5 Simple-To-Do Exercises To Improve Your Joint Health

Dear FOFriends: Osteo Bi-Flex has compensated FabOverFifty for this blog. I assure you that the content is factual and valuable, and all opinions are my own!

These words may not be music to your ears, but it’s essential to exercise, especially as you age.

The reason is simple as pie, I learned from healthline.com: Cartilage, the smooth, rubbery connective tissue on the end of our bones, cushions our joints and helps them to move smoothly and easily, but it wears out with age, so we can’t spring up from a low chair, or the floor, like we did when we’re 20, or even 40. Decades of walking, exercising, and moving also take a toll on cartilage. Obesity puts additional stress on our joints, cartilage and bones, especially in our knees, not to mention it makes you less likely to be physically active.

That’s not all:

We lose muscle tone and bone strength the older we get, which can make physical tasks more difficult and taxing on our bodies, even those that used to be second nature. Then there’s the winter. “Anything cold causes muscles, ligaments {fibrous connective tissue that holds together a joint} and tendons {fibrous collagen tissue that attaches a muscle to a bone} to sort of tighten up, and that makes them stiffer,” said Dr. James Gladstone, co-chief of the Sports Medicine Service at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine in New York to www.weather.com.  

“Exercise” doesn’t mean training for the marathon or an Olympic team. Low-impact, weight-bearing and cardio exercise can help strengthen muscles, keep bones strong, and improve joint mobility, advised Dr. Peggy Yih, my internist. Yoga, bicycling and swimming are good because they’re easier on the joints.

I’ve been doing cardio and weight-training an average of three times a week, over Skype, with Vann Duke, an exceptional coach. I lost 20 pounds (could probably lose 10 more), by eating healthier (exercising helps). And, I take dietary supplements for vitamins I can’t sufficiently get from foods, including one that supports bone health.

Join The Joint Movement

Dear FOFriends    Osteo Bi-Flex has compensated FabOverFifty for this blog.
I can assure you that the content is completely factual and valuable, and all opinions are totally my own!

I knew I was in trouble a couple of years ago, when it suddenly became harder to rise from the seat on the subway or get up off the floor after playing with my then one-year old grandson. I could no longer pop up from a chair or the ground. I needed my hands to help boost me into standing position. And, if I sat in a chair for a long time–say a few hours–my joints felt stiff when I got up!  Winter weather only made it all worse.

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I’m In The 86% Group. Are You?

I was interested–and intrigued–to see the results of a one-question poll we posted last Thursday. For those of you who didn’t see it, the question was:

How do YOU want to look:

● I want to look as good as I feel
I want to look as young as I feel
I want to grow old “gracefully”
(aka embrace my wrinkles & gray hair)


Was Isaac Newton Talking About YOU?

We women can be “funny,” especially when we avow one week that we’re going to start eating right, drinking fewer glasses of Merlot, and exercising more, then do a 360 the next!

Case in point: Near the end of 2015, we sent an email to the FabOverFifty community and invited women to meet Vann Duke, the man who has taught me to actually enjoy exercising during the last year. Exercising, as in lifting dumbbells and doing other weight-bearing routines for my bone density and muscle mass, cardio for my heart health, and ab work to strengthen my core.

[Flab Over Fifty] My Belly: 1988 V. 2015


This photo was taken in the summer of 1988, when I was 41 years old, and weighed about 129 pounds.

My 69-year-old father had died a few months before, and I had lost 50 pounds on a liquid-protein diet which I began around the first of the year.  I remember feeling pretty darn good about my body, although it was a confusing time in my life.

Enough psychology. My 40-year-old belly was a far cry from my belly of today. Although I will never weigh 129 pounds again, and my belly will never be as flat, I have a ways to go before I’ll  be satisfied with the shape it’s in. Back then, heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other potential maladies weren’t on my radar screen. Today, I know that excess weight can be an enemy, and I am determined to get rid of it.   (more…)

[Flab Over Fifty] My Belly-Busting Journey Continues!

I’m ending Week 4 of my belly-busting routine, and I’m starting to see a difference in my body, based on how my ‘boyfriend” jeans fit.

They’ve been mighty tight in the legs and around my waist the last few months, forcing my muffin top to pooch out in all its glory. Now, I have more legroom, and my muffin top definitely looks smaller. I also no longer have to struggle to raise the zipper. They’ve fit a lot looser than they do now, but at least I’m on the way to a trimmer body.

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[Flab Over Fifty] My Belly Fat Is Driving Me Crazy. Is Yours?

For those of you just joining us, this is the second installment of an ongoing “journal” I’m keeping on my program to eat right, stay in shape, and reduce my belly! It will please me if I can inspire even one other women to be a belly buster. Catch up by reading last week’s entry.


I’m three weeks into my belly-busting regimen, and more (or less) over my continual craving for carbs. I say more or less because it’s pretty hard for me to go totally carb-less. So although I haven’t had a bite of bread, a cookie crumb, or a strand of spaghetti (from David’s plate) in 21 days, I’ve had a few teaspoons of jam, straight from the jar (George Costanza would definitely accuse me of “double dipping), and a couple of clementines.

I’m eating roast chicken; fish like salmon and tuna tartare; salads with balsamic vinegar and olive oil; homemade vegetable soups like broccoli and squash (made in a Vitamix without butter, milk or cream), and coffee with heavy cream (won’t ever deny myself heavy cream in my coffee).


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You’ll Be Fed Up In 95 Minutes!

An alarming documentary I watched last weekend, called Fed Up, prompted me to text my daughter, who has an 18-month old son:

“Don’t ever give Primo any cold cereals or other supermarket foods that have tons of sugar, even if the boxes say low fat or no fat. It’s scary what’s happening with children’s health in America because the food industry is producing such crap.”

I challenge anyone to watch this 95-minute documentary without having a similar reaction. Even if you’re smart enough to keep yourself and your family far, far away from processed foods, you’ll be shocked to learn just how much they’ve contributed to the snowballing childhood obesity epidemic, the likes of which the world has never before seen.

First consider these two ridiculous, well-known facts:

  • American auto companies freely manufacture (and sometimes even surreptitiously sell) defective cars that can kill us
  • American tobacco companies knowingly produce cancer-causing cigarettes

Here’s a third equally ridiculous fact, that isn’t as well known; as a matter of fact, it’s one of America’s best-kept, dirty-little secrets: The mammoth American food companies knowingly make cereals, cookies, frozen breakfasts, lunches and dinners—hundreds of thousands of processed foods—that are creating a “tsunami of sugar” sweeping up our children and putting them at precipitously high risks for developing cancer, stroke, diabetes and heart disease.

And nothing is stopping these companies from continuing this despicable practice

Not Michelle Obama (although she’s tried with her Let’s Move campaign). Not our schools, 80 percent of which have deals with companies, including Coke and Pepsi, to serve junk food and beverages to our children and grandchildren. Not parents, who succumb to the lures of food marketing, on TV, on the internet and around practically every corner they turn. And certainly not our children.

Yep, that’s right. One in five children today is obese, compared to one in 20 in the past. Obesity isn’t just unattractive and sloppy. It leads to chronic illness. Imagine an eight-year-old giving himself insulin shots. You don’t have to imagine. It’s happening. It really is. Once limited to adults, Type 2 diabetes has become a childhood disease.

The amount of added sugar in the 600,000 processed foods currently manufactured in America is horrifying. Sugar isn’t just in cookies and desserts; 80 percent of our processed foods have added sugar. Our kids are becoming sugar addicts. The American Heart Association recommends a daily sugar intake for women of 6 to 9 teaspoons, but our daily intake is actually 41 teaspoons.

If we keep traveling down this sugar-paved road, it’s estimated that 95 percent of all Americans will be obese in the next two decades.

The seeds of the epidemic actually were planted in 1977, after a government committee on nutrition and human needs heard expert testimony that obesity was the #1 form of malnutrition in the US, caused by a diet overly rich in saturated fats, rich in sugar, rich in fatty meats and rich in cholesterol. When the committee report recommended the creation of dietary “goals” for Americans—that we reduce our intake of fat-rich, caloric food—the egg, dairy, beef and sugar associations united, rejected it and demanded a rewrite.

If Americans reduced their intake of fat-rich, caloric food, that would translate into less business, the food industry correctly reasoned. Can’t have that, manufacturers thought, so they started getting creative, and devious: They re-engineered their food with less fat and fewer calories, but began dumping in more sugar to make it taste better. Otherwise, the food would have tasted like cardboard. That’s when the marketing gurus stepped in and designed labels that made bold statements, such as: “Now with half the fat and one-third fewer calories.” What the labels didn’t say was that the re-engineered food contained twice the sugar. The upshot? Americans doubled their daily intake of sugar from 1977 to 2000.

Remember when the heads of the tobacco companies “lied through their teeth” about the dangers of smoking, the film asks? Everyone watching the lineup of tobacco execs seated before Congress knew they were calculating clowns, but we let them get away with it. Until we didn’t. And when the government, media and the public finally took on the tobacco companies, in the mid 90s, changes were swift and effective. Smoking ads were banned on TV; smoking was banned in planes, in the workplace, in restaurants. Labels on cigarette packs were honest. The fact is, we should ban smoking entirely, but the tobacco lobby is too strong, so we’re settling for second best. The good news is that half as many high school students are smoking now than they did 20 years ago.

Well, my dear FOFriends, the documentary claims that the food companies have been lying through their teeth for the last 30 plus years about the damage that sugar is causing to the health and well being of our children. And we will have to “demonize the food industry, like we demonized the tobacco industry,” if we are going to cure obesity, the documentary emphatically states.

I’m ready. Are you?

Here are 19 other crucial facts and statistics I gleaned from Fed Up about the obesity epidemic and the effect of sugar on our children’s (and, of course, our) health.


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Staness and I Ate Like Women


What do you serve to a friend whose revolutionary new book, Eat Like A Woman, is going to be featured on one of the two big morning shows next month?


You serve her one of the dishes from her book, of course!!!

My beautiful, talented and all-around wonderful pal, Staness Jonekos, flew in from LA this week for a media tour, so I decided to cook a Honey-Glazed Spiced Pork Tenderloin for her, from a recipe in Eat Like A Woman.

The elegant recipe was simple to follow and took under 20 minutes to put together. The two-pound pork tenderloin cooked in about 25 minutes.

The dish was light and scrumptious. Slightly spicy and sweet at the same time (it’s made with a dash of cayenne pepper, as well as honey), I served it with broccoli and garlic. Pork tenderloin is super lean, extremely low in fat, sodium and cholesterol, and full of protein.

I’m not going to give you the recipe here because I want you to buy the book, but here are the nutrition facts for 3 ounces of pork tenderloin: 122 calories, 3 grams of fat, 0 carbs, 0 sugar and 22 grams of protein. As Staness would say: “Yummers!”

Eat Like A Woman is not a cookbook. It’s worlds better because it tells us what we should eat, why we should eat it, and when we should eat it. The recipes in the back are bonuses.

I’m tempted to next make the Dolly Parton’s Hello Dolly Bars. Staness is crazy about them. They’re not dietetic but, as my friend says: “Practice portion control and you don’t need to diet.”