Dr. Grimes’ 20-1-7 CHALLENGE:
- For the first TWENTY weeks of this year,
- Pick ONE healthy change every Sunday, and
- Commit to that change for SEVEN days.
RESIST: 20-1-7 Challenge Week #9
Resistance training should be included at some level for all adults, regardless of fitness level. Increasing lean muscle mass through resistance exercise has been shown to have numerous benefits, including increasing your resting metabolic rate, reducing fat (and related, reducing risk of developing type 2 diabetes), improving mobility and decreasing falls, enhancing cardiac health (through improved lipid profiles), improving bone density and even improving self-image. So why don’t we all make time for it?
Many people equate resistance training with mandatory GYM attendance, and when that habit falls off, the weights disappear. However, small free weights (3-20 pounds) easily fit into our homes, stored under a bed or in a corner. I admit to having a small collection with various covers…pictured above is my favorite 5 pound set. Don’t have any? Head to your favorite super-store and add them to your shopping list, because this is NOT a big ticket item- you can easily find some for less than $10.
How often should you use weights? The good news here is that 2-3 times per week is plenty, as you should not lift weights with the same muscle groups two days in a row.
Do NOT jump in to resistance training by seeing how much weight you can lift- that’s a recipe for injury. Note that MY weights start at 3 pounds (for triceps) and 5 pounds (for biceps and other upper body work). I max out on home weights at 10 pounds- which is plenty for my small frame. Please talk to your doctor if you have any chronic medical challenges (from diabetes, to seizure disorders, to hypertension, to arthritis, etc) before you launch in to a new strength training program, and if a personal trainer or physical therapist is an option- go for it! If you are like me, and have had plenty of instruction on proper technique but have simply fallen off the weight lifting wagon, simply “START LOW & GO SLOW”.
BOTTOM LINE: This week I will re-introduce some basic low level resistance training into my exercise routine, starting with 3 and 5 pound weights for upper body toning.
20-1-7 Challenge Week #8: ZZZ FEEDBACK: Using the app “Sleep Cycle” gave me a great visual display of the time I spent in bed, plus a very accurate assessment of the time I was actually asleep. I do not know how they translate the awake/asleep/level of sleep into their “sleep quality” percentage (so I cannot vouch for the medical evidence accuracy), but I found the overall feedback very useful. I plan to continue using this (or a similar) app for the next few months.