7 Criteria to Being Fit Over the Age of 50

I often hear from people asking how to become fit. There is no shame requesting help, it is very understandable if you haven’t focused on fitness prior.  I have outlined 7 main criteria, in no particular order, that may be used as a foundation for starting.

First is cardiovascular conditioning. The purpose is to get your heart pumping and lungs expanding fully. Most people who live sedentary lifestyles don’t breathe fully and don’t fully exercise their lungs. Second is strength training whether you utilize weights, bands or your own body weight. The only way to really sculpt and change your body physique is through strength training. Both of these two criteria, cardiovascular condition and strength training have had their benefits reinforced by research over this pandemic; which has demonstrated a better outcome from those who exercise should you ever contract the virus. (1)

Third is stretching.  Flexibility is one of the first things people lose as they age. This can be achieved with either a stretching, yoga or tai chi program. A good idea is to stretch on your off day from cardiovascular and weight training.  A study showed that increasing your flexibility can slow or prevent aging in your skeletal muscle. (2)  Next is CORE stability. A strong core will enable you to avoid injuries and increase your ability to do activities of daily living later in life.  I put together a beginner CORE exercise video here

Fifth on the list is nutrition. Making sure you eat healthy and get all necessary nutrients in your regime. No matter what type of diet you may follow whether it be keto, vegan, etc., it is important to follow a healthy pattern.  Sixth is the often-overlooked mental rest. This is reached through finding the time to relax and chill out. It is important to quiet the mind and give yourself some restful time.  This can be achieved through meditation, getting lost in either a book, a TV show, or just unwinding somewhere comfortable; allowing your brain to wander.  By keeping your mind quiet for just a little every day will increase your overall level of creativity, recharge your batteries and offer you that emotional & spiritual rest necessary

Last is sleep, which is one of the most important activities you can do.  Sleep is necessary for your overall health, providing your brain the necessary rest (3), boosting your immune system (4) and helping balance your hormone levels. No matter what your age or how active you may be, sleep is a vital part of daily survival.

Pay attention to each of these 7 principles in your effort to reach maximum fitness. If you are serious about getting fit, create a chart that includes each criterion and list what you will do that will benefit each one of them. It’s OK to start slow, and build as you move along. Fitness over 50 is important to not only add years to your life, but life to your years!

Until Next Time,

Dr. Michael Guadagnino

Chiropractic Physician

To reach Dr. Guadagnino at his Ramsey, NJ office: email DrMGuad@gmail.com and follow him on Instagram @Dr._Guadagnino & YouTube @Dr.MichaelGuadagnino

  1. Physical inactivity is associated with a higher risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes: a study in 48 440 adult patients | British Journal of Sports Medicine (bmj.com)
  2. Resistance Exercise Reverses Aging in Human Skeletal Muscle (plos.org)
  3. Brain may flush out toxins during sleep | National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  4. Study links healthy sleep duration to less sick time from work – American Academy of Sleep Medicine – Association for Sleep Clinicians and Researchers (aasm.org)

5 Quick Tips to Make Your Workout More Effective, Especially if You are Over 50

“I want to exercise, but……”  These five words begin a common sentence I hear all too often. It comes down to whether you want to make a positive change in your health and appearance, or you are satisfied letting your genes dictate how your life plays out.  As you tip past the age of 50, exercise and movement become more important than ever before. Working-out allows you to head off arthritis and chronic illness while keeping your mind sharp. Here are five quick tips to make your workout more effective.

First is to leave the cell phone in the locker room. Nothing says distraction and lack of focus more than someone checking their phone between sets. Get your mind centered on what it is you are trying to accomplish and get to it. Keep the phone in the locker room, or even better leave it in your car.

Second is to check your sneakers. Do not wear something uncomfortable, worn out or the wrong type of shoe. Cross Trainers are good for most workouts, but I always found a running shoe best for jogging; whether on the track, treadmill or running sprints.

Third, as I always say, warm-up and cool-down. You will want to prevent injury and get the maximum effort from your work out. Do not work out cold. As you cross over 50, soft tissue needs to be stretched effectively. You do not need to spend an inordinate amount of time at it, but make sure whatever body part you are working is warmed up thoroughly and your total body is not cold. The same is true with cool down. Do not walk away from the weights or your run when you are finished. Stretch again and dictate how your body returns to your daily routine.

Fourth, you should keep to a regular schedule. We are creatures of habit; by keeping your schedule regular your body rhythms and cycles will be in sync with your exercise schedule. When that time of day arrives, your body will be looking forward to exercising again.

Fifth, it is always good to change it up. Every three months or so, switch up your exercises to prevent your muscles from accommodating to your workout. Changing things up will keep challenging your body and forcing you to work harder. It is also good for preventing injuries such as tendonitis or stress fractures.

If you haven’t worked out in a while, get back into it. Do not allow procrastination to affect your well-being. Once you are in a regular routine you will want to train more as you enjoy restoring your health and watching your gym gains.

Until Next Time,

Dr. Michael Guadagnino

Chiropractic Physician

To reach Dr. Guadagnino at his Ramsey, NJ office: email DrMGuad@gmail.com and follow him on Instagram @Dr._Guadagnino & YouTube @Dr.MichaelGuadagnino

Three Ideas On “How to get the Most Out of Your Off-Day”

An over looked yet very important component to an exercise regime is rest.  While you sleep your body heals and repairs.  Many people use the 4 days on 3 days off training method, while others may follow a more intense fitness program of 5 days on and 2 days off.  Let’s look at three ways you get the most out of those rest days.

The first suggestion is to join a restorative yoga, stretching or tai chi class. These are all excellent ways to fulfill the need to keep moving, while giving your body a chance to rest and stay flexible.  Each of these activities keeps your body moving in a very mild way. Movement is life, and light movement will benefit your long-term exercise goals.

Another way is to see your chiropractor, get a massage or some acupuncture. The off day is a great time to recharge, rest and restore your body. Take advantage of this day to remove any lactic acid and loosen those tight muscles; your body will appreciate it.

Third, don’t think about it. Many people training will consume their thoughts with the next day’s exercise session. It’s your day off, make it your day off by not obsessing about your workout. It is very easy to burn yourself out by overthinking about your activity. Mental wellness is extremely important and time away should be left as time away.

The focus on your off day should be about giving your body that rest that it needs. It is very easy to pull a muscle, develop tendonitis or injure yourself in another way if you don’t allow your body that respite. These three suggestions will keep your mind and body fresh, which will ultimately enhance your training and keep you healthy.

Until next time,

Dr. Michael Guadagnino

Chiropractic Physician

To reach Dr. Guadagnino at his Ramsey, NJ office: email DrMGuad@gmail.com and follow him on Instagram @Dr._Guadagnino & YouTube @Dr.MichaelGuadagnino

The Game Changer – Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization

Ever since I incorporated Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization into my practice and saw the speed at which people got out of pain, I’ve called it the Game Changer. From sprains, to strains to secondary injuries, patients that were once out of the game, got better quicker than I ever thought possible.

Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) is a technique that involves the use of specialized tools or instruments that aid in breaking up soft tissue adhesions, muscle spasms and trigger points. It can be, and is often used in conjunction with other treatment options, whether it be non-surgical spinal decompression, manipulation, electrical muscle stimulation or whatever therapeutics may be necessary for restoring people back to health.  Often times when an individual is in pain, they may have more than one issue adding to the primary injury. Some examples are a slipped disc in the lower back where a soft tissue component is creating added pain, or a neck problem stemming from segmental joint dysfunction that has the addition of spasm in the cervical muscles. Successfully treating that soft tissue element will relieve a lot of pain and instability while allowing the primary injury to heal faster.

Sometimes there is a lone soft tissue problem such as a pulled hamstring, tight calves or brachioradialis tendonitis. IASTM is not only a great treatment to get someone better faster, it also works well managing in-season athletes who are constantly in motion. This could be a pitcher’s arm, a runner’s legs or anyone who chronically strains a body part while participating in their activity. I have a number of patients who I treat that are exercise enthusiast. Once a week or bi-monthly I utilized IASTM to keep their muscles and joints pliable for their next workout.

The key components to making this treatment so effective is understanding the anatomy of what tissues are being treated and in which direction to use the instruments. Knowing the muscle fibers pathway and the correct way to engage the tool makes all the difference. Another critical aspect is the amount of pressure applied and when to stop. Over treating or not allowing enough days in between treatments can have a detrimental effect on the injured part. When IASTM is done correctly, healing takes place and does so quite quickly.  This is why I call Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization “The Game Changer”.

Until Next Time,

Dr. Michael Guadagnino

Chiropractic Physician

To reach Dr. Guadagnino at his Ramsey, NJ office: email DrMGuad@gmail.com and follow him on Instagram @Dr._Guadagnino & YouTube @Dr.MichaelGuadagnino

Five Nutritional Suggestions for Those over 50

As we age our need for certain nutrients grows. It is important to keep our bodies healthy and strong. Combating “Father Time” takes a conscience effort to pay attention to what we eat. Here are some excellent suggestions to add to your diet, along with plant-based substitutes.

First, we need to increase the amount of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in our diet. The easiest suggestion is to eat more salmon, which is also an excellent source of protein. Salmon is great for the brain and your cardiovascular system, as well as being high in vitamin D. Wild grown salmon is preferred to farm grown and although it may be more expensive is worth the investment.  Vegan substitutes for salmon include the following which are rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Brussel Sprouts, Algal oil, Walnuts, Chia sees, Perilla oil, Flaxseed and Hemp Seed. No matter what your diet, be sure to include Omega-3s.

Next eat more nuts. Research has revealed that nuts can aid in regulating your appetite. Nuts contain healthy fats and the amino acid Arginine which helps with blood flow to the heart and brain. Some very healthy nuts to chose are Walnuts, Pistachios, Almonds and Brazil nuts

Third, berries are excellent in helping with concentration and focus. Berries also contain phytonutrients that are very important for brain health.

Legumes are the fourth suggestion. They are high in magnesium and protect against heart disease, stroke and osteoporosis. Some of the healthiest legumes are Lentils, Adzuki beans, Black beans, Butter beans, Fava beans, Garbanzo beans and Peanuts. Yes, peanuts are technically a legume and not a nut.

The last suggestion is yogurt. Probiotics are abundant in yogurt which help promote a healthy digestive system, especially in your colon as it encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria. If you wish to stay away from dairy some alternatives are coconut or soy yogurt. Be careful of their sugar content and make sure they are fortified with probiotics.

Everyone may not be able to eat everything on this list due to health reasons, digestive issues or allergies, but this is an excellent list of suggestions, including vegan options to help keep your systems working and to be fit over 50.

Until Next Time,

Dr. Michael Guadagnino

Chiropractic Physician

To reach Dr. Guadagnino at his Ramsey, NJ office: email DrMGuad@gmail.com and follow him on Instagram @Dr._Guadagnino & YouTube @Dr.MichaelGuadagnino

Four Reasons Why Treatment with the DRX9000 has Helped So Many People

Back in 2006 we were the first Bergen County practice to invested in the DRX900 non-surgical spinal decompression unit. Over the past 15 years I have treated hundreds of patients with the device. The most important factor has always been the diagnosis made from the initial examination. At this consultation it is imperative, without prejudice to determine if someone can be helped with the DRX9000.  If they can, we begin treatment as soon as possible, if not I direct my patient to where he/she would have the best chance for relief. Here are four reasons I have compiled as to why the DRX9000 to be such a successful treatment option.

First it is a painless treatment that gently opens spinal disc spaces and allows the lower back joints to heal. (1) Some people are intimidated when they first see the DRX9000, but once they are treated on it, they experience how painless and comfortable it can be. Most patients fall asleep during the 30-minute session, and some have said it is the first sleep they have had in weeks due to their pain.

Next it is non-surgical, so there is no post-operative recovery. A lot of the recovery from back surgery is from healing of the tissues cut during the operation (2). Obviously with non-surgical spinal decompression this is never an issue.

Third we can target your specific injury with one of the three computers which operates the DRX9000. (3) After your consultation it is determined at what disc level or lumbar joint position, we need to focus your treatment. This is where the computers can pinpoint the location in a very precise manner.

Finally, the DRX9000 reduces swelling and inflammation in your spinal segments which allows your body to heal naturally. (4) (5) Removing the pressure off your nerves allows the healing to begin and brings you closer to reaching your maximum healthy self.

Over my 15 years treating with the DRX9000 I have seen a lot of initially skeptical patients become believers. Its an incredible thing when you suffered with such pain to then become pain-free.  Recently I upgraded the computer system in my DRX9000, because if we want to be State-of-the Art, we need to keep all the equipment State-of-the-Art. For more information about the DRX9000 please visit www.NYNJDRX.com.

Until Next Time.

Dr. Michael Guadagnino

Chiropractic Physician

To reach Dr. Guadagnino at his Ramsey, NJ office: email DrMGuad@gmail.com and follow him on Instagram @Dr._Guadagnino & YouTube @Dr.MichaelGuadagnino

  1. Restoration of disk height through non-surgical spinal decompression is associated with decrease discogenic low back pain: a retrospective cohort study. Christian C Apfel*1,5, Ozlem S Cakmakkaya1,5, William Martin2,5, Charlotte Richmond3,5, Alex Macario4,5, Elizabeth George1,5, Maximilian Schaefer1,5 and Joseph V Pergolizzi4,5
  2. How long does it take for a sugical incision to heal. Susan Dieter MS, RN, CWS Octoboer 1, 2020, Sanar Med Tech
  3. Prospective Evaluation of the Efficacy of Spinal Decompression via the DRX9000 for Chronic Low Back Pain ohn B. Leslie, MD, MBA;1 Joseph V. Pergolizzi, MD;2 Alex Macario, MD, MBA;3 Christian C. Apfel, MD, PhD;4 Darren Clair, MD;5 Charlotte Richmond, PhD;6 Frank Florio, DC;7 Martin Auster, MD, MBA8 From the 1Department of Anesthesiology, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Arizona; the 2Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; the 3Departments of Anesthesia and Health Research and Policy, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California; 4Clinical Research Consultants LLC, San Francisco, California; 5Vibrance Medical Group, Beverly Hills, California; 6NEMA Research, Inc., Naples, Florida; 7Axiom Worldwide, Inc., Tampa, Florida; and the 8Department of Radiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
  4. MKT 0251 Pilot Study – DRX9000® & DRX9000c® Global trusted Suppliers Excite Medical
  5. DRX9000 Special Report Research – DRX9000® & DRX9000c® Global trusted Suppliers Excite Medical

I Call BS on Ageism

While perusing the internet, I came across and article about the “7 exercises you shouldn’t do after age 50”. I am not someone who gets offended, rather I laughed at this article. It was written by someone who knows nothing about being fit after the age of 50. This is almost as bad as the AARP who considers people over 50 to be elderly. Take advise for those you trust, those that have your best interest at heart and those that are tailored towards your personal objectives and limitations.

Never allow these outsiders the opportunity to put THEIR caps or limits on you.  Ignore those people like the author of that article, or anyone else who shares such a myopic opinion of age; it’s their problem not yours. As with a lot of the noise that exists today, let it go right over your head and don’t absorb their idle words. Always continue to work on bettering yourself, keep setting new goals, reaching them, then setting new ones.

The exercises I think you should not do after age 50 are those that you personally may not be physically capable of performing because of previous injury or medical condition.  This is the same advice I give people in their 20’s. Continue to take care and push yourself like you did when younger. Be smart, listen to your body, exercise for health and your mental well-being.

Again, don’t fall for the “Too old do something”, as those of us over 50, are not looking for that rocking chair, we will knock it over with our drive, determination and self-preservation. Stay strong, keep reaching for your goals and ignore the static.

Until Next Time,

Dr. Michael Guadagnino

Chiropractic Physician

To reach Dr. Guadagnino at his Ramsey, NJ office: email DrMGuad@gmail.com and follow him on Instagram @Dr._Guadagnino & YouTube @Dr.MichaelGuadagnino

Intermittent Fasting

One of the most exciting health crazes which has been around since the dawn of time is intermittent fasting. If you are looking for a way to take control your weight, your health and what you ingest, intermittent fasting is something to look into. Before you begin a fast, define what your goals are and outline if you are doing this for a specific health condition or for overall well-being?

While fasting the body exhausts it’s sugar stores, which makes it ideal for losing weight and effective for type II diabetes prevention. It is a way to manage your weight by utilizing these sugar stores. Fasting is also great for your digestive system as it not only gives your alimentary tract a break, it gives your gut time to heal and repair without spending energy on digesting new food product. A stunning discovery in the New England Journal of Medicine found that intermittent fasting could possibly decrease disease including cancer.

Many who fast do so for a specific number of hours. The most common pattern is 8 hours of normal diet followed by 16 hours of fasting.  Longer fasts may put your body into starvation mode which can trigger your body to store fat rather than break. it down. This makes 16 hours a good rounded time to use for a fast.

A common way to fast is the 5:2 method, where you eat regularly for 5 days and fast on two days. During a fast the only thing you can consume is water or zero calorie beverages.  If new to fasting a way to help easy you into the lifestyle is to eat your last meal by 8:00pm then not eat again until lunch the next day.  This allows a lot of the fasting to go through the night, where the only meal you skip is breakfast.  An 8pm through noon fast will complete a full 16 hours.

It is important not to binge eat when you break your fast as this can reverse a lot of the good you accomplished. This may be difficult as it is common to want to gorge yourself with food. Instead focus on continuing your normal healthy diet after and beyond your fast.

Fasting can be considered a very primal instinct. If you have a pet, or watch any animal when they are ill, they fast and allow their body to do what it needs to do without the interference of digestion. Fasting as a health maintenance program has shown to be very effective for a lot of the reasons mentioned above. This blog hopes to introduce you to fasting. There are other more in-depth books and articles on the topic, I recommend to peruse the references below if interested in fasting.

Until Next Time,

Dr. Michael Guadagnino

Chiropractic Physician

To reach Dr. Guadagnino at his Ramsey, NJ office: email DrMGuad@gmail.com and follow him on Instagram @Dr._Guadagnino & YouTube @Dr.MichaelGuadagnino

References:

Intermittent fasting: Surprising update – Harvard Health

Intermittent Fasting: What is it, and how does it work? | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Health, Aging, and Disease | NEJM

Energy metabolism in feasting and fasting – PubMed (nih.gov)

Radical Remission Project | Official Website of the NY Times Bestseller

https://wexnermedical.osu.edu/blog/does-intermittent-fasting-work

Disclaimer: If you are on any medication or have serious health issues please consult with your physician before starting any fast.

What Can You do About the Post-Workout Aches and Pains?

If you exercise regularly you know about those daily aches and pains.  I am not referring to an injury, rather the heavy arms, dragging legs and other twinges you feel post workout. There are a few small recommendations you can do to lessen these everyday aches. 

First no joke, embrace this feeling. It means you are pushing your body and making that difference you are striving for. Unfortunately, life gets in the way and you really don’t want to live the rest of your day with these aches.  Start by making sure you do a full cool down after each session. The same way you stretched prior to your workout, repeat after your workout.

Try taking a cold shower or applying ice after your workouts. It is very common for high level athletes to jump into an ice bath after their training. You can do the same with targeting the ice or cold water over the body parts you just exercised. The cold will help soothe that uncomfortable feeling, regulate your central nervous system and limit the muscular inflammatory process.

Keep yourself hydrated. Drinking water or healthy, non-sugary sports drinks can help flush lactic acid build-up out of your muscles while keeping your electrolytes balanced. A lot of the aches you feel may be due to an accumulation of lactic acid.

Always make sure you eat healthy and are getting all your vitamins. If you are not getting them in your diet, consider using a high-product supplement. Another mechanical practice you can try is rolling- out your muscles. This helps to break-up knots and stimulate blood flow.

In my office I utilize Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM). This technique is very effective in breaking up trigger points and adhesions. I do not recommend doing this at home because if you move the instrument in the wrong direction, or “over-do-it” you could cause more harm than good.  Again, appreciate that post-work out feel, it means you are getting the job done; but try some of these suggestions to feel better.

Until Next Time,

Dr. Michael Guadagnino

Chiropractic Physician

To reach Dr. Guadagnino at his Ramsey, NJ office: email DrMGuad@gmail.com and follow him on Instagram @Dr._Guadagnino & YouTube @Dr.MichaelGuadagnino