I trust you're safe, fit and well.
All strength to Ukraine 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦
Mice can't puke!
Scientists wondered how our brain knew about food poisoning and instructed our gut to eject it. They noticed that mice, despite not being able to vomit, were retching or dry heaving when they had food poisoning, and studied the process.
It turns out that our small intestine emits an immune system molecule called interleukin 33, or IL33. IL33 signals the brain to release neurotransmitters which cause us to throw up. Queasiness is a nasty side effect of chemotherapy and the hope is that a drug may now be developed to reduce this.
As an aside, IL33 keeps turning up in studies of aging.
For example, IL33 is essential for our neuronal rejuvenation mechanisms to work - such as repairing DNA double-strand breaks, and eliminating damaged molecules by autophagy (cleaning up our metabolic brain trash and repurposing the good bits left over). This could make the development path to a powerful anti-nausea quite tricky.
The common wisdom is to do exercises with the full range of motion when contracting and extending. A reliable study found that just the extension movement produced similar or better results in non-athletes - see item #2.
Snore or sleeping poorly? It's not uncommon as we age. It raises the risk of glaucoma - see item #1.
Here are the topics I have chosen for you to help you live longer better:
⭑ Poor sleepers and snorers at a higher risk of blindness - large study
⭑ Want to restore your muscle mass in half the time? ✔ Researchers found how
⭑ Intermittent fasting sped up joint injuries ✔ Initially
⭑ Adding tension to exercises builds more strength - try this overhead press
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness and can be caused by high pressure in the eye.
It seems that getting less or more sleep than the average person can put you at a greater risk for developing glaucoma, according to a large UK study.
If you're struggling with insomnia, or regularly sleeping for more or less than seven to nine hours, you are 13 per cent more likely to have glaucoma.
Also, people who snored or experienced daytime sleepiness had a 10% greater risk of developing glaucoma, according to the study of 400,000 people.
⇒ While more research is needed to confirm the link between sleep and glaucoma, the findings suggest that poor sleep may be a risk factor for the condition.
What it means for us: The takeaway from this research is that if you're having trouble sleeping, it's important to see a doctor (GP and an eye doctor) to rule out any underlying health conditions.
A good start is to use one of the very good snoring detection apps that are available:
- myNight by Resmed requires nothing to wear or place under your mattress or pillow - just the myNight™ app and your smartphone. Resmed are world leaders in sleep apnea research and solutions.
- SnoreLab tracks your snoring and recommends remedies and new lifestyle factors to reduce your snoring.
- A New York Times review of various sleep-tracking apps declared SleepScore to be the best app for sleep-tracking due to its intuitiveness, convenience, and ability to set attainable goals and provide the most detailed sleep-stage data than other apps reviewed.
I recommend any or all of the above, they are very smart apps and they could save your vision. The price of the apps compared to a single visit to an eye specialist makes the choice of using an app a no-brainer in my book.
>> My Latest Blog Post: How Many Pistachios Should I Eat For Sleep and When?
// ice cream
I bought a cheap ice cream maker for the first time in my life and I've found it's quite fun to churn out a couple of scoops at a time (below, lime full-cream).
Send me your favourite ice cream recipes!!
Surprisingly, new research results (October 2022) found that the eccentric, or lowering, phase of a lift is more effective at stimulating muscle growth than the concentric, or lifting, phase, and is more effective than doing both lifting and lowering as in a dumbbell curl.
Three training groups performed (1) eccentric-only, (2) concentric-only, and (3) both concentric and eccentric (the usual contract and relax movement) with barbells.
The gains in strength of all groups were similar, but the muscle mass increase was greatest in the eccentric-only group.
This study says that we halve the time we spend lifting weights and still see the same results i.e. we can halve our weightlifting routine and still see the same results in terms of muscle strength and size.
⇒ The key is to focus on the eccentric phase of the lift and take the weight down slowly.
What this means for us: If you are pushed for time, or simply want to exercise efficiently in as little as possible, then it appears that just doing eccentric movements is your answer. The researchers suggest that 2 or 3 times a week is sufficient.
You can apply this with equipment - see today's exercise below, item #4 - or at home, for example as in a Chair Sit, or an Uneven Squat (10 reps each):
Chair Sit: Starting from a slight-squatting position, sit back and down slowly onto a chair in three to four seconds, (narrower and wider stances will create different effects). If this is easy, try to sit down with one leg. Contrary to what I usually recommend, then assist yourself back up by pushing on the chair seat for example.
Uneven Squat: Stand behind a chair, lean to one side to put more weight on one leg, then squat down in three seconds to four seconds to get your thighs as parallel to the floor as possible. Use the chair to assist you back up.
Level-up: A different study found that variation of the load produced better results then repeating the same load - starting with the heaviest load and working lighter.
Apply this Level-up to the above exercises by doing 3 sets of 5 reps of each exercise. Either vary the time of descent from the longest, say 10 seconds - 6 seconds - 3 seconds, or hold a weight and then half that weight and then no weight for each of the 3 reps.
Rehab: If you have pain with contracting, e.g. lifting the dumbbell in a curl, then use two hands to raise it and then just do the eccentric movement to gain strength. Apply this idea to other exercises where you can assist the concentric movement.
@Medium - Follow my publication there↗, covering ⭑food, ⭑brain, ⭑body, ⭑life
Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve overall health and well-being. There are many potential benefits, including weight loss, improved mental clarity, decreased inflammation, and wait for it - improved regeneration following an injury.
In a study, researchers found that mice undergoing intermittent fasting exhibited improved regeneration following a rotator cuff injury, but only in the early stages.
They suspect that this effect is mediated by changes in the gut microbiome. Various microbial populations generate metabolites that are connected to a range of cellular activities, so the microbiome is a reasonable place to search for mechanisms related to the effects of fasting.
⇒ The study's findings suggest that fasting may help to improve tissue regeneration immediately following an injury
What this means for us: What it means for us is in the distant future when the specific cause of the rapid early-stage tissue regeneration as a result of intermittent fasting is established.
But it does give a clue that how and what we eat after an injury or operation may help us heal faster. That's worth thinking about, and perhaps intermittent fasting is the best we can do with the current knowledge.
Caveat: The beneficial effects were only apparent in the first 2 weeks following the injury. In fact, the effects of fasting were found to significantly inhibit the repair of rotator cuff injury at 4 weeks postoperatively.
04 Double Dumbbell Strict Military Overhead Press
Our exercise of the week is... the double dumbbell strict military overhead press - why I hear you ask? Strict? Military?
Why should you care for a strict military press?
The answer is that the "strict, military" format turns this overhead press into a full-body exercise, not just a typical upper-body overhead press.
While it is especially beneficial for building strong shoulders, triceps, and pecs, when performed correctly it will also improve core strength.
⇒ This variation of the overhead press is truly a difference-maker.
The fundamental reason is because this variation increases the time under tension - the tension created by you during the whole movement. "Strict" because the use of swings, jerks, momentum and gravity are disallowed. This exercise is a pure grind.
What this means for us: If you try this once by gripping too hard - applying too much tension - you will be amazed at how challenging it is. Your muscles may well reach exhaustion before the end of one rep.
Therefore, the technique is to apply a level of tension equivalent to a firm handshake and hold it for the entire number of reps. It is important to maintain a strong stance - a braced stance - and to breathe out on the press and in when retracting.
- Stack your dumbbells. Bring one in each hand to tuck on your chest, palms facing inwards, elbows tucked into your sides and slightly pulled back. This is the "rack" position - the dumbbells are racked on your chest. Feet only slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointing slightly outwards. Hold your legs in a taunt posture that keeps tension through your body.
- Grip (but not too tightly). Apply a bit of extra tension (think a firm handshake) and feel your way to you a tense but exhausting grip. Tense your body to the same degree. Take a breath.
- Move the dumbbell through a FULL range of motion. Every press should start in the rack, stretching the shoulders slightly back. Now, push the dumbbell upwards while maintaining the tension. Rotate your palms to face the front as you lift your arms. Finish the press should with your biceps next to or even slightly behind your ears. Hold momentarily at the top, under tension, and prepare to breathe out on the way down.
- Keep it STRICT. Avoid using momentum from the lower body or thrusting the bell up with your chest. The push should be all grind.
- PULL the dumbbell down. This is key. Don’t let gravity do the work for you. Imagine you’re lowering a too-heavy weight back down to the rack position without it hitting your chest and hurting you. Maintain the tension during the entire pull-down, engaging the back muscles.
- Eccentric movement. The pull-down under tension is the eccentric movement, the subject of Article #2 above. Doing this properly is where you can build muscle mass.
- Match breathing to the movement. Exhale on the way up, with your tongue raised to the back of your upper teeth if you wish. Sip air back deep "into your stomach" on the way down. Maintain your body brace by not letting all your air out, only some. It’s important that you stay “pressurised” throughout the lift to keep stability and maximise strength.
Do 6 reps per set and three sets, twice a week. After about 6 weeks you'll start to notice a difference in your ability to hold the tension fever more firmly
I will add this exercise to my free exercise app, available to you, see below ↓↓↓
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.
Thanks for reading!
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 email@example.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.
Resources for you:
Every one of these weekly emails has [4MV] in the subject line to help you filter them and search for previous ones.