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Plus, fitness equals longer life no matter how overweight you are
[Copy of my weekly newsletter] If you're a pet lover then you'll be interested to know that your cat wants a bit more space - lockdown is cramping its style. On the other hand, your dog is loving the attention
Here are my 4 Most Valuable pieces of content from around the web, to help you live longer better:
⭑ When medicine fails your pain - try the mind-body connection
⭑ Walking is the best way to kick off your fitness
⭑ You're getting on your cat's nerves
⭑ A single-leg strength exercise that should be on your daily schedule
1. 5 Ways to Ease Pain Using The Mind-body Connection [Harvard Health]
Pain is a complex problem for which traditional medicine may not have a solution. A different approach is to reframe the problem using mind-body therapies.
While these techniques won’t erase the pain, they can help change your perception of pain intensity through distraction, relaxation, and reframing your thoughts.
Heidi Godman in the Harvard Health blog describes five such techniques: cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), deep breathing, meditation, relaxation and mindfulness. A recent study found subjects reported mindfulness to be just as effective as CBT - so no need to worry about complicated "therapy".
What this means for us: Read the post (4 minutes) and if one of the options appeals to you then give it a go. If you apply deep breathing, meditation or relaxation techniques before bed you'll gain an extra benefit of being more refreshed and alert the next day (more on that next week).
2. Fitness Equals Longer Life Expectancy Regardless of Adiposity Levels
Research from the Mayo Clinic. New evidence on the extent to which two physical fitness-related measures (walking pace and handgrip strength) are associated with life expectancy across different levels of obesity.
The surprising outcome was that obesity was less a predictor of mortality than handgrip strength and walking pace. The latter are two factors that are strongly positively associated with longevity.
The study concluded that "that self-reported walking pace more accurately predicts life expectancy than objectively assessed handgrip strength". This applied across nearly 500,000 people whose health records were analysed.
What this means for us: It means that your level of cardiorespiratory fitness is a prime indicator of life expectancy, independently of "measures of adiposity" such as BMI, body fat or waist circumference.
The researchers suggest that physical activity such as walking reflects in the retention or building of total skeletal muscle mass. This is good news because walking more or harder is the easiest thing we can do, right? Whatever other steps you might take to improve your health, make sure walking is high on the list.
Related: How To Keep Your Weight Off With Daily Walks — 5 Fun Level-ups That Everyone Can Do
Medium - a publishing platform with 250 million views a month - recently awarded me a ⭑Top Writer in Food⭑ status. Follow my publication there, covering food, brain, body, life.
3. The Benefits of Pet Ownership to Alleviate Loneliness During COVID-19
Believe or not, pet psychologist Jessica Olivia says that your cat is going to be glad when COVID is over but your dog is not!
Jessica has studied the effect of lockdown on cats, dogs and their owners. Cats were described as "put out" or disturbed by the owner’s longer presence at home. Whereas dogs displayed more clinginess as well as appearing happier and more settled.
All owners expressed the emotional benefits of owning a pet during the pandemic. We have neither a dog nor a cat, but a lizard. He only ever has 4 things on his mind, and lockdown pressure is not one of them!
What this means for us: Give your cat a bit more space, as well as a good cuddle. If you haven't a pet then it might be a good time to visit the lost dog's home.
Related: My Lizard Is In Awe Of My Mating Prowess
4. Single-Leg Bodyweight Deadlift
Our exercise of the week is one which you can do in your lounge room and will develop your balance and strength - the single-leg bodyweight deadlift.
It's a great exercise as you can easily feel your own progression, from what might be a shaky start, and challenges are easily added. It works the hamstrings, glutes, ankles, and core.
My favourite part? This exercise definitely connects your brain with your feet. That's going to help you live longer independently - unlike the effect of gym machines.
This video on Youtube shows good form, and has good tips > watch here. You'll recognise the movement as soon as you see it.
It is not as easy as it appears. One way to make it easier: Stand near a wall, chair, or something close to help with balance. Get comfortable with the movement pattern first. When you are confident, add a light dumbbell or kettlebell in the hand over your weighted leg.
PS why "deadlift"? Good question. It's only a deadlift if you lift a weight from the floor, which you can do with a kettlebell for example. Learn this one first.
What this means for us: Watch the video, and try. My form tip: Be sure to keep your body in a straight line at the bottom of the move. Try this cue: Imagine you have a glass of water (or wine!) resting on your low back when you hit the bottom of the move—don’t let it spill. Start with 10 each side.
In case you missed it...
A past article on balance: Avoid Ankle Injuries And Balance Better With These Four Everyday Simple Exercises
Three other popular blog posts ...
Why Covid-19 Kills More Over-50s And How To Reduce The Risk
How Avocados Help You Lose Weight, Look Better, See Better and Live Longer
What Having Cancer Taught Me About Coping With COVID19
Latest: get your free customised fitness plan designed uniquely for you.
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