Here are some real facts from National Health Survey from July 2017-June 2018:
Fact #1 – Just over a quarter (26.1%) of older adults (65 years and over) engaged in 30 minutes of exercise on 5 or more days in the last week.
Fact #2 – One quarter (24.9%) of 18-64 year olds undertook strength or toning activities on two or more days in the last week.
Fact #3 – Overall Australians aged 15 years and over exercised 42 minutes per day on average, the largest part of which consisted of walking for transport and walking for exercise (24.6 minutes).
This is the bare minimum that the average Australian is completing on average per day.
Let me blunt – for most Australians – that is not enough for lifelong health.
If you’re completing ‘exercise’ as a part of walking for transport or a nice leisurely walk ~20 minutes versus being sedentary for the rest of the day.
It will snowball over time and coupled with poor lifestyle choices (which I outlined in my previous blog) you may have a very high chance of developing chronic disease.
Of all the exercises available the two most popular are resistance training and aerobic exercise.
I will describe what each of these types of training modes are as an overview plus their benefits.
Plus I’ll share with you how I train to keep myself healthy – all from the comfort of my home (which has been handy with this covid environment we’ve found ourselves in).
As the name suggests it puts your muscles up against a force that resists the movement.
Examples include weight lifting, kettlebells and bodyweight training.
It is important to note that a lot of different systems are in play when you perform resistance training.
The work of the heart to power the effort matters.
For example endurance running vs resistance training demands different load and effort from your heart.
Resistance training makes your muscles stronger but it also taps into your brain so you move better.
In a recent study, 15 men lifted weights for 14 weeks. At the end their muscles could generate more force, of course, but what’s more interesting is that their neural drive – their ability to send electrical signals from brain to muscle – also got stronger and faster .
With greater neural drive comes more precise control of the way you move!
Resistance training increases your metabolic rate, keeping you in a fat-burning state , improves insulin sensitivity , and the muscle you build will burn fat for you while you rest ! That’s a three-pronged approach to burning more fat!
An excellent 2010 review of randomised, controlled studies showed that strength training decreases anxiety, boosts memory and cognition, reduces fatigue, and makes you happier  plus strength training increases bone density .
How do I implement my resistance training?
Bodyweight training with gymnastic rings. Nothing fancy!
Resistance and aerobic training are both powerful ways to improve your biology giving you a unique set of benefits.
So why not combine them?
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) alternates between brief, strenuous exercise and active rest.
For example you might sprint for 60 seconds, walk for 30, do push-ups for 60, walk for 30, and repeat! HIIT intensely stresses your muscles, then it lets them recover during active rest.
Implementing exercises together and maintaining active rest keeps your heart and breathing rates up, so you also get the benefits of aerobic exercise. In fact, it may be more effective than either resistance or aerobic exercise alone!
The best thing is that HIIT is efficient! There’s no need for an hour in the weight room and another hour running; you’ll be lucky to survive if you make it past 15 minutes of HIIT when you first start out.
Here are my recommendations when designing an HIIT workout:
Alternate between an exercise and active rest
Don’t string together exercises that target the same muscle group
E.g. don’t follow squats with lunges
Both target your quads, and you don’t want to tire your quads then tax them again immediately afterward. A good method is to alternate between upper and lower body exercises.
Set a timer instead of counting reps
Keep your phone at your side or an eye on the clock.
Keep good form!!! HIIT gets exhausting quickly.
Exhaustion brings poor form, and poor form brings injury!
If your form starts to slip, slow down or skip an exercise and do active rest instead.
Listen to your body to avoid hurting yourself.
How do I implement my resistance training?
Stationary bike with 45 second ‘hard push’ cycle followed by 30 second ‘coast’ rotation for a total of 10 minutes.
Here is sample of my stationary bike work –