OlderBeast Weekly Web Picks: February 3, 2017

Helping you be your own Architect is OlderBeast’s mission. Along with OlderBeast original content, these Weekly Web Picks are here to help and hopefully inspire you, for fitness, nutrition and overall Wellness. This week, we focus on push-up technique, health benefits of the spice turmeric, and free online Wellness self-assessments.

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Good news / bad news about the Internet for fitness- and health-minded, 40+ guys.

Good: there’s a fantastic wealth of stuff, from deep experts. I’m amazed by and grateful for information and advice I find almost every day on fitness, nutrition, and other things that contribute to Wellness.

Bad: There’s often too much to make sense of. Without an integrating approach, it’s hard to interpret, prioritize and orchestrate everything into your own game plan.

Helping you be your own Architect is OlderBeast’s mission. Along with OlderBeast original content, these Weekly Web Picks are here to help and hopefully inspire you, for fitness, nutrition and overall Wellness.

Weekly Web Pick: Fitness

Writing for OlderBeast, I mention push-ups frequently. And for good reason: they work multiple muscle groups, are doable with zero equipment and in any setting, and can range from a big chunk of a strength workout to a quickie you add on to an endurance day or a mainly-off day.

But as basic as they are, every guy can benefit from brushing up on push-up technique.

Maybe you haven’t done a push-up in a long time. Today can be the day you end that phase, dude. Maybe you do push-ups currently, but want to be less vulnerable to pulling or straining something. Maybe you’re a push-up king or at least a push-up prince, and you want some more variety and challenge within the realm of push-ups.

Me? I sometimes feel princely, but other times get pushed by schedule or little aches and pains back toward something less awesome. The world of push-ups is a never-ending cycle and quest I’ve learned to embrace. I hope you will too, brother.

Here’s a great, simple tutorial on push-ups – basic technique and multiple variations.

Weekly Web Pick: Nutrition

I’ve been conscientious about vitamins and minerals for a while now—via a high-quality one-a-day and also what I eat. But there’s also a whole world of herbal/natural supplements out there…the ones for which the US FDA hasn’t asserted a firm stance and thus hasn’t announced any official “RDA.”

Awful pun intended, I take a lot of the “miracle herb or spice” claims with a grain of salt. But I decided to start taking turmeric supplements recently based on the emerging evidence of its many benefits. Turmeric is a spice that’s a main ingredient in curry, and so it’s something people have been consuming for thousands of years.

Turmeric proponents point to these benefits, among others: reduced risk of arthritis and inflammation-related pain, lowered risk of heart disease, prevention of certain cancers, reduced risk of Alzheimer’s and other brain conditions, and fighting depression.

The more conservative and most-esteemed web health sources (ones like the Mayo Clinic and WebMD) still qualify their description of turmeric with lots of “may provide” and “studies suggest” type language.

But the benefits they’re referring to are so important, man…and so my perspective is that “may” is a good reason to take a couple of extra pills a day.

Other, less “establishment” info sources really gush about turmeric as somewhat of a miracle spice.  You’ll also see the name curcumin used; that’s the most active chemical compound within turmeric.

To help you explore this and judge for yourself, here’s a “blue chip source” article and “other source” article on turmeric. By the way, in case you decide to start using it, here’s the brand and formulation I use.

Weekly Web Pick: Wellness

In an earlier post about this mega-topic, I suggested two free online wellness self-assessments you may want to try. These are valuable both to vividly illustrate what “Wellness” really means (via the questions they ask)…and to help you take inventory of how your current lifestyle is Wellness-enhancing (or not).

Taking a self-assessment is such a valuable first step to thinking about Wellness. So, I’m using this Weekly Web Pick post to double down on pointing you in this direction.

There are a lot of assessments out there, but these two are good for starters. They’re different enough from each other that, with an extra five minutes, you may want to take both.

TestWell (a reference standard among Wellness assessments).

Thrive Global’s “Pulse” assessment (from the new Wellness-oriented media company launched by Arianna Huffington and others).

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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!

If you think this would be useful to others, please help spread the word about OlderBeast, by sharing this post with the social media buttons below. THANKS, MAN.

“One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small.
And the ones that mother gives you don’t do anything at all.” (Jefferson Airplane, White Rabbit – click to listen)

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Fitness Planning & Gear

For Fast, Clear Results: Try This 10-15 Minute “Yoga Tonic” Each Morning

TWO QUESTIONS:

1. Are you mentally sold on the idea of yoga, but just not able to do it much because of other fitness and life priorities?

In my case, I’m ultra-sold, but I still only do a full yoga practice once a week. I don’t want to displace other workouts or my rest day. But I know I’m missing out on some of yoga’s benefits from this infrequency (especially the flexibility benefit). 

2. Do you feel sometimes feel stiff and sluggish when you get out of bed in the morning? I do.

For both of these reasons, I started doing this 10-15 minute mini-yoga practice most mornings.

I’ve noticed clear improvements in my flexibility and ability to really nail and hold some key poses. And it reliably limbers up and energizes me, too. 

If you’re a seldom-yoga guy, this will bring you (physical and also mental) benefits as a standalone habit. And if you do longer-form yoga practices with some regularity but it’s not feeling like “enough,” this consistent short-form habit will set you up for better performance when you do spend longer on the mat.

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Endurance , Fitness Planning & Gear , Strength

High-Intensity Interval Program Reviews: Orange Theory Fitness

There’s a lot of buzz around High-Intensity Interval Training, a.k.a. “HIIT”. Research studies highlight its effectiveness and time-efficiency for fitness development and calorie burning. New HIIT-centric gym concepts are being heavily marketed.

HITT interests me because of its inherent fitness benefits, and because it often combines endurance and strength work in an intense way.

I’ve started checking out HITT gym concepts and at-home workout programs, to add HITT into my own mix and also share findings via OlderBeast. This is the first of several reviews, starting with Orange Theory Fitness (“OTF” for short here).

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Nutrition & Recipes

How a “Man Salad” You Actually Like Will Make You Leaner & Healthier For Decades

For many guys, “salad” would be a four-letter word if it didn’t have five letters. Salad gets an unfair rap, though. This article’s mission: challenge you to rethink your relationship with salad…a better, more satisfying kind of salad than you typically see.

Why does salad need a reputation overhaul?

First – and no offense meant to women (from whom men can learn a lot about health) – we’re conditioned to think of it as un-manly. Sometimes restaurant servers just assume salad was ordered by a female at the table. Salad’s derided as “rabbit food” (and no rabbit, not even Bugs or Ricochet Rabbit, seems manly enough).

More substantively, most salads actually kind of suck. Even at expensive restaurants, they’re usually a pile of greens with a few small things thrown on there. And the “side salad” with an entrée is typically pitiful. Order it at risk of feeling bitter regret for passing up the trusty spuds that were the other option. “Salad” begins to feel like “sacrifice.”

And salad seems like a lot of work. Washing, peeling, etc.

But salad done right – with a variety of good vegetables, a solid serving of protein, healthy fats like avocado, and a nice dressing – is one of the best things you can eat for lunch or dinner. And it’s easy to make nowadays.

Even just two of these per week will have substantial nutrition and weight management benefits. And you’ll like it, man. Guaranteed, or I’ll give you double your salad back.

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Fitness Planning & Gear , Philosophy & Motivation

Six Fitness Actions You’ll Thank Yourself For *NEXT* Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you have much to be thankful for this year, man. Even while you gratefully make note of all that, this is also a good time to think ahead.

What would you additionally like to be thankful for next Thanksgiving?

What if on Thanksgiving 2018 you could take a personal inventory and conclude:

1. I’m staying more motivated for fitness – and avoiding major backslides

2. I’m eating better (not perfectly, but better)…and I feel better for it

3. I forgive myself for not always following my fitness plans…but I hold myself more accountable to usually do so

4. I’ve varied my fitness routine, so I’m in better all-around shape than I was a year ago

5. I’m using exercise to better combat stress and make my life feel more spacious

6. If needed, I overcame aches-and-pains to do these things – instead of letting 2018 be a year of narrowing possibilities

Dude! That would be an incredible “thanks” list. So enjoy the coming weeks of 2017 wrap-up and holidays, yes. But I invite you to also make this time a springboard into a meaningful 2018. (Don’t wait for the cliched New Year’s Resolution.)

Here’s the why-and-how of six actions you can take, starting now, to add to your “thankful for” list for next year.

1 Comment
  1. […] are one of these, discussed here last week. Pull-ups are another…and they’re a much less common part of most guys’ repertoire. […]

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