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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter, Issue #219. Vacuuming for Fitness.
January 15, 2018

January 15, 2018

In this newsletter . . .

Vacuuming for Fitness

Researchers at Harvard University and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm found that even light physical activity increases longevity, and more so than previously believed. Of course ramping up your workouts may pay even greater dividends. Nevertheless, they cited such small things like “walking the dog” or “vacuuming the carpet” as having a positive effect on your health and well-being.

So it seems that nearly any movement at all that interrupts a sedentary lifestyle of staring into an electronic device and/or couch slouching produces healthier outcomes. Any movement at all. In Living the Fitness Lifestyle (book no longer available), I wrote that just owning a dog benefits us in ways we may not even realize. But little did I know that walking a dog (or even vacuuming the carpet) would someday enter into serious fitness research.

I know almost nothing about vacuum cleaners. But let’s talk about dogs. It seems I’ve always owned one. 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 as each dog 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.” Aha!

As I’ve entered my 80s, I no longer run and, frankly, my walking is not nearly as robust as it once was. Still, I get out there. Everyday. Even if it's a saunter. My walking/hiking companion now is B.B. (after B.B. King), a beautiful Australian Shepard breed. B.B. will be 13 in April of this year. It’s another story, but for years B.B. lived with my granddaughter in the foothills of the Austrian Alps. He's a lucky dog! Now at nearly 13, he still retrieves and still loves to walk, though his pace has slowed and now coincides with my own. He’s a blessing.

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. Consider it. Your new best friend can add fun – 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 a total fitness program. Without weights or bands and some stretching, muscles wilt and bodies stiffen. You don’t have to emulate all the feats of Jack LaLanne to add zest to your years. But he sure did set a good example, wouldn't you say?

For some thoughts on Cardio, go here.

Resistance training facts are here.

And realistic tips on trimming a flabby waistline can be found here.

Total beginners, please start here.

Best regards,

Senior Exercise Central.

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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 newsletter and web site provide information to help users establish and maintain a fitness lifestyle. But fitness information is not the same as fitness advice, which is the application of exercise and dietary practices to an individual's specific circumstances. Therefore, always consult with your physician for assurance that fitness information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate for you.

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Logan Franklin
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter

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