Do These To Walk Stronger And Live Longer
As we age, falling is one of the major causes of reduced lifespan, because of the terrible consequences of broken bones and broken spirits.
You may have had the distressing experience of witnessing a healthy older relative who fell, became inactive, and quickly deteriorated. That is why exercising - for all of strength, endurance and balance - is a key to living longer better.
The question is this: if you wish to focus specifically on more competent walking, which exercises and muscle groups should you give most attention?
I have an answer, based upon several related research studies.
Brief outside moderate to vigorous activity is best - take the children
In the midst of widespread working-from-home, COVID-related stress is on the rise. This is partly because of a general decrease in physical activity. For example, I'm currently in Stage 4 lock-down and we are only allowed out once per day for exercise, we need a permit to leave home for work, and cannot travel more than 5km from our home address.
We doing less exercise generally but we are also not getting any exercise associated with commuting, such as walking from the train station to the office.
This is bad news since there is a well-established association between lower levels of total physical activity and lower levels of positive mental health.
The mother you save may be your own
Governments can't cover every loophole when they are enacting novel rules in rapid time. They're doing a great job getting things done, and they rely on cooperation instead of exploitation by we public.
However, some people love loopholes more than they love their mother, even though exercising without a mask might kill their mother - or someone else's mother.
Managing fatigue, rest, recovery and technique to avoid injuries
On my local running trails, people know me as the old guy that runs daily. Some shake their head in disbelief as this 72-year old makes a good pace along the track, and some shake their head in disbelief that I should be so foolish. (MostlyI get cheery smiles and nods.)
What I notice is how many other runners fall by the wayside, with injuries. Running every day is fine if you can do it without injuring yourself. Here's how I manage fatigue, rest, recovery, awareness, breathing and natural time to avoid injuries.
If you are over 50 now's the time to make these changes
We're swamped with nutritional information, but we rarely take action to improve our diets. Healthier eating matters at any age but it matters more as we age. Better choices will help us live longer better.
If you are over 50, now's the time to make those choices. When I was 50 I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I had left my healthy choices too late, but since then, I've been learning every day. Here's what I know that will help you.
Think of your brain, balance and longevity
Around my local suburbs, I have never seen so many people regularly walking for their health. There were always the genteel walkers. But now, with the pandemic and gyms closed, there is a new breed on the paths and tracks.
I'm pleased to observe that they mostly are not "serious" walkers, those with intent looks and machine-driven arms. Although the majority are not so intense, they are satisfyingly consistent and purposeful. I'm one of those - I walk 5km at least once every day, and I've added in walking backwards.
With a single tweak, these regular-walking folk can significantly improve the health and longevity benefits from their activity.
Long-term exercise preserves memory function
Scientists studied people who had exercised consistently for a long-term and found they had better memory function than those who did not exercise. Starting to exercise at any time of your life is good - it's never too late - but starting earlier can bring benefits.
This finding is important to know because the research found that just being an active participant in a sport for a long period had this beneficial effect. You don't need to become a gym nerd.
Have fun retraining your brain to fix your sore knees
Walking better will give you a better posture, a visceral pleasure in propelling your body forward and may help you live longer. And you won't even have to look like a serious walker.
Even better, it will rebalance your body and ease some of your pains, especially if you have been using treadmills too much.
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.
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.
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