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Health

Healthy aspects of an active lifestyle

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Back on My Feet

Three times a week at 6 am, a select group of runners head to Boston Common to work out. One day, it could be sprints, the next day a long jog. The one thing these folks have in common besides a good sweat is that they are all homeless participating in the Back on My Feet program. Launched in 2007 in Philadelphia, the nonprofit organization has become such a success that it has already moved on to Baltimore, Washington, DC, Chicago, and this past May, Boston. Obviously, the program is much more than a good run on an often chilly morning. Back on My Feet builds self-esteem and confidence through leadership training. Though it doesn’t provide shelter or food, the organization does help with connections to housing, job placement, and self-sufficiency. All you have to do is be present at least 90 percent of the workouts to show your commitment. As I always say to my kids, strong body, strong mind.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 11/03/10 at 01:00 PM
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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Playgrounds for Seniors

One of my favorite books to read to my children when they were young was the poignant “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein, about a relationship a boy has with a tree over the course of his life. In the final pages, an older man returns, cane in hand. As Silverstein writes:

And after years the boy came back, both of them were old.
“I'm nothing but an old stump now. I'm sorry but I've nothing more to give.”
“I do not need very much now, just a quiet place to rest,”
The boy, he whispered, with a weary smile
“Well,” said the tree, “An old stump is still good for that.”

Well, so much for resting. Seniors these days are returning to their youth. London just announced it was building a playground in Hyde Park that caters not to kids or their parents, but aging baby boomers. “Every park has a children’s playground, very few have playgrounds for adults, and none have playgrounds for the elderly,” said Madeline Elsdon, head of a local residents’ association, in a recent AP article. Catered to the over-60 crowd, the playground will feature exercise equipment to help seniors with balance, flexibility, and muscle toning. I just hope they swing and ask their grandchildren for a push!
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 03/02/10 at 02:00 PM
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Monday, February 08, 2010

Older Women Who Lift Weights See Cognitive Benefits

There’s an interesting story in the latest Archives of Internal Medicine, which I read religiously (just kidding), that talks about a recent Canadian study involving older women. Over the course of a year, The University of British Colombia divided 155 women in the 65 to 75-year old range into three groups—resistance training (lifting weights, using weight machines, or doing squats and lunges) once a week, resistance training twice a week, and a Tai-Chi based balance and tone training twice a week. The results: cognitive scores for the women who went to resistance training twice weekly were up 12.6 percent, once weekly up 10.9 percent, while those who only did Tai Chi fell 0.5 percent. So start pumping the iron!
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 02/08/10 at 02:00 PM
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Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk.

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