Sometimes women talk about body image issues and the pressures they face from beauty magazines.
But men have pressure too. I mean, have you looked at a cover of Men’s Fitness lately or how about the “endurance” of some of those male adult stars? I personally think six pack abs were invented to sell magazines.
It’s enough to give a guy a complex. Tell me, when exactly was it that guys were supposed to start looking like that? It used to be that a man’s man was someone like Captain Kirk and he sure didn’t have a six pack.
So I’m still not going to tell you how to get six pack abs in your workout. Beachbody is great for that. So I’ll leave them to it.
Because you don’t need a six pack to have extreme health, or to attract gorgeous women, and you certainly don’t need a six pack for good endurance (sign up to our newsletter to learn more about that).
In fact, when it comes to health indicators like high blood pressure, longevity, and heart disease there is a growing amount of evidence that working out in a way I like to call “low and slow” is way better for you than all that six pack ab stuff that the health gurus want you to do.
Blood Pressure and the Low and Slow Way to Work Out
It’s not a secret that lots of guys have high blood pressure or what the docs call borderline high blood pressure. That means that your blood pressure is slightly elevated but not enough for the doc to prescribe the drugs.
And according to this study exercise lowers blood pressure effectively:
A large number of studies indicate that endurance exercise training will elicit a 10 mm Hg average reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressures in individuals with mild essential hypertension.
So this is nothing new. Docs love to tell people to exercise. And we all know that exercise benefits health.
But here is where it gets interesting.
Exercising harder doesn’t help and it may hurt.
Exercise training at somewhat lower intensities appears to lower blood pressure as much, or more, than exercise at higher intensities.
This is important, because it seems like every exercise guru out there is toting a get-ripped quick program that says “hey, look at me…. I’m working out HARD”. But this approach is dead wrong. It actually gets worse results than working out low and slow.
The Best Workout for High Blood Pressure is the Low and Slow Workout
When you workout low and slow the object of the game is to get lots and lots of movement in that really doesn’t even break a sweat. Here’s another study that shows the low and slow approach actually makes you live longer, with a 35% lower rate of death.
Personally, for me, a 35% lower rate of death is well worth it. And this kind of low and slow exercise is exactly what I do every single day.
The greatest rewards came to those who exercised three or more times a week. These individuals tended to go longer and slower than less-frequent exercisers but logged impressive weekly totals of about 450 minutes. They had a 35 percent lower all-cause mortality rate.
So let’s break this down.
450 minutes a week = about 65 minutes a day. I know this sounds like a ton. But it’s not. In fact, this is probably going to be the easiest workout you ever, ever do.
And don’t let the ease of this fool you. This is a case where harders isn’t better.
THE best results and lower blood pressure come from this simple formula.
Ready for the secret?
65 minutes a day – 7 days a week – doing any moderate physical activity. Here’s how to make it happen.
The first thing you want to do is make sure you can move at your desk. Stand if you can, pacing is better – especially if you are on the phone. If you don’t have a standing desk at work ask if you can use one and then buy one for yourself.
If you can’t stand at your desk, get out for a 30 minute walk at lunch.
And then go for a 30 minute walk in the evening with your sweetheart or to the local coffee shop.
That’s really it. That much low and slow exercise is shown to lower your blood pressure and give you way better health. You’ll also probably lose weight. Most people do.
I was personally tired of workouts that were hard to stick to and that really didn’t seem to help much (because if you don’t do them….). So I switched to this. And you should too.
But, if you are still really dead set on six pack abs go for it. Just know it’s another health myth that doesn’t really do anything good for your body. It’s just there to sell you magazines.
The biggest fitness payoff