“Effects of High Intensity Dynamic Resistance Exercise and Whey Protein Supplements on Osteosarcopenia in Older Men with Low Bone and Muscle Mass. Final Results of the Randomized Controlled FrOST Study.”
The takeaway from this is that it is never too late to make a difference in your health. To quote the authors
Why is this important?
Whilst I appreciate this paper does not relate directly to triathletes, I think we can all accept that we will all become old at one point in our life or know some people (read parents or grandparents) that are older than us and this can be applied. Recently there has been a lot of interest in sarcopenia, sarcopenic obesity and osteosarcopenia. For those unaccustomed to these words, they relate to progressive loss of muscle as we age, loss of muscle as we age whilst getting fatter and loss of muscle with concurrent loss of bone density respectively. All pretty grim reading and a very real issue in today’s society and potentially a major health crisis in the making.
What was studied?
This study was cool because they recruited a group of 74+-year-old men - think about your dad right about now. Forty-three in total and had them follow a resistance training program on machines over the course of 18 months. The training was performed twice a week and they periodised the training with changes to repetitions, sets, time under tension and speed of lifting in line with a training program that someone much younger may follow.
Consensus statement - Sleep and the athlete: narrative review and 2021 expert consensus recommendations
Why is this important?
Sleep is increasingly being recognised as a crucial element to health, recovery and ultimately performance. This performance element extends beyond the swim, bike or run and into everyday life and performing at your best. I have recently written a new article for Triathlete magazine that reviews the effect of alcohol on sleep, heart rate and heart rate variability (HRV) with me being the N= 1. There were certainly some insights and I encourage each of you to read it and to also explore what I describe with your own social experiment.
Please remember that wearables are only as good as the information they collect and as discussed later, most are likely to be inaccurate and overestimate (much like activity performed and calories burnt). Also, important to note, data is one thing, don’t obsess over it - how you wake and feel on a day to day basis is likely to be just as good an indicator to how you are sleeping.
When Jan. 1 rolls around, we are often full of good intentions in our bid to be better, fitter, healthier humans. One goal that seems to be remarkably common, especially this year, is Dry January. After several weeks of excessive alcohol consumption over the holidays, giving up booze for the first month of the year is often considered a great way to reset, detox, and kick start your year. This could be particularly true in 2021 with statistics from the first lockdown in the U.S. showing a 54% increase in alcohol sales. In my native Australia, one study found one in five people reported increased alcohol intake during lockdown.
While I won’t be partaking in Dry January this year, I did complete a month of no drinking back in October. The goal was a month of zero alcohol for no reason other than wanting to challenge myself after lockdown. What I did not realize was the impact it would have on several parameters of health that I had been tracking with my Oura ring for several months prior. I was remarkably surprised to see just how much it affected my training, performance, sleep, recovery, energy levels, and mental clarity. For those of you aiming to complete Dry January—and for those of you who might be on the fence—keep reading to see the benefits it can reap. Some of this data might help keep you on the wagon a little longer!
Resting Heart Rate
Resting heart rate is a good indicator of overall health and, typically, a lower resting heart rate is better and a good indication of cardiovascular health. During the months leading up to October, my resting heart rate was steady, averaging 42-43 bpm. Throughout October, there was a noticeable reduction in resting heart rate with the average for the month being 39 bpm. Depending on that day’s exercise volume and intensity there were days when it was consistently 36 bpm. This came as a surprise to see such a steady drop in heart rate.
What was more of a surprise was that in the month of November, as I began to resume drinking alcohol, my average resting heart rate bounced back to 42 bpm. While the amount being consumed was certainly not large (and usually restricted to a Friday or Saturday evening), this is still some significant extra work for the heart, which, when you extrapolate out over the course of a year equates to 1,576,800 extra beats per minute. That’s a lot of extra workload for the heart.