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HR question for a female over 60

Discussion in 'Female Health & Fitness' started by hourglassy, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. hourglassy

    hourglassy Active Member

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    My mom, who is in great shape, is 63, 5'3" and ~ 135 lbs. She's actually an inspiration in that she weight trains and eats right, and has done so for most of her adult life.

    She tends to accumulate fat around her midsection, and while she knows she can't spot reduce, she would like to reduce the fat in this area (she knows this will involve losing fat all over to begin with).

    Right now, she weight trains 2 to 3 times a week and does cardio at about the same frequency for about 30 min. She eats a clean 1600 to 2000 calories daily.

    I've seen her do cardio and it looks to be at a pretty moderate pace (she says her HR never goes above 125). I've suggested she do it a little more intensively, but she heard on the radio some doctor say that people over 60 should not exercise at higher than 75% of their MaxHR, which in her case would be 122 bpm.

    Firstly, does anyone know if there's any validity to the statement that people over 60 should not exercise at higher than 75% of their MaxHR?

    Secondly, what would you recommend for fatloss? Longer cardio sessions? More frequend cardio sessions? She says she gets bored doing cardio (loves the weights though!), but it seems to me this is the only way to go, while maintaining her current calorie intake.
     
  2. jaybird-15

    jaybird-15 Active Member

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    The 125 HR is your Mom's training rate..The 80% max is generally thought to be the safe level for individuals who have had some kind of cardiac event in their past history...and only moderately trained...She could probably push it up higher if she wants to without too much risk..I don't think she needs to..It would be more advisable to get in another cardio session or two each week to increase stamina and CV fitness levels..she could do those at the 125 HR steady state,or add in a few intervals at faster speed ( 1 minute faster and 2 minutes slow recovery down to 115-120 HR)..Intervals would be a good idea..

    I go as high as 135-140 HR at age 71,but not sustained for long...

    Edit: I have discussed my approach with my Doctor (gerontologist) he approved..He says,"just don't get carried away."
    For seniors, he uses this formula on weight..100# for 5 ft..+ 5 #/ inch over 5 '...for males and females..
     
    #2 jaybird-15, Aug 6, 2007
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2007
  3. iamfirmin

    iamfirmin Well-Known Member

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    I am also the elderly group :D. (51yrs)

    what does her diet look like?? :eat:
     
  4. Jedi

    Jedi Well-Known Member

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    I agree with this question. She probably just needs to tweak her diet a bit:)
     
  5. hourglassy

    hourglassy Active Member

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    jaybird-15, thanks for the info. I have recommended that she do intervals, but was unsure of how high the upper range should be, so that info was very helpful. It should also relieve some of the cardio boredom (I know that's the case for me!) So 1 or 2 interval cardio sessions a week, plus a couple of steady states ones should be helpful. BTW, fortunately she has no heart disease or episodes to speak of.

    iamfirmin, hardly elderly at 51! ;) Plus I am so impressed by your stats :tu:

    My mom's a little of a technophobe lol so I entered her one day's eating for her on fitday (more or less a typical day for her). Here's the breakdown:

    Breakfast
    lowfat yogurt 8oz - 144 cal
    1 slice whole wheat bread - 79 cal
    1 tbsp natural peanut butter - 95 cal
    0.5 banana - 54 cal
    coffee w/ 1% milk + sugar - 42 cal

    Total 414

    Lunch
    1 whole wheat pita - 120
    3 oz can of tuna - 168
    lowfat caesar dressing - 78
    spinach + lettuce - 78

    total 444

    Snack
    1 apricot - 17
    1 apple - 81
    0.5 cup 1% cottage cheese - 82

    Total 180

    Supper
    1 whole wheat tortilla - 109
    ground turkey + ground chicken mix (total 1/2 cup) - 149
    0.25 cup shredded mozzarella - 79
    0.25 avocado - 70

    Total 407

    Total calories: 1445
    Fat 35% Carbs 36% Protein 29%

    This seemed to me to be a high fat day for what she normally eats. She usually eats more veggies and sometimes squeezes in one more snack between breakfast and lunch (although usually just an apple or another fruit).

    I've recommended a little tweaking of her diet as Jedi suggested, mainly that she try to lower the fats a little if only temporarily while she loses weight (plus of course the increased cardio).
     
  6. iamfirmin

    iamfirmin Well-Known Member

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    Carb Cycling

    I carb cycle.. Mind u I have had a thyroid problem for 26 yrs.. so i am a really have to watch my carbs...

    my macros tend to look like this
    pro 45% carb 35 fat 25% day 1

    two same as one
    pro 45% carb 15 % fats 40% day 3

    pro 40% carb 35 % fat 25&

    Pro 40 carb 50 fat 10 high carb day

    I try to have 2 refeed days a week!

    Its not exact ... i tweek as i go.. ..
    no matter low carb or high.. every morning I have oatmeal with protein
    powder.. IT helps me get threw my workouts.. !

    But i am very careful not to have high carbs after 5 pm...
    it works controlling the EVER INCREASING ABS with aging..

    EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT.. u test as you go along .. and watch how your body reacts.. !
     
  7. Justitia

    Justitia Elite Member
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    There is a difference between losing fat and maintaining. My sense is that your mom is more on a maintaining program.

    If she wants to lose the fat, I suggest she ups her cardio to at least 5 times a week. Also to separate her cardio from her weight training by at least 4 hours -- 7-8 hours is ideal. Doing the two together will impede her muscle growth from her weight-training which is an important element to burning fat. (More muscle, more calories burned.)

    How heavy is her weight lifting routine? She should be lifting heavy in order to build muscle for the same fat burning properties. Advise her she has no worries about becoming "bulky", women can't unless they take high dosages of steroids -- which presumably she doesn't.

    Being post menopausal, the odds are her testosterone is low even for a woman. Testing for it is impossible as it fluctuates throughout the day. (Testing testosterone in a woman is only useful to determine it is too high -- which is usually motivated by some other symptoms associated with male characteristics receding hairline for example.) She is likely to need a testosterone boost (also important for building female muscle.) One good test is to find out how her sex drive is. If her libido is low, orgasms hard to come by :-)doh: no pun intended), she is probably low. Her gyn can prescribe some form of testosterone designed for post-menopausal women. Perhaps it is already in her HRT (Hormone replacement therapy) -- or it can be compounded into a creme which she can apply in the genital area.

    I have been experimenting with 7 Keto DHEA, a patented process that prevents the negatives of taking DHEA, which is a pre-cursor to both testosterone and Estrogen. 7 Keto prevents the DHEA to convert into estrogen and. But be careful of the brand. Even though it is a patented process, not all brands are careful in their manufacturer. I started with NOW, broke out in acne of the form that my dermatologist was sure I was on steroids -- I didn't think of the 7 Keto at the time. It was also 100 mg -- which people are now thinking is way too high. I am now using Enzymatic Therapy's 25 mg -- but even that I found made my temper far more irritable -- which I am already prone to. SO now I just take it on the days I do weights (when I get back to consistency, that will be 3 x a week -- I am coming off of 18 months of a lot of medical issues, which included finally injuring myself doing sumos squats, which I learned only after the fact I should not have been doing as woman who has just had a hysterectomy.) I am now up to 2 x a week.

    The more anecdotal evidence suggests 5-10 g per day for a woman. But I have not found where you can purchase that dosage. I have been trying to work out something with custom capsule but it has been difficult settling on a filler.

    But the 7 Keto definitely improves my workouts.

    Also, though you can find a ton of threads debating the advantages of HIIT over LISS and vice versa, form a fat burning point of view, over a 24 hour period, it has been shown they burn about the same amount... just at different times and different rates during that period.

    At her weight and age, upping the cardio to 5 times a week (for 45 minutes if doing it LISS), separating it from weights (I do fasted cardio in the Am and weights in the PM), adopting a fat loss food plan 00 there are a number of them out there -- she should lose that unwanted fat within 12 weeks and then go back to maintaining.

    Also, that formula of 220-minus age to calculate MHR is just a statistical average, which includes most people out of shape. If one has been doing cardio for a while and in better shape, I think the fat-burning zone can go up -- but that is just an opinion -- I have no scientific evidence to back that up. My HR gets to between 135 and 140 and my MHR according to the formula is 170. I think my particular MHR is higher than 170 -- I've been doing cardio pretty consistently for 3 years, even through my medical stuff. When my whole food and workout plan was in line -- the fat burned off my belly even though I only lost 5 lbs net (due to muscle gain.)

    Hope this helps.
     
  8. iamfirmin

    iamfirmin Well-Known Member

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    Great info on the 7 keto.. i have read soo much I am going to test it also.. THANX

    :tucool:
     
  9. hourglassy

    hourglassy Active Member

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    Thanks for the reply, Justitia.

    You're right that she's maintaining rather than doing something to lose fat, and while she makes a small change here and there, it's not a complete enough change or consistent enough to lose fat, which is what I want to help her with.

    Her lifting routine involves heavy weights. She lifts as much (if not more!) than me, her 36 y.o. daughter. For now, the plan is to increase her cardio...the plan is somewhat on hold since we go to the same gym, which closed down and is set to reopen at the beginning of Sept. But yes, I've recommended she increase her cardio to 5 times/week for 45 min LISS, and now that I've more or less determined what a reasonable upper range is for her HR, then she can push a little harder. I'm not sure whether doing cardio and weights at different times will be practical to her, but I will suggest it.

    As far as HRT is concerned, yes, she is on it. I'm not familiar with the composition of it...but I'll ask and relay the info you've provided. To be honest I haven't asked my mom about her sex life lately :p so I'm not sure whether the HRT contains testosterone or not. I supposed it's never to early to start learning about the ins and outs of HRT...it all seems very complex to me right now!
     
  10. jaybird-15

    jaybird-15 Active Member

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    I read Justitia's reply and was wondering if you would be discussing your Mom's sex life with her...My daughters would not have dared...:D
     
  11. Justitia

    Justitia Elite Member
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    Yeah... but daughters and moms are different from daughters and dads... :cool:

    Love your sig BTW... :nod:
     
  12. jaybird-15

    jaybird-15 Active Member

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    Regarding older women and sex...a little story...

    The Doctor asked this lady if she was "sexually active."

    She said," Heavens no...I just lay there.." :rolleyes:
     
  13. hourglassy

    hourglassy Active Member

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    :lol::lol::lol:

    I'm pretty close with my mom, but I'd say we have a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy :whistle:

    We sometimes talk in generalities regarding sex lives, but frankly, I think we both can do without knowing the gory details :p
     
  14. jaybird-15

    jaybird-15 Active Member

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    Hi Hgy..

    Oprah and Dr. Oz did a show last week on Women and heart disease that you may have seen..It was good..

    Oprah reported that 474,000 women died of HD last year..leading cause of mortality in the U.S..Your thread seemed like a good one to talk about it..Couple of good points were made by Dr. Oz.

    1) If a female has a waist measuring over 35 " risk increases by 50%. That is 40" for men..

    2) Exercise is the main preventer of CV disease along with weight loss..

    3) Active sweating for 1 hour per week is the indicator that exercise is being performed at a high enough intensity level..I took that to mean that a damp upper lip is not active sweating..:)

    My wife,Gail,was fairly pleased with her own performance level (She is 5' 9" and 145#BW) and an active flower gardener in the summer..(She does Taebo with Billy Blank in the winter..Thinks it's good )...She would prefer that I spade flower beds instead of going to the gym, or run her gas trimmer.:nod:

    Hope you are getting the gym membership thing resolved..that is a pain when they close on you...:tu:
     
  15. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    And in that order. Doing 500 Calories of exercise is NOT the same as not eating 500 Calories of food.
     
  16. hourglassy

    hourglassy Active Member

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    Hey jaybird...I don't usually catch Oprah, but the above is my mom's main concern (she heard that same stat somewhere). She's definitely apple-shaped, and iirc her waist is 34 or 35".

    Other than that, she's a champ. She's been through the whole fitness evolution. I still remember her doing calisthenics when I was a little girl in the 70's, she's done the aerobics craze of the 80's (leg warmers and all), sports such as tennis, and as of more recently, cardio and weights and she's off to her pilates class right now.

    The gym situation is still not resolved :cry:but she bought an elliptical. It turns out she's a true gym rat and finds it difficult to get motivated to work out at home - the only thing she's doing now is Pilates 2x a week and the elliptical 1 - 2x a week, if that. Last we heard about the gym situation is that it's either going to reopen under new management as a truly spectacular gym (fingers crossed) or we'll have to find another one. The only truly good/complete gym in our area is not very clean and it's way too packed at peak hours. Arghhh! :bang:
     
  17. jaybird-15

    jaybird-15 Active Member

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    I think Zen is right HGY...

    I have been doing a 8 week cycle based on his protocol..

    150 minutes per week of cardio cross training and limited weight training on pin-select machines on top of that..Was only doing 40 min.
    of cardio in last cycle..

    Got me plenty of room back in my size 34s. and burned some FAT..
     
  18. Dr.Jen

    Dr.Jen Active Member

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    Middle aged women

    Your mom is middle aged in my book. I'm 40, and I'm still just a kid, so she is middle aged for sure!

    Is she on ERT? This sometimes leads to increased fat storage around the middle.

    Also: as we age, this happens to women. I know it's hard to accept, but sometimes, some forgiveness and acceptance of ourselves can go a long way. I say that, but I am pretty picky myself...


    Breakfast
    lowfat yogurt 8oz - 144 cal
    1 slice whole wheat bread - 79 cal
    1 tbsp natural peanut butter - 95 cal
    0.5 banana - 54 cal
    coffee w/ 1% milk + sugar - 42 cal

    Total 414

    I would exchange the peanut butter for 2 hard boiled egg whites, and the banana for a pear. I don't see the peanut butter as a pure protein, and the pear is lower on the glycemic index.

    Lunch
    1 whole wheat pita - 120
    3 oz can of tuna - 168
    lowfat caesar dressing - 78
    spinach + lettuce - 78

    total 444

    Nice...

    Snack
    1 apricot - 17
    1 apple - 81
    0.5 cup 1% cottage cheese - 82

    Total 180

    Supper
    1 whole wheat tortilla - 109
    ground turkey + ground chicken mix (total 1/2 cup) - 149
    0.25 cup shredded mozzarella - 79
    0.25 avocado - 70

    I would put a salad here

    I would eat another hard boiled egg white before bed.

    I agree with you on the intervals part. But: the guidelines are the guidelines...

    I have trained at 200 bmp ever since I was in high school. (Yes, I still do sprints and jump rope and train really really hard. But, I have been doing it all of my life.

    They are saying that those guidelines can be changed by training. But, I cannot suggest she do that because I do not knwo how long she has been training or how intensely she did it while she was young.

    I find that I burn more calories if I interval train when I do cardio, AND super set opposing large muscle groups when I train. If I want to get leaner, I only do major muscle groups: chest-back, leg press-hams, abs-back extensions, lat pulls- over head press.

    When I am trying to decrease my body fat, I don't waste my time doing: Calves, biceps, triceps, or forearms. Not enough bang for your buck.

    During these times, I also train to failure once a week- whether that be with 8 reps with more weight or 20 reps with less weight. Training to failure makes a huge difference to me.

    Also- she might be doing the same workouts all the time. Shocking the body is the nest way to increase metabolism. If she does the sem thing all the time, it's not as effective. She should know 4 exercises for each body part, and change them up all the time.

    Maybe you could help her get creative with more changing up...

    Hey- just be glad your mom is doing stuff. Be proud of her, and let her know. I wish I coudl get my mom to do half as much as yours does...

    :claphigh:
     
  19. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    I got a protocol? This is going to sound stupid but yes, I like the cardio, but did I suggest a low limit on weight lifting? Despite your age, (actually because of your age) I think you really want to make sure your back and legs see some decent resistance at least once a week, and get good sleep and a rest day to follow. Every day older you get is another reason to avoid falling down, which means leg and back strength and skill enough to support your weight. Your future independence is built on today's leg and back work. That goes for both sexes.

    Good job burning the fat; just remember that when you are at a caloric deficit, the resistance exercise is very important to maintain the lean body mass.
     
  20. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    Yeah and another point is that the way the body looks is not necessarily the best indication of health. There's no point in being super thin for most people as they get older if it means they will snap like a twig if they fall down. The more you control your coronary and cancer risks with not smoking, exercise and diet, the more you need to worry about the "other" stuff, which actually largely means falls and infections, joint degeneration, complications of surgery, etc. For these things, you don't want to be extremely lean, and you want to keep your liver working, and maintain a good level of strength if posisble.

    And maintaining a good amount of strength and cardiovascular fitness is going to make you much more comfortable than if you have too little of either. Yeah, you have to look in the mirror, but don't let that be the final yardstick.
     

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