May 15, 2021
In this newsletter . . .
Researchers at Harvard University and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm found that even light physical activity increases longevity, and more so than previously suspected. Of course, ramping up workouts a bit may pay even greater dividends. Nevertheless, the researchers cited such small things as walking the dog or vacuuming the carpet as having a positive effect on your health, well-being, and longevity.
But is that really so surprising? Nearly any movement at all that interrupts too much staring at an electronic device or couch slouching produces healthier outcomes. Still, I would have never guessed about vacuuming, though it does make sense when you think about it. Vacuuming a carpet gets us off the couch and gets us moving. Of course owning a dog benefits us in even more ways, both physically and mentally. It’s
something most have speculated, but now dog walking’s rewards have entered into serious research.
I don’t know anything at all about vacuum cleaners. Complete ignorance. On the other hand, I’ve always owned a dog. When my dog Steve passed, in 1999, I discovered another best friend, named Tyra. Both Steve and Tyra were high-energy animals and we ran or hiked together daily. Each animal became my constant companion. Tyra was an Australian Cattle Dog mix and her veterinarian once remarked, “Cattle Dog owners are usually in good shape. Their dogs keep them that way.”
As I’m now in my 80s, I no longer run and my walking isn’t nearly as brisk as it once was. Still, I get out there. Everyday. Even if it's a saunter. A few years ago my walking/hiking companion was B.B., a beautiful Australian Shepard. B.B. lived most of his life with my granddaughter in the foothills of the Austrian Alps. It was an idyllic
life. He came to me as a senior but still loved to retrieve and go on hikes, though his pace had slowed. Now it coincided with my own.
If you hate cardio machines but need a nudge to get yourself outside regularly for running or brisk walks, becoming a dog owner might be just the ticket. Rescue shelters and humane societies have wonderful animals looking for lifetime homes. A new best friend can add joy – and maybe years – to your life.
Of course for a balanced fitness lifestyle you must add some resistance training and flexibility movements to the mix. Walking the dog (or vacuuming the carpet) shouldn’t comprise your total fitness program. Weights or bands and some stretching are needed too, otherwise muscles wilt and bodies stiffen.
For more thoughts on Cardio, go here.
Resistance training facts are here.
And realistic tips on trimming a flabby waistline can be found here.
Senior total beginners, please, always start here.
Stay healthy. Stay fit.
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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter is a free publication sent twice monthly to subscribers. The purpose is to provide honest and realistic fitness information for people age 50 and above.
I have never been paid or received compensation of any kind to write a positive review or endorse a product. If I say that I personally use a product or service, it is because I find value in it and have paid for it with my own money.
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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter