Stripped down and free.
Walk. It's free. Move your body, sharpen your mind.
This study just published in the The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that adults in their 50s and 60s who walked 40 minutes three times a week actually increased the size of their brains' hippocampus. That's the area where memories are formed. And they performed better in spatial memory tests. Which means you're less likely to get lost when you're out walking.
"Physical activity in older adults improves psychomotor processing abilities and is associated with greater brain activation... even for moderate levels and even when started late in life. The Journals of Gerontology
September 26, 2011. That's naked as in stripped. Stripped down. No equipment. No exercise balls, no balance boards, no weights. Just your bare hands. Not just Better and Cheaper. Better and Free.
Let's do a bike exercise - without the exercise bike. Press Play to watch it. Or read on to see what I say while I'm on my back with my legs up in the air.
Look, ma. No handlebars.
On your back. Place your hands lightly behind your ears. Legs up, bent at a right angle at your knees. Now move your legs - a rotary motion just like you're on a bike. Do it for a minute to warm up.
Now, add a little upper body movement. When your left knee is closer to your chest, extend your right elbow up toward it. As far as you can. Use your abdominal muscles and your oblique muscles to provide the lift. Don't pull your head up with your arms; keep a light touch with your hands behind your ears. When your right knee's closer, extend your left elbow toward it.
You've got your legs working. And your abs and obliques. Look, ma. No love handles. Well, eventually. Do this for a few minutes every day and they'll start to shrink. If you've been putting them on for years, it's gonna take a little while to take them off. There's no quick fix. Just a real fix. Patience. Persistence. Keep moving. That's the fix. The Slow Fix. Better Cheaper Slower.
Every Thing Is Everything
"Results showed that most people were gaining weight gradually over time, with the average American adult gaining 1 to 2 lb per year ... small changes in energy intake and expenditure adding up to 100 kcal/day could arrest excess weight gain in most people." Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Yup, knocking off 100 calories a day is enough to stop weight gain and waist gain for most of us. That's a brisk 20-minute walk.
Let's Do The Math
2 x 20. Yup. 40. 40 lbs if you let this happen for 20 years. Start when you're 30. Look down when you're 50. Hey, where are my feet?.
It's Always Something
Even if you exercise for an hour a day, you're still awake for another 15. Spend too many of them sitting, you'll be at much higher risk of "cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome risk factors ... because any type of brief, yet frequent, muscular contraction throughout the day may be necessary to short-circuit unhealthy molecular signals causing metabolic diseases." American Diabetes Assoc., "Role of Low Energy Expenditure and Sitting in Obesity". So Don't Just Sit There!