4MV #245 Research-Backed Steps to Improve Your Healthspan ✔

⭑ Muscle strength and flexibility ✔ healthspan secrets #1
⭑ Dietary small steps that will improve your longevity ✔ healthspan secrets #2
⭑ Specific steps to improve your cerebral fitness ✔ healthspan secrets #3
⭑ These lateral side steps will boost your balance and brain ✔ at home

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


Research and data.

This week, I observed the impact of a COVID vaccination on my "readiness to train" - in other words, my body's capability to adapt to the metabolic stress of training. This is data, I'm yet to understand how to best turn it into information.

The vaccination weakened my ability to tolerate stress and delayed my normal recovery. I usually get back up to a level of 7 or 8 after normal training. I'm interested to see how long this Covid effect holds my training intensity back.

You might notice that the earlier part of the graph was not especially high, as I was training for an event (circled), and I may have overdone it a little. In any case, I won the event for my age group, a cross-country 6km run in wet, longish grass.

Coming to research, this week's newsletter has a different format from the usual one. I researched the most recent research establishing causation between fitness, flexibility, nutrition, cerebral fitness, and healthspan. Three topics were dominant in what I found: (1) maintaining muscle mass and flexibility, (2) specific dietary changes, and (3) specific steps necessary to improve cerebral fitness.


01 Maintaining Flexibility and Muscle Strength (Healthspan Secrets)

Maintaining flexibility and muscle strength is one of the BIG 4 or 5 keys to improving your health span—the length of time you live in good health, free of chronic diseases and disabilities typically associated with aging.

Three research-validated ways to do this are:

  1. Combining strength exercises and static stretching exercises: Studies validate that combining strength training with static stretching significantly improves flexibility in older adults. Try combining Tai Chi with resistance training. Tip: Always perform static stretches targeting your major muscle groups after strength training.
  2. Yoga significantly improves spinal flexibility, muscle strength and quality of life in older adults. Tip: Join a yoga class that focuses on gentle stretching, balance, and strength-building postures.
  3. Perturbation-induced step training: Combining perturbation-based step training with hip muscle strengthening exercises has been confirmed to reduce your balance and reduces the risk of falls. Tip: Practice stepping exercises such as lateral steps and balance drills to enhance your stability.
  4. Multi-component training: Make it a routine to combine different forms of exercise, including flexibility exercises. Tip: Design your weekly exercise program to include a mix of strength training, aerobic exercises, and flexibility workouts.

These are specific science-based steps that will improve your healthspan.

Related: ​Walking Backwards Benefits So Much More Than Your Knees​


02 Dietary "Small Steps" To Improve Your Lifespan (Healthspan Secrets)

Making changes to our dietary habits is hard. We mostly fail to sustain it.

Nevertheless, changing it to be optimal for healthspan is worth doing. Here are three specific small steps that you can make that science says will improve your healthspan:

  1. Consume More Plant-Based Proteins: Incorporate legumes, nuts, and seeds into your diet to boost protein intake without increasing environmental impact. Studies suggest replacing some meat with plant proteins can benefit both health and sustainability. Tip: Replace fatty cuts of red meat with leaner cuts.
  2. Focus on nutrient-dense and functional foods: Foods rich in dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. These will help counter the steady rise in metabolic inflammation that occurs as we age. Functional foods are those containing prebiotics and probiotics, e.g., Dandelion greens, Jerusalem artichoke, garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus (prebiotic), and yoghurt (probiotic).
  3. Boost common micronutrient deficiencies: Older adults typically lack these in their diets: vitamin B12 and folate for the brain and calcium and Vitamin D for bone health. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if you would benefit from supplements.
  4. Include berries: Eating strawberries and other berries has been found to improve cognitive functions like memory and learning.

These small changes to your diet add up and are sustainable. You've everything to gain and nothing to lose.

Related: Eat prunes to keep your bones strong, and other surprising health benefits​​

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


03 Specific Steps To Improve Your Cerebral Fitness (Healthspan Secrets)

Healthspan tactics aim to maintain, in synchronisation, a healthy body and a healthy mind. Here are three top research-based steps you can take to enhance your cerebral fitness:

  1. Aerobic exercise: Three times a week. Aerobic exercise increases cerebral blood flow, reduces arterial stiffness, and improves memory function in older adults. Tip: Aim for 20 - 30 minutes per session.
  2. Combine aerobic and cognitive training: How do you combine these? Use apps and games that challenge your brain as part of a physical activity. Tip: Take part in group activities that combine physical and mental exercises, e.g. dance, Tai Chi, and themed walks.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Research shows mindfulness training improves cognitive performance and strengthens intrinsic brain connectivity, particularly between the hippocampus and other critical regions. Tip: Use apps such as Apple Health's Breathe.

Start today - each small step taken now protects your health and promotes a more fulfilling future. And you'll enjoy doing it.

Related: ​Thanks To Magic 3 This Meditation I Learnt in Indonesia Calms Me Before Bed​


04 Lateral Step-ups with Resistance Band (Healthspan Secrets)

Our exercise of the week is... a lateral step with countering resistance.

This is an example of perturbation-induced step training, which improves muscle strength, balance, and cerebral fitness.

You need a suitable resistance band:

  1. Secure a resistance band around a stable object at ankle height (or higher, as in the video).
  2. Stand to the side of your step with the resistance band around your outside ankle.
  3. Step up laterally onto the step with the foot not in the band.
  4. As you step up, the resistance band will pull your other leg, creating a "perturbation" against which you must stabilise. This is very valuable.
  5. Step back down and repeat.

This video shows a slightly different version but it is simple and crystal clear as to the idea and execution.

Tip: Perform 10-12 repetitions on each side, focusing on maintaining balance.

⇒ This is one of those very simple exercises that, if done daily, can make a big difference to your healthspan. I do many of these simple exercises every day, and I know that these small amounts of attention each day really add up to something worthwhile.

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

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

About the newsletter: Do you think it can be improved? Have a story idea? Want to share about the time you met Chris Hemsworth, or your questions about how to live longer better? Send those thoughts and more to me at walter@bodyagebuster.com

'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.

Each of these weekly emails has 4MV in the subject line to help you filter them and search for previous ones.

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.

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

⭑ Heard about #fartwalking? ✔ It's healthy but not a cure⭑ A regular walk after meals is a must for diabetics ✔ Read why ...⭑ The foods that cause flatulence are all good for you; experiment⭑ Tried the Dead Bug with resistance band? ✔ It's simple and very effective All strength to Ukraine 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦 Hello, #fartwalk It's blowing up on social media. But is it solving the problem or just the symptoms? The bloat problem is more than what we eat - it's about our overall lifestyle. Read item...

⭑ Not fit enough for cancer surgery? ✔ Don't let this happen to you⭑ When our lower back aches, we're miserable ✔ Try this simple solution⭑ Japanese scientists find gut vitamin B deficiency aggravates Parkinson's⭑ Do these few exercises daily, and your life will feel better all over ✔ All strength to Ukraine 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦 Hello, Ready to train! A few weeks back, I shared my Ready To Train (RTT) score with you all, which was hovering in the low mid-range. The RTT score measures how well...

⭑ How did listening habits make WebMD's risks for brain health? ✔ It's true⭑ Strengthening your legs and posterior chain is great for longevity ✔ Here's how⭑ Diabetic? This diet regime does better than medication ✔ It's not magic⭑ Why Romanian Deadlifts should be part of your strength routine ✔ All strength to Ukraine 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦 Hello, Erratum. In item 4 last week, the weekly exercise, I described swinging your arms horizontally while balancing on one leg. The next morning, while doing...