The Science of Fitness

Funny how a magazine with an article about how you can be Healthy at Every Size does not feature a full-bodied person on the cover? Cue the sarcasm emoji.

Regardless. There are key takeaways in the featured articles that make buying the issue justified.

In the special edition magazine above an expert advanced what I’ve always thought: a 200-pound woman can be fit. An R.D. in New York City counsels with a HAES (healthy at every size) and intuitive eating approach.

The goal should not be to diet yourself down to skin-and-bones. Food should be viewed as “fuel and fun” as The Pleasure of Food article states.

Another article focuses on the Body Neutral movement which upholds what a person’s body can do not your body’s appearance.

To keep healthy at every size the central tenet of the special edition should be taken to heart: reframe your perception of the habit of keeping fit. Calling it “exercise” can repel a person when they think it’s something you have to do and is not enjoyable.

Seeing a workout routine as the gateway to achieving a goal is the difference. Maybe you want to walk up the subway stairs without huffing and puffing. Or you want to be able to walk your dog around the block.

Why not call it a play-out instead of a workout when what you’re doing is a fun fitness habit?

Sadly, feeling fit is hard when you buy into the impossible idea that you need to exercise to lose weight. In a research study women who exercised felt better even when they didn’t lose weight.

Feeling great is the goal.

My purpose in lifting weights is to maintain “functional fitness” as I get older. What I hope to be able to do is continue to carry 25-pound tote bags of groceries in my sixties and beyond.

The Science of Fitness special edition is the one special edition magazine I will refer to over and over.

In this book there’s also recipes for Smoothies that Taste like Milkshakes.

Well worth the $12.99.

2022 Late Summer Lower Body Routine

1.KB Sumo Squat (feet wider than shoulders) 15 pounds 3 x 12 reps

2.Single Arm KB Swing (swing between legs and push forward with hips) 10 pounds 3 x 10 reps each side

3.DB Glute Bridge (lying on floor – DB on hips – press hips up towards ceiling and squeeze glutes) 15 pounds 3 x 12 reps

4.KB Hamstring Dead-lift (legs straight – hinge at hips to reach forward – feel stretch in hamstrings) 10-15 pounds 3 x 12 reps

5.DB Side Lunge (hold DB by chest – lunge alternately to each side – keep feet flat) 5-10 pounds 10 each side

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Medicine Ball Slams – side to side – 15 throws

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Ab crunch (lying flat – lift shoulders off floor to squeeze stomach) 15 reps

High knees – 20 seconds

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Leg Raises – alternating legs – 20 leg raises

2022 Late Summer Upper Body Routine

  1. Push-ups (on floor; start standard; modify if necessary) As many as possible
  2. Bent Over KB Row (holding on to table / chair; pull KB up to squeeze side of back) 15 pounds 3 x12 reps each side
  3. KB Upright Row (hold with both hands; pull elbows as high as possible to feel shoulders) 10 pounds 3 x 12 reps
  4. KB Overhead Tricep Extension (hold handle with both hands with base side up; start above the head – bend elbows back then extend back towards ceiling) 10 pounds 3 x 12 reps
  5. DB Bicep Hammer Curl (standard curl with 3-second hold at the top of each curl) 8-10 pounds 3 x 12 reps

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Medicine Ball Slams – 15 throws

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Plank – As long as possible

Jump Rope Jumps 20-25 seconds

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Ab hold – Lying on floor – hold feet up 2 inches for as long as possible

Atomic Habits

Reading over the latest blog entries here I see that I wrote that I would talk about Atomic Habits like James Clear wrote about in his book with the title Atomic Habits.

I’m of the mind that adopting atomic habits will save my sanity and my physical health too.

Some atomics habits I’ve adopted:

Throwing out the recycling in the green and blue bins in the compactor closet every evening.

Instead of letting items pile up in the white plastic tub on my kitchen floor. Throwing out the garbage every evening too.

Buying only two cartons of eggs at a time and doing so once a week.

Alas I’ve had a third carton go to waste because the Use By: date had expired.

Simple–buy once a week only what I need for one week at a time.

Tidy up my apartment every day.

Instead of allowing piles of papers to overflow my desk dining table and coffee table.

My September horoscope indicated I would be successful with decluttering projects this month. 🙂

I recommend you read the book Atomic Habits. A clear easy-to-follow breakdown of action steps to take to engage in positive habits and break negative patterns of behavior.

In the coming blog entries I will post my Summer Upper and Lower Body routines. Then my Early Fall Upper and Lower Body routines.

Peach Pizza Easy Hack

Last year at this time in peach season I cooked the Peach Pizza recipe found in the Peach Truck Cookbook.

The original recipe is a little intricate to follow step-by-step.

I found an easy hack for making a peach pizza:

Simply buy a white pie like the Talia version above. Slice peaches and arrange the slices on top of the pizza.

Heat as directed in the instructions.

Peach pizza is a tasty way to get in a serving of fruit.

Peaches are in season now. I order a container of Frog Hollow Organic Peaches. Four or 5 peaches come in the container.

Easier than following the longer recipe in the Peach Truck Cookbook.

Just as tasty and a quick meal to have on a summer evening.

In the coming blog entries I will post the latest Upper and Lower Body Routines I’ve been doing this summer.

Sparking Joy to Live Longer

I had COVID for exactly two weeks. Though a mild form it was terrible to live through. A friend told me that because I exercise and eat well this was most likely why I had only a mild form.

What got me mentally energized when my body was slowed-down was binge-watching Sparking Joy with Marie Kondo on Netflix.

In a burst I tidied up my desktop and desk drawers. I placed in a donation bag a small wooden box that hung out atop my desk for 11 years.

The tidying up was life-changing. It led me to want to adopt atomic habits like James Clear wrote about in his book Atomic Habits.

The trick is to tidy up every evening instead of letting tasks and objects pile up in your household.

If you ask me Marie Kondo’s clutter-control method is the only one a person should use. This Japanese tidying-up guru is not only transforming her clients lives and relationships. She might be improving their health.

A Health magazine special edition titled Living Longer the Science of Longevity has an article titled Fastidious Forever.

The mortality risk drops 35% for highly meticulous people according to research.

To wit from the article written by Marta Zaraska:

Fastidious people also have a better relationship with stress. They often thrive when life feels controlled and stable–think structured days and a relatively predictable future.

Science reveals that people who are good at meeting deadlines and maintaining tidy surroundings can have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which has been linked to a litany of afflictions from diabetes to cancer to heart disease.

When hardships do happen, neat freaks tend to cope better.

Inflammation may also play a role. “People who are more conscientious have healthier inflammatory profiles.” According to Angelina Sutin, PhD.

They tend to have lower levels of interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein, common markers of inflammation.

Interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein have also been associated with severe cases of COVID-19.

Did I have a mild form of COVID because I’m a neat freak 🙂

I rest my case: Marie Kondo is actually improving the health of her clients.

Watching Kondo’s clients pile mounds of clothing on their beds to assess what to keep and what to toss I felt better.

It’s because though I’m a Fashionista I own nowhere near half the amount of clothing Kondo’s clients had clogging their numerous closets.

In the coming blog entry I’m going to talk about adopting atomic habits.

Binge-watching Sparking Joy with Marie Kondo I realized the solution is to not let things get out of hand to the point of being overwhelming.

Dumping clothes everywhere could cause a person to feel “down in the dumps.”

As I can attest when I tidied up my desktop and desk drawers I was energized and had more hope for recovering from COVID.

2022 Late Winter Lower Body Routine

  1. Dumbbell Sumo Squat – feet wider than shoulders DBs held together between legs – arms straight – chest up (10 pounds – 12-15 reps)
  2. Dumbbell Hamstring Dead Lift – DBs held in front of legs – palms back – bend knee – hinge at hips – want hamstring stretch (8 pounds – 12 reps)
  3. Split Squat (Lunge with back foot up) Back foot on platform with both risers used – lunge forward – back straight and chest up – arms by side – Start without weight add if possible (3 sets – 8 each side)
  4. Bridges on floor – DB placed on hips – push off heels to lift hips toward ceiling (15 pounds – 15 reps)
  5. Kettlebell Swing with both arms (15 pounds – 15 reps)

High Knees (30 seconds)

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Weighted Ab Crunch – Arms and legs extended hold DB on side – tuck arms and legs together to squeeze stomach (12-15 reps)

Burpee and Mountain Climber combo (5-6 kicks each time you drop to floor) (12-15 reps)

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Plank (As long as possible)

2022 Late Winter Upper Body Routine

This two-part routine is late out of the gate. Soon I will be posting my 2022 Early Spring routines.

  1. Hammer Curl Chest Press on Floor (10 pounds – 12 reps)
  2. Sideways Pull with Doubled Band (like skier) – Bent forward pull band apart then pull elbows in by side squeeze back (12-15 reps)
  3. DB Curl with DBs touching (8 pounds – 12 reps)
  4. Alternating Tricep Extension – Arm above head keep elbow pointing up – alternately extend arms toward ceiling (5 pounds – 12 reps)
  5. DB Upright Row – DBs in front of body palms facing you – lift elbows up to reach shoulders – wrist stays below elbows (5 pounds – 12 reps)

Butt kicks (30 seconds)

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Leg Raises (15 reps)

Quick alternate Step-ups on risers (30 seconds) (Start with one riser then try 2)

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Russian Twist with Flutter Kicks (If challenging do them separate) (15 reps)

2022 Early Winter Lower Body Routine

1.Wall / Door Squat: Standing against door slide down into squat position – then push back up to standing – holding weight at chest height close to body. (8-12 pounds – 12 reps – 3 sets)

2.DB Dead Lift: Holding dumbbells to the side with straight arms – squat / sit back and lower until dumbbells at mid-shin – chest and head up. (10-12 pounds – 12 reps – 3 sets)

3.Lunges with front foot elevated onto platform – no risers. (8 pounds – 8 each side – 3 sets)

4.Single Arm Kettlebell Swing: Same form as standard KB swing but with one arm – swing low and between legs. (10 pounds – 12-15 reps – 3 sets)

5.Calf Raises: Holding DB by your sides stand on toes then relax back to flat feet. (10-15 pounds – 15 reps – 3 sets)

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Medicine Ball Slam: 15-20 straight throws

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Angled Crunch with knees: 10 crunches each side

Burpees: 12-15 reps

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Ab V-ups: arms and legs straight – bring together at top to squeeze abs

2022 Early Winter Upper Body Routine

  1. “Briefcase” DB Row: Standing and hinging at hip – both arms hang by side with DB at knee – row both DB together to squeeze back. (10 pounds – 12 reps – 3 sets)
  2. Push-ups: As many reps as possible.
  3. Chest Fly: With band around chair or table – arms move front to back – we want stretch in chest and shoulders. (12 reps – 3 sets)
  4. Hammer Curl: Standing against wall or door – keep elbows back against door as you curl. (8-10 pounds -12 reps – 3 sets)
  5. Skull Crushers (tricep): Lying on floor with elbows toward ceiling – extend elbows up – palm facing in – bend back to start. (8-10 pounds – 12 reps – 3 sets )

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Jumping Jacks (30 seconds)

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Plank Tucks: In plank position – alternately tuck knees at an angle. (10 each leg)

Mountain Climbers

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Basic Crunch