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Living Fit: Tips for those who are or will be in the 50 and Over Club

Sharon McGoff
July 16, 2014
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mcgoffCongratulations! You made it to the Fifty and Over Club – or hope to someday. After all, not making it means you’re a member of the Six Feet Under Club, a dirty place to be. As a bonafide member of the elite 50 and over team, you know the joys of waking up with more creaks than your wood floors. You contemplate simple activities that never gave your mind a second thought, like stooping down, bending over or reaching up for something, concerned by what may befall such heroic feats. Your almost-constant companions are low back and neck discomfort. You are horrified that a Goodyear tire is residing where your once flat belly used to live. You look in the mirror, expecting that 20-something buff self to look back, only to discover a much older version of you.

Are you doomed to this existence? Is this what the future holds for those who are in their 20s and 30s? Absolutely not! Even though our bodies can lose muscle mass each year beginning in our 30s, our metabolism can decline and our cartilage can deteriorate, we can win the battle against the war of physical decline by following these easy tips:

Easy Tip No. 1: Think about what you plan to eat/drink. If you eat garbage, you will feel like garbage. Each time you choose something to consume, you have the power to help or harm your body. You never realized you had so much power! Most of us know what food/drinks are healthy to choose, but willpower often runs low, especially when we’re busy or over-tired, and we reach for the stuff that’s destined to send us into physical decline. A cycle begins to form and before we can say “Little Debbie,” our body weight has increased by 20 percent. What to do? Each time you are about to indulge yourself, pause and consider whether this substance will pull you into physical decline or keep you out of it. If you are not sure what is good for you, invest in hiring a qualified trainer or nutritionist to tell you. It is money well spent.

Easy Tip No. 2: Move. I don’t mean sell your house and move away from your responsibilities, although some days that is a rather fine thought. I mean move your body in any way you can. This category is not just about exercise to raise your heart rate, but also stretching to maintain a flexible body and strength to keep your bones and muscles strong so you don’t fret about bending over or reaching up. What to do?

• Buy a pedometer and track the number of steps you take each day (aim for 10,000/day).

• Strengthen your body with these exercises: Sit in a chair and then stand up – repeat until you feel a little burn in your legs (this burn is your body’s way of letting you know the muscles are working and becoming stronger but fatiguing). Place your hands against a wall or sturdy desk and press your body into the wall/desk – repeat until you feel a little burn in your arm/chest muscles. Lie on the floor, face up with knees bent; raise your hips up off the floor, keeping your shoulders pressed against the floor – repeat until you feel a little burn in your leg muscles.

• Stretch. Lie on the floor and stretch out, arms overhead and legs straight. Pull one knee into your chest, grab that knee with your arms and hold gently, repeat for the other knee. Roll onto your stomach, face down and place the palms of your hands at chest level and press up until you feel a slight stretch in your abdomen and lower back, hold gently. Get on all fours as though you are about to crawl. Arch your back like a cat and bring your chin to your chest, then do the opposite by dropping your belly and slightly gazing up toward the ceiling. Sit up and reach your arms behind you and then across your body, giving yourself a hug.

Easy Tip No. 3: Sleep and Relax. For some reason, we think we are superhuman and can survive on very little sleep and relaxation. Sorry to burst your bubble, but you do not have a cape and you are not a superhero. We need daily, quality sleep and relaxation, even more as we age. Catching up on the weekends is not the answer either because it throws our bodies out of sync and wreaks even more havoc. A lack of sleep leads to errors, depleted energy, no willpower (remember Tip No. 1 and what you eat?), increased stress (which we don’t need more of), and an increase in the hormone that causes weight gain. And what about relaxation? When is the last time you felt like a kid? Laughed hysterically? Played a game? Colored a picture? Drew with chalk on the driveway? Flew a kite or drove a remote control car? Rode a bike? What to do?

• Sleep: Get at least seven hours of sleep each night. Set an alarm to go off 60 minutes before you want to get into bed, which is your signal that you have one hour to wrap things up and get to the appointment with your pillow.

• Relax: Get out of your rut of reading the newspaper or watching/listening to the news. Most of it is bad and depressing and usually doesn’t put a smile on your face. Instead, spend that time by taking up an old hobby, trying a new hobby or acting like a kid in some random way. Get out with friends more and reconnect with those friends you knew before you became tied to your job and parental responsibilities. Do something fun every day, even if just for 60 seconds.

Getting older and turning 50 does not have to result in aches, pains, weight gain and inability to perform simple tasks. But getting older does require you to take the bull by the horns and get headed in the right direction. It takes only a little effort on your part to: 1) think about what you are about to eat/drink; 2) use a pedometer to move and follow the strength and stretch ideas above; and 3) set an alarm to sound one hour before your pillow appointment to ensure a good quantity of sleep. Easy, right?•

__________

Sharon McGoff is a graduate of Indiana University Maurer School of Law, a certified personal trainer and health fitness specialist with the American College of Sports Medicine, and a certified life and wellness coach with WellCoaches Inc. The opinions expressed are those of the author.

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  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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