Sorry, it is true.
So many people have looked for ways around this reality, but longevity is correlated to fitness, and disease is also in inverse relationship to fitness, or direct relationship with obesity and sedentary living. The question then, just as I have been asking for the last decade in my regular health workshop, “Who is responsible for your health?”
The question would seem to ask you what person is responsible for your health, when the reality of the question is that it is asking ARE YOU REALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR HEALTH? Meaning, do you take daily responsibility for it? What are you doing today? What did you do yesterday, plans for tomorrow.
DO NOT tell me in one breath that you are concerned with your health, then in the next breath do nothing for it. I have seen this so many times over the years. Words without works do nothing for you when it comes to health, so lets see if we can figure out how to make sure that there is desire for health as well as action.
Let’s consider exercise. I have many opinions on what is good and what is great, and what is no good. The reality is that it is better to do something than nothing, no matter what. But then it is important to understand what is better and best as well. I want to speak to running first. Runners. The group of people I speak of are those who have abandoned all other forms of fitness to run. Sadly, you are not fit. You have great endurance, but if you are only a runner, you are not fit. Is your core so weak that you stand bent forward, pitched towards the floor? Is a sit-up an impossible stretch for you? How many push-ups can you do? Again, this is a better level of fitness than somebody who does nothing, but how close are you to being able to do nothing outside of run? Be sure that if you are a runner, you have not abandoned all other forms of fitness. That would be an awful reality.
“So what to do? CrossFit? Dr. Eric are you telling me that CrossFit is the only answer for fitness?”
No, I am not saying this. But I am saying that the best focus for fitness, is intensity. Intensity applied to all areas of your body. Running therefore is fine, as long as it is apportioned appropriately alongside of other areas of focus. Running at intensity that is. If you run miles on end at a pace that is less than intense, give it up. But even if you do it at intensity, you need to find other ways to push your fitness as well.
100 Push-ups for time.
Sure that might be a lot for many, but perhaps you start at 20, and you attack those push-ups like it is the most important thing in your life. This is intensity.
Squats, lunges, sit-ups, pull-ups… carrying heavy objects, lifting them… this is the fitness of function. The fitness that lets you do life better. And you can add it in, at intensity, in a VERY short amount of time.
I just want to pause and be clear before moving into our workout of the week –
I am NOT against running, and I would lump running in with cycling, or any other straight “cardio” activity. I am simply saying that you need more. And here are your reasons why.
- Growth Hormone
- Lean Muscle Mass
- Insulin Sensitivity
- Increased HDL’s
- VO2 Max
From an article in Dr. Mercola’s library –
If you ask Sy Perlis, who broke a weightlifting record at the age of 91, or Tao Porchon-Lynch, who won ballroom dance competitions and taught multiple yoga classes a week at age 94, your chronological age really is just a number.
How your body and mind work at the age of 60, 70, 80, and beyond is the result of a small part genetics and a large part lifestyle habits, particularly those that have persisted over the years.
It can therefore be difficult to estimate your longevity based on your chronological age alone, as someone in their 80s could easily be healthier than someone in their 70s, depending on their diet, exercise habits, and outlook on life.
A better indicator of longevity than your chronological age, according to researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, may be your fitness age.
This just begins the investigation into what the correct exercise can do for you. The goal for this study, was to increase cardiovascular output potential, which requires a new VO2 Max, but much more.
Fitness age is based on the concept of VO2max, which is the maximum amount of oxygen you can take in while exercising. Your VO2max can be used as a measure of cardiovascular endurance; if yours is below average compared to other people your age, it means your fitness age is actually greater than your chronological age. <Here is the article link - http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2014/11/07/how-fitness-age-indicate-longevity.aspx >
This is what we want to dig in on for a minute. So how do you improve VO2 Max? The answer is intensity. An example, Lance Armstrong has tested as one of the most incredible VO2 Max levels of all people tested. At first glance you might assume that the reason is because of hours of cardio, but the reality is that it was hours of INTENSITY. Intensity is what drove this, he pushed when he trained harder than you will be able to push yourself over ten minutes. So don’t get caught up in the time put in, get caught up in the intensity put in.
If you operate at 60% of your VO2 Max over an hour, you are nowhere near intensity, and you gain some cardiovascular increase, with a tiny potential blip up in your VO2 Max. But if you push yourself to 100% intensity, to the maximal output, even for only a few minutes, you will do more to drive that VO2 Max up, than many hours at 60%. So, here is what we are going to do in order to push your VO2 Max up, increase your growth hormone, and testosterone, as well as HDL’s all at the same time.
WORKOUT OF THE WEEK
Start a clock and you will work in a Tabata Style but with a bit more rest (Tabata is 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest), so plan on working for 30 seconds, then resting for 30 seconds. Your clock will be for ten minutes, and your work will be any and all of the following:
Push-ups, Squats, Sit-ups, Lunges, Jumping Jacks, Jumping Rope, etc
You pick whatever movement(s) you want to do, and change them out as often as you want. You will have 10 times to do work, so do it as hard as you possibly can. This is intensity, this is what will change you.
Hope I didn’t offend anyone too much. :)
Be well and Be blessed! - Dr. E