OlderBeast Weekly Web Picks: January 23, 2017

With all the great fitness, nutrition and wellness stuff out there on the Internet…there’s often too much to make sense of. Without an integrating philosophy and approach, it’s hard to interpret, prioritize and orchestrate everything into your own game plan. And your own plan is what you need, to sustain and thrive on for decades.

Helping you be your own Architect is OlderBeast’s core mission. Now, with OlderBeast philosophy as a foundation, we’re starting a weekly “best of the web” post at OlderBeast.com. For fitness, nutrition and Wellness categories, it features a single, useful pointer to highly-relevant and useful stuff.

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Good news / bad news about the Internet for 40+ guys interested in fitness, nutrition and wellness.

Good: The fantastic wealth of stuff, from deep experts. I’m amazed by and grateful for information and advice I find almost every day.

Bad: Obvious but true…there’s often too much to make sense of. Without an integrating philosophy and approach, it’s hard to interpret, prioritize and orchestrate everything into your own game plan. And your own plan is what you need, to sustain and thrive on for decades.

Helping you be your own Architect is OlderBeast’s core mission. (If you’re new here, check out this introductory post).

Now, with OlderBeast philosophy as a foundation, we’re starting a weekly “best of the web” post at OlderBeast.com. For fitness, nutrition and Wellness categories, it features a single, useful pointer to highly-relevant and useful stuff.

Weekly Web Pick: Fitness

A recent post (mini sessions) discussed intense, ~5-minute cycles of an individual strength move (like push-ups), put together into a 15 or 20-minute routine to add on to some “cardio” days.

Here’s more theory, and concrete ideas, on this theme—an article about the “Tabata” approach in which you:

1. Go hard for 20 seconds

2. Rest for 10 seconds

3. Complete 8 rounds of this 30-second cycle (the article rightly calls this perhaps the longest four minutes of your life!)

If you rest for one minute after each four-minute cycle, and string together three or four Tabata cycles with different, complementary exercises, that’s a great 15 or 20-minute mini strength session!

Or, make this a dedicated strength session, with eight or ten of these.

Link to Article

Weekly Web Pick: Nutrition

In OlderBeast’s nutrition philosophy, carbs are not “the enemy” (neither is fat). In each case, it’s about seeking out the good kinds of these things, and having them be a smart portion of what you eat.

While I DON’T advocate a “low carb diet” for active guys, I’ve found that people who write about such diets often provide really good information and inspiration on “bad carbs” to avoid. And at least, they make the case for being sure not to overload on carbs, which is key given the barrage of carb-heavy food the world throws at us.

This article has great perspective and research-based data on how controlling carbs and avoiding the bad kinds works better for weight loss or weight management than the alternatives.

And in fairness, though the headline includes “low carb diet,” the author is in fact advocating control of carbs and sometimes just slight reduction of them…not the extreme approach that other low-carb advocates talk about.

Link to Article

Caveat: for guys not trying to lose weight, but just manage it at a healthy level, there are some areas where I don’t fully agree with the author.

For example, he says “you should omit the following foods entirely”:

Anything made with flour: bread, pasta, tortillas, pastries (I think moderate intake of whole-grain-based things is fine…just keep quantities modest and don’t have these things be part of every single meal, dude)

Anything with added sugar: soft drinks, fruit juice, candy, cookies (I agree here…but think the occasional pig day is a smart temptation-relief valve for a long-term sustainable healthy eating approach)

Starch: potatoes, sweet potatoes (again with the caveat about not overdoing and this being for guys maintaining, not trying to lose, weight—I disagree about the “sweet potatoes” part of this)

Weekly Web Pick: Wellness

At OlderBeast, we often talk about benefits of walking and getting outside for fitness. Here’s a great article that puts those together…about how walking in nature “changes the working of our brains in ways that improve our mental health.”

Rhetorical question: you want more or less of that in your life?

Not a lot of further context here, brothers—walking outside in proximity to trees and other natural things is just good for you, in so many ways.

Link to Article

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If you have topics and resources to suggest we highlight for the OlderBeast community, that’s great. Please contact us and let us know. Thanks!

“Many times I’ve wondered, how much there is to know” (Led Zeppelin, Over the Hills and Far Away – click to listen)

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Owed to Yourself: 6-Week Plan for Guys to Give Yoga a Fair Shake

Among 40+ guys who don’t do yoga (which is to say, among most 40+ guys), I think there are three reactions when I tout yoga in OlderBeast articles.

1. Inspired to try it. Man, I hope there have been at least a few of these…please?

2. Tuning me out. Kind of like the grown-ups in the old Charlie Brown TV specials – blah blah-blah blah.

3. Feeling somewhat persuaded, and a little motivated. But not enough to overcome remaining hesitancy or inertia.

You in Reaction mode #3? If so, this is for you, dude.

Here’s a step-by-step, no-commitments way for you to figure out more about yoga, try it, and decide if it’s for you. This envisions a 4 to 6 week period, after which you can “fish or cut bait” on the whole topic of yoga and you. 

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I Experimentally Reduced Cardio in My Fitness Mix – Here’s What Happened

There are good reasons for cardio-intensive guys to move to a better mix of endurance/strength/flexibility in the fitness mix.

Overtraining on cardio – especially without super-disciplined rest and nutrition regimes – can wear down your body, contribute to muscle loss, and allow development of imbalances that make you more prone to injury.

Also, in our time-challenged lives, too much cardio usually implies too little strength and flexibility training. And maintaining muscle tone and staying limber are huge parts of looking and feeling our best, and maximizing longevity, as we move through life’s second half.

And one big concern about reducing cardio – gaining weight/fat – may be misplaced. Evidence is emerging that strength training (with at least a somewhat-intense cadence) burns fat as well as, or better than, cardio.

With these things in mind (but still needing to overcome a “cardio reduction paranoia” mental hurdle), here’s what I changed and what I learned.

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