Optimum Fitness for Middle Age – Part 3

By: Paul M. Jerard Jr.

In the last section of this series, we will cover a little more nutrition advice and move back into low-impact exercise routines.

Let’s start with choosing the right daily vitamin for you. Daily vitamin supplements are gender and age specific, so you want to pick one that fits your age and gender profile.
For example: Men should not be taking a woman’s daily vitamin and mineral supplement with iron. Too much iron can be toxic, have devastating effects, and even be fatal.

Some men do need iron supplements, but please consult with your family physician, and then he, or she, can give you an informed opinion. Children are also at risk from iron poisoning, as this is a very common cause of poisoning among children. Therefore, it is advisable to keep vitamin supplements out of a child’s reach.

The next point to cover is the real need for supplementation, in the first place. Many people feel that eating correctly would counter the need for supplementation. Natural and whole foods are a top priority, for those on nutritionally dense diets, but it is doubtful that an individual would consume the exact proportions, during the course of a day. Who eats all the right foods, every day, with the exact vitamin and mineral profile, for their age and gender?

Absorption is another key issue with vitamins. Your vitamin should break down in your body. Otherwise, you are wasting your money. To test your current vitamin’s solubility, you could put it in a glass of water, for an hour or two, to see how it breaks down. If it doesn’t dissolve, what good is it?

Now, back to more low-impact exercising. Among the martial arts are Chinese internal styles that are low-impact, develop strength, improve balance, and enhance flexibility.
Many of these styles have a close relationship with Chinese medicine. In some ways, you could consider Chinese internal martial arts to be the physical therapy of traditional Chinese medicine.

Don’t be deceived into thinking that the internal martial arts are only good for your mental and physical well being.
This is true, but they also have a bonus in that self-defense concepts will be learned. I often tell children, who study martial arts at our center, “A fly on the wall would know how to defend itself, if it stayed here long enough.”

Tai Chi is the most popular of the Chinese internal martial arts. Postures are strung together in a low-impact sequence that becomes fluid and graceful. Many people suffering from a variety of ailments mention how much Tai Chi has improved their lives. It is definitely worth taking a class.

Water aerobics classes are a fantastic form of low-impact exercise. Every muscle in your body is worked in a typical class. The water gives you natural resistance for muscle tone and keeps you cool. The increase in heart rate is good for your cardiovascular system.

With each form of exercise I mentioned throughout this series – consult with your physician before starting. You will get some solid advice and avoid any unforeseen problems.

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Paul Jerard, is a co-owner/director of Yoga teacher training at Aura Wellness Center. He has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995. He is a master instructor of martial arts. He teaches Yoga, martial arts, and fitness to children, adults, and seniors. Recently he wrote: Is Running a Yoga Business Right for You? For Yoga students, who may be considering a new career as a Yoga teacher. www.yoga-teacher-training.org

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