A newsletter for members, family and friends of Welcyon.
She’s known as the jam lady and was a favorite at the Welcyon craft fair. Making jam is a labor of love for Brenda Knutson, 57, but she has multiple sclerosis and daily tasks can be exhausting. “MS is an energy zapper. Since I’ve been coming to Welcyon, I have more stamina for day to day activities. I’ve found that I have more energy to make jam, especially the clean-up part,” Brenda says. And when it came time to renew her membership in Edina, Brenda didn’t think twice about the decision. “I feel rejuvenated after I work out. I’m not going to stop doing this. It’s a lifeline.”
When Bob, 65, joined Welcyon back in December, he figured he had nothing to lose. Turns out he was wrong. Bob did have something lose: 12 pounds to be exact. A combination of working out and watching his diet led to other changes too. “I lost my high cholesterol and triglyceride values that I’ve been fighting. This is the lowest these values have been in four years, by a wide margin. What I like about Welcyon is that you can see the results,” Bob says. You can catch Bob working out at the Bloomington club alongside his wife Linda.
That’s a headline you’ve never read. But considering the seriousness of the problem, it’s one that should be printed on the front page of every newspaper. Without doing the right things (outlined below), the average American who lives an average lifespan will have lost roughly 70% of the muscle tissue in his/her arms and legs. That leads to physical weakness and a gradual, progressive decline in the ability to do the day-to-day activities required to live a full, independent life. In fact, the number one predictor of placement in a nursing home is a lack of leg strength. Walter Bortz II, MD, a professor at the Stanford Medical School says, “If you want to avoid the nursing home, you’d better take good care of your legs.” Let us look at the key ways Welcyon helps you do that.
1. Stay physically active. That means doing things such as walking, housework, yard work, going up and down steps and stairs, and yes, any form of exercise (e.g., aerobic, strength, balance, flexibility). Physical activity causes your body to produce and release hormones called growth factors. Simply said, growth factors send the message to your muscles (and other tissues) that you are dynamic and your muscle is needed. On the other hand, no physical activity indirectly sends the message to your muscles that they’re not needed, and they abide by shrinking.
2. Do meaningful strength exercises. The Welcyon way provides you the best strategy to slow, stop, and even reverse muscle loss. Need evidence you are getting stronger? Ask your fitness coach to print your two comparison progress graph, which shows how much your muscle strength has increased. It’s even more exciting to know that if you work out consistently for a long enough period of time, you can actually increase the size of your muscles, regardless of your age! Now, you won’t develop a physique like a body builder, but if you follow the Welcyon workout, you will replace some of the muscle you have lost. Keep in mind that muscles vanish if you don’t use them; never stop being physically active. So, the best way to maintain your muscle is to make strength exercise a regular part of the rest of your life. It is that important.
3. Consume adequate protein. Nutrition and strength exercise research shows that you need enough protein in your daily diet to build and maintain your body’s muscles. In fact, it appears that protein is more important as we age. Immediately before, or after, a strength exercise workout, consume 1 to 1.5 grams of protein for every 5 pounds of ideal body weight. For example, if someone’s ideal body weight is 150 lbs, it is recommended that they eat 30 to 45 grams of protein within minutes of the workout. The easiest calculation is to take your ideal body weight, divide it by 5, and eat that many grams of protein, or up to half again as much. Each day, aging adults should eat the number of grams of protein equal to one half their ideal body weight. So, for our 150 lb person example, he/she would eat 75 grams of protein per day. To help you do that, Welcyon now offers protein drinks at your Welcyon club. Look in the club for information about this, or ask a fitness coach.
Please don’t vanish! Belong to Strong!
Rarely do you pick up a book that honestly changes your life. Let me introduce you to New York Times Bestseller Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley and Dr. Henry Lodge. We all know there are days when it’s difficult to find the motivation to work out. This book offers some of the most compelling reasons why you can’t stop exercising on the journey to becoming your best self. Younger Next Year tells you how to turn back the biological clock and enforces why Welcyon has you headed in the right direction.
The premise of the book is that each day, you are either growing or decaying. Exercise is the master signal for growth while sedentary behavior is the big indicator of decay. “The keys to overriding the decay code are daily exercise, emotional commitment, reasonable nutrition and a real engagement with living. But it starts with exercise.”
The most important thing: you have a choice. According to the book, “Over 50 percent of all illness and injury in the last third of your life can be eliminated by changing your lifestyle.” Younger Next Year also says that 70 percent of the normal decay associated with aging (sore joints, weakness, lousy balance) can be forestalled almost until the end.
By joining Welcyon, you have already made the decision to grow. This is such a joy for me. I love hearing stories of growth—I can lift my grandchild into his car seat; I can take a tub bath and get out; my blood pressure is lower; I have energy again. So keep on exercising, and you too, will be younger next year.
Belong to Strong.
Tom is no stranger to pain. The 64-year-old Vietnam veteran has lived through two cancer diagnoses, a bone marrow transplant and joint replacement surgery on both hips and shoulders. He says taking charge of his health is the secret to getting through it. That’s part of the reason why he comes to Welcyon. “You can’t quit. You’ve got to keep on moving. Even when I’m in pain, I keep moving,” says Tom. And moving at Welcyon has made a big difference. “After just two weeks, I had a noticeable improvement in my joint pain. About 50% of the pain had dissipated. I didn’t expect big changes—and certainly not that quickly.” Tom says he’s also noticed a jolt in his energy and even walks with a bounce in his step.