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Discussion Starter #401


The body is resilient, remarkably so. Even as you age, your body is able to do incredible things, especially if you’re willing to challenge it. Whether you worked out in the past or you are just getting started, there is no reason you can’t get fit over 50 years of age. Though you might not be able to do what you did at 20 or 30, the human body can still be impressive at 50, 60, 70, and 80 years of age. However, a lot of older people tend to lie to themselves. Personal trainers like myself hear it all the time.

That’s why I wanted to discuss the 4 biggest lies you tell yourself that keep you from your fitness goals and why those lies are indeed untrue.

Myth 1: “I’m too old.”

There are bodybuilders over 70, yogis over 90, and physical education teachers over 60 throughout the world. Age is but a number. It is how you perceive that number and the traits society has placed upon that number that keeps you from working out. In reality, it’s never too late to start, especially when physical activity is critical to increasing longevity and maintaining independence in your advanced years.

Men and women can get into the best shape of their life even after 50 years of age. You simply need to remove the idea that your chronological age somehow plays a role on what you can and cannot do. By removing that barrier, you will see that your body is still a powerhouse. Muscles still grow. Fat still burns. You just need a wellness plan that is fine-tuned to your specific needs.


Myth 2: “I’m not motivated enough.”
Food for thought: Motivation is a limitation. If you wait to get motivated, you will never find it. This whole idea that you need to be motivated to do something is a lie—one of the biggest lies in fitness and everything else. Motivation comes and goes, so don’t rely on motivation to get you started.

The underlying issue is your internal dialogue. Among the lies on this page, I’m sure there are dozens of others that you tell yourself to remain on the couch rather than getting to the gym or going for a walk. What is your attitude towards working out? Do you see it as punishment or as something you enjoy? Did you have a poor experience in the past that made you dislike working out? What goals are you trying to achieve?

When you get to the bottom of your feelings, you will realize that the motivation comes from doing something you enjoy. So think about activities that are fun, even if it doesn’t seem like a workout, and start from there.


I’m too busy
Myth 3: “I’m too busy.”

One time a client looked me dead in the eye and said, “I’m might be retired but that doesn’t mean I sit around on my butt all day. I’m too busy for this.” I told him that just because time passes, it doesn’t mean you’re using your time wisely. If you want to get fit, you need to make time. Or, you need to reallocate your time.

Fitness is a lifestyle change. Therefore, if you want to get fit, you need to change a little. Think about your life right now. Do you spend time on social media? Play games on your phone or computer? Spend hours walking around the mall? It’s great to have things that occupy your time but think about how much you could get done if you weren’t idling. You don’t need 3 hours a day on Facebook, nor do you need to play games so often. When you cut away the distractions, I’m positive you will find at least 30-45 minutes a day where you could squeeze in a decent workout. Take a walk after dinner. Go swimming. Do housework. There’s always a physical activity you can be doing.


Myth 4: “I’m the only one struggling to stay in shape.”
You’re never alone. The very fact that this article exists means you are not alone! Other people over 50 are worried about the same things you are and have lied to themselves hundreds of times. There are plenty of “silver” level group exercises classes out there made for people over 50 who want to stay in shape and join people their age. There are personal trainers who work specifically with aging populations.

Not to sound mean, but you need to hold yourself accountable for your own fitness. No one is going to put you on the treadmill but you. No one is going to make the correct meal choices but you. Therefore, if you want to get fit over 50, you need to stop putting yourself on a deserted island and open up to the possibilities. Join a fitness group for people your age, team up with a trainer, use technology, and muster up a little bravery to go out and reclaim your life.


The Only Barriers You Need To Worry About
Now that you know that you’ve been deceived, let’s touch on the only barrier you should fret over—the biological ones. When you stop exercising, regardless of your age, you are bound to lose muscle mass. The muscles and connective tissues become inflexible and shorten. You also increase your risk of osteopenia and osteoporosis. Men and women both lose hormones, and as the hormones dissipate, more fat forms around the midsection.

Although this does impose some complications, that doesn’t mean you can’t get in shape. With the correct dietary choices and an understanding of how many calories you need throughout the day, you can start to burn fat rather than put it on. Add on some extra activity and functional strengthening exercises, and you will lose weight and gain muscle, just as you did at a younger age. It might take a little longer because you have less testosterone, but again, that doesn’t mean your muscle won’t grow.

Start slow, work at a moderate pace, and be patient with yourself. Nothing’s stopping you from getting fit over 50 except you.



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Discussion Starter #402
What two weeks of inactivity can do to your health

Even before the coronavirus, researchers wanted to know what happens when you’re stuck at home with fewer opportunities to exercise.
“A lot of work has been done on complete bed rest or immobilization, but little attention has focused on how acute periods of limited activity affect older adults,” says Chris McGlory, assistant professor of exercise metabolism at Queen’s University in Canada.

So he and his colleagues had 22 older overweight people with prediabetes slash their usual steps per day—from 7,000 to about 1,000—for two weeks and then return to their normal activity for another two weeks.

“We tried to mimic the number of steps someone would take, say, when they stay at home because there’s a flu outbreak or because it’s too cold to go outside, so they’re physically inactive for a number of weeks,” says McGlory.

The results: During the inactive period, “we found an increase in insulin resistance and blood sugar and a decrease in the rate at which muscle proteins were created,” says McGlory. “And none of those things were fully recovered after the two-week period when they returned to their usual activity.”

What if you don’t have prediabetes?

“If you start off without prediabetes, you’d shift toward the prediabetic state, and if you have prediabetes, you’d shift toward the diabetic state,” says McGlory.

Most older people have already shifted. Among Americans aged 65 or older, 47 percent have prediabetes and another 27 percent have diabetes.

When it comes to muscle, older people are also at a disadvantage.

“After the fourth or fifth decade of life, we start to lose 1 to 2 percent of our muscle mass per year,” says McGlory.

“And during a period of inactivity, you lose muscle whether you’re young or old. So inactivity combined with the biological loss of muscle is a double whammy for older people.”

What’s more, adds McGlory, seniors don’t regenerate lost muscle as well, “so they don’t recover as quickly as younger people.” Odds are, the participants would have returned to normal if the study had lasted longer, he notes. “But we don’t know how long it would have taken.”

What we do know: staying as active as possible, especially with exercises that build strength, should help.

“If you have stairs in your home, walk up and down to keep up your daily step count,” suggests McGlory. Climbing stairs is ideal because it’s both aerobic and strength exercise.

“You can also do squats and go for a daily walk or jog or cycle within safety guidelines for avoiding coronavirus.”


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Discussion Starter #403
The Army Rolls Out a New Weapon: Strategic Napping

Because fatigue can corrode mission performance, a new physical training manual tells soldiers to grab 40 winks when they can, part of a new holistic approach to health in the ranks.
Turns out Beetle Bailey had it right all along.

The loafing comic-strip Army private has been sleeping on duty for 70 years, to the frequent fury of his platoon sergeant. But on Wednesday, the Army released new guidelines for optimal soldier performance — and they include strategic and aggressive napping.

The recommendation is part of an overhaul of the Army’s physical fitness training field manual, which was rebranded this week as the FM 7-22 Holistic Health and Fitness manual. No longer is the guide focused entirely on grueling physical challenges like long ruck marches and pull-ups. Now it has chapters on setting goals, visualizing success, “spiritual readiness” and, yes, the art of the nap.

“Soldiers can use short, infrequent naps to restore wakefulness and promote performance,” the new manual advises. “When routinely available sleep time is difficult to predict, soldiers might take the longest nap possible as frequently as time is available.”

It is the first update to the manual in eight years, and it reflects growing scientific evidence that peak physical performance includes more than just physical training.

“The goal of the Holistic Health and Fitness System is to build physical lethality and mental toughness to win quickly and return home healthy,” the introduction tells readers.

The manual also has updates on running techniques to avoid injury, and a section on the importance of spirituality, with entries on meditation, journaling and how the “act of serving others” helps some soldiers realize the “interconnectedness of all things and people.”

That is a conversation Private Bailey never had with Sarge.

To promote good sleep, the manual warns soldiers to avoid video games, texting and other screen activity before bed, and recommends winding down by “listening to soothing music, reading, or taking a warm shower or bath” instead. It also says to avoid alcohol before sleep.

The new guidance comes as the military has become increasingly aware that chronic sleep deprivation during missions can cripple decision-making and lead to disaster. The Navy recently overhauled sleep schedules at sea after determining that fatigue was a factor in two fatal warship collisions.

During deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, commanders often failed to prioritize sleep. Changing schedules, long duty shifts and overnight missions led to chronic fatigue that fueled a voracious dependency on energy drinks, which left many troops feeling frazzled. Army research found that soldiers who guzzled energy drinks had higher levels of mental health problems, which can make it harder to deal with the stresses of missions.

“The Army has always had an internal dynamic that real men don’t need sleep and can just push on, and it’s incredibly stupid,” said Lt. Gen. David Barno, who was commander of combined forces in Afghanistan from 2003 to 2005. “Combat is a thinking man’s business and your brain doesn’t function without sleep.”

General Barno said he worked hard to “protect eight hours of sleep a night” while deployed and found that it gave him a clearheaded advantage to accomplish his mission. Putting that practice in official doctrine, he said, will help put old beliefs that sleep is a luxury to rest.

“The Army is on to something here,” said Phillip Carter, a former soldier who served during the Iraq War and now teaches veterans’ policy at Georgetown University. “The old manual looked like something out of a gym class from the 1960s. There was lots of jumping jacks and wind sprints. It wasn’t keeping pace about what we knew about combat. The truth is, we know sleep is critical to better decision-making.”

The military’s interest in holistic health began years ago in elite Special Operations units, which brought in trainers, dietitians and wellness coaches and treated operators like elite athletes.

The shift to a broad approach to fitness that includes sustainable exercise, better recovery and proper sleep and nutrition could have big payoffs in the wider military, Mr. Carter said, both in terms of lifelong well-being and in monetary savings for the taxpayer.

Worn-out knees, injured backs and other musculoskeletal injuries are the leading reasons that troops receive disability payments after leaving the military. “The government is spending billions of dollars a year to compensate troops for breaking them in service,” Mr. Carter said. “If it’s just a little bit better, it could be a huge difference.”

1,209 Posts
I haven't been posting much, but really, thanks for posting this! It's very valuable. I've been trying to keep with my core and resistance band work on top of the biking! Articles like this keep me going.

9 lives
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Discussion Starter #405
This article rings true for me. My exercise routines have slowly progressed over the years but this year has been an added boost to strength and endurance. I currently workout ie lift/do crossfit in my home gym 5d/wk; I run daily. My weekly km totals have gone from 35km/wk (last year) to an average of 50km/wk (since the pandemic) and I trail ride twice /wk. All that vitamin D and social distancing has made me fitter :)

Since I started running in 2015, I've never seen so many runners and people out walking, biking and even rollerblading in my neighbourhood! Passersby wave and we give each other the thumbs up. If anything good is coming out of this pandemic it is an increase in activity for some people... which is a good thing.

How the Pandemic Is Changing Our Exercise Habits

Are you exercising more or less since the coronavirus pandemic began?

According to a new study that focused on physical activity in the United Kingdom, most of us — not surprisingly — have been less physically active since the pandemic and its waves of lockdowns and quarantines began. Some people, however, seem to be exercising as much or more than before, and surprisingly, a hefty percentage of those extra-active people are older than 65. The findings have not yet been peer reviewed, but they add to a mounting body of evidence from around the globe that the coronavirus is remaking how we move, although not necessarily in the ways we may have anticipated.

The pandemic lockdowns and other containment measures during the past six months and counting have altered almost every aspect of our lives, affecting our work, family, education, moods, expectations, social interactions and health.

None of us should be surprised, then, to learn that the pandemic seems also to be transforming whether, when and how we exercise. The nature of those changes, though, remains rather muddled and mutable, according to a number of recent studies. In one, researchers report that during the first few weeks after pandemic-related lockdowns began in the United States and other nations, Google searches related to the word “exercise” spiked and remained elevated for months.

And many people seem to have been using the information they gleaned from those searches by actually exercising more. An online survey conducted in 139 countries by RunRepeat, a company that reviews running shoes, found that a majority of people who had been exercising before the health crisis began reported exercising more often in the early weeks after. A separate survey of almost 1,500 older Japanese adults found that most said they had been quite inactive in the early weeks of lockdowns, but by June, they were walking and exercising as much as ever.

A gloomier June study, however, using anonymized data from more than 450,000 users of a smartphone step-counting app, concluded that, around the world, steps declined substantially after lockdowns began. Average daily steps declined by about 5.5 percent during the first 10 days of a nation’s pandemic lockdowns and by about 27 percent by the end of the first month.

But most of these studies and surveys relied on people recalling their exercise habits, which can be unreliable, or looked at aggregate results, without digging into differences by age, socioeconomic group, gender and other factors, which might turn up telling variations in how people’s exercise habits might have changed during the pandemic.

So, for the new study, which has been posted at a biology preprint site awaiting peer-review, researchers at University College London turned to data from a free, activity-tracking smartphone app available in the United Kingdom and some other nations. The app uses GPS and similar technologies to track how many minutes people had spent walking, running or cycling, and allows users to accumulate exercise points that can be used for monetary or other rewards. (One of the study’s authors works for the app maker but the company did not provide input into the results or analysis of the research, according to the study’s other authors.)

The researchers gathered anonymized data from 5,395 app users living in the United Kingdom who ranged in age from adolescent to older adults. All of them had been using the app since at least January 2020, before the pandemic had spread to that country.

The researchers used data from the app on users’ birth dates and ZIP codes to divide people by age and locale to learn how much they exercised in January. Then they began comparing, first to the early days of social-distancing restrictions in various parts of the United Kingdom, then to the stricter lockdowns that followed and finally, to the dates in midsummer when most lockdowns in that country eased.

They found, unsurprisingly, that almost everyone’s exercise habits changed when the pandemic started. An overwhelming majority worked out less, especially once full lockdowns began — regardless of their gender or socioeconomic status. The drop was most marked among those people who had been the most active before the pandemic and among people under the age of about 40 (who were not always the same people).

After lockdowns lifted or eased, most people began exercising a bit more often, but, in general, only those older than 65 returned to or exceeded their previous minutes of exercise.

The results are surprising, says Abi Fisher, an associate professor of physical activity and health at University College London, who oversaw the new study, “especially because 50 percent of the older group were 70 or older.”

Of course, these older people, like the other men and women in the study, downloaded and used an exercise app, which distinguishes them from a vast majority of people around the world who do not use such apps. The study also looked only at “formal” exercises like walking, running or cycling and not lighter activities like strolling or gardening, which can likewise benefit health and most likely also changed during the pandemic.

And the study tells us nothing about why exercise habits differed for people during the pandemic, although some mixture of circumstance and psychology may very likely be a factor. Older people probably had more free time for exercise than younger adults who are juggling child care, work and other responsibilities during the pandemic, Dr. Fisher says. They also might have developed greater concerns about their immune systems and general health, motivating them to get up and move.

Far more large-scale and long-term research about exercise during the pandemic is needed, she said. But for now, the message of the available research seems to be that we may all want to monitor how much we are moving to help assure that we are exercising enough.

“While it is no surprise that the lockdowns disrupted people’s exercise patterns,” Dr. Fisher said, “we cannot just assume everyone will bounce back once restrictions are lifted. We need to help people to get back to doing regular exercise, within the limits of ongoing pandemic restrictions, of course.”


9 lives
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Discussion Starter #407
This article is for the ladies :) By the Joan Benoit Samuelson cross trains with cycling. Another bonus is the reference to the benefits of a vegan diet! Bonus for me :)

Menopause and Training

In 2019, 40 years after her record-setting 2:35:15 at the Boston Marathon, Joan Benoit Samuelson took on the course with a new goal of finishing within 40 minutes of that original, historic day. She succeeded, with plenty of time to spare, in 3:05:18. She was 61.

Samuelson, who earned a gold medal at the first running of the women’s Olympic marathon in 1984, also holds the 55-59 marathon age group record; 2:50:29 which she set in 2013. The longevity and dedication Samuelson brings to running are awe-inspiring, and allow fresh perspective when contemplating the effects of age on performance.

Lack of Data
While every human’s hormonal balance changes throughout the lifespan, understanding the shift particular to female athletes is often hampered due to a lack of research data. A Sports Medicine article published July 2020 reviewed available historical data related to female hormones and sport performance, noting that “general guidelines on exercise performance across the MC (menstrual cycle) cannot be formed; rather, it is recommended that a personalized approach should be taken based on each individual’s response to exercise performance across the MC.”

The takeaway here: a lack of definitive data means science can’t offer much specific advice on using the MC and hormonal shifts as a guide for peak performance. While female athletes wait for more peer-reviewed studies to emerge, there are some solid approaches to coping with physical and mental changes throughout the lifespan that come from other research or experience. Women over 40 regularly execute incredible endurance performances, demonstrating that while age may change your body, that does not mean abandoning your goals.

Erin Dawson-Chalat MD offered some perspective about the aging female athlete. Dr. Chalat, an OB-GYN based in Maine, didn’t take up competitive running until her forties. At age 52 she ran 3:01:52 at the Chicago Marathon, dominating her age group and has since gone on to numerous finishes under 3:10. Dr. Chalat eats a predominantly plant-based diet, and despite a schedule that requires regular all-nighters, she manages to find enough rest and recovery to allow for long-term goal achievement.

In her experience both working with menopausal women and being one, Dr. Chalat has found that three key topics emerge again and again, specifically: changes to body sleep patterns and body composition; changes to hormonal patterns and period symptoms; and the influence of thoughts or belief systems on performance and mental well-being.

Body Composition, Sleep and Hydration
Two of the most common complaints during the menopausal transition phase are weight gain and disrupted sleep due to shifts in metabolic processes and hormones. Many female athletes are attuned to body composition and the importance of sleep for performance, so this phase can be particularly frustrating.

A 2016 review of masters athletes suggested slower muscle repair after exercise indicates they “may benefit from higher doses of postexercise dietary protein, with particular attention directed to the leucine content of the postexercise bolus.”

While leucine is found highest in animal products, it can also be obtained through soy, nuts and seeds, beans and lentils. In fact, an interesting 2018 study of 754 females over the age of 45 discovered a link between a vegan diet and less-bothersome menopausal symptoms—so don’t feel like you need to get all your protein from meat! Add low-rep, high-weight strength training to that increased protein intake, and you may alleviate some of the body composition changes that seem inevitable with age.

Sleep should also continue to be a focus for anyone seeking peak performance for mind and body. Try to keep sleep and wake times relatively constant, and don’t hesitate to use the power nap as a tool. Studies have found even 5-10 minutes of sleep in the afternoon can refresh the mind and body so you have the energy for that evening workout. If you have difficulty sleeping, avoid caffeine and sugar, and don’t eat right before bed. Keep your bedroom cool and dark, and try chilling out with a book instead of a screen.

Finally, hydrate. According to Dr. Stacy Sims in her book Roar, older women tend to have a higher core temperature than younger women and the hormonal flux can make it harder for them to perform in the heat. She even goes so far as to say that “precooling and hydrating are non-negotiable.”

As you age, it’s more important than ever to go into training and racing fully hydrated and prepared to hydrate throughout. Start the day with hydration and understand that your needs will be higher in the heat. If you are taking on long-distance training and racing, you may even want to consider taking (or re-taking) a sweat test to help pinpoint your sodium and fluid needs.

Hormonal fluctuations occur in all humans and can vary vastly from one individual to another. They also work in patterns, meaning one hormone may signal the release or retention of another—which makes it difficult to equate the release of specific hormones to specific physical effects. Unfortunately with aging, those hormonal patterns become even more erratic, which means that a once-predictable period might begin to become heavier or more scarce, or that you might experience new related symptoms.

It is essential to remember that your performance during your period, even an unpredictable one, is not necessarily diminished. Dr. Chalat points out, “there seems to be a lot of individual variability in how much hormones fluctuate throughout the female cycle and whether those changes influence an athlete’s VO2 max at all.” Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s not inconvenient; one hallmark among aging females is a longer period with heavier bleeding—which is obviously less than ideal during any endurance event.

Dr. Chalat suggests one simple, safe solution: try an IUD (intrauterine device). Developed for birth control, the small amount of progestin released by certain IUDs can also help reduce both the length and severity of the period, leading some doctors to prescribe them during perimenopause. It should, however, be noted that an IUD will not alleviate other menopause-related symptoms such as hot flashes or mood changes.

The Power of Thought
The power of thought is of massive importance. Masters athletes are often disciplined, organized people who manage busy lives and training. While it is essential to accept that your reproductive hormones, over which you have very little control, may not stay predictable, you can choose how you deal with it.

A person’s belief in their capacity to achieve and be successful is called self-efficacy. (Bandura 1977). Basically, if you feel like you will be effective and are competent, you are more likely to take risks and have a positive outcome. In the case of the tidal nature of female hormones, head into the waves ready.

Dr. Chalat concurs, “If you think you will perform poorly in the luteal phase of your cycle, this very well may contribute to poor performance.” While this advice applies to almost any area of performance, it helps to apply it specifically to your physical changes during the menopause transition. Recognizing that changes happen and taking steps to work within your new framework can help you stay on track and even make athletic pursuits more rewarding.

Age doesn’t have to be a barrier to continued enjoyment and success in endurance sport participation. There are so many strong aging female athletes out there reminding us all that it’s possible to manage change and maximize potential throughout your entire athletic career. As an athlete, you already know how to tap the benefits of proper diet, sleep, hydration and exercise for peak human performance. Roll with the changes while keeping a positive outlook, and you’ll continue to be your best, most powerful self. Carrie McCusker is a level 2 TrainingPeaks coach and a lifelong athlete who enjoys bringing individual attention to every level of athlete. You can find her on Strava and Instagram or check out her coach profile at TrainingPeaks.

9 lives
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Discussion Starter #408
This study has a small sample (28) so the findings here is likely due to chance. However there’s no question that exercise is healthy, both physically and mentally, ... and many of us have benefitted greatly from resistance training. When combined with cardio (and done regularly) the results are significant .

Weight Training May Help Ease Anxiety


Roiled by concerns about the pandemic and politics? Lifting weights might help, according to a timely new study of anxiety and resistance training. The study, which involved healthy young adults, barbells and lunges, indicates that regular weight training substantially reduces anxiety, a finding with particular relevance during these unsettling, bumpy days.

We already have plenty of evidence that exercise helps stave off depression and other mental ills, and that exercise can elevate feelings of happiness and contentment. But most past studies of exercise and moods have looked at the effects of aerobic exercise, like running on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike.

Scientists only recently have begun to investigate whether and how weight training might also affect mental health. A 2018 review of studies, for instance, concluded that adults who lift weights are less likely to develop depression than those who never lift. In another study, women with clinical anxiety disorders reported fewer symptoms after taking up either aerobic or weight training.

But many of these studies involved frequent and complicated sessions of resistance exercise performed under the eyes of researchers, which is not how most of us are likely to work out. They also often focused on somewhat narrow groups, such as men or women with a diagnosed mental health condition like depression or an anxiety disorder, limiting their applicability.

So for the new study, which was published in October in Scientific Reports, researchers at the University of Limerick in Ireland and other institutions decided to see if a simple version of weight training could have benefits for mood in people who already were in generally good mental health.

To find out, they recruited 28 physically healthy young men and women and tested their current moods, with a particular emphasis on whether the volunteers felt anxious. All the participants scored in a healthy range on detailed anxiety questionnaires.

The scientists then divided these well-adjusted volunteers into two groups. Half were asked to continue with their normal lives as a control group. The others began to weight train, a practice with which few were familiar.

The scientists had devised a helpfully simple resistance training routine for them, based around health guidelines from the World Health Organization and the American College of Sports Medicine. Both those organizations recommend muscle strengthening at least twice a week, and that’s what the volunteers began doing. After initial instruction from the researchers, the volunteers took up a basic program of lunges, lifts, squats and crunches, sometimes using dumbbells and other equipment.

Their training continued for eight weeks. Throughout, both groups periodically repeated the tests of their anxiety levels, including at the end of the full program. (After the study ended, the control group was given the option of starting the weight training routine.)

As expected, the control group, for the most part, retained their original low levels of anxiety. They still felt about as tranquil as eight weeks before.

But the weight trainers scored about 20 percent better on the tests of anxiety. They had started with low levels of anxiety to begin with, but felt even less anxious now.

This effect was “larger than anticipated,” says Brett Gordon, currently a postdoctoral scholar at the Penn State Cancer Institute at Penn State College of Medicine, who was a co-author of the study with Matthew Herring, Cillian McDowell and Mark Lyons. The benefits for mental health were greater, in fact, than those often seen in studies of aerobic exercise and anxiety. But Dr. Gordon cautions that such comparisons are limited, since the various experiments use different amounts of exercise and measures of moods.

The new study also did not delve into how weight training can affect anxiety. But Dr. Gordon and his colleagues suspect increased physical and psychological potency figure in. The lifters became stronger over time and able to lift heavier weights. “Feelings of mastery may have occurred” then, he says, leaving people feeling generally more capable of coping. Molecular changes in the lifters’ muscles and brain likely also occurred and contributed to improvements in their moods, he says, noting that future studies may help to detail some of those changes.

Or course, this experiment featured only healthy young people performing one version of training, so the findings cannot tell us if lifting likewise eases anxiety in older people. Nor can it tell us which regimen might be enough, too much or just the right amount to bolster mental health. Finally, it also does not prove that heading to the gym today can acutely soothe any mental turmoil we may be feeling, since the improvements in the study showed up after weeks of training.

But if you are feeling tense and uptight, as so many of us are these days, becoming stronger is probably a worthwhile goal and need not be intimidating, Dr. Gordon says. “There are numerous ways to strength train with little to no equipment,” he says. “Try common body weight exercises, such as push-ups, situps or squats, or use household items as weights.”



7,351 Posts
Weight Training May Help Ease Anxiety...
Keep those links coming. I'm spreading them around where they do the most good. I know someone who could benefit from this one. :)
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1,411 Posts
It's good that weight training reduces anxiety, but as the above video shows, that sort of thing tends to go horribly wrong without a trainer. The idea of setting foot in a gym during the pandemic fills me with anxiety and the experts say it very well should do. Home exercise equipment is just about unobtainium.

But I have firewood to sp

1,832 Posts
It's good that weight training reduces anxiety, but as the above video shows, that sort of thing tends to go horribly wrong without a trainer. The idea of setting foot in a gym during the pandemic fills me with anxiety and the experts say it very well should do. Home exercise equipment is just about unobtainium.

Most people can go to a librairy and barrow a book about body weight exercices. There are lots of exercises to be done. It is not just limited to pushups.

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Discussion Starter #414
How Exercise Might Affect Immunity to Lower Cancer Risk

Working out may enhance the immune system’s ability to target and eradicate cancer cells, a study in mice suggests.

Exercise may help to fight cancer by changing the inner workings of certain immune cells, according to an important new study in mice of how running affects tumors. The study involved rodents but could also have implications for understanding how exercise might affect cancer in people as well.

We already have considerable and compelling evidence that exercise alters our risks of developing or dying from malignancies. In a large-scale 2016 epidemiological study, for instance, highly active people were found to be much less likely to develop 13 different types of cancer than people who rarely moved.

Likewise, a review of past research released last year by the American College of Sports Medicine concluded that regular exercise may reduce our risks of developing some cancers by as much as 69 percent. That analysis also found that exercise may improve treatment outcomes and prolong life in people who already have cancer.

But it is not yet fully clear how working out may affect tumors. Animal studies show that exercise lessens inflammation and may otherwise make the body’s internal environment less hospitable to malignancies. But fundamental questions remain unanswered about the interplay of exercise and cancer.

So, recently, a group of scientists from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and other institutions began to wonder about white blood cells. Part of the immune system, white blood cells play a key role in our defense against cancer by noting, navigating to and often annihilating malignant cells. Researchers have known for some time that different types of immune cells tend to target different types of cancer. But little has been known about if and how exercise affects any of these immune cells and if those changes might somehow be contributing to exercise’s cancer-blunting effects.

Now, for the new study, which was published in October in eLife, the scientists in Sweden decided to learn more by inoculating mice with different types of cancer cells and letting some of the rodents run, while others remained sedentary. After several weeks, the researchers saw that some of the runners showed little evidence of tumor growth. More intriguing, most of these active mice had been inoculated with cancer cells that are known to be particularly vulnerable to a specific type of immune cell, known as CD8+ T cells, which tend, primarily, to fight certain forms of breast cancer and other solid tumors.

Perhaps, the researchers speculated, exercise was having particular impacts on those immune cells.

To find out, they then chemically blocked the action of these T cells in animals carrying tumor cells and let them run. After several weeks and despite being active, the animals without functioning CD8+ T cells showed significant tumor growth, suggesting that the CD8+ cells, when working, must be a key part of how exercise helps to stave off some cancers.

For further confirmation, the scientists then isolated CD8+ T cells from animals that had run and those that had not. They then injected one or the other type of T cells into sedentary, cancer-prone animals. Animals that received immune cells from the runners subsequently fought off tumors noticeably better than animals that had received immune cells from inactive mice.

These results surprised and excited the researchers, says Randall Johnson, a professor of molecular physiology with dual appointments at the University of Cambridge in England and the Karolinska Institute, who oversaw the new study. They seemed to demonstrate “that the effect of exercise on the T cells is intrinsic to the cells themselves and is persistent,” he says.

In other words, exercise had changed the cells in ways that lasted.

But what, the scientists wondered, was exercise doing to the cells that made them extra effective at fighting tumors? To explore that question, the researchers let some mice run until they tired themselves out, while others sat quietly. They then drew blood from both groups and put the samples through a sophisticated machine that notes and counts all of the molecules there.

The blood samples turned out to be quite different at a molecular level. The runners’ blood contained far more substances related to fueling and metabolism, with especially high levels of lactate, which is produced in abundance by working muscles. Perhaps, the scientists speculated, lactate was affecting the runners’ T cells?

So, they added lactate to CD8+ T cells isolated from mice and grown in dishes and found that these cells became more active when faced with cancer cells than other T cells. Basically, having marinated in lactate, they became better cancer fighters.

In simpler terms, Dr. Johnson says, “It does seem from our studies that these T cells are potently affected by exercise.”

Of course, his and his colleagues’ experiments involved mice, not people. We humans also produce extra lactate and other related molecules after exercise (which the researchers confirmed in a final portion of their study, by drawing blood from people after a run and analyzing its molecular composition). But whether our CD8+ T cells respond in precisely the same way to working out remains uncertain.

The study also does not show if all exercise has the same effects on T cells or whether some workouts might be more beneficial than others for amping up these cells’ powers. It also does not suggest that exercise reduces cancer risk and progression solely by strengthening these cells. More likely, being active affects how well our bodies deal with malignancies in multiple and perhaps interlinked ways.

Dr. Johnson and his colleagues plan to explore many of these issues in future studies, he says.


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15,604 Posts
Discussion Starter #415
4 Common Strength Training Mistakes Masters Athletes Make

Over the years of playing or participating in any sport, our body goes through changes and adaptations to help us better get into the positions and movements for that sport. While our body is trying its best, cycling and triathlon can lead to poor posture and a loss of range of motion at many of the joints. Luckily, with an intelligent strength training program, you can avoid these negative changes and instead bolster your in-sport abilities and boost your performances.

Here are four common mistakes masters make when it comes to strength training for their sport, and how to avoid them.

Myth: Focusing on mimicking sport movements

Many athletes who are new to strength training for sport performance make the mistake of thinking that in order to get better at their sport, they need to strength train in the same movement patterns as their chosen sport.

Baseball is a great example of this. With its specific throwing and batting movements, you’d think that baseball players are simply going into the weightroom and performing similar movements, yet when you look at well-designed programs from the best in the business, you’ll notice that less than 15 percent of most programed movements match those of the sport. Close to 40 percent counter the movements dominant in the sport, helping the athlete maintain balance.

Work on balancing out the imbalances that occur in our sport. Working on good breathing patterns, thoracic extension, pulling, and rotary stability give you some of the biggest returns on investment.

Exercise to utilize:

The Suitcase Deadlift—three sets of eight each side

Myth: Weight training only in the off-season or base phase

Strength, just like metabolic fitness, falls off when the individual is not constantly being pushed beyond their baseline. In as little as two weeks, one can see a drop in strength and explosiveness if the system is not challenged.

This doesn’t mean that you should be lifting heavy things all year, but it does mean that if one learns how to build an intelligently-designed strength training program, they can reap massive benefits throughout the season through nontraditional variations of exercises that provide massive bang for the buck.

Exercise to utilize
Double Kettlebell Hover Deadlifts—three sets of eight with two- to three-second “hover”

Myth: Not training heavy

Training with heavy weights—those that challenge you at a seven or eight on a scale of one to 10—is very important. Integral, in fact!

Lifting heavy things challenges our bodies to coordinate itself in ways that can supercharge our results. It creates intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) to stabilize our spine, uses our prime movers to pick up a weight or put it down, and engages our stabilizers to keep the joints in their optimal positions to execute the task.

Don’t get too excited here—heavy weights do not, and should not be one-repetition maximums. We don’t have a need for that kind of work as triathletes, and more importantly, we do not have the tissue adaptations necessary to properly deal with and distribute the forces exerted on the tissues and structures of the body.

Sets of three and four repetitions of prime exercises such as deadlifts off of blocks, bench press, seated rows, and front squats are all incredibly useful when you understand when, how and why to program them into a training plan for an athlete. Also understand how they shouldn’t be incorporated into a training plan. For example, don’t hit the gym and immediately go into heavy weights. You first need to go through two stages in the strength training cycle—anatomical adaptations and hypertrophy.

Learn how to write intelligently designed strength training programs & when to incorporate heavy strength training, here.

Myth: Training explosively (plyometrics) without a solid and balanced base of strength

Many cyclists head to the gym and immediately start blowing through plyometrics. Four sets of 20 and three sets of 10 high box jumps, and three-plus minutes of high-intensity jump rope are all fairly popular exercises in the cycling community.

These exercises are extremely hard on the joints, as when done in such large quantities (and with poor posture and joint position), can lead to not only unnecessary wear and tear on the joints, but also decreased performances.

If you really want to get the most out of your plyometrics, learn how to get what’s called triple extension—the extension of the ankles, knees, and hips. This should come after first working to balance out your muscular imbalances, and learning how to get into powerful postures that protect your joints, not expose them to forces they aren’t built to deal with.

Also, learn how to land. Simply learning how to absorb the forces of jumping through the muscles, and not in the joints, allows the muscle tissue to become more spring-like, as well as helps you have a much longer, and more successful career.

Exercise to utilize:

Hands on hips vertical and absorb—three sets of five repetitions


73 year old Arnold still lifts and rides :)

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Discussion Starter #416
To Lose Weight With Exercise, Aim for 300 Minutes a Week


Can exercise help us shed pounds? An interesting new study involving overweight men and women found that working out can help us lose weight, in part by remodeling appetite hormones. But to benefit, the study suggests, we most likely have to exercise a lot — burning at least 3,000 calories a week. In the study, that meant working out six days a week for up to an hour, or around 300 minutes a week.

The relationship between working out and our waistlines is famously snarled. The process seems as if it should be straightforward: We exercise, expend calories and, if life and metabolisms were just, develop an energy deficit. At that point, we would start to use stored fat to fuel our bodies’ continuing operations, leaving us leaner.

But our bodies are not always cooperative. Primed by evolution to maintain energy stores in case of famine, our bodies tend to undermine our attempts to drop pounds. Start working out and your appetite rises, so you consume more calories, compensating for those lost.

The upshot, according to many past studies of exercise and weight loss, is that most people who start a new exercise program without also strictly monitoring what they eat do not lose as much weight as they expect — and some pack on pounds.

But Kyle Flack, an assistant professor of nutrition at the University of Kentucky, began to wonder a few years ago if this outcome was inevitable. Maybe, he speculated, there was a ceiling to people’s caloric compensations after exercise, meaning that if they upped their exercise hours, they would compensate for fewer of the lost calories and lose weight.

For a study published in 2018, he and his colleagues explored that idea, asking overweight, sedentary men and women to start exercising enough that they burned either 1,500 or 3,000 calories a week during their workouts. After three months, the researchers checked everyone’s weight loss, if any, and used metabolic calculations to determine how many calories the volunteers had consumed in compensation for their exertions.

The total, it turned out, was an average of about 1,000 calories a week of compensatory eating, no matter how much people had worked out. By that math, the men and women who had burned 1,500 calories a week with exercise had clawed back all but about 500 calories a week of their expenditures, while those burning through 3,000 calories with exercise ended up with a net weekly deficit of about 2,000 calories. (No one’s overall metabolic rate changed much.)

Unsurprisingly, the group exercising the most lost weight; the others did not.


But that study left many questions unanswered, Dr. Flack felt. The participants had performed similar, supervised workouts, walking moderately for 30 or 60 minutes, five times a week. Would varying lengths or frequencies of workouts matter to people’s caloric compensation? And what was driving people’s eating? Did the differing amounts of exercise affect people’s appetite hormones differently?

To find out, he and his colleagues decided to repeat much of the earlier experiment, but with novel exercise schedules this time. So, for the new study, which was published in November in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, they gathered another group of 44 sedentary, overweight men and women, checked their body compositions, and asked half of them to start exercising twice a week, for at least 90 minutes, until they had burned about 750 calories a session, or 1,500 for the week. They could work out however they wished — many chose to walk, but some chose other activities — and they wore a heart rate monitor to track their efforts.

The rest of the volunteers began exercising six times a week for about 40 to 60 minutes, burning close to 500 calories a session, for a weekly total of about 3,000 a week. The researchers also drew blood, to check on the levels of certain hormones that can affect people’s appetites.

After 12 weeks, everyone returned to the lab, where the researchers refigured body compositions, repeated the blood draws and began calculating compensations.

And again, they found a compensatory threshold of about 1,000 calories. As a consequence, only the men and women in the group that had exercised the most — six days a week, for a total of 3,000 calories — had shed much weight, dropping about four pounds of body fat.

Interestingly, the researchers did uncover one unexpected difference between the groups. Those burning about 3,000 calories a week showed changes now in their bodies’ levels of leptin, an appetite hormone that can reduce appetite. These alterations suggested that exercise had increased the exercisers’ sensitivity to the hormone, enabling them to better regulate their desire to eat. There were no comparable hormonal changes in the men and women working out less.

In essence, Dr. Flack says, the new experiment “reinforces the earlier finding” that most of us will eat more if we exercise, but only up to about the 1,000-calories-a-week inflection point. If we somehow can manage to burn more than that amount with exercise, we probably can drop weight.

But, of course, burning thousands of calories a week with exercise is daunting, Dr. Flack says. Plus, this study lasted only a few months, and cannot tell us whether later changes to our appetites or metabolisms would augment or undercut any subsequent fat declines.

Still, for those of us hoping that exercise might help us trim our waistlines during the coming holidays, the more we can move, it seems, the better.



9 lives
15,604 Posts
Discussion Starter #417
A nippy 3km warm up run this evening at -16c. We kept the juices flowing with front squats (6reps x5 sets). Ending with a good 30 min conditioning session of pull ups, thrusters and skipping. Daily workouts for gains and maintenance. Happy Hump day!



9 lives
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Discussion Starter #418
Principals of Crossfit! It's workouts like these utilizing our homegym that are keeping Chris and I strong year round and allow us to continue to make gains in our other sports like dirt biking, short and distance running and mountain biking. The max strength test is a good measure for baseline. 1) 3 rep maximum: Back Squat, Overhead Press and Deadlift The High intensity interval training workout is also a great conditioning measure as well 2) 5min AMRAP 10 cal on the assault bike, 6 box over burpees and 6 shoulder presses. These athletes are impressive! But keep in mind they are probably in their 20s or 30s :)


No good in rock gardens..
4,426 Posts
I'm 52 and been lifting for many years.

I no longer do squats as my knees were starting to give me some ominous warning signs from years of heavy squatting - aches, clicks, etc.

I just to isolation stuff for legs now and keep the volume fairly low so I can ride or hike whenever I need to and not feel sore or sluggish.

I always found I could lift heavy and cycle a day or two later, so long as I kept the volume low. High volume was the problem - soreness made cycling a chore.

I still train hard on my upper body but I only lift twice a week now, normally a full body workout each time. I do a high rep day and a low rep day.

The only potential negative is that I'm very heavy for my height, largely due to muscularity. I'm under 5'7" and weigh 220lbs...

I'm not a racer so it don't matter if I take a while to winch myself up the hills. :)

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I'm approaching 52 in a handful of weeks. I spent my high school and college days lifting very heavy for football and shot put and discus throws. After all of that came to an end, the lifting continued. I still teach health and fitness, I have trained some high-level professional athletes along the way as well as helping out local high school programs volunteering in their training. I love lifting and the challenge. What I've learned is, lifting is eternal. My 80-year-old dad still hits the gym hard and it's the reason he's still going strong, no pun intended. I adapted, and actually still use the same powerlifting routines I used in college. I just listen to the body, I lift lighter weights, and when something is sore, irritated, or causing complications I change up the routine or use a different exercise group until it heals.
Running, and more specifically riding helps all of it. They all fit hand in hand. The lifting makes for more pedal power, the running enhances the endurance, and the cycling loosens the muscles and lengthens the joints...making for better lifting.
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