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Complementary Fitness 11 March Newsletter

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Welcome to this week’s newsletter & updates:

Did you know that?..

Exercise, and one type of exercise in particular, can decrease mortality risk by 20%?

I think that’s pretty impressive and well worth taking action on because it’s a smart way to increase longevity and stave off a wide range of health conditions.

What type of exercise is it? (drum roll please)..

I’ll not keep you in suspense any longer (well … my usual countdown .. 4, 3, 2, 1..)

The key to a longer, healthier life is … dah, dah, dah …Resistance Training.

Yep, you read in previous newsletters and I thought I’d remind you that resistance training is the exercise that’s been proven to lead to a longer lifespan and have lower mortality rates.

Any exercise that helps to build muscle eg lifting weights, bodyweight training etc can yield this significant improvement according to proven research.

According to data from 16 different studies which involved adults over the age of 18, the association between resistance training, muscle-strengthening activities and health outcomes were measured, including:

  • All-cause mortality (see below)
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Total cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Lung cancer

 

However, resistance training didn’t decrease cancer risk, at least in any of the site-specific cancers (such as bladder, kidney, pancreatic, or colon cancer).  For that, we’d have to take other measures, such as reducing intake of unhealthy foods, decreasing stress, stopping smoking, reducing alcohol intake, and getting enough Vitamin D.

But, for the rest of the health conditions studied, the results were pretty impressive.

The research proved that just 60 minutes per week of muscle-strengthening activities led to a significant decrease in diabetes risk.  Exercise plays a critical role in blood sugar control, burning through the glucose stored in our bloodstream and liver and making the body more efficient at regulating insulin and glucose levels.  The more we exercise, the more our risk of diabetes and prediabetes decreases.

Just 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per week was also enough to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to the data.  Given that exercise burns through fat as well as glucose, it can clear out a lot of the lipids floating in the bloodstream.  Those lipids would otherwise clog up the arteries and harden into plaque, which could increase the risk of atherosclerosis and arterial blockages that can lead to strokes and heart attacks.  Plus, resistance training also strengthens our cardiovascular system (heart muscles, lung muscles and blood vessels), decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

So what’s ‘all-cause mortality’ mentioned above?  It refers to “death due to any disease, complication or hazardous exposure”

Muscle-building activities don’t protect us from hazardous exposure (to radiation, chemicals, etc), but it can reduce our risk of death due to diseases or complications from disease.

According to the data, all-cause mortality rates decreased by as much as 20% thanks to just 30 – 60 minutes of muscle-building exercise.

What’s amazing is that this isn’t just from the only study to find such results.  In fact, many past studies have proven similar effects from resistance training and muscle-building exercises.

A 2021 study found that up to 150 minutes of weekly resistance training led to:

  • Up to 25% reduction in cardiovascular disease
  • Up to 20% reduction in cancer mortality
  • Up to 30% reduction in diabetes risk
  • Up to 25% reduction in all-cause mortality

Another study discovered that frequent muscle-strengthening exercise could lead to a 28% lower cancer mortality rate versus the control group that did no exercise.

So, how to incorporate resistance training exercise easily into our lives:

Let’s be honest: if you’re not already doing resistance training and muscle-building exercise, you’ll probably find that it’s not going to feel like an “easy” thing to do because muscle-building is HARD!

It takes an immense amount of effort to lift heavy weights, and do it over and over again, repeatedly, for weeks and months and years at a time.

The reason so many of us opt for other forms of exercise such as team sports, martial arts, dance, yoga, or aerobic exercise, is because they are both easier and often more fun than resistance training.

But, as the research above proves, resistance training is a necessary part of life. That means it’s time to start including it in your week.

How can you do that?

  • Step 1: Start off with just one weekly session. The benefits mentioned above can be obtained with as little as 30 – 60 minutes per week, so start there.  Slot yourself a one-hour hand weights & resistance band or weightlifting workout every week to start off with. Do it at home, at a gym or do it with us on a Wednesday morning — just do it!
  • Step 2: Work your full body. In the beginning, you don’t need to worry about focusing on individual muscle groups or splitting your training up into multiple days. Focus on workouts that incorporate your whole body:  Push exercises for your chest, triceps, and shoulder “push” muscles; Pull exercises for your back, biceps, and shoulder “pull” muscles; core exercises that strengthen your abs, back, and side muscles and lower body exercises that train your leg muscles.  Make a full workout with these exercises to start building muscle in your entire body today.
  • Step 3: Test to find what works for you. The more resistance training you do, the more you can experiment with various workouts.  Maybe you find you like to do circuit training, which involves alternating push, pull and leg exercises.  Or some prefer to split the workouts up between upper and lower body or Push and Pull, or some other variation.  Keep fitting in these sessions into your schedule on a regular basis.
  • Step 4: Keep adding more workouts. The 30 – 60 minutes of resistance training per week is the minimum recommended, not the maximum.  The truth is that it’s very hard for the average working professional to spend TOO MUCH TIME at the gym lifting weights — we’re just too busy for that.  But if you can make it a point to get maybe 4 weekly workouts, each between 30 and 60 minutes, you’ll begin to see real results.  Not just in terms of muscle-building, but also fat loss, better health, lower diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk, and, of course, lower all-cause mortality risk.

Train Today, Enjoy More Tomorrows

As you saw by the data above, research says that the time you invest into resistance training and muscle-building activities will have long-term positive consequence, specifically, it’ll stave off disease and help you to live longer.

There can be no better argument for incorporating it into your life!

But then when you realize that it’ll also help you to manage your weight, blood sugar, blood lipids, and cardiovascular conditioning, not to mention that it’ll build your confidence and help you look and feel better about yourself, you can understand why it’s absolutely crucial and deserves a place in your weekly schedule and being consistent.

So by all means, do some weight training at the gym, get yourself some weights and work out at home (maybe you have a home gym or in your garage?) but as I mentioned above, also join us if you can on a Wednesday 9.30am for our general fitness resistance class where we incorporate hand weights, kettlebell and resistance bands into our sessions.

Protein plays a vital role in building strong bones, muscles and healthy tissue.  It’s also involved in numerous enzymatic processes that support energy production, nutrient transport, oxygen delivery and various other essential functions in the body.  Unlike many other nutrients, protein isn’t stored in the body which emphasizes the importance of a consistent and adequate daily intake.  It’s crucial to get the right balance of amino acids too especially if some veggie/vegan sources aren’t a ‘complete protein’ on their own – if so, we have to combine that source with one that will complete and enhance the full/complete protein source eg beans or avocado on toast, or rice and beans etc.

You might also want to try a protein powder to supplement with.  I like to sometimes have a protein smoothie in the mornings and either order from

Vegan & Plant-Based Protein | BodyMe  (at the bottom of the page, there’s a ‘sign up and save15% off your first order’)

Or

Panterre® Human Performance  and you might still be able to get 20% off with the code OP16.  There is the option to subscribe (which I didn’t do) but to order as a ‘one time purchase’ as I wanted to try it out.

Both companies mentioned have organic protein blends with all the essential amino acids and are unsweetened which I think, is all very important.

 

You know I’m interested in great nutrition, love food and love following Zoe (you may remember that I had a continuous glucose monitor on to monitor blood sugar, fats etc for a while).  Anyway, I also love Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall and see that he’s created some recipes for Zoe.

We absolutely love roasting a huge tray of assorted veg and I love making my own hummus and dukkah too.  Well the recipe here shows you how to make and enjoy all 3 along with a recipe for a kefir, fruit & nut dessert too (I also occasionally love to make kefir and well … I love a dessert too it has to be said).  Enjoy

(110) Living the ZOE way with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall: Hugh’s Winter Gut Health Recipes – YouTube

 

I’ll keep reminding you that 2 weeks on Friday, on Fri 29 March (Good Friday), our fitness yoga is at the earlier start time of 9.00 (and finishing at 10am sharp), just for that one day.  Put the earlier 9am start time in your diary, phone calendar etc now and set yourself a reminder.

You can also view this newsletter on my website at

Complementary Fitness 11 March Newsletter – Complementary Fitness

 

Reminder to send me any info, articles, local or other news etc that you come across that we can share with each other, thanks.

 

How you can pay for classes:

With cash ie £6 per class

Paying directly on my iphone or

By bank transfer into my account.

 

Connecting with Susan:

Email me: info@complementaryfitness.co.uk

www.complementaryfitness.co.uk