We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Doctors, researchers, scientists--even ancient philosophers--have long claimed exercise works like a miracle drug. Now they have proof.
As I have said before, a rigorous exercise program might not extend your life. It will definitely enhance and extend your quality of life even if you begin it at any age. Everybody knows that they ought to do it, but it's hard and it hurts and we're lazy and "busy." Plus there is that terrible part: delayed gratification. Everybody hates that. As I say, "The flesh is willing but the spirit is weak."
Our quite well-informed recommendations for general fitness and conditioning for the ordinary person who wants to achieve or maintain maximal functionality for life:
1. Nutrition: Don't be visibly overweight - it's the worst thing you can do to yourself besides being an addict, and no exercise can help being fat. Does a demanding exercise program require a specific pattern of nutrition? Yes. We have discussed that in previous posts here. With a serious exercise program, you have to keep up with the protein and fats - approx. 70-90 gms of protein/day. 2. Weight training - as heavy as possible, approx 50 minutes twice a week 3. 1-2 hrs total of calisthenics/wk for mobility, balance, and athleticism 4. 2 or 3 twenty-min sessions of cardio intervals/wk (HIIT). (For HIIT, I do stairs once, elliptical once, rowing once. Occasionally sprints in the pool.) Can add an hour of endurance cardio.
Under age 35, it can take 12 months to be whipped into decent shape. Over 35-40, depending on your fitness starting point, 18-24 months. Intense sports like basketball can substitute for calisthenics. Yoga is excellent, but does not substitute for any of the above. Many men find Yoga to be quite challenging and helpful. Lots of pro football players do it. If your day job is physical, all of the above recommendations would differ.
Excellent article and discussion, however, don’t be discouraged if you don’t have over a year to get in shape. I turned around my physical health in less than a year at age 69 by (1) following exactly the Reversing Heart disease diet from Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and (2) by weight training 90 min per week, cardio 90+ min per week, and and active lifestyle of biking and bowling. BMI from 25 to 19 and no more angina. Didn’t cost me a penny and all my labs are excellent, all within months. In fact, within 3 days, my blood pressure and pulse were in the low normal range and have continued there. Of course, no added fat, no processed foods, no animal products, but I eat lots of nitric oxide generating cooked greens throughout the day. I personally decided to remove alcohol from my diet, which I believe hastened weight loss. Feel 20 years younger with no aches or pains despite regularly pushing my limits at the gym. Anyone can do this!