There is also a rising debate for whether the vaccine should be mandatory for hospitals and other high risk organization. Hospital administrators are grappling with whether to compel doctors, nurses and other medical staff to get vaccinated which as of now is not required.

The flu continues to hit older people hard, with more than 50 percent of hospitalizations involving adults 65 years and older. For hospital workers alone 60% get the shot, according to a report by the California Department of Public Health. The federal government has set a goal of 90% by 2020.

With an estimated 36,000 people dying from the flu and its complications in a typical season, the debate for vaccination isn’t going away anytime soon. One thing that president-elect of the California Medical Association, Richard Thorp, hopes is that “we all agree that you come to the hospital to get well, not to get sick.”

To read more please click HERE

~Professional Medical Corp.

Hold the Yolk Please

For many people eggs are a staple diet food. They have been praised for having all 9 essential amino acids and a high protein content. In addition they are great for eyes, contain lots of “good” fats, and are a good source of vitamin D.

But the topic of cholesterol has always come up with eggs and a new study from, the journal Atherosclerosis, reveals that an egg’s cholesterol is dangerous for people over the age of 40. The study reveals that egg yolks contributed to the artery-clogging LDL cholesterol and this makes egg consumption problematic over the age of 40 when there is a higher risk for heart disease.

The health implications of overconsumption of whole eggs has even been compared to the risks assoicated with smoking. The study evaluated artery health of patients who smoked and those who consumed whole eggs. The results are in and for those whose consumption of whole eggs was in the highest 20%, the narrowing of the carotid artery was on average about two-thirds that of the study’s heaviest smokers.

This study may have you asking, how much is too much cholesterol?

According to the National Heart Blood and Lung Institute, Americans should  limit their cholesterol intake to no more than 300 mg per day (an egg yolk has just over 200 mg), and eat no more than four whole eggs weekly.

This is good news for those who look forward to weekend egg breakfast with friends and family. And like so many things in life moderation is key!


To read more of this article click HERE

~Professional Medical Corp

Colorful Kinesio Tape

If you have noticed more stripes and colors on athletes, chances are kinesio taping is to blame. The popularity of taping has grown in the last decade and the 2012 London Olympics have made it a household name. But how does this stuff work and is it affective?

Kinesio tape is a thin and pliable tape that is placed on areas of your body that can be prone to over extending, the tapes job is to pull on your skin to remind you NOT to over extend. Some trainers also use the tape as a tool to help improve balance in athletes and to prevent excessive extending. The taping has even been used on animals to help prevent injuries.

Research is still being done to determine the true effects of the tape, and whether it gives you a sense of stability and support or gives you a psychological edge. In the meantime kinesio taping gives us lots of pretty colors to look during sporting events and may have a bigger use in the future.

Read more about this topic HERE.

~Professional Medical Corp.

Friday Treat: Pistachio Stuffed Dates

Have you been searching for a simple, elegant, and healthy snack? This recipe is ideal as an appetizer for entertaining or an end of meal treat. This high in fiber snack will also help to keep you full longer. Best of all it takes no time to prepare!


  •  1/2 cup shelled pistachios
  •  Pinch of coarse salt
  •  16 dates, pitted
  •  1 tablespoon toasted unsweetened shredded coconut


1. In a food processor, puree pistachios until a thick paste forms, about 5 minutes. Season with salt. Spoon mixture into dates. Top with coconut.

Whole Living

When Friday rolls around there is no better time for a special treat to end the week with…


~Professional Medical Corp.