Newsletter: Cleveland Clinic Says Breakfast With Light Therapy Will Lift Your Daily Mood And Make You Happier
Plus, Grandma was right - eat your beets. They strengthen our lungs and keep Covid at bay
[Copy of my weekly newsletter] Simple light therapy helps maintain our hormonal balance, says Cleveland Clinic. Recent research found that beetroot is better for us then even Grandma said! Can you imagine eating lab-grown sushi - some call it FrankenFish - what do you think, read on. And there's a lying exercise with a towel that will strengthen your whole body, you can do every morning easily. #staysafe #keepmoving #stayhealthy
Here are my 4 Most Valuable pieces of content from around the web, to help you live longer better:
⭑ Serving breakfast with a side of light therapy will put you in a better mood
⭑ The humble beetroot deserves more credit
⭑ FrankenFish may be healthier than farmed fish!
⭑ How to extend your core and strengthen your back and shoulders
It's clear and simple but not what you might expect
The most confusing aspects of how to start exercising are to decide on how many repetitions, how many sets, what weight load, what rest between sets, etc etc. When I first enrolled in a gym more than 20 years ago, like most men I just started jiggling dumbbells about, then barbells. It was inefficient and ultimately unsatisfying.
To be honest, I wasted a couple of years which could have been better spent.
One of the things which held me back from asking the trainers was my age. I was over 50, and it was rare to see anyone else my age doing strength training. I knew enough to see that the younger ones were doing things that had little relevance to living longer better or fitness, which were my objectives. I drifted into classes, and kettlebells, and came back to barbell training years later.
Two recent studies provided the answers that would have helped me then, and it is clear and simple. These two studies compared young and old healthy adults, and older adults, across different strength training protocols.
The results are very interesting.
I replaced three warm-up movements with this one
I'm a stickler for warming up - I never miss. But I begrudge the time it takes. This one dynamic stretch saves me time and is more effective - that makes me feel better right from the start.
Whether I'm running, or in pre-COVID times when I used to go to the gym, I always warm-up. It takes me about 10 minutes before running, and 15 minutes before gym work. I believe that warming-up and warming-down helps keep me injury free.
Over 20+ years, I rarely see people warm-up outside of a class. That's because it's a bit boring.
Ideally, we want to eliminate those warm-up movements of little benefit and reduce the time needed. This dynamic stretch does that. It cut about two minutes from my warm-up time.
At home - three exercises, three sets, three times a week
As we age a loss of strength can lead to a loss of confidence in taking on resistance training. We imagine a power-lifter and the pain of training, and we revert to an all-aerobic exercise pattern. That helps our heart but not our posture and our increasing frailty.
Here's good news. Slow low-intensity resistance training will rebuild your muscle mass and help you stand taller and less likely to fall.
You can do it at home, and there is plenty of evidence of the "effect of very low-intensity resistance training with slow movement on muscle size and strength in healthy older adults".
By taking up a program, in your home, of regular slow low-load exercises, you will rebuild your muscle mass and enjoy an active life for longer.
This program will significantly slow, if not reverse, the 1% per year loss of muscle mass that is typical for adults aged 60 years and older. Just like slow cooking develops the flavour, slow training will develop your muscles (and your muscular coordination, tendons, and joints).
Do the opposite of what you've read elsewhere
For many years, after my gym sessions and before stretching, performed ab wheel rollouts. I did them with good form and in full control. I added progressions and felt myself getting stronger and even more stable.
But I was puzzled why, no matter how strong I became, the dull ache in my lower back never disappeared.
I'm doing these daily
We're about the enter our 3rd week of Stage 4 lockdown during the second wave of the coronavirus, and the level of anxiety is noticeably higher than in the first wave.
It is perfectly natural that we should feel more anxious, but often this kind of cold logic doesn't help reset our thinking. On the other hand, following these three recommendations will help you reset your thinking and reduce your stress.
Proven to be better than yoga for a sore lower back
My hamstrings have been tightening since we've had lockdown and gyms closed. I've been running more, a lot more. Running pits the quads and hamstrings in battle, and the quads win, which tightens the hamstrings by stretching them.
Typically, for runners, tight hamstrings reflect in a sore lower back. The combination of two recent research studies will help.
How to avoid becoming frail before your time
Regular running is typically the most popular mode of exercise as people transition away from the gym, their youth, into looking after a family, or during a pandemic. Running is spectacularly better than doing nothing, but even frequent running doesn't maintain muscle strength as we age.
We need to do something extra.
Are masks next on the FDA alert list of COVID products?
We in Melbourne, AU, are currently in lockdown with a compulsory facemask order when outside. I don't mind wearing a mask - for the greater good - but the chemical smell concerns me.
Facemasks have been costing up to $249 a box, and even then we find ourselves inhaling fumes from plastic and polyester and even potentially harmful bleaches & dyes. A freshly unwrapped mask has that "fresh plastic" smell of the inside of a new car.
And it will reignite your joy of movement
If you don't know where to start with exercise, and exercise doesn't excite you, then you're not alone. I have something for your that is so simple that you'll love it. In fact, it is so simple that this one of my shortest articles.
Despite its simplicity, it will make a big difference in helping you live longer better.
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