For the past few years I have found myself following a pretty sedentary lifestyle and as a result I have been feeling very fatigued at the slightest bit of walking, climbing stairs, etc.  In fact, when I did do any walking I felt an ache in my legs.   So of course I felt very challenged when I was faced this past month to move from our large home to a smaller apartment.

It was a challenging time but with lots of help we made the move.  After settling in I began to spend time exercising in the apartment pool.  I had purchased some water weights years ago and began using them each time I went and began to realize that the aching in the calves of my legs had diminished and I did not feel as fatigued when walking.  I also felt a calmness in my body I had not felt before and after researching that discovered that exercise actually helps reduce the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, no doubt helping with my blood pressure as well

Did you know that sarcopenia is the loss of muscle as we age?   People who are physically inactive can lose as much as 3 percent to 5 percent of their muscle mass per decade after age 30.  I began to realize that my lack of exercise was causing many of the symptoms I was experiencing and my water exercises in the pool every day were helping them become diminished.  I actually learned that ancient Hawaiians may have been the first to develop strength training in water by taking large rocks into the sea and carrying them while they swam along the ocean floor, thus  removing any injury-inducing impact from a workout,  giving them better results than strength training or swimming alone. (A weight that feels manageable on land takes far more effort to swim with underwater, and it boosts your heart rate faster than a freestyle stroke.)

Another exciting thing I learned from my research was all about leucine and its benefits. Why was I excited?  Because the smoothies I make for myself each day include that very nutrient in them!   Here is one of my favorite recipes with this great supplement ~

2 scoops Vanilla Life Energizing Shake

1 cup milk of choice

1 cup fresh or frozen chopped greens, such as kale or spinach

1/2 cup frozen pineapple

1/2 banana


Sweeten to taste with your choice of sweetener. Blend all ingredients until creamy.

Recent data from the Journal of Nutrition suggest that excess leucine may be able to overcome this age-related resistance of muscle proteins to leucine. For this reason,this long-term essential amino acid supplementation may be a useful tool for the prevention and treatment of sarcopenia, particularly if excess leucine is provided in the supplement.

We all know that even the smallest movements ~ what are known as incidental physical activities ~ can make a big difference in our overall cardiorespiratory fitness.  A study by the American Heart Association states that sedentary overweight or obese middle-aged women can vastly improve their health with as little as 10 minutes of exercise a day!  Guess I will keep on lifting those water weights!


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