I've been training now for 20+ years, since I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at 50.
I take it seriously.
Diabetes doesn't just kill you; it does it cruelly - slowly destroying your circulation. Amputations, kidney failure, blindness and dementia result from your capillaries slowly clagging up with excess sugar.
That's why I take exercise seriously as a means of managing my diabetes.
Not just the rote exercise advice from the doctors about "trying to stay active" and walking 20 minutes a day. That's just enough to keep you dying fractionally less slowly. I mean seriously!
What would happen if tweeted "With exercise, you get out what you put in"? Here's what would happen:
Yes, we know that already, most would think.
And yet, nobody puts in the intensity - not in the over 50s. At least not among the many hundreds of people over 50 I've observed over 20+ years at my big brand gym.
This sometimes frustrates me
Don't get me wrong; I love that they turn up. But it's frustrating that they fritter away their opportunity to live longer better.
How I train, is the biggest difference
Sometimes one will ask me what could they do to get as fit as me.
If I have kettlebells to hand, I say something like this. (To be honest I first take a breath, as I want to educate and motivate them not turn them off.)
I don't say "from what I've seen you doing at gym, and, for example today over the last 40 minutes, you could get more benefit from briskly washing the dishes".
I don't even say, "compared to what you've been doing here for the last 40 minutes you could get massively more benefit from this one move that I can show you - something I do".
I say something like this:
I've noticed how you've been exercising. The biggest difference between the gains you are making and the gains I make are in how I exercise. I do exercises that train my whole body and my mind at one time.
Let me show you one exercise that would give you more gains than everything that I've see you doing here today combined.
I show them the kettlebell snatch.
See this article: How To Do A Kettlebell Snatch and this video
The snatch is a beautiful, explosive asymmetric movement that gets the posterior chain firing and core engaged, and builds your shoulder stabilisation. It increases your heart rate, engages the whole body, and trains your balance.
It is a pulling movement, and we don't get enough of those generally, and it can be done for power or cardiovascular conditioning.
The muscles trained by a kettlebell snatch include the:
Do it, after you've been instructed properly
This, as I explain to them, is why it does more for you than what you've doing sitting on your butt on one gym machine after the other.
I listen to their response.
It's often an excuse as to why they should not do it. I agree with them.
That's quite right - you should not do it. It is an advanced exercise, and you could easily injure yourself.
But I strongly recommend that you get a qualified trainer to help you understand the benefits of functional exercise, such as kettlebells, or TRX, or even just bodyweight exercises, and add those into your routine.
Here's my tip: learn how to do the snatch, then do this - warm-up, do ten pushups, ten goblet squats, ten single kettlebell swings each arm, then 3X six snatches each arm. Warm down by rowing 1.5km, and go home with massive benefits.
The less you use the machines, the more you'll get the benefits that I get - which is what you asked.
I recommend the same to you.
Follow me on Quora for more health and fitness tips.RSS Feed
If you enjoyed this article >> Follow me
Leave a comment >> Share it >> Stay healthy
If you have any questions email me and I will get back to you.
If you're wanting to share some of the results of your gym time with your kids, and do it outside, I have some simple but challenging exercises for you.
My ten-year-old daughter announced that she was going to enter the school cross-country, and asked me to train her.
I was thrilled to have the opportunity to do something outside with her and something physically challenging.
Here's the little program I made for our training. You'll find it fun to do outside with your kids, or just to do something different outside, which will challenge you. These exercises are simple, require no equipment, but give you a whole-body workout, and a good burst of cardio.
Last night was an unusual one for me. My usually painful right knee wasn't painful.
I've been scratching my head all day as to what I had changed, and I've only come up with one thing.
The results seem too immediate. Could this simple change be associated with my pain relief?
Hate stretching after a workout, here's a smoother alternative.
I get it, you're tired from the workout, and you don't feel like spending the extra time, and anyway, stretching isn't all that comfortable.
I'm a bit the opposite, as in before running I think "oh I guess I better spend the time warming up or I will regret it" - and I do the thing. After running, I'm OK with stretching as I appreciate the benefits it brings.
No doubt stretching after a workout is a good thing. But let's face it, people don't do it.
I have some good news for you. I can't give you back the time you will need to spend, but doing this will ease your muscle aches and its not discomforting - as stretching can be.
We all get old, but we can make choices about how we age.
Our muscles and tendons stiffen and shorten as we get older. This tightening of our musculoskeletal system causes pain and also tautens us into an older-looking posture -- before our time.
You might be as surprised as I was to learn that our hip flexor muscles play a significant role in making us appear older and more fragile.
You can postpone the onset of an aged posture, and its associated pain, with just a few simple exercises each day.
Muscle strength is one of the strongest predictors of future health status. Strength is most often measured via the grip strength test, which is a proxy for overall skeletal muscle.
Regular exercise is the obvious way to improve muscular strength. But is it possible that supplements might promote muscle strength?
The supplement industry would have us believe so. What is the evidence?
Recent research (December 2019 - a metastudy), concluded:
Recent research (December 2019 - a metastudy), concluded:
The demonising of sugar has led to so much #nutribabble that it is hard to know what to do.
The answer is straightforward. Just stop all added sugar in your diet and food choices - especially if you are over 50. If you don't stop, you are adding additional risk to everything that is going to happen to your health as you age.
Added sugar is going to make you fatter, and lead to a higher risk of diabetes and in turn, a higher risk of limb amputations, blindness, kidney failure and dementia.
Running hasn't ever been one of my favourite activities, but I have been doing 3km every morning for 3 weeks. It's the first time I've run every day. I did it more out of curiosity, and I learnt a few things.
Before Xmas 2017 - just over 2 years ago - I did not run at all. In fact, I hated it when some of my gym classes would end with us having to line up for sprints across the room. However, I had a conversion!
My goal is to help you live longer better, but how would you measure your progress towards that objective?
You could wait, and see if you do indeed survive longer than your less active friends. Or, you could try some simple tests now, which will give you early signs of your progress.
Poor results on these tests correlate with earlier death, and more probable hospitalisation as well. You will live longer better if you take action to improve the underlying causes of poor results.
The common causative factor for getting improved results is ... exercise! Did you guess?
How bored are you with your "leg-day, chest-day, arm day" gym routine?
If you are looking for something that will get you better results and be more satisfying, then I have good news for you.
Stop now, and you'll be better off.
Training splits, the "leg-day/chest-day/arm-day" guff are just figments of the bro-culture. If you're under 40 no harm done - you'll look good in a t-shirt following any strength-training regime.
If you are over 50, then it's time to stop and think seriously about your training objectives.
Since I was diagnosed at 50 with Type 2 diabetes I've been learning how to do bone-building body-shaping training for people our age. You can too. It's your choice. Walter