Advanced Practice PT September 2019

THE ANTI-AGING BENEFITS OF FREE WEIGHTS STAY TONED BY LIFTING WEIGHTS AT HOME

In her best-selling lifestyle guide “French Women Don’t Get Fat,” Mireille Guiliano advises women in their 50s to invest in a set of free weights — nothing too heavy, perhaps 3–5 pounds — in order to maintain their toned, youthful appearance and range of motion. She notes that lifting weights isn’t entirely necessary during your 20s and 30s, but it’s essential to maintain muscle tone and bone density in your later years. Though Guiliano’s evidence is anecdotal, the science confirms that lifting weights can be an indispensable aid to healthy aging for both men and women. A study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information recommends strength training 2–3 times per week to lower your risk of health problems and preserve bone density, independence, and vitality. According to WebMD, “Muscle loss is one of the main reasons people feel less energetic as they get older. When you lift weights, work out on machines, use resistance bands, or do exercises with your own body weight (like pushups and situps), you build strength, muscle mass, and flexibility.”

have increased by about 20% since the 1970s. The same psychology that propelled humans to eat just a little bit more to survive is now contributing to serious overeating and a staggering calorie intake. There are a few simple tricks you can use to break this habit. Use smaller plates or measure out your food portions so you can clean your plate without guilt. You can also get into the habit of leaving a few bites on your plate to retrain your brain that it’s okay to not finish your food. (You can use your leftover food for compost or save it for later!) With a little effort and intention, you can break free of the pressure to clean your plate. You don’t have to join a gym to reap the benefits though; just pick up a set of free weights and a resistance band and research how to safely use them in your own home. Bodybuilding.com recommends designing a workout routine that includes one or two exercises for each of the major muscle groups: legs, back, shoulders, arms, chest, and abs. Try 8–10 repetitions per set, but don’t push yourself to use heavy weights. Even options that are 10 pounds or less should be enough to keep you chasing after your grandchildren for years to come. One public figure who has taken the weightlifting creed to heart is Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The documentary “RBG” shows the 86-year-old judge at the gym, pumping lightweight iron with her personal trainer, and she even walked spring chicken Stephen Colbert through her routine on “The Late Show.” Ginsburg has called her trainer “the most important person” in her life apart from her family, which is a ringing endorsement for lifting weights if ever there was one.

JUST ONE MORE BITE HOW THE CLEAN PLATE PHENOMENON MAY BE KILLING YOUR DIET

As you celebrate your last backyard barbecue, consider this: If someone puts three helpings of potato salad on your plate, would you feel pressured to finish it? According to nutrition experts, this pressure to finish your plate is making people indulge a little too much. Dubbed the “clean plate phenomenon,” this overindulgence is troubling. Researchers have discovered that people feel pressured to clean their plates even when they feel satisfied or full. Even people who don’t fill their plates all the way often reach for that last piece or second helping because “one more bite won’t hurt.” Experts speculate that this compulsion could have stemmed from habits passed down from World War II, when rationing food was required for most, or from a fear of wasting food. Most people

have, at some point, heard an adult say to a child, “Eat up; there are starving children in the world.” But all those “one more bites” add up. Researchers from Vanderbilt University conducted a study in which participants were served individual plates with any number of cookies piled on top. They were instructed to eat three cookies, and afterward, researchers asked each of them if they wanted more. Those who had only one or two cookies left on their plates were more likely to indulge in a fourth or fifth cookie, while those who had no cookies left or had too many cookies left said they were full. Despite what you think about your own diet, this isn’t a problem sequestered to certain parties. Studies have found that plates and portion sizes in the U.S.

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