Fit and healthy with Ingo Froböse
Only twice every 10 days! Fitness Pope says how to prevent common diseases
Friday, April 29, 2022 | 13:45
How healthy are the Germans? In what direction is our society evolving in this regard, and how can we guarantee quality of life into old age?
A short detour into the past
The long waves of economic development started around 1800 with the steam engine and textile industry. The former made it possible for people to go elsewhere. In the second so-called Kondratiev, the focus was on the railway and in this context mass transport. The third was about electrical engineering and mass consumption. The fourth Kondratiev is the one that interests us today in sports science. It deals with the subject of the car industry and individual mobility and takes place around 1954.
Before the car came into their lives, people walked for many hours a day – not for fun, but because long commutes required them to do so. If someone had then told them in the evening that the gym was still waiting for them, they would most likely have seen the person in disbelief. Because at that time, they still worked primarily physically and could show a functioning metabolism and a high energy consumption.
The turning point, however, came with cars and television: the demands on us humans have changed in the way that cancer and cardiovascular diseases as well as diabetes, which were previously almost unknown, suddenly appeared. Because they could not be named or explained correctly, they were called civilization diseases. Today we know better and talk about lifestyle diseases. For it is the lifestyle that has changed and is the cause of such diseases.
In step with this change, we saw an initial decline in muscle mass, which continued to decline with the onset of the fifth Kondratiev, Technology.
The health of the general population is declining
We are now writing the year 2022, where unfortunately there is less and less to sugarcoat. According to the DKV report 2021, only nine percent of the German population maintains a versatile sensible, healthy lifestyle with adequate physical activity and exercise.
The level of inactivity that we have experienced in recent years is reaching new heights. 20- to 30-year-olds sit for ten and a half hours a day, and the average for the entire population is hardly better by eight and a half hours. To make matters worse, the long periods of sitting with occasional exercise in the evening cannot be compensated for. Not to mention that adequate training effect on the muscles and the cardiovascular system could be achieved. This in turn results in lifestyle related diseases.
One of the biggest epidemics of our time, which unfortunately is hardly responded to, is diabetes mellitus type 2. In addition, we will increasingly have to contend with degenerative changes in our skeleton, such as osteoarthritis. But mental illness is also favored. Due to inactivity, we lack our motor valve, which causes us to slip into psychophysical imbalance.
In addition, dementia and Alzheimer’s, two classic phenomena in our aging society, which like the other above-mentioned diseases could be stopped with the help of targeted exercise. Physically active people have significantly greater protein synthesis, which promotes the regeneration of brain cells. Last but not least, we know from cancer prevalence that muscle training helps fight certain cancers or prevent them from occurring in the first place.
In short: I do not know of any disease that does not benefit from physical activity and muscle training. Muscle is our best medicine, our powerhouse and engine for our health. And perhaps the biggest benefit: You are always available to us.
Without muscle training, we do not just look old in old age
That’s the theory. However, we know from practice that the benefits of a well-trained muscle have not yet arrived in our society. When we think of muscle training, old clichés like “big biceps but no brain” and images like of a pumped bodybuilder stick. The great challenge of our time is to change these associations in people’s minds and make it clear to them that muscle is our organ of success. Basically, they are the foundation of everything that constitutes our health.
In order to function at all, we need a minimum of muscle mass. Our muscles thrive on being irritated and stimulated. It is precisely this body that is dependent on the success of what we put into it. It responds dynamically to stimuli of any age and adapts positively. On the other hand, it also means that muscles disappear when not in use. And that is the big problem that we have to face in order to guarantee quality of life into old age. If you do not stop the decline in your muscles, you will no longer enjoy a wonderful life later, but end up in need of care as every second man and every third woman out of four.
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Plant the “big why” in people’s minds
It’s not about teaching people what to do (exercise) and how to do it (go to the gym). It’s more about why. Why should I train my muscles? What effects do I get with it? Why do I counteract lifestyle diseases with muscle training? Only when everyone has understood this will we achieve the paradigm shift needed to create a healthier society. The Allianz für Gesundheit experts and I work on this every day with the Research Institute for Training in Prevention (FIT Prevention).
The good news: It’s never too late for muscle training
Maybe you have already at some point thought the following: “Start with muscle training now? I’m too old for that. “Or:” I lost hops and malt a long time ago. “If you recognize yourself, here’s the point: Even in old age, our muscles are able to adapt and be sensitive to stimuli.
But: Our society is in rapid motion, we do not have time to compensate for the lack of stress through exercise alone. What we need instead is targeted muscle training. Although we only invest in muscle training twice every two to ten days, we increase our performance and, as a result, our quality of life.
Now imagine that if you had 240 hours and only needed a total of one to three hours for your workout during that time, you could already eliminate most lifestyle diseases. If we invest in muscle training twice a week or at least twice every ten days, we increase our performance and consequently our quality of life. Should you even think about investing this time around? Get started today. Health requires exercise. Your body and your mind will thank you.
Use it or lose it – muscle wasting
As already described, there is nothing superfluous in nature. Therefore, from the organism’s point of view, there is no reason to take good care of muscles that are not being used and keep them alive. Consequently, the proteins actin and myosin and thus the muscles themselves are broken down in the sarcomeres. Too little muscle has a negative effect on the whole organism. Our large white muscle fibers are particularly affected by muscle wasting if we do not do much more than get on with our daily lives. The little red fibers are happy about this, while the whites need significantly more and stronger stimuli from lots of exercise or sports. If these stimuli are lacking, the organism uses the space released by the breakdown of muscle protein as a store of energy and creates fat deposits there. Fortunately, this process can be reversed. Better not let it get that far in the first place.
How to train your muscles in everyday life
- Jump – the fast everyday training
Hop or hop every now and then in everyday life. For example, from the last step, because there are stairs everywhere. With this, you train your white muscle fibers along the way. If you do 40 jumps during the day, you will continue to stimulate your circulation and supply your brain with oxygen.
- Exercise away from sarcopenia
As we get older, the body breaks down motor units. However, as these are essential for the transmission of stimuli, it becomes more difficult to control the muscles and sarcopenia develops where strength and speed are drastically impaired. The good news: you can counteract sarcopenia with appropriate physical activity: muscles can be trained at any age and adjusted positively even at an older age. In this case, however, it must be a special education. You can only reach the strong white fibers through training stimuli that require high to maximum load, ie maximum effort. So choose your weights and intensities so you can only do a few repetitions (maximum three to six per series). The desired effect sets in quickly.