March 2015 e-newsletter from Dr. Venske
For those of you who don’t like working out, I have some great news! Lots of research in the recent past is showing that the “less is more” principle is true. I have personally been working with this concept for several years and found that I am stronger now at 46, working out once to twice a week for 15 minutes, than I was in college when I spent several hours in the gym per week.
WHAT’S THE CATCH?
The catch is, for this style of exercise to work, the days of “going through the motions” are over. For this to work, all of your concentration and energy need to go into whatever movement you are performing. Numerous protocols exist on the internet, so don’t get overwhelmed. My approach, which I adapted from a fantastic book called “The 4-Hour Body” by Tim Ferriss, involves doing one set of the exercise for about 80 seconds. Each repetition should be about 5 seconds up, and 5 seconds down. Here’s the key. The last repetition should be really hard, to the point of complete fatigue and exhaustion.
WHAT’S THE POINT ?
The point is not to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger (dated reference, I know). Research shows that maintenance of adequate muscle mass is a big key to slowing the aging process and reducing fat gain. This type of exercise will maximize your cardiovascular health, immune system, and make you feel great, and again it only takes about 30 minutes a week. I would wholeheartedly recommend working with a trainer who is well-versed in this type of approach, and if you haven’t worked out in awhile, make sure you start carefully and consult your doctor first if you are at all unsure about how your heart is working.
SHOULD I GIVE UP MY DAILY WALK AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD?
Absolutely not! I’m not saying that a nice brisk 30-60 minute walk has no value. There are many benefits to this type of exercise as well. What I am saying is that if you are routinely going for walks but still feel thick around the waistline, it’s time to add some high intensity training to your weekly routine. The big picture is this. Most people in our culture are aging way too fast. No government legislation will cure our health care problems. If we as a country don’t get ourselves in shape, we will continue to spend way too much of our hard-earned money on unnecessary medications and surgeries.
Good luck & have a great workout!