Last week I shared views on Intermittent Fasting, you can read that here: While I Love It In The Morning, I’ve Given It Up. You might be thinking: “Wth, Jorge, a broad general approach as opposed to a deep dive? Are you slacking?” No, I am not. There are many things that create a fit life, so I’ll touch upon some key components with some very useable intel.
1) A Strong Chest…Covers a Good Heart?
A recent study of 1,100+ fairly active men (firefighters) – conducted over 10 years – has doctors scratching their heads, and looking more “into your heart.” (Homage to John Turturo in “Miller’s Crossing” – the perfect film reference because the movie is about the battle between the head and the heart ) It seems that men who could do more than 40 pushups at once are substantially less likely to experience heart attacks or other cardio vascular problems than those who could do less.
This is compelling in a lot of ways because, in the past, the best indicator was thought to be cardio stress tests. But this has flipped the idea of those tests onto their back..uh, pecs. Men who did 40 pushups or more had 96% less risk of heart problems than those who could only do 10 or less. Now, this doesn’t mean that doing only pushups will prevent heart issues (more correlation-causation studies are being done), and firefighters tend to be more health conscious overall because their life depends on it. But, it is an easy way for a layperson to generally assess their heart health level. To learn more on the specifics, here is a link to the article: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2724778
2) H.I.I.T. Is a Way to…Tithe Your Fat?
Studies show that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which involves fast twitch muscle movement (sprinting, plyometrics, kettle swings, sprint swimming, etc.), burns 10% (hence the use of the word tithe ) more calories than slow movements. Now, sprinting on flat ground for the over 30 set or anyone with hamstring/hip issues (almost everyone has some) could cause injury, so hiit (sorry, I’m an inveterate punster) me up for alternatives to flat ground sprinting. For men, another study shows that working out between 8 am and 10 am – can boost testosterone from 10-12%. So use these two nuggets to maximize your workout results.
3) Body Imbalances.
Most people train the front part of their body 55-65% more than the back part of their body. Coupled with the way life pulls us forward and down over time, that actually increases posture problems. In addition, studies of fairly active people show that 85% of all exercises don’t feature a rotational component. Yet, much of life’s movements involve rotations: turning your head to parallel park, lifting a child, picking up groceries, golfing, tennis, almost all sports. We have ball and socket joints in our hips, shoulders and ankles, for very functional reasons. The above two imbalances lead to lack of mobility, lack of flexibility, lack of energy, and is the main reason for injuries. Yoga can offset some, but not all of the weaknesses modern life brings about. If your workouts don’t involve rotations and a lot of rear-chain exercises (glutes, hamstrings, low and upper back, rear shoulders and neck) then consult with a trainer or hit me up for a free 40-minute consultation where I’ll assess where you are at and make suggestions as to how you can improve your functional fitness.