Category: strength training


Our class members are doing just what the doctor ordered – enjoying life! They’re sailing, swimming, fishing, winning golf tournaments, camping, entertaining out-of-town family and friends, sitting in front of the air conditioners and fans…and those are just a FEW of the activities still taking place due to September’s warm days and nights!

We’ve re-scheduled boxing until October. Keep an eye toward emails and blog posts for notifications of the start date!

Additional weekly class in Danvers off to a great start!

WOW! It was exciting to have 10 people join us at our first additional weekly class in Danvers on Friday, January 8th, from 1:00 to 2:00 PM! That’s right…we now offer two classes each week in the COA building!

Our Wednesday class members (10:30 to 11:30 AM) have become good friends with one another. The room is alive with our wide variety of recorded rhythms, good-natured teasing and laughter, coupled with the focused silence of people practicing balance control, stretching, strength-building endurance exercises, and cognitive awareness.

Recognizing that some people aren’t always available on Wednesdays and that others want to participate more than once a week, the Danvers COA welcomed the concept of a second class…and now the room buzzes with activity on Fridays, too!

Mark the days and times on your calendars and plan to stop by…both you and we will be glad you did!



Good Advice to Share With You… collaborates with Harvard Health Publications, the consumer health publishing division of Harvard Medical School. The following information has been adapted from a Harvard Health Publication  Harvard Health Letter: December 2013 – a newsletter published by Harvard Health Publications and added to the site as a free educational supplement. The collaboration between the two organizations takes place without an exchange of funds.

Adding just a little physical activity to your weekly routine can have a profound effect on your mental and emotional health.

How much exercise do you need?
Exercising moderately for 30 minutes, five times a week is one of the best things you can do for your physical and mental health. Two 15-minute workouts or three 10-minute workouts can be just as effective. Even just a little physical activity is better than none at all.

How hard do I need to exercise?
Research has shown that mild to moderate activity is enough to change your life for the better. Moderate activity means that you breathe a little heavier than normal, but are not out of breath. For example, you should be able to chat with your walking partner, but not easily sing a song. Your body feels warmer as you move, but not overheated or very sweaty.

Do I need different types of exercise?
While any kind of exercise offers tremendous health benefits, different types of exercise focus more on certain aspects of your health. Mixing up the different types of exercise can add variety to your workouts and broaden the health benefits.

Aerobic activities like running, cycling, and swimming strengthen your heart and increase your endurance.

Strength training like weight lifting or resistance training builds muscle and bone mass, improves balance and prevents falls. It’s one of the best counters to frailty in old age.

Flexibility exercises like stretching and yoga help prevent injury, enhance range of motion, reduce stiffness, and limit aches and pains.

Exercise is as Good for Your Mind as it is Your Body
Everyone knows that regular exercise is good for the body. It can help you to control your appetite, lose weight, shed inches, and lower your risk for a variety of serious diseases. But the benefits don’t stop there. Exercise is as effective as antidepressant medication at relieving depression and boosting your mood. It can also help you to relieve stress and anxiety, improve your self-esteem, sleep better, and cope with life’s challenges in a healthy, positive way. Even very small activities can add up over the course of a day.

Easy exercises for “couch potatoes”

Sit to stand
Go from sitting to standing to sitting again, 10 times in a row. Rest for a minute, then repeat.

Works the quadriceps in the front of the thigh and gluteal muscles in the buttocks, which helps protect your ability to get up from a chair, out of a car, or off a bathroom seat.

Calf stretch
Sit on the edge of a couch with your feet flat on the floor. With one leg, keeping your heel on the floor, lift and point the toes toward the ceiling, so that you feel a stretch in your calf muscle. Hold for 30 seconds, then do the same with the other leg, three times per leg.Keeping your calves optimally flexible can keep your walking stride longer, reduce your risk of tripping over your toes, and reduce your risk for common foot injuries.

Stand on one leg
Holding on to the back of a chair for stability, lift one heel toward your buttocks. Hold for 30 to 45 seconds, three times per leg. To improve your balance on unsteady surfaces, try this with shoes off on a balled-up beach towel.Balance gets better if you practice it, which can decrease the risk of falling.

Shoulder blade squeeze
Pinch your shoulder blades together, but not up (don’t shrug). Hold for 10 seconds, then repeat 10 times.Helps prevent a rounded, shoulders-forward posture that can develop from many years of sitting, especially at a computer.

Hand squeeze
While seated upright, hold a ball (the size of a basketball) over your lap with both hands, then squeeze the ball as if you’re trying to deflate it. Hold for a few seconds, then release. Repeat 10 times, rest, then do another set of 10 repetitions. You can also improve your grip strength by squeezing a small rubber ball in one hand.

Keeping your grip strong makes it possible to turn a door knob, open a jar, and grasp a gallon of milk.

Good Advice from the Mayo Clinic

The following information is paraphrased from the Mayo Clinic’s web site…

When challenging yourself to create strength and flexibility, change how hard, long and often you work out. The trick is to avoid doing so much that you end up hurt or burned out. Make a smart and safe transition with these tips.

Start by assessing where you’re at now, as well as your strengths and weaknesses.

What you already do (exercise mode), including cardio exercise and strength training
How hard you work (intensity)
How often you do it (frequency)
How long you do it (duration)
Set new goals

Next, take a look at specific, realistic goals you can set to improve your fitness level. Maybe you can jog or swim for 45 minutes, rather than 30. Or you could add flexibility exercises into your routine.

Do more
The best way to improve your fitness level is to increase your exercise intensity. Intensity refers to how hard you work. Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone will help you to get the most effective results possible. If you exercise at a lower intensity, you’ll need to work out for longer sessions or more often to achieve the same fitness effects. In building up, first increase the frequency of your activity (number of days a week). As you become more fit, increase the length of each workout and finally the intensity.

To increase the intensity of your workout:

Move more briskly. The faster you move your body, the more work you’ll do within a given time.
Increase resistance.
For strength training, gradually lift more weight.

But don’t overdo it!
If you exercise too intensely, you run the risk of an overuse injury or fatigue and burnout. To avoid over-training, increase your total exercise time, distance or intensity gradually. Alternate hard and easy workouts from one day to the next, and build in time for rest and recovery.

Once you’ve reached a new fitness level, take a moment to congratulate yourself on how far you’ve come!

Something to try while watching TV…

  1. Sit up tall in a firm, straight-back chair (preferably without arm rests).
  2. With feet flat on the floor, place a weighted ball between the knees (ours happen to be 2 lbs.)
  3. Grasp the edge of the chair near the thighs.
  4. Tighten the knees to hold the ball in place, pull in the stomach muscles, raise knees up  until feet are off the floor, hold for a count of 5, then lower. (Start slowly – try for 5 repetitions.)
  5. If you cannot lift both feet off the ground with bent knees, position the ball (or another object) as described in step 2, and extend legs straight out to the front to whatever height can be achieved. (hold for 5 count – do 5 repetitions to start)
  6. Remember to breathe as you exercise!


Study on High-Intensity Strength Training

March 23, 2014

In a January 2014 Science Daily article, the University of Alabama at Birmingham summarized recent study results, stating: “Researchers say that high-intensity strength training produced significant improvements in quality of life, mood and motor function in older patients with Parkinson’s disease.”

We’re sharing the article in its entirety for you. Please visit the following site to learn more.


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