Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, November 3, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 12



 Mountain Views News Saturday, November 3, 2012 



Dear Savvy Senior:

Can lifting weights help with age-related health problems? At age 70, I have diabetes, arthritis and osteoporosis 
and recently read that strength training could improve my conditions. What can you tell me? 
Looking for Help

Dear Looking:

A growing body of research shows that strength 
training exercises can have a profound impact on 
a person’s health as they age – and you’re never too 
old to start. 

Regular strength training, done at least two nonconsecutive 
days a week, helps you build muscle 
strength, increases your bone density and improves your balance, coordination and stamina. It can 
also help reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic conditions like arthritis, diabetes, high 
blood pressure, back pain, depression and obesity. And some studies even show that it helps improve 
cognitive function too. 

Safety First

For the most part, strength training exercises – especially if you start conservatively and progress 
slowly – are safe for most seniors, even those with serious health conditions. But, if you have health 
concerns or if you are currently inactive, you should talk to your doctor about what may be appropriate 
for you. A good self-help resource to help you find an appropriate, safe exercise program is the 
“Exercise and Screening for You” tool at 

Getting Started

If you’ve never done strength training exercises before, you may want to work with a personal trainer 
for a few sessions to help you develop a safe and effective routine you can continue on your own. 
They cost anywhere from $20 to $100 per hour. To find one, ask your health care provider or contact 
a good health club or fitness facility in your area. You can also search for one online at reputable sites 
like or 

If personal training isn’t an option, there are lots of great senior strength training videos you can 
purchase to guide you through a wide variety of exercises that you can do at home. Collage Video 
(, 800-819-7111) sells dozens of age and fitness appropriate DVD’s at prices usually 
ranging between $10 and $20. 

Also see, a resource created by the National Institute on Aging that offers a free exercise 
DVD and guide that provides illustrated examples of exercises you can do at home to strengthen 
your body. You can order your free copies online or by calling 800-222-2225. 

Senior Classes

If you don’t like exercising alone or need some motivation consider joining a gym, or call your local 
senior center to see if they offer any strength training exercise classes. You should also check out 
SilverSneakers (, 888-423-4632) or Silver&Fit (, 877-427-4788). 
These are fitness programs offered in thousands of fitness centers, gyms and YMCAs throughout the 
U.S. that offer special classes designed for older adults. These programs are available only to seniors 
that have certain Medicare supplemental policies or Medicare Advantage plans.


If you work out at home you’ll probably need to invest in some equipment. While some strength training 
can be done using your own body weight (like push-ups, sit-ups and leg squats), hand weights, 
ankle weights, medicine balls, resistance bands or rubber tubing are all great tools for strength training. 
You can find all these products at sporting goods stores, or online at for around $10 
or less. Cans of soup, water bottles or plastic milk containers filled with water or sand could also be 
used (like small hand weights) for resistance. 

Another great strength training tool you should know about is the Resistance Chair (it costs $280). 
This is an all-in-one home fitness system that helps senior’s maintain and improve their strength 
from a safe seated position with minimal risk of injury. To learn more see or call 

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit Jim Miller 
is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

 By Pat Birdsall


A burglary takes place every 15 seconds in the United States! Here are some ways to improve the 
safety of your home:

1. Take your name off your mailbox. Burglars can’t call 411 to get your telephone number. Many 
robbers will call a house they are planning on robbing beforehand to insure that no one is home.

2. Watch what you put in the trash. If you just purchased a high-end item like a big screen TV or a 
new computer system, don’t bring the box to the curb! Break it down and try to fit it in your recycling 
bin or if in Sierra Madre, take it to the city dumpster next to the tennis courts in Sierra Vista Park. 

3. Shred or cut up all billing statements. Criminals can steal these and open new accounts in your 
name. Always shred important documents that you want to discard.

4. Turn down the volume of your telephone if you’re going on a trip or turn it off entirely. Criminals 
roaming the streets listen for loud rings that are not picked up… a sure sign that no one is home.

5. Trim your trees and bushes. Although these look lovely, they are perfect hiding places for criminals.

6. Lock up when you go out. Make sure to shut and lock any windows you regularly keep open. 
Criminals will watch for open windows when a car leaves the driveway. 

7. Don’t hide a spare key! The best idea is to leave a spare key with a trusted neighbor or friend.

8. Light up your house. Leave on a light in one or two rooms when you go out. If you normally don’t 
turn on your porch light in the evening don’t do it when you go out. It’s a dead giveaway.

9. Don’t leave a note telling anyone anything about your whereabouts. 

10. Leave the radio or television on. This can make it difficult for a robber to know if you’re home.

11. Don’t stop delivery of your mail and newspapers. Have a friend or neighbor pick them up 
foryou. A couple I know in Sierra Madre discontinued their newspaper delivery when they went on 
vacation. When they got home their home had been burglarized and their second vehicle stolen. It 
turned out to be a criminal ring that included the paper delivery person!

12. If you do go on an extended vacation consider getting a house sitter.

13. Install deadbolt locks to all doors that lead to outdoor exits.

*Next week I will give a report on suggestions from our local police department. 


For Your Funny Bone 

My mom had a lead foot, so I was not surprised when a state trooper pulled us over as we were driving 
through Georgia. Hoping to get off with a warning, Mom tried to appear shocked when he walked up 
to the car.” I have never been stopped like this before,” she said to the officer. “What do they usually 
do, ma’am,” he asked, “shoot the tires out?” 

New Yorker was being shown around the back country of Louisiana by his cousin. “Is it true that an 
alligator won’t attack you if you carry a flashlight?” he asked. The cousin smirked, “Depends on how 
fast ya’ll carry it.”





 Alberta Curran, Carmela Frontino, Lena Zate, Joe Pergola, Janice Kacer, Flo Mankin, Valerie 
Howard, “Mike” Ruggles, Lois Stueck, Joan Ruggles, Jean Wood, Shirley Yergeau, Kathi 
Jefferson, Pat Krok, Irene Nakagawa, Anna Ross, Mary Steinberg, Christine Durfort, Valerie Howard 
and Sue Quinn. To add your name to this list, please call the paper at 626.355.2737 YEAR of birth 
not required.


Quote of the Week: 

 A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman’s birthday but never

 remembers her age. ~ Robert Frost 


ACTIVITIES: Unless listed differently, all activities are at the Hart Park 
House (Senior Center) 222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre

YMCA San Gabriel Valley Intervale Senior Café: Monday-Friday at 12:00 Noon

(Participants are urged to arrive no later than 11:45 A.M.) 

 All seniors 60 and up can take part in the lunch program. There is a suggested donation of $2.00 

for those 60 and over and $3.75 for non-senior guests. Daily reservations are necessary as space is 
limited. Please call 24 hours in advance...626.355.0256


Free Blood Pressure Testing: On the 2nd Tuesday of the month from 11:00 am-12:00 pm: A nurse from 
Methodist Hospital, Arcadia volunteers to do the readings. No appointment necessary.


Bingo: Every Tuesday afternoon from 1:00 pm- 3:00 pm Cards are only .25c each! 

Free Chair Yoga: Every Wednesday morning from 11:00 am-11:45 am. Volunteer Teryl Willis offers 
this class that focuses on senior yoga techniques. It is geared toward gentle movements, breathing 
techniques and balance improvement. No reservations are necessary.

Free Legal Consultation: Pasadena attorney Geoffrey Chin volunteers on the 2nd Wednesday of the 
month. He focuses on estate planning, trusts, wills, probate, conservatorships and business law. 
*Appointments are a must. Please call Adam Matsumoto at 626.355.7394 to make yours. 

* Conflicting court schedules can occasionally cause cancellations.

Birthday Celebrations: The 2nd Thursday of the month the Senior Center celebrates the birthdays of 
our patrons at 12:30 pm. Please join us for free cake and ice cream and “celebration.” (The cakes are 
provided due to a generous donation from the Sierra Madre Civic Club.)

Game Day: Every Thursday at 1:00pm. Poker is usually the game of choice, or should I say chance? 
Board games and other card games are also available.

Free Strength Training Class: Every Friday from 1:00 pm -1:45 pm. Conducted by long-time 
volunteer Lisa Brandley. The class utilizes light weights for low-impact resistance training. Weights 
are provided by the Sierra Madre Senior Center. It’s a great way to stay in shape and to socialize with 
your peers. (Gossip, is also free of charge).



Wednesday, November 7, 2012: 

 Departure at 9:15 am from the Hart Park House. 

 Lunch & Activities from 10:00 am- 1:45 pm

 Return to the Park House at 2:15 pm (time approximate.) 

 Cost: $15.00 (does not include lunch.) 

The Columbia Memorial Space Center is a hands-on learning facility that is dedicated to bringing the 
wonder and excitement of space to the public. Exhibits include: NASA Live, flight simulator, rocket 
launcher, Challenger Learning Center and a memorial for the Columbia crew. The 20,000 square 
foot visitor center is equipped with amazing technology and visual teaching exhibits with friendly 
and knowledgeable staff. After the tour the group will eat together at a local restaurant. For more 
information on the Space Center please visit

For more information and to register for the excursion, call the Hart Park House at 626.355.7394.

“NEW”- Senior Movie Program: Movies are shown on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday 
of the month. The films are chosen by the seniors themselves and will be shown in 
Council Chambers (222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd.) at 1:00 pm. The price of admission??? 


 Every year my department takes our pictures 
for the employee identification badges, photo 
directory, and occasional office pranks (e.g., 
photo-shopping our heads onto celebrities’ 
bodies, etc.). When I first started working there, 
I obediently sat for my picture to be taken, and later winced at the 
results. Over the years, I’ve found excuses to avoid this annual 
embarrassment. But this year, I felt strangely compelled to go 
along with the picture program; probably out of some misplaced 
sense of duty.

 The experience reminds me of when we got our pictures taken 
at school. We waited amid a long line of classmates in varying 
degrees of dressiness. This was the one day of the year when 
the naughty boys, who got benched during recess for tripping, 
kicking, or biting others, were spruced up in the fanciest duds 
their mothers could find. And the little girls who were tomboys 
wore frilly dresses with ridiculous bows and ribbons. 

 A handful of assistants smoothed out unruly hair with one of 
five combs that they used for the entire school. They dunked these combs into a jar of water between 
kids. The less you knew about lice, scabies, and other communicable diseases, the better off you were. 
Then you waited for your turn to step up to the brightly lit platform. Once there, an assistant aligned 
your feet on top of two strips of masking tape.

 Instinctively, we clenched our jaws in a rigid grin or stared blankly into the bright lights like a 
deer crossing a Michigan highway in January. Perhaps these different responses indicated something 
about our personalities, similar to a fight vs. flight response in the face of danger. But I leave this to 
greater minds (which can tackle these questions after they have absolutely nothing better to think 

 There were never “second takes” for the school pictures. You couldn’t wave down the photographer 
and say, “Let’s do that one more time, I think I might’ve blinked.” No --if you squinted or had a giant 
wad of spinach in your teeth, it was chronicled forever in a yearbook or a parent’s photo-collage.

 In this recent company photo I have a slightly pained expression in my eyes, contrasting with a 
grinning mouthful of teeth. I look like I’m ready to devour a victim whole. But it’s an improvement 
over my previous photos, in which I just look pained. Although I’m not particularly proud of my 
picture, I don’t feel too bad; because no matter how good or bad looking you are, the camera will 
make you look fatter, skinnier, or just weirder than you really are.

 Case in point: one of my coworkers is beautiful, with luscious hair and a killer figure. The 
photographs aren’t full-body, but still, she has a lovely face. Even HER picture came out looking odd. 
She’s smiling, but it’s the kind of smile you make when you’re confused or embarrassed. Another 
coworker who is gregarious in real life looks sinister and plotting. Nearly all the men either look 
goofy or lecherous.

 I’m reminded of a very funny Mail Online item that took celebrities’ photos and morphed them 
into realistically dumpy portraits. These pictures did me a world of good, in that they made me feel a 
little better about my body image. And I got a great abs workout laughing at Brad Pitt and Angelina 
Jolie outfitted in a sagging polo shirt and a gaudy dress with line backer shoulder pads. Even if you 
already feel great about your appearance, it’s worth the time typing in the long URL just to have a 
great laugh!. 

 Check out: