Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Here’s a daily digest 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
Arnold’s Corner: Monday motivation
The cholesterol cutter
Workout of the week
Arnold’s Corner: Monday Motivation
Today, I want us to remember that our positive corner of the internet started as a daily fitness newsletter.
We read all of your replies to the newsletter, and there are a lot that say: “Arnold, I’m not into working out at all, but I’m just here for a little daily positivity.”
Well, first of all, thank you for being here. I love that our village isn’t just a bunch of bodybuilders!
But as I said in Kindergarten Cop, it’s time to turn this mush into muscles.
We’ve shared studies about how strength training prevents cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, arthritis… really the list could go on forever. If there is something that shortens your life or makes it more painful, more muscle almost certainly helps prevent it.
In fact, we just shared last week that more muscle strength is right up there with not smoking when it comes to living longer.
We share these studies to slowly draw you in and entice you to try one of our weekly workouts. But since so many of you email me that you’re here for the positivity, let’s talk about how fitness makes me more positive.
I’m like all of you. Sometimes, I wake up, and I just don’t feel like getting out of bed. Whether I slept poorly or my brain chemicals are just out of whack that day, I couldn’t tell you. All I know is I have less energy, and the world feels like a black-and-white movie. I just don’t have the fire in my belly that defines my life.
This is where I might not be like all of you: on those days, I drag myself out of bed, feed Lulu, Whiskey, Schnelly, Dutch, Schnitzel, and Cherry, and get on my bike to go to the gym.
I do that because I’ve been around for 76 years, and I’ve learned that the surest way to turn the world to color is to get physically active. And sure enough, almost always when I’m riding back from the gym, my life feels like a movie in color, and the fire in my belly is back.
I just knew this instinctively, but the scientists who study this type of thing have all started to agree with me. Accomplishing even a small workout makes people feel more positive and optimistic.
I just saw this last Friday. I got back late the night before to New York celebrating my cover of Town and Country Magazine’s Philanthropy Issue (Arnold Schwarzenegger Interviewed by Jose Andres on Philanthropy, Climate Change, Immigration), and I didn’t want to get out of bed. Even after the bike ride to the gym, I said to Daniel and Dieter as I started my first set, “I’m doing the bare minimum today.” And then, 45 minutes later, they were giving me crap for doing my full workout and being late for breakfast. I found the fire in my belly. Later that day, I tried to spread the fire by answering advice questions on reddit for hours.
I started that day not wanting to get out of bed and look at all the positivity my workout created.
So, for those of you just here to be a part of the positive corner of the internet, give the workouts a try. Trust me.
You might be the most positive person in the world, but I promise you, a little training will make you even more optimistic. Or you might really need a boost and come here to read my email for that injection of positivity on a down day, so here’s my deal: you already gave me 5 minutes. Now just give me another 15. I promise you will thank me. Get pumping, everybody.
The Cholesterol Cutter
There is no shortage of good snack options. But if you go a little nuts, you might get an unexpected benefit.
Research suggests snacking on almonds can help improve heart health and cholesterol.
A recent study followed participants for nine months. The first three months were spent eating a reduced-calorie diet followed by six months of maintenance. One group consumed 15 percent of their calories from almonds, and the other group enjoyed the same amount of calories from a carb-based snack (fruit cereal bars and rice crackers).
Both groups lost about 15 pounds (7 kilograms) during the weight-loss phase. However, the almond group saw significant changes in their atherogenic lipoprotein subfractions. You might not know what that means, but the almond eaters reduced their small triglyceride-rich particles and small LDL particles — both of which play a key role in your cardiometabolic health and help avoid heart disease.
As the study author points out, “Nuts contain unsaturated fats—or healthy fats—which can improve blood cholesterol levels, ease inflammation, and contribute to a healthy heart.”
While nuts are higher in fat and calorically dense, the type of fat you consume — and how many total calories you eat in a day — ultimately determine weight loss and health outcomes. Nuts are loaded with heart-healthy fats, and because of their mix of fat, protein, and fiber (checks the box for Tool #2), they tend to keep you fuller for longer, which can help control hunger throughout the day, which makes them a good snack — as long as you don’t go too crazy and overeat them.
Workout of the Week
If you looked through Arnold’s workout logs, something would immediately stand out — and we’re not talking about the grueling sessions, incredible volume, or ability to push himself to the limit. Arnold built his body on a steady diet of basic exercises.
Today, you see many “new moves” and variations, and influencers might make it seem like these are necessary or better. If you enjoy them, that’s fine. But mastering foundational moves is a proven way to build strength, add muscle, and burn fat.
This week’s program doesn’t include exotic exercises, but it takes a timeless approach to challenging every muscle from head to toe.
How it works
This full-body workout can be done as one circuit. You’ll complete 8 to 12 reps of each exercise. You’ll perform the first exercise and then immediately move to the next exercise, resting as little as possible. And you’ll continue this pattern until you complete all of the movements. After you finish one round of all eight exercises, you can call it a day, or you can rest 3 minutes and go through the eight exercises again. If you’re a beginner, just 1 to 2 sets is enough, and you’ll be done in 10 to 20 minutes. If you’re more advanced, aim for 3 to 5 total circuits.
Pushup: 8-12 reps
Inverted row: 8-12 reps
Leg raise: 8-12 reps
Superman “W”: 8-12 reps
Bodyweight squat: 8-12 reps
Rear-foot elevated split squat: 8-12 reps
Plank: 8-12 reps
Reverse Lunge: 8-12 reps
Chest press: 8-12 reps
Bent-over row: 8-12 reps
Leg raise: 8-12 reps
Pullup: 8-12 reps
Goblet squat: 8-12 reps
Dumbbell rear-foot elevated split squat: 8-12 reps
Plank: 8-12 reps
Dumbbell reverse lunge: 8-12 reps
Don’t forget Arnold’s deal from above. Give it a try, and let us know how it goes!
Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger