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.
If you can do one, I'll show you to get to 15
Pull-ups are a fantastic pull exercise, and we don't do enough pull exercises. That's why we see so many rounded-hunched shoulders in the gym, and they look bad on men and even worse on women (because it makes them look so much older).
It's a shame to see people putting in all that work and building a poor posture instead of a stronger one. Pulls-ups develop a more robust and more attractive posture. If you can do one proper pull-up, I'll show you how to build that up to 15.
Here's how, and it's not too hard
The disease of diabetes has dire consequences for the health of our vascular system - our arteries, veins and capillaries. These vital pipelines become clogged up with excess sugar in our blood. This clogging results in nerves, cells and organs dying, e.g. hairs falling out, nerve pain as they die, blindness, kidney failure.
Every cell in our body relies on efficient blood flow, including our muscles. If we can increase the number of capillaries in our muscles, we can improve the blood flow and offset some of the adverse effects of diabetes.
Three transitions to take you over the line at 100% intensity
You're reading this because you want to win. That's great. If you are content to just finish, that's also great, but you may not need to go to this level of intensity.
Winning requires stamina. I define stamina as the ability to win the race and endurance as the ability to finish the race. Stamina allows you to accelerate and pass people and to hold your lead once past.
Interval training builds this kind of stamina. Hill sprints, stair sprints, and sprint variations are essential. The intensity of intervals needs to be, well - intense. Not "HIIT Yoga" intense but real HIIT intense enough to make you almost sick.
How To Easily Calculate Calories Burned Walking, Running, Rowing or Exercising in Bed. No Gadget Required
For when you need to know how many calories HIIT Yoga burns
You know those times when we're not wearing a fitness band or an Apple Watch and wonder how many calories we're burning? Here's a simple and accurate method that you can easily do in your head.
I often run or walk without any gadgets, and I rarely wear fitness bands at the gym, and never take my phone. From time-to-time, I wonder how much energy I've used in a workout.
Now, I use this method, which I worked out after plotting a few charts and averaging a few numbers, and comparing to the estimates from the times when I do wear a fitness band.
I will explain the one key variable that you need to know, the calculation you apply to that key variable, and why the answer makes sense metabolically.
For me, the risks far outway the benefits
As economies reopen gyms are reopening, but I won't be taking advantage of the opportunity to reactive my suspended membership.
There will be a second wave of the pandemic, and setting myself up as a high-risk target doesn't appeal to me. It's not that I don't want to go back - I miss the access to the equipment and the discipline of turning up.
If you think that weight loss starts in the kitchen, think again
Would you prioritise fitness or fatness - losing weight or getting fit? If you are like me, you'd say better eating habits and more exercise are both equally important. We'd be wrong.
What is missing from our understanding of the priorities is that research has consistently shown that lack of fitness is a better predictor of mortality than being overweight. Knowing this, we can fine-tune our approach to becoming more healthy.
Each higher level of intensity improves your survival rate
Physical exercise guidelines generally recommend 300 minutes of moderately-intensive exercise a week as a good minimum. Doing any physical activity is better than none. But would you rather try a little harder and live longer?
A research study conducted nearly 20 years ago and since cited by nearly 1000 other studies tested the prognostic capacity of exercise for mortality. The study tracked 6,213 men over 6 years, during which time there were a total of 1256 deaths.
Here's what the data showed, which is exciting. Exercise capacity is the most powerful predictor of mortality, even among those with existing cardiovascular diseases risk factors. Exercise capacity is not relative capacity adjusted for age - that was not found to be a good predictor - but absolute fitness.
The main reason is dry eyes, but there is more you can do to help
If your eyes feel like they're burning by 8 pm, you've got screen fatigue. Last week, mine did the same. So I did something about it.
Before the pandemic I was already working mostly at home, going into the city perhaps two days a week. Now I'm spending longer in front of the screen, and my eyes are sore at night.
I researched tips to relieve tired eyes, and I've put the best three into practice myself.
But if you don’t do these three things you're unlikely to keep it off
If you're looking to lose weight and to keep it off, you've no doubt been told to avoid crash dieting. Often The Biggest Loser is cited as the worst example to follow. We all know that the contestants mostly put all their weight back on, and more, right?
What research shows works best is what you've been told not to do. A study just published (March, 2020) confirms yet again that a large rapid rate loss is the best predictor of the long term ability to maintain weight loss.
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