Arnold's Step Challenge

People who don't get enough steps have worse mortality and more cardiovascular disease. If you don't walk much (like Arnold), it's time...

Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Every weekday, we make sense of the confusing world of wellness by analyzing the headlines, simplifying the latest research, and offering quick tips designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes. If you were forwarded this message, you can get the free daily email here.

Today’s Health Upgrade

  • Monday motivation

  • Is a Parkinson’s treatment coming?

  • Workout of the week

Arnold’s Podcast

Want more stories from Arnold? Every day, Arnold’s Pump Club Podcast opens with a story, perspective, and wisdom from Arnold that you won’t find in the newsletter. And, you’ll hear a recap of the day’s items. You can subscribe on Apple, Spotify, Google, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Monday Motivation (The Step Challenge)

All of you tell me how much you learn from our newsletters every single day. You send emails about how you put the information we share into practice and improve your lives.

I want you to know you’re not alone!

I learn, too. I also put the information we share into practice.

I focus on drinking more water because we’ve shared the benefits of hydration. I take creatine because of the studies we have shared about the brain-protecting benefits.

And recently, we have shared study after study about the importance of moving outside of our daily training — the more steps we take, the healthier and longer our lives can be.

I’ll admit: I'm a machine when it comes to my workouts. I ride my bike to the gym, train, and ride home, completely on autopilot.

But when it comes to my daily steps, the machine needed a tune-up. After my training, I often end up in meetings about my businesses, my policy work, or my next movie project, and that means a lot of sitting.

I want all of those benefits we talk about from getting up and moving throughout the day, too, and right now was the perfect time to focus on steps since I can’t ride my bike or train for another couple of weeks after my pacemaker surgery.

The good thing is, from all my years of training, I know how to create a plan.

I need a vision. I need to measure my reps. And I need a training partner to push and hold me accountable.

My vision right now is to become someone who moves every hour, even if it is just a walk around my yard with the animals.

My measurement came from ordering a cheap and simple pedometer to wear on my right wrist (you all know I’m a watch queen; I need to wear something fun on my left wrist). I didn’t want anything fancy that let people call me or text me on my watch, because I don’t need to add more ways for people to reach me.

And my training partner was someone else who had read our studies about walking more in the newsletter and wanted to increase her steps: my longtime assistant, Lynn.

Lynn and I made a deal.

Every day, at 8 pm, we sent each other a photo of our pedometers showing our steps. It’s a friendly competition. We congratulate each other, but we also push each other.

Most importantly, we are both paying attention to walking more and actually doing it, every single day.

I wanted to share this with all of you because I want you to know that every single one of us, including me, has room for improvement in our lives.

No matter how successful we are, there is something we can all do better.

That isn’t a failure; it’s an opportunity.

I also wanted to challenge all of you. I love it when you tell me the free weekly workouts here in the newsletter help you, or you’ve lost 40 pounds or gained strength to lift up your kids with the Pump app programs.

Now, it’s time to step it up.

Look at however many steps you’re getting every day right now. I know most of you don’t need a watch or a pedometer because your phones count them in your pocket. That isn’t an option for me because I don’t carry a phone; I use an iPad, so I’m not always plugged in.

Now, for this week, I want you to shoot for 1,000 more steps every day.

Nothing crazy. I don’t want you to set a goal of 10,000 steps if you walk 3,000 today. A lifetime in the gym has taught me that small progressions are the key to sustainable success.

Just 1,000 steps more every day. Do whatever you have to do. Set a reminder on your phone. Reach out to friends and family to have training partners like me. And if you need a whole village of training partners, post your steps on social media and tag me with #ArnoldsPumpClub. Push each other and cheer for each other.

If I can do it, you can do it. Let’s get moving.

On Our Radar: Is a Parkinson’s Treatment Coming?

Sometimes, the biggest breakthroughs begin with a glimmer of hope. 

A new study showed signs of a drug that might be able to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.

The study was limited in size and scope and included 150 people. However, those with early-stage Parkinson’s who used the medication saw improvements in tremors, stiffness, slowness, and balance compared to those using a placebo. 

What makes it even more interesting is that the drug used (Lixisenatide) is a GLP-1 receptor agonist, the same type of medication found in the new age of weight loss drugs such as Ozempic and Wegovy. 

While more research is needed, the reason the medication worked might be tied to its effectiveness in helping fight diabetes. GLP-1s were originally designed to help treat diabetes effectively, and those breakthroughs led to the realization that it was also effective in supporting weight loss. 

Prior research found that people with diabetes are about 40 percent more likely to develop diabetes, and their symptoms tend to intensify faster. Brain studies have found that Parkinson’s might be related to problems with insulin resistance, which is treated by the drug. 

Larger studies and more analysis are needed, but it’s exciting potential and we’ll keep an eye out. 

Workout of the Week

We all have days when we don’t feel like training. But those are the days that are arguably the most important to exercise. Not because you’ll have the best workout but because you’ll do something good for your mind and body. 

To make your life easier, it’s good to have a do something workout plan. This routine is designed for just that. Whether you’re not feeling your normal routine or short on time, this plan can take as little as 15 minutes. 

The Do Something Workout

The plan consists of three phases: core, strength, and volume.  Do each phase and then move to the next. Focus on intensity and form. 

Phase 1: Core

  1. Suitcase carry (left hand): hold a heavy dumbbell, kettlebell or backpack/rucksack in one hand (like a suitcase). The key is tightly gripping the weight and keeping your body upright (think standing tall with a strong core). Walk back and forth for 30 seconds. Then rest for 30 seconds.

  2. Plank: Hold a plank or side plank for 30 seconds, followed by 30 seconds of rest. 

  3. Suitcase carries (right hand): hold a heavy dumbbell, kettlebell, or backpack/rucksack in your other hand. Walk back and forth for 30 seconds. That’s one round. Rest another 30 seconds and repeat for another 1 to 3 rounds. 

Phase 2: Strength

  1. Perform a deadlift or squat. You can use dumbbells, barbells, or a heavy backpack or rucksack. Do 2-3 warmup sets, and then use a weight you can lift 4 to 6 times. (If using a backpack, load it up so it’s heavy enough to squat with good form). Rest for 2 to 3 minutes. And do 1 to 3 more rounds.

Phase 3: Volume (Pump)

  1. Perform 8-12 reps of a pulling exercise (dumbbell or barbell rows, pullups, inverted row)

  2. Perform 8-12 reps of a press (dumbbell or barbell chest or shoulder press, pushups)

  3. Rest for 60 seconds, and do 1 to 3 more rounds. 

If you’re a beginner, do at least one round of each phase. This will take about 12 to 15 minutes, including rest periods and setting up the weights. If you’re advanced, do the maximum number of rounds listed in each phase. 

Give it a try, and let us know how it goes. Here’s wishing you all a fantastic week ahead!

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell