Joint Replacement Expert: Exercisers in Their 40s and 50s Should ‘Agercise’ Their Workouts

November 21, 2017  
Filed under Health & Wellness

Sprains and strains are painful, but avid exercisers often see them as little more than a nuisance.

Robert Klapper, MD, calls them something else: a blessing.

“It’s a wake-up call,” said  Klapper, co-director of the Joint Replacement Program at Cedars-Sinai. “It’s your body whispering rather than shouting at you.”

These injuries are warnings that if you keep doing what you’re doing, you could do major damage. “We need to listen to our bodies,” said Klapper, “especially as we get older.”

“Aging is a lot like what happens to a bungee cord,” he said. “You get the cord from the store and it’s new, elastic and stretchy. Leave it out in the sun or the rain, or take it to the beach—over time, it won’t behave in the same fashion. Our bodies are the same way: The collagen that gives us our elasticity dries out over time.”

When our bodies lose elasticity and can no longer accommodate a movement through stretching, sprains, strains, and other injuries are the result.

But that’s not an excuse to give up working out. Your body still needs exercise—it just needs different types of exercise than it used to.

According to  Klapper, the solution is “agercise.”

Klapper encourages physical activity, but urges people to be smart about it. The sport you loved playing in college might not be the best option as you age. Water aerobics and other pool activities are excellent for adults, especially as they get into their 40s and 50s. These workouts allow you to build muscle without hammering on precious cartilage.

They aren’t enough for women concerned about warding off osteoporosis, however. For that you’ll need to come out of the water. Klapper recommends tai chi: slow, graceful movements performed in a focused and flowing manner with low impact on the joints.

Klapper has seen many patients who work out with professional trainers and end up with injuries because they work through pain. If an exercise hurts, stop immediately. It’s a sign you’re doing damage to your body. If parts of your body regularly hurt or the pain doesn’t go away, consult your doctor. Don’t ignore the pain. You could end up needing surgery or other serious interventions.

Klapper divides exercise into two categories: nurturing and abuse.

“We all love the abuse,” he said. “Tennis. Skiing. Running. But keep in mind that you don’t get younger from exercise, and you don’t lose weight from exercise alone. Weight loss requires changes in your eating, not just moving more.”

As you age, you should ease up on the abuse. For nurturing, Klapper loves the pool, bikes, elliptical machines and mat Pilates. He’s opposed to treadmills, lunges, squats, stair machines, and weights for the lower extremities.

“When you’re 50, I’m only going to let you have one abuse,” he said. “Hiking. Racketball. Tennis. Pick one.”

 

Women Suffer Insomnia Way More Than Men

November 7, 2017  
Filed under Health & Wellness

Far more women than men suffer insomnia or chronic sleep trouble and middle-aged women suffer most of all according to a just released international study.

 

Women are 40% more likely than men to “always” sleep badly.

 

This figure rises to 55% in middle age (aged 45-54) when the gender gap hits its peak, as does the number of women who report “always” sleeping badly.

 

By contrast, there is barely any difference in the level of sleep problems among women and men aged 18-24 when both genders are also least likely to report chronic sleep troubles.

 

This research comes after a survey of 4,279 Britons and Americans was conducted by pollsters YouGov on behalf of the meditation and sleep app Calm.com.

 

“Our own user data suggest that far more women than men are looking for help getting to sleep,” says Alex Tew, co-founder of Calm, which many users rely on to help them sleep.

 

While 70% of Calm’s users are women, no less than 85% of listeners to the app’s popular Sleep Stories (or bedtime stories for grown-ups) are female, according to Calm’s own data, compared to just 15% male.

 

“I certainly see more women with sleep trouble than men,” says Dr Steve Orma, a clinical psychologist and insomnia specialist whose talk on sleep science and advice is one of Calm’s 30+ Sleep Stories.

 

14% of all female respondents to Calm’s poll report ‘always’ having sleep trouble, compared to just 10% of male.

 

17% of middle-aged women (aged 45-54) always have such difficulty versus just 11% of men the same age.

 

40% of women compared to 31% men across all ages have sleep trouble either ‘always’ or ‘often’ 75% of women across all ages sleep badly either ‘always’, ‘often’ or “sometimes’ compared to 63% of men.

 

There are several possible reasons that so many more women than men sleep badly says Dr. Steve Orma.

 

“One is hormones – such as estrogen and progesterone – which fluctuate more in women.” Such fluctuations can cause physical discomfort, which in turn can disturb sleep.

 

Hormonal changes can also cause mood changes and intensity both anxiety and depression says Orma. “All those things can disturb sleep.”

 

Indeed, for various reasons, women get diagnosed with anxiety and depression about twice as often as men do says Orma. Depression can either increase or decrease the amount someone sleeps, while anxiety tends to disrupt sleep.

 

Other factors include pregnancy and children.

 

“Pregnancy involves a lot of discomfort,” says Orma. “You have an increased need to urinate. It can also cause breathing difficulties during sleep, such as sleep apnea.”

 

Having young children can also often disturb sleep. Newborns are usually bad for both women and men but even nowadays suggests Orma women still tend to take more responsibility for getting up at night and child-raising in general.

 

Restless leg problem – whether related to pregnancy or not – is also more common in women says Orma. “And that’s something that also disturbs sleep.”

 

“People in general start sleeping worse when they get older and sleep becomes lighter, particularly in the latter part of the night,” says Orma. “But for women specifically the menopause and resulting hormonal fluctuations and hot flushes can be another cause of sleep problems.”

 

Six Reasons That Women Sleep Worse Than Men

 

• Greater fluctuations in hormones like estrogen and progesterone causing discomfort.

• Anxiety and depression are twice as common for women.

• Pregnancy and the associated discomfort.

• More responsibility for newborns and young children.

• Restless leg syndrome – women get it more.

• The menopause brings more hormone fluctuations, hot flushes.

 

 

Psychologist’s Three Top Tips For Women With Insomnia

 

With women more than men, it’s important to identify any biological factors (such as hormones, pregnancy, menopause, etc) causing insomnia says Dr. Steve Orma, a clinical psychologist, insomnia specialist and author of the book, “Stop Worrying & Go To Sleep.”

 

His top tips are:

 

1. Seek to determine the cause of the sleep trouble: i.e., is it psychological or is there something biological or hormonal going on?

2. Seek treatment based on the specific cause: e.g. CBT-I (cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia) and/or medical treatment for the biological issue.

3. Maintain good sleep habits over time (based on what you learn from CBT-I).

https://blog.calm.com/relax/tips-for-women-with-insomnia