Nunzia!

Nunzia!

Nunzia, age 67, was born and raised in Naples, Italy. During her school years, her physical education consisted of walking everywhere – up and down hills and over long distances – because her family did not own a car. In 1972, she moved to the USA.

Over her past twenty-five years in Bend, she tried all kinds of gym programs, but would only last for a few weeks because they never “clicked’ with her. Finally, at CBF she found what she was seeking – a program that “works every part” of her body, plus encourages camaraderie with other exercisers and provides plenty of fun, too.

For over a year, she has exercised twice a week at CBF to maintain her strength and flexibility. Outside the gym, she walks her dog and hikes. Her favorite exercise is to walk on a sandy ocean beach while watching the waves come in.

As you’ll see in this video, Nunzia is strong and capable. Watch her great V-Ball shot in slow-motion at the end.

Hey Hey What’s That Sound?

Hey Hey What’s That Sound?

Odds are good if you have more than one gray hair, you have one or more joints that snaps, creaks, crackles, pops, clunks, crunches or grinds.

Some of these sounds are occasional and funny. Others can be regular and quite loud, startling pets and bystanders, waking up spouses/partners, and even frightening to children.

Unless accompanied by pain, most of them don’t mean anything other than you are alive and un-young. Of course, if there’s pain, see a medical provider. However, don’t be disappointed if they can reduce the pain, but not the noise. stretch

As our bodies age, some of those noises never disappear because of permanent, irreversible changes to tissues in the joints. Maybe the anatomy has been altered by surgery or trauma. More often they are due to a combination of factors related to aging:

- All the connective tissue surrounding joints become stiffer due to elastin being replaced by collagen.

- Muscles surrounding joints lose their tone, which allows lax tendons to leave natural positions and drift and rub across bone.

- There’s a decline in the production of synovial fluid that lubricates the interface of bone surfaces.

- Natural wear and tear to the thin layer of protective cartilage on bone surfaces due to repetitive motion, like swinging a tennis racquet or pumping a bike. Once the layer is gone, bone grinds against unprotected bone, resulting in painful osteoarthritis.

Although regular exercise may not totally eliminate joint noises, it can help turn the volume down. There’s a saying, “Motion is lotion.” Movement itself disperses synovial fluid over bone surfaces. That’s why a thorough warm-up and exercises that require a wide range of motion are so important.

Joint noises can be further reduced by toning the muscles around the joints so complex bone structures, like shoulder and knees, are properly supported so they can function as designed. That’s why it’s so critical to balance strength of the large back muscles with chest muscles in front, thighs with hamstrings in the legs, hip flexors with hip extensors. as well as pay attention to the smaller muscles like those in the rotator cuff.

Remember one noise reducer that doesn’t require any exercise: Stay well-hydrated. Drink lots of water. Your body is over 70% water. Some cartilage is 85% water! When you are hydrated, your connective tissue softens and expands, slips and slides like it’s supposed to.

You’re functional. That’s what really matters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bone Building

Bone Building

Your ability to function at a high level in life depends on strong bones, not just strong muscles. What’s cool is the right exercise builds them both at the same time.

skeleton

Based on illuminating research by Katarina Borer and expanded by Joseph Signorile, PhD in Bending the Aging Curve, here are five exercise principles to optimize bone building:

#1 – Bone responds more to dynamic (moving) rather than static (yoga), likely because dynamic strain within the bone induces bone building fluid to circulate more freely.

#2 – Higher intensity resistance exercise is superior to aerobic activity, e.g., walking, in maintaining and improving bone mass and architecture.

#3 – Bone responds best to cycles of loading, then unloading. In other words, repetitions where the bones are stressed, then de-stressed.

#4 – Bone builds better with intermittent exercise that spreads the stimulus over several sessions, rather than one. In other words, multiple sessions over a week, with recovery periods between, are better than a single long session.

#5 – Bone responds best to variety. In Signorilie’s words: “Tissue adapts when it is faced with a challenge that is beyond those encountered in everyday life.”

You see these principles at work in every CBF workout. Lots of repetitions (think  circuit stations), loads coming at different angles (think paired tubes, the mace), high intensity (think Across the Floor, jump rope, heavy bag), variety (every workout comes at muscles and joints with different loads, from different angles).

For these reasons, when you workout at CBF you get two for one – stronger bones and muscle – a super deal. Your mind might have trouble admitting it, but your body, getting stronger with every repetition, appreciates it.

 

 

Eccentric Strength

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Eccentric Strength

The very first blog CBF published, in the summer of 2013, was about why it’s so important for older adults to build strength. This is an update, four years later, on why it’s especially important to build eccentric strength.

When it comes to movement, muscles are either contracting (called a concentric action, as when you do a biceps curl with a weight) or lengthening (called an eccentric action, as when you lower the weight down). Whether contracting or lengthening, a muscle generates force. Muscles need to be trained for each of these actions.

In the video below, you see CBFers using both types of actions in the muscles of their lower bodies. Watch it, then we’ll discuss what’s worth noting about it.

The primary use for eccentric strength is to decelerate. Whether running or jumping,  a controlled, safe landing depends on muscles lengthening in the calves and thighs to absorb the momentum your bodyweight. Watch the landings, as knees move forward slowing the momentum, then the glutes and back muscles stretch to decelerate the upper body.

Here’s what strong eccentric muscle action buys you:

- Much better overall body control
- The ability to generate more power when needed
- Improved bone strength (anti-osteopenia)
- Improved overall endurance
- Increased size and strength of muscles, tendons and ligaments
- Expanded range of motion

Many Boomers are too weak and uncoordinated to safely engage in the plyometric moves in this video, which is too bad. It’s during eccentric movements, like stepping off a curb or trying to recover from a stumble in everyday life, or while playing sports like pickelball, that people get injured. They strain or tear a tendon, or lose their balance and fall. It’s also why they fatigue so easily if they have to descend a hill or long flight of stairs.

You can read more about eccentric strength in this American College of Sports Medicine article.

In every CBF workout we train to be able to perform these power movements without injury. We constantly enhance eccentric strength with squats and lunges, lunge pumps, single-leg squats, barbarian squats, and 360 degree lunges, as well as accelerations of them, like running through agility cones, over the agility ladder, lily pads, and 3 dot hops.

It’s also how you get so strong in your 60′s and 70′s to look so good in a video.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

eccentric training causes hypertrophy of tendons and connective tissue increasing the tendons strength, resistance to injury, and ability to store energy during movement.