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

4MV #230 When we eat might lead to less obesity and better moods ✔ our gut is tuned in to our body clock!

Published about 2 months ago • 6 min read

⭑ The timing of eating matters more than we think ✔ our gut knows the time
⭑ Golden kiwifruit boosts our mood within 4 days ✔ and keeps it up
⭑ Brain damage and lower life expectancy common after falls ✔ exercise prevents
⭑ Combat keyboard posture and lower back pain with this at-home exercise ✔

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


Travel pains.

Last night, pains in both upper arms woke me, and I lay wondering what exercise I had done to cause it. That’s it - I did clap push-ups which I hadn’t done for a while.

Then, I remembered. I had 4 vaccinations in my arms yesterday for travel to India! I'll be away from March 2 to 12. Hopefully, I'll get the newsletter out on time.

I've been doing ab-wheel rollouts and single-arm kettlebell sit-ups (exactly like this video) for core stability. I've grown stronger over a few months of doing these. In item #4, I recommend hollow holds, which I will be adding to my routine.

Kiwifruit are potent sources of Vitamin C with high bioavailability. This has been found to have fast-acting mood-improving benefits - see #2 below.

Amazing - our gut works in sync with our body clock - and at some times it works better than others - see item #1.


01 Our gut has a feel for the time of day!

Something new about our gut and its relationship with our metabolic health jumped off the page for me today.

Our gut bacteria - the whole colony, or microbiome - synchronise with our circadian rhythm!

This synchronisation between our internal clock and the activity of gut microbes suggests that the timing of meals could be as crucial as their composition for optimising digestion and nutrient absorption.

Disruptions in this synchronisation, such as those caused by irregular sleep patterns, shift work, or jet lag, could lead to dysbiosis (an imbalance in gut microbial communities) and contribute to various health issues, including obesity, metabolic disorders and even mood disturbances.

⇒ This suggests that aligning your eating patterns with the body's natural rhythms can enhance microbiome health and, by extension, improve various aspects of your physical and mental health.

What this means for you: What exactly it means for us is not quite clear, except that we need to start considering not just what we eat but when we eat it.

⇒ The research aligns with evidence suggesting that time-restricted eating and other forms of intermittent fasting, which inherently respect the body's internal clock, can have profound effects on our health, including improvements in metabolic markers, weight management, and even cognitive function.

Because I mainly work from home, I have been eating breakfast later, and having smaller meals e.g. a rich vegetable soup about midday, and then a small meal with more vegetables and meal about 2pm, and dinner before 6. After that, I only have fruit, nuts and a green vegetable blender juice.

If you remain open to the idea that the timing of your meals matters, then I think that you will start to get a feel of how to change things yourself to suit your lifestyle.

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


02 Kiwifruit boosts your mood - some more than others

You may have seen news of research from the University of Otago during the week demonstrating kiwifruit's swift mood-enhancing benefits.

A study revealed that consuming this fuzzy fruit can boost your vitality and mood in as little as four days.

Vitamin C deficiency is associated with higher depression and cognitive impairment, while sufficient Vitamin C is associated with improved mood, vitality, well-being, and lower depression.

⇒ The researchers found kiwifruit supplementation improved vitality and mood within four days, peaking around 14-16 days.

On the other hand, taking Vitamin C tablets only achieved modest improvements compared to kiwifruit. This is because of some as-yet-unknown "cofactors" present in kiwifruit.

What does this mean for you? Eating a kiwifruit daily might well improve your mood and vitality. It's easy to plop one into a shake with other fruit e.g. banana, orange, and add yoghurt and coconut water or milk.

⇒ Kiwifruit is a top source of Vitamin C per 100g, typically about 80 mg per 100g of fresh fruit (for the green Hayward variety). In comparison, Pawpaw typically contains about 60 mg per 100g.

Pro Tip: Some varieties of kiwifruit have 3X the Vitamin C of others - the golden varieties (Golden kiwifruit, including 'Hort16A' or Zespri® SunGold™) having up to three times the vitamin C content of the Hayward variety. If you have the opportunity, buy the golden types.

Related: ​How Bananas Benefit Your Bones - And Brain​​​

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


03 Falls a leading cause of brain injuries and shorter lifespan

About 1 in 4 U.S. adults 65 and older — more than 14 million people — suffer a fall each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Falls are the leading cause of injury among those 65 and older, even though not all falls result in an injury. For instance, the CDC reports that 95 percent of hip fractures result from a fall, and falls also are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries.

It is remarkably similar in Australia and probably most other Western countries.

A study of more than 7,139 older Australian women, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, found that those who adhered to the WHO activity recommendation were less likely to fall, with or without injury, than those who were less active.

(WHO recommends undertake 150 to 300 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity.)

What this means for you: Be serious about exercising as you age. If you know anyone who has had their mobility compromised due to a hip injury from a fall, you will understand how devastating it is for their lifestyle. Even worse for brain injuries.

Here are two crucial insights that the reports above don't tell you:

  1. Over-65's who fall and injure their hips die, on average, 5 years earlier.
  2. The most common reason people are taken out of their homes and into care is because they can no longer lift themselves from the toilet seat.

You can dramatically lower the likelihood of both those events with exercise, prolonging an active life and your ability to live independently.

You can start with the exercise below in item #4, improving your stability and strengthening your lower body for getting up from the lounge.

Related: Avoid Ankle Injuries And Gain Balance Better With These Four Everyday Simple Exercises​


04 Hollow holds reduce back pain and improve posture and stability

Our exercise of the week is... your core - with the Hollow Hold: one of the ultimate isometric exercises.

In the realm of core workouts, sit-ups often take the spotlight. However, isometrics, such as the plank, are championed by fitness experts for their effectiveness in fortifying the core without the dynamic movements that can strain the spine (for example, when doing Russian Twists).

The hollow body hold is an anterior core, anti-extension exercise like a plank on your back. In other words, it is a move that focuses on strengthening the front part of your core, helping you resist the urge to arch your back.

Exercises like this are great for improving strength and stability — in this case, in your core muscles in your abs and back. This can make a huge difference in terms of reducing back pain.

Other than back pain, hollow holds help counteract the negative effects of prolonged sitting and poor posture, which are curses of our daily life.

What this means for you: Master the hollow hold, and by investing a few minutes each day, you will gain noticeable benefits in your posture and potentially reduced lower back pain.

To perform a hollow body hold:

  • Begin by lying on your back comfortably with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, arms resting by your sides.
  • Engage your abdominal muscles by drawing your ribs down towards your hips, which will naturally press your lower back into the ground.
  • While maintaining this contraction extend your legs, stretch your arms overhead, and lift your shoulder blades off the ground. Your lower back and buttocks should be the only parts of your body in contact with the floor.
  • Keep focusing on pulling your ribcage downwards and pressing your lower back into the floor while holding this posture.

Aim to complete three reps, holding the position for 20 seconds each, with a 40 second rest in between each rep.

Pro Tips:

  • If you find leg lifting challenging then modify the exercise by bending your knees and lifting your feet just slightly off the floor.
  • It’s crucial to ensure that there’s no gap between the lower back and the floor at any point during this exercise.

Give it a try, and feel the difference in your core strength and stability.

See this excellent video which adds level-ups and extra tips.

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

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: Energise Your Golden Years: Boosting Your Desire to Exercise with Gut-Healthy Foods

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

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