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Today’s Health Upgrade
How 10 minutes can protect your health
Q&A with Arnold
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Can short workouts do anything for your body? If you care about living longer, the answer is a dramatic yes.
Research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that as little as 30 minutes of strength training per week is associated with up to a 20% lower risk of death from all causes.
The researchers reviewed 16 different studies and found that strength was a powerful insurance policy against the grim reaper, especially when it comes to protecting against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.
We previously shared another study that found 1-hour of aerobic exercise per week can lower your mortality risk by up to 15 percent. It’s not a competition, but you could argue that building strength is the most efficient form of exercise to improve your lifespan. And, if you can make time — ideally — you’ll combine cardio and strength to give your body everything it needs.
If you want to protect your health, make it easy on yourself. Block off 10 minutes per day, 3 times per week. If you don't want to go to a gym, the study found that bodyweight exercises also give you the same health protection. So you can perform movements like squats, lunges, pushups, bodyweight rows, and pullups. The short workouts might not seem like much, but if you do those 10 minute workouts and push your body at least three times per week, the investment will add up and make a big difference.
You are not doing great, you are doing fantastic.
Progress is never a straight road without speed bumps. You will hit walls and turns, and sometimes you will go completely in reverse. It doesn’t matter. You are going to get up and do it again every day, anyway. Because that’s the only way to succeed.
Everyone always wants motivation, but what they need is routine. There is no secret or hack or magic. You just keep going, like a Terminator, no matter what.
If you can do that, eventually, you’ll get past that plateau to the next peak.
In the old days, I did a ton of volume. I trained calves daily, and my reasoning was you walk every day, so you’re already doing calf raises nonstop every time you take a step.
If you look up donkey raises, you are going to have a laugh. If you have training partners, I promise you’ll make a scene in the gym if you try it.
Finally, let’s try something new.
This is Daniel. I’m pretty lucky because I’m just a normal meathead who gets to ask Adam and Arnold questions. Now instead of doing that over email and FaceTime, I’m going to do it in public so you guys can benefit too. This week, my question is for Adam because I want to know the science behind something I noticed.
Last week when I was waking up every day before the crack of dawn and working through the stress of all those launches, I had great workouts. This week, I’ve got nothing. I’m just going through the motions to check the box. What’s going on? Is it a delayed reaction to stress? Burnout?
It's Adam: First of all, let me say Daniel sent this question to met at 8:30 pm last night and insisted I include it in the email. I love helping Daniel -- and all of you -- so here we are. What's likely happening is the opposite of what Daniel thinks. He's looking at a potential "hangover" effect of his chaotic week. While that's possible, it's more likely that the stress he experienced last week had a performance-enhancing impact on his workouts.
There's little doubt that stress, in general, has a negative impact on exercise performance. And the longer you're under stress, the more likely it is to be disruptive. But research on resiliency suggests that some people thrive during stressful situations. In fact, there's an entire theory (The Yerkes-Dodson law) that suggests if you want optimal performance, you need a little stress and anxiety.
Instead of falling in the face of adversity, people rise to the challenge. Research suggests that moderate, short-lived stress can improve alertness and performance and boost memory.
Daniel was feeling stressed, so he used lifting weights to help fight back against the pressure and survive the week.
Whatever the reason, your body and mind will thank you if you do some sort of movement when you're going through hard times. It'll likely make you feel better, and -- as Daniel saw during his stressful week -- you might surprise yourself and have some of your best workouts.
This week's challenge might take you out of your comfort zone a bit. And that's a good thing. Because now I want you to really turn that me into we. This weekend, I want you to find somewhere where you can give back by volunteering. I’m not asking for a huge commitment. Start with an hour.
When I flew to Wisconsin in the 70s to train Special Olympics athletes to see if lifting was a possibility for them, I was on a high every night when I went back to my hotel room. It became an addiction, and from there I ended up working more and more with Special Olympics, chairing the President’s Council on Physical Fitness, and traveling to every state on my own dime, starting After-School All-Stars, and then, eventually, running for Governor. I’m not asking you to get that addicted though, although if one of you does, I know you’ll be better than our current politicians.
I just want you to think about what you’re passionate about. The environment? Maybe volunteer for beach or park cleanup. Kids? See if there is an after-school program or a library program where you can read to them. Poverty? Help out for an hour at a food bank or serve at a homeless shelter. No matter what your vision is, I promise you there is somewhere you can help.
I think a lot of the anger and negativity we see these days comes from a feeling of powerlessness. So my goal here is to help you see how much power you really have. You have so much power, that if you give an hour, you can change the world.
Let me know how it goes.
As always, thank you for being a part of our village and for reading. We hope you have a great weekend.
-Arnold, Adam, and Daniel
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