4MV #233 Are you resisting resistance training ✔ here is one clear reason to start now

⭑ Are you ready to develop strong bones? ✔ resistance training does it
⭑ Resistance training has a hidden longevity factor ✔ research underplays it
⭑ The kinetics of handwriting keeps your brain younger ✔ Norwegian research
⭑ Try these every day 6 at-home strength exercises ✔ your bones will thank you

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


On being social.

I've turned over a new leaf lately. Until now, I've eschewed groups and preferred to exercise alone, whether at the gym or running. While I did join group classes at the gym I did so for particular purposes, which did not include socialising.

About six weeks ago, I found and joined the local Masters Athletics club at Mentone, two suburbs away. They turned out to be very social, caring, and encouraging. They encouraged me to enter the Victorian Masters Athletics Championships (the State championships) held last weekend.

I surprised myself by doing well, thanks to the connections I made at the club and their caring and encouragement. Now, whenever I see a chance to share the love, I'm recruiting new members.

The benefits of resistance training rarely mention what might be the most crucial outcome - mitochondrial conditioning. This is because of a lack of well-designed research — see item #2.

General recommendations about the benefits of resistance training lack the motivational edge. Here is one simple, compelling reason to start — see item #1


01 Make Resistance Training Your Ally: A Single Goal for Motivation

I read this in a recent newsletter from the Mayo Clinic. "Here are a few reasons why resistance training is so beneficial:

  1. Build strength to help you carry out daily tasks and activities more easily.
  2. Reduce body fat and increase lean muscle mass.
  3. Burn more calories because the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn, even at rest.
  4. Manage your weight and boost your metabolism to help you burn more calories.
  5. Develop strong bones as resistance training can increase bone density and reduce risk of osteoporosis."

Knowing what to do next when you read such an "omnibus" declaration is difficult.

⇒ I will unpack it for you so you have clear motivation for doing more resistance training.

What this means for you: Based on systematic research, developing strong bones is the most fundamental and beneficial reason to do resistance training in the context of longevity for men and women over 50.

Resistance exercise increases bone density and significantly reduces the risk of osteoporosis, a common concern as we age.

For older women, multiple studies report that resistance training can prevent and/or treat chronic diseases, improve muscle strength, increase bone density, and reduce the risk of falls and fractures (Marcos-Pardo, Vaquero-Cristóbal, & Huber, 2023). This is particularly relevant as women have a longer life expectancy but may experience a poorer quality of life due to aging and menopause.

Therefore, starting or doing more resistance training just with a focus on developing strong bones is exceedingly worthwhile. Keeping your goals and exercises simple will help you be more consistent. (I suggest exercises in item #4 below.)


02 Resistance Training's Hidden Longevity Booster

I was surprised when research revealed that bone health was the most important outcome of resistance training for older adults.

My expectation was that the most crucial outcome may have been associated with lowering the risk of metabolic syndrome, e.g. high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels.

To be more specific, I thought that the most important outcome of resistance training would be associated with mitochondrial conditioning. In fact, I am still inclined to think that the latter IS the main benefit.

⇒ My research discovered a paucity of systematic research on the relationship between resistance training and mitochondrial conditioning as compared to the large body of research on bone health.

My awareness of the critical role that optimal mitochondrial function plays in health has steadily increased, alongside the expanding research indicating that dysfunction is unexpectedly prevalent and linked to the majority of chronic diseases.

What does this mean for you? Here is a partial list of diseases caused of aggravated by mitochondrial dysfunction: • Early aging • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis • Alzheimer’s disease • Autism • Cardiovascular disease • Chronic fatigue syndrome • Dementia • Diabetes • Huntington’s disease • Migraine headache • Parkinson’s disease.

Given this context, resistance training's effects on mitochondrial function can be inferred to be highly beneficial, as it contributes to improved metabolic health, muscle strength, and potentially, longevity. Resistance training stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis, enhances insulin sensitivity, and can help manage or mitigate the impact of diseases associated with mitochondrial dysfunction, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Comparing this to the prior conclusion that "the development of strong bones through resistance training emerges as the most beneficial reason for longevity," the benefits of resistance training on mitochondrial metabolism could potentially rank as equally or even more important, especially considering the broad implications of mitochondrial health on chronic diseases and aging.

⇒ All the more motivation to pick up the volume of resistance training in your regular exercise regime.​​

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03 Maintain Your Cognitive Fitness - Write By Hand

As we age, our cognitive abilities naturally begin to decline, affecting memory, problem-solving skills, and the ability to perform daily tasks. This decline can lead to frustrations and a decreased quality of life.

The challenges of deteriorating cognitive function and memory loss are not just minor inconveniences. They can profoundly impact our feelings of independence, social interactions, and overall enjoyment of life. Forgetting important dates, struggling to keep up with conversations, or finding it difficult to manage finances can be distressing.

Moreover, the fear of developing more severe cognitive impairments or diseases like Alzheimer's adds to the anxiety.

Recent neuroscience research has shown that writing by hand significantly benefits learning, memory, and creativity over typing on a keyboard.

The careful formation of letters and words increases our brain's connectivity patterns, which is crucial for memory formation and encoding new information. Our brain "feels" the process of forming letters by hand.

What this means for you: Don’t type. Write. Slow down and engage more of your brain and senses in the process. It’s a simple step with profound benefits for your cognitive health. Here are five ideas to get started:

  1. Start a Daily Journal: Dedicate a few minutes daily to jot down your thoughts, feelings, or experiences. This improves handwriting skills and serves as a cognitive exercise to recall and articulate your day.
  2. Practice Handwriting Letters or Notes: In an era dominated by emails and texts, revert to the traditional method of communication by writing letters or notes to friends and family. The personal touch is rewarding, and it stimulates your brain.
  3. Engage in Creative Writing: Whether poetry, short stories, or just doodling, allow your creativity to flow through the pen. This boosts your cognitive flexibility and imaginative thinking.
  4. Learn Something New: Write down new information you want to remember by hand, like recipes, directions, or even a new language. The act of handwriting aids in retention and comprehension.
  5. Set Aside Tech: Allocate specific times when you rely solely on handwriting instead of digital devices during the day. This can include making to-do lists, planning your week, or sketching.

Integrating handwriting into your daily routines is a simple yet powerful tool to enhance cognitive function and keep the mind sharp.

Good luck.


04 Strength Training At Home for Strong Bones

Our exercise of the week is... a set of resistance exercises so that you can build bone density (and improve your mitochondrial health).

Below is a set of basic but very effective bodyweight exercises that you can perform with no extra equipment—except a wall to brace against.

I've selected these exercises because they target your major muscle groups (see links to Youtube videos explaining the movement).

These muscle groups exert the most powerful pulling and release forces on your largest bones and, therefore, deliver the most bang for the buck in developing strong bones.

What this means for you: I recommend the following bodyweight exercises for targeting major muscle groups:

  1. Squats: Target the quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteal muscles, crucial for lower body strength and balance.
  2. Push-ups: Can be modified to knee push-ups to reduce intensity, targeting the chest, shoulders, and triceps.
  3. Lunges: Another excellent lower body exercise, targeting the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, with added benefits for balance and coordination.
  4. Planks: Strengthen the core muscles, including the rectus abdominis, obliques, and lower back, important for overall stability and posture.
  5. Step-ups: Using a sturdy step or bench, this exercise targets the lower body and can help improve balance and unilateral strength.
  6. Wall sits: Great for building strength and endurance in the quadriceps and glutes without the need for squatting movements.

For the non-static exercises aim for 3 sets of 6 reps, with 20 seconds between sets. Allow a 2-minute break between each exercise. For the plank and the wall sit, aim for 30 seconds, and build up over time to 90 to 120 seconds, just one rep.

Videos: How to Squat, Lunge, Push-up & Plank Correctly (Dos & Don'ts!), How To Do A Wall Sit | Chelmsford Physio, Improve Senior and Elderly Balance - Build Leg Strength With Step-ups.

Tip: For early postmenopausal women, a combination of daily moderate walking and a resistance training program twice a week is optimal. This regimen likely applies to older men as well, emphasising the importance of regular aerobic activity and resistance exercises for improving muscle strength and functional fitness.

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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