Four Most Valuable [4MV] Weekly Tips For Living Longer Better | Newsletter

4MV #184 I tested AI against my understanding of 4 health and fitness posts ✔ It did OK, with room to improve

Published 12 months ago • 8 min read


I trust you're safe, fit and well.

All strength to Ukraine 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦

AI rules! Or does it?

It's Walter against the AI in this week's newsletter.

I've decided to pit myself against AI in identifying the most valuable insights from what I've been reading during the week. As you know, this newsletter is my 4 most valuable insights that I expect to benefit you, which I've come across during the week.

I've written a script for an AI language analysis system to pick out two insights and one Big Idea from my four chosen articles. Let's see how I go, I'll show you the AI answer, and critique it from my perspective of what I think the Big Idea of the article is.

It's the norm now for your therapist to recommend therapy combinations - what do they all mean? - see item #2.

Adding a few, less familiar, Japanese food items to your diet may help you live longer and with less disease - nothing to lose - see article #1.

⭑ Tofu, sweet potatoes and Japanese radish all help you live longer ✔
⭑ Therapy comes in many forms and therapists recommend a combination ✔
⭑ Stopped exercising? Your muscles remember and help you get fit again ✔
⭑ "Training to failure" found to be no better than other strength training ✔

01 5 Longevity Foods We Eat Every Day - A Nutritionist From Japan

Although we all "know" about Japanese foods, much of what they eat daily isn’t well known. Here's what the AI said about this article:

⇒ THE BIG IDEA: "Incorporating nutrient-dense foods from the ocean into one’s diet could have enormous potential to promote longevity and improve overall health. This article highlighted the importance of consuming seafood for essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins that are not found in other sources of food. Additionally, sea vegetables such as seaweed contain a wealth of minerals and phytonutrients that may offer powerful protection against diseases such as cancer and osteoporosis."

ME: I would be more focused on the specific foods that we can relate to and are rich in antioxidants: sweet potatoes from Okinawa (anthocyanins), miso soup, daikon radish (high in vitamin C), and seaweed (high in fucoxanthin and fucoidan).

According to a study, people who eat fermented soy products like miso, tofu, and tempeh have a 10% lower chance of dying from all causes than those who rarely eat them. This may be because fermented soy contains beneficial nutrients like isoflavones, which have anti-inflammatory properties.

What this means for you: There is no doubt that incorporating more "regular Japanese food" such as purple sweet potatoes, fermented foods like miso, and daikon radishes into your meals will benefit your health.

Their benefits include lower blood sugar levels (sweet potatoes), a stronger immune system (miso soup), fewer colds (daikon radishes), and cancer defence (seaweed).

In that respect, I'm lucky as my wife is Japanese. We eat these foods regularly - not as "Japanese food" but rather just as food.

HOW WELL DID THE AI DO? I rated it 6/10 as the answer was too general. More specific details must be wound into the big picture to make it stick. What did you think?

Related: ​The Surprising Benefits of Black Tea Daily


02 I Think I Need Therapy. Here Are 5 Types of Psychotherapy to Help with Almost Any Mental Health Problem

If you need therapy, you face a long wait time these days and a confusing set of options. You might go with psychotherapy, but would you like cognitive behaviour therapy with that?

The article explains what type of treatment would best suit your issue. Here's what the AI said is the big idea:

⇒ THE BIG IDEA: "Digital psychotherapies provide a promising solution to address the significant barriers to mental health care, such as cost, stigma, and accessibility. These interventions have the potential to democratize mental health care and provide support to underserved populations, including those in rural areas and with limited financial resources."

It went on further, to talk about "Third wave" psychotherapies focusing on mindfulness and acceptance-based approaches, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy.

ME: The big idea I read is that therapists are inclined to recommend eclectic treatment, combining different therapy types to suit the client's specific issue. The article explains the common types, including CBT, acceptance and commitment, psychodynamic therapy, and narrative therapy.

What this means for you: While some therapies have been studied in great depth, such as CBT, others have little substantial evidence of their effectiveness e.g. narrative therapy and person-centred therapy.

So if you are considering a combination of therapies, be aware that some are far more speculative than others. In any case, it seems that the norm is now for several types of therapy to be recommended, and the article explains the strengths and weaknesses of each.

HOW WELL DID THE AI DO? I rated it 0/10 as I could not find any mention of digital psychotherapies in the article!! This is most likely because of a technical glitch in the AI's ability to access the contents. Some URLs are blocked to AI readers, some redirect them elsewhere and others allow clean access.

Related: How To Find Purpose In Your life Without Feeling Like You Are Endlessly Chasing Your Tail​​​

@Medium - Follow me on Medium ↗, covering ⭑food, ⭑brain, ⭑body, ⭑life


03 Muscle Memory Is Key To Helping You Get In Shape Again

This article is very interesting as it clarifies what "muscle memory" really is, which changed my understanding. How did the AI go picking up on the big idea?

⇒ THE BIG IDEA: "The idea that muscle memory plays a critical role in regaining muscle strength and mass after time off from exercise is fascinating and potentially game-changing for fitness programs. Understanding how muscle memory works and how to optimize it could lead to more effective exercise programs that produce significant results in a shorter period."

The AI has summarised the big idea well, but not explained it. It has actually done what I asked it to do. What I found specifically interesting, and what the AI missed, is that there are two types of muscle memory.

ME: The first type of muscle involves the development of neural pathways, which helps our brain communicate with our muscles more effectively. This is enhanced through repeated practice of exercise, via the process of myelination.

The second type is within the muscle itself, this is "real" muscle memory. It applies to any exercise you perform and can make it easier to regain lost muscle mass than when building muscle the first time.

It is widely believed that if you don’t use your muscles, the cells die off or "turn to fat". This is not true, as I wrote about several years ago (Related: Stopped Exercising - Your Muscles Won't Turn To Fat But Your Body Might ). It is now believed that these cells, which shrink, contain genetic information which retains the "memory" of our former training.

⇒ This is what we reactivate when we start exercising again, speeding up our results.

What this means for you: I've also programmed my script to have the AI report on the two most surprising unexpected findings noted in the article. Here's one of them:

Unexpected Finding: Recent studies have shown that muscle memory may be more significant in older adults, who are more prone to muscle loss due to aging. Exercise programs designed to enhance muscle memory could be particularly beneficial for older individuals looking to regain strength and improve overall health.

What this means is that restarting with an exercise program that is tailored to your past specific practice will get you results much faster. Probably in about 1/3 the time of someone who had not trained before!

But it’s important to note that not all repetition leads to muscle memory. It only happens when you engage in deliberate practice – meaning you perform specific movements or activities with focused attention and effort.

HOW WELL DID THE AI DO? I rated it 8/10 because I thought the Big Idea was a good opening conversation - like an "elevator pitch".

Related: Rebuilding Your Fast-twitch Muscles Doesn’t Require Fast Movements. Rebuild Your Balance in 2 Minutes Daily


04 ‘Training to Failure’: Debunking This Popular Weightlifting Technique

Our exercises of the week are... no exercises this week, but I asked the AI to analyse this article about exercise and the technique of training to failure. The question is, is this the most effective way to strain for building muscle and strength?

Here's the Big Idea that the AI deduced from the article:

⇒ THE BIG IDEA: "Longer rest intervals are more likely to produce better results than working out to the point of exhaustion. This idea caught my attention as it goes against conventional wisdom, which often recommends short rest times between sets. However, the evidence presented in this article suggests that this approach may lead to suboptimal outcomes in terms of muscle growth and strength gains."

The AI's interpretation is unclear, as the article has a nuanced answer. It says that if you want to "train to failure", then having more rest time between sets will lead to better results.

Researchers found that training to the point of failure creates high cortisol levels in the blood. And research shows this may actually hinder muscle growth. Rest is needed to allow it to dissipate.

What this means for you: Overall, the researchers found that training to failure had no benefit whatsoever for increasing muscle size, strength or power compared to other techniques. Furthermore, they found that training to failure does not recruit more muscle fibres as is most often claimed as the reason it works.

ME: Research shows that other methods, such as lifting heavy loads of weight for a set number of repetitions, are more effective at recruiting more muscle fibres during a particular movement.

HOW WELL DID THE AI DO? I rated it 4/10 because it mixes up training to failure loads, rest times and other techniques. The AI needs a bit more training, and perhaps more rest!

Good luck.

Related: How To Keep Your Weight Off With Daily Walks — 5 Fun Level-ups That Everyone Can Do

Thanks for reading!

P.S. If you are not yet subscribed to my free exercise app, try now ↓↓↓ Free forever. Opt-out any time. Opt-in by CLICKING HERE PLEASE SEND ME THE EXERCISES. NOTE: YOU ONLY NEED TO SUBSCRIBE ONE TIME.

>> My Latest Blog Post: How Many Pistachios Should I Eat For Sleep and When?

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'4 Most Valuable' is a weekly newsletter from Walter Adamson. If you like it, please forward to a like-minded soul. Someone forward this to you? You can subscribe from this page.

Resources for you:

How To Go From On-knee to Full Pushups, and Reap The Benefits

The Exact Slow Pace You Must Run and Cycle To Max Fat-Burning

As You Age Pistachios Can Help You Sleep Better

Vitamin D Is Free Yet We Don’t Get Enough And Our Health Is Suffering

This One Exercise Will Reshape Your Body And Your Brain, If You’re Game

Walking Backwards Benefits So Much More Than Your Knees

Skipping Breakfast May Make You More Likely To Develop Diabetes - Research

​​Measuring Your Waist Will Tell You If You Are On Your Way To Diabetes

How To Sleep Better And Recover Like Elite Soccer Players​​

​​Forget Beetroot Juice, Eat More Vegetables For Nitrate Potency And Longer Life

Holy Mackerel! Researchers Confirm Walnuts Help Your Muscles Stay Stronger Helping Live Longer

Dizziness And Cataracts - Is There A Link?

How To Get The Health Benefits Of Black Tea - Even If You Don't Like Drinking It

How To Walk Better (And Undo The Damage Of Treadmills)

Rebuilding Your Fast-twitch Muscles Doesn’t Require Fast Movements. Rebuild Your Balance in 2 Minutes Daily

I Started Trail Running At 70. Besides Being Bitten By A Dog I Love It

Drink This Many Cups Of Coffee Daily For Better Health

​​​How Avoiding A High Viral Load Can Save Your Life - Coronavirus

Shining Light On Infrared Therapy - It Helped Unlock My Shoulder

Brain Health Is Boosted By Eating Less, Often — Here’s How To Start

Why Walnuts Lower Heart Disease and Help You Sleep Better

The Surprising Way Hip Flexors Pull You Down Into An Elderly Stoop And ​Shuffle, And How To Avoid It

Are You Ab-Wheel Rolling To Back Pain? I Was — Not Now

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Four Most Valuable [4MV] Weekly Tips For Living Longer Better | Newsletter

​"I empower mid-life men and women to make the choice to live as actively and as independently as they can, for as long as they can", Walter Adamson Get access to my weekly research that I don’t share elsewhere. “My wife and I both read your articles each week, and I have to say there is so much confusing data out there, but yours is a great source, well researched, scientific and always relevant.” — Steve Ridgway, subscriber.

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