Be Fit For Life

with Ellen Cohen-Kaplan

Save your bones, tone your muscles!

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Porting the sculls

Porting the sculls

So much to watch!

So much to watch!

Who's got the edge?

Who’s got the edge?

A perfect Head of the Charles Day!

A perfect Head of the Charles Day!

Ah, another gorgeous fall weekend. I can’t get enough of these! This weekend brought one of Boston’s signature events- the Head of the Charles. This event is one of my favorites for so many reasons. It uses one of the city’s unique natural resources as its centerpiece, the Charles River. It allows people of all ages, from teenagers to octogenarians to participate. Rowing is a such wonderful exercise in its use of almost all the major muscle groups, and has the body performing in ways that are not antithetical to its structure-rowing is naturally ergonomic in its movement. For example, our hips were meant to flex forward and are strongest in this position, our shoulders are meant to reach forward and pull back.  Our lungs and heart are meant do exertional activity to function best, and resistance training strengthens our bones and muscles. This brings me to the topic of this post- how to use your body and do the right amount of fitness training to maximize bone strength.  The article below describes the study with this conclusion is that in order to optimize bone integrity, one must do vigorous exercise at least twice a week, which must include strength training. Go to

This second article deals with the relation of telomere length to VO2 max, which is the maximal oxygen uptake or the maximum volume of oxygen that can be utilized in one minute during maximal or exhaustive exercise. It is considered one of the best indicators of cardiorespiratory fitness. It generally declines with age but can be enhanced by training.   Go to to learn more.

We are bombarded with images of young, attractive athletes with perfect skin and well-toned bodies. What we see less in the media are images of older athletes, or just middle aged and older folks who take good care of their health, exercise regularly, and look trim and fit. I am much more impressed with the middle aged and older folks, as we know that being active and exercising consistently in our older years can be much more of a challenge for so many reasons. The septuagenarians and octogenarians hold much more promise for me than the people in the teens, twenties and thirties!

I always joke with friends that by the time I reach my 70’s and 80’s, so many people will have had cosmetic surgery, I’ll be an anomaly with my many wrinkles and the natural effects of aging obvious to all. People will point and stare and say “What happened to her?” As I get older, I so appreciate those things I CAN control in my life, and that includes a healthy diet and plenty of exercise. So I use those oh so important measures to stay feeling the best I can. Ask yourself this question- what are you doing to maintain your best level of health and well- being? Pat yourself on the back if you’re rocking the exercise and healthy eating patterns- if not, ask yourself how you can change it!

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