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We evolved to exercise and need high levels of physical activity to be healthy

We evolved to exercise and need high levels of physical activity to be healthy

Preface. This is my summary of Herman Pontzer’s 2019 “Evolved to exercise. Unlike our ape cousins, humans require high levels of physical activity to be healthy” in Scientific America. As fossils decline, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll use more muscle power, so get in shape now…

Also, your personality as measured by the Big Five Personality traits will be better if you exercise. Couch potatoes are less conscientious, open, agreeable, and extroverted. The link with exercise was relatively strong. Physical activity predicted personality better than disease burden did (Stephan 2018).

***

Apes are a lot like us, orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos share over 97% of our DNA. But the differences are interesting. Our bodies changed dramatically over the past two million years with a larger brain, invented tools, language, hunted and gathered, and our survival depended on lots of physical activity.

We couldn’t just sit around like chimpanzees and eat fruit all morning, nap, groom, then gorge on figs, hang out with friends, group, another nap, and more fruit and some leaves. Likewise, oranguatans and gorillas are also idle and sedentary, spending 8 to 10 hours resting and then 9 or 10 sleeping, walk about 1.8 miles a day and climb about 330 feet, equal to another mile of walking.

Humans who try to slack off this much risk serious health problems. Without at least 10,000 steps a day, the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and metabolic disease increases. Sitting at a desk or in front of a TV for long times ias also associated with an increased risk of illness and a shorter life span. Basically, physical inactivity is on par with smoking as a health risk.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Fitness without the Long, Grueling Workout

Fitness without the Long, Grueling Workout 

Pondering what Nature selected as advantageous in our long existence as hunter-gatherers helps us understand why walking and occasional short bursts of intensive exercise together yield the vast majority of the benefits of exercise/fitness.

What if there was a way to get rich by merely investing a modest amount of money weekly? Who wouldn’t want to join the program? Our health is our only real wealth, and fitness is like the modest investment that yields multiples of the investment made.

Since our culture is based on commerce and marketing, extreme sports are front and center: professional athletes, daredevils performing insanely dangerous stunts, oldsters running marathons, and so on.

The subtext of this media coverage implies that athletics and fitness are unattainable by us average people who have neither the time nor inclination to pursue extreme training.

This media glorification leaves a lot of decidedly unglorious reality out of the picture. Extreme training often leads to extreme injuries–but you won’t see any injuries except in carefully edited stories in which an extreme athlete recovers from a horrendous accident by sheer willpower and arduous training.

Left out are those who don’t recover despite their willpower and arduous training.

Scientific research is giving us a much more realistic, practical and attainable understanding of increasing and maintaining a level of fitness that yields tremendous health benefits with relatively modest effort.

As discussed in a previous blog post (The “Miracle Cure”: Walking), we’re selected/engineered to walk, and so the simple inclusion of walking in our lives yields enormous benefits in everything from mental health, lowering our risk of dementia, strenghening our immune response and so on.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Just 3 sessions of aerobic exercise per week can relieve clinical depression

Just 3 sessions of aerobic exercise per week can relieve clinical depression

Image: Just 3 sessions of aerobic exercise per week can relieve clinical depression

(Natural News) A systematic review published in the journal Depression and Anxietysuggests that aerobic exercise has significant antidepressant effects for people with clinical depression. More specifically, the review reported that three 45-minute sessions of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week may relieve clinical depression.

A team of researchers from Greece, the U.K., and Canada evaluated the antidepressant effects of aerobic exercise on people suffering from clinical depression. The research team looked at 11 studies with a total of 455 adult participants.

Instead of taking antidepressant drugs – which is the conventional treatment for depression – the participants underwent supervised moderate-intensity aerobic exercise for an average of 45 minutes, thrice a week for a period of 9.2 weeks. (Related: Stopping exercise can plunge people back into depression after only THREE DAYS, study concludes.)

The results showed that the exercise routine significantly improved the symptoms of depression, regardless of their severity. In addition, in trials for individuals with a lower risk of clinical depression, aerobic exercise produced moderate-to-large antidepressant effects. For trials with short?term exercise interventions or up to four weeks, exhibited large antidepressant effects.

Based on these findings, the research team concluded that aerobic exercise can relieve symptoms of depression and may be used as an effective treatment for this mental illness.

More on depression

Depression is a life-threatening and burdensome mental illness. In recent years, the number of people suffering from this mental illness has increased. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 300 million people around the world suffer from depression. Furthermore, it is estimated that 15 percent of the adult population will experience depression at some point in their lives.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Basics of Exercise and Staying in Shape Over the Holidays

Basics of Exercise and Staying in Shape Over the Holidays

If you begin a program and stick to it, then with discipline and work, you’ll see the results in no time.
Now is a good time to reassess yourself in terms of physical fitness and where you are. You have about a month and a half to get into good habits (if you haven’t already done so) before the usual load of body-emulsifying fats of the holidays are pumped in your direction.

If you are just beginning and can begin at least a three-day program for yourself during the week, all the better. Let’s start with the basics: What do you want for yourself? Are you looking to trim fat, or is that not a problem? Do you want size and muscle mass? Do you want to be toned and lean?

Endurance Training and Strength Training

  1. Aerobic/Endurance Training: This type of exercise is meant to develop the cardiovascular (heart), respiratory (lungs), and metabolic (digestion, absorption, and excretion) systems. Aerobic training helps you to control weight. The following (non-exhaustive) list outlines aerobic training activities: walking, jogging, running, swimming, bicycling, and aerobics (in the form of exercises, dance, or a combination). Sports that are aerobic in nature that develop endurance of those three systems mentioned are tennis, basketball, long-distance races/competitions, and triathlons, the latter being the pinnacle of endurance tests.
  2. Strength Training: This is also called Resistance training, and it amounts to weight training or lifting weights. Now, the AMA (American Medical Association) standard for Resistance Training is to find out your 1RM (one rep maximum) for a weightlifting exercise. Then take ½ of this and attempt to perform the exercise for 10 repetitions. Sounds pretty canned, and it is: keep in mind it is a basic concept that you can use as a starting point.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Ultimate 30-Minute Travel Workout 

The Ultimate 30-Minute Travel Workout 

We should never underestimate or neglect the importance of physical training in your life.  This piece is for those of you who travel frequently during the week…overnighters or for a few days, at a distance not too far.  More than 15 million people do this per week.

Truck drivers are self-sufficient folks; however, this article is for them, too.  Businessmen and those who make commutes of about a hundred miles or so with a one to two-day layover by vehicle may benefit from this piece.  What we’re talking about is toting some of your weights with you, in your vehicle.  Dumbbells are what I’m referring to here, with a “short-term” workout you may find to your benefit.  Traveling businesspeople and salesmen are not immune to needing physical training, so this may help them, too.

Don’t Forget to Pack Your Weights!

There are many motels and hotels that we are obliged to stay in, whether directed by our firms (and paid for) or paid out-of-pocket…budget “rest stops” to cut down on the costs.  Most of the time these places do not have weight room facilities or perks: they’re just a room with a roof over your head.  Take a set of dumbbells with you in the trunk of your vehicle and give yourself a workout in the morning.

 Let’s suggest some exercises for you:

Biceps and Triceps Day

  1. Alternating Curl –  3-5 Sets/8 Reps
  2. Triceps Extensions – 3-5 Sets/8 Reps
  3. Wrist Rolls –  3 Sets/20 Reps
  4. Radial Curls – 3 Sets/8 Reps

Chest and Shoulders Day

  1. Dumbbell Bench Press – 3-5 Sets/8 Reps
  2. Dumbbell Military Press – 3 Sets/8 Reps
  3. Shoulder Shrugs – 3 Sets/8 Reps

Lower Body

  1. Abs (Right, Left, Center) – 3 sets of 10 reps (beginners)
  2. Wall Squats (with or without weights in your lap) – 3 sets: 30 to 1 min for beginners
  3. Flutter Kicks – 3 sets of 10 (8-count), with 30 to 1:00 min rest between

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Physical Fitness and Survival: Why Your Body Needs Recovery Time

Physical Fitness and Survival: Why Your Body Needs Recovery Time

We often focus on tasks to do: physical exercise, and numerous physically-demanding work, such as woodcutting, building, gardening, snow removal, and so forth.  I have written in several pieces about the importance of recovery, but I am emphasizing it here in-depth.  Most people are so busy in the course of the day that they neglect to take the time to physically recover from what they have done…and recover properly.

Your Body’s Recovery is Important

Such a recovery means more than just simple rest.  It entails nutrition and understanding how the human body’s physiology works.  As I have stressed in the past, your protein intake is critical to tissue repair.  I also emphasized how you must take in protein and carbohydrates within a ½ hour at the conclusion of demanding physical exercise that lasts one hour or more.  You may also have to increase that protein/carbohydrate intake more frequently.

If you have worked a physically-demanding occupation, you may have a good basis for understanding already of these concepts and it may just be a matter of touching upon some of the finer points.  Construction workers put in 8, 10, or 12 hour days with only a couple of short breaks and a lunch break in the middle.  A tremendous amount of hydration is required during their day.  Your muscles are 80% water.  Stands to reason that dehydration means a loss of muscle tissue.

Remember glycogen that I mentioned in earlier articles?  When you work hard physically or exercise, glycogen is converted into glucose to fuel your body.  This is taken directly from stores in your body.  After that glycogen is depleted and you’ve “hit the wall,” then your body will break down its own proteins in the form of muscle tissue and converts those proteins to glycogen.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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