Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

Mid-Life Fitness & Exercise Keeps Us Healthy

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Jun 10, 2015 @ 04:17 PM

describe the image

Many people exercise to look better – to improve body composition and control weight, but the other health benefits of exercise are motivating factors as we approach middle-age – for good reason. According to a recent study, exercise is “good medicine” for keeping common chronic health problems at bay as we age. After all, what good is it to look “hot” in a pair of jeans if you’re not healthy?

The Importance of Midlife Fitness

In a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers looked at Medicare claims for 18,670 participants, both men and women, over a 26-year period. This group of people had undergone treadmill fitness testing during middle-age, around the age of 50. After adjusting for factors like blood pressure, body mass index, alcohol use and smoking history, they discovered the most fit participants, as measured by their treadmill test, had a lower risk for developing eight medical conditions – heart disease, emphysema, stroke, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s disease, lung cancer and colon cancer over a 26-year period.

That’s a lot of prevention! Although this study doesn’t necessarily show cause and effect, it does suggest that staying fit is a simple and medication-free way to potentially reduce the risk of the most chronic health problems that rob people of their ability to fully enjoy life as they age. According to a 1993 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, an inactive or sedentary lifestyle is a contributing factor in 23% of deaths due to chronic disease. Pretty sobering, huh?

Health Benefits of Exercise: Other Ways Exercise Improves Health

Did you know that half of all women over the age of 50 and a quarter of all men will have an osteoporosis-related fracture at some point during their life? High-impact exercise and resistance training help to build stronger bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. The simple act of muscle moving bone, as when lifting a weight, stimulates bone-producing cells called osteoblasts to churn out more bone tissue to reinforce and protect your bones. Combine that with a calcium-rich diet and adequate amounts of vitamin D and you have a head start at preventing bone loss with age.

What about joint health? By the age of 65, about two-thirds of people have osteoarthritis on x-ray, although not everyone has symptoms. Weak quadriceps muscles increase the risk for knee osteoarthritis. The good news? Strengthening your quadriceps muscles through resistance training helps to prevent osteoarthritis of the knee. Plus, it helps with weight control. Being overweight or obese puts greater stress on joints, causing more loss of cartilage – not to mention resistance training helps to preserve lean body mass with age. Why is that important? There’s an epidemic of sarcopenia among older people. Sarcopenia is the serious age-related loss of muscle mass that puts older people at risk for frailty, falls and disability. Strength-training helps to combat this problem.

Exercise Boosts Mental Health Too

Exercise reduces stress and anxiety and may help to prevent depression. It even helps to ward off age-related memory loss and those “senior moments” that become more common after middle-age. One way it does this is by increasing the volume of a portion of the brain called the hippocampus that’s linked with memory and cognitive function. The hippocampus normally shrinks with age, and exercise, primarily aerobic exercise, reduces hippocampal shrinkage. Aerobic exercise boosts the volume of this portion of the brain even in people who begin exercising later in life. Just goes to show, it’s never too late to get the benefits of exercise.

The Bottom Line?

Who doesn’t want to stay healthy as they age? Exercise and a healthy diet are two of your best defenses against age-related diseases – and it’s never too late to start.  Start by walking utilizing the -10,000 Steps Program each and every day.  The more you move the more movement your body will crave.

For more great fitness tips, contact our fitness director/certified personal trainer, Noelle Lusardi, at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.

ose weight and gain confidence with a personalizedprogram and the ongoing support of Step Ahead's expert team, including a physician, certified fitness trainer, and certified nutritionist. We now accept health insurance!


Get Started Today!

Sincerely,
Dr. Deborah Neiman MD

49 U.S. Highway 202
Far Hills, NJ  07931
908-470-2235
www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

Tags: losing weight tips, health insurance coverage, health insurance, Diet and Nutrition, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, group excercise classes, weight loss insurance coverage, lose weight with a partner, Step Ahead Wellness Center

Medically Supervised Weight Loss Program Covered by Insurance

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Jan 07, 2015 @ 01:48 PM

Winter Woe: Your body's chemical switch has flipped to storing more fat.

Fix-it trick: To maintain your weight loss this winter, you must keep moving!  When University of Colorado researchers studied a group of 12 women and six men in both summer and winter, they discovered that their production of ATLPL, a chemical that promotes fat storage, almost doubled during the winter and dropped during the summer. But you're not doomed to don fat pants all season, scientists say. Exercise may increase SMLPL, the muscle enzyme that promotes the burning of fat, to offset the pudge-promoting effects of ATLPL. "We found that people who are normally physically active are more protected from weight gain," says study author Robert E. Eckel, MD. Get in at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days, whether it's Spinning, snowshoeing, or building a snowman.

1381404_10151735606937514_1916893787_n

 

Make your new year's health resolutions come true. Learn about Step Ahead Wellness Center's personalized weight loss programs created by a medical doctor, registered dietitian, and certified personal trainer.  

 

CALL TODAY 

 

Due to the many exciting changes in the treatment of weight loss in the past year we are now able to offer Step Ahead Wellness Center Weight Loss programs through your insurance coverage*. We are now able to do this due to 2 important changes:

  1. Obesity has been recognized as a disease and we are formally able to submit claims with this diagnosis code.

  2. Changes in health insurance delivery have amended most insurance policies to cover some aspect of weight loss programs for those who qualify.

Because of these changes, the doctor related office visits for weight loss supervision, if applicable, will be able to be submitted through your current insurance program.** There will be some minor administrative fees if you are receiving appetite suppressants or other supplements but we will be able to submit the visits for you.If you are participating in the OPTIFAST Program, the meal replacements (bars, shakes and soups) are not covered under insurance and will still be offered at the same price (you will only be paying for the goods).Also, consultations with our dietitian will also be able to be covered under most insurance programs.

We are very excited about these changes and hope to be able to bring our established, supportive and successful program to many individuals with less out of pocket expense. At the same time, many of our programs will help you qualify for discounts in your out of pocket costs for health insurance(there are many incentives to reduce costs with lifestyle modifications).In the next month, please visit our website for updates relating to changes in programs we are offering. There have also been new appetite suppressants that have been approved in the past few months that we are also rolling out with great enthusiasm. 

We look forward to working with you and to continue our team approach to helping you make a healthier and happier start to the new year. 

*please check with our office prior, we participate with MOST insurance programs.

**  please check with your insurance provider to make sure you do have coverage for weight loss related programs.

health insurance1 resized 600

Tags: medically supervised weight loss center, health insurance coverage, weight loss insurance coverage, weight loss covered by insurance