Four fantastic benefits - especially for women
At the gym I see lots of middle-aged people spending lots of time in the aerobics room, and few of them building strength in the weights area. Those that are in the weights area are more often than not sitting on machines taking a rest.
It's not hard to conclude that most people past 45 don't place a high value on all-round body strength. Yet, all round body strength is one of the most fundamental physical assets that will help them improve their quality of life - and their longevity.
And my observation over 22 years at the gym is that, in particular, most midlife women limit their understanding of "exercise" to cardio like biking or running. The idea that they could actually become strong perhaps seems absurd to the point that it never strikes them as a real possibility.
But more than men, women 50+ need strength training to regain essential components of their degenerating musculoskeletal system.
I'll never qualify for life insurance
When doctors give you a referral to a specialist, I sometimes wonder what they write. I found out recently and was shocked.
It's not as though we don't know our own medical history, but we never see it catalogued as a lifetime of ailments.
Brown fat prolongs our stress response
It's well known that chronic stress is associated with a shorter and less healthy life. Until now, short-term stress was considered less harmful to health.
Scientists have discovered just how toxic short-term stress can be. It spikes diabetes.
Why was I sleeping better? What I found surprised me
As we get older, our production of melatonin significantly decreases. This decrease does not just affect sleep quality, as melatonin is a hormone with a range of other vital functions.
It's possible this decline in melatonin production could be offset by dietary melatonin, i.e. eating foods with a high melatonin content. Recently I noticed that I was sleeping better, and what I found when I investigated it surprised me.
If my wife were pregnant, I'd prefer she avoided keto
High-Fat Diets are becoming increasingly popular, especially skyrocketing at the beginning of 2018, according to Google Trends. A just-published research paper might take the gloss off their popularity.
How I get five "doses" daily
I recently learned of the specific health benefits of black tea and decided to add it to my regular diet. However, I don't enjoy drinking it.
Here’s how I get the benefit of five “cups” of black tea daily. It’s a matter of process over preference. But why bother?
Here is what helped me get through fear, anxiety and grief
Our personal recovery from the aftermath of Covid has been framed as the process of coming to grips with "the new normal". But the new normal will be anything but normal. Grieving for what we lost from the pandemic will be everywhere.
Our families, communities and societies will need to be able to restructure within the context of the grieving. That will take courage, the courage to take action. Based on my experience of fear, anxiety and grief here is what helped me understand how to become more resilient.
My wife and I lost a child mid-term. That's immobilising. She subsequently developed a depression so severe that I had to carry her to the toilet from the bed where she lay motionless each day, until I realised that we both needed help. We were lucky enough to later have an IVF baby, although my wife flatlined during the birth. Four and a half hours in the 2 doctors and 3 midwives decided that she needed to be moved to a critical care hospital. But the ambulance declined to take her because they feared that she wouldn't make it. An hour later the flatline turned upwards. Five hours later I took her in a wheelchair to the neonatal intensive care unit where she was able to touch, but hold our baby. Then I drove home to an cold empty house and bed. I was shattered. It haunts me to think about it, but it no longer immobilises me. It helped me understand loss, and joy, and life on the other side - and a few lessons on how to get there.
Here are ten things that I'd like instead
I attended a family funeral yesterday - that of my late brother's adult son. It convinced me that I don't want a funeral celebrant at my funeral. I'm grateful that it gave me space to think about what I do want.
I'm drinking more tea since I learnt this
Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world after water and is a major source of dietary flavonoids. Yet surprisingly, the way in which tea supports our health is still unknown (June, 2019).
If you don't yet drink enough tea (I don't) then perhaps it is time to take up the habit. Here's why.
For centuries, tea has been anecdotally linked to digestive health, and research studies have convincingly associated consumption of black tea with reduced cardiovascular risk. This benefit is attributed to substances called polyphenols, such as catechins.
Breakdown of black tea improves our gut biome
Polyphenols are also in other (non-black) teas and in orange skin, for example. What's different about the black tea polyphenols (BTP) is that they are heavier molecules and can resist breakdown in our stomach. In other words, BTPs are too large for direct bioavailability for our metabolism - like some fibres which are not readily digestible in our stomach.
It takes the power of our colon break down these big boys, and when that happens, other magic happens associated with our gut biome.
The microflora in the colon bioconvert the BTP to make the polyphenols available to other parts of our metabolism, and concurrently this breakdown improves gut microbial diversity.
Hence, BTPs give us direct benefits associated with polyphenols from their anti-inflammatory and blood pressure-lowering properties. They also give us indirect benefits from the byproducts of breaking down in the gut, such as improvements in platelet and endothelial functions (which may be why black tea benefits diabetics).
The interaction between the gut biome and the rest of our body is still far from understood. Humans are superorganisms, and the gut is part of our super-complicated system of how we stay healthy. Some studies suggest that the BTPs are even more effective when they are digested in conjunction with fibre and especially prebiotic fibres as in bananas.
Nine reasons to drink tea plus one more for the brain
Tea's benefits are all great news for tea drinkers because black tea offers such an impressive array of benefits - including:
Also, evidence continues to emerge that tea may act to improve cognitive function. For example, a study showed that green tea increases brain activation in a key area that improves immediate language processing and short-term recall. Other research suggests that tea polyphenols may be useful for the prevention or treatment of various neurodegenerative diseases.
For smokers, however, it has been found that black tea does not confer many of these benefits. If you smoke, this is one more important reason to quit.
How many cups should we drink daily?
What we need to know is what "dose" is effective? Some studies have not found beneficial effects, and this has been put down to too low a dose of black tea.
We need to know the "physiologically relevant dosage". We are looking for long-term persistent results, not just directly after drinking tea.
In a study of dose, two healthy volunteers drank 4 cups of Lipton green tea every day for four days. Tests recorded levels of BTP, and its byproducts which were sufficient to activate the associated benefits.
You want to get the most benefits without overdoing the caffeine. Therefore, consider drinking between 3 and 6 cups of tea per day. No sugar of course! Added sugar will do more damage than the benefits of the tea.
I mix green and back in the one pot and drink 4 to 5 cups a day. I also cheat a little by emptying a teabag into my oats each night, which I then heat and cool to make them prebiotic. That way I get the fibre as well as the tea BTPs.
Good luck. I'm off to have a cup of my mixed tea with lunch.
> More posts to help you with EXERCISES
> More posts to help you with DIABETES
> If you are a @MEDIUM reader my publication Body Age Buster has hundreds of categorised posts which I have written especially for men and women over 50.
Getting in shape after 40 comes down to two main things
Getting in shape after 40 comes down to two main things: specific exercises and mindset. The exercises you choose should be those which set you up to live longer better, not just look good in a t-shirt.
The mindset required is that these changes are going to be a permanent part of your lifestyle driven by a desire to preserve the most valuable relationships in your life. That's why now is the time to give up CrossFit.
Fitness in your forties is about building the same capabilities that you would need to run a good time in an obstacle course. They are the capabilities which will serve you well as you enter your next 50 years.
Since I was diagnosed at 50 with Type 2 diabetes I've been learning how to do bone-building fitness training which lowers my age. You can too. It's your choice. Walter