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So, I’ve made the argument for weight-lifting before, that it is the best way to look good while not taking up so much of your time that you become an anti-social recluse…but if that’s what you like to be, then recluse away. On the other hand, if you’d like to look and feel good, and, oh, I don’t know, have a life too, then here is an interesting study to attempt to bring you to the light.
In the book ‘The New Rules of Lifting’, by Lou Schuler, he talks about a study that was conducted between 1979 and 1997. The study followed 2,000 middle-aged men in the United Kingdom and it looked at their exercise patterns and physical activity. The results of the study were published in the journal ‘Heart’ in 2003 and found, among other things, that those who engaged in light to moderate physical activity (walking, gardening, playing golf, bowling) had no effect on heart disease, death from heart disease, or death from all causes, even if they did up to 90 minutes a day of those activities, they got no measurable protection from heart disease or any other terminal illness.
The ones who did get that protection were those who did “heavy” exercise (climbing stairs, playing vigorous start-stop sports like tennis, hiking, jogging, swimming, serious landscaping work). Also, they only needed to burn as little as 54 calories a day doing that heavy exercise.
If you weigh 150...
This shouldn’t be the only thing you do with your treadmill...
In my article titled ‘Cardio’, I expounded on the many benefits of walking and said it was my preferred form of cardio. From an article by Tim Henriques (Director of the National Personal Training Institute of VA, I’ll just summarize the finer points of it.
Tim’s opinion and mine as well, is that walking on an inclined treadmill is the most effective and safest form of cardio if fat loss (without muscle loss) is the goal.
Runners don’t usually like (or at least agree with) lifters and lifters don’t usually like runners. Why? Maybe it’s got something to do with each party thinking that they are the one stop shop, they have it all figured out, their sport gets the best results and that the other group is just a bunch of meatheads or sissies. This thinking is not exactly the most scientific, objective and/or productive approach to this debate.
I personally hate running. The Marines made me do it and I love my Marine Corps – but I still hate me some runnin. Maybe it’s because I'm lazy. The way I see it, if it’s gonna take more than 3 hours a week to stay fit, I don’t want anything to do with it. I’ll just be fat, avoid the subject when brought up, pop 12 pills every day and wear black like the rest of the country. Luckily for me, it doesn’t have to be that way (thank God…).
There’s an answer for all you runners out there that want a great physique but cant seem to get it from running alone and that answer is to cross train with free weights.
That last sentence is likely where I lose about 95% of you die-hard runners out there. No problem. You don’t want to and consequently can’t be helped anyway. You will be the ones to pay for the orhto doc’s yacht.
Again, if you must run, the solution is to cross train running with weight training. This approach will...
Group stretching classes, on the other hand, do equal punishment.
I feel bad for people who don’t know how to train. I see them every day, and many are not in the gym. Many people think being “in shape” requires doing cardio in 100+ degree weather, or wearing a sweat suit to lose weight, or running every day (ugh…), or doing anything that is unpleasant. It almost seems that in our modern-day world, fitness equals punishment. The old saying “If it tastes good, it’s not good for you” seems to have spread into the fitness world, so now people think “If it makes me miserable, it must be good for me.” Thankfully, this is not so.
You see, I don’t think fitness, or being in shape, needs to be a miserable lifestyle. In fact, I’m passionate about my training and, because of that, enjoy it immensely, and I believe everyone should be passionate about their chosen form of exercise, as this will give you the best chance at success. If you enjoy it, you will do it, and do it well. If you don’t enjoy it, do something else, but do something. Some people are yoga people, others love walking (hopefully with their dog), while others are passionate about swimming. Do what you enjoy and do it as much as your schedule and energy levels allow.
That being said, I’m not just going to wax philosophical on you. I’m here to give you my recommendations on how to be fit. I believe that the best way to be ...
“The most effective way to maintain quality of life as we age” is how Dr Bruce Craig decided to phrase how he felt about weight training for seniors (60+ year olds), or as we call them in the industry, "mature athletes". The scientific research is crystal clear. Far as maintaining strength, lean muscle mass, good/upright posture, independence and an overall high quality of life goes, nothing beats the addition of weight training to a physical fitness regimen.
When we think of strength training, we often overlook the less obvious benefits of training with resistance such as improvements in balance and mobility, increases in bone density and an overall improvement in self-image and esteem (seniors.gov).
For those of you that have yet to experience the potential debilitating effects of aging, the American College of Sports Medicine tells us that weight training has been shown to effectively help prevent and even reverse the loss of lean muscle mass, specifically Fast Twitch muscle fibers responsible for strength and speed, allowing us to live independently longer – if not indefinitely!
Look, nobody wants to get old. The unfortunate reality is that its going to happen anyway and we all have to go through it. The good news is that we don’t have to lose our independence, be debilitated by joint pain or allow our quality of life to suffer. There is something we can do about...