Arnold on Memorial Day

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Today’s Health Upgrade

  • Arnold on Memorial Day

  • Get a grip

  • Workout of the week

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Arnold of Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day in America. Memorial Day began after the Civil War as Decoration Day -- a day when Americans would decorate the graves of our war dead with flowers to honor their sacrifice. In 1868, Union General John Logan issued General Orders #11, the Memorial Day Order ("Memorial Day Order" - National Cemetery Administration).

He said, “If other eyes grow dull and other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remains in us.

Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the nation's gratitude—the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.”

I think it is important to understand why all of us in the United States have a holiday today. Not just to BBQ. To remember. To support the families of those we lost. To keep that light burning.

So today, if you’re an American, join me in taking a part of your day to reflect on the ultimate sacrifice that so many of our fellow men and women have made to make this country the shining beacon of opportunity that lit the way for so many dreamers like me. Remind the people at your pool party what today’s really about.

And no matter where you are, it’s worth taking a minute to really think about the type of sacrifice these heroes made. Whether they thought they were sacrificing their life for their country or just for the person next to them, just think about that kind of bravery. Think about that kind of love. Giving up your life for something or someone you cared about more than yourself? It doesn’t get bigger than that.

When I was Governor, I once had a legislator tell me he liked an idea but could never vote for it because he’d lose his job. I said, “But I just saw you at a military funeral talking about sacrifice. That guy gave his life, and you’re afraid to give up your job?”

This Memorial Day, I remember all of our fallen heroes. And I’m inspired by them. We should all strive to hold just a fraction of the selflessness and the love that they showed in their sacrifice.

Get A Grip

There are many ways to test how well you’re aging. But one test, in particular, is worth taking because it provides a clear path for improvement.

Research suggests that grip strength is one of the best predictors of longevity.

One study even claims that grip strength is better at predicting premature death than blood pressure. The reason could be that a lack of strength indicates accelerated DNA aging, which is linked to disease and disability.

Is your grip strong enough? According to Dr. Andy Galpin, there are two ways to test your grip.

Test #1: The hand-grip dynamometer

You want a minimum grip strength of 40 kilograms (about 88 pounds). But, ideally, you’ll be able to hit 60 kilograms (152 pounds). You’ll also want to make sure your hands are similarly strong. Dr. Galpin suggests no more than a 10 percent difference between your hands.

Test #2: The dead hang

Grab a pullup bar by wrapping both of your hands completely around the bar and gripping tightly. Your goal is a minimum of a 30-second hang. Ideally, you’ll be able to hold yourself for 60 seconds.

Need more grip strength? Check out today’s workout of the week.

Workout of the Week: The Longevity Workout

You just found out that grip strength is associated with longevity. Previously, we shared that pushups are also associated with fighting off premature death. This workout includes the exercises you need to become stronger and increase the likelihood that you can live longer.

The workout consists of 2 circuits, each consisting of 2 exercises. The first circuit is a combination of farmer’s walks and pushups. And the second circuit is more farmer's walks and squats. If you're keeping score at home, the farmer’s walks will help improve your grip.

Pick up the weights, and walk 20 to 30 steps with a weight that’s heavy. Set the weight down, and then do your pushups.

If you don’t have weights, you can fill two backpacks or totes with books, hold one in each hand, and perform the carries. All you need to do is make sure the bags are heavy and hard to grip.

Circuit 1: 3-4 rounds

Complete the first exercise and immediately do the second exercise. Then rest for 2 to 3 minutes and repeat.

1A. Farmer’s Walk: 20 to 30 steps

1B. Pushups: 10 to 30 reps (your strength will determine how many reps you perform

After you complete all the rounds of the first circuit, then move to the next circuit.

Circuit 2: 3-4 rounds

Follow the same approach as the last circuit. Complete the first exercise and immediately do the second exercise. Then rest for 2 to 3 minutes and repeat.

2A. Farmer’s walk: 20 to 30 steps

2B: Bodyweight squats: 10 to 30 reps (You can also add weight if you want; your strength will determine how many reps you perform)

And that's the workout. Give it a try, and let us know how it goes!