Update: My Fitness | Advanced Mediterranean Diet

It’s piss-poor.

I stopped exercising 18-24 months ago, I’m not even sure why. Probably just got busy with work or life and got out of the habit. I turn 70 next year and know that I must exercise regularly to improve and maintain my vigor as aging progresses. I expect big changes, and not for the better, over the next decade. My father died at 83; my mother is still alive and fairly healthy at 92.

Here’s the program I started yesterday:

  1. Push-ups.
  2. Dumbell overhead presses, Arnold style.
  3. One-arm bent-over rows with dumbell.
  4. Single-leg Romanian dead lifts with dumbell.
  5. Squats with dumbells.
  6. Bench presses (alternating flat and inclined).
  7. Walking the dogs for 2.5-4 miles, at least 2-3 times a week.

A recent visit with my brother-in-law Dale inspired me to start walking the famous “10,000 steps a day,” roughly five miles. That’s what he does. My dogs love it. I usually fail when I’m working a string of 12-hour shifts. If you’re an older woman, maybe 4,400 steps/day is enough for a longevity benefit. In other populations studied, 6,000 to 8,000 steps/day was optimal for the longevity benefit. I admitted a patient to the hospital a few days ago who told me her health insurer sends her a small check monthly if she meets their step goal. She’s saving them money via lower healthcare expenditures, and they’re sharing with her. I love it!

For exercises 1 through 5 above, I’ll do them for 90 seconds each, loading myself with enough weight to exhaust myself by the time I’m done. My cadence for them will be ~5 seconds each direction. E.g., for the bench press, 5 seconds slowly lifting the dumbells up, the 5 seconds slowly lowering them. Sort of like Chris Highcock’s Hillfit program.

Before you start a new fitness program, I suggest you take some baseline measurements.

As in May, 2012, I still weigh 168 lb (76.4 kg). But this required loss of 12 lb (5.5 kg) over the last year. Compared to 2012, however, I’m sure I’ve lost strength and muscle mass and gained girth. At the level of the umbilicus, my abdominal circumference while standing upright is 38.5 inches (98 cm). That number in May, 2012, was 36.5 inches (92.5 cm). If I measure my girth while supine, the number is three inches less. Assuming I’ve lost an inch of height over the last 15 years, my BMI is 23.4. Calculate your BMI here.

  Steve Parker, M.D.

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet

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