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June 26, 2020
These blogs are about maintaining a quality and quantity of life. How you can tip the balance towards extended healthy life years: more energy, better looks and less drugs (from the doctor).In our last blog we spoke about Michael’s eight-week goals of which there are now just five weeks left. He wants to match some key fitness metrics to ten years ago on his last big birthday. We also expanded on a key health topic of muscle loss with ageing, and why you need to slow this down.
Throughout history more people died of communicable disease (bacterial and viral infections etc.) than non-communicable disease - heart attack, stroke, cancer etc. Progress on many fronts of medicine and sanitation in the developed world, brought us now, to being more likely to die from a non-communicable disease.
An illness most likely affected by lifestyle choices, and illustrated in the huge disparity of three decades, from lowest to highest, in regional life expectancy in the UK. We can all make better choices and get better outcomes. Next week we’ll go into more detail about nutrition and some key topics for dramatically better health. Michael shares his morning routine next.
Gaby Van Clarke
1. Glass of water on waking. Rooibos tea.2. 5km run. Usually around Regent’s Park. London’s nicest formal green space.3. Vegetable protein drink - 50/50 Lamberts Pea Protein & Spiru-tein.
4. Strength Workout – see below5. Breakfast
Boring! Some people would find the same breakfast everyday a little dull. For me, I enjoy it, it’s healthy, and it’s one less thing to think about. If I’m travelling, breakfast will be the main meal of the day, and I can spend hours over grand hotel breakfasts, but a big meal doesn’t work for me in London when I’m active.Breakfast Ingredients:Grains and OatsYoghurtBerriesNutsSeedsHoneyUdo's Oil2 x PowerShot Vitamins
The yoghurt used to be Greek which I love, but I made a strategic decision to reduce animal protein, so this is now organic coconut yoghurt. Followed by a small cafetiere of freshly ground coffee.
I’m following up this week with some of my strength exercises. There are a range of exercises I work to. I’ll take 3-6 per day. 10-15 reps of each repeated 3-5 times. That takes about 20-30 minutes with a warm up first and stretching afterwards.
Some exercises pair up into supersets which can alternate opposing muscle groups, say a triceps exercise against a biceps exercise. It means you can eliminate some rest periods in between and save time.
1. Decline press-up on Swiss ball: Muscle groups – chest, shoulders and triceps.
Start in a standard press-up position but with toes in the centre of the top of the ball. Make sure hands are under shoulders, core is tight. As you bend through the elbows to lower yourself down make sure your back doesn’t arch in, and that your head, neck and spine are all in a line. The decline press-up puts more weight into your hands, so you are lifting more body weight through each rep.
2. Diamond press-up: Muscle groups – as press-ups but predominantly triceps.
As a traditional press up, but place the hands under your chest with your thumb and index fingers on each hand touching to form a diamond shape. (try not to let the elbows flare out).
3. Dumbbell pullover on Swiss ball: Muscle groups – lats (latissimus dorsi) and pecs.
Holding the dumbbell close into your chest, roll down the Swiss ball so that your head and shoulders are resting on it. Feet and knees should be at a 90 degree angle, push your hips up (which activates the glutes). Place one hand over the other on the dumbbell and extend arms up above chest. Keep the core engaged and slowly lower the weight back over your head, keeping a slight bend in yourelbows. Reverse the action, keeping core engaged, to return to start position.
4. Dumbbell chest press: Muscle groups – chest, triceps and shoulders.
Lying face up on a mat with a weight in each hand, raise your legs into a 90 degree angle, engage core, (so back is pushed into mat), push weights upwards away from the chest bringing them together at the top. Return to start position lowering them back down slowly and repeat.
5. Dumbbell chest press with twist: muscle groups as above but more emphasis on the pecs.
As above, but as you press the weights up and away from you, add a twist so that palms end up facing each other. As you return to start position reverse the twist.
6. Chest Fly: Muscle groups – predominantly the pecs but also a good chest opener.
This can be done on a bench or ball but on the floor, it stops over extending the shoulders. Lying face up on a mat with a dumbbell in each hand, extend the arms up over the centre of the chest. Keep elbows slightly bent (arc shape) and lower arms out to the sides, elbows to the floor but wrists stay elevated. Squeeze through the chest to reverse the movement to start position. The elbows stay fixed at a slight angle during the arc.
More next week.
Michael Van Clarke
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This Persian recipe is always brought out for their new year but can be enjoyed anytime by everyone as it’s vegan and gluten free. Using chickpea flour gives a delicate and crumbly melt-in-your-mouth biscuit with fragrant flavours of cardamom, pistachio and rose water carrying you eastward.
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