Cardio, vigorous is better
Resistance training, how much is optimal?
How much total activity?
My take on all this:
It seems like you want to be burning at least 1000 calories a week. There have been benefits reported at higher levels but the first 1k calories are guaranteed to get you a large proportion of the benefits. A routine of lifting twice a week and doing rigorous cardio 2-3 days a week puts you comfortably in the 1000-1500 calories burned range.
To the people who are saying that the normal activity of everyday life is adequate, you are fooling yourself because you don't want to have to make changes. It's fine if you want to do that but please don't spread FUD to others who don't know any better. You are hurting them.
In terms of fitness and general health, I notice a big difference if I'm getting regular (ie. most days of the week, allowing for 1 or 2 rest days) exercise of about half an hour, and at least one longer run/ride/whatever, out to about an hour or so. Take any excuse to do things the hard way when you're exercising - push up hills, do sprints, to intervals etc, and you'll notice an amazing difference.
Only downside to all this exercise is that you really need your 8 hours of sleep a night to recover.
FWIW, I'm on the "stronglifts" program, plus chunks of 30-min medium-high intensity cardio where I can fit it.
Like if the tradeoff for ultra-longevity is a shitty life of being obsessively active I think I'll pick a shorter life. If just a reasonable amount of exercise is ok and I don't have to work to look like I should be on the cover of a magazine, then I can do that.
Edit: reasonable question gets downvoted.
"A 15-year observational study of 52,000 adults found that the highest degree of survival and health was found from running less than 20 miles per week, in runs of 30 to 45 minutes over three or four days, at about an 8:30 to 10:00 pace. The benefits decrease at amounts greater than that."
Also I love running, I just cannot do it. It always results in long term pain.
A huge barrier to fitness is that it is typically taught and promoted by those who find it easy, and they really can't understand how difficult it is. However, if you persist over a long period of time you can get enormous benefits. And this gradual approach means it is not painful - in fact the slogan ought to be 'no pain maximizes gain'.
Running should not hurt. We were Born to Run, like it says in the title of the book.
Shin pain tells me that you may be running with bad form, impacting the ground like a pogo stick. Consider running barefoot. Read Run Barefoot Run Healthy.
From my experience with running injuries:
1. Strengthen your core
2. Strengthen your thigh muscles
3. Strengthen ankle and foot muscles
4. Get the right shoes that work for you
Running barefoot is one possible way of achieving the above. But running barefoot also comes with its own problems, including increased risk of certain other injuries.
If I have to hazard giving advice, I'd say to the guy with the shin-pain what my physical therapist told me: build strength with low-impact exercises, maintain aerobic health while you do that via low-impact aerobic swimming/water-running/biking/tennis/climbing/xc-skiing/etc. etc., then once you have recovered from your injury, slowly ease into running.
1. Get fitted for proper running shoes. There should be shops nearby that will watch your running style, and advise the right shape of shoe for your foot.
2. I wouldn't recommend running 'barefoot' full-time to start with, either with something like Vibrams or literally shoeless, but this is actually what fixed my shin splint problems. Most people who haven't trained in running are terrible heel-planters - striking the ground first with the heel, then rolling through. That jars your shins and legs (and upper body etc, it's all connected) something fierce. Running barefoot pretty much forces you to knock that shit off, and the results are quite dramatic.
So maybe don't go straight for barefoot, but either do a few short runs on grass shoeless, and pay attention to the way you're running. Aim to run on the balls of your feet only, and slowly relax into a flatter running style, but DON'T HEEL PLANT.
I imagine most people here are in their young twenties and don't understand what happens to bodies when they get older. There's just no way any of these activities are realistic. Calorie moderation and walking should be good enough.
Anecdotal evidence, but my parents, both in their mid-60s, are some of the most active people I know. Biking, hiking, skiing, you name it. And, neither of them is skinny. There's definitely some luck (good genes, etc.) involved in them being in good shape, but the rest is because they've put forth a bit of effort their whole lives towards being active.
But exercise would make it much easier, because it releases dopamines, which makes you feel good, which lowers your food craving.
(I'm not in my early twenties and I've been overwheight for the most of my life.)
Of course running hurts if you are overweight. Your bones and tendons are not made to support that much weight and neither are your muscles if you have been neglecting them. Bodies get neglected, that's what happens to them when they get old. If you really love running like you said, then drop some weight and start running. Do, don't cry. Walk more. Use nordic walking poles. Swimming is an excellent low-impact sport and so is water running. Walking 20 minutes with decent pace burns around 500-600kcal for someone weighting 120kg. That's a half a can of Pringles. You need to be really careful with what you eat if you want to drop weight with just that.
What happens to your body as you get older depends in part on what you do with it when younger. The one thing I don't do now that I occasionally did when younger is push-ups. Something in my left shoulder doesn't care for them. No doubt there's a fix for that, but I don't think it makes sense to pursue one--there's no MLB contract on the line.
Your question was kind of emotionally charged, and it sounded like you were getting upset, which is what probably set off the downvotes.
if the tradeoff for ultra-longevity is a shitty life of being obsessively active I think I'll pick a shorter life.
Being active doesn't have to suck. Sports are fun, man.
On the physical pain side of things - that's just the hump you have to get over, and I agree it sucks. Once your body is trained to do a basic minimum of exercise, the endorphins outweigh the painful aspects, and it feels good man. Like, really good.
To your original question, I suspect 20min a day walking is a bit low, both in terms of your overall exercise per week, and intensity. Intensity counts for a lot in fitness, IMO it's worth pushing it a couple of days a week, go for a run or something. Or join a club that does some kind of fun exercise.
No, winning is fun.
The good news is that it is very easy to add some form of exercise into your life. You don't have to become a gym rat, the key is to find a hobby that you actually enjoy and that involves some physical activity: hiking, skiing, surfing, join a local soccer league, etc. I highly recommend Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It's like playing chess with your body; raw athleticism, strength, and speed are always defeated by intelligence and technique. It's also great stress relief.
You don't need to micromanage everything. Some intense workouts here and there give you the energy you'll have to micromanage the stuff that you WANT to micromanage.
It seems we benefit from having a healthy lifestyle -- like walking or biking to work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, playing sports for fun, playing with our kids, running around with pets instead of just walking them, gardening, and so on. Our evolutionary ancestors probably lived like (though I can't cite sources) that and led our bodies to evolve to thrive best with that kind of activity.
So many people are big on paleo diets. I wonder when a paleo lifestyle will become popular.
A posteriori, there may be 'evolutionary'-type reasons for say, our body's over-eagerness to eat sugary stuff . That doesn't mean that you can attribute everything to evolution without sufficient evidence.
The truth is what it is: lack of exercise and poor diet both contribute to increased risk of diseases. You can appeal to 'our ancestors' lifestyle' as reliably as you can appeal to say, the benefits of 'biblical diet'. Both are identically fallacious.
(As an aside, there are several comments on different posts in HN that wrongly apply evolutionary principles to everything from coding practices to behavioral traits !)
As an aside, pre-seasoned processed food can give us a false sense of variety because even though most packaged foods have corn syrup or wheat or corn or one of those popular foods, by adding different spices or making different 'foods' out of it such as pizzas or other recipe transformations, it makes the same basic ingredients taste and seem different. But if you focus on eating whole foods with somewhat minimal processing or transformation into recipes, you can readily realize how much true variety you're obtaining.
Arguably, indeed. Before the invention of refrigeration, the average "state of freshness" probably was a lot less than what we now call fresh. Also, "quality sources" will have been rare in the not so uncommon years with harsh winters, failed harvests, etc.
As for barefoot running, the barefoot shoes are seen as a magic bullet, and of course that's not the case. They can be a guide to suggest that you fix your gait but if you don't want to do the work, you can harm yourself as much in Vibram Five Fingers as in Nikes or Adidas.
Paleo-izing everything is in fashion. That doesn't mean it's all wrong though.
Well, sure, if you're claiming it's some sort of lemma in a proof. Stuff our ancestors used to do is likely to be neutral or good for you, due to the way evolution works. The key is likely. I'd agree with you that it's a fallacy to hold "ancestors used to do it" as some kind of oracle.
You can appeal to 'our ancestors' lifestyle' as reliably as you can appeal to say, the benefits of 'biblical diet'. Both are identically fallacious.
There should be a name for the meta-fallacy of treating what should be a hazy rule of thumb as a mathematical identity.
That's not true when it comes to age related diseases like cancer or heart disease. Through most of mankind's evolution these diseases did not affect our procreation rate at all.
Evolution optimizes for procreation not for longevity. It is very likely that an ample supply of burgers, fries and fat cheese (especially during winter) would have led to higher birth rates not lower ones.
It could well be that much of our ancestors' lifestyle is poison for anyone over 50.
Incorrect. Evolution optimises for propagation of genes. Procreation is one but not the element of that process.
Think about this way: if you are living by yourself in the forest and have octuplets, then you are very good at procreation; if you die immediately afterwards, then you are evolutionarily unfit despite your procreative abilities, because none of your young will survive to pass on their genes. For creatures like humans -- born with helpless young -- the person who has two children and lives long enough to ensure that they can pass on their own genes is more evolutionarily fit than the person who procreates like mad but lets all their children die.
In our evolutionary environment, post-procreative individuals played vital roles in ensuring the survival of the young: taking care of children while their parents were off hunting and gathering; preparing foodstuffs; passing on lore about which plants were dangerous to eat, etc. In this way, the presence of elders facilitated the propagation of genes -- right up to the point where the care and maintenance of said elders becomes such a drain on resources that it begins to diminish rather than enhance the survival and procreation prospects for the young. That's quite a long time, however, so generally speaking, genetic lines that produce long-lived healthy individuals who enhance the survival prospects of the young will be more successful than genetic lines which don't.
Older men can have children in principle, but older women can not. So those men would have to compete with younger men for the remaining fertile women. The birth rate of a woman would probably not change just because there are more old men available to her.
I don't think I was disagreeing with you, there. My point was that regardless of how much benefit an ancestor can give to their descendants, if you have declining fertility beyond some age the benefits of doing so attenuate with time.
The reason is simple: hunting and gathering is extraordinarily difficult when you've got a baby on your knee. If you reproduce at 20 and now you have to take care of a baby, then the people who are in peak hunting-and-gathering condition are suddenly unable to find food. Solution: leave the baby with the 40-year-old grandparents, and go off to hunt/gather.
Problem is, a lot of 40-year-olds are still in pretty good hunting-and-gathering condition, and won't be maximising the group's survival by sitting on their duffs doing baby-guarding duty. The solution: leave the baby with the 60-year-old great-grandparents, and go off to hunt/gather.
This isn't conjectural: this is how traditional societies actually work.
Now, the 60-year-olds definitely aren't in particularly great hunting/gathering condition, so taking care of children is a good way they can contribute to group survival. The children can grow up and become self-sufficient under their tutelage. There's little evolutionary need another generation beyond them, so you'd expect mortality to increase rapidly after 60. Which of course is exactly what we see.
That's exactly my point. Hunter-gatherer diet didn't need to work very well against cancer, heart disease or Alzheimer's and hence we shouldn't expect it to promote what we consider longevity today.
But I think you're overestimating the value of grandparents for breast feeding toddlers. Population growth wasn't very rapid back then because most kids died at birth or very soon after. So there weren't actually that many kids around I think.
Yes, in principle, and that is definitely a good point. But with hindsight we can observe that the part of the "design space" that includes 90 year olds was never before explored, and hence evolution tells us nothing about whether or not hunter-gatherer diets are good for longevity.
I didn't mean "ignoring social factors" - I meant "in theoretical human-design-space". Women don't produce new ova, but why does that necessarily have to be the case? Most cells in the body divide regularly.
Well of course! Whether it's "good" or "bad" is kinda hazy and contextual as well. A gene that might encourage heart disease at age 50 might also make us better at spearing ferocious animals at age 19.
It is very likely that an ample supply of burgers, fries and fat cheese (especially during winter) would have led to higher birth rates not lower ones.
I know of someone from the pacific island of Yap, and his entire generation was stunted in their growth from his culture's encounter with American junk food.
So then it's fine for young hipsters to practice?
That seems very hard to believe. Americans are rather tall on average.
I suspect you are protecting some cherished preconceived notions.
American diet is not exactly a cherished notion of mine either. Neither is it my diet of choice nor am I American.
This long term under nourishment is very common. The WFP (world food program) gives estimates of 227 million for Africa and 553 million people in Asia and Pacific.
What happened when local diets were disrupted? Were local foods bought in return for much lower quality food? Was malnutrition made worse? Or did we just start documenting it better?
- I don't know, Bog. My parents have always eaten meat raw, and they lived healthily to the old, ripe age of 26.
For me, a big one is dancing. Nothing formal, just going to a club or hanging out at freinds' places and having a dance party. It's fun for me (which is the point) - I don't think of it as exercise normally, just some socializing. Doing that once or twice a week regularly had a noticeable impact on my overall level of happiness and my diet plan. If I don't get to do it, I miss it and feel overly energetic, like too much coffee. (You know the "i didn't get enough exercise feeling).
Another is playing with dogs and kids. I am responsible for neither, but have friends with one or both, so I get lots of access. It's a fun time, just being silly and bonding with people I think of as family. And as a benefit I get some exercise.
Finally, as spodek mentions above - working in some manual versions of daily tasks can help a heck of a lot. Example: I live in the midwest, so lately I've been shoveling a lot of snow the old fashioned way. Sure I could use a snowblower, but doing it with a shovel is better exercise. Besides, the days I need to do it I know the roads will be crappy and slow, the gym may not even be open, and generally getting exercise via normal channels may be hard, so spending 50% more time on snow removal pays off overall, since I'll have more time to do things anyway. Other times where the slow manual way of doing something to sneak in some exercise are abundant and should be considered with similar "TCO" style reasoning.
I think that we could probably all go for eating less meat and a lot more fruits and vegetables. The flesh of other animals tastes so good though!
Whenever I've been in shape I haven't stuck to any diet or strict regiment. It's pretty easy to loose weight (in principle, not in practice) if you do some moderate exercise (like take a run a few times a week, take the stairs, etc) and avoid restaurants and processed foods. I think when you start cooking for yourself, you'll end up eating a lot more raw "real" food and will find it hard to cook the really unhealthy stuff you might feel totally fine about ordering. It just kind of works itself out.
There are clearly diets that allow for more than survival. Just be careful saying we evolved to do X. It's easy to get your causal arrows mixed up.
Yeah, that doesn't work for me. If I'm not thinking about health, I'm happy loading up on the cheese and fried things to a probably unhealthy degree - especially when I'm making it myself.
I think the more likely answer is that humans are capable of surviving on all sorts of foods, not "there is one hunter gatherer diet and it contained very little meat."
The so-called "LOREN CORDAIN, PH.D., THE WORLD’S LEADING EXPERT ON PALEOLITHIC DIETS AND FOUNDER OF THE PALEO MOVEMENT" claims:
Decades of research by Dr. Loren Cordain and his scientific colleagues demonstrate that hunter-gatherers typically were free from the chronic illnesses and diseases that are epidemic in Western populations, including:
Cardiovascular disease (heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis)
Type 2 diabetes
Autoimmune diseases (multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, etc.)
Myopia (nearsightedness), macular degeneration, glaucoma
Varicose veins, hemorrhoids, diverticulosis, gastric reflux
As someone who did not used to like to exercise and now do I think it's just a whole wad of cognitive dissonance for people who largely are out of shape (by the way that /= fat) and don't want to feel like they should spend time doing specific body improving exercises.
they have self-imposed a set of beliefs, a system of beliefs built up through unfortunate circumstances that have no bearing on wider reality, that limit their ability to improve their circumstances. it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
their mind will do all sorts of logical gymnastics to avoid admitting the truth or taking action. you can see it in this thread. people just make things up out of thin air, convinced of their truth. i was tempted to reply to a couple but then i saw your comment.
it's like living in the matrix or something. it's so hard to explain because smart people can fall for it too. to this day, i find myself slipping into these self-defeating thought cycles every once in a while. maybe it's some kind of stockholm syndrome.
it's not my responsibility to offer to help strangers unsolicited. in fact, it's kind of rude.
if it is, you are almost certainly suffering from a mental illness (for able-bodied people, obviously).
this is not a troll. please take a step back and realize that 'normal' people should not have a problem with going outside for a walk. please come back into reality.
If you are out of shape and just try a few deadlifts you will see the difference and will have hard time staying away from the gym.
In my early teen years I ran long distance track but never felt well during or after a meet. I had to stop.
Fast forward to my late 30s and I get diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (obstructive) . It's genetic (I've been tested). At this point, even mild exercise over a period of time (a week or so) leads to congestive heart failure (CHF). I have little doubt I was suffering from lighter symptoms as far back as childhood.
There are some people who cannot exercise. I so want to do something to help ease stress. For me, however, exercise == stress. If I lifted weights two days a week and ran for three, I'd end up in the hospital. As it is, I can walk a few times a week for about 30 minutes.
There are zebras in the world. People should be careful about taking advice from discussion boards. See your doctor before starting any serious exercise program.
Good to know I'm satisfying the bare minimum for not dying.
Fitbit's default goal of 10,000 seems to work well, and I walk very fast everywhere as long as there's not ice on the ground.
The obsession with diet seems to be rooted in a desire to avoid exercise. I'd wish people would get a grip because the paleo and other nonsense is a breeding ground for the kind of blatant ignorance from which anti-vaccine and homeopathy hails.
That's double counting. If exercise time gets you the same increased lifespan as time invested doing it, then the "time" factor cancels. So there is no opportunity cost -- you get more life for "spending" life.
> Second, are you aware of the vomitories in the Roman Empire
Not a real thing, other than the architectural term. Nothing to do with regurgitation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vomitorium
While your personal mileage may vary, I find my quality of life immensely increased with regular exercise.
Science supports it -- exercise helps mood, life quality of insomniacs, increase happiness, reduce anxiety, and many other positive qualities. (http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/exercise-happiness.htm has links to all these studies.)
I encourage you to do as you wish with your life. I, however, will continue to put my time in. Preferably in high intensity cardio exercise 2-3x/wk, and 1-2 strength training sessions per week.
FWIW, the "life extension foundation" seems to support exercise. http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag96/feb96-fitness.htm
Regarding "exercise", if you ask Dr. Weil, walking 20-30 minutes or doing garden work is the best exercise - that's what the Okinawans or the Sardinians do. I think a walk is good enough to stabilize your blood sugar after a meal (even just 10 minutes of walk do miracles) and allow you lymph to flow.
Exercise also increases IGF-1, which is without much doubt negative for longevity: http://blog.wellnessfx.com/2013/09/04/igf-1-trade-performanc...
Also, higher muscle mass means increased basal metabolic rate, which affects the lifespan potential negatively.
This is more about pushing an agenda, maybe increasing health insurance premiums and blaming people.
Rate of death is still 100% for humans, regardless of what you do.
Sure, maybe it's healthier to work standing or I don't know, but the end result is the same.
Not to mention health problems caused by exercise itself. Or even worse, weekend exercisers that go and overexert themselves then causing a heart attack.
>Not to mention health problems caused by exercise itself. Or even worse, weekend exercisers that go and overexert themselves then causing a heart attack.
Well, it's extremely rare that people get heart attack because of excercise. It happens, but it's really rare. It's so rare that we can safely say: excercise is good for your health, and not having any excercise is bad, period. You can screw it up by not doing it right, however, overdoing it is almost impossible -- given you do it right. Running too much, for example, is almost impossible, if you get over the initial period of losing excess weight, and you drink and eat enough, etc.
I would in no way be surprised that people who are over 50, overweight, and start a strenuous exercise program as if they where still in there 20's had a significant risk of heart attack. On the other had if there only looking at healthy people with long term exercise programs that's another issue entirely.
"Repeated extreme exercise or long-distance racing can cause a buildup of scar tissue on the heart, which can lead to the development of patchy myocardial fibrosis in up to 12% of marathon runners. The effects of “chronic exercise” can also include premature aging of the heart, stiffening of the heart muscles, and an increase in arrhythmias and atrial fibrillation."
"Originally, it appeared the race-related damage was less severe in people who trained over 45 miles per week, but O’Keefe says that doesn’t prove to always be true."
As with most things, it appears that exercise is neither a panacea nor an unqualified good thing, but no doubt under-exercise is more prevalent than over-exercise...
"People who don't smoke die of lung cancer too."
Your argument probably falls more in line with the Jim Fixx excuse:
I could write a long explanation on why you're wrong but I think it's better for you to figure it out for yourself.
I feel that we're living long enough now. Until we are able to get our resource abuses under control and eliminate poverty the world over, then ~75+/-10 is a reasonable expectation. And when will these studies factor in quality of life.
It can at best inductively prove it - the scientific approach, or alternately do what you called '100% rate' (the hidden words there being 'so far').
Nobody is saying that humans don't die.
The article is saying that something which has a very negative know effect on people's health: smoking, is just as bad as doing no exercise.
Checking the definition of mortality rate, this seems closer to the general use. About the only difference is Case Fatality Rate which should perhaps be called Case Fatality Ratio instead.
Also suppose you have a 1% chance to catch and die from a disease without the vaccine.
You would take the vaccine every time.
Let's apply that to the Herpes Virus known to be risk factor for cervical cancer. There is a greater than 1% you catch the disease.
But, the risk you die from it is lower, maybe in 10,000? (Even the people who research it probably would have a hard time giving an estimate within an order of magnitude).
So would a parent give it to their child at 1 in a million? Assuming every child is given this vaccine 10M+, there would be around a dozen known fatalities. Both parents and FDA would probably have big problems with this.
(Disclaimer: this a hypothetical using a known condition but with made up facts. I take no position on "the vaccine debate" here.)
My understanding is exercise is not that healthy from a physical stand point. (Mental health perhaps)
Continuous long term light strain is what I thought was beneficial. i.e. stand up desk, gardening etc
This PRed article seems to just be taking exercise as a given the extrapolating from there rather than looking at the issue itself.