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Tuesday, January 9. 2018
In my view, physical fitness is mainly for full-life functionality, energy, and fun - not to prevent death. Delaying death is fine, of course, if the life before death arrives is full, productive, and physically, mentally, and spiritually engaging.
In civilized cultures, generally your odds are almost 50/50 heart disease or cancer unless you are one of those who just dies from decrepitude, feebleness, and general body rot. What's your preference? Mine is to go via a quick cardiac arrythmia or a stroke while doing something fun, and too far from any medical help that might force me to survive with a nasty disability which would damage my dignity and make me a burden on others.
Everybody in western cultures has some degree of arterial disease after age 40 or 50 whether it is diagnosable or not. It's part of ageing, especially in an affluent society with plenty of good antibiotics available to make sure you don't die of pneumonia.
If you care, this study suggests that stressful aerobic cardio exercise 5 days/week is beneficial for cardiac health. That means keeping your heart rate at around 65-70% of your max for an hour. That is neither easy not comfortable because it means to stay intensely aerobic, ie huffing and puffing and sweating - but at a rate to be able to keep it up. In fact, it's a bitch to do. That's why few do it.
More efficient to do anaerobic HIIT in my opinion. They didn't study that.
A bit more below the fold -
Cardiac vitality is not the whole of fitness. All I can fit into my routine is one or two high-octane cardio/calisthenic classes weekly. In my "Balanced" program, I also need 2 days of weights to stay strong, and time to do my accessory exercises and my jump rope, and maybe my Long Endurance "cardio" (which is not real cardio but is better than sitting and counts as an "Active Recovery" day).
Weights and Yoga obviously showed no cardio benefits. Why would they? They are strength-maintenance, and just one fourth of general fitness. What's a General Functional Fitness program? It is a combo of appropriate Nutrition to be strong with little body fat to lug around, plus Cardio, Strength/Weights, and Athleticism Training/Calisthenics.
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The benefit to the stressful aerobic exercise is that it’s the cheapest and most time efficient. You can run for free (apart fr price of shoes and later orthopedic surgery on knees...). Also, it burns up the most calories (blubber reduction) in the least time. You don’t have to hang around a germy gym, be bullied by an expensive drill sergeant personal trainer. Pushing yourself aerobically for over 30 minutes instantly elevates mood, reduces stress. So,good for mental health. And helps one think and solve problems...
A gym is good because most of us are competitive and seeing others exercising may motivate us when feeling slothful. And certainly lifting weights, etc are good for you, but if you hate calisthenics, you’re not going to do it.
As a former dancer and then marathoner, I don’t much enjoy the feeble elliptical (tho I push my pace on it) or swimming a mile or two wh is about all I do since damaging knees. But they do reduce stress and tone one a bit, and I hate them less than lifting weights. I miss running awfully....Thing is, and I am hardly alone in this, when you have bad knees you basically can’t do most exercise classes, most yoga standing poses and many other typical ways people exercise. While postponing the dread knee surgery, one therefore chooses less pounding, less painful ways of staying healthy. Hiking. Easy Hill climbing. Horseback riding (tho that is better exercise for the horse)
The reason to care about the cardiac benefits of aerobic exercise is that tho most of us wd prefer selfishly to die via quick heart attack, this is incredibly hard on loved ones left behind. Also, the way aerobic exercise helps us not only make our hearts beat better but improves overall blood circulation, wh keeps us thinking better longer into old age AND improves quality of life in all kinds of ways. I have also read recently that it slows the progress of Parkinson’s. So it is NOT just something to avoid death but to FEEL more alive while we still are.
But you ARE admirably disciplined about your regime of physical self torture. A good example. You would probably have been a flagellant in the Middle Ages, tho...I think the benefits of brutal physical exercise regimes probably redound more to the soul than the body. Overcoming sloth, negativism, fatalism, flabbiness—being resolute and all that. Humbling pride, and good for one’s Character, and that matters more than the body anyway...
Your strong bias against weight-lifting has likely contributed DIRECTLY to your knee issue!
Stronger muscles in your legs and lower back help stabilize your skeletal system including your knees, which knees have ONLY muscles to rely upon for stability!
I surmise a solid old-style weight-lifting coach, using a "Starting Strength" or similar program could greatly assist improving your knees' functions, (Not to mention your mental well-being!) if you dropped your un-informed prejudice and started lifting!.
Obviously, one need not strive to look like a young Arnold Schwarzenegger in order to benefit greatly from weight-lifting regimen. You don't need to be "pumped" (as mocked by SNL), but, you do need to be strong to be healthy and fully functional!
Go on YouTube and find the video of the 90 yr. old woman who gave up her walker after engaging in a "Starting Strength" weight-lifting program...Inspiring!
With work and all my other activities and obligations I don't see how I fit in exercise that gets and keeps my heart rate at 70% of max for an hour, five days per week.
I am a believer in exercise. I believe it improves physical health and can extend your life. But life is kinda a crap shoot and the best thing you can do for your health and longevity is choose your parents wisely.
I always took good care of my body, exercised and ate healthy balanced meals. Into older age my crappy heredity kicked in and my father's family's bad lungs and heart are going to kill me. They all smoked liked chimneys , never exercised, drank alcohol and ate pretty poorly, I did none of those things and still am trying to stay alive and kind of active. Those inherited problems keep me from doing more exercise even though I want to. You are right, choose good parents and heredity.
There is an alternative:
Japanese niko-niko jogging
A more detailed technical article on how it works:
A few years ago a friend and team mate on my soccer team had a heart attack and died. At his funeral it was stated more than once that he died doing something he loved and what a comfort that was to them..
The other night my wife told me she'd be okay if I dropped over while on the soccer field... I said I'd rather go in a more intimate activity with her.... she didn't like that idea just to hard to explain..
I hate running/jogging. I have learned in my somewhat long life that the only reason one should ever run is "away". To that end I lift weights and do a fair amount of cycling. If I ever have to run away I will do my best. I have also learned to keep the tools for self defense near by. To prevent uneccessary running. Physical fitness really is the key to a long and healthy life. I have had to watch my dad fade away from the CPOD that robs him of his youthful vigor. And his intelligent zest for life. He is 88 and tied to an oxygen tank. I aim to avoid that fate for me. I hope I haven't spent my last Christmas with him.
I have also told my co-workers that if I ever don't show up for work or answer my phone to please wait three days before calling emergency services. I don't want to live on life support. I don't have pets. It will be okay.
You need to switch to decaf. You went off the rails today.
"Everybody in western cultures has some degree of arterial disease after age 40 or 50 whether it is diagnosable or not."
How's that different than me asserting that you have neurosyphilis whether it's diagnosable or not?
"More efficient to do anaerobic HIIT in my opinion. They didn't study that."
You didn't study it either. Yet you have come to a conclusion - or pulled it out of your ass - with NO proof. HIIT "may" be more efficient, but that doesn't mean it's more effective at the stated goal, i.e. improving cardiac health.
"Cardiac vitality is not the whole of fitness. All I can fit into my routine is one or two high-octane cardio/calisthenic classes weekly."
Sounds like you need yo prioritize, bro! You're evidently doing either what you've convinced yourself is optimal for your needs. Others will prioritized based on their own needs, i.e. someone into alpine skiing will tailor their regimen differently than yours.
"Weights and Yoga obviously showed no cardio benefits."
I challenge ANYBODY to drop by my house for a "weights" workout - even one geared for strength - and not end up with some cardiac benefits. Likewise, I know many yoga instructors who can use yoga routines and smoke your ass. Ya gotta know how to use the tools!
Calm down, Mike. Sheesh.
I think you misconstrued the entire topic.
Sorry, maybe I need to switch to decaf!
My bigger point is that "we" have to distinguish between fitness and health.
Health implies - at a minimum - that you are free of disease and I think we would agree that it ideally means that you are "healthier" than that.
The term fitness, by itself, is relatively meaningless. Fit for what - to run away from bad dudes, to fight off bad dudes, to get off the crapper, to play with your grandkids, to hike the Appalachian Trail (in the literal sense, not the governor mark sanders sense), etc.?
Further - and I think you have fallen for this crap (misguided by your trainer) as have many others (including myself): We used to advocate what was called an aerobic base (many now call it GPP or general physical preparedness) before or along with strength training, HIIT, etc. Many HIIT fanatics dismissed this as unnecessary or even counterproductive. Now, the pendulum is starting to swing back in the other direction and we're finding that aerobic training has a role - more for some and less for others - in fitness and in health.
As you and I get older, we can't do it all - or at least we can't simultaneously work on multiple fitness attributes. We need more time and energy devoted to recovery (remember, we don't improve when we train, we improve during the recovery phase). The problem is, we also de-condition faster than before. My solution is to concentrate on one attribute, e.g. strength at a time and do the MINIMUM needed to maintain the other fitness attributes, e.g. Met-Con, speed, etc. - then switch priorities periodically.
Coffee has benefits, too!