4MV #240 Five steps to getting stronger without risking injury ✔ not about heavier weights

⭑ Get stronger without risking your joints ✔ here's the five steps
⭑ Spotting a super-ager is kind of obvious ✔ how to be one isn't so obvious
⭑ The worst ultra-processed foods ✔ these ones limit your lifespan
⭑ Range of motion exercises ✔ your joints' best friends

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


AI and a busy week.

Generative Artificial Intelligence (gen AI) e.g. ChatGPT, is rapidly creating a wave of new business and personal opportunities, as well as firing a warning shot over the bow of those businesses that don't keep up.

It's particularly amazing because it creates opportunities that otherwise would not exist for those amongst you of my age. This week,, all the content, a new LinkedIn identity and company set-up, and a new Twitter account, e.g. ​, I've been head down launching a new AI business in Australia as a partner of a leading Zurich innovation group (see www.cocollabai.com )

It took creating a new website, all the content, a new LinkedIn identity and company set-up, and a new Twitter account, e.g. ​https://www.linkedin.com/company/cocollabai This is all to say that I was a little tired by late Friday evening!

Re the State 3 km running championships which I mentioned last week, I beat my personal best time by 70 seconds - which was terrific - but lost first place to the winner by 20 seconds!! I have recovering from that as well this week.

How can you spot a Super-ager, and what can you do to be one - see item #2.

You might be surprised to learn that you don't need to keep lifting heavier and heavier weights to build muscle when you're older—see item #1.


01 How To Build Your Strength Without Risking An Injury

It is remarkable how some older men and women at the gym can safely and competently continue to lift heavy weights. In my experience, these people have been lifting for a long time, perhaps decades, and their muscles, tendons, ligaments and posture have developed into a tremendous load-bearing framework.

It reminds me of the running club. I'm a new member and only been running for a little more than 5 years. I've discovered that those in the late 70s and early 80s who still run like the wind have been running for decades and decades. Their bodies have adapted and it's not sensible to think that you can adapt, at our age, without a long, consistent, paced effort.

⇒ This means, for for 99.99% of us we need to pursue a different path to fitness. In the gym, increasing the weight lifted is not the only way to progress in strength training.

What this means for you: There is a wide range of ways to challenge muscles and get stronger without solely relying on heavier weights. This opens up a wider range of possibilities for improving strength and overall health.

The concept of "progressive overload" still applies - which is the concept of continuously challenging your neuromuscular system to improve - but not just applied to the actual weight.

Here is the framework you can apply to build your strength at any age:

  1. Progressive Overload: Focus on progressive overload by gradually increasing difficulty, repetitions, or intensity in your workouts.
  2. Variety in Movements: Incorporate a variety of movements like lunges, squats, and different variations of exercises to challenge muscles in different ways.
  3. Use of Body Weight: Utilise body weight exercises like push-ups, squats, and lunges to build strength effectively.
  4. Adaptability: Be creative and adapt exercises to your fitness level. Start with simpler variations and gradually progress to more challenging ones.
  5. Consistency: Maintain a consistent workout routine, gradually increasing the challenge to continue building strength over time.

Pro Tip: Here's where people go wrong regarding point #4. As you build up to more challenging exercises, always begin your routine with the most challenging one that you have achieved (assuming you have warmed-up well). Go "backwards" if you are not up to it on the day. This way you will develop the strength to keep progressing further.

Related: No Pain But Gain Strength With Slow Movement Resistance Training


02 How To Spot a Super-ager

According to a recent report in the NYTimes, spotting a Super-ager can be challenging as they may not exhibit extraordinary traits at first glance.

However, some key characteristics to look out for include:

  • High Energy Levels: Super-agers are often quite energetic and motivated individuals who display vigour and enthusiasm for life.
  • Better Physical Health: They may have slightly better physical health indicators such as blood pressure, glucose metabolism, and superior mobility.
  • Strong Social Relationships: Super-agers tend to maintain strong social connections, which could be a consistent factor in their exceptional aging.

What I found most surprising about the study reported, is that Super-agers had slightly better physical health and performed better on a test of mobility despite not reporting more exercise at their current age than typical older adults.

⇒ Strong social relationships were a consistent factor among the super-agers, regardless of varying exercise habits, diets, and even smoking behaviours.

What does this mean for you? The findings on super-agers emphasise the importance of holistic well-being, particularly the significant role of social relationships in healthy aging.

Lesson to Draw:

  • Prioritise Social Connections: Cultivating and nurturing solid social relationships will likely help you live longer better.

Action to Take:

  • Invest time in building and maintaining meaningful relationships with family, friends, and community.
  • Engage in activities that promote social interactions, such as joining clubs, volunteering, or participating in group exercises to foster connections and support your well-being.

I'm not really a beacon of social interaction, but I have stepped forward by joining the local Masters Athletes club. I can now better appreciate the value of such social connections, as they have been very uplifting and encouraging.

Look about for a group that interests you and say hullo.

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

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


03 34-Year Study Confirms Industrial Foods Increase Risk of Death

As if on cue, following last week's article "Industrial food contributes to the onset of diabetes", a new study in the British Medical Journal with more than 114,000 participants tracked between 1984 and 2018 found more bad news about industrial food.

The study was conducted by Harvard University.

Participants completed a thorough food questionnaire every four years to evaluate their diets. They were categorised into four groups according to their intake of ultra-processed foods, such as industrially made food and beverages with additives ( constituting half of the usual daily diet in Britain).

⇒ Diets high in ultra-processed meat and fish products were found to increase the risk of death by 13%.

What this means for you: Consuming more servings of ultra-processed foods per day was correlated with a higher risk of death.

  • Meats, fizzy drinks, and breakfast cereals were highlighted as significantly increasing the risk of death.
  • Some ultra-processed foods, such as sauces and packaged snacks, were not found to increase the risk of death.

Here is what you should cut down on if you want to increase your chances of living longer better:

  • Chicken nuggets
  • Hot dogs
  • Shop-bought sausages
  • Burgers
  • Fish fingers
  • Turkey twizzlers.

⇒ Yes, chicken nuggets are considered ultra-processed foods based on their industrial production and high levels of additives.


04 Exercises to Relieve Hand and Shoulder Stiffness and Pain

Our exercise of the week is... simple range-of-motion exercises to relieve stiffness and pain in your shoulders and hands.

Pain and stiffness happens as we get older. My right knee aches every morning until I get it warmed up with some gentle movement.

I like these exercises because I know that they can work. And they are simple, can be done every day, and doing them can postpone potential hand pain and shoulder pain.

What this means for you: We know that stretching and range-of-motion exercises can enhance joint flexibility and mobility and reduce pain:

To boost your range of motion, you gently push a joint to its limit. Here are four exercises you can do at home, even with painful joints:

Hand Exercise:

  • Open your hand with fingers straight.
  • Bend the middle finger joints.
  • Touch fingertips to the top of your palm.
  • Repeat 10 times per hand.
  • Reach your thumb across your hand to touch the base of your little finger.
  • Stretch your thumb back out.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Shoulder Exercise:

  • Lie on your back with hands at your sides.
  • Slowly raise one arm over your head, keeping it close to your ear and your elbow straight.
  • Return the arm to your side.
  • Repeat with the other arm.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Knee Exercise:

  • For that stiff knee in the morning - sit in a chair that is high enough for you to swing your legs.
  • Keep your thighs on the seat and straighten out one leg.
  • Hold for a few seconds.
  • Then bend your knee and bring your foot as far back as possible.
  • Repeat with the other leg.
  • Repeat 10 times.

These simple exercises really help you live longer better. Remember, consistency is king!

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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