The demonising of sugar has led to so much #nutribabble that it is hard to know what to do.
The answer is straightforward. Just stop all added sugar in your diet and food choices - especially if you are over 50. If you don't stop, you are adding additional risk to everything that is going to happen to your health as you age.
Added sugar is going to make you fatter, and lead to a higher risk of diabetes and in turn, a higher risk of limb amputations, blindness, kidney failure and dementia.
Running hasn't ever been one of my favourite activities, but I have been doing 3km every morning for 3 weeks. It's the first time I've run every day. I did it more out of curiosity, and I learnt a few things.
Before Xmas 2017 - just over 2 years ago - I did not run at all. In fact, I hated it when some of my gym classes would end with us having to line up for sprints across the room. However, I had a conversion!
My goal is to help you live longer better, but how would you measure your progress towards that objective?
You could wait, and see if you do indeed survive longer than your less active friends. Or, you could try some simple tests now, which will give you early signs of your progress.
Poor results on these tests correlate with earlier death, and more probable hospitalisation as well. You will live longer better if you take action to improve the underlying causes of poor results.
The common causative factor for getting improved results is ... exercise! Did you guess?
How bored are you with your "leg-day, chest-day, arm day" gym routine?
If you are looking for something that will get you better results and be more satisfying, then I have good news for you.
Stop now, and you'll be better off.
Training splits, the "leg-day/chest-day/arm-day" guff are just figments of the bro-culture. If you're under 40 no harm done - you'll look good in a t-shirt following any strength-training regime.
If you are over 50, then it's time to stop and think seriously about your training objectives.
Walking is a great way to relax and also to gain the first level of health benefits available to everyone.
If you are already a walker, that's great. You can boost your gains by adding five level-ups which each deliver you more bang for your walking buck.
If you are not yet a regular walker, then create a plan to get going, and add these level-ups to your program over the next six months. The first month, just walk. Then starting in the second month add one level-up per month.
I exercise at the gym three times a week and trail run 5km twice a week. Also, I walk every day - mostly 3km. I look forward to walking as much as I do to my more intense exercises.
Some things are not all that they are cracked up to be--especially regarding fitness and exercise advice. Balance is the opposite, and there's a reason why ...
One "challenge test" I often ask of people in my writing about fitness after 50 and living longer better is this:
- Can you put your socks on while standing up?
That's simple enough.
It is an elementary requirement - a basic human movement you might say.
Yet most people over 50 cannot do it. That concerns me, and it should concern you too.
Your brain can regenerate cells, which means that it is able to replenish and repair your nerve highways to keep you cognitively fit.
A least, that's what some scientists have argued for the last 50 years.
Before then, scientists were firm on the "fact" that we are born with all the brain cells that we would ever have. From that moment on they only die - resulting in our doddery old selves.
In the 1960s some scientists claimed that they had evidence of new neurons in the brain. This was called neurogenesis.
This is fantastic news, if true. However, studies since then have been ambivalent, especially many studies this decade.
The 2019 Medscape Report "15 Studies That Challenged medical Dogma in 2019" caught my attention - in particular the first item. It brought stunning news.
Diet choices are becoming more and more politicised and more ideological than ever. This makes it harder than ever to know what we should be eating to preserve our health.
But it not just the contents of a diet or new food plan that determines if it will be best for you. What's the secret?
If you're a regular reader of mine you may have picked up on my admonitions to not use any gym machines that you sit on e.g. in my Five Secrets for Fitness After 50.
Very often I accompany my warning with the explanation that gym machines are designed to accentuate muscles and make you look great in a t-shirt, but you'll struggle to do up your shoelaces.
There's a reason that gym machines are not designed to help you be able to do up your shoelaces. And there is a much more important reason why that should concern you greatly. It might knock 5 years off your life. When I explain why I hope that you'll kick the habit of gym machines, and potentially live longer better.
As we head towards Xmas, here are this week's 4 Most Valuable pieces of content that I found to help you live longer better. These four articles stood out to me this week are:
Since I was diagnosed at 50 with Type 2 diabetes I've been learning how to do bone-building body-shaping training for people our age. You can too. It's your choice. Walter