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Sunday, June 2, 2013

PaleoJay podcast #33- Paleo eating and exercise can keep you out of the nursing home! Really!!

One of the best ways to stay OUT of a nursing home as you age is to keep yourself healthy- duh, I know, it sounds obvious... but most folks have no idea how to achieve this!  It’s not about eating low fat, and keeping your weight down- it’s more about eating HIGH fat, all good fats like pastured butter and free range eggs, coconut oil and grass finished beef- it’s mostly about keeping your muscle mass UP!  

Exercise to increase and sustain muscle mass is not only extremely important as you age, it is utterly crucial.

I have been very involved with an elderly relative lately, and have seen what can happen when you just stay home and watch tv and read, and move less and less as you age... eventually, this person became unable to move hardly at all- needed a powered lift chair to stand, and eventually fell and broke first one hip, and then the other!

The startling thing was, though, how FAST the person gained strength after breaking the first hip, and being FORCED into actual physical therapy and strengthening exercise.  At first, he went to the old line “I’m really not motivated to walk around or exercise”... but he was informed that, if someone on Medicaid refuses to try to improve, they are OUT of the system, and have to pay cash for their care until they are destitute!

What a motivator!

Wouldn’t it be nice if our Welfare system was similarly set up with motivations that rewarded and punished the recipient appropriately to his behavior?

Anyway, within 3 weeks, our elder was walking again, going up stairs , and rising unassisted from his wheel chair!  I saw him doing high rep partial squats with his walker to support him- amazing improvement.  Unfortunately, he became over confident, and tried to go alone to the bathroom in the nursing home without his walker- perhaps he was also just disoriented in the night.  Regardless of the cause, he broke the other hip...

So now he is back in the nursing home with two replaced hips, and exercising daily.  He is now HIGHLY motivated to walk and exercise, realizing what it is to be confined to a bed and wheelchair, and totally dependent on others for everything... and I mean everything!

What does this mean to you?  If you are middle aged, say 40 or so (or even younger- the younger you are the easier it is to start)- 

Start exercising!  The very best form of exercise is virtual, or visualized resistance exercise, where you use your own body itself as the resistance that puts the muscles under tension.  Check out my eBook Perfectly Paleo Exercise for a good overview of that- also, body weight exercises are a great supplement and addition for total health and fitness.

Start eating a paleo type of diet! will give you lots of information here, and especially Chris Kresser, author of the Personal Paleo Code and the High Cholesterol Action Plan, both of which have links at, will lead you into the highest realms of health you can imagine!  Chris Kresser has my highest recommendation, of you are looking for a guru to guide you into maximum health in your golden years- ESPECIALLY  in anything to do with nutrition and wellness!   Link to his products, and the Personal Paleo Code will guide you on a personalized journey into maximizing your health, at a tiny fraction of the cost of one medical exam!  And, if you HAD that exam, and are being told my your MD that you need to take a statin drug for your cholesterol-  definitely read and absorb and follow the High Cholesterol Action Plan BEFORE you go out and follow that prescription!!  Get this plan, and YOU will be forearmed in that now YOU will know far more than your MD about your own condition- this is money very well spent.  Chris also has the Healthy Baby Code, which I also have a link to on my site, so if you or someone close to your is anticipating having a family, or already has a little one, this is a must get!  You can’t start your health maximization too young!

Get adequate sleep!  Nothing too involved here, but it is absolutely crucial, as I say all too often...just make sure you have a dark bedroom, with no electronics in it, and above all- get to bed really, really early!  Enjoy it- it is so super important for your health both mental and physical.

WALK!  I don’t mean “cardio” here- I don’t mean “exercise” here- I just mean walk!  This is what humans do, what we have done, what we are meant to do, and NEED to do.  All the old adages apply:  park far away from the store- hike in the woods- take stairs not elevators- walk barefoot around your yard and at the beach, just WALK.  Keep moving- walking is not optional!

So there you go- don’t be like the very last generation, the WW2 generation, that by and large thought that physical comfort was the be all and end all- be more like all of the previous generations of human beings, who knew that staying active and healthy was not only necessary and desirable, it was our birthright and our joy!  

If you take an animal, say, a cat, and immobilize it; try to make it unable to move, to walk, to climb- that cat will go crazy with anxiety- animals know instinctively that immobility is death, and will do anything to avoid it-


Ernistine Sheperd did:   

Take care until next week, and keep moving!


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