The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)
Facts on exercise intensity
Robert Pattinson went through very high-intensity preparation for his role in “Good Time.” He says he, “lived in the same basement apartment [as the character] in Harlem. I never opened my curtains, didn’t change the sheets the entire time I was there ... and I would sleep in my clothes.”
That may be a good plan if you’re hoping for an Oscar, but it may not improve your health.
One study published in Circulation followed 289 middleaged guys for around six years to assess the impact of low-, moderate-, high-, and veryhigh-intensity exercise on their cardiovascular health. Their results? The guys doing very high-intensity exercise ended up with more calcium deposits in their coronary arteries — a risk factor for heart attack and stroke. But calcium deposits aren’t as risky as lipid (fat) deposits, and the researchers didn’t explore how exercise intensity affected those artery blockers (what if it improved them?). All we know is that men who regularly exercised at a moderate or simply intense level had the least amount of calcified plaque.
Another study, published in Nature, says that if you do around 30 minutes of moderate/vigorous aerobics using one set of muscles (say, cycling) before doing strength training in which you use a different set of muscles (upper body) that significantly benefits your strength-training muscles.
The bottom line: Research shows you can significantly improve your health with 300+ minutes of moderate and sometimes-vigorous aerobics and two strength-training sessions weekly (with that bit of aerobics first). The reward: You’ll increase your healthy longevity by about eight years.
Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is “The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow.” Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email questions@ GreatAgeReboot.com.