Habit #11 – Physical Exercise – updated

exercise

This is a vital habit.

Exercise releases endorphins, oxygenates the blood and lowers stress. It also helps strengthen the immune system, improves energy levels, makes you feel better about yourself

Scientists have shown that physical activity in the form of voluntary exercise results in an increase in the number of newborn neurons in the hippocampus of aging mice. The same study demonstrates an enhancement in learning of the “runner” (physically active) mice. Other research demonstrated that exercising mice that did not produce beta-endorphin, a mood-elevating hormone, had no change in neurogenesis. Yet, mice that did produce this hormone, along with exercise, exhibited an increase in newborn cells and their rate of survival. While the association between exercise-mediated neurogenesis and enhancement of learning remains unclear, this study could have strong implications in the fields of aging and/or Alzheimer’s disease.

As lit­tle as three hours a week of brisk walk­ing has been shown to halt, and even reverse, the brain atro­phy (shrink­age) that starts in a person’s for­ties, espe­cially in the regions respon­si­ble for mem­ory and higher cog­ni­tion. Exer­cise increases the brain’s vol­ume of gray mat­ter (actual neu­rons) and white mat­ter (con­nec­tions between neurons).
~sharpbrains.com

I’m 44 and didn’t exercise between age 20 – ~42.. bad shit.

The last two years I’ve been exercising 2-6 days a week, trying out different kind of  approaches.. Listening to my body (a vital habit in a future post) .. and struggling. I’ve never been to the “gym” or exercised with anyone.. only “cross training”, jogging, cycling and kettlebelling alone.

Early this year I read Mark Sisson’s great book The Primal Connection: Follow Your Genetic Blueprint to Health and Happiness
, and started browsing through his website “Mark’s Daily Apple. This inspired me to change my diet & my approach to physical exercise.

My new scheme – at least for the next 6 months:

During a week (7 days) I aim* for:

  1. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) / Sprint
    This is a ~12 min workout based on the HIIT principles. This is a really hard workout.. and always leaves me “sweating like a pig”. I usually use the cross-trainer.
  2. Move Slowly/Play
    ~15-90 min on the cross-trainer, cycling, walking (fast) and/or balance exercises**
  3. Kettlebells workout (Kettlebell Hell)
    3 min warm up, ~30 min kettlebells, 3 min slowdown
  4. Move Slowly/Play
    ~15-90 min on the cross-trainer, cycling, walking (fast) and/or balance exercises**
  5. Move Slowly/Play
    ~15-90 min on the cross-trainer, cycling, walking (fast) and/or balance exercises**
  6. Kettlebells workout (Kettlebell Hell)
    3 min warm up, ~30 min kettlebells, 3 min slowdown
  7. Move Slowly/Play
    ~15-90 min on the cross-trainer, cycling, walking (fast) and/or balance exercises**

4 “Move Slowly/Play” should add up to at least 3 hours, preferably more.

* Sometimes during my HIIT or Kettlebells workouts, I get to eager… and my body might need an extra day of “Move Slowly/Play” before next HIIT/Kettlebells workout.

**Balance exercises: yoga & slacklining

According to my fitness weight (Tanita) my data as of today is:
(I’m 44 yrs old & 1,83 meters high)

Sept Oct  Nov Dec Jan Feb GOAL
Weight 80 kg  78  78 78kg
Body fat 19,7%  18,5  17,7 15%
Muscles 61 kg  60,9  61,2 63kg
Metabolic age 37 yrs  33  30 ?

This indicates that I’m “Healthy”. But I feel I’m in “the low end” of Healthy… There is room for improvement.

I will update my data approx once a month.. in order to “push” myself.

This is the physical part.. but mental training is actually more important in my view. That will be a later habit post..

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