Walking is a great way to relax and also to gain the first level of health benefits available to everyone.
If you are already a walker, that's great. You can boost your gains by adding five level-ups which each deliver you more bang for your walking buck.
If you are not yet a regular walker, then create a plan to get going, and add these level-ups to your program over the next six months. The first month, just walk. Then starting in the second month add one level-up per month.
I exercise at the gym three times a week and trail run 5km twice a week. Also, I walk every day - mostly 3km. I look forward to walking as much as I do to my more intense exercises.
Some things are not all that they are cracked up to be--especially regarding fitness and exercise advice. Balance is the opposite, and there's a reason why ...
One "challenge test" I often ask of people in my writing about fitness after 50 and living longer better is this:
- Can you put your socks on while standing up?
That's simple enough.
It is an elementary requirement - a basic human movement you might say.
Yet most people over 50 cannot do it. That concerns me, and it should concern you too.
Your brain can regenerate cells, which means that it is able to replenish and repair your nerve highways to keep you cognitively fit.
A least, that's what some scientists have argued for the last 50 years.
Before then, scientists were firm on the "fact" that we are born with all the brain cells that we would ever have. From that moment on they only die - resulting in our doddery old selves.
In the 1960s some scientists claimed that they had evidence of new neurons in the brain. This was called neurogenesis.
This is fantastic news, if true. However, studies since then have been ambivalent, especially many studies this decade.
The 2019 Medscape Report "15 Studies That Challenged medical Dogma in 2019" caught my attention - in particular the first item. It brought stunning news.
Diet choices are becoming more and more politicised and more ideological than ever. This makes it harder than ever to know what we should be eating to preserve our health.
But it not just the contents of a diet or new food plan that determines if it will be best for you. What's the secret?
If you're a regular reader of mine you may have picked up on my admonitions to not use any gym machines that you sit on e.g. in my Five Secrets for Fitness After 50.
Very often I accompany my warning with the explanation that gym machines are designed to accentuate muscles and make you look great in a t-shirt, but you'll struggle to do up your shoelaces.
There's a reason that gym machines are not designed to help you be able to do up your shoelaces. And there is a much more important reason why that should concern you greatly. It might knock 5 years off your life. When I explain why I hope that you'll kick the habit of gym machines, and potentially live longer better.
As we head towards Xmas, here are this week's 4 Most Valuable pieces of content that I found to help you live longer better. These four articles stood out to me this week are:
This week's 4 Most Valuable pieces of content that I found to help you live longer better (and might save you a little money). These four articles stood out to me this week:
This is the first edition of my weekly 4 Most Valuable pieces of content I can find to help you live longer better.
I read a lot of articles each week. A lot are just factory-produced content for Google. A lot are search engine headlines with little substance. A lot do not gel with my 20 years of experience exercising and my Professional Diploma in Sports Nutrition.
But some have very useful hints and "how tos". I pick four of these a week to share with you. I also add my insights, generally to explain the "why" so that you have more motivation to try.
These four articles stood out to me this week:
It's not "why me" that matters when you have cancer - although I've heard this often.
I've had two different aggressive cancers. How you react is very individual but "why me" won’t help you or the people around you.
Recently on "24 Hours In Emergency" (UK Channel 4) a middle-aged woman was admitted with abnormally low blood pressure. The doctors fixed that quickly with drugs and then sent her for a scan.
The scan picked up a cancer. Unfortunately, it was malignant.
In the outro interview, she lamented "why me". There was a pregnant silence as the outro faded on her numb expression.
If you can stand then you can exercise - what to do next when you have sprains, strains and injuries (and you are 50+)
It's a downward spiral if we stop exercising because of pain or injury. Of course, sometimes it's "doctor's orders" and then you need to obey. And if you don’t have good body awareness then you can cause compensation stress in other parts of your body.
That said, in my experience, most people give up too easily.
If you can stand without troubling pain then you can do something. If you've not been exercising then you can start, with something gentle. If you've been exercising then you have a chance to keep up and not lose all of your hard-won gains while you recover from your injury.
Think about people with chronic pain. Some have a fear of exercise and avoid movement. They often get worse. Others manage their fears and regain their confidence by starting and sticking with an exercise plan. They get better - first mentally and then physically.
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