⭑ For better skin, try lifting weights! ✔
⭑ Food myths are hard to break ✔ Here's four to put to bed
⭑ Overthinking becomes a vicious circle of inaction ✔ Here's how to break through
⭑ Extend your longevity ✔ the deadlift is the king of strength exercises
All strength to Ukraine 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦
I knew about F2F, IRL, and even FOAF and HTH, but when reading a research report, I was thrown off by ADL and stumbling upon "the ability to perform ADL" without a trigger warning!
Turns out that resistance exercise maintains our ability to maintain ADL - Active Daily Living.
Food myths not only confuse us but also lead to both indecision and bad food choices. Here are four for you to reconsider - see item #2.
Weight training has a whole pallet of benefits as we age; surprisingly, healthier skin is one of them. Researchers identified the links between weight training and healthier skin - see item #1.
01 Resistance Training Rejuvenates Aging Skin [Study]
Research has unlocked a fascinating link between resistance training (RT) and improved skin health. Japanese researchers found that weight training altered gene expression and improved the underlying health of facial skin cells and tissue, especially in older adults.
A 16-week study involving sedentary Japanese women revealed that weightlifting specifically enhanced the dermal layer of the skin, increasing its thickness. While both aerobic training (AT) and RT improved skin elasticity and the structure of the upper dermal layer, RT had the unique benefit of thickening the dermal layer.
⇒ While both AT and RT showed positive effects, weight training stood out for its exceptional benefits.
These benefits are attributed to decreased circulating levels of specific inflammatory markers like CCL28, N-dimethylglycine, and CXCL4, and an increase in dermal BGN expression.
In simpler terms, the study found that weightlifting helps improve the thickness of the skin by reducing levels of certain substances in the blood that cause inflammation and aging. At the same time, weightlifting increases the presence of a beneficial skin protein called BGN. BGN interacts with collagen fibres and is important for hair follicle development and skin repair.
These changes together contribute to healthier, more youthful-looking skin.
The research paper here.
What this means for you: You can take advantage of this finding as follows:
- Incorporate Resistance Training: If you want to combat skin aging, add weightlifting to your exercise regimen - see item #4 below.
- Monitor Duration: Aim for a 16-week program to potentially see noticeable improvements in skin health.
- Diversify Your Routine: While aerobic exercises offer skin benefits, resistance training provides additional skin thickness and elasticity advantages.
⇒ A little extra muscle mass will also flatten out skin wrinkles.
02 Busting Food Myths - Here Are Four Big Ones
Food myths can distract from a healthy diet because they often promote misleading information about specific foods or eating habits, leading to confusion and potentially poor nutritional choices.
Here are four food myths to put to bed. I've chosen these four because they are common, and I see people making choices based on the myths.
Myth #1. Fresh fruits and vegetables are always far superior to canned, frozen, or dried varieties.
Not true. Research has shown that frozen, canned, and dried fruits and vegetables can be just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts. They can also be a more convenient and cost-effective option. However, it’s important to read nutrition labels and choose products that do not contain added sugars, saturated fats, or sodium. So, don’t feel guilty about reaching for frozen berries or canned vegetables when you need a quick and healthy option.
Myth #2. All fats are bad for you.
Not all fats are bad for your health. Monounsaturated fats in olive oil, avocados and certain nuts, and polyunsaturated fats in sunflower oil, walnuts, fish, and flaxseeds are beneficial. These good fats provide energy, support cell function, and aid in the absorption of nutrients. So choose healthy sources of fat and avoid products with added sugars. Quality of food matters as much as quantity, so don't just count calories.
Myth #3. Counting calories is the most important factor for long-term weight gain.
While it’s true that consuming more calories than you burn can lead to weight gain, it’s not just about calories in versus calories out. The types of foods you eat play a crucial role in long-term weight management. Ultra-processed foods, such as snacks, cereals, baked goods, and sodas, contribute to weight gain due to their high sugar and refined carbohydrate content. Instead of solely focusing on calorie counting, prioritise healthy eating overall by choosing nutrient-dense foods that provide quality nutrition.
Myth #4. People with Type 2 diabetes should not eat fruit.
I'm over-sensitive to this one. I have been a type 2 diabetic for 25 years, and I see this advice given repeatedly. Contrary to the myth that people with type 2 diabetes should avoid fruit, research shows that incorporating whole fruits into their diet can be beneficial. Studies have indicated that eating fibre-rich whole fruits such as blueberries, bananas, avocados, prunes, grapes, guava, oranges, and apples can help control blood sugar levels. Enjoy these in moderation - they are far better than a cake or muffin.
What this means for you: Fundamental nutrition advice has remained relatively consistent despite common misconceptions. The emphasis on balancing calories, and minimising foods high in saturated fat, salt, and sugar has been present since the 1950s and continues to be promoted today.
- Read labels: When opting for canned, frozen, or dried fruits and vegetables, check the nutrition labels to avoid added sugars, saturated fats, and excessive sodium.
- Choose healthy fats: Include sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats like olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds in your meals while minimising saturated and trans fats.
- Focus on quality: Instead of fixating on calorie counting alone, prioritise whole, unprocessed foods over ultra-processed options to support overall health.
- Enjoy fruit: Whether you have Type 2 diabetes or not, whole fruits provide valuable nutrients and can be part of a balanced diet.
⇒ In other words, eat real food, less of it.
Related (older blog posts of mine): Brain Health Is Boosted By Eating Less, Often — Here’s How To Start
@Medium - Follow me on Medium ↗, covering ⭑food, ⭑brain, ⭑body, ⭑life
03 Overthinking It? Here's How To Stop And To Get Things Done
At times I tend to overthink things. Some of my children do the same. I don’t know if that is learned or genetic, but overthinking is a common experience for many people.
From what I've read, it is becoming more common now in younger people than older people, due to the complexity of the world and daily life.
Outside of clinical conditions such as anxiety and depression, the effect of overthinking is that we don’t get things done.
⇒ To get things done, we need to break out of overthinking.
What this means for you: Here are the steps I use to break out of overthinking and take action:
Recognise when it’s happening:
- Be aware of signs like excessive rumination, constant questioning, or researching for the perfect answer.
Understand the intention behind overthinking:
- Overthinking often stems from worry and a desire for a perfect solution that brings peace.
- It can also be an avoidance tactic or a fear of failure.
Identify the issue:
- Name your fear or avoidance issue, such as body awareness, feelings of being out of control, fear of imperfection, or conflicts.
- Notice how overthinking is keeping you from addressing the underlying problem.
Calm your mind - meditate on it:
- Accept the issue by meditating and calming your conscious mind.
- Allow your unconscious mind to break through the noise in your conscious mind and find breakthrough motivation to act.
Count down to action:
- Conclude your meditation with a 5-4-3-2-1 countdown to immediately take action.
⇒ Taking action will boost your confidence and clear your mind.
Try an app for meditation, e.g. Breathing Zone (recommended), iBreathe, or the Apple Watch Breathe app (which is only 2 minutes).
04 Barbell Deadlifts for Strength (and Skin)
Our exercise of the week is... deadlifts.
We've had quite a few "at home" exercises in the newsletter, but for this one, you'll need access to a gym - or your own barbell and weights.
Deadlifts are the ultimate test of full-body strength and power. They engage numerous muscle groups, including the back, legs, and core, making them a fundamental exercise in any strength training routine.
Lifting weights from standing also mimics functional, real-world movement, improving ADL. Despite their intensity, deadlifts can be tailored to beginners and advanced lifters alike, making them a versatile and effective exercise.
⇒ Continuing from item #1, strength training also improves the underlying health of your facial skin cells and tissue i.e. elasticity, and skin firmness.
What this means for you: First, get set up correctly:
- Position the barbell in front of you on the ground, making sure it is over the middle of your feet.
- Stand in a shoulder-width stance and grip the bar slightly wider than your knees.
- Keep some tension in your legs with your knees bent, slightly move your hips back and up to engage the tension.
- Then, squeeze your shoulder blades back, push into the ground with your feet and lift the bar up until you are standing straight, shoulders back, legs straight but knees not locked.
- Lower the barbell under control down to the starting position.
⇒ See this very instructive video - especially regarding the best bracing and breathing techniques.
You should feel your lower body muscles, glutes, and back working.
Tip: Make sure to keep your back flat and avoid arching it. Control the weight while lifting it up and down.
If you're looking for an alternative, you could try doing a kettlebell deadlift. It requires a different technique compared to a barbell deadlift. For example, you'll need to pull the kettlebell handles apart by pulling your hands away from each other. This will help engage the muscles around your shoulder blades and lats.
I strongly recommend that you carefully watch this video carefully, as kettlebell deadlifts are often taken for granted - as part of a gym class for example. This is a big mistake and a surefire way to injure yourself. The video is excellent.
Thanks for reading!
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>> My Latest Blog Post: Energise Your Golden Years: Boosting Your Desire to Exercise with Gut-Healthy Foods
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