Building pathways around ingrained reactions
I've always been interested in how exercise might help our brain. That's why I became excited when I got a copy of Spark, by John Ratey. It's been around since 2008, yet many of its findings are still not widely know.
The subtitle of the book is "The Revolutionary New Science Of Exercise And The Brain".
The book is now heavily underlined. I like to underline key passages in books as I read them. The act of underlining helps me remember.
Australia has a shortage of testing kits
Australia has a shortage of Covid-19 testing kits, so the criteria to qualify for a test are strict.
If you present at your doctor and don't meet the criteria you are told to just go home and self-isolate.
This July I will be 72 years old, so I am on the wrong end of the mortality rate spectrum for this pandemic.
I've had flu-like symptoms for eight days (today's Saturday, March 21) but don't qualify for a test.
I have been eating walnuts daily for many years for dietary reasons. But only today, I learnt that they have a positive effect on our fat-burning metabolism.
That's not an excuse to eat more of them, as all nuts are high-calorie snacks. But here's an exciting finding:
"Studies show regular nut eaters don't appear to gain weight and that nuts may help with weight loss if they're eaten in an energy-controlled diet."
20 minutes can serve for anti-Inflammatory
Viruses cause inflammation.
An over-exuberant inflammatory response characterises both coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
Moderate exercise helps fight the inflammation.
In particular, exercise fights age-related inflammation. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and several other chronic diseases - are now known to be strongly linked to inflammatory processes.
Exercising has been found to reduce chronic low-level inflammation i.e. exercise keeps us healthy and helps minimise the negative effects of age-related inflammation.
Gym machines were built for gym owners, not to help you balance
It seems that one of my quirks at the gym is that I do quite a few balance exercises. Not many others do. Like stretching, people seem to think that balance exercises are a waste of time.
This disappoints me, as those I see about me don't show signs of having good balance - I'm talking here about those over 50.
If they could put their socks on while standing, I'd be very surprised.
I'm disappointed because falls cut people's life short by 5 years on average.
I might not get back to the gym
Last week I decided to stay away from the gym for a while. Since I go 3 times a week- and primarily do strength training there - I've had to invent some new routines.
This one is varied running plus a more intense sequence at a "work station" on the route. The route is a running trail near my home.
I'm enjoying my "Fartlek" run - especially since I can usually do it in the afternoon starting at about 4:30. You can see from the photographs how pleasant the weather is then.
It's a nice feeling to be away from the gym and the crowd and to feel the fresh air blowing over me as I exercise.
How we can be more abundant in supporting our immune system
I am a big fan of the Harvard Health blog. I enjoy reading it - it's science-based and trustworthy.
That's why I was disappointed with the article "Six ways you can help your immune system".
Of the "six ways" five were rather trite. I immediately thought of four better ways than the article suggested, especially in these days of Covid-19.
Do these 9 exercises to stay strong and fit
With the restrictions on crowds, and in some places of the world on being within 1m of other people, it's likely you might not have access to your gym.
You can do these bodyweight exercises at home, and they will keep you fit.
You'll find them a good challenge, and at the same time feel good they work across your whole body.
80% of the value is in the last 30% of the proper form
I was hooked on Russian Twists for a long time - over a decade. One day an instructor at the gym told me that at my age, it was a poor choice of exercise—too much tension on the lower back.
The answer was to move to exercises which extend our spine, not contract it. This is especially more beneficial as we get older.
It makes sense when you think about it. Being hunched over a desk and learning towards a computer screen all day compresses the lower spine (and pulls a whole lot of other things out of shape).
Life is messy
The thought of being confused and going backwards scares people.
Today, people seek help when this happens to them. In the not too recent past, we called it life.
The way to move forward is to, firstly, acknowledge that life does not always make sense.
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