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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Fitness Planning & Gear , Philosophy & Motivation

Fitness: What Men Can Learn From Women (Part 2)

Part One of this series said 40+ guys should take valuable cues from women to refine their fitness-and-health approach for the decades ahead.

Women…
1. Don’t let competitiveness become counterproductive to fitness
2. Focus more on total-body fitness
3. Seek out help and support more
4. Take nutrition more seriously

I have no intent to perpetuate stereotypes. But these patterns do fit with how many people assume women behave compared to men. So yeah, I’ll admit it in this language: Part One suggested we learn from attitudes and behaviors some might describe as “womanly.”

However you describe them, they have real benefits for lifelong fitness, health and wellness.

If anything, this Part Two makes a more cage-rattling point. Some women in the OlderBeast phase of life are “manning up” to fearlessly embrace age and double down on fitness — on “historically-male” fitness turf — more than many guys are.

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Nutrition & Recipes

Make This: EASY, HEALTHY Meat Sauce, Pasta & Vegetables

We live in a golden age for healthy cooking. You’ll find endless recipes via great websites and apps, and supermarkets have an increasing array of what most any recipe calls for.

But sometimes typical recipes are “too much” to deal with in a day of work, commuting, family, exercise, and other things you need or want to do. The following “recipe” for meat sauce, pasta and vegetables (so simple I feel funny calling it that) is an antidote to the “too much” issue. Ingredients are already on-hand at home, or you can find with eyes closed at the store. Couldn’t be easier to cook. Clean-up is basic.

And it’s good for you, man.

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Nutrition & Recipes

You Eat Organic? At Least, Consider It For These “Dirty Dozen” Foods

When it comes to organic, people are all over the map. Some buy the organic version of anything. There’s even organic apparel now (and I’m not talking about edible underwear, man). Others suspect it’s at least partly a price-raising, fad-exploiting scam. And in science and food industry circles, there’s debate—and contradictory studies and claims—on several topics.

This week’s OlderBeast Web Pick is to help you “cut through” all this. Here’s a prioritized view on where organic is most important, and three useful articles you can check out to learn more.

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Fitness Planning & Gear , Philosophy & Motivation

“Too Busy” To Exercise Because You’re in “Survival Mode? Try This Minimum Fitness Plan…or Else

I have a few friends who are longtime habitual exercisers, but still look at me like I’m on a different planet when I talk about the finer points of moving from five to six workouts a week.

Why? They currently feel in “survival mode” with seemingly 24/7 work demands, business travel, and school-age kids in the house. The time when they can work out five-plus times a week seems somewhere down the road.

Fair enough. I’ve been there. But no matter what, when survival mode conditions last more than a week, you simply need to figure out how to maintain at least basic fitness.

There’s a minimum threshold below which “postponing fitness” is not the answer, even for short-term productivity, let alone long-term thriving.

So here are a few simple but powerful fitness and Wellness tactics to adopt when life puts you into survival mode.

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