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  • tgedman

Day 12: The 5 pillars of exercise for improved health and life span

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

People often ask me which type of exercise is the best for long term health.

Cardio or weight training? Yoga/pilates or Zumba? The answer is everything.

Here’s the run down on what you need to be doing each week to invest in longevity.

Pillar #1 — Aerobic training — steady state cardio like fast walking, jogging, cycling, swimming at an intensity that you could barely have a conversation but not sing a song (I guess not whilst swimming). This improves mitochondrial efficiency with a host of metabolic health benefits. Aim for 30 mins at this intensity at least 3x/week.

Pillar #2 — Anaerobic training — reaching maximum heart rate intensity walking, swimming, rowing etc in intervals of 20–60 seconds with 40–120 second rest x 5–10 rounds just once a week will boost your VO2 max. Higher VO2 max = lower risk of death & disability.

Pillar #3 — Resistance strength/hypertrophy training. 2–4 times a week lifting weights or your own bodyweight targeting every muscle groups with different exercises. Greater strength = longevity, less falls risk, greater bone density. Greater muscle mass = better metabolic health as muscles act as a glucose sink.

Pillar #4 — Stability/Flexibility — core/abdominal strength and exercises to stretch and stabilise joints allows greater range of movement which stimulates muscle growth and strength whilst protecting against injury. Injury = no exercise = atrophy. Warm up with flexibility drills before every workout and don’t skip core work.

Pillar #5 — Balance and coordination — sports, dance, playing with kids or friends in the park all require unpredictable movements which build balance and stability. They are also great fun! Try this type of activity at least once a week, if not more. Just try to avoid injury if your kids get you in a headlock.

The benefit of aiming for longevity is feeling good NOW too!

Do your weekly workouts cover these bases? Anything you think I’ve missed?

(Remember get clearance from your doctor before increasing your activity levels to be safe)

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