Losing weight during quarantine? There could be more to it than stress. If your lifestyle has become largely sedentary because of physical distancing, you could be losing muscle mass. When it comes to maintaining a healthy body weight, a single number cannot possibly hope to sufficiently reflect what is going on beneath the surface.
The muscles of the body are very much a “use it or lose it” tool. Considering the recent announcement to re-close gyms in Pasadena, it is of increasing importance that you continue not only to exercise the heart with cardio workouts, but also your own lean body mass with strength training.
In today’s newsletter, we will discuss a few different types of strength training and provide a few examples of how you can keep your muscles strong through this extended period of quarantine.
What is the lifestyle approach?
Simply put, the lifestyle approach to medicine is an attempt to flip the script on traditional therapies, which often come too late and are only capable of managing chronic conditions. Rather than treating only the symptoms of a chronic health condition, our method aims directly at the root cause, and is capable of completely reversing several common chronic diseases (hypertension, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and even some autoimmune diseases).
Q. Why is the lifestyle approach better?
A: There are several reasons why we believe the lifestyle approach to healthcare MUST be the future of medicine. From a financial perspective, the current style of healthcare is not sustainable. In the United States, $3.6 trillion is spent in health care every year. 86% of that is spent managing chronic diseases. Not treating, not reversing. Managing. From an individual perspective, the lifestyle approach is far more successful, capable of preventing 80% of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes and 40% of cancer.
“If we are creating ourselves all the time, then it is never too late to begin creating the bodies we want instead of the ones we mistakenly assume we are stuck with.”
Isotonic and Isometric
When it comes to strength training, exercise can be categorized into one of two camps.
- Isotonic exercise requires the muscles to resist weight over a range of motion.
- Isometric exercise involves maintaining and holding a static position while engaging the muscle.
There are certainly benefits to both, and a good strength training routine should incorporate both types of training into its regimen. On one hand, isotonic training is especially beneficial for strengthening the cardiovascular system, which reduces your risk of heart disease. On the other hand, isometric exercise supports the process of building and maintaining lean muscle mass.
Here are some common isotonic exercises to include in your home routine:
- Pull-ups (if you have a bar)
- Bicep curls (if you have weights)
Now, what is the best way to work these into a routine or to generate a routine from scratch? There are plenty of resources that provide guidelines for progression in terms of number of repetitions per exercise when starting out. Alternatively, have fun with it! Throw on a favorite TV show and pledge 2 push-ups every time the protagonist says their catchphrase. A quick Google search for “workout games” will provide you with a plethora of options for making your workouts unpredictable and fun!
Similarly, common isometric exercises that you may have heard of include:
Again, there are heaps and heaps of options for “workout games” that involve doing 1 minute of wall sits every time a specific event occurs on a TV show or as punishment for losing in a game. We encourage you to make your workout fun! If possible, share the experience with others. When we share fun experiences with friends, we are most likely to be motivated to continue with the endeavor.