Post 386: A blog about an exercise in chesed and doing exeercise is chesed for yourself. Both require lots of practise. *_Only in Israel_!* stories


There has been a lot of talk going around the web about the fires that raged and how Israelis across the spectrum pulled together. Don’t you like to see goodness going viral;  After the “Only in Israel”, there is a section on the phenomena of bone, and strength in the aged, one of my interests. The writer gives illustrations:

Just a few definitions: Seated rows: These same movements can be  somewhat duplicated with weights and stretch tubes. I also visited Gan Sacher’s out door gym. All of the 16 machines work on the principle of using your own weight as resistance. The machines do not need any maintenance. Not like us!

Shoulder press

Assisted chin-up

Leg press

Following is a link to an article about an “Unexplainable Cloud” in the Golan.

*_Only in Israel_!*
“In our area, the fires were just over the hill. They were so close that we could feel the heat, cough from the soot and ash, and hear the sirens… a lot.  It was all anyone talked about.  Some were packing and all that. Many parents didn’t let the kids out to avoid inhaling whatever chemicals may be in the air.  Everyone cursed the Arab-arsonists with all their heart.
During the height of the action, I went to the local makolet and stood in with my items. The line, as you can imagine, is long. People are buying cleaners of all sorts because everything is covered in soot. “Slicha! Excuse me!” a guy shouts, “But I must go to the front of the line!” He is holding a box of toothbrushes and a lot of toothpaste. He said that he only had a half hour off work, and since there was a lot of traffic, we had to let him through quickly.
Geez! A man wants a bunch of tooth brushes to stock up for the next ten years!  Urgent, you know? Well, one lady told him off, “Look! We are all on edge!  Did you inhale Carbon Monoxide or whatever?  No? Then stand in line!  Here, we have no idea whether we will have a home tonight. Even if we have a house, between the planes and helicopters, and the sirens, and the smoke, who can sleep? And you need toothbrushes?” Turning from him, she said to no one in particular, “I guess everyone goes crazy in different ways!”
I must say that the man was big, very big. If he had wanted to, he could have pushed her (and everyone else) out of line. Instead, he blushed and somehow drooped his shoulders. He softly replied, “I am taking these to the shelter. There are people who only have their purses and a few diapers. Who remembers a toothbrush when you only have five minutes to evacuate? Food, drink, and clothes, they are getting. But no one thinks about toothbrushes, so I thought I’d take a half hour and get some… to make lives more bearable. You know?”
The line got very quiet and cleared a path for him. As he approached the cashier, the woman who yelled at him came running with all the pacifiers that were on the shelf. “Take!” she commanded. “There are babies, maybe not everyone has pacifiers! I’ll pay for them!” Immediately, all the customers abandoned the line and began sweeping items off the shelves – Toothpicks! Lighters! Even cloths to clean glasses! They dropped everything in the man’s basket!  “Do you have room for more in your car?” One person asked, as people continued bringing miscellaneous things.
Meanwhile, the man just stood there, smiling like a birthday boy who just got a huge surprise! Now I’ve got this unbearable burning in my nose… And I think to myself, “I was in a war. I know what it’s like. Besides, I’m grown, married and all that.” But I can’t help it. I am just about to cry—my soul was wide open! We are all one. The man tries to pay something but the store owner turns him down. “My grandfather was a Rabbi,’ he explains, adding “My Zaide would turn over in his grave if I took your money! Go! Go!”
I mean, who could imagine. But that’s not the end! In the back of the store stood a “Russian.” He was as non-Jewish as you can get.  He was standing with a carton of milk and a bun in his hand. With trembling lips and a tear on his cheek, he cried out in a thick accent, “You people!! I want to be like you!! I want to be a JEW! Take me please!”  🇮🇱

It’s your strength that really matters when it comes to functioning well in old age.

And if you’re training right, getting stronger is relatively easy, even if your body type doesn’t build muscle easily.

So what’s the right kind of training? That depends on your fitness and health goals and I am following my own regimen.

High-intensity resistance training is the best way to increase and maintain muscle function.

Professor Maria Fiatarone Singh

“The best results come from high-intensity interval training, which is lifting weight that’s 80 per cent or more of the maximum amount you can physically do.” Practically speaking: I don’t know what this means for me as I  can lift very slowly 15 lbs in one hand. I should be getting a bar. However, I have hand weights. They seem to be working OK.


Two, preferably three, sessions a week is ideal and the most important thing is intensity and progression — so increasing the amount of weight you’re lifting once it stops feeling hard to lift.

“If you can tolerate it, increase your power as well as strength by performing high-velocity, high-intensity movements,” Professor Fiatarone Singh said.

“An example of that would be lifting a heavy weight really fast (concentric phase), then slowly lowering it down (eccentric phase).” I have no problem with this: when I lift a rope of 4 lbs over my head  the only way it works is by doing it FAST using  my shoulders.

If you don’t have arthritis or other joint problems, adding high-impact movements, like jumping, improves bone density, can help to prevent osteoporosis.

The following machine exercises are ideal for strength training because they strengthen your biggest muscle groups.

Aim for two to three sets of eight to 12 reps as was described above.

Leg press

Weight machines are good for older people

 “Training the older person needs to have a double-barrelled perspective,” she said.

“It’s not just sarcopenia, a disease associated with the aging process. Loss of muscle mass and strength, which in turn affects balance, gait and overall ability to perform tasks of daily living, are hallmark signs of this disease.

You also want to prevent falls. So there needs to be two styles of programming: increasing strength and muscle mass safely, and preventing falls.”

Machines are a great option for working on strength because they do all the stability work for you, Ms Norgate said.

“The machine controls your movement which is great, especially if you haven’t trained before and have poor body awareness — you can work hard with good control,” she said.

Adding in stability work will help to prevent falls, so include exercises like banded walks, single-leg balancing and woodchops on the cable machine, Ms Norgate suggests.

People of all ages can benefit from super-slow weight training, but this is definitely a method to consider if you’re middle-aged or older. I recommend using four or five basic compound movements for your super-slow (high intensity) exercise set. Compound movements are movements that require the coordination of several muscle groups—for example, squats, chest presses and compound rows. Here is one of the technique.

  • Begin by lifting the weight as slowly and gradually as you can. This is demonstrated doing this with a four-second positive and a four-second negative, meaning it takes four seconds, or a slow count to four, to bring the weight up, and another four seconds to lower it. (When pushing, stop about 10 to 15 degrees before your limb is fully straightened; smoothly reverse direction)

  • Slowly lower the weight back down to the slow count of four

  • Repeat until exhaustion, which should be around four to eight reps. Once you reach exhaustion, don’t try to heave or jerk the weight to get one last repetition in. Instead, just keep trying to produce the movement, even if it’s not “going” anywhere, for another five seconds or so. If you’re using the appropriate amount of weight or resistance, you’ll be able to perform eight to 10 reps

  • Immediately switch to the next exercise for the next target muscle group, and repeat the first three steps

Aerobic exercise still important:

Despite all the benefits of strength training, it’s not going to give you all the health benefits you need. So you still need to make the effort to get some regular aerobic exercise, such as walking, swimming or cycling.

But there is some overlap, Professor Fiatarone Singh said.

“You can prevent a large proportion of muscle strength loss with weightlifting, but aerobic exercise can’t do that,” she said.

“On the other hand, you actually get about a 10 per cent increase in aerobic capacity from strength training.”

 Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service


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