How to boost your brain for a better mood and less stress
In these times it is worth sticking with whatever exercise you can consistently do in the circumstances, as exercising regularly is linked to better eating habits. Conversely, a lack of social contact is linked to poorer eating habits and, over time, poor health outcomes.
A 2019 study published in the International Journal of Obesity, looked at 2,680 young adults who were not exercising regularly or dieting. Scientists found that after exercising for several weeks, formerly sedentary study participants were more likely to choose foods like lean meats, fruits and vegetables, while preferences for fried foods, sodas and other unhealthy options decreased.
Great News - Your Bone Marrow Retains A Younger Body Age When You Run, Maintaining Increased Immunity
If you've thought about running, this is a good reason to try
I believe that the most beneficial goal of exercising when we are older is to lower our body age. That's why I named my Medium Publication "Body Age Buster".
I've studied how to do this, and put in into practice over the last 21 years, with great results. Typically, tests of my body age report ages between 15 and 20 years younger than my physical age (72 this year).
Despite all my years of reading and practising these ideas, I was completely surprised when I found out recently that exercise can lower the body age of our bone marrow.
About twice as good, actually
While watching a Japanese TV show about girls working out at a kick-boxing gym my ten-year-old daughter suddenly asked me if (rope) skipping is better for us than running.
It's a good question because we could all do with more skipping, especially as we get older.
"Yes", I replied, "because skipping uses more of your muscles and your brain".
That must be why they do lots of skipping but not much running, was her response.
The wind and sun wash the stress away
Australia is locked-down now, but we are allowed out to exercise - no more than 2 people together.
Fortunately I live just 500m from a cliff-top running trail. Running that every day - 5km - keeps me sane. Here are eight photos which show why.
Maybe they'll help you relax a little also.
Running clears your mind and refreshes your hope
In these times, when for many of us one of the few acceptable reasons to NOT shelter at home is exercise, running is a great way to nurture your soul and refresh your spirit.
I wasn't a runner, in fact I hated it. But now I find it a great relief to run each day. When I'm stuck for an idea, or confused about where we are all headed in this coronavirus crisis, running really helps get back my perspective.
It can for you too.
After this advice I completed my first 10km trail run
At my age (72 this year), and having only been running for a couple of years, there are regular aches and niggles that come with the pleasure of running.
I consulted my podiatrist about pains in the balls of my feet and right hip, and she gave me some great tips which solved those problems.
No machines, no mirrors, no worries, not just running
I go to gym 3 times a week, but I also like training outdoors. Running 5km twice a week adds more than just fitness; it also gets me out into the weather and nature.
A little little bit of rain; a hot, sweaty day; wind pushing into your face; a new sandtrap on the trail; a family with a dog that you have to navigate safely past - all make you feel as if you are alive.
But it is not running that will give your fitness a big boost.
Most people outdoors are walking or jogging. There are a few runners, and also, rarely, someone adding in a bit extra - perhaps running up a ramp.
With a little bit of imagination, you can add in some training that will significantly boost your fitness.
It is free pure no-equipment exercise available to everyone.
I failed twice before
I've been trail running for 2 years. Before that, I hated running, especially at the gym when circuit training included running or the firefighter's beep test.
I built up to running 5km twice a week, but up to now had failed in my efforts to run 5km.
In my last effort, I failed at 8.8km. Not from lack or lungs but from the pain in the ball of my right foot, and right hip.
I hatched a new plan, and last Sunday in the early morning, I set out with new hope and determination - and patience - and recorded my first 10km. It was 10.4km to be exact - at an average pace of 5:21/km.
I'm pleased that I could do it. And not sure I will do it again.
Perhaps I need to slow down
I've been running for a couple of years and haven't yet made it to 10km.
That's a target I'd like to reach this summer (It's summer now in Australia). I can run quite strongly, despite my age, but perhaps that's the problem - I may need to slow down.
What do you think?
Learn the definitive biological answer
More than once, I've read articles claiming that walking burns as many calories as running. By observation, that's "obviously" untrue. If you're breathing harder when exercising, then you are burning more calories. We breath harder when we run.
But all is not lost! You CAN burn more calories walking than running. You just have to make sure that you are not comparing apples with oranges.
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